Friday, February 20, 2009

My favorite policy

Because doing nothing is not an option, my favorite policy idea for our economic troubles is "buy a house, get a visa" which has been touted at marginal revolution (read the comments too) and other places.

The Economist (Feb 14) has just noted that there are "Two billion more bourgeois" in the world. The Financial Times' David Pilling (Feb 19), writing about India, reports "The concept of social mobility is starting to challenge a previously fatalistic attitude to class and cast."

We see again the upside of growth. And some of us see (more) open borders as good for growth. Our H1B visa policy is a disaster. Housing is you-know-where. And the stream of policy ideas that we see on a daily basis is all about replacing one industrial policy with another.

It would be lovely to have more discussion of buy-a-house-get-a-visa. It would be even better if that policy could replace (or at least ratchet down) the long-standing politicization of housing.