MONEY AND WORK

News from the Progressive Review, providing alternative news and comment for over four decades.

January 7, 2009

BLAMING HISPANICS FOR HOUSING CRISIS

Chief Organizer - There was an incredible and irresponsible article in the Wall Street Journal by Susan Schmidt and Maurice Tamman called "Housing Push for Hispanics Spawns Wave of Foreclosure" in which once again there is an effort to blame the folks at the bottom for the mistakes at the top. Perhaps worse, the conclusions from the statistics the Journal uses to excuse its business base instead make the case for a huge advance in citizen wealth for Hispanic families. What in the world could be wrong with that? Here are the facts the reporters shared:

There was a huge 47% increase in home ownership for Hispanics in the USA in a seven-year period from 2000-2007 that saw 2 million Hispanic families become new homeowners in that period and the total numbers of Hispanic homeowners go from 4.1 million to 6.1 million.

Since there are very few tools as powerful as homeownership for increasing citizen wealth, this is a huge advance on all fronts. . .

The foreclosure rate across all US counties where Hispanic families constitute more than 25% of the population is 6.7 homes per 1000, while it is 4.6 homes per 1000 families overall. . .

If the 6.7% foreclosure rate was applied against all 2 million new Hispanic homeowners, that would mean that 134,000 of the new 2 million Hispanic homeowners had lost their houses. That would be a tragedy no doubt for all 134 thousand of these homeowners, but it is still good news for 1,866,000 Hispanic families who are still homeowners. . .

Remember as well that the foreclosure estimates now range past 5,000,000 homes. Lots of everybody losing homes, and it certainly does not seem inordinately Hispanic when you look at the numbers without bias. . .

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