America is complicated
"A government crusade to promote homeownership is un-American," write Yaron Brook and Don Watkins. "America’s distinction is that it was the first nation founded on the principle that you have a right to pursue your own happiness without government interference." Izzat so? Will Wilkinson is not convinced:
Say what? Government programs to promote homeownership are American as flag-flavored eagle pie. The first clue is that there are so many goddamn subsidies for homeownership in democratic America. The second clue is that these subsidies are so goddamn popular with Americans, probably because American culture really does relentlessly assault Americans with the American idea that owning an American house is an essential American part of the best and most authentic American way of American living.
Like Will, I'm not a big fan of argumentum ad un-Americanum. America is a country where the strongest opposition to universal health care comes from seniors who are worried it will harm their single-payer health-care system. I could use that as grist for a column on how America hews to a uniquely individualistic , almost Randian notion of socialism, but the better takeaway is that America is complicated and we should stick to policy argument rather than philosophical projection.
August 30, 2010; 9:43 AM ET
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