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The New American Dream is Renting

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"It's time to accept that home ownership is not a realistic goal for many people and to curtail the enormous government programs fueling this ambition," writes Thomas J. Sugrue. In this must-read piece, Sugrue traces the origins of the current housing crisis, and it stretches back farther than you think, all the way back to the Great Depression and the creation of an array of home "ownership" programs. The slow, inexorable march to where we are today was actually the result of a steady erosion in the definition of "ownership" so that it was ultimately supplanted by "mortgageship." As we now know, owning a home and carrying a mortgage on a home are not the same thing.