The Only Way Out Of This Crisis Is To Build More HousesCommentary • Opinion • Economy • recession • ISSUE 45•14 • Mar 31, 2009 By Tony Sasnett Every time I turn on the TV, it's the same thing: Everybody's moaning on and on about the economy without offering any solutions. People are losing their jobs left and right, and our leaders act like we're helpless to do anything about it! This is the greatest country in the world, and still, none of these eggheads in the government can figure a way out of this mess? Come on.Fortunately, I have the medicine for what ails us all. It's so simple, I can't believe no one thought of it until I did, just now. Ready?We build more houses.There. That's it. It's so obvious, maybe that's why I'm the first one to come up with it. Houses got us into this mess, and by God, it's houses that are going to get us out! Think about it. We've got thousands of tradesmen out of work 'cause no one is building houses. Plumbers, guys who do drywall, the like—none of them have a job to go to in the morning. If the carpenters don't have jobs, then they aren't buying any lumber. Then the lumber guys don't have any money to buy dresses for their gals, and the dressmakers can't buy cars, and so on down the line. You see? They need jobs, pronto, otherwise we're going to be sitting on a load of lumber and dresses and cars. So I say, give 'em some houses to build! Then they'd have some money to spread around, and the economy wouldn't be so bad. Problem solved.I know what you're thinking: Wouldn't that leave us with a bunch of new houses and no one to live in them? Well, as it happens, with so many homes in foreclosure, there are a lot of folks right now who need a place to hang their hat. Excuse me, did you hear someone at the door? Oh, hello, opportunity. Come on in!Get it? These people who have lost their homes have no place to live...except for all these brand-new houses! You guys following me yet?Once we start building these new places and sell a few of them, word will get out, and before you know it, everybody's gonna want one. They'll pay out the nose for these new homes, because that's how these fad things work. It's called supply and demand. So you'll have these crazy high prices, and the people who took the risk of building the homes will have the money they need to build even more homes. The cycle just keeps repeating itself, and the dough keeps rolling in!This was working like a charm right up until the whole economy went south, and there's no reason it can't work again. Of course, with folks so strapped for cash, you may wonder how they're going to get the money to pay for these new houses. That's fair enough. After all, these are people who've had their homes repossessed. They've got terrible credit. So what loan officer in his right mind would give them a $500,000 mortgage?This is where things get interesting. It's so simple, really, it's genius. You see, normally, when banks give someone a loan, they have to sit around and wait for the money to trickle in one month at a time. What I'm thinking is, that's really no way to do it. You could grow old waiting for a bet like that to finally pay off.But what if—what if—the banks made a whole lot of loans really quickly, put a bunch of them together in a big package, or bundle, and then sold them to investors for some quick cash? They'd be turning a profit right away, so they wouldn't have to worry so much about whether people could pay back what they borrowed. And they could give loans to anybody—homeless people, kids, immigrants...it wouldn't matter! You can't lose with this!I'm telling you, it's the thing that's gonna work. Unfortunately, the powers-that-be in Washington are a bunch of tight-asses who are overly concerned with sustainable growth this, and long-term economic health that. Hey, Mr. Bureaucrat, if you'd get your nose out of the banks' business and let them make these risky loans, we'd be back on our feet in no time! Workers would make money, bankers would make money, and we'd all be happy. What could possibly go wrong? I mean, if the markets hit a rough patch and the financial system falls to pieces, the government can just bail everyone out. Presto! That's what they're there for, after all. It's a win-win situation.