December 6, 2013

In his Nov. 28 Econ Agenda column [“Cheer up: Here are five economic trends to be thankful for,” Economy & Business], Neil Irwin thought that we should be thankful for rising home prices, which mean higher wealth levels for Americans. I think otherwise. Higher real estate prices don’t make us all richer; they enable some people to charge more money to other people for places to live and work.

Producing more valuable items, and getting them to those in need, make us better off. Higher housing prices may make some Americans feel richer and more inclined to spend, but even if that’s good, what about the people who have to scrimp to buy a home or to make the mortgage payments once they have bought one?

More people truly understanding economics might be something for which to be thankful.

Nicholas D. Rosen, Arlington

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