Hillary Clinton’s campaign posted a video last week focusing on Donald Trump’s decade-old comment that he “sort of” hoped the housing market would crash, because it could profit by engaging in his real-estate business. Trump’s opinion was perfectly reasonable, but it triggered a 200-proof denunciation from U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren.
“Donald Trump was drooling over the idea of a housing meltdown because it meant he could buy up a bunch more property on the cheap…. What kind of a man does that? … Root for people to get thrown out on the street? Root for people to lose their jobs? Root for people to lose their pensions? Root for two little girls in Clark County, Nevada, to end up living in a van?”
Trump, of course, is not actually rooting for people to get thrown out on the street, lose their jobs, or perish in a nuclear apocalypse. Warren’s criticism, stripped of its rhetoric, suggests a failure to understand basic economics.
First, Warren calls Trump “money grubbing” and “small” because he wants to earn money. Economics aptly teaches us, however, that just about everyone would like to earn money. Of course, that doesn’t mean citizens cannot do good deeds with that money – such as assisting needy family, friends, or the general public through charitable gifts — but one must earn money first. Liberals are often afraid to admit this basic truth. (Maybe Warren needs to enter a program for failed socialists: Step 1: It’s OK to earn money. Step 2: You’re not a bad person. Step 3: Go to your happy place.)
Of course, Warren’s behavior suggests that she understands this basic truth: I am pretty sure Warren has never asked Harvard Law School (her former employer) or the federal government (her current employer) to pay her less — or to pay her nothing. Like the rest of us, she wants to earn money. I guess she’s small and money-grubbing, too. Oh well.
Second, Warren asserts that “Donald Trump was drooling over the idea of a housing meltdown because it meant he could buy up a bunch more property on the cheap …. What kind of a man does that?”
Even though she flatly mischaracterized Trump’s statement, she’s still wrong! (That takes some doing.) The import of Warren’s assertion is that Trump, who was aware of the bubble in the housing market that was obvious at the time, was morally wrong to want the needed and inevitable correction that would follow, and he was also morally wrong to want to to supply liquidity to that market. That’s goofy.
Simply put, Trump didn’t (and couldn’t!) create the housing crash. He recognized that it would crash, that he could offer an out to sellers — which he would aptly do, because of their and his economic self-interest — and every party to the resulting transaction (including Trump) would benefit.
Instead, Warren apparently desires one of two ridiculous alternatives. One of those alternatives is that she simply wanted Trump to refuse to make deals – to decline to assist sellers who discovered that they just couldn’t afford what they purchased (which was caused, in some cases, by big-government policies that created artificially and temporarily cheap properties – policies adopted in the guise of helping others) by declining to buy any properties. But Trump’s exit from that market would have left the owners more desperate and harmed. How could any reasonable person believe that would be a better state of affairs?
A second alternative is that Warren wanted Trump to give these people buckets of money for nothing in exchange. That’s the failed philosophy that underlies communism – and, regrettably, it still has a toehold in some of the leftward precincts in today’s Democratic Party. Good luck with that!
I hire people to do work for me because we both benefit: I get services and they get paid. Capitalism is not a made-up theory. It’s a description of normal, moral human behavior.
Warren’s comments typify what’s wrong with liberal elites. They live in a world of make-believe. Warren’s ideas are the equivalent to someone complaining that there are too few unicorns available for everyone who wants one. Mon dieu!
Each year, we devote one day – Memorial Day – in which we remember the bravery and decency of those who lost their lives in our armed forces to protect us. But the central reason that we are grateful to those heroes in the military is that they made it possible for the rest of us to live in a free society and to pursue happiness. Liberty and the pursuit of happiness is furthered, not hampered, by those who cooperate and coordinate society through investment and job creation — and even through buying depressed real estate so as to increase its social value. That kind of cooperation and coordination is what makes it possible for us to earn money and help others. It’s a pity that more of our elected officials don’t understand that.