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The Failure of the Trickle-Down Ownership Society

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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NOT YOUR HOMEBOY Bush (Photo: Getty Images) In 2004, George Bush gave a little talk to the National Association of Home Builders. "For millions of our citizens, the American Dream™ starts with owning a home," he said. This December, housing unit sales were down 40 percent from a year ago, in an era of of heightened stagflation and possible loss of homes, as millions of cruddy-termed mortgage payments are coming due.

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"Bush has turned out to be the ownership society's undertaker," writes Naomi Klein in the Nation. The ownership society was an excellent scheme, too, she points out—it worked to recruit voters to the right when that monster Margaret Thatcher put London public housing on the market. Those who purchased their flats went Tory about half the time. (Double win: Those who became homeless were probably less likely to show up to vote!)

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