Just a month ago, the idea of a government-driven solution to the mortgage problem made my blood boil, but I’ve grown to be a lot less hostile to the idea.

Charles Krauthammer does an excellent job of summarizing the problem with underwater mortgages:

If your mortgage is underwater and you can’t sell a house, and there are jobs that are opening up in America — traditionally in America you pack up and leave. If you are stuck in the same location, in a place like, say, Detroit where jobs are falling away and there are job openings elsewhere, you are stuck because of skills or location. When you add them together, you have this chronic unemployment issue which is new in this country.

I still think that the best solution is widespread foreclosure to dump supply into the housing market and create a deluge of affordable housing. After all, affordable housing has been the ostensible goal of government housing policy for several decades; we’re finally within shooting distance, so why stop now.

That said, a mobile workforce is essential to the productivity of a 1st-world economy. Characterizing a mortgage solution in terms of enabling the mobility of the American workforce makes it seem a lot less idiotic.