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Best columns: Business

Let’s help those who need the most help

Steven E. Landsburg
Slate.com

We’re all familiar with the “genuinely moving stories of good people” who are being forced to leave their homes because they can’t afford their mortgage payments, said Steven E. Landsburg in Slate.com. But while losing your home is obviously painful, never having a home to lose, because you can’t begin to afford one, can be even more painful. So why is Washington searching for ways “to help struggling homeowners instead of, say, the struggling homeless?” The answer, of course, is that most of us have more in common with the homeowners, and therefore relate more to their plight. But the fact is, many of the people who would benefit from the various plans to bail out homeowners are far from destitute, while many more Americans are struggling just to survive. So whatever level of assistance we decide to provide to those who are facing foreclosures, let’s give some consideration to those who wish they had such problems. It’s fine “to care about the fortunes of the people who happen to be in your field of vision.” But let’s not ignore people “just because they happen to be absent from the front page of this morning’s newspaper.”

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