My solution to the national housing crisisOffer an immediate green card to any foreigner that buys a house here (along with their family of course, and subject to a few other filters like no criminal record and a minimum price on the house). The green card is only good as long as they continue home ownership - no new foreclosures allowed. The instant surge in demand would prop up prices and stop the cycle of foreclosures and neighborhood decline (and failing banks). If we want more specific geographic targeting where housing is the weakest, states could opt in or out of the program, or even define narrower areas inside their borders.
Update 2/11/09: Thomas Friedman of the NY Times backs the same idea, as does the economics blog Marginal Revolution.
Update 3/17/09: More support from a Wall Street Journal op-ed.
Update 4/22/09: Columnist Scott Burns backs the same idea from economist A. Gary Shillng and real estate developer Richard Lefrak.
Labels: economic strategy