There is something attractive about the idea that the current crisis is caused by everyone being greedy. Everyone is to blame. I’m someone who carries more than my share of consumer debt, and I’m probably not alone. Many of us feel guilty about how much we eat out. Stuff like that. So it fits. But consider these two graphs.
It might be hard to see, but from 1980 until the present, the cost of owning a home has gone up 42%. In the same period, the average wage has increased 5%. If housing cost is increasing so much faster than wages, does that create a problem of running out of buyers? A problem that was “solved” by inventing new mortgages and requiring less credit worthiness. Had we focused on making sure wages kept up with the cost of necessities, would we be in better shape? (Note: both graph are corrected for inflation.)