Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 19, 2005 / 15 Elul, 5765

Real Estate Moms

By Michael Barone


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Last weekend I, like so many of my neighbors, went into the house two doors down from me and looked around. It was the first weekend the property was on the market, and we were curious about how much the sellers were asking—and whether they'd get it. I won't tell you the number, but it was higher than what similar houses had gone for in the neighborhood just last year, and much higher than any of us would have imagined five years ago. Many readers will have had similar experiences. I started thinking . . . what might this mean politically?

In the 1990s, we in the political commentariat talked a lot about Soccer Moms, the group targeted so successfully by Bill Clinton in 1996—women who wanted their children protected and nurtured, who favored Mr. Clinton's education and V-chip and family-leave programs. And in the past few years we've talked a lot about Security Moms, who seem to have voted for George W. Bush in 2004—women who want their families protected against terrorists. I now have another group we should talk about, and probably should have been talking about all along—Real Estate Moms, women who have seen their families' net worth climb thanks to rising home prices.

Most Americans accumulate significant, six-figure wealth in the course of their lifetimes. During the late 1990s stock market boom, most household wealth was in financial instruments, but today and before the late 1990s the majority of household wealth was in residential real estate. And in politics the key economic issue for voters may be changing, from concern about short-term income to concern about the long-term, lifelong project of accumulating wealth.

Not everybody is a Real Estate Mom. Housing values are far higher in the big metropolitan areas on the East and West coasts than they are in the Midwestern heartland and the Deep South. Higher generally in the blue (Democratic) states than the red (Republican) states. You could argue that the blue states are blue because of Real Estate Moms. In the early 1990s, real estate values plummeted and the coast suburbs that had voted for Republicans in the 1980s switched to Bill Clinton and Ross Perot. George H. W. Bush's percentage declined most in 1988-92 in areas where real estate values plummeted most, New Hampshire and southern California. Bill Clinton held these votes for himself in 1996 and Al Gore in 2000 as real estate values rose again. As growth sagged after 2000, real estate values kept rising, and consumers kept spending as they refinanced their mortgages and tapped their increased equity.

What will happen politically if, as some expect, the housing market is a bubble and bursts? One possibility is that George W. Bush's Republicans will suffer. But they've never really regained the Real Estate Mom votes their party won in the 1980s. Another possibility: The tax issue will reemerge. Democrats in 2008, like John Kerry in 2004, will probably call for repeal of tax cuts on "the rich." Real Estate Moms didn't mind when they were busy refinancing. But if there's no equity to tap, they might want that tax-cut money as they did in the 1980s.

Stay tuned.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

BARONE'S LATEST
Hard America, Soft America: Competition vs. Coddling and the Battle for the Nation's Future  

America is divided into two camps, according to U.S. News and World Reports writer and Fox commentator Michael Barone. No, not Red and Blue, though one suspects Barone may taint the two groups in the hues of the 2000 presidential election. Barone's divided America is one part Hard, one part Soft. Hard America is steeled by the competition and accountability of the free market, while Soft America is the product of public school and government largesse. Inspired by the notion that America produces incompetent 18 year olds and remarkably competent 30 year olds, Barone embarks on a breezy 162-page commentary that will spark mostly huzzahs from the right and jeers from the left. Sales help fund JWR.

JWR contributor Michael Barone is a columnist at U.S. News & World Report. Comment by clicking here.




Michael Barone Archives

© 2005, US News & World Report

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles