Now, don’t take me too seriously here, but there is an easy way to solve the housing crisis. We have too many homes for people with the means to buy them to occupy them. We also have too much debt to foreigners that they don’t know what to do with. Well, let’s kill two birds with one stone: Make a one-time offer of green cards to any foreigner who is willing to buy a house in the US worth $250,000 or more, free and clear.
There are many advantages to this proposal:
- The foreigners that come will be wealthy, and will contribute even more to the US economy.
- They will appreciate the stability and freedom of the US, and will send back positive signal to their powerful friends back in the “old country.”
- Many will want a home in the US for vacations. Others for a place to flee if politics turns against them in the “old country.” Either way, we get more of their money.
- If we want foreigners as citizens, we will be skimming the cream, rather than Emma Lazarus’ comments on the Statue of Liberty. (Now, if you want to know my heart, I like immigrants, especially poor ones… they work hard to make America great.)
- It solves problems in mortgage lending and the current account deficit in one fell swoop.
Now, this comes close to selling citizenship. I don’t want that; they would still have to take the citizenship test, and have the residency requirement. Personally, I would like all new citizens to know English as well as the 25th percentile in the US does now. (low bar)
This is only partially serious; there are cultural aspects to immigration that are unpopular today. I would only say to those that don’t like an idea like this, is that your great-grandparents (or so) were openly welcomed here a century ago. Should we not welcome political, economic, and other migrants looking for a better life, even as our great-grandparents did? Or are we more stingy than a generation that welcomed our great-grandparents, even if they had stronger negative views against those of different ethnic groups?