The words of the popular early twentieth century song I am Forever Blowing Bubbles may reflect the spirit of the challenges in the housing and education sectors of the U.S. economy better than most twenty-first century economists -
I'm dreaming dreams,
I'm scheming schemes,
I'm building castles high.
They're born anew,
Their days are few,
Just like a sweet butterfly.
And as the daylight is dawning,
They come again in the morning.
James Kendis, James Brockman and Nat Vincent, lyricists, I am Forever Blowing Bubbles
Housing bubbles occur when housing price increases outpace inflation for an extended period. The relative value of a house can’t keep up with the relative price, and eventually, the bubble bursts. This cycle has been exacerbated by poor loan risks that were underwritten by a mortgage industry absolved of any responsibility by the bundling of loans in secondary mortgage markets. Greed was the motive for both banking bigwigs, and the Joes on the street who wanted more, faster, with no personal accountability. Politicians made a social issue of housing: that somehow homeownership was the right of every American.