Monday, January 11, 2010
Today (January 11, 2010) I gave 180 of my new students an article about Joe Montana's house that was featured recently in The Wall Street Journal (November 6, 2009 wsj.com). Mr. Montana is attempting to sell his house for $49 million - a price that reflects some incredible features in and around his property.
I asked my students to comment on what should be done about people facing foreclosure, or people who cannot afford a home, given the fact the people like Mr. Montana enjoy such wonderful houses.
Here is a sampling of the answers I received:
"I believe that the people like Joe Montana are the reasons why regular Americans cannot afford a home or are facing foreclosure. Joe Montana got his wealth and his fame from the American people and I believe he should help the people that really need it. Why is it that a regular sized family needs a 10,000 square foot house on 500 acres that cost nearly 50 million dollars. Joe Montana should move into a regular sized home which cost a couple hundred thousand and then distribute the rest of his wealth to the Americans that made him rich in the first place."
"......the fans who paid his salary are struggling while he spends money on lavish unecessary junk."
"Government tax should be placed on homes worth an excessive amount. The revenues of which should go towards a government program that assists lower-income Americans in buying a home or avoiding foreclosure."
"...[ A bill ] should be passed to allow homeowners to walk away from the home they were paying on without having to be forced to pay the mortgage they cannot afford."
"When I read about the consumption of people who have money like Mr. Montana, I almost feel like supporting a society like Denmark's or Sweden's where 60% of income goes to taxes."
"......there is too much money invested in athlete's salaries. They don't help the economy in any way."
"One thing that I think the government could do to prevent people from losing their homes is pay off for all the houses in America."
"I think that this article shows how the rich stay rich and the poor unfortunately stay poor."
".....one wonders what can be done in order to equalize the playing field. Perhaps setting the limitation of what one can inevitably purchase."
"If people who have large amounts of money are able to afford large homes and nice furniture cannot spare some money to charity, then people like Mr. Montana should have their pay cut and distributed to those who can't afford anything or at least given to local shelters who can use the money for those who can't help themselves."
"Something that could be done is the Congress passing a bill that will force banks and loan companies to lower their interest rates....."
"One suggestion is that property taxes would increase for homes valued over, let's say, $1 million. That excess money could go towards a department that is in charge of dispersing money to future home buyers or those facing foreclosure."
"There should be a law preventing rich civilians from spending so much money on homes."
There were many others that echoed the sentiments of the students above.
It is going to be a long semester....