‘Give Green Cards To People If They Buy A House In The U.S’

January 7, 2013 3:52 pm

Before we dismiss that as a stupid idea, let us take a step back and analyse this for a minute.

Alan Greenspan famously said that one way to improve housing prices is for the Government to just buy the houses and burn them down. You need to either create demand or destroy supply. That is the unfortunate fact of markets – prices are determined by supply and demand. If you need to have an impact on the price, you need to touch one or both of those variables, one way or the other.

The concept is not that new as well. There is a whole startup visa movement and the EB5 category for green cards. This visa provides a method of obtaining a green card for foreign nationals who invest money in the United States.[1] To obtain the visa, individuals must invest $1,000,000 (or at least $500,000 in a “Targeted Employment Area” – high unemployment or rural area), creating or preserving at least 10 jobs for U.S. workers excluding the investor and their immediate family. (Source)

There are many rich people outside the US who would like to emigrate – for instance, Every Second Millionaire In China Wants To Leave The Country and The Chinese Are Taking Over Vancouver. And since they are rich people, they can afford houses in the U.S.

And all the other processes can remain the same, or become even more regulated – the suggestion is just to open up the possibility. There can be other restrictions – like a minimum amount, like the criteria for EB5.

When done with the right controls, this new visa will solve two issues: Housing, and possibly the economy as well. It sounds very blunt – but put it in the same category as silicon valley’s suggestion that Green Cards be stapled to US advanced degrees so you can keep the talent from leaving the country.

The Housing Visa. What do you think?

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