I also think that this whole thing had a political motivation, albeit different from what many libertarians think: the main motivation was to drive people into insecurity. The loans caused house prices to surge by many orders of magnitude, artificially inflated, so in the end nobody actually owns their houses, it’s the banks who own them (it is incorrect to claim that home-ownership increased). The subprime case is similar. The actual tenants could not have bought those houses, but perhaps middle class individuals (or small businesses) could have as an investment.
Aside from the economic centralization, the idea that no one really owns their own houses carries a feeling of insecurity with it. Not to mention that if everyone is worried about paying their mortgages, they are in a sense prisoners already. The US is not like the Soviet Union, they do not build Gulags (let’s hope), but the political elite has a lot of undue free space in which to manouver in the situation in which everyone is indebted.
Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.