Three things I learned this week

1.) The $14 billion in taxpayer money spent funding home buying tax credits may not be worth the cost. Economist Louis Johnston raised questions that I hadn’t thought about before, including: Are the credits just an attempt to re-inflate the housing bubble?

If that’s the case, the housing value roller coaster ride isn’t over yet.

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2.) New, well intended plans to help unemployed people modify their mortgages and avoid foreclosure will likely provide little help.

There are sweeteners to boost payoffs to second mortgage holders and that may help get short sales moving.

But Realtor Carrie Newhouse, a source in MPR’s Public Insight Network who does a lot of short sale work, told us the efforts are mostly creating “false hopes” for many.

3.) Your health stories. Oh my goodness.

We asked MinnEcon readers and Minnesotans in our Network to sum up their health care and coverage experiences in six words.

Once again, you were honest, creative and compelling. More than 100 people responded and I’ll be following up with many of you in coming weeks to see if you’d be willing to talk in greater detail.

Some samples:

Housing or insurance. Can’t afford both.

Great insurance. Horrible care. Life outstate.

This one came in this morning. It’s more than six words but still gets to the point.

$6,000 deductible. Choose between children. OR Choose between children. What to do?

We’re still looking for stories. Share your six words here (OK, it can be a little longer).

Here are my six words: Job questions: Prior conditions covered? Affordably?

What did you learn this week about Minnesota’s economy? Post below or contact me directly.

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