Stimulating Savings

In the United States, interest payments on mortgages are tax deductible, an important incentive for accumulating wealth in the form of property. The tax-deductible mortgage may be understood, then, as a subsidy that assists mainly the middle and upper classes in accumulating ever more assets. Should we similarly subsidize savings for poor people who can't afford houses? Would doing so allow poor and rich to accumulate wealth on a more nearly equal footing? There are several demonstration programs underway examining the extent to which subsidies can stimulate savings. For more information, explore the Assets for Independence site, or explore the sites of participating lenders, such as Lenders for Community Development.