Monday, April 02, 2007

Feed em some rope, then we'll let em drown.

Earlier in a post in a forum far far way, a member had referred to the instability of long term employment as a reason to not buy a home. Why would anyone do it in this country now? A good point. But one that only brushes the surface of the problem. Along with that house, so many Americans also have the 2 year old cars, the house full of unecessary gadgets and gizmos, and children dressed off a budget that would feed 10 third world families for a year. The overall nut folks have allowed themselves to get sucked into is more a reason to be nervous than the mortgage.

They lose the job and all of a sudden that monthly nut they easily paid with none left over, comes crashing down on them like a ton of bricks. And the lenders, ever so friendly when times were good, get ugly in a heartbeat. They raise the rates when checks start coming in late. They become vicious in their quest to bleed a downed man before he croaks. Once in the Hell of Credit Card late fees, they make it even tougher to get out.

I say we have a sick system that needs addressing from many angles. The lifestyles we have been sold by Madison Ave are not within everyone's budget yet we have been told through stupid high credit limits, it is. The banks no longer push savings as much as their new credit card. "0% interest for a year" or "No Payments til 2010". In a natural response to a gift horse, we think, "Cool, I can get that new truck even though the old one is fine and I won't have to pay the piper til next year." We have been seduced by snake oil salesmen.

Ultimately, it is no one's fault but each individual's. We are responsible for the debt we take on. But the atmosphere is so permissive, it invites financial failure when the edge so many live on crumbles. We need to adjust our thinking. And if our private sector had any real interest in long term profit, they would begin adjusting theirs also. But they won't. They have no concern if a consumer fails. There are more where they come from. But once the personal debt of millions becomes multimillions, it will be their problem also. Can't sell much if most everyone is broke and under the yoke of bad credit.

It is so easy to blame the fool for failing and not look at the one feeding him the rope.

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