Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ah, the common man.

So CNN would like us to know that a majority of the people they polled think that they know who exactly is responsible for the iceberg that has hulled the USS Economy.

Would this be a majority of the people who think that bailouts are to "save [lawmakers'] investment portfolios", "shore up... multimillionaires", and benefit "corporate officers and the wealthy" who own "most stock", like the letter writers in today's Indianapolis Cat Box Liner? The people whose 401k's and pension plans are apparently kept in a glass piggy bank someplace?

Would this be a majority of the people who thought it was a good idea to go out and rack up a million dollars in debt and become an overnight slumlord while making McDonald's shift supervisor wages?

A majority of the people who think that a no-money-down ARM on a house in the 'burbs and a pair of cars on 72-month notes in which they'll be permanently upside-down is "The American Dream"?

These people don't have the fiscal acumen of a three-toed sloth. Oprah tells them what to read. They think network television is entertaining and the History Channel is "educational". These folks couldn't spell "cat" if you spotted them the "c" and the "a", and couldn't multiply nine by seven without a calculator, but they know allll about the economy and what went wrong with it.

And they vote.

God help us all.


Divemedic said...

A coworker of mine maxed out his credit cards. When that money was gone, he spent his home's equity by getting his wife to sign the refi paperwork, which she signed because she foolishly trusted her husband. He then tapped into his children's college fund, again without his wife's knowledge.

After all of this was done, and there was no choice but to declare bankruptcy, he told his wife. They filed bankruptcy this week.

He gets to walk away from the credit cards, the second mortgage, and the credit cards, a total of more than $250,000 in debt.

Being responsible, I am paying for a house that is half the size of his, and which has lost value because of the housing meltdown (it is worth $50,000 less than it was when I bought it), and I live within my means. I get to pay for his party through lower home value, higher taxes, and the inflation that the bailout will cause.

That is what I get for being responsible. When is my party?

Anonymous said...

Yep, they vote...and keep re-electing the very same clowns that created the financial disaster facing this country.

DM, you get to laugh all the way to the bank because your credit history isn't laying on the floor shredded for the next decade or so like his.


Brian J. said...

On the other hand, you have to admit that when the system collapses, these people will have stuff whereas the responsible people will have a pile of statements worth nothing.

Although I don't think the wastrels are spending wisely. When the system collapses, the expensive electronics won't be worth anything at all since you cannot burn them for heat, and the neat-o DVDs and CDs don't sharpen so well for use as hunting weapons.

Me, I'm maxing out my credit cards on guns, ammunition, canned goods, and liquor and waiting for the apocalypse. It's the only reasonable thing to do.

Matt G said...

Thank you for summing up my fury, Tam.

I've been hearing all kinds of excuses for why we have to bail out the idjits that threw out loans like cheerleaders throw out candy off a parade float. Not one of them explains how doing this will correct the problem.

The way to keep companies from doing this shit is to make consequences. That way, they'll only let the grownups have the keys.

This month, I'm about to refinance my slum-house. I'm not in the least worried about it; I've got the credit, I've got the property worth more than the loan, and I've got income that easily covers payments in a realistic world. This isn't bragging-- the place is a dump! But I'm putting sweat equity in, and only asking from the bank a realistic amount of money out of it. Come 15 years, that place is payed for, and will be worth a lot more than I bought it for, even adjusting for inflation.

TANSTAAFL. We cannot make money out of thin air. -

the pawnbroker said...

free money has a way of creating a mindless orgy of spending and consumption, and that's what happened here...

the perception that the pyramid would never collapse became the reality of the boom and its demise; there's blame at every level.

but who gets to pick up the tab? that would be the schmuck who carefully and for years built equity in his property, and the folks who put their life's savings into the stocks that are now acknowledging the true future cost of this idiocy by taking a swan dive.

that last group would include quite a flock of 'birds from hoosierland...the same ones writing in to that "newspaper"...when they realize their dividends went poof we expect to see a lot less of them down here in fla this winter.


Charles Pergiel said...

I think it is for times like these that God invented alcohol.

docjim505 said...

The MSM is good at polling "average Americans" for their opinions... when those opinions coincide with what the MSM wants us to think.

divemedic's post represents, I think, the response of quite a few responsible people. I would also wager that more people are going to feel this way when the full scope of the bailout becomes apparent. Basically, the fraction of Americans who play by the rules, whether it's paying their bills on time, not borrowing money they can't pay back, trying to provide for their own retirement, or even waiting in line to become legal citizens, is supporting the fraction that DOESN'T play by the rules. It's starting to wear thin... unless you've got a viscious sense of humour.

I was (sort of) joking with my fiance the other night about this. We will be married in January and want to buy a nice house with some land out in the country. Problem is, we've got to sell our existing homes, which we don't think will be easy in this market. I suggested that the Congress will probably come up with some sort of mortgage forgiveness / amnesty for all those poor, poor people who were victims of predatory lending (/ sarc); why should they have a black mark on their credit because some bank forced them to take out a loan they couldn't repay? If so, then she and I could just walk away from our houses, claim that we were also victims, get our amnesty, and go buy that nice house in the country we both dream of. Yeah, we'd lose our equity, but what the hell? I'm sure that the Congress will also come up with some new scheme to allow people to get into homes with no money down and we could take advantage of that, too.

She was horrified and rightly so. "We'll ruin our credit!"

"Not if Congress passes some sort of amnesty. If we play our cards right, we could come out of this thing sitting pretty. You're a lawyer, fer crying' out loud: it's your job to understand the laws and how to use them to your advantage." (That last remark saw me on the couch for the next couple of nights...)

Yeah, our hypothetical irresonsible acts would add to the already staggering cost of the bailout, but why SHOULD we be responsible when IRresponsibility is rewarded in our country?