Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The United States Of Bailout

Apparently there's some social media meme where the Yoof of America are whining about their personal debt loads, what with being underwater on everything from their Honda Fit to their Master's in Medieval French Lit. So, like some hybrid of an old INXS video and a Shopaholics Anonymous meeting, they hold up signs displaying their fiscal incontinence, thusly:

"I learned it from watching you, Congress!"
Naturally this is raising a stink, but look at what we as a country have been teaching these people!  Hey, we were fixing people's housing ****ups all through her high school and college years, so why should she think we wouldn't help her? 

The people in the house next door, the ones she baby-sat for, got bailed out when the payments on their NINJA ARM mortgage jumped and they'd both lost their jobs at the Kroger. The bank that practically chased her across the quad, tackled her, held her down, and forced the credit card into her purse her first day on campus got bailed out. Everybody gets bailed out; it's the ultimate magic unicorn Nerf universe, with reactionless actions and causality-free rewards. The Gods of the Copybook Headings are dead, or so the ad agencies and anchorpeople tell us.

Her whole life since she was old enough to understand the big words on the 6 O'clock news has been spent in the land of the bailout, and if you've grown up on participation prizes and scoreless soccer games, then there's no reason to believe you as an individual aren't every bit as important to the world as General Motors or Goldman Sachs. Heck, Congress does this stuff all the time, so where is her money, people?


Lewis said...

Nah, the Gods of the Copybook Headings aren't dead. (And of course you know that, ad agencies and anchortwits be damned.) They're just on vacation, straightening out some other universe's screw ups. But they'll be back.

Remember the Stephen King short called "Sometimes They Come Back"?

The Gods of the Copybook Headings ALWAYS come back. They stay gone for a while, until people forget about them, start to doubt them, start to think "Ah but this time it's different!"

Then there's that knock at the door.

Sean said...

Wonder what she 'studied' for her $22K? I'm guessing it wasn't something that is hiring at the moment.

At least she's cute---she could probably work off that personal loan in a couple of days if she hangs around the right Congressional watering hole.

Ancient Woodsman said...

And there's folks in congress who have actually said that working less will be good for Americans.

A few of my grey cells are twinkling the idea that the high-ups really don't care about the debt, since I'm starting to think they've got some plan to make it all disappear. Either that, or they prefer to have it grow in perpetuity, as a means of new-wave indentured servitude. I can't quite put it all together since the tinfoil is interfering with the signal.

On a lighter note, I wish Fred Gwynn was still around to tell us whether the plural of Yoof is Yooves, Youts or Yeef. I think that would be a neat lecture, especially if he & Lily could do it in costume - and sing it in harmony.

Noah D said...

Let's not forget a steady diet of 'everyone can and should get an undergraduate academic degree'.

Scott J said...

Every comment I can think of comes from the realm of loser talk and you don't like that.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to adulthood honey!


Jon said...

Hm. Signs like this make me feel smug. Mostly because my response would be a sign of my own that said something like:

"Total debt... 250 dollars" (Or whatever my paid off monthly credit card was at at that moment)

Granted, within the next year that amount is going to go up exponetially when I buy a house. But... Fixed rate Mortgage properly budgeted for looks better then that mess. 17 grand in CC debt? WTF are you doing lady?

Ken said...

(Hijack alert) I always wanted to make a "Subterranean Homesick Blues"-style video, but about two thirds of the way through point the cards would start reading:



"I'm two cards behind"

Tango said...

$17,000 CREDIT CARD?? Oh hellllll no.

Anonymous said...


Where is the sense of shame? Life just happened to me. I just accidentally fell into this SEVENTEEN THOUSAND DOLLAR hole of credit card debt after someone promised me a million-dollar salary after getting these student loans.

And what did I learn from this education! That holding up a sign showing my self-inflicted would might get me pity instead of the scorn I actually deserve. For victim hood trumps responsibility.

Look what the idiot did to me.

Joel said...

But you have to admit her handwriting is nice.

bluesun said...

As a recent "yoof" (not sure if I really count anymore) I paid off my student loans last year within a year and a half of graduating. Of course, my chosen field is the "E" in "STEM" rather than the "Y" in "Women's Studies."

Matt W said...

We have financed our standard of living for so long that it is truly a part of our culture. Sickening, but that's the state we are in.

People at my place of employment don't understand why I drive a 2001 Mercury Mountaineer that requires a can of lithium grease a week to keep the front-end from squeaking at the most minor of bumps. They all drive a financed BMW, Lexus, Cadillac, etc... because that's what "professionals" drive. Even my lowest paid employees drive newer and "nicer" cars than I do.

They also seem a little surprised to find out my family cooks at home almost every day of the month - some special occasions excluded. All the while every time they step in to a restaurant (many 3 times a day) they break out their credit cards.

Silly. That's the only thing that comes to mind....

Tam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tam said...


Be careful of red herrings. I wonder what these gals majored in?

The Left is working hard to get this talking point going before November. Gotta expand the Democrat plantation beyond its traditional boundaries, and we do that by offering free stuff.

Shrimp said...

The really great part is, even if there was some sort of magic pill that would erase her debt- and the debts of everyone else too- in five years' time, she'd be right back where she is now, because she doesn't know any better.

No one ever taught her personal financial responsibility (or any other kind of responsibility, I'd wager), so she'd repeat all of the mistakes she's made with entirely new mistakes, or more of the same old mistakes. Then she'd want the magic pill bail out again, because she never knew how to get out of the mess she created the first time, and the only model she has for getting out of the mess is: magic pill.

This is going to end well, I'm sure. Just like the Roman Empire ended well.

JavaMan said...

Well. At least she can add. That's a start. To bad she didn't add it all up before hand. A wise man once said something like, "a wise man will count the cost before starting to build", apparently she (and her parents) didn't.

And I could easily see this meme as being a way to gin up support for the next bail out... because we MUST DO SOMETHING!

aczarnowski said...

We're screwed. There are more grasshoppers than ants to start with, they breed faster, and some of the ants are switching sides.

Matt said...

A "Yoof" that has had time to work through a masters degree, in anything is not really young. I consider youths to be those persons under drinking age.

The major saleable commodity the U.S. economy produces is debt. Debts are then bundled and sold off as investment protfolios etc. about 2 decades ago the corporate banksters saw we were running out of car loans and mortgages so ramped up selling student loans and the advertisers through corporate media convinced most of the middle class kids they just had to have an advanced college to live the good life (remember friends?). The Bush administration passed laws that make it about impossible to discharge student loans in bankruptcy proceedings. Wa-La another generation of debt-slaves.

The current administration has to offer them relief from those student loans in order to make up for the Obamacare debbacle that probably cost the democrat machine most of those young voters. They won't go republican, or libertarian, but likely will just stay home unless voting trinkets for themselves.

lelnet said...

$22K in student loan debt, I can easily see. I left college with way more than that, and that was 20 years ago, when it was significantly less expensive than it is today. (Even then, I had more debt on my education at 22 than I did on my house the day I moved in...and I bought the house at the peak of the real estate market. I shudder to think what I'd have to be carrying at today's prices.)

But who the hell gives credit cards with limits high enough to run up a $17K bill to a college student, anyway?

Shame on her for blaming other people for her own spendthrift ways...but shame on the banks, too, for being so spectacularly imprudent as to lend out that much of Other People's Money(tm) to someone who clearly lacks the fortitude to handle it responsibly.

Marc Pisco said...

I saw a blurb on the back of a box of Girl Scout Cookies about a Financial Literacy merit badge, where the girls learn how to borrow money. Seriously. I took a picture. For real.

Robert Fowler said...

Sorry hun, I'm a tad short. I had to pay my own bills.

Armed Texan said...

The only scrap of sympathy I have for her is on the student loans. That's because: 1) Everyone from President Momjeans to the corner bum told her to get a degree (major unspecified) or she'll starve to death; II) Congress colluded with university administrators to make tuition and costs sky-rocket by giving cheap loans to every one in every graduating class, regardless of GPA; C) Congress made indentured servants of student loan recipients by making it the only debt that is not discharged in bankruptcy; iv) the decision to take on student loans was forced on her by her parents by their own lack of resources (while owning a 60" plasma TV), by their urging her to get a degree (unspecified), and while she was still legally stupid (~18 years old); and %) Democrats flirting with bail-outs for student loans for the past umpteen years.

Not that I think bailing her out on those student loans it the solution either. There should be some pain involved to teach this young moron the lesson of trusting loan

Ted N said...

Link is broke, at least for me.

dustydog said...

Obviously, she should declare bankruptcy, and wipe out the credit card and the personal loan debt.

Not anybody else's fault if she won't at least take advantage of the out provided her.

Knucklehead said...

Ancient Woodsman,

Being well familiar with both the Brooklyn goombanics spoken by Vinny Gambini as portrayed by Joe Pesce and the refined and dignified southern dialect spoken by Judge Chamberlain Haller as portrayed by Fred Gwynne (may he rest in peace).

The singular is "yute" and the plural is "yutes". Like the Indian tribe and its members.

Oh, and what "they" have a plan to make disappear is not the debt they've saddled our yutes with. What will disappear is any savings us old farts have managed to hang on to.

Kristophr said...

Kids getting suckered into tens of thousands of debt for a degree that will not prevent them from getting dumped into a barrista job at Starbucks.

The educational establishment is very good at buffaloing kids into getting useless degrees.

Got kid? Get them a copy of this when they start high school. And make them read it.

And maybe a copy of this after they graduate.

global village idiot said...

Historical precedent:

At least these guys were funny. And not serious.

And they all went to war when war asked them out.


Brad K. said...

On the one hand, check out Seth Godin's "Stop Stealing Dreams", a free ebook about why we have the education system we have today, and why it serves only vested interests anymore. Students and communities are mere fodder -- notice the success stories of homeschooling, and "unschooling".

On the other hand, I think the blame goes back to President John F. Kennedy. JFK posed the "race to space" and a need for thousands and thousands of scientists, millions of engineers, and industry worker bees by the scads -- not to improve life for Americans, but to further government agendas. When the big money started flowing, the message "your country needs your engineering skill" became "You need college, because it makes money for Big Money", and then the current sick cycle of colleges engaged in marketing propaganda, and government lobbying, creating a artificial demand, based on government spending.

Communities need their best and brightest. Then need some few of those cycling through their (?!) schools to return with an advanced degree. Instead, the Department of Education enables a wealth generator -- for the wealthy. Colleges make out like bandits. Corporations reap benefits. And communities are stripped of the bright, capable, creative people that should have been enriching their community, their family, and their nation.

Start with your local board of education, and figure out if they count success as how many students graduate to serve in the military (the origin of organized sports), how many make stable families, how many remain, and mature to benefit their community -- or how many federal dollars they suck in.

Anonymous said...

You mean this isn't an offshoot of dog-shaming?


Anonymous said...

"At least she's cute---she could probably work off that personal loan in a couple of days if she hangs around the right Congressional watering hole."

You're hopelessly confused if you think Congressmen pay for it. They have unpaid interns (you know, that class of people for whom the minimum wage doesn't apply) that they use for that.

Weer'd Beard said...

Good LORD! I remember back when we got our gun-banning Governor (no, not Romney, the other one) I made a few panic buys of a few guns on my wish list that I had put off.

I ended up letting the balance of one of them (and not an expensive one) ride on my credit card for one (1!) Month, and I thought "God I hope my Dad doesn't find out about this, he'd kick my ass!"


KM said...

Little Snowflake needs to talk to her parents. They created her and taught her the lessons and values she'll need in life.
If they did it right and she still ran up 17k in CC debt they're the ones that should kick her azz.
Bail out? I don't think so.

mikee said...

The whole concept of "the bailout" is that it is a transfer of money, from someone who can't complain about it (deficit spending may put our kids & grandkids into penury, but us not so much) to someone who really, really wants it (and can pay the price asked by the beneficent government - yes, UAW, I'm looking at you).

What these yoofs misunderstand is that they are the first group, not the second.

LCB said...

My mom used to freak out when I paid dinner bills with my "credit card". Took her a while to grasp the idea of a "Check" card. But once she did she used one with gusto until we lost her.

Don't always assume everyone eating out is paying with a regular credit card.

RevolverRob said...

Lots of interesting commentary here.
I thought it was a sad statement that I looked at the sign and thought, "That's all she owes?!" Between my wife and I, this girl's debt pales in comparison. The flipside of course is I don't go around holding up a sign asking for someone to forgive my debts. Hey, if you really want to pay my student loans for me, I will let you, but otherwise I'll take care of it myself.

Much truth to many of these comments. I was lied to by my undergraduate institution and the government counselors about the nature of my secured Stafford loans and their repayments. I mean that sincerely, I still have notes from my meetings with them nearly 7 years ago and they do not jive with the truth of the laws and regulations. The simple fact is, I think most people aged 18-30 were lied to about the cost of their education and the need.

When I reflect on my educational experiences, I probably should have stayed working for my father's company. By now, I could have taken it over and be managing a few employees and expanded the business, today it is shuttered, because my father retired and I chose to go to college. Now, I'm busily working through a career trajectory that is...challenging. I think many others were disillusioned (like I was at the time) about the reality of the world we live in. I think the good news is, this will not always be the case and I am now seeing more students deciding to leave the university and forcing the university-systems to confront their issues today than ever before. It will be a slow change, but one that will ultimately be for the better. The number of successful individuals in small business today, speaks volumes about the true need for higher education and it is being noticed by many, hopefully this trend will continue.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go pay my bills and pretend to not be soul-crushingly indebted to the world.


Anonymous said...

Well, she's attractive enough that she could work off that debt in the porn industry or by getting on one of these new websites frequented by womyn from the Ivy League who put out for Sugar Daddies at the rate of $1K/month and up.

A couple years on her back and she'll have that all paid off, no problem.

Will said...


the transaction fees can really eat away at your balance. Makes no sense to me to watch a friend buy lunch for less than $5, and pay a $.50 fee for the privilege of not carrying cash.

Sigivald said...

Who lacks much sympathy for her?

This guy.

LCB said...

Umm...I don't pay any fees on my transactions or a fee for my account. Guess I'm just lucky??? And restaurants don't lower the price if I use "cash" like they do at gun shows. (And for me this wasn't always a was sort of survival. My money always managed to disappear out of my wallent when my kids were in school. My wife would take it for lunch money and "forget" to tell me. I'd go out once a week or so with the guys at work, only to discover I had no cash.)

Ed said...

Gee, when I first bought my house, I owed more than that to the bank for the mortgage.

global village idiot said...

I'll allow as how this isn't my backyard, and it's someone else's job to police up all the turds in it...

That said, those commenters making schtickel about how this misguided lady might pay down her debt might wish to imagine how they look to someone with a daughter.

When we talk about others, we often say a lot more about ourselves.


Anonymous said...

GVI @5:19:

I'm not making a funny "schtickel" or whatever yiddish nonsense you're accusing me of peddling.

If you've been following the actual news of late, you'll see that young women with utterly useless degrees and lots of student debt are actually doing exactly as I've said.

Oh, and by the way: These women think that this sort of earning potential is "empowering."

Tam said...

"Oh, and by the way: These women think that this sort of earning potential is "empowering.""

I heard your mom does, too.

Geodkyt said...

Will -- Um, I don;t pay transaction fees on my debit card purchases, either.

But then, I don't tell them to process it as a "debit" card. If you run the transaction as a "credit" card (which you can, if it has a "credit card" logo on it), you pay no fees -- the merchant does (just as he does for credit cards with that logo -- it's part of his contract with Visa, MasterCard, etc.)

If you tell businesses to process your debit card AS a debit card, then you get jacked up with fees at BOTH ends of teh transaction, usually, just as if you used a "foreign" ATM.

Anonymous said...

Girl ain't the Lone Ranger.

It's my understanding that the average credit card debt for those what gots 'em, is $8K, and that's everybody, not just students. Soooo, she's only about twice the average.

Still sucks. I had sh***y jobs all the way through college to get me through. Poor kids these days don't even have sh***Y jobs available.


Anonymous said...


Different anon here, but quote "empowering" unquote is the word one of those young ladies used. She is doing harm to the patriarchy, by her lights. Ask her why, not me or the other anon. Not sure why it got under your skin that somebody quoted her, though of course it's your blog etc., but it hardly seems fair to get in his face about it. Call out the girl's profs who taught her to think that way.

Personslly i wouldn't get involved but i knew a girl once who did that kind of work and she felt pretty bad about doing it. I have my doubts that it's a great idea in most cases. None of my business though.

Tam said...

"Different anon here, but quote "empowering" unquote is the word one of those young ladies used."

Who used that word? The woman in the picture? Or Anon's mom? I'm confused!

Anonymous said...

I have zero sympathy for any of the deadbeats who have their hands out, from every billionaire banker who said "we're too big to fail" to AIG to Goldman-Sachs to General Motors to every idiot who bought a copy of "You Too can Become a Real Estate Billionaire by Flipping Houses, For Dummies" to this rather dim young woman.

I wish they'd bring back debtors' prison, truly I do. For all of them.

KM said...

I don't pay any fees for my debit card whether it's used as a credit OR debit. It just accesses my checking acct w/o having to write a check.
I don't pay any fees for my checking or savings acct because I have direct deposit of my check.
Chase Bank may be an ugly zit on the backside of the human race but it's free for me to use. :)

staghounds said...

Sadly, her board is a microcosm of the country- student loan debt has surpassed credit cards and mortgages for the most money owed category.

And the bailouts already happened. Some college got $22,889.47.

Some bank gets 6% of $22,889.47 annually.

When she defaults, the taxpayer's tab pays the bank off.

Do you really think the Government will garnish her waitress wages? It's not worth the administrative expense, and there are millions of young V O T E R S in the same position.

And she's still grateful for her education- everybody wins!

The whole student loan program is patronage delivery system.

staghounds said...

And give Anon's mother a break.

Prostitution/porn doesn't seem empowering to most people, it's true.

But as compared to being raped by Anon's grandfather starting at the age of twelve...

At least she gets to make her own decisions and a little bit of money from being used by perverts, which is what the perverts have taught her is all she is good for.

Kristophr said...

Tam: Anon's mother may have used it as well, but here is a post about the silly girl that thought she was empowering herself.

Tam said...


I've known people in the sex work industry.

What I want to know is how come every time a guy bitches that he needs some money, the first comment isn't "Have you ever thought about opening a glory hole?"

Well, have you? You could probably earn enough for a nice AR-15 in a few nights down at the bus station.

I'm not being rude, mind you. Plenty of people find that sort of thing empowering!

Kristophr said...

Welp, my mother was an expensive prostitute. Married her best customer, and ended up inheriting more than a few million dollars 20 years later.

There is empowering, and empowering, I guess.

But it does seem to be a difficult option to pay down a student loan. Better to have not borrowed $100k to be a barrista in the first place, which was the example Mr. anon was referring to.

Personally, I never considered that option, doing it right is an awful lot of work.

Although, in a SHTF survival situation, the guy who gives good head IS more likely to avoid being cut up and smoked into jerky, then say, a neurosurgeon. ;)

global village idiot said...

My daughter said Idiocracy was set 480 years too far in the future.

Kristophr, you've proved my daughter right. When brutishness of the sort displayed in this thread is defended with even MORE concentrated, wallowing brutishness, it's time to call it a Republic.

It's not everyone who can make a movie like Pink Flamingos appear refined and high-brow. But YOU have managed.

Thanks a million. You're the future of America, the reason the darker side of me thinks radical Islam might have a valid point or two.


Kristophr said...


Your moral outrage is noted.

Do you really think Islam's ideas about controlling adult sexual behavior is a good idea?

Should my mother have been stoned? Or her late husband as well, for engaging in what was, at that time, adultery?