Mar. 5, 2009: Where To Place The Blame
(Part of the series of older FB notes I had written and weren’t posted here.)
A bus driver and a construction worker with two children were able to buy an $800,000 home. Do you notice something very wrong with that? The average construction worker in Washington D.C. makes $46,000 a year. The average bus driver makes $34,000. How did a lender make that happen?
GM, who has taken a lot of bailout money, has now said that they question their own survival and may have to file for bankruptcy.
We’re bailing out banks and companies with trillions of dollars that we don’t have. We’re bailing out people who pushed for deregulation and then made irresponsible business decisions. They knew they could get away with it because their companies and banks were too big. They had too many customers. They had too many workers. They knew if one of them would fall that it would be a public outcry.
If you ask for deregulation and you allow deregulation, you should let the market punish and reward business decisions. They wanted deregulation. They should get punished by the market. They made bad business decisions. They go out of business. They put out bad product. They go out of business.
If you want money and protection from the government, you should be forced to submit to the regulation of the government because they are providing your income and a service to you.
Having it both ways is ridiculous.
The Detroit automakers have been laying off people for the last two and half decades. Why are we bothering? If they want to survive, they need to make less vehicles under less divisions. Why does Chrysler have Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler, and two electric car divisions? Why does Ford have Mercury, Lincoln, Ford, and Volvo? Why does GM have Pontiac, Buick, Daewoo, Saturn, Saab, Opel, Holden, GMC, Chevy, Cadillac, and Hummer?
How much money is wasted in research and development on that many lines of vehicles? What ever happened to a quality product? The Big Three have failed cities and towns all over America who depended on them. Let them dig themselves out of this mess.
The banks… and their irresponsibility… in letting a couple who makes a combined $80k with two children in a high cost of living area… purchase a $800,000 home… should be punished. Laws protect and limit the liability of the individuals who made bad business decisions. It should not completely protect the banks who hired these individuals.
I understand that letting these banks fall would be catastrophic to so many people since their money is tied up in these banks, but what are you supposed to do? Now, our government has large stakes in our biggest banks. How much different are we than other countries that we call socialist (many of which aren’t)?
Does our government remotely understand how angry a lot of us are? Every time there is a news story about a foreclosure, it’s a family living beyond their means. Why do we owe these people anything? Why do we owe money to people who live in nicer homes and drive nicer cars than us? Why have so many people lost their jobs, their companies filing for bankruptcy, their neighborhoods are falling apart, etc. because a portion of the United States lived irresponsibly?
For those of you complaining about Obama’s mortgage plan, please realize that John McCain was planning on doing the same. Why? Because we collectively pushed two candidates willing to “save” people from losing “their” homes.
So far… I have pointed my finger at the companies, the banks, the government, and the irresponsible home owners. But do you know who is the most culpable? You, the American public, is the most responsible. You bought $500 purses when $100 purses will do. You bought $3,000 tvs when $1,000 tvs will do. You bought $400 cell phones when $100 cell phones will do. You bought an SUV when all you needed was a car. You bought $85 t-shirts, $60 trucker hats, and $120 bathing suits. You bought neon lights for your Ford Focus. You paid $18 for a Lindsay Lohan cd. You bought tickets to Not Another Date Movie. You ordered 8 things off the dollar menu. You paid $8.50 for a shot of crown in 8 ounces of coke with 4 ounces of frozen tap water.
More importantly, you have stood idly by while everything was going down the drain. Though young people take heed, you’re not as culpable as the “self entitled” people of the Baby Boomers and Generation X who flooded to the suburbs, bought McMansions, got the country club memberships, have maids, nannies, personal trainers, chefs, lawn maintenance, pool maintenance, ridiculous SUVs, $3,000 puppies, regular plastic surgery, and giving their children SUPER SWEET 16 parties… when really… they couldn’t afford it. You’re also not as culpable as the illegal immigrants who feel entitled to American freedom and government benefits yet don’t pay taxes, don’t bother trying to become legal citizens, and leave their children in our schools to be taken care of. You’re also not as culpable as every family who tried to “keeping up with the Joneses” when they had no business trying.
Now, our parents and grandparents are losing their jobs. The young people can’t find jobs. All of us are losing our savings. We’re going further into credit card and loan debt. We’re collectively bearing this huge financial load… for the most irresponsible. Yet, the bus driver and construction worker get to keep living in their $800,000 home… and my MEDICAL SCHOOL, LAW SCHOOL, BUSINESS SCHOOL educated friends and colleagues are shouldering 6 figures worth of debt while paying off a bus driver’s and a construction worker’s mortgage.