Monday, September 29, 2008

My Part To Get Over Economic Blues...

...amounts to spending money, and trying to make some additional money. Hopefully everyone else is thinking likewise because if they are then the economy will correct itself. If they are panicked like the goobermint officials who decided to agree to the government bail out of the mortgage industry, well then we are doomed because not only do we have morons in Washington, but we have a citizenry made up of idiots. Maybe that is the case, after all who was it that put us into this mess in the first place.

Well according to a 1999 New York Times article titled: Fannie Mae Eases Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending, the Clinton Administration pressured Fannie Mae to help expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people. Banks another mortgage lending institutions pressured Fannie Mae to help them make subprime loans. Yes folks this was in 1999, and it has run rampant under Bill Clinton and then 2 terms of George Bush. Both sides of the aisle, so to speak, are guilty as sin in this one; but so too are all (and that means each and every last one of you) of the people who whined and moaned that the mortgage lending industry had to offer loans to those who were extremely poor risks. That group would include the lenders themselves who took advantage of people who want something for nothing and who were in other words extremely high risks of ever paying the loans off, the people who took advantage of the scheme and who borrowed when they could not afford to do so as they had and probably still live by a sense of entitlement just because they say they are entitled (as opposed to responsible citizens who live within their means), the politicians who sought to get political brownie points and win the next election in which they would run, the sign wavers and placard holder and protest marchers who scream racism at every opportunity (most of the subprime rate loans went to or were expected to go to minorities) , the housing industry who screamed we need to build - build - build at any cost, the real estate moguls who screamed we need to sell - sell - sell at any expense, the Wall Street types who screamed buy - buy - buy in the hopes of getting rich quick at the risk of losing almost everything on extremely risky investments, the foreign bankers and market people who did likewise in our market, and on and on.

Me, I have a small amount of money in a regular bank account, less in my checking account and not all that much in my thrift savings plan at work. Why is that when I make a darned good salary? Well firs of all I live in NY State where I pay through the nose for everything like taxes on this that and the other thing and oh yeah on that too, and where prices for everything are pretty darned high. Of course I could move away, but its not all that easy when you have roots in a place. So I worked, and I lived, and in doing so I acted responsibly and I bought a house with my wife for our family, and here is where we live. If the market absolutely collapsed, if a great depression struck, well my house would be just about paid off, and that is as in paid off in just 17 years or so. Now how could I have done that? Well in the simplest terms: I worked and I paid my mortgage. The thing is though that when I took out my mortgage I was fairly certain I would be able to afford the payments. Some of that was guess work, or at least some of it was faith. Faith that I would keep my job, faith that I would stay at the same pay level, faith that I might get promoted, which eventually I did to one level higher than I was at the time I applied for my mortgage. Faith that my wife would work and help with the payments. Faith that, well gosh darn it - just a firm belief in ourselves that we would continue to do what we had been doing and that was work damned hard at making a decent living.

Of course that hard work at making a decent living came only after being brought up in a one parent home by a mom who was a hard worker, otherwise we would have been on welfare. My mom was too proud to go on the dole permanently - yeah I think we were on it for a short spell there with food stamps; but she pulled herself up out of the dumps by good hard work. It was not because she was white, not because she was a divorced Catholic, not because she was a woman (2 out of three traits which were quite negative at the time, and the other was rapidly being overcome by affirmative action to turn it into a negative also) but rather because she was determined to make it, and making it meant making things as good as she possibly could for her children. She got no help from the bum who calls himself my father. He was a drunkard who beat her mercilessly and who did not give us a penny to help us survive. She did it the only way she knew how, by working and scrimping and saving; and in all those years that she did so, from when I was 8 or 9, right up through me going through college for my bachelor's degree, we never once lived in our own house. There were no subprime loans, and had there been, well my mom would have been smart enough to say - that's crazy, and not risk what little she had to get pie in the sky.

My mom eventually got some money, she inherited it from my great-grandfather. She helped us buy our house and bought one for herself. My guess is she may have helped my brother and sister with their homes too. Mom got that money only after spending years toiling for my great-grandparents. Helping them with their business affairs, help them with their health care, helping them with just about every aspect of their live. She did this even though my great-grandmother treated her like trash; and even though she was pretty sure she would not get much out of their estate as other grandchildren were much favored over her. My mother did this for them because it was the right thing to do, to show respect and honor toward your family elders, and because work was seen as a good thing. She did all that for them in addition to working at her regular job.

So that is how I was able to buy and pay for my house. Not because of the money my mom gave me to help me out. Sure that was a big help, but I would have just waited loger to buy or bought a lesse expensive house if I did not get that help; and the help she gave did not pay the payments once they started. For 17 years I paid off my mortgage because my wife and I both have a good work ethic. We do not see ourselves as entitled to anything we did not earn. When both of us were brought up, we were led to believe that you got what you earned. There was little to no sense of entitlement - no sense of a free ride - no sense of hey you have got to give me what I want. Sure you can accept help if needed or accept a gift, but you are not entitled to it just because you do not have it. There is no just reward without hard work, the fruits you reap should be those of your labor not of the labors of other people. If the rest of America thought like that, we would be in a better spot right now. The thing is that way too many people do not think like that. They think they and others are entitled to the hard earned fruits of my labor. They think because they are of one genders of another, or because they are of one race or another, or because they practice one religion of another, or because they are in one socio-economic level or another - that they deserve the money of another. That is bullshit and it is about time people start realizing such and act responsibly.

I am absolutely opposed to the government bailout of the mortgage and banking industries today. Why? Well because it is the perfect example of what I am saying about people believing they or others are entitled to another's hard earned money. It is the perfect example of how way too many folks in the good old US of A believe that no one has to be responsible for their own actions because mommy or daddy will bail them out if things get messy, or in this case that Uncle Sam will bail them out. It is a mess caused by greed, avarice, irresponsibility, and socialistic liberal mind sets. It is a disgrace that for the past half of a century at least, all too many American have raised their children to believe they have it coming at the expense of others.

I can only hope that other Americans will begin to realize that we need to be fiscally responsible, heck that we need to be responsible for all of our actions, and that we need to live with the results of our actions good or bad. I am not saying nothing should be done about the current financial crisis, but a government bailout putting taxpayers at even more risk - putting the solvency of our government Treasury at risk, is not the way.

All the best,
Glenn B