Sunday, July 12, 2009

Indulgence: Sunday Scribblings

All around me, I see signs of indulgence gone awry. The signs appear as notices in the newspaper, as articles in newspapers and news sites, as words and numbers spouted out by talking heads Sunday mornings, as dollar signs in stimulus packages, and as "For Sale" signs on the short-saled and the foreclosed-upon homes in my neighborhood, my county and my country.

They indulged in homes far out of their economic reach. At one point, my house was worth twice the price I had paid for it. That was just four years after we'd bought it. Four years later, it is valued at the same price we had paid for it. If we could ever sell it, of course, given the steals and bargains all around us.

And "steal" is a good description for these now-vacant homes. It describes what the mortgage broker did. It describes what the bank or other lender did. It describes what the real estate agent did. And it describes what the buyer did.

They stole from me and you and from my children. We "joke" now to the kids that they aren't going to be allowed to have children. I forbid it. Why? So the debt isn't saddled on their children. The debt ends with them. Oh, I indulge in jokes, don't I?

I'm expected to have pity for the folks whose homes are now under water. I'm expected to let acquaintances talk without remorse and unchallenged about their walking away from their house. I'm expected to not note that one of the vice presidents at The Chronicle is walking away from his house, as if we can't even expect high-paid executives to pay their share.

I'm sorry, but I can't indulge in having sympathy for the entirely unsympathetic.

23 comments:

anthonynorth said...

A harsh but very true point you make here.

Old Grizz said...

you are truly a person that thinks. everyone wants to blame someone else.
By putting the buyer in the mix you are able to understand that they were as much of the problem as anyone. You should never run for public office, your logic will get you damned.

gautami tripathy said...

Hard facts.

that thin line

Beck said...

And this is why I am so glad for the Canadian banking and mortgage regulations.

Giggles said...

I'm with Beck, glad our government protects the banking system. I just think people need to look at all areas of life and live within their means... three hundred dollar cell phone bills, four cars in a driveway...North America in general is sadly overindulgent!!!

lostmermaid said...

I liked the way you opened this ... Strong and meaningful ...

Geraldine said...

This is so sad and so true...great post!

John E. Tran said...

Very well written. It is so very sad that homes have been used as bank machines in recent years.

Nara Malone said...

So true, for awhile it seemed like I watched a farm a week turned into a housing development or a shopping mall. I'm not sorry to see that stop.

Dee Martin said...

It's so sad and true. You know it's funny but we humans love our comfort and want prosperity and yet we seem to be better people when we are exposed to adversity. We just get greedy and constantly live beyond our means but for what? In those big houses with four cars live families that never see each other because they are constantly working to try to pay for everything. We keep the junk and throw out the gold, bah

sundaycynce said...

Right on!! Frightening, depressing, disturbing, but absolutely right on.

Jeeves said...

Facts well said....

Lori said...

Yeah, you pretty much nailed it. as did everyone else who wrote comments. I have always shopped at thrift stores, not because i had to but because I could get what i needed at a fraction of the regular cost.

Maggie May said...

I love your header, love love. It's so awesome.

D... said...

I have to admit that I'm with you on this. My husband and I bought a house within our means. It's not our dream house. It's not big. It's not even in the neighborhood we wanted. But, we could afford it. We can still afford it. We are in no danger of losing it (unless something happens, knock on wood). It frustrates me that we played the game right and basically get "punished" for it. But, I guess since we still have it, the punishment wasn't too harsh.

Mary Witzl said...

I'm with you too: I'll save my sympathy for the more deserving. People just got greedy and then ran with it. It's scary to think how this will all end; it seems that everyone is going to be punished for this foolishness.

Tumblewords: said...

I know people who have filed bankruptcy and immediately repurchased a new condo, boat and vacations. Arg. I've been in my old house for 30 years and my car is 20 but I'm helping pick up the tab for the indulgent. Bahfooey. Excellent post!

Janet said...

I agree with you completely on this. Bankruptcy laws need to be changed. And bankers need more regulation. Don't get me started on those god-awful check cashing places.

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