We did everything right…, and now we may have to pay anyway!


To support his family during the
Great Depression, my wife’s grandfather
had to travel to places where there was
work.  He built this small “camping
trailer.”

We did everything right…, we thought.

We “bought” a house that we could afford on our budget and never re-financed, though it probably would have been smart in order to get a better interest rate…, or to pay it off earlier.  But now it’s paid off and that doesn’t matter.

We never bought more on credit than we could afford…, but sometimes it was close.

We did without the toys that others bought…, no bass boat, no four-wheeler, no recreational vehicle — until recently.

However, we did travel, sometimes on our own dime and sometimes on company business, with us paying Karen’s way and the cost for the side trips that we made.

And we saved, saved, saved — most of the time on a single income.

Our vehicles — except for one — have always been new, never used.  But we always drive them until they are just about falling apart — except for one, a different one — , so we generally get decent value out of them.

And we always, always pay our bills on time — except for that one bill that fell behind the couch back in 1978.

Creditors usually like us — we did everything right.

And now it’s likely we’re going to have to pay because others didn’t do it right…, and I’m just a little upset about it.

I’m not upset at the people who were able to finance more than they should have been able to.

Its.. not… their… fault!!!

I’m upset at the greedy bastards that let them finance more that they could pay for — the people who came up with variable interest loans and other creative financing schemes that were going to make the loans possible for those who were too close to the edge — the regulators that deregulated — the politicians that made it legal to deregulate.

I’m upset at all the people who worked to change the rules that said you had to live within what you could afford, that said you had to be able to afford whatever debt you took on.

The way we did….

Damn greedy bastards!

american history, beliefs, economy, family, history, politics, work

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Vered - MomGrind Sep 22, 2008

    I'm upset too.

  • chris Sep 23, 2008

    $700 Billion bail out! 'nuff said!

  • teeni Sep 23, 2008

    I'm with you on that 100% and I know that my family's income cannot afford to take this kind of hit or we too will be in dire straights through no fault of our own.

  • rummuser Sep 23, 2008

    I am with you on this all the way. We have lived that way too and have no regrets. It is however very painful to see many young lives ruined around us by what is known here as the EMI culture. (Equated Monthly Installments)Plus aggressive marketing of credit cards have even two income young families struggling to keep up and resulting in serious health and marital problems.

    I think that you will like this article. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/23/opinion/23kashy

  • Mike Goad Sep 23, 2008

    If they do it right, it won't be a $700,000,000,000 bail-out. Ideally, it'll be a buy-up of many of the loans, but the loans will still have to be paid back. One problem is that some portion of the loans will not be paid back and there will be foreclosures, leaving the government holding seriously devalued properties. Another problem is that it is more government involvement. While the intentions may be good, there is more options for government screw-ups.

  • Friar Sep 23, 2008

    And of course, the CEO's responsible for this disaster will probalby all retire on 7-figure Golden Parachutes.

    (Which the $700 Billion Bail-out will probably help pay for…of course.)

  • Mike Goad Sep 24, 2008

    @ Friar – Apparently, though, some of them are being investigated by the FBI for fraud!

  • Mike Goad Sep 24, 2008

    @ rummuser – Your comment got identified as spam, but I check that regularly just in case.

    I agree that it is unfortunate that so many younger people got caught up in all of this financial irresponsibility. It was too easy.

  • Jean Browman--Cheerf Sep 24, 2008

    I've been dealing with my anger this week, too. My husband and I are like you, we've always lived well within our means and are being told we should help to pay the debts created by the gamblers who have made their big bucks and have caused the financial crisis. I've been trying to keep up to date on what's happening and have written and phoned my representatives in Congress.

    I'm especially angered by the administration's view that (1) the taxpayers shouldn't receive warrants so we can retrieve part of the money when the institutions profit again, and (2) that we shouldn't limit compensations of the executives of the institutions in trouble. I also worry that will just mean bigger government, but give me a break. This present mess and the administration's proposed solution is sick, sick, sick.

    I was also incensed when Dylan Ratigan on the NBS Nightly News said we're all to blame for the crisis because we've all fallen for the idea of easy money and have borrowed. I don't expect a response, but I did write to NBC, too. Don't you find it interesting that a lot of people don't believe anyone is fiscally responsible?

  • Mike Goad Sep 24, 2008

    Jean – It is interesting, but poor fiscal responsibility has been in the news for a long time before the variable interest rates started deflating the housing bubble. I think that may be part of the reason that some folks think most others aren't fiscally responsible, when the truth of the matter is that most regular people are, even though many of them are right on the edge.

    If financial deregulation had not been approved by Congress and the President, this whole mess would not have occurred. Of course there would also be a lot fewer McMansions.

  • Akemi Sep 25, 2008

    Well, I do think people who went onto that easy financing wagon are responsible. It doesn't take much math to figure out they were doing was disastrous. And we are responsible for our awareness, including learning and doing math.

    Creative financing has its place. It works very well for real estate investors who know what they are doing.

  • Mike Goad Sep 25, 2008

    @ Akemi – I do agree that they are responsible for their own mess to a degree. However, without financial deregulation, it would not have been as easy for them to get into the mess — and we would not have so many people in the same situation.

    Even without new regulations yet, we had to prove income for the loan on our new RV and we have not had to prove income for any loan for years — and we we pleased to do it!

  • rummuser Sep 25, 2008

    Here is an interesting article on something similar to what I had commented on in my earlier comment here: http://edition.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/personal/09/25

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