Thursday, April 30, 2009


When I was at the Reston Used Book sale for set up last week, it occurred to me that Fire Marshals all over this country are probably struggling with how to set clearances for a population that keeps expanding its girth.  Our aisles between tables are strictly measured, but as soon as most customers bend over, the aisle is impassable.

Another one.  When I was listening to the radio this morning they interviewed a woman in PG County MD who was able to get mortgage counseling.  She said they had an adjustable ARM that was 13% on their second mortgage that they got because they put additions on their house.  She was able to get that changed to 6% by using the services of this counseling service. The idea of this being predatory lending makes me laugh...with pain. There are all kinds of mortgage calculators available that will tell you whether you can afford a loan.  You know how much income you have, how long you're likely to have it, and how much money you want to borrow.  Du-uh! We would love to put an addition on our house but we don't because we know we cannot afford to do so without incurring unconscionable debt!

These two thoughts are linked. We have lived in a state of excess in this country for far too long. Play today, pay...well, if you play your cards right, you'll never have to pay. Some sucker who worked hard for a good education, busts his butt at a job and makes responsible financial decisions for his own family will come along and pay. . . whether he wants to or not. If we choose not to, we need to leave this country and live somewhere else because the government is coming to get the money regardless.

I believe people should be responsible for the consequences of their choices -- from deciding how hard to study in school to deciding how many children they can afford to deciding what kind of debt to incur. I tell my children they can make whatever choices they want to in life as long as they are willing to live with the consequences -- and it is wrong to expect others to take your consequences! People know if they eat too much AND are sedentary, they will be obese which their health will be at risk. People know that if they are just getting by paying their first mortgage, they should certainly not take on a second and hope for the best.



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