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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Greed on Main Street


An editorial in the New York times by author Bethany McLean sums up the attitude that many have towards the debtors of the financial crises. Wall Street may be to blame, in part, she says, but let's not overlook Main Street.
...Who made the decision to take on that mortgage she couldn’t really afford? Who lied about her income or assets in order to qualify for a mortgage? Who used the proceeds of a home equity line to pay for an elaborate vacation? Who used credit cards to live a lifestyle that was well beyond her means? Well, you and I did. (Or at least, our neighbors did.)
Undoubtedly, there are people who fit this description. And many say, and I agree, that in our consumerist society we spend too much and borrow too much and live beyond our means. But articles like this overlook the very hard-working people who just get into trouble because of factors beyond their control.

I do believe in personal responsibility. I know that I made the mess I'm in now. But believe me, I haven't been buying gold watches or taking fancy vacations. Ever.

Photo by Jeff Turner
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