Sunday, December 13, 2009

Megan McArdle on a New Breed of Deadbeats

Sometime contributor Robert Thorn is a big megan McArdle fan--and I am increasingly becoming one myself. In this little piece, she hits upon one of my favorite themes--the blatantly irresponsible among us making things worse for the hard-working and honorable.

Defaulting on a mortgage must be a painful and horrific thing to go through--at least that's the way I think it should be. So does McArdle. But not so for the turd of a human McArdle cites in her post. Where is the shame? Where is the responsibility?

I have no time for the "upside down" mortgage crowd, those who believe that their monthly payments were predicated on a home valued differently than it currently is--leaving them in a situation in which they owe more than the house can currently be sold for. If you are in a position to HAVE to move--this is certainly a bad spot to be in. But if you're not moving, who cares what your house is worth on that day? You are making a mortgage payment (read: rent to own), you are getting the same "shelter value" that you were when the house was more expensive--so why is being upside down on one's mortgage ANYTHING the rest of us should give a crap about.

Yes, yes, I know--some would say we should care because this crowd has a higher propensity to default, and that of course, isn't good for anyone. I say--they have a higher propensity to default because IT ISN'T PAINFUL ENOUGH to do so. There simply must be more social shame AND financial injury accruing to someone who walks away from a mortgage. The person written about in McArdle's post should wear the Scarlet "D" for Deadbeat.


"The Hammer" said...

Well said. I don't recall the Constitution saying you have a right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, food, shelter, clothing, transportation, health care, and as a consequence your fellow citizen's labor.

Goldwater's Ghost said...

"Ms. Richey's family of five used some of the money to buy season tickets to Disneyland, and plans to take a Carnival cruise to Mexico in March."

I really don't know what to make of this.

Mudge said...

Megan McArdle wrote a very good article. It would be an outstanding article had she omitted:

“People who can't pay their debts? All the sympathy in the world, even if they accumulated those debts through a series of stupid decisions.”
(stupid is stupid irrespective of your economic status and stupid is no excuse for making a promise you aren't going to keep--btw, virtually every US citizen who is of legal age to enter into contracts, had the taxpayer-provided opportunity to become educated and all have the self-driven opportunity in this nation to become wealthy so the only warranted sympathy is "sorry you didn't take advantage of all the opportunity you've been given")


“Those people were few in number, but they were really morally appalling (and before you get your progressive outrage on, they tended to be affluent and well educated, which is why they were able to game the system. They really had no redeeming excuses).”
(once again, apparently less affluent or educated--usually a direct relationship--people appear to have a redeeming excuse for making promises they aren't going to keep--you would be very wrong here Megan)


“I’m not saying you should live on Kraft dinner and water for twenty years to slave at an impossible mountain of debt.”
(she's right here--Kraft, a name brand, costs more than the generic brands available at the Dollar Store. One who borrowed someone else's money should not be eating name brands until he is able to first honor the written and signed promise he made to the lender)

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