Friday, October 10, 2008

Theya Culpa


We all know about the Bailout/Rescue Plan--whatever you want to call it. We all know the Dow is falling, and big banks and lenders have failed. Politicians and TV talking heads alike are raving about who's to blame. Of course one political side blames the other. I don't want to go there; I'm keeping this nonpartisan. And both sides and the media are definitely blaming the "Fat Cats on Wall Street."

Apparently it has become politically incorrect to place any blame whatsoever on the individual borrowers who signed the mortgages in the first place.

Yes, CEOs of the failed companies were greedy and irresponsible in their decisions. And certain politicians on both sides helped feed the problem. My opinion is not to take away any blame these folks deserve. It is to say that individuals were greedy as well. But we're not hearing about that. Politicians don't want "Main Street" folks mad at them so close to an election. They want to be seen as fighting for the "Little Guy." And the TV pundits don't want to lose viewers.

I've heard arguments that signers of the subprime mortgages, who later walked away from their payments, really didn't understand what they were signing. In other words, again it was the fault of mortgage companies for being fraudulent. Maybe that's true in some cases. But the print's there to read before you sign. I think many of these signers just wanted more house than they could afford. They looked at the big home and small payments and chose to overlook the fact that the payments would go up in five years. Nor did they consider that the mortgage was too large a percentage of the house's value because they were making little to no downpayment. And if the price of the house slipped, they could be upside down. Simply put, they got into too much debt. It's not that much different than overspending on your credit card.

Doesn't it sound harsh to blame the poor folks who've lost their homes? It's so much easier to put 100% of the blame on the Washington and Wall Street bigwigs. This seems to me one more slide in the downhill slope of our country. For the past two or three decades, individual culpability has diminished. This has become a real moral problem in America. When people don't take responsibility for their own wrong actions, they don't change. Which means they're apt to go out and do the same dumb thing, or something akin to it, next time. Mea culpa? Never. Theya culpa. It--whatever the problem--is always someone else's fault, or it's a disease, or the result of an abusive childhood, whatever.

Unfortunately, diseases and abusive childhoods do exist. Greed and poor decisions among corporation CEOs and politicians also do exist.

So should personal responsibility.

15 comments:

Nicole said...

Excellent and truthful as is most political incorrectness.

Grady Houger said...

Right on Brandilyn.

Myra Johnson said...

I completely agree, Brandilyn. It has become too easy to believe in the "something for nothing" philosophy. We start thinking we "deserve" a bigger house, nicer cars, more and fancier electronic toys ... and forget there's a price tag that eventually has to be paid.

Timothy Fish said...

I totally agree. I've been studying Hosea and I keep seeing similarities between it and what we are facing now. The gist of Hosea is that God is saying, "You've been greedy, you've sinned, you refuse to acknowledge me, so I'm going to take all your toys away." I don't like seeing people lose their homes, but when people get greedy, that is what happens.

Kristina said...

I have to totally agree with you, Brandilyn. It seems that there is no true accountability anymore. No matter what happens there is always someone else to blame.

Perhaps you should send your post to the news stations. How much would you like to bet that it doesn't get put on??

God bless,

Kristina

Winter Peck said...

Exactly. My accountant hubby has been on a soap box since this whole thing blew up in everyone's faces. We just discussed this morning how in the past century no one has paid any attention to our history, the Depression, the fall out in the 80's, all these things happened within everyone's lifetime. I think it's time everyone, schools included, need to sit down and review our economic history. 'Cause if we don't learn from this ...

I thank God every day my husband loves to punch numbers and won't let anyone sucker him into something he doesn't agree with. One of the few who outsmarted the greedy lenders.

Pam Halter said...

Amen, sister!

Lynette Sowell said...

Oh, but dontcha know it's always someone else's fault? We live in a generation now where it's easier to blame someone else for our fix or lot in life. And expect the government to sponsor a program to help us.

This sort of echoes something I read by Max Lucado about the whole sorry situation...
http://maxlucado.com/nationalprayer

~~Good thoughts, right-on opinion.

Deborah Vogts said...

I agree with you, Brandilyn, 100%. Trouble is, I don't see things changing any time soon, especially when the government is there to come to their rescue. What is learned? Nothing . . .

Yes, Lynette, our nation needs prayer.

D. Gudger said...

Amen.

Jill Kemerer said...

Hi Brandilyn,

I just came across your website for the first time yesterday and had to thank you for all of the incredible information. I agree with you 100% on the state of our country--you only have to watch HGTV from the past two years to see how ridiculous Americans had become in regards to our homes. The phrase "granite countertops" sets my teeth on edge!
Again, thanks for the great blog site. I'm revising my latest manuscript and taking many of your tips to heart. Maybe this one will be the one that gets pubbed...
Thanks!
Jill Kemerer

Tami Boesiger said...

Way to have the guts to call a spade a spade, Brandilyn.

I wonder, though, how did Americans get this sense of entitlement that makes their eyes bigger than their pocketbooks? Have we failed to teach succeeding generations sensible money management and PATIENCE in achieving financial goals? Whose responsibility is that? Parents, schools, the Dave Ramseys of the world? Certainly lenders take advantage of the ignorance. But I wonder if we all don't shoulder some blame for living more comfortably than necessary (even though we can afford it), tempting others to extend themselves too far to do the same?

Just thinking out loud...

Nicole said...

Just another thought . . . if our eyes are focused on our Lord, and our heart is attuned to obedience, we won't value materialism over what the Lord has for us. "Things" won't possess us instead of us possessing some of them.
There's no guilt in living well (within our means) providing we are generous with what we have. We will be culpable to God for how we live and what we love as our treasures.
Greed is the sin. And no accountability for our wrongs.

Timothy Fish said...

There is no sin in living within our means, whatever our means might be. If anything, hording money is probably a bad thing. People with money need to invest in things that will give other people the opportunity to make a living. The problem comes when people take money that doesn’t exist and invest it in things with no value. When the flow of money stops, someone loses his shirt.

~ Brandilyn Collins said...

Thanks for the comments, all.

Jill, so glad you're finding this blog helpful!