I’ve noticed some trends recently that are related to the real estate market and economy peripherally, but are more about the way Americans are viewing the world they live in.
Those trends are: a Pervasive Sense of Entitlement and the related issue of Childish World-view.
The Pervasive Sense of Entitlement to which I refer was evidenced in an article I read yesterday on Yahoo. (I’m really sorry but I can’t find the link.) The basic notion of the article was that Americans may have to get used to a “lower standard of living,” as evidenced by owning one house and having no more than one car payment at a time.
OH GROW UP ALREADY! While there are millions of families who THINK they can afford a home of their own along with two car payments and all of the other accoutrements of life, the reality doesn’t agree with them. When did it become a “right” to have two new cars? It has never been wise to have two new cars – that’s undeniable. But why is that the definition of the “status quo”, beneath which a person is perceived as living at a lower standard of living?
It’s GARBAGE, my dear friends. Let’s grow up a bit and live within our means. How would this financial crisis be different for you if you had no mortgage to pay and no car payments to make? Answer: You really wouldn’t care about it much, would you? Because it simply wouldn’t have much effect on your life.
The related issue of CHILDISH WORLD-VIEW is evidenced by people trying to push off their own responsibility onto others. Example: All of the people who took out STUPID subprime loans, who are now crying to the world for a rescue that they don’t deserve.
Look, if you are facing foreclosure on a subprime loan, I feel badly for you. I really do – I’ve been there and know what it’s like. But you got what you asked for: A property you couldn’t afford. And now you’re about to learn your lesson, because foreclosure is painful.
But wait! Maybe you won’t HAVE TO learn a lesson, because the Child-In-Chief, Barack Obama, is determined to extend our culture of dependency as far as possible by “gently persuading” the lenders not to foreclose on you.
Where’s the logic in this? Short answer: There isn’t any. The person who made a horrible decision in terms of taking a subprime loan will likely make yet another risky financial move in the future, because sometimes it simply takes the pain of failure to learn how to succeed. And the current government policy of “bailing out” everybody who cries “wolf” denies people the opportunity to learn that lesson – and to reap the long-term benefits of it.
I hate to say it, but I think the only answer for our economy is a serious economic cleansing. Lots of company closures. Lots of layoffs. Lots of bankruptcies. Why? For decades, our economy has not been fueled primarily by consumption of fundamental necessities or reasonable extras, but by incredible excess at every level.
In America, we have no sense of delayed gratification. The easy availability of credit has made that time-honored concept a non sequitur to the question of wise financial management. If we want something, we get it, and we get it now. That’s a road to financial devastation, and there is nothing the government can do to stop the fundamental economic unraveling that has to occur.
Contrary to what you think, I’m not heartless. I don’t like the idea of financial challenges. Considering that I’m 34 years old, I don’t have a great frame of reference for weak economic times. Having said that, I see no other way to remove the crap from our system. Barack Obama’s socialist strategies certainly won’t do it. But sadly, a more reasonable leader couldn’t do it either – because our society is all about selfishness and greed. Americans have a pervasive sense of entitlement and view financial matters with the clarity of a 6-year old. And the only thing that can stop that trend is to see the results of it.
I appreciate you and your time. Your comments are welcomed here at RealEstate.BryanEllis.com.