Sunday, April 13, 2008

Election Year: Economic Hypochondriacs Unite

During presidential elections, when candidates postulate this or that "crisis" for which each is the indispensable and sufficient cure, economic hypochondria is encouraged, so a sense of suffering is rampant.

Deranged by the entitlement mentality fostered by a metastasizing welfare state, Americans now have such low pain thresholds that suffering is defined as a slight delay in beginning a subsidized retirement often lasting one-third of the retiree's adult lifetime.

Subprime mortgages are a small minority of mortgages, and only a minority of subprime borrowers are not making their payments. Casting this minority of a minority as victims of "predatory" lending fits the liberal narrative that most Americans are victims of this or that sinister elite or impersonal force, and are not competent to cope with life's complexities without government supervision.

The politics of this may, however, be more complex than the compassion chorus supposes. The 96 percent of mortgage borrowers who are fulfilling their commitments, often by scrimping, may be grumpy bystanders if many of the other 4 percent -- those who found the phrase "variable rate" impenetrably mysterious -- are eligible for ameliorations of their obligations.

What next? Adults still burdened with student loans have not yet announced their entitlement to relief, but as they watch this subprime drama, might.


~From George Will's column "Fooling Ourselves into Entitlements"

8 Comments:

At 4/13/2008 2:08 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Ahhh, George Will nails it again: "The idea that protracted golden years of idleness is a universal right is a delusion of recent vintage. Deranged by the entitlement mentality fostered by a metastasizing welfare state, Americans now have such low pain thresholds that suffering is defined as a slight delay in beginning a subsidized retirement often lasting one-third of the retiree's adult lifetime"...

AMEN!

Can we now thank F.D.R. for foisting the socialist, nanny state onto the taxpayers?

Are we ever going to learn?

Entitlement-Driven Long-Term Budget Substantially Worse Than Previously Projected

 
At 4/13/2008 4:01 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

juandos,

Do you mean that there is not a big pot of Social Security money with my name written on it just waiting for me to retire? What a surprise!

I learned about Ponzi schemes way, way back in high school. Somebody (the few) always wins and somebody (the many) always loses. Being a baby-boomer, I think I know which one I am. You have to have a plan taking that into consideration.

 
At 4/13/2008 4:38 PM, Anonymous TheMaskedMillionaire said...

This doesn't suprise me. There are always a group of people that want something for nothing. They also want to blame their shortcomings on someone else.

There is no free lunch but people keep looking on the menu for one.

 
At 4/13/2008 6:55 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Do you mean that there is not a big pot of Social Security money with my name written on it just waiting for me to retire?"...

Yeah walt we are hosed!

BTW you might want to consider divesting yourself of anything and everything that might make you a (dare I say it?) 'victim' of means testing (anything over $30k?) which will be one more staggering, stumbling step towards national bankruptcy...

"I learned about Ponzi schemes way, way back in high school"...

I also learned something as a high school sophomore on one of those, 'bring your daddy to school' days...

One guy's dad was an actuary and he showed us back then how the Ponzi scam wasn't going to pan out for us...

 
At 4/14/2008 9:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Juandos,

There is an up-side to a boomer generation that thinks it is entitled to "Freedom 55": Retirement.

There is no generation that I am looking forward to retiring more than the baby boomers and I say this as a boomer myself. Cannot think of a more appropriate place for woolie ideas than the obscurity of retirement.

 
At 4/14/2008 2:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Count me as one of the grumpy bystanders.

I'm just trying to figure out what method of consumer credit instrument might hit the government's radar screen next and result in the government bailing out its users. Will it be credit cards, student loans, ? Once I figure it out, I'm going to load up on the credit instrument, so I can partake in the government bailout benefit. It's a vicious cycle and of course I am cynical.

 
At 4/14/2008 2:18 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Cannot think of a more appropriate place for woolie ideas than the obscurity of retirement...

Well said sir! Excellent...

"Once I figure it out, I'm going to load up on the credit instrument, so I can partake in the government bailout benefit"...

Well one rumor I've heard over the last few days is that airlines might be the next target of taxpayer largesse, AGAIN!

Then again I'm in the airlining business as a lowly bag smasher...

 
At 4/14/2008 10:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Juandos,

There is even better news. A recent survey conducted on volunteers in Canada found that boomers were not interested in being volunteers after retirement. Not interested in working...not interested in volunteering...not relevant.

The reactionary boomer generation will likely feel obliged to prove their social credentials at cocktail parties but their ability to influence will be limited. Rhetoric and emotion just don't do it for most of us.

 

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