Saturday, February 22, 2014

Debt Creates Bad Habits

... and if it creates bad habits in individuals, imagine what it's doing to our nation.

This is another post wherein I argue that our issues as a nation are cultural, not political.

I've had friends who have gone through short sales. That's where you owe more on your house than it's worth and can no longer make the payments. One in particular ran up credit card debt at the same time. They weren't buying necessities, they were just partying until the party had to stop because they ran out of lenders willing to lend to them. They knew all of the best restaurants and entertainment hot spots. They knew way more of these than I do.

When the jig was up, they didn't have the emotional resources and good habits necessary to cope with their problems. Everything was someone else's fault. Their kids were old enough to work and contribute to the family, but that option was never considered. Eating cheaply became a necessary chore rather than an opportunity for creativity. Nothing was born with grace or stoicism.

These habits grew over time as they spent money they hadn't earned. Effectively, they were grown adults who were spoiled children.

What happens to a nation that lives like this? What happens to a society that can vote for money to be handed out and have it appear out of thin air?

My friend is impractical and learning practical things has never been their bag.

When Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit, goes off on student loan debt or how expensive college is, I wonder how it is we got to this point. Allow me to suggest that it is easy credit for a decade or more that got us here. Impractical degrees earned with borrowed money sounds a lot like my friend.

Student loan debt has a longer time horizon than credit card debt so you can postpone the day of reckoning for a long, long time, incubating your bad habits. Source.

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