[Editorial] Debt and Responsibility

Discussion in 'Politics & Law' started by Merc, Dec 15, 2009.

  1. Merc

    Merc Certified Shitlord V.I.P. Lifetime

    As a 23 year old college grad, I've already been introduced to the painful world of debt and debt management. I try not to fry my brain over the thousands of dollars I owe and not retreat into a dark corner where I can cry myself to sleep. I also have a car payment, insurance, and one credit card all in attempts to build my credit and start my true adult life. Welcome, say the adults, take a gun and try not to have a reason to use it. I've always (luckily) had a very unconcerned view of money. My thought has always been "It's just money, I can make more of it. If I let it get to me, then it owns me." It's hard to keep such a mindset however when the collectors start calling which leads me to this story that I read in September that has recently been updated. I found the story on the incredibly satisfying (plug time!) Consumerist.com:

    Wife sues debt collector over husband's death

    This made me wonder about debt and responsibility. In the last decade, this country has been talking about nothing but debt and economic disaster so it's not an original story. Man has debt, man can't pay debt, debtor harasses man. Then of course is the rare and unfortunate final step, man dies. It is a sign of the times how the common consumer is suffering these days. Problem is, there's a lot of blame to go around. Some people blame us, the consumer, for being reckless and gullible by buying into excessive credit spending, a lack of savings and little to no future planning. Then there are people that blame the producers, the ones doing all the selling and sales. They claim their wages are too low, their prices too high and the accuse them of nasty behavior.

    So were do we begin?

    I do believe and have believed for a very long time that the human race is beginning to ignore the concept of liability. People don't like being held responsible for anything anymore. Gone are the days where men did their balls proud by owning up to their faults and working through failure. However we are emerging into a society that does not want failure. They are trying to cure and prevent it. Take Obama's bailout for instance. My knowledge of financial systems is slim as is my knowledge of economic systems but I'm keen enough to know that in a Capitalistic society, bailing out failed companies is the wrong way to go. Their business practices were flawed, they were bad for the consumer culture and thus should have been allowed to die. It would have taken time to rebuild and yes some jobs would be lost but then again anything worth doing takes time. Not to mention, I'm pretty sure the unemployment rate is about as reliable as Tiger Woods in a strip club. Then again, our society has always had problems with rational, necessary solutions, especially ones that take more than five minutes. Take the legal drinking age. If reduced, there would be alcohol problems for at least five to ten years but after that our culture would adapt to the change and eventually, we'd see a lot less underage drinking problems especially at the college levels.

    What can we learn from Stanley McLeod? Well, we can't let our debt get to us and we can't give in. We also learn that when going into debt, we are picking which murky swamp to step into. What is important when entering any swamp is just like entering any financial contract. You must tread lightly, carefully and with steady calculation or you disturb the crocodiles and snakes lying beneath and then you find yourself suffering and wounded in the middle of a hostile environment with almost zero chance of survival.

    Make like Bear Grylls and learn to survive the wild, because if you don't, your destined to drown in the muck.

  2. SmilinSilhouette

    SmilinSilhouette Registered Member

    I enjoyed this post as it reminded me of the hole I dug for myself in the muck. For a time I just gave up and dug even deeper. Until my friends started buying houses and I realized that I wanted to be in the position to buy my own home too. It took a few years, but I finally paid off all my debt and began saving. The great thing was that after I got my head above water it got easier. I had learned the discipline to better manage my money and once I didn't have to service my debt and the interest the same multiplyers that once held me back also worked in my favor. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and you get to decide if it will be the train that destroys you or the opportunity for better things that beckons. Good luck to you!
  3. CaptainObvious

    CaptainObvious Son of Liberty V.I.P.

    I agree with you Cons, people don't want to take responsibility for anything anymore. People who rack up thousands and thousands of dollars in debt want a quick and easy way to get out. It's a societal mindset we've developed.

    Like SS I had accumulated some debt and decided to get out and became much more disciplined in managing my money. I still have some debt but small credit card balances and my student loan.
  4. Smelnick

    Smelnick Creeping On You V.I.P.

    I agree too. Being in student debt myself, I always feel that bit of pressure. It's hard NOT to try and shlef it off onto someone else's shoulders. Especially when it comes time to try and continue with your life. That debt just gets in the way of everything.

    However, the debt is mine, and it'd be wrong of me not to accept the responsibility. I was the one who decided to get into debt and it has nothing to do with anyone else.

    Once you take ownership of it, it's easier to deal with. Theres tons of resources out there that can teach you to manage your money to get out of debt. More people need to use those resources. It also takes will power too. You'll never get out of debt if you constantly worry about satisfying your need for object pleasure (by that mean, pleasure from having lots of things lol).

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