Bloomberg reports that incomes continue to fall with the most recent reports. Many major news sources reported over the last few days that homeowners are finding themselves underwater (owe more than the house is worth) on their mortgages. The government’s attempt to ease this in the form of a $50 billion program to stave off the mortgage crisis has a poor enrollment rate (particularly with some of the bailout banks.) Boiled down, it isn't working.
Locally, Monroe and Pike Counties have some of the worst delinquency rates in the entire state. You can use this map to check your home county.
This as well as the other bailouts have many people truly afraid. They fear for their jobs, they fear for their families, they fear that they might lose their homes and their comfortable lives. What it really boils down to though, is that they fear losing control.
When you take something from the government, there is always something you must surrender in return. Some degree of personal liberty is always lost in this exchange. More times than not, it is in the form of an increased tax burden.
The finger pointing as to a cause for our seemingly ever worsening economic situation and overall loss of control should not be directed at any of our elected officials. Rather, that finger should be pointed firmly back at ourselves. For too long too many Americans have relied on everyone but themselves for far too much. This irresponsibility and laissez-faire attitude toward life in general has landed us in the position we find ourselves today. Certainly, many politicians have reinforced the abandonment of personal responsibility with enabling government-sponsored programs but it is we who use them and perpetuate them. They only way to truly stop them is to pry ourselves from the sustenance offered by the government teat and start living more responsible lives.
It is time to decide if we are going to take the blue pill and continue along the path we have already tread or take the red pill and start to bring about real change in ourselves through responsibility.
For those that decide to take the blue pill, The Nation has a great story with 10 tips about how to live on the street. That might come in handy if the next set of bailouts fail as the other seem to have.
For those that take the red pill, do not fall to hypocritical histrionics. If you are spending time assessing your politicians, spend some assessing yourself. We have put ourselves in the position we are in. Only we can really dig ourselves out of it.
If both the people and the politicians of this great nation adopt this attitude, we will truly be a better country for it.