Crime and Punishment

a sad smiley

Mismanagement, corruption, greed, irresponsibility, stupidity and ignorance. Pick one, or pick them all. It tends to make us feel better when we have someone to blame. It’s even fun to point fingers when you see suffering, as long as you aren’t the victim, because I suppose this reminds us that we were better and smarter.

“Bailout?” you might be thinking. “Hah! Why would I want to spend my tax dollars bailing out Wall Street millionaires, large banking institutions run be rich executives, or even all of those foolish home buyers who lied on their stated income loan applications or bit off more than they could chew? I was better and smarter. I saved and invested responsibly. I didn’t refinance my home to take lavish vacations or buy other homes I couldn’t afford. This isn’t my problem.”

Except it is.

When I was a child, my brother and I would fight. Mostly, he would fight, and being seven years older, I would get punished. Boys will be boys. He’s just a kid. He doesn’t know any better.

I’m feeling a little like that today, as I am sure many of you are. Whether you misbehaved or you were the model citizen, we are all in trouble. Whether you have (had) your child’s college tuition invested in stock accounts or you need to make your weekly run on the grocery store, whether you need to sell your home or you were hoping to buy your first home with the 10% down payment you have been struggling to save and which is no longer enough, this has not been a very good week. And next week may not
be much better.

It may not be your fault, but the economic crisis has definitely become your problem, and your neighbor’s and mine. How we got here is not our biggest fish to fry this morning, and doing nothing will change nothing. There will be a time to stand on principle, but now is not the time. We can go back to blaming people tomorrow.

Creative Commons License photo credit: jonasj

Get your Instant Home Value…