Saturday, January 27, 2007

Debt self-inflicted --- Oh Really!?

Ok, I just have to rant about this one.

A letter to the editor in yesterday's USA Today, just sent me off the deep end. This guy (from Texas) says "...most of all debt is self-inflicted and the result of very poor money management and other irresponsible behavior..."

Oh really!??!

Tell that to the many, many retired folks that are struggling to live on a FIXED income, while the cost of health care, medicines, groceries, gasoline and heating their homes has done nothing but go up, up, up.

We are going to be putting our home on the market and seriously downsizing in the near future partly because the cost of heating it has DOUBLED in five years ... and we're talking having gone from having it at a comfortable 70 degrees in the winter to a barely tolerable 62 this winter (we tried going lower than that -- down to 58, but we just hurt too much with it that cold all the time).

And I worry about my folks that are facing ever increasing medical costs and wondering every year if the supplimental insurance provided with my dad's pension will still be there.

I'm seriously sick and tired of the republican conservative attitude that basically says "I've got mine, and I'm going to make sure you don't get any"

Okay, now I feel slightly better, so I'm climbing down off my soap box....


At 5:50 PM, Blogger lobstah said...

This is the conservative tack on every matter what goes wrong in your life, it's your own darn fault!

I have no doubt that there are some people who end up in serious debt due to frivolous spending, but they are in the extreme minority. It's been proven that medical costs are the #1 cause of bankruptcies, in combination with flat (or declining) incomes and lack of health care (of course the conservatives would say this is your own fault for not buying health care).

I hope things work out for you and your family. I put my thermostat at 62 degrees too, luckily I am pretty cold-tolerant (and have lots of nice hand-knit sweaters to wear ha ha) At least you can pat yourself on the back for reducing greenhouse gases. :)

At 9:08 AM, Blogger Krista said...

My family is in the same situation of having to keep our house at 60 degrees this winter just to pay the bill. The thing is, we can't downsize our house unless we want to spend MORE money on a house. The real estate prices have gone up so much in my town that to buy a 3 bedroom 2,000sq house, we've probably have to spend $350,000 or more depending on the nieghborhood. Although our house is bigger (more like 3,000) it was affordable back in 2000. So, downsizing is not an option. Unless we leave town. And our health insurance is going up. We are so healthy, with only yearly check-ups and our health insurance goes up every year. We don't even use what we pay for now! Good luck everyone.

At 3:12 PM, Blogger EnnaVic said...

Same thing happening in New Zealand with pricing etc. (Except we are in our "summer" at the moment - for what that is worth!) The price of petrol is the major hassle here.

The comments about it being people's fault seem to be dying away a bit here though. We had a period recently when there were kind of race-based comments along those lines but we have had a change of leader in our conservative party (the National Party) so it seems to have settled down again.

The Labour Party (in power at the moment) know better than to say such silly things thank goodness :)

At 10:20 AM, Blogger the nut said...

It's the same way food stamps are causing obesity. Never mind the fact that store brand mac'n'cheese is appx $o.70 a box but the Velveeta brand is $2 a box; health conscious foods tend to be organic and not come from a large corporation so naturally have more overhead so their prices are high, but lets blame the food stamps program. Sometimes a family is only alloted $100/month for food so they have to make their money count. Food stamps also do not cover things like toilet paper and other non-food products, so yeah, let's keep blaming the individual 'cause that'll work to fix the actual problem.

It's the peoples fault, not the actual institution of it all!

(This is not a positive link but interesting nonetheless as it is always amazing to me how so many people overlook the obvious.)

At 11:05 PM, Blogger Kimmer said...

Grr...I hate letters like that. I've been known to yell at the newspaper while reading them.

That idiot needs to read up on just what causes most bankruptcies. 90% of all bankruptcies are due to medical expenses (and most of these are for people with insurance), job loss, and divorce. Very few people declare bankruptcy because of overspending.

I can't complain too much about heating expenses. Here in Southern California it doesn't get all that cold, but it's been cold enough for our heater to go on at night, and our gas bills are about 5 times our summer average. What I'm dreading is what having central air conditioning is going to do to my electric bills this summer; I'm finally gonna have a/c installed, after the heat wave this past summer had my kids threatening to move to Grandma's :)

Housing here is ridiculous. The house I'm in is 1638 square feet, on a 6000 square-foot lot. gives me an estimated price of $642,000. No way would I pay that much for this house, but that's what the market is right now. I have enough equity in the house so if I had to move I wouldn't be looking at a ridiculous mortgage, but still.

I just don't understand how Republicans can blame people for their being in poverty. It's incredibly hard to get out of poverty once you're there. I also can't believe that the Republican Senators are refusing to vote on a minimum wage increase without throwing in yet more tax cuts for folks who really don't need them (and on that topic, did you see or hear Senator Kennedy's rant about this? Just brilliant). I'm convinced that the solution to this, and the health care problem, is to make Congress live on minimum wage, or try to. They also need to tolerate the hoops the average for-profit HMO forces one to jump through just to see a specialist for a broken leg (long story involving a tibial stress fracture and 6-week romp through Health Net's hoops). We'd see an actual living wage and universal single-payer health care in a heartbeat.

Then again, Congress is so clueless that one of them actually thought that working Americans who get health insurance automatically have dental and vision care included.

At 5:34 PM, Blogger the nut said...

Oh, where can I find Kennedy's rant? Is it something I could find on CNN or CSPAN? I so love hearing when he goes off since, in my opinion, he's mostly spot on.

At 1:29 PM, Blogger Kimmer said...

Here's the link to Crooks and Liars story on it, complete with video:

I expected him to say, "Have you no sense of decency, sirs??", but he didn't, much to my dismay. It's a wonderful tirade, and shows that some of the "elite" still understand the concept of "nobless oblige".


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