Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A swarm of swindlers, or social Darwinism?

My blog has felt a little inane lately, insofar as I've been posting about urine tests and strip clubs while other blogs I've been reading have been commenting on current events and the political season. I had intended to post something on how deliciously ironic it was that President Bush was criticizing Musharraf for suspending democracy in the name of emergency, but I figured every other liberal on the planet could pick up on the irony without me pointing it out. As for politics, I've really got nothing to say except that it's time for me to man up, grow a pair, and make a decision as to whether I'll vote for Hillary or Barack in the Minnesota primary, because as the song goes, it's beginning to look a lot like February 5th.

However, this week there were a couple of good op-ed articles in the NYT that got my brain juices stirring. The first was Paul Krugman's article on Monday. I've got nothing to say about it, but I thought it was a really good read.

The other article was by Bob Herbert (aka "The Black One"). It was about a poor woman in Chicago who had been swindled by her mortgage company into signing a loan on her house they knew she couldn't afford to pay off. In usual lawyer fashion, I endured a mental tennis match over my ultimate opinion on the article.

My First Thought, and Bob's Probable Intended Reader Response: That's outrageous! Every 1L who's taken Contracts could see these mortgages constitute fraud and are not binding.

My Second Thought: Yeah, but it says here the woman is unemployed and living off Social Security. I'm really supposed to feel bad for people who don't work (at age 65), have no apparent retirement plans and/or savings, live entirely off the meager redistribution of my income taxes, and then are shocked they can't make end's meet?

My Third Thought: Obviously you're dealing with someone who didn't posses the savvy to save appropriately for retirement or understand the bullshit that comes with mortgage lending. You want to penalize someone for being too salt of the earth?

Mostly, I'm just glad Bob Herbert decided to write about something other than President Bush. Sometimes I'm afraid we spend too much time talking about how Bush is an idiot, rather than directing our energy towards addressing the domestic issues that are handicapping American progress in the 21st century.


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