Thursday, February 26, 2009

Fuck The Poor! 80's Style!

Oh yay, the best 80's nostalgia moment yet: Angry white people! Just look at them all!

Let's back up a moment. I used to own a home. We bought a house in Georgia in 1995, when I came into a little bit of money. It was a nice one, too--3 bed, 2 bath, big garage, 3 acres of land, all for a mere $100K. It was tough keeping up with the mortgage--we could afford it, but there wasn't much money for eating out or other luxuries. But it was worth it just to have a place you could call your own.

Well, eventually, we decided to move out to L.A., and sold the place after just two years. Most of the money got eaten up by the move, and the tough times finding real employment in the new town, and at any rate, $100K won't buy you a crack house in L.A., so it was back to renting. When you're young, renting is cool. Something breaks down, you just call the landlord and they fix it. But when you get into your 30's, this isn't so cool anymore. Now, I'd prefer to pay the plumber myself and be broke for a month, rather than having to go to the landlord, hat in hand, and say "could you please have someone fix our sink?" like a little kid. Renting sucks.

At various times along the way, we looked into the possibility of buying a house, but the money just wasn't there. And as our incomes went up, the price of houses went up along with it, keeping tantalizingly out of reach. We talked to real estate agents. Every time, they tried to get us into one of these adjustable-rate mortgages. They assured us it would work for us, but we looked at the numbers and it just didn't add up the way the agents were trying to tell us it would. So we sucked it up, and kept renting.

This is the part of the story where I'm supposed to start ranting about how badly we're being fucked over now that the government is trying to help people out who are defaulting on their mortgages, but I just don't feel that way. Letting someone get kicked out on the street isn't going to make me have a house. It just seems like a question of basic decency that the government should do something to help these people out, even without taking into account the idea of trying to put a floor under this downward spiral in the larger economy. I'm not saying this to prove how much better I am than the angry renters, it's just what I believe.

It's easy for a politician to fan the flames of resentment, and that's pretty much what conservative politicians have always done. But true leadership is not based on resentment. Good policy doesn't rise from pure resentment.

Of course, it also needs to be said that these same angry people are the ones that stuck by W as he ran the deficit sky-high, so they clearly don't have an absolute principle against government spending or debt. Which leaves two possible conclusions. Either (a) they simply have an absolute principle against spending money to actually help Americans in need, or (b) they really have no principles at all, other than keeping Republicans in power, like rooting for a sports team.

One other thing:

Sales of Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” have almost tripled over the first seven weeks of this year compared with sales for the same period in 2008. This continues a strong trend after bookstore sales reached an all-time annual high in 2008 of about 200,000 copies sold.

To which I say: Hahahahahhaha!!!! Seriously, anyone who buys that book in protest deserves the punishment of reading it.

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