Wednesday, December 22, 2010
DEBT, AGAIN - December 16, 2010
There is a peculiarity about many peoples and debt. One gets the feeling, in the debates on it in DC, that US do not think about debt as a burden commanding the debtor to take the measures necessary to discharge it, like undertaking the sacrifices to collect the assets to attend to it. Rather, the response is rather like debt being an alternative to paying. We who see the way our college students deal with the credit cards that have been sold to them every September understand that reality, as do the banks that irresponsibly handed out the cards in the hope of attracting interest-bearing balances. And the press accounts about the many who think that making the minimum payment each month is all that they need do sustain that same attitude. Endless preaching about the mountainous interest seems to wash off their backs. Eventually we hear about parents being threatened with permanent blacklisting of their irresponsible children and forced to pay the usurers their ransom. The same casual bearing of debt manifests itself in the debate over the deficit, in which the Class War is reflected by groups seeking to load the problem onto others than their members. On the one hand, we see demands for austerity, which amount to meeting the shortfall by slighting the civic programs by which the poor are able to evade the most horrendous consequences of their condition, as well as the demands that the bulk of the costs should be borne by the members of the class whose members seem to have profited so fully by fleecing those who have been seduced into thinking that they can expect to eat their cake and have it too. If we expect to be able to borrow, it is necessary that our prospective creditors see that those who have the means to pay it off will in fact be tapped to do so. Otherwise, we will more likely slough off the sacrifice onto the weak and powerless, whose suffering is already beyond the limits of toleration, and those who claim to lead those people had better figure out how they will put the onus where it belongs.