Me to Economy and America: Fornicate Yourself

I’ve had it.

I don’t care anymore.

I did everything right. I did everything the way I was supposed to.

I got a good job that lead to a good career. I spent prudently. I saved money.If they told me to max my retirement accounts so I could have enjoy my later years, I did. If they suggested that I have a large cash reserve for a rainy day, I saved one. I conducted business in a consistently ethical manner. I took my responsibility as a paid expert very seriously and put that above my fees and commissions. I attempted to treat others in both my business and personal life exactly as I would want them to treat me if our positions were reversed. I largely succeeded in this.

While you…and you know who you are…let your life be driven by all things bright and shiny. Cheap widgets from China with bright flashy lights and buttons. Your thought your were entitled. Your thought that “society” owed you that overpriced gas guzzling SUV, that bigger and better TV every year, the latest hand held communicator toy, those 200 dollar blue jeans. Never mind if you could afford it, who cares, you “deserved” it, right. And you could get all this for just $25 or $50 a month with those pretty pieces of plastic that they just kept sending you. If someone else had it you were entitled to it too, because you never learned that LIFE ISN’T FAIR

The you wanted to buy a house. Not just any house,but the one you “deserved”. Can you bother to read the big print documents that the law said the lender had to give you? You know, the one that gave you estimates of ALL your payments over the life of the loan…guess not.

Now it’s some huge freakin’ suprise that they want you to pay exactly what that document said you would have to pay.

I’ve got news for, if you haven’t been paying principal and you have no equity, YOU"RE NOT A HOMEOWNER. YOU"RE A FREAKING RENTER !!!
I don’t care what happens to you anymore !!!

I bought a home when you did. It was a place to live for me, not a piece of collateral or a bank account. I bought only what I need which I could easily afford even if my income was cut in half. Luckily for me the value has held. Even if it drops it is a place to live and not a bank account so I don’t much care.

And if you are one of the people that gave all this idiots pretty pieces of plastic and No income, No asset mortgages…you are worse than slime and I wish the horrors of hell to rain upon you. Is “do unto others” a totally alien concept to you? How would YOU feel if someone scammed your kids or your Mom the way you scammed them? Unbridled greed will always get you in the end, I just wish I could make you bear the brunt of this…I actually want to shove the brunt of this up your collective asses and use a hammer to drive it home.

Yesterday, I was hopeful for a fix. Today I have decided that I don’t want the government to get a dime of my tax money for a fix that might not work as well as say…the Iraq War… did.

I worked it out. Because I did everything right I can cruise by on my liquid savings for at least two years without changing my spending, and 3 to 4 years if I economize and this is assumming things get so bad that I have NO income, which would be unlikely. Then I just have to decide what to do with the retirement accounts…if they evaporate completely too bad for me…I was scammed by the system but hopefully I can get them into cash or gold before the bitter end.

So screw all of you, it’s every man for himself time now. Maybe if you lose it all you won’t be such an idiot next time around.

I feel you. When Bush was elected the first time, we accelerated our mortgage payments and started shoveling every cent into savings that we could. I knew it was only a matter of time before he drove the country into ruin by one means or another, and that has sadly come to pass. We’re one of the lucky ones who didn’t buy into huge debt, but instead paid off our mortgage and kept our credit card at zero. We’re retiring as of next June and have enough liquid assets to live on for quite some time. Fuck 'em all. Our big tax contributions are over.

Sadly, I put my money, most of it, into a 401K.

I thought: HEY! He’s rich. He’ll screw up everything else, but the only thing the rich are good at is looking after their own interests.

Silly me.:frowning:

You know, I hear where you’re coming from, I do, but some of us did everything “right” and still got screwed. I bought a [del]small[/del] tiny house in a decent, not great location. I never bought a car for more than $18,000, even though my perfect credit and good income would’ve allowed me to get into something much, much more expensive. Our cars get 29 & 35mpg, respectively, by the way. The house we settled on was $150,000 less than what we were approved for and our real estate agent was pushing on us, because we wanted to be prudent and financially comfortable. I never ran up a credit card until recently when I started paying for classes and schoolbooks with it. I haven’t bought new clothes in over a year, and even then they sure as shit were never designer clothes. Our big screen tv was given to us, and when it broke we bought a used one off of craigslist with rainy day cash we literally had stashed in a closet. Our computer is 5 years old. We don’t own ipods or any other trendy technology. Our bicyles are (bike 1), given to us, (bikes 2, 3, & 4) bought used with cash. I could go on all day about how frugal we are but you get the point; we did not and do not spend like the proverbial drunken sailors. But I lost my job because of this mess. I feel twice screwed, and there is a good chance we are going to become part of the problem by letting our house go into foreclosure. It sucks but what the fuck can we do?

Bravo, well said. This whole situation is a gigantic clusterfuck of people acting immorally, and the overly entitled American should certainly be on the list. I say let them all rot, it is the only way they will learn their lesson. Unfortunately collateral damage will be severe for people like Cisco. Many innocents are going to be hurt by this whether a bailout comes or not. Hopefully Cisco has enough money in his emergency fund to last until he finds a new job.

Yes, this shit makes my blood boil as well. More so the for the lenders. They had to know…THEY HAD TO KNOW it was gonna burst. You cannot tell me that smart people didn’t know that it was far more than risky policy to give people loans for property they could not afford. A lot of people made a LOT of money on this mess and then got out just before the bubble burst. Including politicians from both sides of the aisle.

Me? I used to feel a little bad that I did not own property. Now, I’m grateful I don’t. I haven’t got hurt like a lot of people. My job doesn’t depend on the credit or housing industries, so for now I’m still doing OK. But that could change.

Part of me wants the bailout so we can try to get back to some sense of normalcy. Another part wants doesn’t, wants those companies to go bankrupt, wants the the government to go after the millions in bonuses that were paid to departing CEOs before the burst, wants the politicians who drove this to be tarred and feathered…

I hope the people who are working for a solution are smart, honest and ethical. Lord knows we could use some of that.

accidentalyuppie- good point and well said, but you might want to watch your language. Sheesh.

I’m also one of those people that underspent, saved wisely, maxed out my 401(k), paid off my credit cards every month, diversified my investments, etc. So, a hearty thanks to all you* fuckwits who anally raped my savings. You know who you are.

*Not really “you”. I’m sure no one here caused this mess.

Tell me about it. Owls and I are fortunate in that being a young couple, we don’t have a lot of savings to be raped (His 40(k) took a hit, but there’s less than two years worth of investments in there) and we don’t have any debt aside from our car payments. We’re adjusting our finances though in response to this mess. It’s probably not the best thing for the economy, but on the other hand I’d hate to see something similar happen when it could really hurt us.

Right before 9/11 our retirement account was up to x dollars. Last month it returned to x dollars for the first time, now we are back down to what it was right after 9/11 AND we have contributed to it.

I give up too. If right after 9/11, at our account’s lowest point, we had put our retirement into local raw land we would now have at least twice x and it wouldn’t have just crashed.

The lessons from this debacle:

1. Never tell the truth.
2. Never play by the rules.
3. Never spend your own money.

I dunno. I could probably coast a while, but I’m just electing to keep my head down and keep working to sock money away. Other than mortgage (fixed rate) and car loans, I’ve got no debt. So no credit cards and everything else is owned outright and not financed.

One fear I have is that if you decide to coast for a bit on savings, what if the dollar suddenly loses a lot of value and suddenly your savings won’t get you as far as you might have thought? It’s reasonable to think things might go in this direction.

Overall, my philosophy hasn’t really changed. Continue to play by the rules, but understand that people ought not to be put into a situation where they can easily screw you, because much of the time they can’t be counted on to act like moral human beings. Some can, but many can’t. So I’ve not expected much and thus haven’t been screwed as badly.

By sheer coincidence, I really didn’t have anything in a 401K, despite being one of those folks who listened to the financial advisors and started putting money away as soon as I was eligible with my first job. I liquidated my 401K to start this company, and I’ve contributed to my new 401K for only about a year or so, so I can’t get too upset about where retirement savings are heading. Any savings I have are locked up in high-yield (?) online-only savings accounts. I’m guessing that the yield on these things is going to take a dive, and my only real decision concerns whether the risk outweighs the reward with respect to interest payments. Maybe that money is better off in a safe deposit box…

I’m not in the market (other than in my 401K). I haven’t been since I cashed out during the dot com boom. So there’s nothing there.

My hope is to simply build up cash reserves and potentially scoop up some land during this downturn. If there are developers who need to be bailed out, I’d like to be standing there with a pile of cash. I think there are deals to be had.

NED FLANDERS: I even kept kosher, just to be on the safe side . . .

Mine is not quite the same picture as those here, but I share in your sentiments. We have never fully recovered from the era when my husband’s business went belly up. I went back to work, but only PT (3 kids).

We did what we called the Great Depression budget, but between car and house repairs and health care issues etc, our credit card balance crept up. We got to a point where we had one card down to zero (we have 2 cards). Now it isn’t anymore. (through this time, I also went to grad school and now our oldest is in college–with an academic merit scholarship which cuts her tuition in half, thank god). We have another kid looking at college in 2 years and then a gap (mercifully) of 6 years for the last one. We are truly blessed in that the kids’ college is (for the most part) in a trust. Without that, we would be screwed royally.

Thank God we never flipped a house. Thank God we never moved “up”. Thank god we didn’t get an ARM. We’re still in our starter house (but we added 2 additions–before he went into business for himself-- and we redid the kitchen-with money I inherited from my sister). Truly, we weren’t irresponsible–we thought we were adding resale value and we needed more space. But we also thought we could just keep working; now that is not so certain.

My husband works in banking. His place of employment is a medium sized credit union–most of what they do these days is host examiners from the state and Fed and foreclose and repossess on people. His job is no longer secure. We are on tenterhooks every day here–will my husband have his job at the end of the day? Will the credit union fold? He has a tentative offer at another firm, so please send out good juju to us. Thanks.

I cannot use my graduate degree to change fields the way I wanted to because I make more money as an RN. I am looking at working now until I’m at least 65. Hopefully, not at the bedside, but I cannot see changing to a job that does not pay well–which is sad, because I love the library.

I confess that I have been too squeamish to even check my 401(k) amount just now. I suppose I should just get it over with. I am frantically going to all our doctors, trying to get whatever tests etc need to be done before we lose our Blue Cross. The kids have all had their checkups, so that’s a blessing.

I need a new car. Not necessarily a new car, but a different car. The 98 Volvo has become a money pit–so there is that to add to the mix.
Sorry this is long and boring. I have upped my hours at work, so there is that. I now work in outpt surgery, though, and our numbers are falling as well (outpt surgery is also out of pocket for some cases). My position in the hospital has no bennys except the 401(k)–I am not staff. I only get more hours right now because the staff are on vaca. So, I need to look for a new job as well.
I ride my bike around town. I try not to use the car for 2 of the days I’m at home during the week. It’s working. We have cut pop and other extraneous stuff out of the budget. I am patching the boy’s jeans. We eat meatless meals 3 days a week.
In many ways, I am happy with this state of things (I’m a child of the Energy Crisis–an empty room with a light on is anathema to me), but I struggle with the constant anxiety and barrage of unknowns.
And the wheel just keeps grinding us into finer and finer dust.

I put this in the pit for a reason. I did tone it down. You should’ve seen how I wanted to phrase it.

Whoosh! (he was kidding–it’s remarkably “clean” for the Pit). :slight_smile:

Hell, I’m in the age bracket that hasn’t had time to set up any investments or avoid being an idiot in a big way. Also I’m graduating in May, and regardless of what happens with the bailout, man, is finding a job and/or funding for grad school going to be fun! And if anyone can think of a compelling explanation as to how this is not the product of my generation yet again getting royally fucked by idiots who have no sense of personal responsibility, ethics, or common sense, I’d welcome it.

Me? Pissed off that my generation has no guarantee of Social Security being around, billions if not trillions of dollars burned up in a series of unfathomably idiotic wars, and now the biggest economic clusterfuck in nearly a century because our parents are a bunch of greedy, self-entitled assholes who apparently can’t do basic math? I can’t imagine why I’d be angry that my hope for my economic future has been lowered to the level of hoping that my bank doesn’t get seized by the government because our country is both run and populated by unspeakably stupid people with an insatiable appetite for things that they can’t afford, and that we’ve become so focused solely on consumerism that “You cannot afford that” has vanished from our national vocabulary.

Nah, I’m not angry at all about this unbelievable train wreck. Why would I be? :mad:

I looked at my IRA. It’s down by about $20 grand.
I really don’t know what to do. Cry? That solves nothing. Get mad? And do what with it? The only thing I can do is go to work tomorrow and try to find someone whose advice I trust re investments. Frankly, I believe it’s what I’ve said all along: it’s a crap shoot and nobody knows what the ruck they’re doing. Wanna gamble? Go to Vegas–the ROI seems to be about the same. (I don’t care if it isn’t. really, folks–it’s just a venting. I’ve never even been Vegas).

My house is down $75 grand. After crunching some numbers, we think we’ve reached a point at which walking away from it would be the smarter business decision even if we could afford to keep it*. Not that it would necessarily be the right thing to do, but the smarter thing to do. Foreclosure would be less costly and quicker than paying on a house that - by average appreciation rates - we won’t even break even on for ~12 years. We haven’t arrived at a final decision yet but there are A LOT of people out there who will reach this point and not think twice about walking away. Up until recently I’ve been staying positive and saying the worst is practically here, things’ll be better soon, etc., but I’m starting to think we’ve got a lot more room to fall.

(*actually long ago passed that point, but just realized it)

You lost in the the Great American Health Lottery. For those who lose big time, financial ruin can be the outcome.

People should keep in mind that it’s possible to get into dire financial straits without reckless, capricious. You don’t have to buy too much house, or be a shopping addict. Health issues can arise push everything else out the window; and for many people, they are not something you can “set aside” money for, or be prudent about. It’s just too expensive if you don’t have insurance, or if your insurer won’t cover treatment for your problem. You can’t save that kind of money.

And this isn’t just a few percent of defaults; it’s a major portion. Not all, or even most, but a very significant portion, about 43 percent according to Project Hope. The invisible hand of the market is indeed working, as money is taken from Paul to pay Peter’s health care expenses. It’s sort of like after-the-fact nationalized health care insurance.

@NinjaChick, yeah, that sucks big time. A different perspective, though: some years ago my bro lost his job and man, he scrambled to find something. Wife, two kids, mortgage, car payments…ugh. He has managed, but the lesser jobs have definitely crimped his style. If you have to move back home for a year or two while sending out applications, it wouldn’t be great, but it could be much worse.

That said, if I were you, I’d fight to stay in school and follow your original plan. I got my BA and thought I was tired of school, that I could always come back to it later, yadda. Once you start making financial obligations, it’s very tough to do that, however. Wish I’d stayed a couple years longer.

I know one guy who lived the Winnebago retirement dream. You know, buy an RV, drive all over after retiring. He got sick somewhere along the trip and went to see a doc. Doc was concerned, tests were run, dayum, they couldn’t figure it out but you better make funeral arrangements etc.

Turns out the symptoms went away. It cost him $50K to find out nothing was wrong with him. I wonder how long he and his wife dined on Ramen after that.

I have this growing feeling that I’ll never retire. How the hell can you even predict how much you’ll need?

Also I’ve posted this elsewhere but I knew this great guy—super friendly, everybody loved him. He’d gone through a bad divorce that really left him scraping, but he had a smile for everybody he met. And then one day, at the age of 40, he died.

We were all shocked…he seemed healthy enough. Turned out he had diabetes and couldn’t afford his health insurance. Stopped going to the doctor of course and managed it as best he could on his own. One day his condition got past him. They found him dead in his bed.