From last week's post on the man facing foreclosure, I got a couple of long responses which I've whittled down here.
From Laura B:
"I am writing to you today to voice my opposition to the irresponsible borrower, lender, and home builder bail out legislation currently before Congress. The media has been bombarding us for months with stories from irresponsible home buyers portraying themselves as victims because they are now facing foreclosure. Stories are prevalent about people who stupidly decided to pay twice as much to "buy" the house they are living in than it would have cost them to rent it who are now demanding that others pay for their poor decisions. No one, however, has told our story -- the story of the responsible Americans who will be paying for this mess. There are millions of us out here. Someone needs to tell our stories before it is too late. Please, be our voice! Tell our stories!
Those of us who rented sacrificed settling our families in our own homes because we knew that taking out one of these suicide loans would have been irresponsible. We were pressured to buy by those in the real estate industry who told us ridiculous things like: "Real estate always goes up!"; "Buy now or be priced out forever!"; and, "They aren't making any more land, you know." We were ridiculed by home-debtors who called us "bitter renters" and "chicken littles" because we had the audacity to question overly inflated home prices and the risky loans that were being made to finance them. Through all of this, we stuck to our principles and held our ground. We did what we knew to be best for our families."
From Heidi H.:
"I have lived in a community near Phoenix where neighbors have purchased homes that they can't afford, borrowed additional money on home equity loans that they should not have borrowed, and used their homes as ATMs for the past three years. During this time I have seen them put in new pools, purchase new Hummers, and enhance themselves with silicone. During this time I continue to drive my 10 year old car (with no car payment), live within a budget, and explain to our children that we sometimes can't afford to go out to dinner and a movie, but instead will make dinner at home and rent a movie at Blockbuster...I have seen the effect of parents bailing out their children from irresponsible decisions they make, by extending childhood well into their 30's, and this neither helps nor teaches the children from growing. However, that is their money and their children, so they have every right to be stupid if they choose to. The government, however, is not a parent, and has no right to take money from me or others like me, and give it to bail out irresponsible adults who have not grown up yet. Let them learn from the school of hard knocks...To do anything else will continue to encourage more narcissism while discouraging personal responsibility, both of which makes us a weaker people and nation."
George A. responds to the CEO of Florsheim Homes saying that, from a builder's perspective, land in Stockton has lost 99 percent of its value:
"I live in Stockton and have for some time...There is no way residential lots have gone down 99% and the Florsheim CEO is just full of POOP. This of course, would mean I could buy a lot formally sold for $100K at $1000.00...I am pretty liquid currently (financially not figuratively) SOooo, I could purchase several lots....IN fact...LOTS AND LOTS of lots at $1000.00 apiece...And with Prop 13 in California, my tax payments would be low...AND...It would be capital gains somewhere down the road....This was it !!! My ticket to financial security...Took a few days off...drove all over writing down phone numbers on listings...called all over...Well golly gee...I couldn't buy one lot for $1000.00...I couldn't buy one lot for $5000.00...I think Florsheim Homes is in fact the 'FUNNY BUSINESS'..."
DC writes about my comments that--as much as I love Dolly Parton--I wish there were younger stars mentoring contestants on "American Idol":
"Ok...you just don't get it. Yes, Dolly Parton is older, mature and seasoned. But isn't that what you want in a mentor? Someone with experience. And that, my friend, is a big part of all of our problems today. We no longer want to learn from history & experience, because we are too busy making our own YouTube videos so we can look at ourselves or other immature wannabe's. We don't want substance, we want glitter and we want it now. You know the old saying 'Quick to ripe, quick to rot,' unless you are handled properly!"
And one more note on the high price of an oil change at a Jaguar dealership, this from Irian P.:
"'UP YOUR's'…is what they are saying! VW charged me $50 for one headlight…need a special tool…up yours again."
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