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Thread summary:

The great theft of America, wall street, real estate industry, big oil, CEO’s to blame for greed and collapse of country, country of consumers, non-savers

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Old 03-17-2008, 08:32 PM
 
Location: Sequim, WA
792 posts, read 1,941,480 times
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I think there is a lot of truth in what jimhcom has to say. I am a boomer. My parents, who are now in their mid 80s, still have vivid memories of their families losing their houses during the great depression. My father taught me at an early age that you don't borrow money unless you have to, and then, you must be certain you can pay it back. My wife and I paid our 30 year mortgage off in 18 years. We have two cars. One is 30 years old (we bought it new), and the other is 6 years old with about 100k miles on it. We haven't had a car payment in 25 years. Our son is a senior in college, and will finish school with no debt, as my wife and I saved for his education from the time he was born. I retired a year ago, and...of course, I'm seeing my interest income going down as the Fed continues to lower rates in "bale out mode." Yet, most of our neighbors are boomers, or younger. Many of them probably owe more on their houses than they are presently worth. Many of them have two $50k cars in their driveways, and I'm afraid they represent the "average" family in our neighborhood. What a mess this is.
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Old 03-17-2008, 09:16 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles, Ca
2,884 posts, read 5,257,218 times
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There is definitely something wrong with the system.

In one generation, we've gone from 1 person being able to support a family comfortably, little or no debt, they could buy a house with cash in hand (the old 20% down payment) and there was a support cushion under the typical family.

That model has been turned completely upside down. Now we live in an economy of funny money, funny loans, debt is the new cash, no one knows what real cash is anymore. It got blurred from credit cards, HELOC's....it's as if you were playing a game with real dollars before, and somewhere along the line "they" switched your cash, and now you're playing with monopoly money.

The scary thing is, what's going to happen in another 25 years if you extrapolate it out?

But some of it has been sheer stupidity. "They" didn't force anyone to sign for a mortgage that they couldn't afford. "They" don't force people to go to check cashing places and borrow money at 400%.

Still, I think they pull the strings in school, so you don't learn about things like that. They might be behind the celebrity culture and mass distraction going on in society, so people are robbed blind.

I'm not one for conspiracies theory generally, but too many things have added up in the last 30 years. It all adds up too neatly in their favor. Inflation/declining dollar, poor schools, mass distraction, media proliferation, celebrity culture, asset stripping, looting of companies.
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Old 03-18-2008, 10:14 AM
 
3,698 posts, read 10,343,020 times
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You can still raise a family on one income the way our grandparents did it.

Don't borrow money to buy consumer goods. Don't buy brand new cars. Cook your own meals instead of paying someone else to cook them for you. Don't pay for TV programming.
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Old 03-18-2008, 01:04 PM
 
Location: Twin Cities, MN
638 posts, read 2,882,633 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnthonyB View Post
That's a nicely refreshing perspective. Kudos.
I said we raised selfish children who didn't understand the power of debt because we have unwittingly done that. I'm 60, and I know that I gave my kids money whenever they needed it because *I* didn't get it when I was young. We, as Boomers, benefited from our parents frugality, but when it came to our kids, we didn't teach them the value of a dollar: we had the money and indulged our kids.

My husband and I have lived below our means through most of our lives, but due to illnesses right now we are looking at $8,000 in debt. I know that we will get out of that soon, but this is amazing to me that when our 20-something kids call and ask for gas money or a little help with rent or whatever, I still find myself reaching into my pocket to "help" them! I find I haven't helped them, I haven't taught them to live within their means!

Last edited by JenLee; 03-18-2008 at 01:06 PM.. Reason: grammar
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Old 03-18-2008, 01:27 PM
 
Location: Windsor, Vero Beach, FL
897 posts, read 2,599,438 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JenLee View Post
I (as a Boomer) don't feel that our parents' generation should be blamed. They tried to teach us frugality; most Boomers weren't interested in listening to that old tune; most Boomers took the philosophy of the '60's to heart and did their own thing. We also raised some pretty selfish children too who didn't understand the power of debt.
My parents are Boomers - they were / still are frugal. They are happily retired and living quite well. I am not expecting them to leave me any significant amout of money. In fact, I hope they use it all or atleast the majority of it. They did the right things and they deserve to spend it any way they wish. I have a sibling that is banking on them not spending it all.

I watched my parents and learned from them. My family lives quite frugally - even though we are above average income earners. We live well below our means. I really don't like to spend money.

I think it's unfair to "blame" a entire generation for their lifestyles. As you can see by my examples, there are always exceptions to the rule.
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Old 03-19-2008, 02:02 AM
 
Location: Twin Cities, MN
638 posts, read 2,882,633 times
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Originally Posted by GeminiGal View Post
I think it's unfair to "blame" a entire generation for their lifestyles. As you can see by my examples, there are always exceptions to the rule.
I don't think I'm blaming an entire generation; I do believe that many of us Boomers were indulgent to both our children and our own whims when we shouldn't have been.

As far as the title of this thread and the OPs' concept of blaming it all on the Boomers for starting this financial disaster; I don't believe that *just* the Boomers are to blame.

We lived through the recession of the late 1970's; most of us bought our first houses and paid double digit interest mortgage payments back then. We went through some hard times too; maybe that is why we indulged the way we did.

The truth is that some people got greedy, some people played shell games and got way with it; and many people just went along for the ride. Too many people were more interested in what was on TV than what was happening to the economy or in politics. We've been "dumbed down" as a society and let others do what they wished to make a fortune here; the average person just rode along, thinking how rich they were because the paper said they were.

When a house can rise in value >150% in less than 12 years (like ours supposedly has), is it a wonder that the bubble has burst?
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Old 03-19-2008, 08:01 AM
 
Location: Sitting on a bar stool. Guinness in hand.
4,429 posts, read 5,761,919 times
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Default alot

Quote:
Originally Posted by JenLee View Post
I don't think I'm blaming an entire generation; I do believe that many of us Boomers were indulgent to both our children and our own whims when we shouldn't have been.

As far as the title of this thread and the OPs' concept of blaming it all on the Boomers for starting this financial disaster; I don't believe that *just* the Boomers are to blame.

We lived through the recession of the late 1970's; most of us bought our first houses and paid double digit interest mortgage payments back then. We went through some hard times too; maybe that is why we indulged the way we did.

The truth is that some people got greedy, some people played shell games and got way with it; and many people just went along for the ride. Too many people were more interested in what was on TV than what was happening to the economy or in politics. We've been "dumbed down" as a society and let others do what they wished to make a fortune here; the average person just rode along, thinking how rich they were because the paper said they were.

When a house can rise in value >150% in less than 12 years (like ours supposedly has), is it a wonder that the bubble has burst?
I pretty much agree with what your have said. Though I will differ with one of part of your post.


Quote:
The truth is that some people got greedy, some people played shell games and got way with it; and many people just went along for the ride.
I think the truth is alot of people got greedy. And now pretty much all of us that live in the US are going to pay the price for that greed.
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Old 03-19-2008, 11:09 AM
 
Location: Twin Cities, MN
638 posts, read 2,882,633 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baystater View Post
I think the truth is alot of people got greedy. And now pretty much all of us that live in the US are going to pay the price for that greed.

LOL! I put that some in italics because I didn't want to incriminate more than the guilty there!

Yes, a lot of us are going to have to pay the price for that greed, but I wonder how many who didn't get greedy will have to pay? The whole economy will suffer, I know that; but how will it impact those of us who have lived within our means and work in occupations that aren't based on that false economy? Will health care workers, educators, etc. be hit by this? I am sure that all of us will be hit when it comes to pensions and savings; but how many will lose their livelihoods?

I look at so many of the occupations out there and wonder if they will survive?
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Old 03-19-2008, 11:22 AM
 
Location: Oz
2,238 posts, read 8,997,713 times
Reputation: 1373
Who stole from whom? People are stupid, they overspent without the means or the motivation to repay and now they're just up and walking away. It's stupidity, not theft that is bankrupting the nation.
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Old 03-19-2008, 11:27 AM
 
955 posts, read 1,975,627 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TuborgP View Post
EconStats : Unemployment level ( unemployed persons ) nsa Unemployment rate nsa (http://www.econstats.com/BLS/blsnaa4.htm - broken link)

Unemployment since 1948. The sky has not yet fallen.
TuborgP - You're my kind of poster. A fact filled, understandable chart is worth thousands of written words.

"A fact to a conspiracy theory believer is like kryptonite to superman."
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