Thursday, October 30, 2008

Maybe We Ought to Have a National Credit Card Burning Fiesta

Three years ago, economist Christopher Thornberg was one of the first to suggest housing prices were likely to collapse, dragging the rest of the economy down with them. He even used the hated word, "recession."

...“Thornberg said there are no quick fixes because an entire country was living on people who were dreaming about wealth and trying to make it come true on credit. They looked at the paper profits from their homes or stock portfolios and felt like millionaires.

‘We’re at the back-end of a 15-year consumer party,’ Thornberg said. ‘This country is now carrying a massive debt load. Why did we do it? It’s because we wanted to feel rich.’”
--taken from this article.

Now folks who got used to sucking out their equity to live large are tapping out credit cards to keep the lifestyle as long as possible.

We got us a national disease of borrow-against-future-itis. We're materialistic slaves to debt. The saving rate got down to near zero. Can't live without that stainless steel kitchen appliance or granite countertop or iPod or boob job or European vacation or designer handbag or shiny, gas-hogging SUV or case of chi-chi vitamin water or (in my case) that x-thousandth box of shiny books and Levenger products.

Our thrifty forebears are howling in their crypts.

Time to rediscover frugality and simple living.

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