I agree with much of Stan's post on the vanishing role of personal responsibility. But there are people out there, maybe you know some, who have been trying to behave responsibly with their finances. They didn't enter into a mortgage contract for a house they couldn't afford. They didn't speculate wildly to buy financial assets based on dubious promises. What has been their experience?
Victor commented on one of Andrew's posts that he still believes in the Starve the Beast theory of budgeting. That precipitated a good discussion that I wan't to join, albeit just briefly.
Starve the Beast supposedly was a major strategy of the Reagan administration. The theory was that if it cut taxes and increased the deficit, it would will also increase the pressure on Congress to reduce spending to get the deficit back down.
I strongly disagree with what seems to be the growing opinion that borrowers, specifically those who got mortgages the past few years, had little or no responsibility to read and understand the documents they were signing and the loan they were getting. Even when the terms were explained to them, when they were told about possible interest rate adjustments, and when they could have/should have/were in a position to know, borrowers increasingly (and to my mind inappropriately) are being considered unwitting victims.
Angry Bear had what Andrew, Pete, Troy and I agree is an important post several weeks ago about comments. We want to associate ourselves with the principles he repeated from Boing Boing and Barry Ritholtz.
All of us at Capital Gains and Games encourage your comments and enjoy reading them. We may not always respond but we appreciate the input.
But there are some limits. Angry Bear has done us all a wonderful service by listing them for all to see.
Here's another report from the CBS News with Katie Couric about government borrowing. Again, there's nothing here that wonks and policymakers will find new. But they're not the target audience: up-to-now-uninterested-viewers are the ones who mostly watch the evening news. This is also the group that has to become interested if the situation is going to change.
I'm going to check with CBS on Monday to find out how long this series is going to continue.