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TwixVoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 03:34 PM
Original message
Why don't some people get it?
So today at work a couple comes in. They want to buy a $600 TV. They look like typical every day middle class people.

They try to run their AMEX card. DECLINED.

Then they decide they want to apply for one of our credit cards. DECLINED. "What??? I have never been declined for a credit card before this is rediculous I am calling them about this right now" I over hear him on the phone with our credit services. Seems he has a mortgage with a 60 day late payment recently and they won't approve him.

So then he gets his spouse to try to apply for one of our credit cards. DECLINED.

For fu**s sake how many signs do some people need that perhaps buying a $600 TV on credit is NOT a good idea for them? And these two acted completely horrified and depressed over not being able to get the TV.

I have a feeling a LOT of middle class people are going to be in for a major shock when they can no longer finance every aspect of their life.
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leftstreet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 03:37 PM
Response to Original message
1. Well it they had a tv, they'd know how bad things are
nyuk, nyuk
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 07:52 PM
Response to Reply #1
89. LOL
Nice.

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icnorth Donating Member (954 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 03:38 PM
Response to Original message
2. I don't know about you folks
but up here north of the 45th. there is one course that should be mandatory in high school and that is basic household economics and budgeting and it isn't.
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liberal N proud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 03:45 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. That and history
People don't know how to budget their money and they don't know much about history as we are in the middle of repeating it.
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Dollface Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 03:56 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. ..and government. Try explaining that the "Majority" vote for Prop A didn't make it constitutional
Sorry, off topic but it is really bugging me.
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madokie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 07:24 AM
Response to Reply #2
52. I've been saying that for years
When I graduated back in '66 I had no idea on most of what is required to be a fiscally responsible citizen. Learned through trial and error. It shouldn't be that way. I knew my history, was pretty good in math, my english and writing was a mess and I knew nothing of the dollar. Beings as how I was raised in a poor enviroment I doubt I had seen a 100 dollar bill by then.
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GentryDixon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 07:31 PM
Response to Reply #2
87. My soon to be 40 year old son learned economics
in grade school. Sadly, the curriculum has changed over the years.
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ananda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 03:40 PM
Response to Original message
3. Perhaps it's time to think outside the credit box.
Maybe in terms of buying less expensive brands
and paying cash.
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. $600 would get them a piece of Vizio **** that would break after ~18 months
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:14 PM
Response to Reply #3
23. For people who have always bought everything on credit cards
even if they've been able to pay it off at the end of every month, that is going to require a huge adjustment.

I've paid by check or cash for 18 years now, having gotten rid of the only card I ever had 3 years after I got it when junk fees appeared and I smelled the beginning of a scam.

I keep an ATM card on a junk account for all online purchases.

It's possible and even preferable to live within your means, even if your means were like mine and required trips to the thrift shops instead of electronics showrooms.

It's just going to require one hell of a learning curve for folks like the people in the OP, people who probably fell behind on their mortgage during a temporary period of unemployment and can't understand why everybody else now thinks they're a poor risk.
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TBF Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 06:45 PM
Response to Reply #23
78. I feel for them, but in the end they are going to be ok. We
went way overboard putting stuff on credit cards in grad school rather than cutting back. You forget your undergrad years after you've been working awhile. So we graduated with a bunch of debt and decided we'd cut up the cards and pay it all off. Now we have a Am Ex (you pay those monthly but it's handy for rental cars & stuff), and a couple of gas cards. You have to pay those monthly too or they have outrageous terms.

People are going to be better off getting off the debt merry-go-round. Better to just pay as you go and not have all that hanging over your head.
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MadMaddie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 07:49 PM
Response to Reply #3
88. That is the key.
This is Reagonimics in it's dying last gasp for breath.

Americans are going to learn the hard way to live within their means.
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ProfessorGAC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-09-09 08:06 AM
Response to Reply #3
93. Been Doing That For Years
Except for some cars and our house, we pay cash. End of discussion, for us. If we don't have the cash, we don't buy it. We've been lucky in terms of our financial position for a long time, but it might work both ways. One reason why we've had a good cash position for a long time might be because we don't buy on credit.
GAC
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dkf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 03:45 PM
Response to Original message
5. Wow that is a depressing story. :(
I'm sad for the couple, yet it is frustrating too.
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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 03:53 PM
Response to Original message
7. $600 is pretty little to pay for a TV
Before we start crucifying this family, lets just say their TV went out.

I understand a TV is not a "need" but a "want" but come on! It's not like they were buying a Liquid Plasma TV that communicates to your Computer via Bluetooth...
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:03 PM
Response to Reply #7
14. I bought a 52" big screen on sale for $700
last year, cash. If my TV went out and I was as broke as the couple in the OP, I'd be at Salvy hoping to find a $20 used tv to get me through for a month or two. Not that I believe there are really too many people doing what they're doing right now.
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WillowTree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 05:38 PM
Response to Reply #7
41. I got a 26" Sony Bravia flat panel LCD last week for $450.
Not huge, but it's for a small room and that's anything bigger would be overkill.

Oh.......and I paid cash. (OK, debit card, but that's the same thing.)
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Ms. Toad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 12:20 AM
Response to Reply #7
48. I have never paid more than $150 for a TV.
By now, the TV I bought would probably cost $200 (the last one I bought was about 4 years ago)
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TBF Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 06:41 PM
Response to Reply #7
77. At the Circuit City sale I got my husband a 32" Sharp flat screen for his den $425. I paid
cash because we don't use credit cards anymore (learned out lesson on that years ago). Compared to the big hulk of a JVC we bought in 2000 (also a 32" and going strong), we are most impressed with the flat-screen. We also have one old tv - it's about 20" I think - a very old JVC open box that was purchased in the mid-90's. The kids watch their cartoons & movies on it.

$600 seems like a lot for a tv.

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hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-09-09 10:29 AM
Response to Reply #7
101. There are literally tons of old televisions floating around.
Our Salvation Army has some very nice televisions, but I think you don't even have to buy one at a thrift store -- just ask your friends or neighbors and someone will give an old television.

My guess is that this couple's credit cards worked for years and years, whether they were sixty days late on their mortgage or not. Now they don't.

They probably didn't send away for their digital converter box rebate in a timely fashion either.

Surprise!
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taught_me_patience Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-09-09 11:56 AM
Response to Reply #7
104. You can get an old cathode ray tube TV for free
on craigslist. If your credit is so bad that you can't qualify for a store credit card, then they shouldn't be buying a $600 TV.
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butterfly77 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 03:57 PM
Response to Original message
9. There are many out there like these two..
who still don't get it they seem to think that it is those people..I think we will begin to hear from many of them by this summer. A lot of them are in the job fair lines right now and they still believe that the Republicons are so wonderful..
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Donnachaidh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 03:58 PM
Response to Original message
10. If these people want a TV let them buy one with cash.
Jesus H. Kee-rist on a cracker -- late on a house payment and you want MORE credit? Thick as a brick. But of course, all the TV ads running about free credit reports and using your plastic to make purchases faster have NOTHING to do with the mindset of those two, does it? :sarcasm:
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Rosa Luxemburg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 10:13 PM
Response to Reply #10
45. pay the mortgage first and then save up for the TV in cash
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Donnachaidh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 10:31 AM
Response to Reply #45
59. Yup.
These folks are nuts.
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alsame Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 03:58 PM
Response to Original message
11. Most people I know learned how to budget (or not) from their
parents. And that's a crap shoot, it depends on how financially responsible their family was.

My father was an accountant, so I had the basics drilled into my head from an early age, LOL.

I agree that there should be a required high school course in basic personal economics and budgeting.
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pipi_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 06:30 PM
Response to Reply #11
70. You're so right...
My financial education was like the blind leading the blind.

It took me literally YEARS before I was able to understand how and why to save/budget money.

There were also so many other things I never learned from my parents. I do wish that these things had been taught in school. I know it's not the schools' job to teach kids stuff their parents should have taught them, but the alternative is just too painful for the kids who don't know basic Life Skills.

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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 03:58 PM
Response to Original message
12. delete
Edited on Sat Mar-07-09 03:59 PM by kentuck
wrong post
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AlCzervik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:00 PM
Response to Original message
13. i doubt this actually happened and if it did your lack of empathy for people is amazing
it's hard to believe you work with the public and you better hope credit doesn't dry up because you too will be out of a job.

all of yyour threads have a common theme-people are stupid.
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TwixVoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:07 PM
Response to Reply #13
17. They sure are stupid
work retail some time buddy. You see people pull crap like this all the time.

And oh no I will be out of my job that pays me slightly more than minimum wage once these fools who make a a far better wage destroy themselves because of their own stupidity? Please say it aint so.
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AlCzervik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:07 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. yeah buddy i worked in retail for a long time.
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TwixVoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:12 PM
Response to Reply #18
21. Yea sure you have
I believed that the moment you threatened the loss of my retail job like it would be a bad thing.
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AlCzervik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:13 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. i worked at home depot for 7 years, and all through high school and college
i worked in retail so yes i know what it's like to work with the public.
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Missy Vixen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 12:16 AM
Response to Reply #22
47. I owned a retail business
and yeah, I agree with both the OP and LostinVA.

I'd love to say that customers are brilliant at all times and wonderfully cooperative, but I don't think there's enough tequila in the world to make that happen.
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HarukaTheTrophyWife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 06:07 PM
Response to Reply #47
67. Uh...LostinVA was disagreeing with the OP
:crazy:
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Missy Vixen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 11:19 PM
Response to Reply #67
90. I apologize for the error
In the meantime, thanks for the rolling eyes.

-MV
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tangent90 Donating Member (787 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 06:47 PM
Response to Reply #22
80. The public takes note of who they deal with in 'retail' as well
just sayin'
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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:53 PM
Response to Reply #21
32. Yes, the poster did, as did I -- I managed a big box store
And, I agree with her 100%.
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Nay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:08 PM
Response to Reply #13
19. Well, few of us have, or should have, empathy for a couple who are
behind in their house payment and now are trying to buy a $600 TV. First, a TV is about the most unnecessary thing on the planet, and second, there are MILLIONS of used TVs on Craigslist for free on up to $100, if you for some reason feel like you can't get along without one. This couple is living in what can only be described as a fantasy world, where they truly have no idea what it means to not be able to afford something. They are the same people who think they must still have money because they still have checks in their checkbook. They are delusional.
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AlCzervik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:11 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. again i don't believe this story is true.
i worked in retail for a long time and have pretty much seen it all but i have never had the kind of contempt for customers as the op so often does.
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TwixVoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:15 PM
Response to Reply #20
24. Bahahaha
you mean the customer that treats us like shit? Like we are sub-human because we don't make as much money as they do? And gosh how could I ever find it ironic to see these same people worse off than the average retail worker.

Gee how could you ever figure I might dislike some customers just a tiny little bit? When you worked retail it must have been in a fantasy land in which everyone respects you, your company actually gave a damn about you, and every customer was a joy to work with.
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AlCzervik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #24
26. my goodness you're so put upon, if you can't handle working with the public than don't
find another line of work.
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TwixVoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:17 PM
Response to Reply #26
29. I handle it just fine
and I do enjoy the occasional decent customer. Sadly they are few and far between these days.
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pipi_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 06:36 PM
Response to Reply #20
74. I can't address any contempt, real or perceived, but I can
vouch for the fact that this sort of thing happens.

I have a relative who has done basically the same thing, although this person is slowly learning the rules of money management.

Also, I was married to someone long ago who did much the same thing.

Believe it or not, there are people out there who don't pay their bills but run around trying to get credit cards and buying things they don't really need and stiffing others. They just do NOT get it....

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tangent90 Donating Member (787 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 06:51 PM
Response to Reply #20
81. So now that you're free from the drudgery of retail, you're now in wholesale denial sales?
Does it pay well?
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JerseygirlCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 07:17 PM
Response to Reply #19
85. I do feel some empathy for their delusion
But I really can't find much for their dire "need" for a $600 TV, and their willingness to put themselves even farther into debt to do it. They owe someone (their bank) money. It's really not theirs to spend on a fancy television.
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Pithlet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-09-09 08:28 AM
Response to Reply #19
94. I don't know. If you want "us" to mean DUers for instance?
Edited on Mon Mar-09-09 08:32 AM by Pithlet
I'd say a good chunk of "us" probably bought our computers on credit. How many of "us" have jobs that are solid? How many of us have already lost our jobs? How many of us should have seen it coming? When it comes down to it, how necessary is having a computer? Not much more than a TV if you want to come down to it. Sadly, I've seen more than one thread about DUers who have lost their homes.

This is why I think the OP and those agreeing with it are wrong. Because you can take any one or two bits of information out of a person's circumstance out of context, and hold it up to the light, and then the peanut gallery can ridicule it and call the target "Irresponsible!" "Stupid!" "What were they thinking!"

I'm not saying there aren't people who are bad at finances, and that there aren't people who make foolish choices. Of course there are. There always have been and always will be. But the people who think there has just been this sudden boom in the number of people like that, and that's the problem? I think they're the fools. These people who love to hold up victims who may or may not be responsible for their downfall, and ridicule them so they can pat their own perfect selves on the back, and pretend they won't go down with the ship. No thanks. These bizarre security blanket rituals do nothing for me.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #13
25. I doubt it happened too n/t
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AlCzervik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. that's all.
:thumbsup:
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Pithlet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-09-09 08:42 AM
Response to Reply #25
95. I do, too.
In store credit getting into that much detail over the reason for a decline? And the OP overhearing all of it? Sure.
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Zuiderelle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:42 PM
Response to Reply #13
30. I don't believe it either. How the hell would this person know that they were behind on mortgage
payments? The finance department of his store certainly wouldn't divulge that sort of info to a clerk. That's pretty damn far-fetched. Sounds like a RW type of a mythical "welfare queen" story, if you ask me.

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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:55 PM
Response to Reply #30
33. That stuck out at me, too
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Ikonoklast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:58 PM
Response to Reply #30
35. Re-read the OP. The conversation was between the purchaser
and the credit dept. and was loud enough to be overheard.

And after working twenty-four years in retail myself, this is a MILD story.
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TBF Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 06:54 PM
Response to Reply #35
82. Yeah, it's probably true. So many people use credit and it was
really free flowing in the 90's. My husband were working in those years between college & grad school, had a six-figure income, and well over 100K in available credit. It was nuts.

And I don't hate those people - just feel bad for them. They've got a lot to learn & it's going to be an adjustment for them.
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 05:21 PM
Response to Reply #30
40. I can believe it happened.
I worked with a woman who was busy trying to refinance their home and consolidate huge credit card debt, and continued to spend an unreal amount of money on clothes and cars that were way beyond what I'd ever consider. I tiptoed around the subject once. Her feeling was that she "deserved" good things, and there wasn't much point in depriving herself now so she could live in luxury after she retired. She grew up poor, and didn't want to spend her whole life depriving her self and her kids of "the good things.

It's not really all that surprising. The you-deserve-it concept is used in marketing all the time, shouldn't be such a surprise that some people buy into it.

In the same office, another guy had a wife who did the same sort of thing. He didn't know until he went to buy a moderately expensive toy, one he should have been able to afford, and was declined. He went home and made the wife, who did all the budgeting, show all the statements to him. They ended up divorced and he had to pull money from his 401k to cover bills.

When I hear someone has gone bankrupt or been foreclosed on, my first assumption is they were laid off or had medical issues or just couldn't keep up because of less than living wages, which is most often the case. But that doesn't negate that there are also other people who have bought into the culture - that because we are Americans, we deserve certain things in life.
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pipi_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 06:39 PM
Response to Reply #40
76. yep, I just posted above that I've known people who have done the same thing
I don't know why people are so quick to disbelieve that stuff like this happens.

:shrug:
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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:52 PM
Response to Reply #13
31. Bouncy like a Superball
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Vanje Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 12:40 PM
Response to Reply #31
61. Do Not Taunt!
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tangent90 Donating Member (787 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 06:34 PM
Response to Reply #13
73. People aren't just stupid, they're batshit fucking DUMB.
jeezus...
:eyes:
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SammyWinstonJack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-09-09 08:43 AM
Response to Reply #13
96. This seems to 'happen' a lot where this OP works.
:eyes: :applause:
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louis-t Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:04 PM
Response to Original message
15. Get this: I have a client who's trying to expand his
business. He cleans out foreclosed homes after the bank takes them back, and then maintains them. Cuts the lawn, shovels the snow. He has GOVERNMENT contracts with Fannie Mae, and contracts with lenders. He has been offered a chance to maintain hundreds more, but needs a loan to buy more equipment. The banks turned him down for a loan because he is owed (by the banks) too much money. AAAARRRGGGGHHH!!! ?We won't loan you money because we owe you too much money."
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Fleshdancer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 05:00 PM
Response to Reply #15
36. That's a new one
He has a great concept for a business right now though. I wish him the best of luck and I hope he finds a way to get the equipment he needs soon.
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anigbrowl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 04:43 PM
Response to Reply #15
66. Interesting. sounds like they anticipate a need to default.
The banks, that is.
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liberalmuse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:04 PM
Response to Original message
16. They could get one for free on Craigs List...
Edited on Sat Mar-07-09 04:06 PM by liberalmuse
or they could just buy a hooker. MUCH cheaper. Or they could wait outside my place for the day I finally throw my tv out the window.
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ddeclue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:17 PM
Response to Original message
28. You better hope SOMEBODY who comes in your store can get credit
to buy that 600 dollar TV or you'll be unemployed too..

:P
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Pithlet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 06:18 PM
Response to Reply #28
69. Win
:thumbsup:
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SammyWinstonJack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-09-09 08:47 AM
Response to Reply #28
97. !
:applause:
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:56 PM
Response to Original message
34. It is this sort of mindset that contributed a great deal to the spot we're in now
Trying to have it all, keep up with the Jones, all through the use of credit. When you have enough people building their lives upon quicksand, pretty soon we're all destined to go under.
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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 05:11 PM
Response to Original message
37. You are ranting at the wrong people. Instead you should be pissed at a system
that keeps the middle class, working class & poor OPPRESSED and living paycheck to god damn paycheck!

You may not be old enough to remember, but I remember a time when there was such a thing as disposable income and people had enough CASH to buy the things they needed after they paid for necessities like rent, food & utilities. It wasn't all that difficult 30 years ago-BEFORE REAGAN-to buy the things you needed (within reason)-WITH CASH.

Disposable income is almost non existent anymore. And not only that, but a $600 t.v. is not that far out of line-especially since it's really $300 in todays money.

Which is why I don't see what happened as stupidity, but rather frustration & desperation at a system that has screwed those people and all the rest of us over!

That could be any of us-so have a little empathy why don't you?



And if you want to bash someone-bash the bastards AKA-powers that be-who have screwed ALL of us over ever since Reagan!!! :grr:

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marions ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 07:04 PM
Response to Reply #37
83. yep
:applause:
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Pithlet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 07:19 PM
Response to Reply #37
86. What gets me about the OP
is the lack of empathy. This trend of holding people up for ridicule is disturbing to me. I guess it's easy to think one is special and perfect and good, and it's everyone else who's the problem and dragging everyone else down. But it isn't reality. And overhearing a conversation one had no business hearing in the first place isn't exactly evidence to begin with.
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TroglodyteScholar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 11:49 PM
Response to Reply #86
91. Why should anyone have empathy for people whose priorities are so effed up? n/t
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Pithlet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-09-09 07:56 AM
Response to Reply #91
92. People can choose to have empathy about whomever and whatever they wish.
It's entirely another matter to eavesdrop on a personal conversation one really had no business listening in on and then hold up the results one had interpreted for themselves for ridicule on a progressive board. Particularly during a recession when more and more people are losing jobs and falling behind. Some of those people post here.
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Joe Fields Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-09-09 02:40 PM
Response to Reply #37
109. Um, how about a little personal responsibility?

I agree that the powers that be have a lot to answer for, but you cannot so easily dismiss irresponsibility on the part of consumers who want what they want when they want it, whether they are able to afford it or not.
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Bluebear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 05:14 PM
Response to Original message
38. How did you overhear your credit service telling them they were behind on their mortgage?
Were they all on speaker phone?
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TwixVoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 05:20 PM
Response to Reply #38
39. Because he was on the phone right there at the counter
and it's pretty easy to overhear someone who is 4 feet away from you who wants to get in to a big argument over why he can't be approved on the phone.
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HarukaTheTrophyWife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 09:33 PM
Response to Original message
42. Bounce
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sarcasmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 10:08 PM
Response to Original message
43. Old habits are hard to break. They were used to keeping up with the Joneses.
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steelmania75 Donating Member (836 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 10:09 PM
Response to Original message
44. The American consumer is also somewhat responsible for this crisis
because they buy things they can't afford...
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marions ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 10:50 PM
Response to Reply #44
46. this crisis
was not created by people trying to buy a $600 TV on credit. Think it through.

Yes, people need to understand that the good times of easy credit are gone, but the average consumer is not "responsible" for this downturn. :thumbsdown:

What's more, TV's are not a luxury item for many Americans who have little other entertainment or means of social and cultural bonding. You and I might not need one, but many people would feel isolated and miserable without a TV. You underestimate the psychological dependency in this. It also is a form of meditation and stress relief.
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 12:31 AM
Response to Reply #46
50. Gotta strongly disagree with you there
television is the main REASON people are isolated; it's not an adequate replacement for real human contact. I grew up without a TV so I've never felt any dependency on them, but the people I do know who seem "hooked' are miserable, boring and utterly brainwashed. Nothing could be better for America than to take a break from the glass teat. The Mainstream media and the vapid swill that passes for "entertainment" these days isn't worth a nanosecond of my time here on earth. I use my TV to watch an occasional DVD with a friend and that's it. It doesn't even get reception of local channels.

And yes, many people DID spend like drunken sailors when given excessive and easy credit. We can't follow the GOP and ignore the facts just because we don't like some of them. The banks should not have handed out credit as they did, and credit card interest rates should be capped at a much lower percentage...but the consumer buying frenzy HAD reached a fever pitch in recent years. There's no denying that.
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marions ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 07:09 AM
Response to Reply #50
51. OK, yours is a typical attitude
among the minority in America who don't have a TV habit (whether it be for sports viewing or reality shows or politics or movies or cooking tips). But let's look at what you've said.

"I grew up without a TV." This gives you a big advantage over the majority of people who grew up with them, as far as having developed more creative outlets for your time (eg. outlets like DU which is at least a bit more interactive and a community of sorts). Probably your parents provided you with alternatives. And how did they do that? Did they have flexible jobs? Did you have access to recreational facilities? Were you a smart bookworm who naturally found dumbed-down TV boring? My point is--there were likely several key factors bringing you to where you are with it today. It wasn't simply a matter of having great self-discipline.

Of course TV is one reason why people are isolated, but then they often turn to it to try to overcome those feelings of isolation. Does this make them wrong? We are talking about a lot of people who may be working hard at a job (or two) that doesn't pay enough or allow the time to explore other forms of entertainment. We are talking about people who can't think of more creative forms of entertainment or healthier forms of meditation/relaxation. We are talking about an elderly widow living alone. We are talking about relatively transient people who don't have lasting bonds with neighbors and co-workers they are thrown together with. We are talking about people who use TV as a way to bond with others socially. Even us--during the latest Neo-con hijacking of the country, how many of us watched C-Span or MSNBC hoping for a shred of 'reality" about what we knew was going on? That was a reasonable effort to overcome profound feelings of isolation.

I'm not defending TV. We all know there's a lot wrong with it. For one thing I believe the hyped up pace of it is training us all to short-circuit and make fast and often erroneous assumptions. Garbage in, garbage out. Yes, it's bad, but the stern complaining parental tone you adopt is not the way out of our national abyss.

How about stowing that superior attitude for a nanosecond and seeing how the other half lives. Pretending not to understand the seduction and fleeting psychological benefits of TV doesn't help anybody one bit. What's the solution? America isn't going to substitute quilting bees anytime soon. How could we use some community activism to provide alternatives and also get better TV?

As for consumers buying on credit, sorry but in an era of declining wages, soaring prices, and a culture that teaches nothing but "you need this, you need that" I'm not going with you that the consumer is to blame. People will do what they can to get what they think they need. It's very basic. Since you've found other ways to do that, how can you help? Are there more persuasive ways to win people over other than "Be high and holy and TV-less, like me?"
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 08:02 AM
Response to Reply #51
53. I didn't grow up without a TV, but I have learned to despise TV
In fact the poster you are replying to does indeed have a TV, they mentioned watching DVDs on it.

It's not the TV per se that is at fault, it is the vapid, mindless swill which makes up the great majority of the programming and the insidious psychological manipulation that makes up virtually all of the advertising.

You really think those of us who dislike TV don't know "how the other half lives"? It's impossible to live in America these days and *not* know, if you don't watch TV you are excluded from a great many conversations, people often talk about what they saw on Seinfeld or American Idol or whatever the latest idiocy might be, if you haven't seen the episode they might as well be talking in ancient Etruscan. Try mentioning some of the more disturbing stuff you learn on DU to your TV hypnotized fellow citizens and watch their eyes glaze over faster than the skim forms on a cooling pool of rancid bacon grease.

Of course we see the seduction, Frank Zappa did something like forty years ago, TV most certainly hasn't improved in the meantime.


I'm The Slime

Frank zappa (guitar, vocals)
Ralph humphrey (drums)
Sal marquez (trumpet, vocals)
Tom fowler (bass)
Bruce fowler (trombone)
George duke (keyboards, synthesizer)
Ruth underwood (marimba, vibes, percussion)
Ian underwood (flute, clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone)
Jean-luc ponty (violin, baritone violin)
Kin vassy (vocals)

I am gross and perverted
Im obsessed n deranged
I have existed for years
But very little had changed
I am the tool of the government
And industry too
For I am destined to rule
And regulate you

I may be vile and pernicious
But you cant look away
I make you think Im delicious
With the stuff that I say
I am the best you can get
Have you guessed me yet?
I am the slime oozin out
From your tv set

You will obey me while I lead you
And eat the garbage that I feed you
Until the day that we dont need you
Dont go for help...no one will heed you
Your mind is totally controlled
It has been stuffed into my mold
And you will do as you are told
Until the rights to you are sold

Thats right, folks..
Dont touch that dial

Well, I am the slime from your video
Oozin along on your livinroom floor

I am the slime from your video
Cant stop the slime, people, lookit me go
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marions ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 01:47 PM
Response to Reply #53
63. I agree with everything you said but
I think we should blame the sellers of swill, not the pigs at the end of the trough.

Frank Zappa who I think was a genius, still was not mainstream.

About the only thing I've seen that can compete with TV's ability to mesmerize the mainstream is an evangelical Christian pep rally. (And those can certainly backfire).

People need something to connect them, to reassure them, to distract them. These are deep psychological needs exploited by TV. Until we can provide an alternative, don't expect large numbers of people to kill their TVs and go sit on a rock watching the sunset instead.
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 10:08 AM
Response to Reply #51
57. You're the one with superior attitude here. Your acting as if
television is some sort of holy right for the downtrodden of society; a Great Cause that you are selflessly a champion of, instead of what it is; a contributor to their suffering. The answer is simple; reinstate the Fairness doctrine. I've already stated my case for that here time and time again, but those that were born post Reagan and raised on the glass teat are more often than not vehemently opposed to it. They have no concept of what it provided, or how different this country was when it was enforced.

And you have absolutely NO CLUE as to who I am or what my situation is. I've been unemployed for months. No job, no significant other, no kids to love, no health care, and I'm battling long term depression and fibromyalgia. Yeah, sure, escapism is a distraction, but it doesn't give me "hope".

Many years ago, during the Reagan era, I was desperately poor and living in the basement of a tiny post war home in the ghettos with my abusive former fiance. The African American family that owned the home scraped by on three part time incomes that had to provide for five people. The wife sold Avon on the side to help make ends meet. She sat outside on her porch with her products and engaged passers by to sell her wares. The rest of her family was usually on the porch with her. They had a TV, but real life in their neighborhood was always more interesting. Being poor and struggling doesn't force anyone into a TV habit. Watching TV is a choice for everyone; calling it a "necessity" these days is downright laughable.

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marions ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #57
62. I didn't mean to imply
that only the downtrodden watch TV--the fact is that the vast majority Of Americans watch TV --as opposed to those who stay away from it like you. I don't DIS-agree that TV is problematic and I don't believe I said --or implied--that it is a necessity. However I do think that most Americans see one TV as a necessity and not a luxury.

I said that until you understand the role that TV plays in our society you can't just expect people to walk away from it. More and more this is a world lived through a screen and people seem to be comfortable with that. It makes us feel connected, more secure. In this crazy world there seems to be familiarity, order and safety there. (I once knew an adult woman who had to have a regular dose of "Mr Rogers" to feel that "everything's gonna be OK..." I don't see support groups for anyone trying to kick TV.

OK the internet is somewhat less passive and you can pick and choose input, so that makes it a better alternative for 50% of the country anyway. Perhaps. But people get addicted to that too. As somebody else pointed out here, you can get addicted to anything, but I would add that TV has a particular presence in our lives that makes it very hard for many people to live without it. People don't really get the point, why should they even think about not having a TV? Yes it's the national pacifier. In your situation what have you replaced TV with? Sitting on the front porch with neighbors? How's that going?

You may be sure that I am a champion of the poor --and that ALSO includes people who are cash poor and strung out on credit for any reason. (I grew up in what people would call a notch above poverty). Yes, I am extremely sensitive to what has been done to the American lower & middle class consumer. No, I do NOT think the AVERAGE consumer should bear much responsibility for this crisis. For what, for being human and over-spending? We all have temptations and vices. I'm sure you have some. Nobody is that pure. A state of non-attachment--when it is a choice and not necessity--is very difficult in any society much less this one.

We are all a part of this culture and its failings. This whole "TV" Guilt thing doesn't make much sense to me. TVs--big screen or otherwise--are NOT the perfect symbol of excess in these suddenly difficult times. There's a lot more that represents extreme excess to me--like the numbers of gigantic yachts now sinking at the piers. But I appreciate your comments because I know that it's an opinion shared by many--I have heard it everywhere. It strikes me as an attempt to separate from the masses, an attempt to blame and point fingers--but in the WRONG direction. I don't really understand what you hope to accomplish by that. It's divisive guilt tripping, as I see it. :shrug:
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-09-09 08:48 AM
Response to Reply #62
98. I believe that is the exact opposite of reality..
More and more this is a world lived through a screen and people seem to be comfortable with that. It makes us feel connected, more secure. In this crazy world there seems to be familiarity, order and safety there.

I'm fairly sure that research shows the heaviest TV watchers to be the most fearful of society in general, it is to be expected, TV brings regular doses of often extreme violence into your home and depicts it as "normal".

If it bleeds it leads is a truism, local "news" is all about any violent act that can be splashed on the screen. Regular local "news" watchers also tend to be more fearful than those who do not consume sensationalistic pablum on a regular basis.

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marions ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-09-09 11:48 AM
Response to Reply #98
103. "Reality"
what is it? Something tangible and physical? Or is reality often something we imagine or experience vicariously (ie. virtually)? The line is blurring. What is real often depends on the viewer. We live in our own little universes and they don't always overlap. Separate little realities. You & I may not need TV, but understand that for some people it fulfills important lacks in their lives. And TV has exploited these needs. This is the problem--not so much that people shouldn't watch TV, but that they need other ways to address the mass psychological (societal) problems masked by TV anesthetization.

I agree about the relentless depictions of violence on TV & movies. Yes, it conditions us to think that violence is normal. Violence begets violence.

Local news--well I do think that local news should include the nightly murder/violent death count. Because otherwise we wouldn't see it as a problem. It IS a problem and therefore is a valid news topic. Beware equating REAL violence with fictional violence on TV--we do need to see the violence that does happen around us & not sweep it under the rug. I had some Australian friends visiting and they said they didn't know how we could stand living in a country where the nightly news is all about violence (not the case in Australia). They found it depressing and so do we. But it IS reality in America. This is related to the suppression of pictures of the Iraq War, coffins, etc.--do we need to see them? I would answer yes, just as I think we must acknowledge the violent deaths in our own community. Both are wars.
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 08:21 AM
Response to Reply #50
55. Bull shit.
As a child I was ostracised, beaten up, taunted, tricked, assaulted, molested... never understood why. I'm sparing the details; the horror stories will be in the book I will be selling (it's how people like me can overcome and prosper, with emotional anecdotes because people love soap operas. It'll have far more substance than the hannah montana "autobiography", which means it probably won't sell, but at least I'll have tried.)

But I digress. At least television was there. And not the mainstream mindrot either; even as a child I prefered something of comparative substance.

But you're right, especially in that modern television is braindead pablum. Even quality standards for the BBC have plummeted. :(

And you're right, consumer credit card usage is way up. Still, predatory lending, job salaries not keeping up with the cost of living, which helps spur the sad need to use loans in the first place...
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 09:53 AM
Response to Reply #55
56. As a child I had a facial deformity, was speech impaired, and was
unwanted by my own parents (born pre- Roe V. Wade). so I was ALSO bullied incessantly-both at school and at home...what does that have to do with anything? It doesn't mean that television or lack thereof helped in any way.
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johnlucas Donating Member (248 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 10:28 AM
Response to Reply #50
58. Anybody can say that about any activity...even reading books
Edited on Sun Mar-08-09 10:30 AM by johnlucas
This couple was silly. Let's get that out the way right now.
You got bigger priorities than a $600 TV when you're behind on your mortgage. Hell, they coulda went to a pawn shop & got a TV cheap if they wanted one that bad.

But I get a little annoyed by the attitudes of those who don't participate in a certain activity & ascribe it to the whole evils of the society.
When you're reading books, you're absorbed into the text of those pages to the exclusion of your surroundings. You can't hold a conversation and read at the same time not if you wanna do it well for both activities. You're either not absorbing the text of the book & its meaning while conversating or you're not communicating with attention while reading. Bookworms can be isolated people too so this TV snobbery is a little out of hand.

I'm not a cell phone user. Don't own one, don't want one. I have a hard time using my landline being not too much of a phone person in general. I'm annoyed by slow-ass cell phone drivers on the road, mystified & amused by the ones walking with a receiver to the ear held by hand or in earpiece form (especially the confusing earpiece form...so pretentious :)), odded out by the ones with their thumbs going crazy doing all the texting.

BUT I don't think cell phones are the blame for the downfall of society & I don't begrudge anyone for having one. It's just not for me & I live and let live. I can see their usefulness & if I ever had need for such a device I may pick up one but not until then.

Look at me. I'm the regular TV junkie since childhood. Used to plan my whole day around the shows I would watch. Saturday became my favorite day of the week 'cause I was off from school & got to watch Saturday morning cartoons. I was happy to get sick missing school so I could watch The Price Is Right, Card Sharks & Press Your Luck when normally I never got the opportunity. As I got older I used to tape pro wrestling shows from the WWF & WCW each & every Monday (and Thursday when they started putting shows on there) making sure not to have anything interrupt "my wrasslin'". Good thing I wasn't too much into other sports so I never got caught up on football/basketball/baseball weekends. And soap operas were just something I had to put up with 'cause my grandma was a fan (never much liked those shows...daytime or primetime).

Would you know that today I hardly find any interest on much of the programming on TV & some days I say turn this mess off (which I just did while writing this post). It's wasting electricity & I got the thing on mute. I am seriously considering cancelling my cable or at least switching to DirecTV or something. Broadcast TV no longer holds my interest beyond Fox's Sunday night lineup (Simpsons, King of the Hill, Family Guy, American Dad). Most of the stuff I watch is on cable but even then there's not much I'm into besides Comedy Central (TDS, Colbert, & a few others), Cartoon Network (which is beginning to suck more & more each day outside of Adult Swim), TVOne (BET sucks now), TVLand & NickAtNite, knowledge channels like TLC, History, Discovery, the cable news channels which have been lately getting the most of my time (MSNBC & CNN...NO Fox!), Weather Channel, & every now & then C-Span.

So this lifelong TV junkie actually has the power to turn off the TV & have no interest in it. You could say that videogames & the internet have replaced it in my life but even then there are times when I'm like turn this damn computer off & I don't always feel like playing games.

So while your view has some merit with those who DO hide behind TV to escape human interaction, it's too broad to assume that those really into some activity are part of the reason for the failure of some part of society. If it ain't gonna be TV, it'll be stamp collecting or gardening or mountain climbing or bungie jumping or working on cars. It'll always be & has always been something.

Maybe people are isolated because some people suck. Hahahahaha! And the people trying to escape those sucky people fall deeply into a hobby like those I mentioned. Even within technology there are adaptations to reconnect people so don't worry about the end of human contact. It will just take a different form. The phone itself may have damaged interpersonal relations as well as this internet we're using right now.

And think of this, as much as I'm a TV watcher I have no interest in upgrading to these new TVs until my old one breaks down. I had it at least 7 years & the one before that I had since a teen for 11 years when it broke down for the final time. You'd never see me risk my homestead to buy the new videogame or computer part or TV. It's all about priorities.
John Lucas
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 08:14 AM
Response to Reply #46
54. Agreed.
And while many TV programs are mind numbing ****, some aren't, Never mind it's easier to hook a Wii up to a TV to do the yoga and boxing games (which do make people break out in a sweat and work the muscles to an extent).
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tangent90 Donating Member (787 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 06:33 PM
Response to Reply #46
72. TV as a form of meditation. I'm aghast I never contemplated that pearl of wisdom.
Edited on Sun Mar-08-09 06:33 PM by tangent90
:eyes:
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marions ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 06:46 PM
Response to Reply #72
79. explain?
I'm not getting your point.
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 12:23 AM
Response to Reply #44
49. They are indeed. However banks should not have offered credit to those
with poor credit ratings. The credit card/ loan peddling in this country got WAY out of hand. Many of us turned down all the offers, but plenty of people (including huge numbers of college kids) got caught up in the frenzy of consumerism. When the CC companies are sending offers to people's PETS then there's a real responsibility vacuum on their part too. Greed always has a way of bringing about some really bad karma.
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Vanje Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 12:36 PM
Response to Original message
60. Did the couple drive upto the store......
......In a Cadillac, with a vanity plate that spelled, "WELLFARE QUEEN"?
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SammyWinstonJack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-09-09 08:49 AM
Response to Reply #60
99. .
:evilgrin:
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Starry Messenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 01:48 PM
Response to Original message
64. Get what?
It? I guess I'm not an it-getter, either.
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Vanje Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 04:34 PM
Response to Reply #64
65. You are an it-getter
You just get different it, than the OP.
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tangent90 Donating Member (787 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 06:13 PM
Response to Original message
68. What this country needs is a good TV bailout. Nobody should have to suffer without a
600 dollar teevee set.
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tangent90 Donating Member (787 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 06:31 PM
Response to Original message
71. My neighbor is a 20 year old kid with a pregnant wife and a 15 year old POS pickup truck.
Her daddy bought them the house and his daddy bought everything else. Has 3 flags dangling from the side of the house. (rain or shine)

This morning he comes over asking to borrow a wrench. Has no idea what size he needs (he claims to work in 'construction' but never seems to leave the house) to attach a tool box daddy gave him to the POS truck and is oblivious to the irony that he has no tools to fix the toolbox which will be empty since he has no tools. They had McCain signs in the yard last fall. Our biggest fear is that he'll knock up the 'little woman' and continue the inbreeding. :grr:
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upi402 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-09-09 02:29 PM
Response to Reply #71
107. a friggin men n/t
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dana_b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 06:38 PM
Response to Original message
75. save up or KMART layaway
AFTER paying the mortgage!!
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JerseygirlCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 07:15 PM
Response to Original message
84. I don't know. I'm feeling anxious and itchy just reading about them.
I simply cannot spend money I don't have. Buying a house, and taking out a mortgage was nerve-wracking for me.

I think I have an extremely heightened need for security!
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marions ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-09-09 08:52 AM
Response to Reply #84
100. you'd do well in China
where pay-as-you-go has long been the style. That's changing somewhat now.

The cost of things in America relative to income makes us dependent on borrowing. If there were no mortgages most people wouldn't have houses. Duh. I know I'm stating the obvious...but the point is that the nature of our system makes us all debtors very fast. For all but the rich, it's impossible to avoid. Not saying this is good, just that it's no surprise to me that most Americans are comfortable buying on credit. We are taught to gamble on our future worth. It's the way it is.

To always pay-as-you-go on an average income (with no expectation of winning the lottery) means that you will live extremely frugally, perhaps never owning a house. If you have children then planning for college will be a problem. School loans leave many of us starting out in life with big debt. And with health care & insurance so expensive a lot of people gamble on their health & don't buy insurance, and then get caught in the credit trap when a health issue comes up.

For most people it's not a matter of self-discipline. Going on credit is the only way to achieve what most people consider the basics in America. I'm NOT talking about lack of discipline in buying "toys" --ie. the self-denial factor that people like to think is so virtuous. When you carry the denial of average amenities to an extreme, you are saying that it's OK for people to have nothing because that is the virtuous, control-oriented way to go.
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JerseygirlCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-09-09 02:20 PM
Response to Reply #100
105. Well, I don't think I'm carrying anything to an extreme
As I said, we do indeed have a mortgage. But we waited until we could put at least 20% down, and we opted for a slightly shorter length of time for payment. As for those other big ticket items: we've been saving for tuition for a long time - and are now paying it. We buy cars we can afford and pay cash. (Didn't always - when younger we did a couple of leases or loans).

But to me, it's the difference between "needs" and "wants". Needs sometimes require credit. Wants shouldn't, really. And definitely not when something as important as your mortgage is already in arrears.

So yes, in the case cited, I think this is absolutely a matter of self-discipline. For someone suddenly facing a critical health crisis - that's something else altogether.
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marions ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-09-09 04:07 PM
Response to Reply #105
110. This is a common view of those who look down on the poor ...
You only know 2 things--that they have an overdue mortgage and they want to buy a $600 TV. This is not enough info to make a judgment, and yet people do it all the time IF they have never been poor. I have been poor, but am no longer (not rich at all, just not on the skids). It gives me another perspective that those who pride themselves on their lifelong fiscal responsibility might not have.

There are so many variables that could be true in this situation. We know nothing about their job situation, their expectation of income, their intention for the TV, or their idea of "needs vs wants." When people are on the edge that line is often blurred. When life is very hard, sometimes "wants" aren't always deferred. (And after all--we're not talking about a luxury vacation here--a TV is very cheap entertainment).

Denial of wants when life is always hard doesn't offer the same satisfaction in self-discipline as it does when you KNOW you can make it work in future. For ex, I remember when I was a kid and my parents were poor, they would occasionally blow their paychecks and do something completely careless--like take us all out to dinner at a fun place even though we all knew it would mean the fridge would be virtually bare until the next pay period. Thank god they did that for us, because it taught us to imagine a better life. They were both very hard workers. This is just one small example of the risks that people on the skids sometimes take, even though they may try very hard for the most part. Do not make the assumption that the TV buyers are deadbeats deserving of their fate.

I am merely cautioning against pride in self-discipline that makes you insensitive to others--at least until you have more information. You've done the "smart" thing it seems, in a time of easy credit, realizing the pitfalls. Not everyone is so smart and able to make it work out so well. People are slipping up all the time, often for reasons out of their control. At the very least feel sorry for the fact that they are having to accept limitations which in many cases may be VERY severe relative to your standard of living.

Thanks for the opportunity to say this. :thumbsup:
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SarahB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-09-09 10:45 AM
Response to Original message
102. But want what they want NOW.
My husband and I have a pretty decent combined income. We live below our means, not above. Our TV is a 20+ year old 25 incher. We'll get a new TV when we can pay cash. No need to go into debt for such trivial things.
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upi402 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-09-09 02:26 PM
Response to Original message
106. they need their "don't worry, hate libruls" TV News medicine!!! n/t
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Joe Fields Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-09-09 02:36 PM
Response to Original message
108. You make your own bed, you must lay on it.
I have a lot of sympathy, but not for those type people you described. I know for a fact that this happens all of the time, because I, too, have witnessed these scenarios first hand, time and time again. Sad, but true.
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Pithlet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-09-09 04:19 PM
Response to Reply #108
111. Okay. How do you know when and why that couple missed a mortgage payment?
Let's give the OP the benefit of the doubt and say he actually did overhear it and accurately interpreted what he heard (I'm skeptical of the whole thing, myself). The missed mortgage payment isn't necessarily from last month. And it isn't necessarily because they don't know how to manage their money correctly. It's very possible these people are actually doing fine at the moment, but had a rocky bump in the road in the recent past. That the missed mortgage was one blip due to factors out of their control, like a spate of unemployment or medical bills. That the credit tightening is the typical tightening that we're all going through. My credit is fine. I haven't missed a credit card payment in years. I'm not in debt up to my eyeballs. And Amex still reduced my credit limit. Without warning. Luckily I didn't try to make a charge that exceeded it, or I might have ended up embarrassed. There is zero evidence that these people are dead-beats, irresponsible people, or credit hogs. None. Not from the limited, and very possibly made up info being fed us to get us all riled up and pointing fingers and ignoring the REAL culprits in this mess.
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