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undergroundpanther Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 03:09 PM
Original message
Financial responsibility a rant..
Edited on Thu Aug-10-06 03:19 PM by undergroundpanther
It is so easy to judge how others manage money from afar,by looking at the balance sheet and ignore the human elements. So easy to SPREAD THE SHAME..I'm talking about the hypocrite self righteous fiscally responsible crowd.

The goddess Fortuna spoke to the insecurity of human life. She could confer wealth, power, health and happiness, and just as easily strip them away. She was a figure to be courted and placated, but never wholly won. Not surprisingly, she was often depicted as having two faces, and chief among her attributes were capriciousness and unreliability. Always, Fortune was conceived as a woman, and while she might be garbed as a queen and wield the powers of one, she nonetheless bore the enduring characterization of mrtrix, whore.

"Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life."
Henry David Thoreau, American author and philosopher (1817-1862)

I'm so sick of fiscally responsible crowd .
It's so damn easy to wag a finger and condemn people who buy beyond their means.. As if THEY were like YOU they'd be safe from debt automatically.You ape "fortune" but offer no respite from the whims of fortuna..

Bottom line is not EVERYONE has been raised by frugal parents who make sure their emotional needs are met.Some people are not blessed with long range planning skills,or CEO like mentalities Not everyone thinks like a bean counter when they need something or when they buy something to fix a feeling inside they don't know how to cope with.
Predatory lending is called predatory for a reason.It PREYS on vulnerabilities on "marks" who are too overwhelmed with things happening to think like a Ceo.

Our culture because of it's INEQUALITY wrecks HAVOC on alot of peoples self esteem and sense of well being. It damages their hope of being accepted and loved recognized as sufficient as they ARE. Our culture has made an IDOL of success, ambition and achievement.Alot of people suffer emotionally when they cannot keep up,they feel ashamed,alone, invisible ,scared and desperate. Maybe not desperate for material things but to be accepted cared about listened to supported dare I say it loved.In OUr culture love is given to those who are popular wealthy dominant or successful. Love is not given to victims,to the suffering,inept ,not confident.. Many people walk around with a ripped out hole deep inside,looking for something to take the pain down, they may turn to working obsessively,eating bad food,drugs, spend unwisely,or dare I say it,puffing themselves up as if they know it all,because for THEM,something hurts,it is caused by a billion different things,it's personal. But regardless of cause for them, something is missing.And what is missing is the presence of trust able people that care that esteem them,encourage and act as if they cared if they live or die as if thier faults are so horrid they must pretend they are not having problems lest they be ashamed..for being a limited imperfect person. It's easier to deny a problem if admitting there is a problem is seen as a shameful flaw in your personhood that makes you inferior and worthless and gasp*irresponsible* or evil.And you must submit and lay prostrate before your masters..And let them tear you apart.

IN America child abuse,addiction,spousal abuse, emotional abuse,financial abuse, millions of kinds of dysfunctional relationships built on inequality are EVERYWHERE and they take a toll on us emotionally and psychologically,and spiritually that cannot be added up in a financial report because it is invisible,it's denied,and it's unseen until it gets so bad a person gets sick,goes into depression or some crisis erupts but by than it costs alot.. and these unequal relationships DO make us crazy with the mixed messages catch 22's and mind games people play to get power and avoid being shamed by the powerful.

When EVERYTHING is made into a financial transaction a what's innit for me game,the human element of love and compassion does not exist anymore and the thirst to be somebody better than them rises up from the insecure as sure as food poisoning makes you sick after you eat bad food..

This is hypocrisy and half blind way of judging others coping skills in an uncertain world what angers me . It sickens me when the self righteous I was lucky and I was fiscally responsible all praise be to me types come out of the woodwork when discussions of consumer debt come up. Every time the personal responsibility marms come out with their yardsticks of who's good enough and who is excused and by what criteria,to show everyone how superior they are and so responsible..and it makes me want to retch for these self righteous people assume a HELL of alot about lives they are not privy too, emotions they don't deal with themselves as others may,they think everyone deals with stress the same way as they do,that everyone is brought up equally that everyone has a chance and in reality that is not the case.

It is sickening to watch the fortunate among us justify their fortune and give themselves credit for making it.Dumb luck has a BIG part in success,as does whom you know.Some people do not have the same psychological make up and upbringing and mentality of these self aggrandizing fortunate people.And the truth is free will is not so free,Reality has a way of creating situations that make the game of self responsibility a terrible burden some cannot endure and some people have no desire to take pride in being stoic and self denying martyrs to the game of who's the most self responsible of all.Some people get sick playing that game. Others love it and think they deserve to be treated special for excelling in it..

Sometimes pulling the old bootstraps and tightening the belt and saving for a rainy day saves you nothing,reality is uncertain.A ne\st egg gets cracked so easy..Sometimes all the self empowerment seminars,and motivational speeches ,the attempts to make it,go to school,get a job,save and,plan,and do,do,do and BE SOMEBODY fail And there is nothing left to spare you from facing the horrors of uncertainty and coping in any way you can that stops the pain..

Failure comes to all of us as death itself will some handle failure better than others.Some have faced failure so much and so responsibly they can't face it anymore,their endurance is spent and they don't care..Failure comes and sometimes it's not from lack of trying to do the right thing..Sometimes you cannot drag yourself back up by yourself.And when you are invisible,and fall through the safety net you suffer and struggle until you crash.And in desperation candles get burnt at both ends and risks are taken and not calculated with a clear head.
The Market is all about gambling don'tcha know and America is crapping out. And Whom can emerge unscathed? The Stoics will suffer as everyone else.Their nest eggs will be cracked too..

So you self responsibility fans do not so arrogantly crow to each other about your fiscal management superiority. Reality could throw you a bad situation and you may not be able to cope with. The cherished methods of the way you have coped before with adversity,might not work,it might not stop the fear or pain inside,or the loneliness ,and you might be try to make it or ease the pain too. Everyone has a limit and everyone's limit is different.It's not a superior inferior game OK?

I realize human beings are complex and life hurts and this culture is abusive to the human heart. So I don't shame irresponsible people who do what they do to cope,when they go in debt to try to make it and misjudge risk,or don't understand what they are getting into,the way the creditors make the truth hard to get at is why they are predatory they bribe and when someone is suffering inside a bribe is more tempting. .

I don't blame and hold myself up as a role model to the world as if I knew jack shit as to why people do as they do,until they tell me.I am humble enough to know my way of coping might not work for them and it may not even work for me again should I get in a situation I cannot deal with.REALITY IS UNCERTAIN.And sometimes no matter how responsible you are,reality don't care,you cannot control reality or predict what will be, and free will isn't as free as people so desperately want to believe,we are not always the captain of our destiny and we cannot always think our way to happiness and plan the way to success. Reality has it's own way and sometimes despite all your efforts you get screwed. Bush isn't fiscally responsible at all,yet he is wealthier and more secure than all of us are. Why? Enron was fiscally irresponsible yet Ken Lay was not forced to be responsible before he died.It;s so easy to bash the people below you when they live beyond their means than to bash the few rich thieves who's ambitions and risk taking does more damage to America than all the consumer debts put together.

Your overvalued personal responsibility game does not apply to the Uber- wealthy . And why shouldn't we all live a little before we die. Life isn't fair or kind to the struggling and responsible all the time we might as well show kindness to ourselves even if life is not willing to care about our pain..

It is a fine line we walk between our dreams and hope,deprivation and indulgence,responsibility and frivolity,and sometimes when life gets too scary, lonely and it hurts bad enough tipping the balance twords self indulgence can keep your mind intact.And losing your mind and soul and desire to live costs far more than a financial debt..When you got nobody there and you feel no one cares,listens or even knows you exist what can you do to stave off the despair of being nothing.And sadly alot of people lead invisible lives of quiet desperation,hearts cut in two.

And facing that FACT in of itself is scary.People cope how they can and it isn't always responsible to be so damn responsible because life and maintaining sanity in it in this inequality it makes demands on you..

But do students really talk about who can afford things, and who cannot? For the most part, it seems to be something that is kept under wraps. Im sure some students at Tufts do have great difficulty paying for school, but for the most part, this difficulty is masked from other students, said one undergrad. Money is something that exists on campus, but it is not openly talked about. It is fairly easy to tell who has money and who does'ntt by what clothes people wear, where they are from, where they went to high school, and what kind of vacations they go on, but these wealth distinctions are NEVER discussed. That would be a major faux pas and it would force the hundreds of people in our school that believe they can change the world (of which Im one) to accept they are really elitists after all.
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Dora Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 03:54 PM
Response to Original message
1. Excellent points made.
I really appreciate that you addressed the truth that we do not all have the same choices. Some people have more choices than others. Some people have no choices at all. Poverty and wealth have little to do with responsibility, and everything to do with privilege, history, and dis/ability.

There was so much that I missed in my upbringing that I'm trying to learn now. In my high school (graduated in '87) we were required to take "Free Enterprise," a course on American economics. The most I learned in that class was how to pretend to invest money in the stock market and then watch that fake money increase or decrease. There was no teaching of the real concerns of day-to-day finance, spending, and budgeting. No discussion of loans and interest rates, and how different loans are structured.

In my family, there was never any discussion of budgeting or bill-paying. My parents re-financed and re-financed and re-financed in order to keep us afloat. When I got my driver's license, they gave me a gas card and told me to "be responsible." Yeah, right. My saving and spending habits were never monitored or discussed when I was growing up, and I have vowed not to repeat that with my son. I want him financially "armed" by the time he's an adult, because in retrospect, I can see that I was completely unarmed by my ignorance.

So, today at 37, what am I learning? How to save, how to spend, how to budget. How to weigh the difference between wants and needs, and how to weigh the difference between needs and Needs. How to buy a house. How not to buy a car. Whether or not to use the credit card to buy those plane tickets for the in-laws' 50th anniversary party. Etc. and Etc.
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Trillo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 03:55 PM
Response to Original message
2. I think one of the larger issues facing perhaps all corporatist cultures,
Edited on Thu Aug-10-06 04:14 PM by SimpleTrend
along your lines of thought, is the coerced failure of citizens to live in the now, each of our unfolding narratives where our past meets our future.

When I think about this, I realize that so much unhappiness is created by always thinking of what may be one day. This is the basis of advertising, to essentially create a desire for something (that's in the future, if at all), and that if this product is bought, the synthetic desire will be satisfied, however, that desire never creates happiness, it simply creates money flow to the seller. This type of advertising seeks to create unhappiness by creating a synthetic desire in the first place.

When we are in school, we are taught we are 'preparing ourselves' for some illusory future life. When we are at work, we are encouraged to think forward, to consider the career ladder and how we might achieve advancement and higher pay someday if we work harder now. In our health, we are told to take care of ourselves, so that we may be healthy in the future when we're old. There are more examples, but this is sufficient to make my point.

All of these, and more, are simply ways of diverting one's attention to a future reality that is likely illusory. Instead of living and experiencing the current reality in the now moment, they inherently create a denial of the reality surrounding us 'now' because the thoughts of what may be in the future displace thoughts of what is right now. Because these tactics of diversion deny reality, 'look ahead', 'concentrate on the future', 'satisfy your (synthetic) desire now by buying this product (future) which you can't afford, but can borrow (future) to pay for', they divert our attention from what is truly important.

Ultimately, these all undermine the pursuit of happiness, which if it is found at all, is found in the now moment.
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Dora Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 04:51 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Nice insight.
Nearly everything that makes up today's culture is a diversion from the now, I agree.

The best step anyone can take to return to the moment is to evict their televisions, IMO.
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