Monday, June 11, 2007

Deadbeats and Bottom Feeders

Or... Pardon Me, While I Rant

This was MSNBC's idea of a worthy headline last night. Apparently racial slurs, sexist comments, and harsh remarks about Muslim extremists are a big *No, no.* Fine. But what makes it perfectly OKay to debase and ridicule renters?

Do you know what a deadbeat is? A flake? Someone who blows-off responsibilities? A shirker? Wrong. Wrong. Wrong again. We are deadbeats, because we pay our credit bills every month. It's the term thrown around in credit and banking circles for anyone trying to do their level best to keep their finances in order.

Prudence, thrift, savings and work have become dirty words in our society. Look around. How many casinos are within a two hour drive of your home? How many television shows are based on throwing yourself at the public to be ridiculed, in hopes of winning big money. How many times have I uttered the phrase, "When I win the lotto...____?" Hey, I still want to win the lottery. I don't play, but I want to win. But winning and games of chance are not a game plan for life, they are not the road to success and happiness. More and more I hear anecdotes that imply, or simply state, that work is for chumps. Work is for suckers who couldn't find the easy way. Quick real estate money. Quick stock money. Inheritance. Or how about credit? That's easy money, right? Home equity loans. Apply for a store credit card and save 10% today. The message is: If you aren't feeling the instant gratification, you're working too hard.

I'm not a financial expert or money wizard, but I can plainly see inflation is on the rise. The government may not agree, but then again fuel and food are not part of the calculation when they are determining whether we are in inflationary times. Are your grocery bills smaller than last year's? Mine aren't. I know fuel prices aren't stable either. But remember, there is no inflation, so long as we can get into Wal-Mart and by $4 flip flops from China.

As for those "Bottom Feeders," those are people who have chosen to save and wait, renting their homes, until the housing market eases up. I cringe and feel like the lowest caste of our "classless society" when I think of all the crappy connotations in 'bottom feeder.' Lowlifes, bums, bottom wrung, losers, shiftless, ignorant, leaches... did I leave any out? MSNBC wants the world to know that renting is for bottom feeders and that we are just wasting our time by not joining the ranks of sub-prime borrowers and families up to their eyeballs in credit card and mortgage debt. They've consulted their experts: “In general, it is very difficult to time the market,” said Raphael Bostic, associate director of the University of Southern California’s Lusk Center for Real Estate, so they must be right, right? Not.

When did news become so shallow and incredible? MSNBC, check your sources please. Southern California’s Lusk Center for Real Estate is the baby of the real estate industry. This center of *economic wisdom and vision* is funded by realtors. So, MSNBC is consulting the very industry that profits from its own propaganda and misinformation. Gee, let's ask Phillip Morris if smoking is OKay, and use their answer as expert evidence in a news article castigating non-smokers and praising the pack-a-day crowd. How about we let Burger Guy write a health column in school newspapers; they can be the experts on diet and nutrition.

You can't believe everything that's printed... I used to hope that some news agencies were at least somewhat credible, but this article, and too many like it, is hype and tripe, made to look like front page news, when it actually belongs on the editorial page or in some realtor's ad, next to his glamor shot.


Tami @ Lemon Tree Tales said...

Nah, there's nothing wrong with renting. My husband and I waited to take the real estate plunge until two years ago. Yes, we're still feeling the tightness of it and most likely will for another few years. It's a choice that we made. But I don't think that either choice is wrong.

You're right that the article is skewed against renters. That would be the real estate industry trying to drum up business.

I very briefly worked at a RE/Mortgage office - just long enough for us to get our house and for that business to close its doors. It's not a very ethical business I'm afraid. You wouldn't believe what my boss wanted me to do just to try and get loans closed for people that obviously couldn't afford them. The same people that were told that negative amortization loans were good for them are now in the horrible position of getting their houses foreclosed.

Yet California is supposed to be a state where the mortgage broker has a fiduciary interest with the home buyer. That should mean that they have the home buyer's best interests at heart. But it doesn't work that way in reality. The mortgage brokers just want to get their cut. They get a kickback from the lenders. My boss was upset with me because I insisted on getting the best loan for me and my husband .. that meant that she didn't get her huge kickback. That said, she still made lots of money. Crazy, huh?

Tarie said...

Waaah! Renters are not bottom feeders or losers or deadbeats (or any of the other words they want to use, for that matter). :( My brothers and I rent too...