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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Why Andrew Sullivan is Wrong

As I sit here watching Andrew Sullivan spout his fact that the economy is in the horrible condition it is in is because Americans have been greedy and overextended themselves.

Now he is not alone in this argument. Many talking head pundits have spouted this theory over the past week or so.

I, however am in a unique situation to see this from a different point of view.

Six years ago when I had my house built, I put down 10% cash on my house and my mortgage payments were 1/5, (20%) of our income. If my realtor and mortgage broker had their way, I would have purchased a home in a country club community that pushed 40% of our income. We knew that it was a bad deal, no matter how hard the banker and realtor pushed for a higher commission. But that's beside the point.

A lot has changed for my family in the last six years. My husband's job situation has changed dramatically, and his income has nearly been cut in half. Even with me working part time online while I still homeschool my kids, our mortgage is now nearly 40% of our income. Things are tight. Had we followed the advice of all the people (friends and co-workers included) who insisted that we were making a mistake and living beneath our status, we would be living on he street right now.

If you think about it, while the housing bubble, and mortgages, and even realtors have a hand in the current state of the economy, the loss of jobs, that no one seems to want to talk about is the biggest culprit. We are shipping thousands of new workers into the country every day to take jobs that Americans are not "qualified" to have. (Look up H1-B Visas). This includes teachers from Spanish speaking countries who are taking jobs from "unqualified American Teachers". This includes tech jobs and programmers where many Americans are now back in school training for a different trade. And then there are the jobs that are being shipped overseas.

No friends, the problem is not the greed of the average American person. It is the greed of the corporate giants who have made sure that our schools are substandard, so that they can call us unqualified and give our jobs away to people they can pay less.

Keep homeschooling your kids and teach them to start their own businesses because there is no guarantee of jobs. God bless.

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EnchantedMusing said...

here, here!! it's nice to hear from another homeschooling sista with a head on her shoulders. we too purchased less house than we were told we could afford - and thank goodness! the day we opened escrow, I was laid off from my job. 30 days later we found that I was pregnant. I haven't worked since. We decided to homeschool our daughter and last year, my husband started homeschooling his 2 older sons. the boys mother passed away earlier this year and we are all now stuffed into a 600 sq foot home. BUT - we are still living within our means, and I haven't had to go back to work - in 9 years.

it's not the greed of most Americans that put us where we are - it's the corporate giants. their hands extend far and wide into many of the problems that our country is facing.

be independent! homeschool, cook at home, grow your food, walk/bike to work. stock up and save for your needs. make sure you live under your income. take care of yourself - don't "hope" anyone will take care of you.

Crimson Wife said...

There's plenty of blame to go around in this current economic mess. Many people are in trouble because of things truly outside of their control, but plenty of others were simply stupid and/or greedy.

My DH finished grad school in 2006. Like most of his classmates, he graduated with more than six figures' worth of educational debt. Unlike most of his classmates, we scrimped to pay off that debt as soon as we could & then directed that amount towards building up a savings cushion. While most of his classmates were getting themselves further into a hole by taking on huge mortgages and luxury car payments, we rented a modest townhouse and shared one economy car.

If my DH should lose his job, we are debt-free and have enough money saved to cover several months' worth of living expenses. By contrast his free-spending classmates would be in big trouble if they became unemployed.

Ahermitt said...

One more note crimson.. unemployment lasts alot longer than it used to... For us it was almost year and a half. Thank goodness for out savings too.... But even the best planning will backfire if there are no jobs.