Have you been affected by the credit crisis?
My mom wrote to tell me that at Mervyn’s and Circuit City in her town there are close out sales going on. All sales final, no returns allowed, no credit cards accepted. They are closing down for good, all over the US. Frankly, I didn’t understand how a town of 60,000 people could support all the stores they have there. How can you build an economy on unstoppable shopping? One day the bubble has to burst.
This is being written of course by someone who hasn’t lived in the US for 16 years. When I go there to visit it’s always quite a culture shock in the way that consumerism is so in your face. It feels out of control. It feels like so many spoiled brats who must have what they want now. And the chickens have come home to roost.
What really ticks me off is that it is us, the tax payers, who will pay for the unbridled greed of some people. I didn’t sign up for a mortgage I can’t pay for. I didn’t loan money to people who can’t pay. I didn’t plan the strategic financial structures of a bank like so many houses of cards that with one poof come crashing down on an unsuspecting world. And yet I will have to pay, one way or another.
I have a decent job. DB does too. We just bought a bigger house in August, which, assuming neither of us loses our job, we can continue to pay for. I have no car payment – it’s paid for. I have no credit card debt. I guess I can count myself extremely lucky. However, some of my retirement money, that is sitting in a life insurance policy, is probably worth about nothing right now. I don’t want to know what it’s worth. I can’t bear to know. It will make me just too mad.
So, even if you don’t feel any effect directly from this global economic f*ck up right now, rest assured you will. And for those of you out there who are already suffering, I really feel for you. The best advice I’ve ever heard is to get educated about your own money and never trust anyone to take care of it for you, and don’t live beyond your means, no matter what. Even if the TV is blaring at you about how you must have the latest and greatest of everything on offer down at the Mall. Those chickens, they come home eventually.