Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Victimization of America

What has happened to personal responsibility?  Is anything bad that happens to someone these days the mere result of their own mistakes?

It seems like the answer is, more and more, no.  Everyone is a victim of something.  Nothing is ever anybody's own fault anymore.

Here's the latest example . . . In 2005, the very popular ABC television program Extreme Makeover:  Home Edition demolished an old home and build a sparkling new one (seen above) for the Harper family in Georgia.  This new home was given to the Harpers, free of charge.  And contributions of about $250,000.00, including scholarships and a home maintenance fund, were raised and given to them as well.  

But the Harpers didn't rest in their new house.  No, they mortgaged it.  They put the gift home up as collateral for a $450,000.00 loan and sank the money into a construction business.  The business failed, the Harpers defaulted on the loan, the bank foreclosed, and now the "four-bedroom house with decorative rock walls and a three-car garage" with "a lobby that featured four fireplaces, a solarium, a music room and a plush new office" will be auctioned at the county courthouse next week to pay off the mortgage.

Did the Harper's make a mistake when they mortgaged the family home to start a business?  Did that mistake and failing to operate their business profitably lead to this sad result?  

Heck, no.  It's not their fault.  According to the Associated Press story, these folks have "become the latest victim of the foreclosure crisis."

This is a sad story.  Sure.  And I do feel sorry for the Harpers.  But they aren't victims of anything but their own bad judgment.


Dameon said...

Couldn't agree more. People let these mortgage companies talk them into just about anything. ARMs are a bad deal people! If you can't get a fixed rate mortgage for the home you want, either the home you want is beyond your means, or you need to cut up those credit cards and learn how to be fiscally responsible.

thetimman said...

More than that, this is an example of too-much largesse. When a person does nothing to earn a hand-out, the hand-out is not appreciated. It has implications for other things than reality shows.

Latinmassgirl said...

Yes, that is why the free housing to the poor in inner cities are now broken down slums! If someone doesn't have to work for it, then it isn't really appreciated.

I heard today that Rowanda's (president) said he didn't want free handouts for his people and wouldn't accept them. He would accept jobs or other ways that his people can work for their money, as that will truly help them.

St. Louis Conservative said...

You're all right on the right track here. Just a caveat to TTM and LMG . . . you're both right but speaking in general. Many individuals do, in fact, need charity, appreciate it, and turn their lives around.

And charitable giving should not be frowned upon. In fact, I think we're each, individually or though our churches - not through taxation and government bureaucrats - called upon to give to those in need, regardless of whether the recipients deserve it or what they'll do with their lives afterward. That's not up to us to decide.

I know that neither of you need a lecture on this point and I'm not meaning to give one. I just don't want someone else reading your comments the wrong way.

Latinmassgirl said...

Private charities are the way to go, and are more fruitful, than government handouts, to people who are often quite capable of taking care of themselves.
(Look at the success of Welfare Reform)

Still, if you give a man a fish he will eat for a day, if you give him a fishing pole and teach him to fish, he can eat for a year, and sell the fish to others who are hungry, then buy more poles, catch more fish, build a house, buy a car and then independence!

Human nature is illustrated in people who win lotteries. Most of them blow all of their money within five years, no matter how large of an amount! They didn't work for the money, did they? They didn't turn their lives around either. They are poor again, so I guess they'll just wait for the next lottery, or maybe a government handout.