Saturday, November 20, 2010

Senior Bankruptcy

Newsday guy wrote an article about all the poor seniors who are filing bankruptcy because they have excessive credit card debt. No sympathy here.
Apparently, 67 percent of the senior bankruptcy filings are citing problems tied to credit cards. What could those problems be? The news flash is that they borrowed more money than they could afford to pay back. The Newsday defense is that they were “deluged with applications in the mail, and cards are [were?] easy to get” is a joke. This defense was once simply dismissed by mothers all over the country with the observation that just because the other guy jumps off the bridge you should not do it too. But now more specifics are required. Neither the Banks, BMW, Lexus, nor any one else has the power to make American citizens buy anything against their will. (Excepting of course President Obama’s requirement that everyone must buy medical insurance.) Marketing pitches for a variety of products are a part of every day life for all of us. People who bought more stuff than they could afford and borrowed money to do so, simply did a stupid thing. But their problems are not mine or anyone else’s who has people managed to reach “seniorhood” while living within their not very munificent means. To single out seniors like this is condesending. It can reasonably be assumed that bankruptcy filings are up for every demographic group. For the most part, the reasons are the same - people voluntarily entered into more debt than they could pay back. You could have written exactly the same piece using race in lieu of age and you would have been castigated severely. But you generated this puff piece to rail at banks that lent people money and actually want it back with the agreed to interest. Waste of ink.


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