Gary Hart has a post on his web site, Matters of Principle. He talks about his charming and hard working childhood in the bygone world of Ottawa, Kansas. Here’s a quote -
Everyone worked, in my case starting at the age of eleven. (I don’t think there were child labor laws then.) We didn’t spend money we didn’t have. There were no credit cards. And my parents would have been embarrassed to go to the bank and ask for a loan to buy more gadgets. The Depression taught them, and they taught me, don’t go into debt.
Gee, Gary, I’m glad that these Americans with poor judgment can still shape up and we can fix everything if they only start saving and, by the way, acting like you.
Of course, there are some pesky little problems associated with your point of view. The Middle Classes’ desperately slow wage increases over the last 30 years, the explosion of credit cards marketing and every other kind of heavily advertised easy credit, the rising costs of tuition, medical care and host of other necessary expenses. How about the slow grinding pain of America’s manufacturing disappearance and the good jobs that went with it? It’s not gadgets that gets Americans into debt, it’s trying to make ends meet, it’s trying to put food on the table, it’s trying to get through one more month.
It’s a fine thing to talk about personal responsibility when you lived in a time and place without these economic elements, without this kind of pain. Did you know that the average level of unemployment during the 1950′s averaged about 4% and that right now it is 9.5? Bother you any? Maybe every body worked in your happy childhood because they could find a job? It’s a fine time to blame the victims for the economic decline in America over the last thirty years. It is a fine deal when the incredible, amazing failure of this government to stand up for ordinary Americans, does not appear to figure in your fascinating blame game, where the victims are the perpetrators. Yeah, we all committed economic suicide.
Tell me something ole’ buddy, when the stock market went down from its high of 14,000 and demolished the values of pensions and 401k’s all over this great nation, where was the responsibility then? I guess those stupid lazy gadget buying Americans couldn’t be trusted to invest their hard earned money like they were urged to by their government, the business industry and every kind of serious of academic publication. Savings always gets its proper reward.
How dare you. I know these people, the ones that worked for twenty years at a factory that left and went over seas, the people whose medical expenses destroyed their lives, and the unemployed who got nailed by a financial crisis they had nothing to do with.
While you write your comic crap, they suffer.