The corruption of a nation is usually hidden, but sometimes becomes visible
Societies die from many causes, of which internal corruption — of rulers and the people — is among the most common. Slow and hidden, it sometimes briefly emerges into view.
- “Are you an idiot to keep paying your mortgage?“, Kathleen Pender, San Francisco Chronicle, 16 November 2008 — The long-term corrupting effect of bailouts.
- The Senate’s tribute to convicted felon Ted Stevens, Matthew Yglesias, 20 November 2008 — The deep corruption of our rulers made manifest.
“Are you an idiot to keep paying your mortgage?“, Kathleen Pender, San Francisco Chronicle, 16 November 2008 — The long-term corrupting effect of bailouts.
Should you keep paying your mortgage? If you have significant equity in your home, absolutely.
If you don’t, it’s getting harder to answer that question, especially when our government keeps giving people who owe more than their homes are worth so many reasons not to pay. Last week, the government announced a program that will substantially lower payments for many homeowners who have little or no equity, but only if they are at least 90 days delinquent.
… Peter Schiff, president of Euro Pacific Capital, predicts that many homeowners who have little or no equity will stop paying their mortgage and then reduce their income to get the biggest payment cut possible. They could stop working overtime or, if two spouses work, one could quit. After the modification, they could try to boost their income again. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Schiff says. “People are going to feel like complete morons if they don’t participate. The people getting punished are the ones who never made an irresponsible decision to buy a house they couldn’t afford.”
The government is offering loan servicers $800 for every homeowner they get into the plan. Schiff predicts that loan agents “will be cold-calling people trying to get them into it. Just like they encouraged people to overstate their income to get a bigger loan in the first place, now they will encourage them to understate their income to qualify for a smaller loan.”
The Senate’s tribute to convicted felon Ted Stevens, Matthew Yglesias, 20 November 2008
Watching these Ted Stevens tributes unfold is really shocking. He’s not some veteran Senator retiring after a long and distinguished career. He’s a criminal. He was booted from office by the voters of his state. They did this, in part, because he was convicted by a jury of his peers of serious crimes. Crimes directly connected to his conduct in office. His conduct alongside this bipartisan group now saluting him.
It’s sickening to watch. For all the cynicism that unfolds on the Hill, every once in a while members really do put political expedience aside and just do what they think is right. Unfortunately, what they think is right is to lavish praise on their good friend the senator/crook Ted Stevens.
zic Says: Maybe they’re being so nice in hopes that they’ll get the same treatment if they’re so booted in office. You know, “there but for the grace of God go I.”
Just maybe Steven’s colleagues recognize they’re all pretty close to convictions if they’re scrutinized closely enough?
mars Says: This is vile, and video of it will no doubt populate many a documentary decades from now as historians try to explain just how far the US went off the rails at the turn of the century.
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Posts on the FM site discussing the American spirit, the American soul:
- Diagnosing the eagle, chapter IV - Alienation, 13 January 2008
- Americans, now a subservient people (listen to the Founders sigh in disappointment), 20 July 2008
- de Tocqueville warns us not to become weak and servile, 21 July 2008
- A philosphical basis for the Batman saga, 23 July 2008
- The American spirit speaks: “Baa, Baa, Baa”, 5 August 2008
- We’re Americans, hear us yell: “baa, baa, baa”, 6 August 2008
- The intelligentsia takes easy steps to abandoning America, 19 August 2008
- Symptoms of a fever afflicting America’s culture, 5 November 2008