Applying A Personal Lesson About Loaning Money To What The Government Is Doing
If you have a brain in your head, the older you get, the more you learn about life. One of the things I’ve personally learned is that you do not ever loan money to your friends. If you have a friend that’s really in need and you want to help, you decide if you can afford it and if so, you just give him the money.
There are multiple reasons for that.
#1) Most people in financial distress got that way because they’re not financially responsible. That means, chances are they’re going to be in financial distress for a long time and they’re probably not going to pay you back.
#2) When your friend makes dumb financial decisions, most people just shrug their shoulders. It’s not really their business. But, when your friend can’t pay his rent, owes you $300, and buys a new couch, you are going to be furious at his stupidity.
#3) Eventually, even if you don’t need the money, almost as a point of honor, you are going to want to be paid back. If your friend doesn’t pay you back, it’s an insult and the friendship is probably going to end.
On the other hand, if you give people money for an emergency, you don’t expect to get paid back, you don’t feel a need to take an interest in their financial affairs, and you don’t ever expect to get paid back.
…….Which brings us to the “bailout nation” most of us have unwillingly been forced to become a part of. We have the government repealing welfare reform, handing “tax rebates” to people who don’t pay taxes, bailing out banks and companies that are failing, and giving money to people who are too irresponsible to pay their mortgages.
If Barney Frank, Barack Obama, and Chris Dodd wanted to get together and do this with their own money, that would be fine. However, the government has no money of its own. It has to use YOUR tax dollars to do this. So, when Barack Obama and Company put us further in debt to reward bad behavior, it becomes our problem.
Now, I will grant you that the issue with these irresponsible government programs doesn’t track exactly with the experience of giving a friend a loan. However, it’s amazing how many of the same sort of issues are now coming to the forefront.
Now, we’re getting all upset about where bankers are going on vacation and what kind of salaries they get. We’re critiquing the labor practices of the Big 3. We’re getting crabby when GM lays off American workers and goes to South Korea. We have very reasonable people (and, yes, I do know someone who has thought about trying this, although I recommended against it) consider not paying the mortgage in order to try to qualify for a government program.
The problem here is that the government is getting the country involved in things that shouldn’t be its business. The government shouldn’t be picking winners and losers in the market place. If a bank or company fails, then it fails. If someone can’t pay his mortgage, that’s his problem and it shouldn’t be made OUR problem. If a company wants to invest overseas, pay their workers too much, go on “too cushy” of a vacation — that’s up to it as long as our money isn’t being used for it.
There have always been winners and losers — failures and successes. The government needs to get out of the business of trying to pick them, not only because it’s an irresponsible use of our money, but because it keeps the rest of us from getting emotionally involved in issues that shouldn’t be our business in the first place.