Now that the great recession has officially arrived its easy to look back and blame the all the people that were involved in loans that people couldn't pay, the institutions that bundled these loans into toxic packages of so-called assets, and all the people whot thought that housing prices would rise forever. But it isn't that simple, because the vast majority of the people in this country contributed in one way or another to the economic crisis in which we find ourselves. If you think you weren't involved, think again, because you probably were. Consider the following questions:
Did you buy a house you couldn't really afford, but assumed that future salary increases would eventually make the house of affordable?
Were you spending more money then you earned?
Do you have new, or almost new, clothing in your closet that you never wore?
Do you live in a house that had more than 1000 square-feet per person?
Are you paying more than $100 a month on credit card debt?
Did you do impulse shopping and buy things that you didn't really need?
Do you drive a gas guzzling car?
Did you think that the value of your house was always going to increase?
Did you take out a new mortgage on your house so that you could have extra money to spend on something that wasn't a necessity?
Did you buy a condominium or second house so that you could "flip it" and make money.
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions you were either directly or indirectly involved in the current economic crisis. If you answered yes to three or more of these questions you should be sentenced to three counseling sessions with Susie Orman. All of the above constituted the Collective National Stupidity that led to the current economic recession.
How could buying a few things that we didn't really need to contribute to the recession? Easy. We became a nation of shoppers on an endless buying spree that eventually had to end in a catastrophic bust. Counties, cities, and states became dependent upon sales taxes which would one day drop off a cliff. That day is here now. Companies built more stores so that we didn't have to travel far to buy things we didn't really need. When we stopped buying things in abundance, stores began to close. People lost jobs, and companies went bankrupt, which resulted in defaulted loans at banks. And finally, banks stopped loaning money.