Monday, April 28, 2008

Six Figure Fools Meet Five Figure Problems

Steve Inskeep and Renee Montagne wonder why people don't save anymore, but instead get into debt. To answer this vexing problem they turn to Tim Hartford of the Financial Times. Just so you'll think $337,499-a-year Renee and $331,701-a-year Steve [see the IRS 990s here] are one of us, Renee introduces this segment with: "We owe it to ourselves to consider all the debt we piled on ourselves." Then Steve and Renee do a little back and forth yucking it up:
Inskeep: "...back in the early 1980s Americans saved more than 11% of their income; last year on average Americans saved one half of one percent."
Montange (chuckling): "Steve, uh, that's no savings..."
Inskeep: "Well, basically; although perhaps some people are wondering how'd they manage to save half percent..."

Hartford comes on to make the case that what is fueling high debt among Americans is the availability of loans - which hints at, though never names the deregulation and rise of predatory lending from credit card companies. But Inskeep is more interested in putting the problem on the people in debt. He asks, "Is there something about the availability of credit itself that causes people to go off the rails and make bad decisions?"

Of course it never even occurs to buckrakers like Inskeep and Montagne that a lot of folks turn to credit because their real incomes are shrinking. Let's see what leftist propaganda I can find to support this wild idea? I've got it, how about the Marine Corp Times!

Here's a little information for you two clowns from the five figure crowd like myself. In 1993 I was making about $23,000 a year as a social worker and my second son had just been born. Employer based family health insurance was costing our little fambly about $3000 a year in premiums and rent was running about $500 a month. Let's just say things were kind of tight. Now that the kids are growing up our family income is closer to $60,000, but health insurance is over $7000 a year, gas costs have tripled, public school fees and clothing are more expensive, and the price of food is shooting up (and we just can't wait to spend, spend, spend on college).

Do you 1/3 of a million dollar dimwits at NPR get it? Yes, some people make bad decisions in this crass consumer culture that you worship on NPR, but many of us go into serious debt to fix the broken car, get braces for the kids, repair the leaking roof, buy decent food, pay for heat, etc. Yeah, we just go off the rails for all these luxuries; crazy ain't it?


Anonymous said...

Wow, I can't believe this, you mean to say that all these people on NPR that ask us, beg us for money, try to make us feel guilty when we make 22k a year, for not giving them money for their so called commercial free radio (ha ha) are actually making a 3rd of a million dollars a year? Does Diane Rehm know, I am sure she'd want a raise, she can't be making more than 50 or 60 K right? Isn't she the one that has people from the American Enterprise Institute, The Heritage Foundation and other interesting folks on her program. They probably make sure she gets a little bonus each year.

Porter Melmoth said...

Indeed, National Privileged Radio serves its own kind with blithe abandon. Of course, we down here in the trenches couldn't possibly comprehend the lofty duty that the selfless public servants at NPR devote themselves to every day. Important people must be paid important money, don't you know.

And besides, compared to the Katie Courics of the mighty media, NPR is still bozo league in the pay scale dept. So I guest we're getting what we pay for. A bill of goods, if you ask me.

My battle cry continues: Yank The Public's Money From National 'Public' Radio! NPR's not in the national interest, it is scarcely 'public', and much of it is lousy radio masquerading as a view of the world for 'thinking' people.

I would much rather have the public monies that NPR receives go toward something like wilderness preservation rather than funding things like Auntie Liane's magical misery tour through a Cairo slum. (Incidentally, there are SO MANY other more capable and probing persons to tackle such a story - about solar-powered water heaters than she. I lost track of how many times she used the word 'garbage', but in a tone that tried to be neutral, despite some disapproval leaking through...) NPR just gets it all so WRONG much of the time - and I'm not even referring to their corporate/neocon agendas in this case!)

Liberality said...

Blaming the victim is just another thing that NPR is so good at. They are elitest snobs who pretend to be objective, neutral public servants and they relish telling us what we ought to do for our own good too.

big!pink!fuzzy!bunny! said...

I've kept my own evaporating rants here fairly family friendly, but on this account...