Aversion Inequity

I am one of the few who really get it.  It is an ugly picture and I have an aversion to it based on unfairness,  but nonetheless, I get it.

People, the media, and our legislators are all worried, tied up in knots of fear, that an immediate bankruptcy of the auto industry would have mind-boggling repercussions  for our country, even for the world.  First of all, there is nothing “immediate” about this financial holocaust.  The car companies, not to mention the banks, brokerage houses, etc. saw this coming for many years.  Ditto for our government officials.  Secondly, financial bankruptcy doesn’t even hold a candle to the moral and legal bankruptcy that our nation is currently undergoing.  Everyone just chose to partake and ride out the lucrative wave of corruption rather than to stop it.

Rules and the proper order, or sequence,  of  events exist for a specific purpose.    There is absolutely no sense in bailing out the auto industry if the people who are in charge of it are still at the helm.  Likewise, our confidence will never return with Bush in office.  Personal, moral bankruptcy begets institutional bankruptcy.

Rules exist to create stability.  A sequential order of events exists to provide a framework to ensure the chances of successful outcome.  For example, there actually is a reason, a premise, as to why marriage should precede pregnancy.  The structure of marriage is a platform for the two involved people to make an actual commitment to each other.  In turn this dedication sets the groundwork for further commitment to raising a child together, no easy task.  Hopefully, this personal obligation, this promise,  will overflow into society as a whole and benefit the greater good.  The result would be stability for not only the child, but also for the community.    The structure for moral, legal and financial solidarity has its roots in the rules of marriage and the tradition of having a child within that framework.  If you should find yourself pregnant outside of the “confines” of marriage and expect congratulatory accolades, oohs and aahs, think again.  Go read the rule book.

Likewise on the home buying front.  The Bush administration and many public officials decided, in their flagrant self-serving stupidity, that EVERYONE, yes every American, should be able to own a house.  This is not capitalism, but communism.  Of course what these lawmakers were really doing was to further their own livelihoods by succumbing to the electorate, by basically buying them off, in the hopes of continuing to get their votes.  Well folks, the home buying industry has rules.  These rules were blatantly ignored by greedy mortgage lenders, federal agencies such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac  and dumb prospective buyers.  This tampering with the rules created the financial instability that currently cuts across all facets of our economy.  Now the piper must be paid.  Besides the fact that many homeowners never did qualify for a home loan in the first place, now we will see a further erosion of the rules when the second wave of foreclosures, spurred on by massive unemployment, hits our economy.  Are we going to assume their debt as well?

I have worked continuously for 35 years. I have always followed the rules, and I now resent very much these other people and policymakers who think they are simply “entitled” to that which they think should be theirs whether or not they actually qualify for the initial investment or whether or not they can maintain that investment once they have secured it.    Many people should have never been able to buy homes and, now, even though they might lose their jobs, these same  people should either have months of mortgage payments socked away in the bank or pay the consequences and sell their homes.  Call me blindly single-minded if you will, but rules are rules.  Home ownership comes with many prerequisites, one of which is to have the funds on hand in case of contingencies, such as unemployment.  Owning a home and being responsible for that loan is a serious enterprise, requiring much forethought and financial planning.

This chain reaction of throwing good money after bad is eating into my life.  Last week the UAW thought they could get bailout funds, carte blanche, from the feds.  Only thing  was that the package did not pass muster due to the fact that the UAW refused to make their worker’s wages competitive (not less, just equal to that of foreign automakers in the U.S.)  effective in 2009 rather than 2010.   The UAW seemingly has caught on to this game of free bailouts and tried to get on the bandwagon.  It appears that I am the the one paying the piper.  As a result, everyone now thinks they should be bailed out.  It is as if the lesson of the day is:  “It is fine and dandy to act irresponsibly.  The rules are not there for me.  Not to worry.  Our government will come through and bail me out.”  This attitude eventually infects us all.  Can anarchy and chaos be far behind?

This distorted phenomenon can be referred to as “inequity aversion.”  As I said in my post “Same Wavelength” of 12/12/08, there is an animal study that has shown that dogs do have emotions.  A synopsis of that experiment is in The Washington Post today:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/14/AR2008121401911.html

The scientist of this study explains that dogs are reacting to an inequity aversion, i.e. they stop cooperating when they perceive a situation as unfair.  It kind of rings a bell, a parallel, to my feeling of paralysis in our world today, to my aversion to being the one to pay the piper.

Every action has a consequence.  Opting for greed, personal enhancement, notoriety, fame and fortune over the right choice will always come back to haunt all of us.  What concerns me is not that this winner-take-all philosophy exists today but that there is really no way to correct it and, eventually, it sickens our entire societal substructure.    What do we have to do to right this stinking mire of corruption at every level of our lives?  The desire to do the right thing  must come down to a distinctly personal, individual level.  That must be the starting point for change.

Jews are so outraged at this crook Bernie Madoff and his Ponzi scheme.  They ask  “How could a Jew screw other Jews, famous do-gooders (and alas, investors) like Elie Wiesel and Mort Zuckerman?”  Easy:  exactly like they screw non-Jews.  Corruption, greed and graft know no ethnic or religious boundaries.  No one is exempt from this foul contagion that afflicts our nation.  No one.  This is precisely why everyone thinks they have a right to partake in the spoils.

I have said it before and I will say it again:  start at home.  Clean up your own person, your own house, and maybe that example of goodwill will flow over into society.  If you are out only for yourself, trying to get something for nothing, lying and cheating your way towards personal materialism as an end in and of itself, I hope the whole kit and caboodle comes crashing down on your head.   Unfortunately, in true domino theory response, it will be my head as well.

Man, are we ever in trouble.

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