Friday, August 27, 2010

Moral Dilemma - Where Did We Go Wrong?

What happened to personal responsibility?

Everything from brokerage accounts to mortgages and from Little League to Pop Warner football are in play.

We seem to be building a nation of bad decisions. Some may call it morals, others ethics. Call it what you like, there's something wrong with this trend. People are walking away from personal commitments & responsibilities when things don't go there way.

Parents are letting their children quit their sports program in mid-season. Why? The parent and/or child didn't feel they were getting enough playing time. Correct me if I'm wrong... aren't 9 players a minimum requirement to field a baseball team. Due to injuries, vacations, family obligations, etc. every child is needed plus a few extras. There's a reason it's considered a 'team sport'. Everyone relies upon one another. Here's a novel idea: Let your child finish the entire season and then decide if they want to play next year.

In the grown up version, we can discuss mortgages. Everyone wanted to own real estate in some capacity from 2000-2007. It didn't matter if you were buying a primary residence, flipping properties or rehabbing for profit. People were blinded by dollars and real estate was the "It" investment. The herd mentality was running wild.

Unfortunately, when the music stopped, thousands of 'investors' were left holding properties they couldn't afford. When times were good and everyone was making money, nobody complained. Now that the winds of profit have turned, everyone was quick to point a finger for their financial difficulties. Very rarely did you hear, "I made a bad decision." But, rather "The bank took advantage of me." "I didn't know what I was signing." I'll be the first to admit, the banks weren't angelic in this whole process. But, let's cite the facts. They simply made money available. They didn't contact you! Further, for the individuals who borrowed money, didn't you have an attorney representing you during the entire process? I don't see how the banks are the bad guys in this scenario. When you went to closing, you had the option of signing your mortgage documents or not - with legal counsel present. What am I missing?

Our moral compass has gone astray in recent years. Personally, I tend to think it started with the era and day trading. A similar scenario unfolded with brokerage accounts and margin requirements.

I'm not sure how we get back on track, but I tend to think our economic recovery is going to have a direct correlation to our moral standards.

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