I’ve had a few discussions recently with various people about the morality of two of the biggest abuses I see going on in the economy right now…
- Unemployment Abuse
- Mortgage Default Abuse
The first involves individuals taking extended stays on unemployment, turning down jobs that pay less than what unemployment pays, etc…
The second involves homeowners that signed binding contracts to pay for homes that have since lost 30% or more of their value, never to be recovered, and the homeowner walks away from the house.
Both of these actions put increasing pressure on taxpayers and companies that hire them.
Couple thoughts, so bear with me…
First, both acts are immoral. That is a fact. And I don’t mean religiously immoral, I mean immoral in the sense that these acts “break the golden rule” of “do unto others as you’d have done to you,” etc…
They break the rule that says being a good person means keeping your promises and of not abusing other people. Some call it the “natural law” like not killing someone…we don’t need a law written in a book to tell us that is wrong…or some call it common sense…but regardless of the definition, #1 and #2 are still immoral acts.
Here’s how you know for sure…ten years ago, would you ever have encouraged your kids to do either #1 or #2? I think most people out there try to teach their kids right from wrong, and there is no way you can put #1 or #2 in the “right” category.
The problem is, I can’t blame anyone who chooses to participate in #1 or #2. I don’t have to like it…but…I completely understand it.
The reason I understand it is because the environment which made #1 and #2 options for everyone was artificially created by a government that has since chosen to forgive itself, and the participants in creating this mess, while leaving all of us with the pain…and the debt. The government, in an attempt to consolidate power and pander to certain segments of voters, created this moral hazard, which has propogated countless additional moral hazards throughout our society.
It’s only natural that “we want to get back our own” in whatever way is available to us. If that means taking a vacation on unemployment or walking away from a mortgage…I get it. I don’t like it, but I do get it.
So if we are going to blame someone, we should blame the root, and the root is in Washington D.C.