The Morality Conflict of Moral Hazards

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…

  1. Unemployment Abuse
  2. 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.


Categories: Government Failures, Personal Message, Unemployment & Labor Law, Welfare State

Tags: , , , , , , ,

2 replies

  1. Morality is subjective. People will always make decisions based on their own self-interest, that is just human nature. If something benefits me, but hurts others (or the government) most likely I will act in the self-interest of myself and/or my family.

    People are not immoral for working the system, the system is immoral for being broken in the first place.

    • Well, you have to be careful with that logic flow.

      You said, “the system is immoral for being broken in the first place.” The “system” is not a thing all by itself with its own emotions and decisions, it is something humans created. So the system that is being immoral is simply the extension of humans being immoral…immoral human decisions MADE it immoral. So, using your statement that, “if something benefits me, but hurts others” I could argue that the humans who, through immoral decisions, created the immoral system that is broken and hurting everyone made those immoral decisions because it “benefited them” or “their family.” So according to your logic flow, they did the right thing…for them.

      Do you see what I am saying?

      You can’t in one breath say that morality is subjective and that people will always do what is in their own self-interest (and say you think that is okay) and then be angry at a system that was created by people doing EXACTLY that….making decisions that served themselves, and their family best, while hurting everyone else. You’re whole argument is that it’s okay to respond immorally to immorality and I disagree because that only creates even more immorality. Where does that end? That gives a free pass for anyone to do anything to anyone.

      Using your logic flow, it would be okay for someone to break into a home and steal everything (to feed their own family in “their own self-interest”) causing the family that was robbed to starve and so cause them to break into their neighbors house and steal everything for the exact same reason.

      At what point do we acknowledge that it is immoral to hurt someone else, physically or financially…period…regardless of the reason. Again, it may be “understandable” but no, morality is not subjective. If it were, then we should kill, steal or hurt whoever we need to in order to secure our “own self-interest” and then not be surprised when those people do the same thing and the world descends into anarchy.

      We do not have to redefine the word “immoral” simply because we might agree with what some people are doing in some cases, like unemployment and mortgage defaults. It is still immoral. No re-defining needed. We can choose to ACCEPT it. It is okay to say, “What they are doing is immoral, but I understand why they are doing it.”

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