The Bailbondsman Approach: Why Some Of Us Stay Broke
I knew I was wrong but it didn't help me knowing it. I was screwed, royally flushed. On a hot summer's day I was flying down I-55 from Missouri to Chicago and rapidly running out of gas. It was a metaphor, a symbol, an exemplification, a simile of my trifling and irresponsible nature. When you run up your Texaco card buying chips and soda this is what happens. Did I mention it was hot, my shirt stuck to my back. It didn't help that my '94 Jeep Wrangler was weighed down with all my personal possessions. Even Gospels songs didn't help. Wailing like a downtrodden slave could not stop science, gravity, rapidly dissolving petroleum in liquid form. Pulled off the road and......
I'll save that for later, suffice to say I had no money and I was about 60 plus miles away from my mom's house where I would post up for a few weeks before moving to Baltimore for my first gig. After several rebuffs and a resolution to finally call my folks and tell them to come some 65 miles to give me some money for gas, I got lucky, fortunate blessed. I pulled into a restaurant and a middle-aged white woman -- who from the perspective of a young black man in downstate Illinois seemed like the type to call the police on me -- asked me, without me even appealing to her, how much I need to get home -- a stranger to my rescue. I told her $10, she gave me $15 and now I'm able to blog for you, instead of walking down an Illinois road for the last 10 years, next month actually.
Like then and now, I am the American consumer, living above my means, thinking I can get by, by getting by, borrowing, wandering. I thought of the Good Table story - that was the name of the restaurant where I met the nice white lady - when reading about the $30 billion bailout of Bear Stearns by the Federal Reserve and the proposed $18 billion to $20 billion bailout of borrowers, some of whom, like me, ran up their metaphoric Texaco cards and left their apartment with no money, knowing it was impossible to get where they were going.
Here's a little commentary on the subject from another nice white lady and two other guys you might know. BTW, thank you comment guy for taking me back to church.
'If the Fed can extend $30 billion to help Bear Stearns address their financial crisis," Hillary Rodham Clinton argued, "the federal government should provide at least that much emergency help to families and communities to address theirs."
Billy? Could you do the honors?
"Neither a borrower nor a lender be; For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry. This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day. Thou canst not then be false to any man," said William Shakespeare.
"The borrower is servent to the lender," said King Solomon some 2500 years ago.
As much as I'm in love with Hillary, I'm gonna go with Shakey and the wise king on this one and assert that building habits of borrowing from Mama, Daddy -- Not to mention Gus the shady mortgage broker, and Uncle Sam to buy Uncle Bens and gas from Uncle Dick Cheney and his boys at Halliburton and ExxonMobil -- is what put America into a credit crunch in the first place and is what had me out there on the highway like Michael Landon.
This is a personal lesson, I'm still learning and that America needs to learn quick. If you can't reasonably afford it, don't buy it and don't be a spendthrift under the proviso that you can just pull into your version of the Good Table Diner on I-55 or call your folks or sing a sad song to a creditor to weasel out of paying.
Message: Be responsible with your money, make better choices.
Now, anybody got some gas money I could hold? Just a lil' sumpin, sumpin.