Saturday, November 12, 2011
Questions for a Conservative Friend
Please help me understand your position, I really do want to understand. I enjoy our back and forth politically charged emails. But if you don't mind, I would like to get serious for a moment and ask you to explain to me why you still hold the economic beliefs you do.
Four years ago when you activated your retirement plan you bought that great place in Arizona and put your St. Paul house on the market. I know that had been your retirement plan since early in the 90s when you refinanced the Minnesota home, consolidated your debt and started your business. I understand that was a 15 plan you had that was both well thought out and financially viable. You didn't take some crazy negative amortization refinance loan, you got a solid 30 yr. fixed rate and took the extra cash out of your house to start your business. The plan was to sell that house and put the equity into the Arizona place so you could retire without a mortgage.
Now, however, you have two houses, two mortgages and thankfully a long-term tenant in the St. Paul place. But both properties are underwater, even that beautiful St. Paul house is worth less than the mortgage you refinanced nearly 18 years ago. You didn't take a loan you weren't qualified for, you always paid on time and I know you would never walk away from either property. As you have said many times - a mortgage is a contract and you honor your debts.
Someone(s) clearly screwed with the real estate market.
Then there is your retirement. You sold your business for a nice chunk of cash and a ten year payout based on the profitability of the business. But the economic collapse means that business has done poorly under new ownership. I know you have been advising the young guy who bought it and I know he is working his butt off to stay in business, but as a consequence of the double down economy your retirement nest egg is producing almost no income for you. You started taking social security even though your well thought out retirement plan was to wait to do that until you were 70.
Someone(s), perhaps the same someone(s), screwed with the economy.
So here are my questions. You worked hard, made a solid financial plan and the bottom fell out. But you are a smart guy, you know why this happened, you know who got rich, yet you still support them.
Alex, you are not one of the 0.1% who got richer in the financial collapse. You aren't one of the 1% or even the 10%; you are a middle class guy who did everything right and then got screwed by a system rigged to make other people rich at your expense. So why do you still support them?
Why do you oppose taxing the uber-wealthy? You aren't one of them and never will be. You know they stole your retirement and everything you worked years for. You have kids, you know how they are suffering because of the greed of Wall Street, yet you still act like corporate America is honest, straight forward and has your best interest at heart. You are too damn smart to actually believe that, so why not start acting and thinking in your own best interest?
To get your retirement plan, your life plan, back on track the financial corporations, banks and yes, Wall Street have to be brought under control. The unregulated free market screwed you and you are not the type of guy to just take something like that lying down. So, yes your dyed in the wool republican ethic got you where you were three or four years ago, but those ideas no longer serve you. So my question is:
Why not change?
Vote Obama? Hell no! That's just a different sleeping pill.
Support Occupy. Join the millions of Americans who have been screwed over my a non-responsive government that has clearly been bought and paid for my corporate America. Get this country and your retirement plan back on track. Stand Up! Speak Up! Don't let the olde right vs. left noize get in your way. Keeping us quiet is what the rich need. Making those Occupy camps go away is exactly what the rich want and they are paying their politicians to do exactly that. So I ask again:
Why not change? Why not act in your own self interest? You worked for your piece of the American Dream, why aren't you pissed at the people who stole it?