Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Saturday, October 04, 2008

Racism and the bailout

I'm really disappointed to be reading some of the remarks I've seen on Twitter regarding the bailout. I don't quite understand how the bailout became a way to make racist remarks about how "they shouldn't have lied on their loan applications" and "they shouldn't have been allowed to borrow money they can't pay back" and "they couldn't ever have gotten a real mortgage without lying to the banks."

Of course we know who "they" are. It's apparent by reading these comments that the twits are referring to minorities that were caught up in the predatory lending schemes. But the facts are that the predatory lenders went after minority applicants who were TOTALLY prepared to get conventional loans and talked them into getting into the subprime market. And it's also a fact that the vast majority of people caught up in the foreclosure situation are white, middle-class Americans who were lied to by Countrywide Finance and other predatory lenders. They were people who thought they could handle the loans they took out, and then when the payments ballooned unfairly after a couple of years, were unable to meet their mortgages which had doubled or tripled seemingly overnight.

There is no "they". There is us. All of us. You think you're so freaking smart because you didn't get locked into a balloon mortgage? Well, take a look at your credit cards in your wallets, smartie pants. Because what is happening in the credit market is happening to you. Yes, one late payment and your rate escalates to 22%. Or you don't even have to have a late payment. The bank can and does raise your interest rate and lower your credit rate at their will.

Think you're smarter than your bank? You're not. They make all sorts of little moves that cost you a fortune and you don't even know it. Do you understand how overdrafts work in the banking system. Say you write one check for $2000 for your rent/mortgage payment. And then you write a series of smaller checks for utilities, food, Walgreens, etc. It doesn't even have to be a written check, it can be online debits or using your debit card. Now say, because you're crappy in math or a check you deposited took longer to clear than you had expected, that you're overdrawn by $8.00. How does your bank handle this? They clear all the big checks, and then bounce on little one, charge you an instant $35 OD charge, which makes another check bounce, another $35, another check bounces, and so on and so on. So instead of covering the $8.00, you end yup with $200 in overdrafts because your bank can legally do this. Instead of just returning one charge, they return them all and it is perfectly legal.

So when you think you're such a smartie and you can outwit your bank and you know how to take care of your money so much better than "they" can, look in the mirror. We're all in this together. The deregulations on the banking industry have allowed them to become the rattlesnakes of the financial world. They can and will rip you off every chance you get.

You want a crazy real life example? The Girl got her first paycheck. It was drawn on the Bank of America, where I happen to do my banking. The Girl and her Brother are both on my account because of laws that social security demands. So she HAS an account of sorts. She went into the bank to cash her check and they charged her $6.00 for cashing the check. They told her that she didn't have an account so they could charge her. I get mad and went into the bank and said 'she's on my account, you need to give her the $6.00 back' and they said that they didn't have to because it wasn't HER account.

Your banks are cheating stealing liars. And they can and will do ANYTHING to make a profit off of you. They got caught with their pants down on the mortgages, but if you believe that this bailout if going to change anything, you're insane. The banks don't care if you're white, green or purple. If they can wrench anything out of you, they will. Car loans? Around here you have to have a FICO score of 750+ to get a car loan. Is your FICO over 750? Hmmmmm.

You can blame "them" all you want, but the hardworking people that applied for and were given mortgages were screwed by banking institutions. The hardworking people that lost their homes were treated abysmally by their banking institutions. And those hardworking people, regardless of their color or ethnicity were hung out to dry by our goverment.

Remember, we're all paying this money back to the goverment. We're all going to find it much harder to get our children financial aid because of this bailout. We're all going to suffer without universal healthcare because of this bailout. We're all going to watch our elderly and disabled get shafted by social security cuts because of this bailout. We're all going to see our faith-based charitable organizations dry up because of this credit crunch, the cost of living, and the bailout.

ALL OF US. Not "them". Not you. ALL OF US. So stop blaming "them" and start looking at where the real problem is. Deregulation. The Bush government. Wall Street Greed. Dishonesty in the government. But it surely isn't a racial problem. So stfu about "them" and start sounding a bit more educated.

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Blogger Kmommy said...

You are so right about all of it! You rock!!

5/10/08 11:48 AM  
Blogger margalit said...

I just read this article from the UK about the current and future layoffs in the financial sector and how these people are going to go into foreclosure on their expensive co-op and condo apartments. It was an interesting look at another factor of this crazy economic meltdown.


5/10/08 3:54 PM  

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