Friday, October 8, 2010

I don't like to go to the well too often, but...

(I know this is two in a row, but how could I let this one go?)

When mortgage bankers engage in strategic default, the cost in PR damage, public backlash and potential regulation far exceed the savings on mortgage payments. When a wealthy lawyer writes self-pitying articles about the difficulty of scraping by on three or four hundred K, he builds support for the very progressive tax policies he opposes. When Wall Street millionaires publicly and angrily insist they were entitled to every penny of support they were given, they make it much more likely that the next time they need assistance it will come at a cost to them.

These people are not stupid nor are they irrational. They do these things because of their worldview.

It is not just that we have a group of people who believe they are entitled to a special set of rules; it is that they have internalized this belief so completely that they no longer see it as a belief. The concept has become as intuitive and self-evident to them as Euclidean geometry. The thought that others might see things differently doesn't occur to them.

This can lead to some embarrassing spectacles, but it does make life easy for Daily Show writers.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Mortgage Bankers Association Strategic Default
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity

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