I’m sitting here surfing, my usual thing before work, listening to the news. One major news story was a possible $500 billion or million or something injection of money into the mortgage market. The very next story was about a convenience store armed robbery. It seems like every day I hear about a robbery. It’s a hunch, and it’s probably an obvious characteristic of crime in tough economic times, but it seems like the numbers of robberies are on the rise in sync with the economy. In good economic times, there are still desperate people, barely scraping together the components on the bottom of Maslow’s Pyramid. Or, maybe the stress of the economy on people drives them to do drugs, get addicted and continue into a downward spiral of crime in their life. Anyways, economy is down, is crime up? Or is it simply paranoia? Do violent crimes make better news in tough times than in good times? Or am I just paying more attention to those stories, hyper-sensitive to hunting evidence to back the theory?
Anyhow, I have a ‘couple’ acquaintance. She has a very dominant personality, easy on the eyes. He’s a easy-going super-nice country boy hard working pushover. They have a couple of kids. Their life has been a continuous sequence of new cars and new houses. One time they were in a big house in the suburbs with a big pool. She got bored with that house after a few years, so they moved into a different one. This happened several times over maybe 6-10 years. She gets tired of their new car after it quits smelling like a new car, so they trade it in. They have to be completely upside down. And I know about what he makes, she doesn’t work, and they can’t afford their lifestyle. I think it’s the classic model for the mortgage crisis. The bank shouldn’t have loaned them so much money. If my assumptions about their economic condition is true, I wish people like them could lose their house without crashing people’s retirement accounts.
I make more money than him. His house is brand new, probably $350-400,000. We’re outgrowing our house, the washer and dryer is downstairs (narrow steep stairs) in the basement. Our closets are 50’s house size. Our cat boxes dominate one of our bedrooms. We’re living well within our means, and that’s bringing us great comfort right now. I’m not jealous – I’m just pissed that they’ll probably get ‘bailed out’ somehow and stay in his house. We’ve been talking about building on to our ‘small’ house, but we’re afraid to take the risk right now.
I think I’m gonna buy some stock in Corrections Corporation of America (CCA.) If my theory is correct, it’s bound to do well in the next few years. We’ll need good cheap housing of prisoners. Maybe I can sell it and make a nice down payment on our addition.