Anyone with half a brain had a feeling all these mortgage companies with no income verification policies were a little sketchy. You'll give me money without knowing I have a job or what the job pays? Well, OK. Money to move on up to a deluxe apartment in the sky. Who'd be stupid enough to turn that down?

Fix it quick.


That's the directive our president has given the legislative branch of government. The financial mess decades in the making must be fixed immediately.


Well, we certainly don't want to give Congress time to add a load of pork to a bailout bill.


But when was the last time something Congress passed in a hurry worked out well?


Can't think of it? Me neither.


The fact is you and I don't have a say in how the bailout will be structured. We don't have a say in who gets to benefit.


We have to trust our elected officials to act in our best interests. We have to trust them not to heap more financial rewards on executives who've already made millions running the nation's largest companies into the ground. We have to trust them to not saddle our great-great-grandkids with insurmountable debt to pay for our mistakes.


And, yes, they are our mistakes.


I know. We're not CEOs. I don't have a golden parachute. You don't have a golden parachute. If we get pushed out of the plane, we get maybe a couple weeks' pay, minus deductions.


We don't even have much of a 401(k) left, if we have a retirement plan at all.


As a matter of fact, we're not exactly sure if we can both heat and eat this winter. We're down to Plan Z at this point.


No one let us sit in on board meetings so we could voice our concerns about paying crazy salaries to people who clearly didn't know what they were doing. So how is any of this our fault?


Where to start?


Maybe with greed. Maybe with entitlement. Maybe with smug neglect.


Greedy? No. Not us. It's those fat cats on Wall Street, those bigwigs at Fannie Mae and Enron and AIG, those banks like WaMu, that sound more like Sea World performers than lending institutions.


They're the ones. They're to blame.


It's their fault we believe money for nothing is the ultimate goal for life. And if you aren't getting money for nothing it's because you're a loser.


We're the land of opportunity. And credit cards.


Even our president understands the way to work through a crisis, from the 9/11 attacks to a financial meltdown, is to get out there and shop. Spend like there's no tomorrow, folks, and everything will work out fine. Hey, here's a check.


It all sounded so good.


Like a Nigerian e-mail scam.


But buying into boring old values like living within our means, well, that's practically prehistoric. It's more fun to turn our attention to Hollywood. And music. And the lifestyles of the marginally famous.


Look at those rappers' and skateboarders' cribs on MTV. Look at those wheels all pimped out. They're livin' large. They're stylin'.


Dude. You deserve everything those punks on TV have. And your kids deserve to wear whatever Suri Cruise has on her back this week.


If you're living in a two-bedroom, one-bathroom house, driving around in a car that's a few years old, it's your own darned fault.


Buy a house and flip it. Borrow against your mortgage. Run up those debts. Don't wait. Super-size it. The more you spend the more you save.


Happy days are here again.


No, we may not be CEOs with golden parachutes, but we'd sure like to be.


Enron was an outrage. Did we make much noise? Did we demand legislators take it seriously and do something to keep it from happening again?


Why do anything drastic if there's even a small chance we could get our rightful share of money for nothing before the bubble burst?


Anyone with half a brain had a feeling all these mortgage companies with no income verification policies were a little sketchy. You'll give me money without knowing I have a job or what the job pays? Well, OK. Money to move on up to a deluxe apartment in the sky. Who'd be stupid enough to turn that down?


After all, we're entitled to live life to the fullest, and fullest means the most possessions, not the most good works done.


It's our worldly goods that define us now.


If your shirt doesn't have a label, how will people know who you are? Abercrombie? Hollister? Ralph Lauren? (BTW... Last year's cell phone? The one without Internet and iPod capabilities? Too ridiculous for words.)


No, it's not our fault the country's big businesses couldn't and wouldn't live within their means.


It's the government's fault.


Just like it was in 1929.


And they'd better fix it, and fix it quick.


A quick fix and get someone else to pick up the tab. What could possibly be wrong with that?


Julia Spitz can be reached at 508-626-3968 or jspitz@cnc.com. Check metrowestdailynews.com or milforddailynews.com for the Spitz Bits blog.


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