As I watch and read about the current economic climate – I keep going back to the same central thought – need vs want. One could overly simplify the current situation and argue that we are in this situation because people’s individual wants far exceeded their actual needs.
As I see it, the prime examples that are ground zero for “the meltdown” are people who bought more house then they could afford on their current income, and people who flat out lied about their income so they could buy a bigger house then they could afford.
Just because banks offered to loan people more money than they could afford to pay back, it didn’t mean people had to take the money. Let me ask you this – if someone offers you pot, does it mean you need to smoke it? Of course not, my point is there are many things that are offered in life that you don’t actually need or might not be in your best interest to accept. And it is up to you to say no when it doesn’t make sense or feel right, in this case – not many people said no and borrowed as much as the bank was willing to give.
Why didn’t people say no or only take what they needed? Perhaps it felt good to have more than what was needed, or perhaps people are not used to asking themselves is this really what I need?
Perhaps it’s a balance issue and that if people had the skills to be clear about what is important to them and understand why it is important they might make different choices. Was it really about having a bigger house, or was it about not knowing how to fill the homes people already had with things you can’t buy.