February 24, 2008

Housing bubble over - check. Housing ATM closed - check. Wages flat and declining - check. What to do now? Run up the credit cards of course!



The housing crash doesn't end with the REIC layoffs, missed payments and foreclosures. It just starts there... And Americans just LOVE those credit cards - MORE FREE MONEY THAT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE PAID BACK!!! YIPPEE!!!

So will Congress put together a credit card junkie bailout plan too?

This downward spiral doesn't stop until the banks figure out they should just stop lending. Looks like we've still got a ways to go.

Housing crash fuels rise in card debt

Like many Americans, 34-year-old Jack Zenteno and his wife, Betty, found their finances taking a severe hit from the housing crisis.

"My wife went into real estate right when the market began to fall apart," Zenteno said. "And it occurred at the same time I lost my job."

With no savings to draw from, the Zentenos found themselves quickly racking up $30,000 worth of credit card debt — mostly to pay for daily expenses.

As more homeowners struggle with skyrocketing house payments, several experts expect many of them to start using their credit cards as a means to get by. Once unpaid balances reach five figures and interest rates creep past 20% or even 30%, however, credit card users face trouble.

"Anybody who is having trouble servicing their mortgage is going to try using credit cards to finance those other expenditures," said Tom Cargill, an economics professor at the University of Nevada, Reno.

79 comments:

Salt Lake Mortgage Guy said...

Who, after losing their job, has daily expenses that rapidly total 30k in credit card debt?

Does anybody in this country know how to save for a rainy day or is everybody, HPers excluded of course, living on the edge?

How hard do these reporters have to search to find people like this?

Tight Wad said...

Stop whining you namby-pamby puritan – this here is the US-of-A and it is time to PARTY. I have known so many people who got in over their head with credit it is not even funny. All nice folks who just could not say “no” to American consumerism.

A question for the data miners though: If the average saving rate has fallen to slightly below zero, where is the median? Based on personal experience, there are savers and there are spenders, and I’d like to know what fraction of Americans have little, no, or negative savings, and how savings is being defined. I have a lot of “savings”, but also mortgage debt roughly equal to it. How is retirement “savings” being factored? These are important factors in the equations.

Anonymous said...

I was fiscally responsible when it came to finances until the crash. I had at least 6 months reserve + rainy day money and in the past year it has dissapeared. Now I have about 4000 in cc debt. This situation is wide spread across bubble cities. I was doing the right thing I thought at the time. I really don't know the in's and out's about shorting stocks like many HPers. I have even tried to move and where I was going to go (houston) was only a few steps behind South FL. There aren't any jobs available except retail and there are thousands of people like me looking for a solution. I agree racking up $30k on a card is suicide. SO if they had no savings then it is feasible to run up 30k in a years time.

RIch in fl

unomyname said...

I have no oproblem with the gov't. bailing out under water mortgagees, over-extended consumers, struggling banks. But they should mail everyone a copy of the SAS Survival Guide, just in case.

Anonymous said...

But I use credit cards to pay other credit cards, they should try that too.

DOPES said...

YOU THINK OLD ORANGE ANGELO AND THE BOYS DIDN'T KNOW WHAT THEY WERE DOING WHEN THEY SHUT THOSE HELOC'S DOWN???

THEY KNEW EXACTLY WHAT THEY WERE DOING, WHICH WAS PASSING THE RISK TO THE CREDIT CARD COPMANIES...

BUFFETT WILL BE BUYING THEM NEXT!!!

WELL, THE GOOD ACCOUNTS ANYWAY...

DOPES!!!

Marky Mark said...

And then they will cry that the evil credit card companies got them deeper in debt and that the federal government should bail them out...

Marky Mark

Anonymous said...

Credit card stocks are already down, bit too late, check out COF, Capital One

Stuck in So Pa said...

And don't forget, more people have credit cards than own houses. Its a good time to run up credit card balances. And what's the bank going to seize....the credit card? Sure, your credit rating takes a hit, but you got all that bling in the meantime!

When CC credit dries up like home loan credit, THEN the end will be here for free spending America.

Markus Arelius said...

And what is the rate of interest charged on a HELOC versus a credit card? People just don't seem to care anymore. Somebody put the kabosh on gambling table 8 already, please.

"No, I'm not going to sacrifice my lifestyle for some silly housing crash! I want more. I must have more. What will my neighbors think? Must keep it all a dirty little secret!"

The parallels to psychosis and drug addiction are striking.

Mark in San Diego said...

The answer?? : The Federal Credit Card Bailout Bill - just put another 500 billion on the "Federal Housing Bailout Bill" . . .it's all just funny money anyhow. . .makes me sick this early in the morning - the only question is which stupid and bought for Senator will sponsor this??

Anonymous said...

Keith,

WHAT ARE YOU THINKING? Not credit cards, 401ks!! And soon, you will be able to sign over future SS benifits for access to credit.

-Matt C

Anonymous said...

I have to be puzzled by the story that debt counselors are doing a brisk business as more people get into trouble with credit card debt.

Somehow the cause and effect should be understood. Who needs counselors to tell them to quit charging so much?

area 51 said...

Keith and HP'ers,
apparently there is a raffle going on in Maryland for a house on 3 acres. Anyone can buy the tickets.
Tickets are $100 ea. and benefit a charity.
For the news story, photo of the house and link to the charity:

http://tinyurl.com/2d5f7t

james said...

I think its the just in time mentality. if you have 2k a month coming in, you have 2k a month going out, everythings fine.

Anonymous said...

tisk tisk

eric in vegas said...

"Does anybody in this country know how to save for a rainy day or is everybody, HPers excluded of course, living on the edge?"

There are so many in the country that are unable to save a dime. They just can't do it. The second they get a few bucks in their pocket the only thing that enters their mind is how to spend it.

This is going to be a race between the credit card companies and the debt junkies. Will the CC companies reduce limits fast enough to mitigate damage or will the debt junkies blink first and max out their cards from fear of having their cards being rendered worthless with small limits?

Buzz Saw said...

After the credit cards and helocs run out they will turn to the gubbermint. Free houses for everyone, woohoo!

grab thy ankles said...

I am still getting several offers a week for credit cards.Nothing has changed folks.It is business as usual.

Anonymous said...

last stop on the train to debt slavery.

Anonymous said...

There's another element here. Recent stories have told about employee's tapping their 401Ks for loans to pay off credit card and other debt. The IRS allows you to take a loan out for 50% of the 401K value, up to $50,000. Just another example of Americans throwing away their future to finance their lavish lifestyles.

Ed said...

"wages flat and declining"

Speak for yourself. My income now is nearly 3X what it was 10 years ago.

And judging by everyone here who claims to make $200K+ and have six or seven figures saved up, I would say I'm not alone.

Anonymous said...

"quickly racking up $30,000 worth of credit card debt — mostly to pay for daily expenses."

Does 30K sound like daily expenses to you?

wrong order said...

"One person who plans on saving is Jack Zenteno, who has spent the last couple of years paying off that $30,000 credit card debt with his wife.

The Zentenos started off by working multiple jobs and moving to Carson City, Nev., from Reno, to save money on their work commute. The couple also moved into a smaller apartment and cut off miscellaneous expenses such as dining out and watching movies."

It's bizarro backwards world. Instead of plonking $30k on the credit cards you're supposed to cut your expenses, find extra sources of income, and so on then you don't have to back the 20% interest...

I've been without a job for a few months before... The wife took a part time job looking after the kids at the child care room at the local gym (which meant our kid could go with her since he'd just be another kid...) I did a few contract jobs (I'm in IT sadly enough) that I'm sure many people with the same experience/skill set as me would have considered "beneath them", while looking for full time work.

It's really not that hard.

Of course it will be that hard when the economy collapses, but a few years ago not hard at all.
It is amazing how many people managed to line up one person losing their job at the exact time they bought a house...

Anonymous said...

The banks have been clamping down on credit cards too. JPM is slashing limits and BOA is raising rates to over 20% all the while The Fed lowers their borrowing rate to 3%

eric in vegas said...

"The banks have been clamping down on credit cards too. JPM is slashing limits and BOA is raising rates to over 20% all the while The Fed lowers their borrowing rate to 3%"

Which is why I laugh whenever I see "but I keep getting offers in the mail!"

What good is a credit card when you're given a $500 limit and 25% interest?

"Does 30K sound like daily expenses to you?"

Two high car payments, $50 dinners every night, utilities, mortgage, crap they don't need? What did you think they were going to stop living the high life just because of a little bump in the road like unemployment? That's why god invented credit cards!

Anonymous said...

Wages are going up for those of us who are highly educated (i.e the people who planned diligently many years back). The rich get richer... yay!

Bitterrenter said...

Dear republicans on the blog,

Don't forget it's your ideology that brought us here. The near religious fervor of materialism and greed that you so strongly believe in. The promotion of the "ownership society" where only the losers don't have a house and lots of stuff to fill it with.

Oh, I know. You wanted to promote those ideals as a way to make the people without feel lesser than you. Much of your ideology is based on classism and parading your good fortune in front of the have-nots. You never really wanted the rabble to actually have anything, you just wanted them to feel bad for NOT having it. But {surprise!} your fellow capitalists saw gold in that need to keep-up-with-the-Jonese! And many of you succumbed to the fever of having it all for no money down and only a small payment a month. Some of the most overextended idiots I've ever met were staunch conservatives who wouldn't dream of looking like losers and instead went into hock "playing prosperous".

Well now the chickens are BACK! And now you wonder how it all happened. Go look in the mirror and you might find the answer to why this culture of shit is so shallow, greedy and materialistic.

Anonymous said...

WTF did that married couple buy to run up 30 grand of debt? Two adults without children could survive on as little as 15 grand a year if they lived in a 1 bedroom garage apt. and drove a used cash car. That is what they needed to do until their job situation was fixed.

Oh and you have to give up things like going to the movies and out to eat as well as cell phones and other expenses.

These idiots probably paid the house and car notes with credit cards and will be RAPED at 25% finance charges on top of late fees and destroyed credit.

Anonymous said...

Nader is running for Pres. He he, all the muslims are in a panic.

Anonymous said...

I'm admitting that i made mistakes in the past, and am still paying of credit card debt, currently at 10k, was at 15k 2 years ago. I live in an apartment, and drive a very basic pickup truck, and live modestly. I'm working on paying off my debt, it sickens me to see all these people out there who recklessly spend, with no intention of paying it back, what have we become as a nation??

Anonymous said...

once again bitter renter you win the stupidest post of the day award

Frank@Scottsdale-Sucks.com said...

You left out "Scottsdale's fake economy is shut down - check!"

On a more serious note, I personally don't have any credit card debt (I use an Amex for everything and pay in full each month) but my girlfriend does and in the past few months, even though she pays on time, all of her rates and minimum payments have gone wayyyyyy up.

Anonymous said...

What I would like to know is how much principal debt they took out and how much of the 30,000 is interest.

Anonymous said...

$30k is nothing... I hardly go out for dinner or buy anything special... and we spend $50k (2 persons) a year to live.

Anonymous said...

"Speak for yourself. My income now is nearly 3X what it was 10 years ago.

And judging by everyone here who claims to make $200K+ and have six or seven figures saved up, I would say I'm not alone."

Shut up!

michael said...

bitterrenter,

who on this blog lives the way you suggest?

who are you talking to when you post?

just curious.

Marky Mark said...

Dear republicans on the blog,

WTF are you talking about???

Real republicans are for living within your means (including government). Taxing less and spending less. Making government smaller. Individual responsibility. Read the contract with America one day.

They do not believe in concept of something for nothing - like the socialists of the democrat party and the bubble home buyers wholly bought into...

Marky Mark

Anonymous said...


Dear republicans on the blog,

Don't forget it's your ideology that brought us here. The near religious fervor of materialism and greed that you so strongly believe in. The promotion of the "ownership society" where only the losers don't have a house and lots of stuff to fill it with.

Oh, I know. You wanted to promote those ideals as a way to make the people without feel lesser than you. Much of your ideology is based on classism and parading your good fortune in front of the have-nots. You never really wanted the rabble to actually have anything, you just wanted them to feel bad for NOT having it.


Yes -- many Republicans tried to sell us the crap the offshoring American middle-class jobs was somehow good for America and that everyone would benefit. It was a bunch of crap and the only people who benefited were the upper 5%. The super rich want a larger under-class because it allows the rich to survive more.

However, their are many Democrats that are just as guilty as well, whether you want to admit to it or not. The Clintons were big supporters of NAFTA against the wishes of all the labor unions who supported them. For this reason, I hope Hillary gets smeared in Ohio, a state that has had its manufacturing base devestated.

MarkIFC said...

As a Mortgage Loan Officer I see what financial shape people are in and it's not pretty. I'd say less than 10% of people over 40 have any savings at all. It's not unusual to see a couple with $50,000 in credit card debt. We had trouble getting a high level executive for a Fortune 500 company approved for a mortgage-- his debts were outragous and his credit scores were below 620.
Seeing what I see, it scares me.

thesojourner said...

If the credit card companies continue to raise the interest rates on everyone, aren't they doing so to their on detriment? Seems to me they should lower the rates so that people can make the payments easier rather than to risk the masses of people skipping out on their payments all together, as rate rise, sticking the banks with an enormous backlog of credit card defaults. More and more people are already walking away from their beloved homes. Could walking away from all other debts be next?

Anonymous said...

I had a conversation this morning with my brother who lives in Vegas. He was pretty sensible during the run up...did take out some equity to make some much-needed repairs but he had owned his home for 15 years and was careful not to over extend himself. His home has lost $50k in "value" but since he never perceived it as real value, and didn't spend it as such, he doesn't suffer from the mentality or the reality of having lost anything. In fact, he's still ahead and probably always will be even when things bottom out.

Most (his word) of his friends weren't so smart, however. He described how they all had $200,000 HELOCS and went crazy buying trucks, RVs, boats...you name it, they were livin' large. Now he says almost all of them are openly talking about making the minimum payment as long as they can with the intention of walking away as soon as they have to. These are hard working, double income blue collar families making a decent income in the range of $80-$100k, the men in the Teamsters union.

This is the kind of anecdotal evidence that confirms -- at least in my mind -- that the bubble blogs, and finally the MSM, haven't been overhyping the situation. It's very real and it's going to get very ugly.

Ed said...

Very cogent retort anon 8:18. Bravo.

Anonymous said...

Yeah yeah yeah. End of the world. Great depression 2. Blah blah blah. Where have I heard all this before...oh yeah on HP for the last 3 years. Keep renting your shithole 1 bed 1 bath and driving the 20 year old Hondas.

Oh and how's that Y2K bunker doing these days.

Anonymous said...

Hey Vegas,

Are these UPS Drivers?

I got one across the street who owns 5 houses, bought a RV and continues to collect things.

UPS must be a sweet racket to sustain his drops in housing value in Florida.

He can't understand me with no debt, buy everything with cash and take 3 to 4 vacations a year. Yes I am retired and yes I always was a saver. I accumulated 8 figures starting with $0 in saving and $10k in student loans in 1970. Saving and watching your expenses

Anonymous said...

What do you have against 20 year old cars? I drive a '90 Camry with 148k miles on it and she runs like a dream. It's fully owned, costs me a max of $500 a year for repairs and maintenance, about $75 a month for gas (betcha can't say that about your Hummer!), the paint job and interior still looks great, and the A/C even still works.

How exactly does driving a sensible, inexpensive to own and operate vehicle make me some kind of a loser on your planet?

Anonymous said...

To Anon 10:42 re: Vegas...

No, not UPS drivers. They are diesel truck mechanics and I think they probably make more than a typical UPS driver. He said no one has looked down on him for living below his means, but it was more like they were having so much fun they really wanted him to join the party. Thanks but no thanks! He also said business is slow and all of their overtime has been cut out at work which is what is creating the hardships.

Another anecdote: we have realtor friends in Lake Tahoe who for the last several years had been sending out increasingly obnoxious Christmas newsletters bragging about all of their new stuff, vacations, properties, etc. This past Christmas they sent an empty card with no letter, with only one line: "What's up?" LOL. We like these people a lot but it was so obvious they were part of the problem.

bitterrenter said...

Yes Marky, republicans/conservatives believe in all the good things! That's why their whole ideology is based on GREED. Isn't that right? We "harness" the greed inherent in humans and use it to propel our culture forward? That the promise of individual reward is the engine of innovation? That to believe in doing things for the common good is naive?

Amazing, isn't it? A gutter ideology that not only encourages the lowest, basest instincts in humans it nurtures them.

There's your explanation of what's wrong with this culture. Conservatism is a disease of the soul. Totally at odds with a civilized culture. Completely out of synch with being a responsible citizen.

And a Hale & Hearty "f*ck you" to the idiot anon who hasn't got the balls to stand behind his derogatory comments with an identity or even a competent anon rebuttal.

Anonymous said...

Driving a '90 Camry doesn't make you a loser. It makes you cheap. You are at the other extreme of the guy driving a Hummer. Plus $500 in repairs for an 18 year old car is hard to believe.

I owned a 15 year old car. In college. It broke all the time. It looked like shit. It was all I could afford so it worked for me. Now that I am an adult with a very good paying job I can do a little better. I too own my car, a 2005 luxury car that I bought with cash last year. I get about 20/21 MPG and my repair costs are $0 since I have a CPO warranty until 2011.

If you are happy living like an 18 year old for the rest of your life, great for you. Personally I'm aiming for a little more out of my life. And this has nothing to do with impressing anyone with a fancy car. It has to do with driving a car I enjoy that provides me with the comfort and performance I want as well as technology, safety and features from 2005 not 1990.

Anonymous said...

Keith-

REDC Auction uses fake bidders to take the prices up. The ringmen signal to the auctioneer if it is a fake bidder or not.

www.ushomeauction.com

THEY ARE TO BE AVOIDED.

area 51 said...

Dear Ed,

I have provided a link to stats from the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) which show indeed wages have been "flat" for at least 10 yrs.
What it says basically is wages grew ~0.05%/month (0.6%/yr) which is far below inflation.

P.S.
You are an idiot.

http://tinyurl.com/ypupxh

Anonymous said...

Now that DOPES has become an HP convert, is Ed now the new "DOPES"?

Anonymous said...

Does anybody in this country know how to save for a rainy day or is everybody, HPers excluded of course, living on the edge?
------------------------
Many, many people are living on the edge and borrow from their credit cards. But it is not because they use it for fancy vacations, plasma tv's, etc.

They use their credit cards for basic stuff like food at the grocery stores, gas for their cars, pay the heating bill,etc.

Their crime: they get paid a lousy wage, or a wage that just doesnt make it in today's society. Consider someone making $20 dollars an hour supporting a family of three. That income comes out to just over $40,000 a year. That's hardly living off the fat of the land. In fact, in major cities in the US, like Los Angeles or Chicago, New York, that would just barely give you enough to pay rent, put food on the table for your family, and drive a used car that must be insured.

The problem is that wages stink. They're nowhere near what they should be to live a middle class life.

And so people who cant make ends meet, resort to credit card purchases that give them that extra legroom so they can survive from one month to the next.

I would bet a significant number of HPers are probably in this boat, considering $20 dollars an hour in this day and age is indeed a VERY good wage.

But I am sure smug heartless bastards, many of them HPers who probably live at home with their parents, or worse, are living off of their inheritance, dont know what it means to live paycheck to paycheck.

To those people, I say:

Dissalu, Don Corleone!

Anonymous said...

I hope Hillary gets smeared in Ohio, a state that has had its manufacturing base devestated.

And yet, those morons in Ohio voted for Bush/Cheney again in 2004, as a key state. Those people in Ohio deserve to get screwed.

Manufacturing jobs during the Bush/Cheney administration declined from 13% to 9%, so far. Bush 1 had the same horrible record.

The GOP screwed the workers in Ohio. I hope that you guys in Ohio learned the lesson and won't vote for GOP candidates ever again.

Anonymous said...

"What do you have against 20 year old cars? I drive a '90 Camry with 148k miles on it and she runs like a dream. It's fully owned...

How exactly does driving a sensible, inexpensive to own and operate vehicle make me some kind of a loser on your planet?"

Same here, my Toyota's got some 180k miles on it and runs like a charm. Whenever I make a long journey, like a bi-monthly road trip for greater than 4 hours, I rent a mid-size (w/ automatic roadside "swap" on the road) for those special getaways so that there's no chance of a mishap, far from home.

As soon as I get a major problem, ~$1.5K worth of repairs, I'll simply replace it with a 2 year old one, paid for in cash. And then, repeat the procedure for another decade or so. A vehicle should never make a dent in one's savings plans.

Frank@Scottsdale-Sucks.com said...

Dear republicans on the blog,

WTF are you talking about???


You forget this is no longer a housing blog, it's an anti-Republican blog. Everything is the fault of Republicans, especially Bush. It's Bush's fault if you get a cold or aren't a millionaire or have to fart. Just blame Bush and you'll feel better.

Keep renting your shithole 1 bed 1 bath and driving the 20 year old Hondas.

Statements like this crack me up because they've been discredited for so long. I'll keep renting my luxury McMansion for 1/3 the cost to "own" and continue to enjoy my brand-new S550 which is a business vehicle (read: deductible), while you continue to struggle to make your mortgage and pay for repairs on your depreciating shithole and continue driving your 20-year old Honda you were forced to "buy" on credit at one of those "we approve everyone" 30% interest car lots.

Anonymous said...

NO BAILOUTS for GREEDY BANKS, LENDERS, or people who made WRECKLESS FINANCIAL decisions!!

Anything "FEDERALLY guaranteed" means WE, the tax payers will get the Bill.

LET HOUSING PRICES FALL--This is what the Market needs to correct!! any other plans proposed will only mess things up further!!

WHERE is common sense in Washington---This is an OUTRAGE!!

Anonymous said...

Blogger Salt Lake Mortgage Guy said...

Who, after losing their job, has daily expenses that rapidly total 30k in credit card debt?

Does anybody in this country know how to save for a rainy day or is everybody, HPers excluded of course, living on the edge?

How hard do these reporters have to search to find people like this?

Well, Salt Lake Mortgage Guy I live in Ogden. Everyone I know is in debt like this. They are also living high on the hog with their houses on rocks with Option ARMS and teaser loans. Boat in the driveway, Motorhome, two SUV's, and of course since this is Utah there would be 4 kids in the mix.

You tell me how this has happened. None of these people are saving for retirement, or their kids private school, or college, it is all about the granite and the hickory and showing everyone how rich they are on borrowed money.

The Salt Lake Valley is no different than anywhere else. Even though everyone here believes they are on their own planet.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

once again bitter renter you win the stupidest post of the day award

and you are one of "The Smartest Guys in the Room" right? Be gone, we are sick of you already.

Anonymous said...

michael said...

bitterrenter,

who on this blog lives the way you suggest?

Warren Buffet does.

who are you talking to when you post?

He is talking to those of us who don't view life as a race for status.

Half of you in here are big f**ng liars. You are living your lifestyle of the rich and famous on a blog. It reminds me of that HP commercial where the guy is making tons of money with his Avatar online and the other guy asks him how much money have you made in the real world. Well... uh none.

This is America where different is good. Bitter Renter is entitled to his opinion, and if he wants to laugh at you and call you phony scumbags, well, so be it. Actually he has a lot of people here who agree with him.

Give em hell bitterrenter.

Andrew Hac said...

The Americano is as toasted as a snapper turtle skewered on a stick from head to ass all sizzling, juices dripping, fat popping over a bed of white hot charcoal grill.

Americano = Grilled Snapper Turtle

Heeeee... Haaaaa... Arrrrr...

The mentality of the average Americano is just amazing, if not stupefying.

A Circuit City Sale Associate is able to buy a house.
A Shoe Sale Man is driving an Audi.
An uneducated, illiterate, ignorant Ford factory auto-assembly worker makes $40/hour.
The Iraqi has Weapon Of Mass Destruction.

Talk about brain-dead zombie, blind-as-a-bat crapper. Maybe that is the reason why there is such word as "Trailer White Trash"...

Anonymous said...

If Democrats are into a balanced budget, then why not pass a balnced budget amendment since they are incontrol of Congress? I bet it will have popular support.

TM said...

Real republicans are for living within your means (including government). Taxing less and spending less. Making government smaller. Individual responsibility. Read the contract with America one day.

Then Dwight Eisenhower was the last real republican. The contract with America was a sad little piece of hypocrisy, in light of the spending orgy that took place 2000-2008.

I don't write this to defend bitterrenter's post or the Dem party. I'm just saying those ideals aren't being practiced by the GOP, plain and simple.

Anonymous said...

"What do you have against 20 year old cars? I drive a '90 Camry with 148k miles on it and she runs like a dream. It's fully owned, costs me a max of $500 a year for repairs and maintenance, about $75 a month for gas (betcha can't say that about your Hummer!), the paint job and interior still looks great, and the A/C even still works.

How exactly does driving a sensible, inexpensive to own and operate vehicle make me some kind of a loser on your planet?"



It makes you smart. Many people drive cars worth more than what they make in a year. Others will live in the ghetto and drive a luxury car with rims.

I have a 94 Mercedes Sedan with 220K miles on it. I spent $1200 in scheduled maintenance every 60K miles. Misc repairs each year are under $400. Just change the oil every 3,000 miles and put gas in it....she keeps going. Meanwhile my superficial neighbor has a new Landcruiser that surely costs over $500 a month to lease; over $600 to buy.

He is paying money on a depreciating asset.

Frank@Scottsdale-Sucks.com said...

bitterrenter -

According to you, business is evil and we should all stop making a profit.

The result? No more GDP. No more jobs. No more products. No more money. No more economy. No more civilization.

I know, you want the Soviet "utopia," but we already know that system failed.

As to calling people on this blog phonies, okay, I'm sure there are some, however I happen to use my real identity here and anyone is free to use Google to find out who I am and see that any claims I make here are 100% true.

Libertarian Realist said...

Real republicans are for living within your means (including government).

When was that?

The Reagan administration, when the $100 billion+ government deficit spending was invented, and when federal employment skyrocketed to record highs?

Or during the present administration, which happily dropped $700 billion on a meaningless and worthless war in Iraq that will end up costing over $2 trillion?

Or during the Republican majority years of 2004 and 2005, when government became the employer of a majority of Americans?

Taxing less and spending less.

When have Republicans ever -- and I mean EVER -- made that happen?

They spend lots of money and then increase taxes in the short term (through hidden taxes) and the long term (through deficit spending and borrowing that increases long-term tax rates).

Republicans have never once in the last 50 years "taxed less and spent less." Not once.

Republicans from Reagan to Bush to Bush Sr., and in state offices from Pennsylvania to California's governator, have engineered a massive explosion in government bloat and taxation that would make Marx himself blush in shame at the sheer magnitude of the spending. . . and Goebbels blush with shame at the audacity of the "small government, low taxes" claims of the GOP.

Making government smaller.

When has that happened -- just once?

Oh yeah, under Bill Clinton. Who was a socialist.

Individual responsibility. Read the contract with America one day.

All bullshit. Partisan bullshit for feeble-minded Republican sheeple.

Republican politicians at state and federal levels grew government faster than anyone in modern history, swelled deficits and government debt to shocking levels, inflated government payrolls at rates never before seen in America, and all the while their dim-witted cultists keep lecturing us about "small government" and "personal responsibility."

Amazing. Pathetic. People who buy into those GOP claims are no smarter than the people who believed the realtors (tm) who told them that housing prices always go up and never go down.

Ed said...

"area 51 said...

Dear Ed,

I have provided a link to stats from the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) which show indeed wages have been "flat" for at least 10 yrs.
What it says basically is wages grew ~0.05%/month (0.6%/yr) which is far below inflation.

P.S.
You are an idiot.

http://tinyurl.com/ypupxh

February 25, 2008 12:48 AM"


Man you are one dumb asshole who can't read a chart. No wonder you work for $10 an hour and haven't had a raise in 10 years.

http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/surveymost

Here is the data put a different way so high school drop outs like you can understand.Median weekly income in Q1 2000 was $573. Median Q4 income in 2007 was $700. If a 22% increase is flat, OK then it's flat.

And here is the key: this does NOT include self employed people.

If you want to get a 3% raise every year, then work for someone else. If you want to make money, work for yourself. Judging by your socialist idiocy, I am inclined to believe you fall in the former group. Now go be a good little boy and attend an Obama rally. I hear he is proposing another $100B of programs this morning. At this rate, you won't even have to worry about your 3% raise, he will give you everything you need for free and never have to work again.

Ed said...

re: 20 year old cars

I have a 19 year old car myself. 230K. But it is a pain in the ass to maintain. Just this month I spent $850 in repairs. And I will need the A/C fixed in a month or so when it gets hot, another $1000. It costs me about the same to keep that car than it would a new one, but it is a very unique car that I love to drive. My wife's car is 10 years old and it too costs at least $1500 a year in repairs. This is on top of oil changes, brake pads and other parts that simply wear out and need replacing.

Both cars are European so yeah repairs are expensive. But even so, I would love to see these 200K mile cars cost you guys nothing but oil changes every 3 months. I don't care how well a car is built after 15 or 20 years, things break.

Anonymous said...

Looks like the banks are now cutting off the housing ATM and credit lines.

Oh my goodness honey, first the credit cards now the HELOC. How will we survive without free money?

http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Banking/HomeFinancing/LendersCutOffTheHomeEquityTap.aspx

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said....

If you are happy living like an 18 year old for the rest of your life, great for you. Personally I'm aiming for a little more out of my life. And this has nothing to do with impressing anyone with a fancy car. It has to do with driving a car I enjoy that provides me with the comfort and performance I want as well as technology, safety and features from 2005 not 1990.

You are absolutely right at this point. The funny thing that happens is that the

"aiming for a little more out of my life"

tends to turn into a monster in the USA. What begins as a quest for a decent middle class lifestyle, soon becomes corrupted as you add the baggage of life such as wife and kids.

Perhaps you should remember that this country was built on the backs of people who lived like 18 year olds. Hand to mouth, so that you now get the opportunity to live a decent life, and don't succumb to the "gotta have it all right now" syndrome.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"What do you have against 20 year old cars? I drive a '90 Camry with 148k miles on it and she runs like a dream. It's fully owned...

How exactly does driving a sensible, inexpensive to own and operate vehicle make me some kind of a loser on your planet?"

It is easier to call you a loser than to admit that they can't fix anything. They are borderline retarded.

Anonymous said...

Frank@Scottsdale-Sucks.com
As to calling people on this blog phonies, okay, I'm sure there are some, however I happen to use my real identity here and anyone is free to use Google to find out who I am and see that any claims I make here are 100% true.

You sound like a late night infomercial.

Anonymous said...

Here is Visa's Initial Public Offering to share this toxic debt with new investors.(Suckers)

Come on folks, this is great opportunity for you to get in on the ground floor of the eminent credit card market collapse.
http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Investing/Dispatch/080225markets.aspx

Anonymous said...

Ed said...

Here is the data put a different way so high school drop outs like you can understand.Median weekly income in Q1 2000 was $573. Median Q4 income in 2007 was $700. If a 22% increase is flat, OK then it's flat.

He is an Ivy League college grad.

Anonymous said...

getting 150,000 miles on a car may be an unusual accomplishment to anyone driving since....forever

Anonymous said...

Rolls Royce was always the highest priced automobile, yet totally unreliable??????????????????/as some very famous people have stated and proven, still very pricy

Anonymous said...

no frank is not a phonie,,,,just an idiot...... sorry just to easy

Anonymous said...

"I would love to see these 200K mile cars cost you guys nothing but oil changes every 3 months. I don't care how well a car is built after 15 or 20 years, things break."

I'm the Camry owner that posted. Toyotas are known for lasting forever as long as they are properly maintained, and my spouse makes most repairs himself which saves money. We bought it from an elderly Japanese couple who were the original owners and had cared for it meticulously. We also live on an island, in a small village and don't drive it particularly hard.

Like another poster said, if we were ever faced with a repair that was going to cost more than the car is worth, we would simply replace it with another oldy but goody.

I don't understand how anyone could think it would be a better idea to get rid of a perfectly good car to buy a more expensive one. New cars today are overpriced, and they depreciate in value immediately. IMO it's a dumb move financially to ever buy a new one, no matter how much money you have.

It's the same kind of logic and financial sense that helped me recognize the housing bubble before anyone else I know. Frankly, I don't understand how some of you could see the housing crash coming, but don't see the value of keeping your transportation costs as low as possible.

Anonymous said...

"IMO it's a dumb move financially to ever buy a new one, no matter how much money you have."

Believe it or not but 2 yr Toyota certified pre-owned don't cost much less than a brand new Corolla or even Camry.

I'd say, get a new Corolla or Camry, it'll be worth it. Those cars really last.