Welfare

The Upward Spiral of Housing Intervention

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Want a textbook demonstration of the fundamental media bias toward government intervention? Read the top of this New York Times front-pager:

U.S. Offers a Hand to Those on Eviction's Edge
SAN MATEO, Calif. — Two years into a merciless downward spiral, Antonio Moore was threatened with living on the street.

Total amount of money I have spent on buying automobiles in my life: $5,750

He had lost his $75,000-a-year job as a mortgage consultant, his three-bedroom house with a Jacuzzi, his Lexus sedan. He could no longer pay even the rent on his cramped studio apartment — not on his $10-an-hour part-time job as a fry cook at a fast food restaurant.

Faced with eviction, he was staring last month at the imminent prospect of joining the teeming ranks of the homeless. His last hope was a new $1.5 billion federal program aimed at preventing that fate.

Days after Mr. Moore applied, a check for $775 was on its way to his landlord, enabling him to stay — at least for now.

Much like the Great Depression, when millions of previously working people came to rely on a new social safety net for their sustenance, a swelling group of formerly middle-class Americans like Mr. Moore, 30, is seeking government aid for the first time. Without help, say economists, many are at risk of slipping permanently into poverty, even as economic conditions improve.

The question is whether the modern-day safety net has enough money and the right initiatives to aid those who need it most.

I would say there are more "questions" than all that, including: How, precisely, does The New York Times determine/verify what anyone's "last hope" is? And, what effect does massive and continuous government goosing of home prices (and repeated efforts to keep owners in houses they can't afford) have on the affordability of housing on the lower end of the market? Needless to say, this goes unasked.

I wish Moore the best, particularly since he's looking after some kids who are growing up in rough circumstances. But as someone who has made $75,000 in exactly four of my 22 years in the full-time workforce, I can testify that one's financial wiggle-room improves considerably when you don't buy a $400,000 house with a jacuzzi in the back yard and Lexus in the driveway near the top of a housing bubble in one of the country's most expensive markets. As ever, I'm considerably more exercised about bailing out the irresponsible decisions of Goldman Sachs than I am about the irresponsible decisions of individual home-buyers, but, well, check out The Times' other sob story:

They have three boys, a 12-year-old, and 9-year-old twins. At the house they have rented for seven years, on a street lined with well-tended lawns, the walls are covered with photos of her boys in their batting stances.

Until 2008, their painting business was pulling in $100,000 a year, which paid their $2,450-a-month rent and allowed them to buy a trailer on Clear Lake, where they took the boys water-skiing.

But last year, in a weak economy, they earned $38,000. They sold their trailer. They ran through $15,000 in savings. One day last winter, Ms. Martin noticed the refrigerator was nearly empty, and her checking account balance was down to $100. She drove to a county office and applied for food stamps.

Again, I hope it all works out. But it's a sign of just how credit-dependent and savings-averse this country has become that a six-figure income* is not enough to build more than a few months' worth of financial cushion. And there are two ways that a family of five can pay rent for less than $2,450 a month–move to a place that they can actually afford, or have a baseline rental market in which prices are allowed to go down.

At all levels of government, policies designed to promote "affordable housing" have, perversely if predictably, conspired to make the stuff more expensive, while encouraging the kind of unsound choices we see in the examples above. Protecting everyone except actual property owners (some, anyway) from the consequences of all these terrible decisions may draw applause from the news reporters at The New York Times, and make us feel good about allegedly averting a spike in homelessness, but it actively worsens two of the main pathologies that create homelessness in the first place.

* UPDATE: It's unclear from the story whether the $100,000 was "income" or "revenue," though I'd guess from the juxtaposition to the "earned" $38,000 that it's the former.

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  1. Want a textbook demonstration of the fundamental media bias toward government intervention?

    Nope.

  2. Again, I hope it all works out.

    I don’t. There’s a justice in the world, but the current Administration seeks to abolish natural law. They’ll end up punishing the innocent and the thrifty in the bargain.

    1. *hits you with a stick and steals your stuff*

      Very sincerely yours,
      Natural Law

      1. Careful, Mr. Law. I may be small, but I’m wiry.

        1. Oh Yah! I can vouch for that! Eh snookums?

  3. He had lost his $75,000-a-year job as a mortgage consultant,

    Good.

    Fuck you, Antonio.

    1. My first thought, as well. Assholes like him caused many, if not all, of the problems we have now. Hope he learns some humility while gettin’ those burgers flipped.

  4. There are so many things wrong with these sob stories that I simply don’t have time say anything other than STFU NYT.

    1. We have the best journalists in the world. There’s no disputing that. How many sections are you fluent in?

      1. Every time I see that commercial I want to punch the dude in the glasses right in the face.

        1. I’m fluent in three, actually!

        2. what about the hipster arty-farty guy in the black turtleneck?

          1. That’s me, actually!

      2. Like Walter Duranty?

    2. It’s not just the Times, though; I’ve been noticing a trend in sob stories lately. My local (Connecticut) paper ran a sob story last winter; there is a local charity which buys coats and cold-weather gear for poor kids who can’t afford it, and the paper ran a story with the obvious intention of encouraging people to donate to it. But the case study they chose to write about was a never-married single mother who quit her job at McDonald’s after she caught pregnant with her ninth child.

      As soon as I got to that sentence I cringed, and sure enough everyone who commented about the story online said something to the effect of “Well, I WAS gonna donate money to this, but after reading that story ….”

      And this is in Connecticut, a very blue Democratic state. I don’t know how representative those commenters are compared to the local population as a whole, but there is a LOT of anger out there, and sometimes it scares the hell out of me. No, I don’t want money confiscated from my small salaries and given to these irresponsible twits … but neither do I wish anyone to commit acts of physical violence against those twits, either. (Besides, even if every welfare program in the country were abolished, it would barely make a dent in our ridiculous budget or debt.)

      Anyway, when I read these sob stories and the responses they generate, I often wonder if the reporter is seriously trying to generate sympathy for these idiots, or is as fed up as any of us here but can’t outright say so.

      1. but neither do I wish anyone to commit acts of physical violence against those twits, either.

        You’re getting soft on those inferior to you, Jen.

        1. In earlier days, Jen would have beaten the crap out of you by now.

      2. Perhaps the doe-eyed youngsters that make up the bulk of their reporting and editing staff now aren’t used employing critical thinking in their job?

        Perhaps buying out the older, experienced staff, who have actually lived a life and could train wet-behind-the-ears reporterettes and whack the idealistic nonsense out of them early on, wasn’t such a good idea after all.

        1. That’s one possibility; another is that the “sympathetic” people who collect welfare or money from charity are too embarrassed to speak to the media about it. I know if I ever had to go on food stamps, or rely on charity to clothe myself, I would be absolutely mortified and there’s no WAY I’d consent to be the case study for a “pity the downtrodden” story.

          1. I watched an episode of Katie Couric’s excuse for a network news broadcast the other day, and I don’t believe I saw one male correspondent in the whole broadcast. Not one. Network “news” has been replaced with feminine, nanny-state empathy stories, championed by the scrunchy-faced, eyebrows-furrowed-with-concern, Queen of Empathy herself, Diane Sawyer.

            1. This isn’t a male/female thing, though; these past few weeks I’ve read lots of pathetic sob stories featuring single mothers — not widows or divorcees — who are suffering because the economy has forced state governments to reduce their welfare benefits — and even when the stories have a man’s name on the byline, none of these men seem to have asked questions like “Madam, why do you keep having more kids when you can’t afford the ones you have already?”

              Or if the reporter DID ask the question, the editor cut it out before the story made it to print.

  5. If you make $75K/year yet you finance a $35-40K car, you need a hard lesson in fiscal responsibility.

    Bah, you guys are really pissing me off this morning. I hope Balko has a nice LEO abuse story up by lunch.

    1. but i’d like a lexus and a house with a jacuzzi, why won’t you all buy it for me?

    2. I mean, seriously, you can do very basic math – estimate a mortgage and a car payment – and this dude must not have had ANY money left over at the end of the month. And now he’s MY problem? Shit.

      1. and this genius was a mortgage consultant, i.e., advising other people on how much house *they* could afford. Talk about the blind leading the blind.

  6. Yeah, $75,000 ain’t that much.

    If he had lived within his means and saved, he would’ve been able to ride this out for a good while.

    It’s a question of personal responsibility.

    1. So he went back to what he was doing 3 years ago then? Before his cousin/buddy/pastor told him about the sure thing in the mortgage business. I bet he had one $75k year and then made 5-30 year spending decisions based off thant.

      1. Have you met Not Sure? Smartest man alive, he can help.

  7. Why does Reason hate the irresponsible?

  8. I hope Balko has a nice LEO abuse story up by lunch.

    Yeah, really; the only good dog is a dead dog. That always cheers me up a little.

    1. This just in: Cops shoot and kill Antonio Moore’s poodle.
      Moore applies for poodle stamps.

      1. Not Poodle!

  9. “He had lost his $75,000-a-year job as a mortgage consultant, his three-bedroom house with a Jacuzzi, his Lexus sedan. He could no longer pay even the rent on his cramped studio apartment ? not on his $10-an-hour part-time job as a fry cook at a fast food restaurant.”

    It’s like the beginning of an Onion parody. Rot in the street, you motherfucker. Sympathy is in the dictionary between shit and syphilis.

    1. You know, I bet with some modest lifestyle changes, making that job full-time or *GASP* getting a SECOND part-time job, he could probably manage to get by.

      Aw, but why should he have to do that when the government can make the taxpayers support him instead?

      1. i don’t think he could, with the lexus payments, and chlorine for the jacuzzi is not cheap

  10. With rent at $2,450 a month, a $15,000 savings account is well below the six-month safety net considered the bare minimum level of financial responsibility; who the hell pays for luxuries like vacation homes when they don’t even have a six-month cushion in savings? Christ, I have a three-year cushion yet, in light of the economy, I don’t feel comfortable enough to splurge on anything more extravagant than an occasional dinner at a restaurant where you can eat your food without unwrapping it first.

    Despite my relatively good financial status I don’t expect to move out of my cramped apartment anytime soon, between the continued manipulation of the housing market and the inevitable tax increase my apartment-dwelling self will have to pay to spare my fellow Americans the horror of being evicted from luxury homes they could never afford in the first place.

    1. the inevitable tax increase

      I couldn’t have done it without your vote

      1. I couldn’t have done it without your vote income

        Fixed it for you, Mr. President.

        1. I think the joke is that Jennifer voted for Obama. Not sure if that’s true, but it’s the basis for the joke.

    2. I am not going to mention the basement strip club again. I’m now in harmony with women everywhere.

      1. Heh Heh. I had a little talk with “your people”.

      2. I’m now in harmony with women everywhere.

        Which only makes me think about this.

      3. Plus, my basement is one of those super-spooky models that really aren’t conducive to sexy thoughts, anyway.

        1. Clearly you underestimate appealing to the lowest common denominator. These are tough times for everybody.

        2. So go BDSM, and make that bug into a feature.

          1. Don’t forget the SS regalia.

        3. To clarify, for those who are not Jennifer, the basement in question is some guy’s in Detroit, not our roving reporter’s.

  11. This article is specifically designed to make the sort of people who read the NYTimes (and take it seriously) to think, “Holy shit, I could lose my cushy job at any second, so we need that nice articulate Obama to set up all kinds of free stuff for people like me who lose their cushy jobs!”

    1. Pretty much. Imagine the NY Post running this story instead?

      Of course, the WSJ still sends real estate brochures for 3MM apts. and 15MM Hamptons summer homes. It’s not like these publications don’t know who their readers are.

      1. What, you don’t peruse the real estate section of The New Yorker, you peasant? That half floor at Sutton Place isn’t selling itself, you know.

        (disclosure: a friend of mine’s parent’s own a massive place–half a building floor–at Sutton Place)

      2. I’d like to think the NY Post story would be something like, “Idiot screws up finances; YOU help him pay rent!”

      3. Reason sends out fliers for $10K cruises to subscribers, which makes me wonder whether I belong in this audience.

  12. “But it’s a sign of just how credit-dependent and savings-averse this country has become that a six-figure income is not enough to build more than a few months’ worth of financial cushion.”

    They did NOT have a “six figure income”. Their painting business had an annual REVENUES of $100,000.

    Words have meaning you know.

    1. They did NOT have a “six figure income”. Their painting business had an annual REVENUES of $100,000.

      Not clear from the article, since it used the oh so meaningful phrase of “pulling in $100,000 a year.” You’re probably right, but I’m not sure.

      1. I updated the post. Given that the $38,000 mentioned shortly thereafter is “earned,” I think the two likeliest scenarios are that 1) the six figures indeed meant “income,” or 2) the reporter isn’t sensitive to the distinctions, and doesn’t in fact know.

        1. Given that a painting business is relatively low overhead (most are home-or garage-based), the net income/revenue ratio would be high.

          1. I pay $40/gal for exterior paint. And do you think the latino workers they were likely using as laborers were working for free? How much does it cost to operate a business pickup truck or van for a year? There’s gas, maintainence, insurance, license tabs…

            1. Your ‘latino workers’ are a red herring, since they likely did not exist.

              If a business is grossing only $100k per year, it is a family business, not a storefront operation.

        2. Even if their painting business was earning $100K, you’re assuming that 100% of the earnings were flowing out to the owners rather than remaining on the company’s balance sheet and being reinvested.

          1. Given the family’s poor choices in their personal life, that assumption is perfectly reasonable, actually.

    2. When does a business owner confuse revenue with income? Other than when he’s being misleading…

    3. i think it is pretty clear that their net income was $100,000 before, and it is only $38,000 now

  13. Do you guys ever get sore arms from patting yourselves on the back so often?

    1. Do you guys ever get sore arms from patting yourselves on the back so often?

      Does it hurt your in places your mommy told you never to talk about when people ignore you?

      btw I am aware of the recursive irony of responding to you but wtf.

      1. Sorry I have to leave for a bit, but I have to take a wicked Dan T.

        1. I was constipated, but Dan T. loosened me up a lot. Thanks, Dan! I lost 5 lbs in water weight!

          1. Dan T. Green jobber AND homeopathic remedy!

    2. Say what?

      1. I’m going on record as saying that you are my favorite H&R poster hands down.

  14. Needless to say, this goes unasked.

    You actually expected the NYT to do an honest and/or competent job?

    Aim high, Matt, aim high.

    1. Fuck radical islam up it’s big bear ass.

    2. I can never tell what they do as a joke and what pussy Comedy Central does out of fear.

      If anyone kills Matt and Trey, I will get violent on their asses.

      1. If somebody kills the Southpark guys it will be their own fault for not excersing personal responsibilty.

      2. I got guns for rent a reasonable prices and am just a state lower from them. Something goes down, drop me a line and I’ll set you up right.

        Barret FTW.

      3. Comedy Central suffocates the fuck out of pretty much every movie and show they play. South Park guys should try to get out of that contract and move on to HDNet or something. Maybe the possibility would be enough for Comedy Central to sit down and shut the fuck up.

    3. I look forward to all the hyperventilating on MSNBC over those violent Islamists.

  15. Stop spoofing me!

    1. Stop spoofing me!

      1. Spoofity, spoof, spoof, spoof!

        1. But do keep poofting me.

          1. Mmmkay…

  16. It’s an economic lesson no one ever seems to learn. Subsidizing only runs up price, it doesn’t increase supply.
    Housing, Education, Health Care, all made prohibitively more expensive thus creating the need for greater subsidies. Upward spiral indeed.

    1. The one thing that sucks about being perfect is that we have to share the planet with mere mortals.

      1. To be Barnumesque, I don’t mind sharing the planet with suckers mere mortals.

        It’s paying their bills that bugs me.

      2. I’m soooo clever, you guys.

      3. Understanding basic economics = perfection?

  17. Her father has money to help if it really comes down to it, she acknowledges.

    “I don’t see him letting his grandkids land on the street,” she says, “but he’d hold it over our heads for a long time. That would lower me to a level that I wouldn’t want to go.”

    So she is here, at Samaritan House, filling out the paperwork for the homeless prevention program.

    _______________

    Yes, better to get my money, no strings attached, than to suffer the indignity of family help, if that comes with a price of being told you are an idiot.

    1. So what the article is saying is that we need to stigmatize welfare more?

      1. That’s actually an interesting point. Quite a bit has been done to de-stigmatize welfare. Food Stamps, for instance, are far less noticeable. Is that, in the long run, a good thing? It seems to me that social pressure against living off of others is an important force in people trying harder to get off the dole.

        I’m not saying that I want to make people on welfare wear giant Ws on their clothes, but there’s something to be said for not making it all so easy and painless.

        1. They do have to talk to government social workers to get food stamps. That’s pretty painful.

        2. We should at least make it more like a reality show, with taxpayers voting off the bigger deadbeats, leaving only worthy cases behind.

          Ideas? “American Dole?” Team up with a celeb and make it “Mother’s Day with the Stars”?

        3. How about some kind of online registry, and announcements in the paper whenever someone is approved for public welfare.

          1. Don’t forget mandatory “Welfare Recipient” vanity plates for the Lexus.

            1. All I know is that if misfortune ever finds me, which it won’t, I plan on dying on the streets peacefully.

        4. Quite a bit has been done to de-stigmatize welfare.

          But..But what about maintaining dignity Pro L?

          1. Stupid joke handles. Irony!

            1. Quit spoofing me!

              1. No! Quit spoofing me!

          2. Hey, it sucks being in a bad situation. That’s why people work hard to get out of it.

        5. I think there is something to that. It used to be the food stamps were actually coupons and when someone handed them to the cashier everyone saw it. Now they have “benefits cards” that work just like a regular debit card and no one in line behind you knows.

    2. Bored bureaucrats are so much less judgemental than family.

      1. Of course bureaucrats are less judgemental, it’s not their money.

    3. This is a big problem. People have a hard time having a personal relationship with people giving to them. Here it is especially funny because it’s her own father she can’t have help her. Yes he will hold it over her head because he was probably telling her the whole time they can’t afford $30k per year in rent! But I have had completely incorrect resentment towards The Shriners, who help a lot of disabled kids.

    4. Wow what kind of world are we living in when it’s considered more shamefull to get help from family and friends then accepting government handouts?

      1. Why, the one the government handed out, of course!

  18. “Without help, say economists, many are at risk of slipping permanently into poverty, even as economic conditions improve.”

    Here is the definition of a market correction- it turns out that certain people, like mortgage consultants, were completely useless all along, and lacking reliable skills or experience, no one wants to hire them. Hopefully the same goes for the keynesian/socialist “economists”.

    1. “Golgafrinchan Ark Ship B now available for boarding.”

      1. I can sanitize my own phone, thank you very much.

        1. You probably think you can determine what color your wheel should be yourself too.

          1. Dammit…stupid joke handles.

  19. housing and food are more important than healthcare, so the government should take over those sectors of the economy as well

    that will also help de-stigmatize people on welfare, since we will all be living on the state’s largesse

    1. Aren’t there less costly ways of dealing with bothersome stigmata? Some form of exorcism perhaps? Have they tried chanting? Maybe the health food stores have an herbal remedy that’s easily affordable.

      Seems a shame to condemn people to lives of dependence on welfare over a little bleeding from the palms of their hands.

      1. Oh, it’s BOTHERSOME, is it? Try it with nails instead of your weak little imagination!

  20. This is in fact a great example of how our media institutions favor collectivism and leftism, right down into their bones in things like basic story structure.

    The “human interest” story is almost always constructed in a way that proceeds from a sad story about an individual [or a reporter’s attempt at such a sad story; they don’t do that good a job of engendering sympathy for these folks] to requests for comment from government officials regarding what “corrective” action they’ll take to help those individuals out. The story structure itself carries collectivist and statist assumptions within it. You can’t write the story in a non-collectivist and non-statist way even if that’s your objective, once you adopt that particular structure.

    1. How many libertarians does it take to change a light bulb?

      Just one…he holds it in place and let’s the world revolve around him.

      1. Stop spoofing me!

        1. Stop spoofing me!

      2. I would never make such a retarded joke. Stop spoofing me.

        1. Stop spoofing me!

        2. To the Spoofmobile!

          1. Keep poofting me!

  21. But as someone who has made $75,000 in exactly four of my 22 years in the full-time workforce

    But this goes against all the sterotypes I’ve heard of overpaid, liberal newspaper columnists!

    1. Well, I haven’t worked as one of those….

  22. I haven’t even posted in this thread yet, assholes.

    1. I haven’t even pissed on posted in this thread yet, assholes.

      1. None of these comments are mine, including this one.

        1. I take vitamins, but I still have a persistent irony defficiency.

          1. Have you tried Femiron?

    2. Odd. I’ve seen about dozen posts under this handle.

  23. Stop spoofing me!

    1. I can lick my own asshole. I can lick yours to if you’d like.

  24. Stop Dan T.’ing me!

  25. The overall value of Dan T.’s comments is also spiraling upward, so there’s that.

    1. You will note that, as libertarians (or anarchists such as myself), we need no higher authority to deal with Dan T. He is dealt with, non-violently (though some may regret that), without any intervention by the reason editors. See how that all works?

      1. And now we can return to our circle jerk!

        1. Any decent spoofer would know that Xeones is a leading member of the threaded comment resistance movement and never posts a threaded reply.

          Pathetic.

          1. His strength is an example for us all.

          2. He did it up above too. You’re slippin’, X.

          3. Xeones is a leading member of the threaded comment resistance movement

            I thought he was the only member.

            1. P Brooks is also among the old guard.

        2. D-, Xeones never threads, ever. YOU SUCK.

        3. Ahem. I prefer a M?bius-strip jerk, thank you very much.

      2. incif is a lot easier.

  26. This clown makes around a third of what I make, and he bought a more expensive house and more expensive car than I have ever owned.

    So now I get to subsidize his greed and stupidity. Who does he think he is, an investment banker?

    You get more of what you reward, and less of what you punish.

    We are rewarding greed and stupidity, and punishing thrift and productivity. Guess which we’ll get more of, and which we’ll get less of?

    1. $225k is not that greedy

  27. So RC Dean, if you make $225,000 a year you must be very greedy and stupid, since that’s what our society rewards.

    1. For $225,000/year, I’m willing to be greedy and stupid. How long before society rewards me?

    2. Dan T, “society” isn’t rewarding RC – his employer (or the market, if he’s self-employed) is.

  28. My irrelevance is all-encompassing. Bow before me.

  29. As someone who has *never* made $75K/yr and has been laid off several times in the last decade, I say screw this guy. My wife and I bought and live in a really small house, because we can afford it. We drive old cars because we can afford them.
    If someone wants to live the bullshit rock-n-roll lifestyle, they’d better have the bankroll to back it up. Otherwise, when things get tough, don’t come whining to me.

    1. Good job. As long as you don’t take the mortgage interest deduction your story sounds great.

      1. So…if I take any tax deductions, society is required to pay someone else’s mortgage and Lexus payments? Not sure that follows, Danny-boy.

        1. Just saying that if you take the mortgage interest deduction, it means that non-homeowners are being forced to help you purchase your house.

          But hey, it’s only welfare when it helps somebody else, right?

          1. BZZZZT! Wrong.

            My money is all mine by default.

            The failure to tax me is not a subsidy.

            Maybe a bunch of OTHER people are being treated unjustly by THEIR GOVERNMENT, if they suffer from a tax burden that I don’t suffer from – but I’m not the one doing it.

            Talk to the motherfucking hand, baby doll. Your congressman has to pretend to care, but I don’t.

            1. Sorry Fluffy, but if your share of the cost of government is (say) $10,000, and the government tells you “since you’re buying a house you only have to pay $8,000” that means that somebody else is making up that extra $2,000.

              1. Normally, I don’t feed the trolls, but this point is so ignorant I just can’t help myself.

                if your share of the cost of government is

                What if say, my share of the government is much less than the amount they are taxing stealing from me at gun point?

        2. I am Dan T.; Hear me roar.

      2. Let us be clear, if you ever at any time in your life accepted any benefit provided by the government, then you are forever prohibited from disagreeing with any government program.

        1. This is the REAL Dan T. and I approve this post.

  30. You will note that, as libertarians (or anarchists such as myself), we need no higher authority to deal with Dan T. He is dealt with, non-violently (though some may regret that), without any intervention by the reason editors. See how that all works?

    Amen and amen.

    1. Wanna smell my cunt?

  31. I second that Amen.

    Now let’s get back to talking about how awesome we all are.

    1. Once again, you can’t even manage to format my handle property.

      Pathetic.

      1. See, you know it’s NutraSweet because he can’t even spell “properly” properly. No spoofer can ever match NutraJerk’s innate dyslexia and pedophilia.

        1. Shut your face, homo.

          1. Uh, NutraFuck would never call me a homo, so you fail again. DO BETTER.

            1. Poop fart ugh fuck mommy nippleclamp.

  32. Any decent spoofer would know that Xeones is a leading member of the threaded comment resistance movement and never posts a threaded reply.

    ‘Twould be a dreadful mistake to assume Dan T. possesses the awareness to notice such a thing. Besides, he thinks in terms of collectives, not individuals, so to him we are all The Libertarian (not that he knows what a libertarian is), and he responds as such. It is more than pathetic, it is shameful. There are moments when i feel really, really sorry for him.

    Then i remember that people who think like he does vote and elect politicians who think like he does, and that vein starts to come out in my forehead.

    1. I don’t have any kids, so it brings me joy to think that, ultimately, people will get the world they deserve.
      I’m sort of a bastard that way.

      1. None of us have any kids…that would require actually being able to get a date, etc.

        1. Wow, you can’t even spoof me correctly. TRY HARDER.

        2. Not necessarily. Steve Smith has, much to my detriment, found a way around the whole courtship process and gone straight to procreation. Either it was an immaculate conception, or I have done a lot of repressing.

  33. Sugar Free|4.22.10 @ 12:00PM|#

    I second that Amen.

    Now let’s get back to talking about how awesome we all are.

    So very. Fucking. Sad.

    1. Oh, spoofers are so cute. They can’t resist going out of character.

      1. And when would I ever say “Amen.”

        What a jerk-off.

  34. They can’t resist going out of character.

    Oddly enough, none of the Dan T. spoofs did.

    1. Those have been making me laugh. I can’t tell if it’s an army of spoofers, or if there’s a real Dan amongst them.

  35. Clouds of Sin and Happiness

    1. Sorry, Clouds of Sin and Sadness. I messed up just how pathetically emo it all was.

  36. As long as you don’t take the mortgage interest deduction your story sounds great.

    FYI, I (and a lot of other people) would be perfectly happy to see the elimination of the mortgage interest deduction.

    1. I am pretty sure Matt has bashed this deduction so don’t we all get credit for that?

  37. FYI, I (and a lot of other people) would be perfectly happy to see the elimination of the mortgage interest deduction.

    And every other deduction.

    And, mostly, the income tax itself.

    1. I wish every day was Christmas!

      Grow up, folks.

  38. He had lost his $75,000-a-year job as a mortgage consultant,

    Stop right there.

  39. I wish every day was Christmas!

    I wish every day was your birthday.

    So you’d be too busy stuffing your face with cake to annoy me.

  40. But as someone who has made $75,000 in exactly four of my 22 years in the full-time workforce

    Good on ya, Matt. I have made $75,000 in exactly 0 of my 23 years in the full-time workforce.

    By the way, Matt, what did you buy after the K car?

    1. ’87 Toyota two-door hatchback of some sort, then a sweet ’94 Acura Integra that we still drive.

      1. A 94 Integra should be a good car. I drive a 94 Lexus I bought in 99. But I paid a lot more than your $5,800 for it.

      2. Do you ever miss the K car… or at least the good times while you had it?

  41. I can testify that one’s financial wiggle-room improves considerably when you don’t buy a $400,000 house … near the top of a housing bubble in one of the country’s most expensive markets.

    Ummm, I don’t think “most expensive markets” means what you think it means, Matt. We bought our middle-class house near Honolulu 10+ years ago at the bottom of a housing slump from a near-foreclosure situation, and it still cost over $400K, and would now go for nearly a million.

    1. I bought a house in Pittsburgh at the height of the bubble for $30K. A bit of a run-down neighborhood, but not ghetto by any stretch of the imagination.

      Location, location, location.

      1. Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh

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