Semi-Involuntary Ascetic

A man wants to earn money in order to be happy, and his whole effort and the best of a life are devoted to the earning of that money. Happiness is forgotten; the means are taken for the end.

Albert Camus; The Myth of Sisyphus


Viddy of the day to start things off:  A story about strategic mortgage default, how the rich are exploiting it, the legislation to stop it, and how it lets the rich get away with it, while the middle class is forced to pay mortgages they cannot afford.   


Saturday’s linkfest:

Biggest defaulters on mortgages are the rich

Rich and ruthless abandoning mortgages

China’s trade surplus widens in June; adding pressure on Yuan

U.S. fails to label China as currency manipulator

Responsible thinking site outline


Money. Cause of all evil, Auri sacra fames. The god of the day—but not to be confused with Apollo. Politicians call it emoluments; lawyers, retainers; doctors, fees; employees, salary; workmen, pay; servants, wages. “Money is not happiness.”

Gustave Flaubert;  Dictionary of received ideas


I could use more money.  I don’t have much, but then again that isn’t a surprise, seeing how I don’t have a job.  The people above, who have given up on their houses, defaulting on their mortgages,  for all that they have less than they had before the recession, still have more than I do.  The rich ones have more that I may ever have.  Such is the life of the semi-involuntary ascetic.

It doesn’t pay to be jealous of people who have more.  More is not a state of mind, not something to fight for, and it is not permanent.  Less is more likely to be permanent than more, especially when talking about money.  That is one of the reasons I don’t sweat being poor all that much.  I don’t have much in the way of a future, not one that has much in the way of relaxation in it, anyway.

When I saw this story, where the rich are using mortgage defaults to save themselves some money, I was of two minds.  One the one hand I like the strategy, it saves money, something everyone wants to do. While you lose something you love(love of objects is silly, but it happens), you also gain by not having to pay all that money for something which has lost enough value to be essentially worthless in its current state, or close enough to worthless where it makes sense to just walk away.

On the other hand, I was incensed that these rich people were using a strategy that should,  in my moral universe, only be used as a last resort by people who are at their wits end, and have no other choice.  There was the one story of the person who had to move into an apartment because they were over their heads, that I have no issue with, but when you do it with a vacation home, a second or third home, an investment home, it seems wrong.

Selling an investment when it’s a stock, kewl.  Selling a second car? Most excellent, the roads could use a little less clogging with yer damn cars, and it’d do you a world of good to get a long walk in, ya lazy bastards! 🙂  Do you just walk away from a stock? It, given time, could go up.  Do you just walk away from a second car? Nope.  I don’t see it. 

So when I see this, see people walking away from houses they could pay for, and don’t because they are simply being unscrupulous, it gets me, makes me question the character of the people involved.  But that’s just my broke ass talking about people who have more, and wondering how they can abuse it like this.  Seems dumb.

Just saying.


I have guitar playing, death metal listening, and baseball watching to do.  Go grab a beer, America, I’ll write to you again tomorrow.

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