Last week, Edgar Allen Been concluded that not only is there no real economic crisis, but that “there’s something fundamentally dishonest about the idea you can invest a dollar … and, without doing a damn thing yourself, expect it to turn into $2 or $10.” What he misses entirely is that the invested life savings of millions of people across the globe have been deeply diminished by the collapse of the stock markets – ask anyone on a fixed income who is watching their retirement income cut by a third or more.
Beem freely acknowledges that he has only tangible assets and not much money. If he depends on the retirement plan of his spouse, he might start to worry that those 401K investments have tanked and that, perhaps, they’ll both be working well past any intended retirement age at a lower standard of living. But, of course, he might find that to be just fine as he admits that “I remember not having any money. It wasn’t so bad.” But he did depend on taxpayer money, which financed his no-money-down FHA mortgage, while Medicaid paid his maternity bill. So, here’s the question: The Beems now “earn a comfortable living.” Should the Beem family, which has been imprudent by failing to invest and save for their retirement, be allowed to turn to the taxpayers once again and say “Give me your help because I decided not to save and invest.” I don’t think so or, at least, I surely hope not.