Wednesday, September 23, 2009

You Should Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth

The old adage is Don't Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth. In my mother's view, it meant that if someone gives you a present, you should accept it graciously, even if it is something that is not exactly what you want. My view is that the economy fell apart because greedy people failed to examine that steed. Too many people jumped at the chance to get homes, cars, and other luxuries they couldn't afford with loans and cheap credit they knew they couldn't repay (at least not in this lifetime, based on minimum payments). I'm old-fashioned enough to be suspicious whenever someone offers me something that sounds to good to be true. Read that fine print and you'll find that it almost always is. The size of our economy is a function of how much credit is being used. The quality of our economy is a function of how much we save, how much we keep spending within our means, and how frequently we buy products that are manufactured here rather than abroad. Don't always look to cheat the system, or you may find that there won't be a viable system at all in the future.

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