Friday, October 3, 2008

Those Darn Poor People - Well Maybe Not So Much...

Here's something to consider for those who still believe that low income, minority home buyers are to blame for the current economic crisis in our country.

In a letter to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson from Marc Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League, cites a New York Times article which reports that low-income, minority borrowers were not the reason for the subprime mortgage scandal.

Mr. Morial's letter to Secretary Paulson reads in part:

"Instead of having a healthy debate on policy issues to avert future problems, those disseminating the Weapons of Mass Deception are launching attacks not only on African-Americans and other groups...Others point to the diversity policies of failed banks like Washington Mutual that allowed unqualified minorities to and gays to ruin the banks.

Now more than ever America needs unity and real solutions to fix the economic mess that has engfulfed our country. History provides too many lessons about the consequences of singling out only certain segments of the population as culprits for a country's woes. You have a moral duty to remember these lessons and to do what is necessary to extinguish the flames of hatred."

Kudos to Mr. Morial, for pointing out the dangers of such narrow minded and unfounded thinking. Whether Secretary Paulson, or anyone else in the Administration pays attention - the rest of us should.

7 comments:

RonS. said...

Dear Rev. Britt,

Here we go again. How many times did Judas deny the Lord?

I think the mess is due to people getting mortgages who didn't, couldn't meet their monthly payments.

Too much too soon to be absorbed all at once; kinda like 40 days and 40 nights of rain.

Now how that came about has been documented and can't be undocumented.

So as Mr. Morial notes, "Now more than ever America needs unity and real solutions to fix the economic mess that has engfulfed our country." Now, Mr. Morial, heal thyself and join in the effort!

Best regards,

Ron Sexton

Gerald Britt said...

Ron,

Thanks for the comment, but I think you miss the point.

By blaming low income people for helping to cause the problem, it becomes easier to create an argument for cutting programs that give them assistance.

As one who has helped families get programs with some level of subsidy, I can tell you, they could never get away with some of the things that others got caught up in with the subprime scandal.

Did some low income, moderate to middle income people become victims, you bet. But, the preponderance (as per the article), were white middle income buyers.

And before anyone gets the wrong idea - I think we ought to be very careful about scandalizing them. Up the food chain were people who were happy to take advantage of all of us to get rich (or richer)! We may not be all victims, but in one way or another, we have all been victimized.

Anonymous said...

Rev,

I think you midss the point. These low income/ no income programs have been the catalyst for the current economic chao. The entire economy is being destroyed. Yet in your own words .. "By blaming low income people for helping to cause the problem, it becomes easier to create an argument for cutting programs that give them assistance".

To bring down the country's economy for 90% of the population for the sake of the 10% who can't pay for a mortgage is absurd beyond belief.

Tune up your fiddle and continue to watch the fire and smoke.

Anonymous said...

Rev,

I think you miss the point. These low income/ no income programs have been the catalyst for the current economic chaos. The entire economy is being destroyed. Yet in your own words .. "By blaming low income people for helping to cause the problem, it becomes easier to create an argument for cutting programs that give them assistance".

To bring down the country's economy for 90% of the population for the sake of the 10% who can't pay for a mortgage is absurd beyond belief.

Tune up your fiddle and continue to watch the fire and smoke.

clint said...

Rev.Britt, regarding the last comment: these times of uncertainty, its reassuring that there are still some people that we cannot confuse with facts.

RonS. said...

Dr. Gerald,

I said nothing about poor people. I meant anyone who got a mortgage and promised to make 12 Months X 30 Years, or 360 payments and somewhere along the way couldn't come up with it - any more.

There is a huge difference between assistance, subsidy and a commitment to make 360 payments to own your own home.

Assistance and subsidy: how long does it last, what are the arrangements, how much is it???

Can assistance and subsidy last forever without any payback? OK, maybe so...but how much is it. Does it amount to an average mortgage commitment which is about, say $100,000?

We must not intentionally misunderstand each other -- it's easy enough as it is.

Thank you.

Ron Sexton

Gerald Britt said...

Ron,

Sorry, I probably did misunderstand you.

Those who obtained mortgages with subsidies are in a different category than those who, through either predatory lending or greed are entangled in the subprime mortgage debacle.

As for your question regarding subsidies, it depends upon the source of the subsidy.

In the cases with which I am familiar the length of 10-15 years, after which the subsidy is forgiven.