But Steve Randy Waldman already did the heavy lifting:
several of the other officers had been stationed at the height of the housing bubble at facilities located near D.C. in Northern Virginia. They lived in very modest homes which were removed from their workplaces by substantial driving distances, but these homes were nevertheless particularly pricey for someone with a family and on a military salary. The humble homes ate significant chunks out of those salaries as the commutes did to the (already scarce) time these men had to spend with their families….
While we were away, about halfway through our deployment, the crash began and something mysterious had gone horribly wrong with the machinery of America. The small equity positions these men has invested in their respective residences were wiped out in a matter of months. By the time they were close to returning to these homes the men were all badly underwater by over one hundred thousand dollars and, what was worse, the Army had reassigned them….
Their instinct was that if they had borrowed money from a friend or a neighbor they would feel a deep, almost sacred, obligation to make good on their debt and pay it off in full plus interest as soon as they could manage it….That was, after all, the “right thing to do” as they had been taught by their parents and grandparents.
But then the bailouts with taxpayer money started. The “too big to fail” talk began, and then the wave of foreclosures and layoffs and emerging scandals of the unjust excesses of the financial industry, and so on. And these men began to feel that from the personal scale of their little world, their family was also perhaps “too big to fail” by the forfeit of their hard-won life’s savings.
They also started to question how the bailouts could make sense without some of the benefits flowing to innocent and responsible men such as themselves….
Note:I mentioned this near the end of my last post, but it really deserves to be seen and read by more than the six people who might read to the end of that one.