A recent comment in our local newspaper forum led me to think about the state of our national politics. The writer mentioned the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and similar government employment programs during the reconstructionist/New Deal era. The WPA of the 30’s helped to energize the economy and quash the great depression. Though the writer mentioned how useful programs like that could be in today’s economy, I believe the over-the-top rhetoric of the ‘conservative’ community many have made that impossible. Any endeavor in which public money is used for public service programs is now deemed “Socialist” and, if enough money is proposed, even “Communist.” (more…)

…..Early last year, my we were house-shopping. We’ve been renting a house for several years, and decided it was time to move up. Our credit isn’t perfect, but not bad. We were pre-approved through Wachovia (or so we were told). We found a place and called our Wachovia contact to finalize the deal. As he explained the terms, I started to get concerned. The loan’s rate only lasted 12 months, then jumped to almost 30%. I asked what this was all about. I was being given one of those sub-prime mortgages that were already ravaging the country. He said all we’d have to do is refinance in 12 months and we could avoid the jump in interest. “Its all pretty normal. lot of people use it.” I realized that these only work if you know that some loan officer will definitely give you another mortgage a year from now. Insane. There is no way anyone would be able to say that with confidence. You’re leaving your home and financial future to a person who may or may not even exist. Truly insane, and he knew it. The more I asked, the more nervous he got. Obviously, I turned him down. Later, I learned that he didn’t work for Wachovia- he was in independent broker. (more…)