a new book by the new york times' economics reporter edmund andrews reveals how even smart people who should've known better got sucked into the financial mess. BUSTED is the story of how andrews, even in the process of covering the economic meltdown from a journalist's point-of-view, allowed his heart and his doinky to get in the way of his wallet and his common sense.
it's a tale all too commonly told but not as well or as intelligently documented. however, how this could've happened is revealed in andrews' answer to a question asked by another journalist, in an interview i happened to read online this morning.
it's sad and it's funny and it's pathetic, all at the same time, and it reveals in the most telling way EXACTLY how this family found itself in the mess it's in. the lessons that this question and answer contain speak to the very heart of what needs to be addressed about our society in order to really bring about true change.
so here's the question (emphasis mine) which was part of an article by Tom Barlow, posted this morning on walletpop.com:
Q: How do you imagine your marriage would have fared if you had lived within your means from the onset?
A: I've asked myself that question many times. The toll this took on both of us, and on our marriage, was horrific. But there was one major benefit in all the madness: the house and neighborhood provided an anchor of stability for our children at a time of enormous stress for them. They loved the neighborhood and made really good friends here. They're happy and well-grounded. That is a huge deal for us as husband and wife.
i've never met mister and mrs andrews. i've never met their kids. but i can tell you right now as sure as the sun came up in the east this morning and its heading into the west tonight that if this man really believes was he says about his kids, he's smoking something stronger than i ever have. his kids are NOT well-grounded, or happy, or thrilled about having the most intimate details of their parent's f^#$-ups revealed. anyone who would stay in a neighborhood so his kids could have "really good friends" DOESN'T have his priorities in order and doesn't understand what kids REALLY need from their parents.
it'd be hysterical, if it weren't so freaking sad.