Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Ethics of Debt

First off, I want to thank everyone who responded to my question.

It actually did happen to us, and we drove back to the store (about twenty minutes from our house) and paid, in full, for the movie that we had unintentionally taken. To do otherwise, for us, was not an option - not because of some external fear of divine retribution (neither of us are religious people), but because we believe it would have been wrong - not criminally wrong, but wrong nonetheless.

In retrospect it was, perhaps, not the best analogy.

I'm not making value judgments about people who choose to feed their families instead of paying their credit card debt, or even people who just decide to thumb their noses at an unjust system. Neither am I defending creditors.

Whether or not people who default on their debts should be punished as criminals is rather beside the point I was trying to make.

What I have been trying to say (and obviously not doing a very good job of it ;) is that we should not justify, rationalize, glamorize or excuse those actions and call it something that it's not. Choosing to not pay our debts is not anything as noble or patriotic as civil disobedience.

I just think we should call a spade a spade.

1 comment:

  1. when my kids were 1 & 2 i had them in a double stroller at the mall..my children were ALWAYS so well behaved..walking around the mall was a good way for us to get out of the house in bad weather...so after driving all the way home (we were living in the country at the time), i realized m 1 yr old had grabbed this little rubber rat (it was in the halloween store). So I called the store to let them know. They told me not to even worry about it..but i felt so bad i had my mom watch the kids and i drove all the way back to pay for it...I think it would have been weighing on my mind if i had not....i also walked out of a cardstore once without paying for a card...but soon realized it and went back and paid.

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