Monday, January 22, 2007

THE CULTURE OF DEBTS?!

If there is one thing that most of North Americans (and nearly all developed countries in the world), is that each one is suffering from certain types of debts.Most of those debts are financial debts although spiritual and moral debts are slowly becoming heavier and heavier. Most people,especially after holidays like Christmas, will head towards their kitchen tables, holding enough amount of bills wondering what happened,what went wrong and where the hell do I get these monies to pay back the debts? The fact is most people survives from a pay check to pay check.

Now having any type of debt is never a good feeling.No wonder some have committed suicide, some have committed murder, stole, became highly depressed, went deep with mental issue etc.The question is how do we get there? Is having debts stupidity or its the ultimate price of "development"? And are you one of those people who hates bill collectors to death?What happened?

9 comments:

Ntwiga said...

Jeff

Nice post.

The culture of enjoy now, pay later is one that comes with a serious price.

One aspect of this is long term effects. It boggles the mind to imagine what it will be like for the current set of consumers who will be servicing debt well into their retirement since they spent rather than saved and will have no income.

Patrick GK said...

Jeff,
My take on this whole debt situation isn't much different from what Ntwiga has hinted at.

I would go as far as saying it is stupidity for one to take out debts, heck there are people who've taken out huge loans and made chunks of money from it and paid it back and they are off to a good start in their businesses.

I think it all comes down to having a realistic financial plan and then making responsible choices. I mean you don't really need to buy something just because it is on sale, half-price!

Another thing is learning to live within one's means, kind of like if you can't afford it, then you don't need it. But if you must have it, then come up with a plan of how you are going to pay it back.

Otherwise brace yourself for the collection calls...

Remember the swahili proverb:
Kukopa harusi kulipa matanga! (literally translated: borrowing is like a wedding(which are usually huge merry feasts and celebrations in Africa) and paying back loans is like a funeral wake/vigil. (a time of sadness and grief)

Patrick GK said...

Hi Jeff,

The second paragraph of my post should read: I would NOT (I skipped the word NOT there)

I would NOT go as far as saying it is stupidity for one to take out debts, heck there are people who've taken out huge loans and made chunks of money from it and paid it back and they are off to a good start in their businesses.

My apologies...

Jeff Msangi said...

Ntwiga,
I agree with you,the long term effects will be painful than usual.That is one thing that most of us do not telescope it.

Patrick,
You are very right,there are people who have borrowed and made impact in their lives from the loans and stuff.I think those people have "discipline" which is a key ingredient towards any success.

Do you (Ntwiga and Patrick) think the challenges(debts)is more severely among black people/immigrant communities than fellows?If yes,why?

Ntwiga said...

I am not sure if immigrants are more affected. After all, it comes down to personal capacity to manage one self.

What does every else have to say.

Patrick GK said...

I am not so sure about blacks or immigrants being the most affected by debt. Debt doesn't know race, colour or ethnicity.

Some people find themselves in huge debts because they don't know how the credit system operates, how the interest keeps piling up, etc.

For anyone drowning in debt, attending financial literacy programmes or classes would be a helpful starting point.

Jeff Msangi said...

I want to agree with both of you,Ntwiga and Patrick.I also believe that everyone's story is unique and made by themselves.However,I have heard,times and times,what is called "systemic barriers" automatically imposed on immigrants.Things like unequal access to jobs,health care,business etc.That is when some fellas came up with a site called www.notcanada.com to warn people who wants to immigrate to Canada etc.Is there any reality in systemic barriers?

Patrick GK said...

Jeff,

I would like to think of "systemic barriers" as obstacles that one must overcome.

One of them is the infamous "Canadian experience" barrier placed on otherwise qualified immigrants, thus preventing them from securing employment in their fields of expertise.

However, if one knows the right people, they can land careers in their fields of expertise even before setting foot in the country. That's playing the "who you know" card together with the "what you know" one.

You will notice that this "systemic barrier" does not affect those who come as investors, talk about money being the equaliser!

I cannot think of any other barrier right now, except maybe getting things like loans, credit etc. as most don't have credit histories.

As for the "not canada" website all I can say is...well tough luck...once you decide to leave your country of birth and move to a new one, especially a developed one as this, it is unrealistic to expect to land the exactly the same job you had with all the perks right on arrival, that only happens if you move from a developed country to a developing one(Tanzania being a case in point, if you are a non-native, your chances of "getting ahead" are much higher than if you are(without incorporating the "know who" factor, of course) Go figure!

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