Probably dangerous to draw too broad a conclusion from a single (alleged) embezzlement case, but I'm trying to make a point.
An office manager for a local clinic is charged with stealing 214,000.
It happened from 2005 to 2009.
She bought herself a Audi AA s, and a Cadillac STS, and had "extensive remodeling performed on her Bend home over the past few years..." (Bulletin, March 21, 2009).
I'm wondering if we aren't going to be seeing a lot more of these kinds of cases than usual.
It seems to me that our entire country suffered from a mass delusion. Watching the Home and Garden channels, you'd think that marble counter tops and wood floors were an absolute necessity. Didn't everyone live this way? Didn't everyone drive a late model luxury car or SUV? Didn't everyone experience fine dining on a regular basis?
The money was flowing, and no one was really paying attention. No one was questioning how an office manager managed to buy not one, but two luxury cars.
Lots of people were doing it. But -- if they had modest incomes, and they didn't embezzle, I suspect they went deep into debt. That scenario, it seems to me, still has to play out.
Credit card debt is sneaky. You can make minimum payments for a long time after you're underwater, which of course just makes it worse.
Again, you're not going to have people admit to these things.
You'll see the outward signs, which will be explained by other motives.
Sudden moves, sudden job shifts, divorces, sudden conversion to a 'simpler' or 'greener' lifestyles. People will be starting up businesses, or taking on consulting jobs, or 'retiring.' Recession Chic will give everyone cover to start to fall back to earth, both rich and middle class and poor. (The difference will be, the rich will be mostly lip service and will immediately go back to living high when they can.)
The poor and middle class will be left wondering what happened.
But it's just reality sinking in. Grabity is catching them.
16 hours ago