"Have you ever wondered why debt was against the law only a few hundred years ago? Not only that, but punishment for not paying your debt was death by either public hanging or other colorful ways. The public had a moral disregard for debt. Usury laws were in place for this particular reason. Now, we have done a 180 degree turn on things and this actually speaks more to our overall cultural obsession with debt and credit. Even look at one of the above posters who had $20,000 in credit card debt, created a website, and actually had people pay her debt off. Other people’s money paying off her inability to control her spending. Now she is selling a book and possibly, according to her website, is going to have a movie. Can you believe this? If this were only a few centuries ago she would be branded and sent off to debtors prison. But alas, many of us would be branded since our culture is one in which debt is synonymous with credit.
How can we point the finger at you if you are only functioning within the rules of the game? I believe most posters do not detest you that you are greedy since we all have a tinge of that in our red blood, but the fact that you lied and tried to accelerate the rules of the game in your favor. One thing our society has a hard time accepting is liars. We love the Horatio Alger stories since these are embedded in the seed of American culture. Start with nothing except the rags on your back and make it all the way to the top. That is if you follow the rules and you have not.
All of us have an inherent sense of greed or at least wanting more. For example, we all go to work expecting a check for our long hard hours. This is the core of a capitalist society. The only reason you are here on the web is because the real estate market crashed ahead of your time. And this too is part of the Capitalist system. As in any Ponzi scheme, the last one out usually has to turn off the lights and mop up the floors. Just imagine if you had started two years earlier, then none of this would have happened…right? Actually, I have a feeling that you would have your name penned on 30 different contracts and would be in debt for $10,000,000. Heck, if you’re going to lie why not lie all the way?
And those seminars are exercises in old school behavioral psychology. They run on the assumption of a variable rate of reinforcement, the strongest force known in this Jedi’s world. Below is an example of variable rate reinforcement:
Deal or No Deal
You get the picture. And seminars have such a large draw because they work. The caveat being that it will work for those five percent of the population who have some knowledge of the market, have learned via experience, and actually realize that success does equal hard work and time. If anything Casey, you learned all these skills and they will serve you well in the future. My lesson in hard knocks came at the hand of the technology bubble. Yes, that time when 20 percent year over year returns seemed like my God given right! When California housing went up 20 percent year over year for five years all I could think of was how eerily similar this was. I am not comparing housing to stocks but the mindset you demonstrate was very similar to my logic and thinking at the time. Except I did not lie and my funding source was cash advances on credit cards. Either way, my gut told me I can make 20 percent returns month to month, forget year to year, and I will be wealthy in only a few years. I had a few successes that clouded my judgment (think of this as winning $200 with the first quarter at a slot machine) and I mistook luck and timing with market intelligence. I did well for one year and needless to say lost everything come 2000; well, I should say I lost all the profits I had since I at least had the fortune to pay off the credit card advances. The party ends quickly my friend. You’ve learned a valuable lesson. I have a feeling the next few years are going to bring out a lot of your brethren and you will not feel alone. Unfortunately, I do not see the market turning anytime soon and wish you the best."