There are three little words I very rarely say, but when I do, you can bet I mean the sentiment behind them. If used too often, these three little words lose their impact and so I save them for special occasions.
“I love you”? Not quite.
As I said yesterday they didn’t accept my offer on the condo, and boy, am I pissed. Screeching halt! You and I both know my heart is not into buying any kind of property right now, so WTF, Linda, right?
Well, I’ll tell you. The reason I didn’t get the condo is because condos are being snatched up here in Las Vegas by investors who are paying for them with cash. So whose offer is going to be accepted—the buyer who can pay with cash or the buyer who has to go through the whole mortgage process, possibly FHA and all their requirements? (And P.S., my offer was submitted with a pre-qual letter for almost twice the asking price.)
That, people, is what’s pissing me off. What if I really, really wanted that condo? What if having a piece of the American dream and “pride of ownership” were actually important to me? What if (gulp) I’d been foregoing my expensive dark beer for the cheap stuff for months on end—saving every cent toward a down payment—for nothing?
There’s something wrong here.
You know I hardly ever talk about politics or current events in this blog, but economically this country is messed up, and Las Vegas is at the high end of the scale.
This condo project here in Green Valley went belly up a few years ago. How long do we have to look at this thing, and at some point won’t the elements deteriorate it to the point of no return? It's an eyesore, a huge one.
Signs like this are all over the place.
And then there are signs of another type:
Murder-suicides here are at a record high… The woman who owned the franchise of the coffee house where I wrote most of my book went bankrupt… My work friends and I used to go to the lunch buffet at the Silverton casino. No more—the buffet’s open only for dinner and brunch on the weekend… The bartender at the PT’s pub across the street from my office says the owner’s pressuring her to bring in business. From where? The nearby businesses don't employ the number of people they used to.
A woman approached me after the author’s panel last week and asked if my book was in library. She said she really wanted to read it, but she’s unemployed and can’t afford it right now and after she walked away I realized I should have just given her a copy. I'm KICKING myself for not.
The unemployment rate is almost 14 percent in Las Vegas. The company my friend’s father works for imposed mandatory overtime with no pay—take it or leave it, folks. Those fucking bastards. They know people are scared shitless of losing their jobs, but I can guarantee you the owners of the company haven’t cut back on their lifestyle one goddamn bit. They’re probably out there snatching up condos.
The rich get richer and the hardworking people in the middle are fucked.
And don’t even get me going on the banks and credit cards. Those mother fucking assholes are raising people’s interest rates to obscene levels, making it nearly impossible to pay off, and they're reducing credit limits (which impacts consumers’ credit scores) for no good reason. Pay your bills every month on time? They don’t give a shit—you’re fucked.
Another friend of mine, who filed for bankruptcy a while back, is now getting credit card offers to help “rebuild” her credit. The interest rate on purchases is 31 percent, and if you check out the tiny print on the back, you'll see there's no grace period for purchases made. That means the second the transaction goes through, they start collecting interest. At 31 percent. Oh, there’s also a $100 application fee, which is immediately charged to the account, so they’re getting that 31 percent right off the bat. And oh, yeah—there’s a $75 annual fee. I’m sure those are terms and conditions people recovering from bankruptcy don’t mind at all. Preditors! Fucking preditors.
The banks and credit card companies are RAPING consumers and on top of that, they expect the country to bail them out. To them, I offer my three little special occasion words, words I haven't spoken since my rant about cancer:
SUCK. MY. DICK.