Brass Tacks #1: You Can’t Fix Stupid

The first of a series of articles intended to boil down some of the problems we’re facing to their essential, skeletal, rancid core.

That saying, “you can’t fix stupid”, it sounds a bit cruel, especially when you’re aiming it at people you actually like.  And, frankly, I’m feeling a bit guilty about using it here, but, still, this must be said.

I’m helping to care for a (currently vacant) rental property for a friend.  I strongly encouraged the owner to vet any new tenant candidates, advice that was taken, only belatedly and, it seems, only just in the nick of time.

Profile of The Potential Renter:  Household income of $2200 per month, comprised of $600 per month part time wages, $700 disability, and, presumably, the balance in some combination of food stamps, DSHS assistance and/or child support for three children.  The agreed upon rent of $900 would be roughly 40% of that, as yet, undocumented income.  The renter can’t come up with the whole security deposit and wants to pay it off over the full term of the lease.  The tenant has no checking account.  The renter wants to lock in an option to purchase the $230,000+ home at the end of the lease.

Now, I like these folks, as far as I know them.  More over, I sympathize with their situation and truly hope they are able, somehow, to find a nice, secure home for their kids that they can actually afford.

Question:  How did it happen that, as a nation, as a culture, we’ve somehow fostered the development of so many people who are utterly and irreconcilably divorced from reality? 

I’m almost (not quite) getting used to meeting new people who are “on the dole”, of one sort or another.  Old hat, really and, next to flea-marketeering, it may be the real growth industry of the future. 

I’ve made myself hoarse asking people what they do for a living.  But, OK, FINE, I GET IT.  You really don’t have to work very hard, if at all, in America anymore if you don’t want to…simply having children or, perhaps, drinking yourself half to death, is, apparently, enough for some to get by.  So be it.

So how well should these folks live?  How “fair” should their lives be?  Do you think we ought to just voluntarily give them our own homes?  They really seem to want them, you know?  Apparently, they have no problem asking for them and, surprisingly, even expecting to get them. 

So, I started this with the statement, “you can’t fix stupid”.  I just didn’t tell you who I thought was stupid.

Your Goooood F-F-Friend, Haaaarry T-T-Tuttle


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