Life Fail: Muhammad Ali Jabbar

Ok, this story on Money Sense’s main page really pisses me off.

I read it when it first came out, and it annoyed me then, but I thought I could get over it. But alas, they’re throwing it in my face every day so I feel the need to address what a dumbass this kid is and how ridiculous it is that the Money Sense writers try to drum up reader sympathy for what can only be described as a classic example of being young & stupid. The guy in the story, Jabbar, is painted as an unlucky student that merely graduated at the wrong time. Now the old people are getting richer and the young people have the odds stacked against them. Boohoo!

What’s that you say, Universe? Everyone has financial obstacles to overcome?

I might be an oddball in the sense that I don’t worry about the market, inflation, or discrepancies in income when it comes to getting rich. While I know those things do have their influence on wealth accumulation, I refuse to regard any of them as any sort of insurmountable barrier that will prevent me from achieving my goals. At the end of the day, what I have is still going to be the product of what I saved — not the era I was born in or what career I pursued.

I don’t feel sorry for Mr. Jabbar. Frankly, he’s a dumbass. He’s not unlucky, he just made the wrong choices and now he’s paying for them. Why the hell did he need $30,000 in student loans if he worked during the summer and lived at home? Why does he have a line of credit at $15,000? Why would you get a mortgage if you are newly graduated and $45K in the hole? Furthermore, given this track record, I bet there’s a credit card or two in there they just didn’t bother to list. These are all bad decisions — though most people won’t see that, since such displays of debt accumulation are commonplace. What we accept as “normal” is our most destructive financial fault of all.

This guy did not get ripped off — the article states he has a good job! His problem is living beyond his means. What he should have done is delayed purchasing a home, and used his working income to pay down his debt and save money for a down-payment. If he did it that way, not only would he have no collections agencies calling him, he’d have been able to put more down on his mortgage and thus reduce his monthly payment. Instead, the poor kid’s ruining his credit score, crumbling under the stress of his obligations, and — worst of all — squandering the years when he could be stuffing his bank account with cash for his future self. FAIL.

Oh, but I bet he has a really nice car!