It’s not so much the stupidity of this sentence that offends, but the unreflectiveness, the peculiar quality that leads some writers to embrace their stupidity as a virtue. Salon’s Stephanie Zacharek on Michael Moore’s new film:
The problem with Moore’s approach is that he reveals these injustices as if he’s just discovered them himself. Similarly, “Capitalism: A Love Story” will be revelatory and helpful to those Rip Van Winkles who slept through the fall of 2008 and the early part of 2009, who didn’t realize that hardworking American people are being pushed out of their homes in record numbers as a direct result of corporate greed.
This is how you lose a home to foreclosure:
1. You take out a loan to buy a house.
2. You cannot afford to pay back the loan.
3. The people who loaned you the money eventually take the house, per your loan agreement.
Which part of that is “corporate greed”?
The worst thing that happens to people who cannot (or will not) pay back mortgage loans is that, after a transparent legal process during which they have opportunities to make good on their obligations, they will have to give the house back to its rightful owners, and they will find it more difficult to get a new mortgage in the future.
What, exactly, is the alternative to this horrible “corporate greed”? Yes, it can be awful when one suffers a financial setback, and a foreclosure can be an emotionally and financially wrenching thing. But it’s not like we have debtors’ prisons (unless your creditor is the IRS, in which case, best of luck). Consider what happens with a car payment: They repossess your car and you still, in most cases, have to pay off the car loan. Mortgage defaulters have it relatively easy, and “corporate greed” doesn’t keep them from making their mortgage payments.
Casual ignorance + unreflective self-righteousness = stupid sentence. And being a movie critic is no excuse for it.