Justin's brief comment on the unspooling crisis of phony foreclosures is a good one, although I don't think the issue is so much "sympathies [that] lie with banking institutions"--which is not to disagree that they exist--but active antipathy toward the unfortunate, less a desire to help some bank clear its balance sheet than a viciously inhumane desire to punish the moral failing of impoverishment. Note first the terminology, "deadbeat," a word typically confined to describing adults who don't support their children. The self-lauded American characteristic of fair play has always been tinged with the habits of envy, jealousy, and disdain, and the supposed personal failings of the unfortunate have long colored our collective attitude toward their plight. (Curious, isn't it, for an, ahem, Christian nation, but then, I don't know, the synoptics are boring and confusing, or whatever.) The attitude toward these supposed deadbeats is likewise suffused with the angry self-entitlement that drives social anger toward the supposed largesse provided to poor blacks, illegal immigrants, etc., as if the threadbare socioeconomic provision offered by America to its poor represents the same sort of morally hazardous reward as huge finance-industry bonuses. The extremely modest amelioration of deprivation becomes instead the unscrupulous greed of the underclass, who, we are told, often intentionally maintain themselves in a state of poverty and want in order to benefit from handouts. Likewise, a defaulting home-"owner" is perceived as running a kind of underhanded scam to acquire free housing, and the bank is perceived effectively as an arm of ethical and legal enforcement, retreiving property that is in effect being stolen by the defaulting inhabitant. And by the way, the banks are acting in a semi-official capacity here; they are acting as state-sanctioned agents of enforcement. You can thank One-Term for that on your own time.