Consumer Car Debt Their Own Damn Fault, or Not
If you write for WardsAuto, you know the vast majority of the people reading your bon mots are car dealers. So you can't come out and say "you greedy bunch of bastards are responsible for getting people into cars they can't afford, which is about to turn around and bite you in the ass big time." On the other hand, you can't come out and say "consumers are stupid morons who deserve what they get when they get in over their heads on a new car and can't get the Hell out." Consumers are customers, after all. For an example of how to play it straight down the middle, alienating both camps, I recommend you click on Steve Finaly's latest editorial " The Dealer Made Me Do It," riffing on the LA Times article “New Cars That Are Fully Loaded – With Debt” (blogged on TTAC here). "First off, I’m not excusing auto dealers. Or lenders. They have a moral and business responsibility to try to stop their customers from doing something stupid, such as buying a vehicle with a sticker price that will stick them with an oppressive debt… But so many consumers today buy too much vehicle. Then, when the financial squeeze becomes eye-popping, they look for someone to blame. The dealership and lender make nice targets. Seldom do the debt-ridden blame themselves." Well, why would they?