How should we think about personal responsibility in light of the financial bailout currently being debated in Washington, D.C.? Is that value even relevant in this context? For those that think that the value of personal responsibility is an important one in this context, should we think about any of the following differently?
(1) The losses of a consumer who took out a mortgage that is more than he or she can currently afford.
(2) The losses of a mortgage lender that offered loans that turned out to be more than its applicants could afford.
(3) The losses of a investor who bought stocks in mortgage lenders that now hold bad loans.
Additionally, does the way we pay for bailout of the consumers/mortgage lenders/investors raise issues of personal responsibility, particularly given that it will almost certainly be paid for by increasing the national debt (i.e., a mortgage to be paid by future tax payers)?
Finally, if personal responsibility is important here, how should that responsibility most appropriately manifest itself given the arguments sounding from Washington that (a) causing the consumer/mortgage lender/investor to bear their respective losses will hurt the national and even the global economies and (b) given the state of the economy, the only way to finance the bailout is by increasing the national debt?