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Old May 28th, 2009, 06:01 PM
ToddDH ToddDH is offline
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Greeneville, Tennessee
Posts: 4,523


Slums have existed in major cities since the ancient world. As long as some people prefer urban squalor to the harder life that many rural areas offer, there will always be slums. I am sure you are right about your prediction for India but when 55% of the population of an enormous city such as Mumbai (formerly Bombay) live in slums that occupy only 6% of the land of the entire city, India is going to have to rectify a hell of a lot of its internal problems before it could really become a world leader.

But does it have promise? In spades. What follows IS NOT an urban legend. A couple in the Raleigh/Durham area of North Carolina who decided to be self insured, went to Duke because the husband (actually I don't believe the two were married but had lived together for decades) needed open heart surgery. The head of the hospital informed them it would cost $100,000 at time of admission and $100,000 dollars at time of discharge. I don't know if this included physican fees but I don't believe it did. When the couple asked if they couldn't pay what insurance companies did, the reply (which stunned the couple) was simply that there were no provisions to do that!

Long story short. They flew to India (I believe Mumbai but it could have been New Delhi). The man had his surgery in an impeccably kept hospital wherein every surgical suite had every device required of modern medicine, every single nurse working in the hospital was the equivalent of our RN's and in which the man was operated on by a world class heart surgeon. The over all cost to the couple including all medical fees and hospital bills, the airfare over and back and even including the wife's stay for the entire time at a nice hotel? You are never going to believe this but try to digest that it was under seven thousand dollars. "They're lying," some may say. I don't think they'd be so stupid to do so....especially since they were testifying in front of the United States Congress and on TV at that.

On the local front, yes indeed, some homes did drop 40% of value, even more in fact. But as yet no one has been able to explain to me (I'm very dense and even basically stupid) how that had anything to do with their mortgage payment. Even a variable rate has a cap to which the payments may rise as the home owner knows at the time he makes the mortgage . As regards variable rates or conventional mortgages, how were those rates effected? Mine certainly wasn't. To put it bluntly, I don't care whether the value of the house went up or down, if they couldn't afford the payment, they were in fact buying more house than they could afford. To my minimal mental abilities (wherein of course lies probably my problem) it's simple. I long to once again live in a more simpler vein from back in the days wherein you paid what you owed and if you didn't, you no longer owned that for which you were paying. Oh, and claiming bankruptcy because one ran their credit cards to the max while indulging their every whim, wasn't considered a national past time. Now thankfully, that has been reigned in as well........uhhh.....for awhile at least.

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