For decades mortgage lenders were damned for refusing to lend money to poor, minority, aspiring home-owners, and now they're being damned for for lending too easily.

"People of color are more than three times more likely to have subprime loans," concluded the organization United for a Fair Economy in a recent report which estimated that minorities have seen between 163 billion and 278 billion dollars of their equity go up in smoke since 2000.

With its weakened economy and a large black population more used to renting, Cleveland has become a poster child of the subprime crisis in a country where some 2.1 million borrowers are behind on their mortgage payments.

City officials estimate that foreclosures have swallowed some 70,000 homes and turned entire neighborhoods into ghost towns.

The city has responded by suing lenders, accusing them of targeting black borrowers and steering them to the loans granted with few formalities and at hefty interest rates to people with poor credit histories.

Naturally the people being thrown out of houses they can't afford want the rest of us to rescue them from the consequences of their bad decision-making.

In the hardest-hit suburb of Cleveland, "nearly 24,000 people have lost their homes to Cleveland's Katrina," he told AFP. ...

"More than two years later, 6,000 homeowners (in St. Bernard Parish) have each received an average 65,000 dollars in government funds to rebuild their American Dreams. But in Cleveland and its suburbs, there is no disaster relief, no presidential visits, no good Samaritans to helps us."

"It would have been better if it was an earthquake or a hurricane, we respond better to natural disasters than to men in suits disasters," said city councilor Zach Reid.

First off, it was ridiculous to hand out so much money to Katrina victims. But secondly, at least they were victims of a natural disaster and not just people who bought more house than they could afford.

It seems very simple to me: don't live beyond your means. There's all sorts of things I'd love to own, but I can't because I don't make enough money. If I went out a bought a $10 million home but then couldn't pay the mortgage whose fault would that be? Would these same people be lining up to bail me out?

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