That said, my DH is acquainted with someone in our community who offers free credit counseling and debt consolidation through a local gemach. He spends up to 20 hours per week helping families figure a way out of credit card debt. Now, I imagined all this credit card debt was a result of everyone running amok at the mall, but DH's friend related something surprising (to me, anyway!). He said that the majority of unmanageable consumer debt owed by families with whom he worked was based on two areas of expenditure: (1) Seminary in Israel for post-high school girls; and (2) Chassunah expenses.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Blaming Bad Finances on the Girls
I found this comment on imamother which underscores my feeling that the attack against seminary for girls is not actually financial in nature, but is really an attack against Torah education for women.
I don't appreciate intellectual dishonesty and this is a prime example.
Never mind that the Orthodox parents have been financing 12 + year of private schooling for both boys and girls. Never mind that a good percentage of young people, especially men (!), don't enter the workplace until their mid-20s with a kid or two behind them. Never mind that long term savings, esp. retirement, is discouraged in favor of and it's-not-a-luxury-any-longer camp. Never mind that many enjoy plenty of luxuries on a regular basis from matching boutique children's clothing to new jewelry in honor of every occasion under the sun to designer strollers. Never mind that a cleaning lady is a regular feature in a a good half of frum households. Never mind over inflated household expenses from store bought prepared food products to flowers. Never mind school pizza lunches.
Nope, the reason for the credit card debt isn't years upon years of over-spending. The reason for the unmanageable debt is those pesky girls going to seminary!
When it is time to get serious about a communal debt problem that menfolk will be addressed and blamed together with the womenfolk.