Glenn Beck once famously blamed Nazi genocide on empathy. He based this view on the fact that Hitler's propaganda machine once claimed that murdering those with physical disabilities and/or learning difficulties was the empathetic thing to do. His conclusion? "Empathy leads you to many bad decisions." Beck's opinion is one that seems to be shared by a whole lot of Americans when considering the plight of those of their fellow citizens who are in debt. But perhaps many in arrears or default don't deserve much sympathy or empathy. They threw away money they didn't have, buying things they didn't need, in pursuit of a happiness they didn't achieve. True, our economy is largely based on consumer credit, and would probably collapse if people only bought what they had to have. And a whole industry exists that has the sole aim of persuading people that purchasing the unnecessary or the unnecessarily expensive is going to make them happy. But this country's ethos of personal responsibility is deeply ingrained and a cause of much of its success, and it's neither possible nor desirable to be rid of it.