Do We Even Believe in Commitments Anymore?

Today’s USA Today has a story on its front page titled “Tempers rise over oil-heat lock-ins”.

Basically it gives examples of people and organizations that locked in prices thinking they were going to stay high, only to see them fall significantly.

Several of the organizations had reasonable positions such as this: We rolled the dice and did what we thought was the best thing to do.

But here’s what kills me:

  • In Connecticut, more than 500 people have called the attorney general’s office in the past two months, trying to get out of the fuel contracts.
  • New Hampshire’s attorney general’s office received at least a dozen calls and the Vermont AG’s office about two dozen from upset homeowners.
  • “It’s a universal plea: they want us to extricate them from these contracts,” says Attorney General Richard Blumenthal

I just can’t get over how people can feel this way. If the price had gone up, and the people they bought the lock-ins from had called them to get out of the contracts, you can bet they would have been outraged! But they have no problem trying to go the other way.

Do we as a people place no value on our word? Goodness, these are binding legal contracts – if someone won’t even live up to that, I can pretty much guess what they’d do with their word given the slightest difficulty. Hmmm, seems like the Bible says something about that somewhere…

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