iPhones, Obama, and leases, oh my!

Every time a new iPhone (or iPad or some such thing) is released, folks who own an earlier iteration—particularly if they're don't obsess over news from Apple about upcoming releases and so they just recently purchased the now "obsolete" version—generally feel some amount of buyer's remorse.  Maybe it's just plain envy but in any case the feeling is normal.  We wouldn't be human if we didn't experience it from time to time.

In the case of President Obama, there's been plenty of buyer's remorse from people on both the left and the right who voted for him but now feel that they'd been sold a bill of goods.  None of those people is very happy—a normal response.

Now the fishwrap of record has a story on gas leasing highlighting those

....stricken with remorse...Hundreds of...state residents who signed leases allowing gas companies to drill deep into their properties with a method known as horizontal hydraulic fracturing have changed their minds and are trying to break or renegotiate their contracts. Millions of acres in upstate New York are under lease, awaiting permits for the drilling, which has yet to begin, delayed by a state environmental review....

A follow-up blog post at the fishwrap quotes Dryden Town Board candidate Deb Shigley: “If you signed the contract, you couldn’t now say, ‘I didn’t know and therefore I don’t want it.' You took the money, and you’re under contract.”

Well, yeah.  Is it understandable that some people are now suffering buyer's remorse?  Sure.  We all do that sometimes.

But we seem to be moving farther and farther from a government of laws towards a government of men. It's becoming more and more acceptable to try to renege on contracts.  Remember the Chrysler bondholders who got stiffed in the nationalization of that company two years ago? How about homeowners who seem to think they're entitled to walk away from the mortgages they signed?  This sort of thing never ends well.  Without the expectation that the bargains people make are obligations that the law holds them to, we descend into chaos.

And as a friend pointed out, when can we expect to see a story in the NYT about the thousands of leasers who don't regret leasing their land?  Cue crickets...