I don’t know Barbara Kiviat but she must know me. She must know exactly the stuff I’ve been going through, because she has a very interesting article about Credit Card Debt, why we have it and what we are going to do about it. I’ll admit freely that I sort of blacked out half-way through the post. I’m either ADD or easily bored. I think that’s the same thing. From Time:
The credit-card companies, though, may not be the only ones we need to be protected from. Every penny of Americans’ nearly $1 trillion in revolving debt started with someone — some individual person — whipping out a piece of plastic and making a decision to use it. We could consider that free will and just call it a day, but there’s plenty of reason to believe the story isn’t so simple. There are piles of evidence that people are bad decision-makers when it comes to how they use credit cards. Even when presented with full and fair information, they often make decisions not in their own economic best interest — a reality only partly taken into account by the new rules and pending legislation.
I used, and use, my credit when I don’t have any money. That’s the truth and that is what it is for. However, I only use it when I don’t have any money and I have to pay for something huge. Like my transmission blowing up. Or moving for a job. Or a new computer. Or when I’m sick and don’t have health insurance. There are things that we don’t need to have but sort-of need to have in order to function as a human being in this society. Ask anyone and they will tell you that they are in debt and not happy about it. Yes, I freely admit that my credit card debt and student loan debt is obnixous and never going away. I will also freely admit that I didn’t want to play this game in the first place and that, as soon as the rules change, best believe that I will be the first one to bundle up the dice and the paper money and go do something more interesting. Yes, that metaphor is complex. I’m having one of those mornings.