Friday, April 24, 2009

Debt and Credit

We tax all the others and pass the revenue on to you

I've got 2-3 credit cards. Maybe you do, too. I never quite seem to get them all paid off at once and my creditors love me for that. Every now and then I get an offer for a new card with certain incentives if I accept it. Occasionally I do exactly that. I (actually, my darlin' wife) mostly check the interest rates that go into effect after the initial period and if they're better than what I'm currently paying I go with the new card. I'm not clear on what that does to my credit score and I don't much care.

Point is, they're my credit cards. They're a deal I made with my lender(s) when I wanted something I didn't have the ready cash to buy. I didn't save, I borrowed, and there's a cost to borrowing. It's called interest and it has been around for millennia. People who lend have a right to profit from their risk-taking and I have a duty to pay them.

So what is the prez doing calling in the leaders of the big credit card companies for a scolding about interest rates? Has he nothing better to do these days than give us a show of support for us to pay less to our lenders.

Lesson 1: If you don't want to pay interest, don't borrow money.

Lesson 2: If you want to borrow significant money, shop around for the best deal. The best deal as in the lowest interest rate over the entire time you agree to owe the money, not in free toasters.

Lesson 3: If you ignore lessons 1 or 2, don't come to me asking me to pay your bills when you can't. I probably won't willingly do it.

Prez, don't protect me from the lenders I seek out, nor my lenders from me. We don't need that protection and you've got two wars and an economic crisis to worry about.

Don't protect me from the auto industry crisis. If GM didn't put money aside during the good times, tough. Someone will still make cars.

Don't protect me from insurance investment schemes that I don't understand. I shouldn't be investing in them in the first place... and I know it. My various insurance policies are between me and my insurer and it's really none of your business, kind of like my credit cards. Stay out of it.

Protect me from fraud, aggression and evil and I'll take care of my day-to-day business on my own. It's been that way all my life and it has worked out OK.

Provide a safety net for those unfortunates who are truly incapable of fending for themselves. Count me in for a full share of that cost. Protect me from those who would manipulate the system to take advantage of others' safety nets.

Lead me and lead my government. I accept your leadership role.

Don't be my daddy.

1 comment:

  1. Don't you think that part of the proble is that a whole lot of people DO want a daddy? Of course we/they want him to be a good daddy... always acting in our best interest, etc. The problem is that we can't agree on just what our best interests are.

    Every teenager knows that mom and dad will take care of them but usually at the cost of their independence. Almost without exception, they turn their backs on that security and strike out on their own. There must be a good reason that that is built into our genetic code. I think it is because we are all better off if each of us who can stands on his or her own two feet.

    there are those who are incapable of caring for their own needs and it is the responsibility of the rest of us, including our government, to help those who can't do that.