Congratulations America! We are not only the undisputed masters of the universe in Debt, we ain't resting on our laurels either: we've passed the $9,000,000,000,000 mark of Gross National Debt. Hurrah! 'We're #1!! We're #1!'
Where are the Flag Wavers when you need them??
Feature that the USA does not assume a great portion of this nine trillion dollar national debt, and we are kept from insolvency by foreign nations buying up T-Bonds and what have you. It's academic that if the Dollar tanks, these guys will get panicky and begin to call in their loans - which our government is in no position to pay.
Credit Card Lobbyist Stooge, Senator Grassley of Iowa, got the bill passed a few years back that makes it difficult for individual Americans to file Bankruptcy. Grassley and his other minions are part of the reason why we are approaching insolvency as a collective whole in Americana, yet this person has the gall to finger-wag the American people that they need to be more responsible with their money. The fact is, abuse of bankruptcy filings was not all that common and many Americans over-extended themselves on credit due to job outsourcing or medical bills. Besides, these guys at the Top has pushed this Debt Culture on the rest of us, then they whine when people 'aren't paying their bills' (and I thought only liberals had this "do as I say, not as I do" con down).
Guess we can blame South Dakota. In the early 1980s when the economy was actually in a depression, the Credit Card industry was near collapse, on its last legs. South Dakota's Governor want to jump-start the economy so he abolished the state's usury laws and invited the Credit Card New York City fellas to set up shop in his state. This sparked a chain reaction and all the other states in the Union that had usury laws knocked them down, one by one, and the Debt Culture was born....(no wonder some people want to put Reagan's mug on Mt. Rushmore, eh?).
Concur that a credit card is useful in emergencies, but the plan of attack from this industry is to get the user of it head over heels in debt with the Card so he or she is just paying the high interest. It's a racket, and the Credit Card lobby admits this: they totally despise people such as myself who pays any credit card purchases off in full, monthly. To combat those who 'just pay their bills', the Credit Card shysters will then offer extended lines of credit to entice the frugal to go out and spend and get so far in debt that they will just be doing the interest; once I had a credit company that voluntarily bumped-up my line beyond the sum that I was earning at the time in a single year. So, I looked the gift horse in the mouth and returned my cut-up credit card in response to this magnanimous offer;-).
This lobby needs to be checked, and Left-Federalist fully supports the re-institution of usury laws at the federal level.
'Work on 'em when they're young'.... the Debt Cartel knows this and practices it with gusto. A Kindergartner can get a Visa card these days, and so can his dog, Spot. It used to be a tradition in some American families to get Junior his own savings account passbook at his watershed sixth birthday, now we indoctrinate him in the 'Off-the-Cuff Existenz' before he can spell d-e-b-t. 'Saving for College' is no longer a common expression - the ticket is for Dick and Jane to take out loans for higher education with ever higher tuition costs just when their lives are just beginning;his/her Piggy Bank is now full of IOU's rather than US Currency....
I still bank at the same institution that I got my original Savings Account as a wee lad. Last year, this Savings& Loan abolished 'savings accounts' officially; once I asked a typical dimwit Teller there about their rates of CD's(just to test her knowledge) and she looked at me like I had come from Alpha Cenauri.
Basing an economy on Debt/consumption alone is a house of cards and it could easily collapse. I have this theory if just a quarter of the US population tears up their credit cards and never gets one again, this entire edifice will end up smoking rubble. We could easily turn the Consumer culture on its head, but won't happen: John Dole needs his 150 inch flat screen TV because Jones has a 140 inch one, and Mr. Dole needs a bigger house five years after he purchased it. He'd never think of saving for anything....