Capital One – Love & Kisses

Despite credit card reforms – what has changed?  Only those companies are becoming more deceitful in attempts to make a profit at consumer expense. Do they think we’re that stupid? Apparently so and apparently we are, because we still keeping buying into the American dream corporate America is selling us.

My favorite and most endearing target is Capital One most because I personally am stupid enough to carry two Capital One credit cards. But the joke is on Capital One – I don’t use them. For not using my credit card, Capital One feels obliged to charge me $5.00 a month (service fee). So why don’t I cancel my card. Well because in the silly made by corporation world, it is better for me to pay Capital One $5.00 a month for nothing, then to cancel the card. Not holding a balance looks good on my credit report.

So in attempts to win back my favor, Capital One offered me a free transfer with a 5.99% interest rate for 6 months and then after six months, but interest rates “simply” rolls back out to 22.98% interest.  I love it – Capital One will simply continue to screw me. So, here it is – I have six months to pay off another debt to Capital One or else they are sticking me back with a loan-shark interest rate. Sorry Capital One, no deal.

I understand, in economic hardship rich corporations are suffering and cannot offer huge bonuses to its CEO’s. But when you think, that some of those bonuses could buy food for a struggling American family for years – it hardly seems fair and I hardly care about the woes of corporate America.

Don’t use a credit card? You could be funding the wealthy.

There is so much debate today over the disparity of wealth. Roughly 1% of the population holds 20% of nation’s wealth and 20% of the top wealthy own 80% of nation’s wealth, leaving only 20 percent of the wealth for the rest of the 80% of the population. Confused? That’s their plan.

But an interesting report emerged saying that using credit cards actually supports the wealthy. No, banks aren’t just giving money to the rich…That would be wealthy welfare. No this is happening at retailers where you shop every day.

Retailers must pay credit card fees to the bank. Instead of taking the loss, retailers jack up prices to incur credit card fees. So as per the article, if you pay with cash you are helping to pay credit card fees. So even if you want to avoid credit cards you are paying for other people to use them. 

How does this benefit the rich? Well the statistics show the wealthy spend more on credit cards and more often. They use their cards to receive rewards and that’s right – cash back (what you work so hard to earn)

 So next time you’re shopping toss in a few coins for the rich and not needy to support wealthy welfare. They of course are nothing without us measly peasants.

The Price of Freedom

It is a popular sentiment today to believe in free enterprise. Why the heck wouldn’t it be free, it has free description. It is “free” enterprise.  Many find it a great idea to have everything in our life be privatized. One for instance is health insurance. This is how awesome free enterprise and privatization works for the average citizen in regards to health insurance.

My doctor scheduled some pre-emptive tests for me. Today, I received a notice from the hospital that my insurance company has yet to pay for the service. If I were to not pay the hospital, they would call a debt collector and keep nagging me until I pay. To a big corporation like Blue Cross and Blue Shield this is just good business practices. Bi-weekly money is taken out of my paycheck for health insurance, yet they decided when and if they are going to pay my insurance. Somehow I do not see that as a fair exchange, but that’s the beauty of “free” enterprise.

But it doesn’t stop there, banks play high stakes gambling games with our 401K, corporations have off shore accounts so not to pay taxes, they make inferior automobiles that kill people, they have taken short cuts in food safety that is making the public sick and they have destroyed our Gulf coast. All this is done so in the name of “free” enterprise and privatization. They are self-regulated and above most laws.

I make these complaints to everyone – family and friends. And their answers are always the same, “It is the way it is. Deal with it.” Have we succumbed to the powers of the corporations? Are we going to roll over and allow them to play with our finances and health? Is this something we should really deal with?

So we may all say “free” enterprise is great, but at what cost to us – our health, our financial security, our environment? That to me is not freedom. Although I may live in a free country, I am far from free. It is the corporations gambling with my livelihood that is taking away my freedom.

Coffee Party Needs a Stronger Brew

I was really excited about the coffee party until I read all their rules, requirements and the pledge to play nice. And then there was the slew of comments (including from myself) pledging good manners and our vast differing ideas of what the movement should be. Honestly it began to seem like a scene from Monty Python’s The Life of Brian. Are we the Judean People’s Front or the People’s Front of Judea? I don’t care as long as you call me Loretta.

In all due respect for the founder and the members, the coffee party’s desire is to have reasonable dialog on policy. Has anyone been watching the news? Have we watched the healthcare debate? Have we not witnessing the lies and the fear mongering?

Engage those who disagree with reasonable discussion and debate. Okay. How do you reason with people who are convinced Obama is a terrorist Arab born in Kenya?  How do you discuss policy with someone who protests the government will take over his Medicare? You can’t. Wake up.

Tactics here do not call for politely debating political ideology over a non fat decaf foam free latte. It requires a really sharp mind brought on by espresso or dare I say Turkish coffee. Here are my suggestions:

Ignore republican terrorists (Bachmann, Beck, Coulter) Don’t indulge their wackiness. It’s like the bully on the playground. They see weakness they will continue to attack. If they get attention for being crazy, they will get crazier. Ignore them now.

  1.  Stick to the facts by indulging in humor a la Stephen Colbert or John Stewart. Or Funny or Die’s SNL video on the CFPA, or my favorite “Get your Jesus of My Penis.” Never under estimate the power of humor.
  2. Use props effective props like Alan Grayson.
  3. Go berserk and shock your opponents like mild mannered Anthony Wiener.

 To quote a bumper sticker I read recently, “Speak your mind even if your voice shakes.”

And remember America is home of the brave, let’s not only have the courage to stand up for what we believe, the courage to see truths. We have to make sure I nice, polite and reasonable voices don’t resonate like a whisper.

Credit Card Companies be Damned!

Okay there I said it. I hate them! But unfortunately with the whole Fico system they are for the most part a necessity for modern life. How savvy of these companies to make their abusive service near mandatory for our existence. You may think my words harsh, but today most companies review your credit report before hiring you – bad credit, no job. Now, that makes sense.

So we have new legislation in place to protect consumers. Let the abuse continue! When checking my Chase statement yesterday, they raised my APR from 12% to 21% because, boo-hoo, market conditions.  Yes, that is what they told me. These greedy corporations ruined our economy and now conditions are not great for me.

 How can you get around this? I can close my Chase account which could reflect poorly on my credit rating. GET IT – accept their abusive raise in rates, or a negative reflection on my credit score. Screw Chase bank! After being a customer for over ten years, I closed the account.

I honestly can care little for their rationalizations or explanation. I don’t care if they need to “manage” risk. If only we, the people could do something? If only we, the people could stand up to these gluttons of Capitalism instead of being at their mercy. If only we, THE PEOPLE can take back our future from corporations.

I say anyone who received this from Chase Bank. Don’t succumb to their abuse. Close your account and take your business to a smaller bank or better yet credit union. The free market entitles us to choose where we take our business. Let’s take it to the small business.

Importance of Jobs and Education

Here is the perfect example of the point I was trying to make about business and education.

http://msn.careerbuilder.com/Article/MSN-2192-Job-Search-Available-Jobs-Not-Enough-Skilled-Workers/?sc_extcmp=JS_2192_advice&SiteId=cbmsn42192&ArticleID=2192&cbRecursionCnt=1&cbsid=9022a286c90e4d749b36a044decfa426-319759789-RN-4

If we continue to cut taxes of businesses and continue to cut social spending (education), we are actually hurting our economy and business. How can a company succeed with employees who are not educated and skilled? And what would stop companies from employing higher educated foreigners to do American jobs.

It seems only rational for the benefit of our country to highly support our education system, instead of worrying about few extra dollars out taxes from the rich man’s pocket.

Disaster and Tax Cuts for Businesses and the Rich.

Oh woe is me! People are STILL whining about Oregon’s decision to increase taxes of businesses and the wealthy. First let me remind the world, reducing taxes of businesses and the rich was the practice for nearly 30 years and it failed. Our economy nearly collapsed giving tax breaks to corporations and the rich.

Personally I find if businesses act irresponsibly, or incompetent they should not blame to government. Those business owners should perhaps pack up shop and get a real job like the rest of us. Don’t blame the government if you’re a lousy business person. But I digress…

 Last night after reading comments from a man who I thought of rational mind and intelligence I thought of Theodore Roosevelt’s quote.

 “This country will not be a permanently good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a reasonably good place for all of us to live in.”

At some point in America we forgot what it is meant to be united and civil. And my point was proven last week during “Snowmagedon”

Last week was a perfect example of our crumbling infrastructure, business irresponsibility and personal lack of civility.  Our federal government shut down for a couple feet of snow. The same amount of snow falls upon the Kremlin yearly and the Russian government never closes. Snow brought down power lines, halted transportation and collapsed buildings. Maybe if Americans cared more for society as whole rather than material and superficial needs, perhaps many would not have been without power or gone hungry.

I also wandered last night what would happen in the United States in the event of a real threatening emergency. We flew immediately to help those in Haiti but we’ll condemn and strike our neighbor for an unshoveled walkway or stolen parking space. What would happen if we truly suffered a disaster? Are we prepared and united to help each other through tough times?

Bur we are okay and sold a nasty bill of goods that lowering taxes and cutting essential programs is good. Good for who? What will happen in the event of disaster when we have cut police and emergency crews?  Who is going to be there to help if were cutting back on those who provide us safety. If we continue to cut taxes that pay police and emergency crews, we cannot complain when they don’t respond when we need them. And finally, do you really, really, really think corporate CEO is going to care for our safety. No. when disaster strikes they will be the first to flee. They will be on their private jets away from the disaster. So, let us stop putting businessmen and CEO’s on the top of that proverbial pedestal.

So during this week of random acts of kindness let’s put aside bitter differences for the common good and support those whose job is to take care of us. Let’s realize that we are very fortunate to live in such a country of abundance and pay a little bit of dues for the common good.