Today I read one of the best blogs on credit cards in the Huffington Post and once again the topic was the credit card companies’ invitation to meet with President Obama. Many believe debtors are responsible for their crimes and should pay the fees of the credit card companies. It was our fault we have debt and we should pay the penalty. The woeful credit card companies are only doing their share to minimize their risk by charging such insane interest rates it makes it impossible to pay down debt.
In the blog, it mentioned the credit card companies’ main offense to the Obama administration will be they provide a service for consumers. Oh, they serviced me alright! They serviced me sideways, backwards and upside down. But in reading many of the comments, people were questioning the actual service they provide? My credit union card offers me the same service at half the interest rate. So why be serviced by Capital One at 18% interest rate, when I can be serviced by PSECU at 9%. What service is Capital One really offering me when I can get the same deals if not better at my credit union? Oh yes! The service they provide is an expensive commercial selling their product using Barbarians as mascots. Yippee! PSECU doesn’t have commercials.
Many may say they offer us sweet rewards. Yeah, but you have to spend money you don’t have on your credit card to receive those rewards and then you will have those nasty critiques complaining about how consumers are irresponsible. Credit card companies are encouraging us to be irresponsible. It is how they make their money.
My comment to the Huffington post was this-this problem goes beyond irresponsible consumers and consumer gauging credit card companies. This is an American cultural issue. We have lost our value(s). We have lost our value of money when we spend without care on a credit card. If credit card companies keep lending with soaring interest rates and we keep overspend spending in debt we are not valuing money or the economy. No wonder our nation is in an economy free fall.
We value money in the sense of materialism. We value money to create a sense of false pride and yes even false identity. We want to pretend and spend like we are rich, even though we have no money. We need to keep up with the Jones’ in order to maintain our identity and standing in the community. Why worry about our identity being stolen, when we have already sold it and prostituted it to be like everyone else on the block. In trying to be like everyone else, we already lost our identity and individuality. John Doe meet John Doe.
You see, worse than the high interest rates, double billing and credit limit discretion, credit card companies exploited our personal identities and created a culture of wanting more then we have and trying to be something we’re not. Only until we value life more than we value things will we be in debt to credit card companies.