Category Archives: Economy

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.

“Chase” me to the End of Time

I saw it coming. I just didn’t expect it to take so long. Chase bank finally decreased my credit limit. The irony is it was Chase bank (formally known as WAMU) who recklessly increased my credit limit without my authorization. This I say contributed to my debt. Thanks for nothing WAMU-I mean Chase.

 In the apologetic letter they stated after “careful consideration” they are decreasing my limit for one or several of the following reasons.  One or more accounts have high balances compared to credit limits.

  1. Total available credit is too low
  2. Your hair is too brown.
  3. I’m a quarter inch shy of 5’8”.

 Personally I think the reason they are decreasing my credit limit is because I am not spending on the card. I haven’t used it in almost six months. When I used the credit card, they loved to increase, increase and increase.  But you see here is the REAL reason Chase decreased my limit.  After decreasing my credit limit will lower my credit score and thus Chase can turn around and raise my interest rates. So since I’m not spending on my card, they are losing money. But they can make it back by lowering my credit score and charging me higher interest. I’m onto their games.

Credit card legislation kicks into action in 2010, so the banks can have their way with us until.l then.  But here’s my plan, pay the minimum due until the end of days on December 21st 2012 (or as the prophesies indicate). End of the world will do away with credit card debt-WOO HOO!! I guess in that case I will be forever in their debt. I just hope St. Peter isn’t checking credit scores at the gate.

“The Man” and Corporate Power

power-to-the-man1

Over the past couple years I have heard many promoting deregulating corporations and privatizing many government industries.  Don’t get involved in their business-Big Business is the answer to all America’s problems.  Many making these arguments make the claim there is too much government-cut government and get them out of the way of the corporations. Let corporations run the country and our lives will be better!

 Fox news rallied many people to protest the government and President Obama for “taxing and spending.” Fox goes for our emotions; challenges our fears until there is nothing left but to raise signs in protest and throw tea bags. CNN dazzled us with dizzying light shows. We watch like a cat watching a string-ooh cool flickering lights.

 I’m going to break this down –

  • Recently many banks have run this economy in the ground and now we, the American people are paying for it.
  • Food companies; self regulated gave themselves good grades for the FDA and many people have gotten sick and died from tainted foods. All of this so food companies can make a greater profit.
  • Our government gave billions of dollars of bail out money at taxpayer expense and then we were appalled by the outrageous bonuses from many of these same companies.  Yesterday, I learned AIG lied about the bonus, they were 4 times then what originally reported.
  • During this recession and high unemployment, Credit Card Companies started jerking with good paying customer’s accounts; raising interests and billing cycles. This was going for a long time, but now people are standing up for their consumer rights.
  • Recently President Obama has taken on many of these corporations (Bank of America) have off shore accounts, offices and evade US taxes; not to mention giving away jobs to foreigners. Just imagine-KBR (A company with a US military contract accused of electrocuting soldiers pays NO taxes, yet the average American plays about %25 of their national income. Think about it-A company killing US soldiers pays NO taxes.
  • We learned that many of these companies spent a lot of money on lining the pockets of our politicians. Visa spent $1.7 million dollars in lobbying last year and not surprising many of these companies pay money to political campaigns. Corporations giving money to politician spells corruption.

We, the American people are paying taxes to our government to get behind corporations who evade taxes. Instead of consumerism, these corporations should just take the money from our pockets.

So here is the question I ask fellow Americans. Are we okay allowing big business and corporations to run our government and run all over us? Do we want to drop our drawers and bend over for these corporations?  It is President Obama and the Democrats standing up for consumer rights. Why protest. Shouldn’t we stand behind those standing up for us?  Remember, it is the republicans standing up for the corporations.

Credit Cards – An American Issue

american-cultureToday 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.