< dogscatskidslife, TJ Morgan, veterinary technician, veterinary medicine, consumer, activist, day to day real life events, writer, stories, photographs, photographer, CafePress.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

What if...

For some reason I stopped to look at the television this evening during a commercial.

It was colorful and interesting and it caught my attention.

There were these orange handled scissors jumping around...

Cutting up credit cards into tiny little bits.

People were handing them their credit cards and the scissors were like birds...

Swarming to get at the credit cards.

My logical mind left me and I thought, "Is this a public service announcement about credit card debt?"

Suddenly, I was pulled back into reality when Discover Card stepped in to coax you into their credit card fold.

They painted this beautiful picture of how wonderful and how helpful they were being.

With their catchy phrase of "What if".

A pipe dream...

To think that someone cared enough about me to pay for prime time television advertising to educate me on the virtues of being debt free...

In particularly, free from the ball and chain of credit card debt.

Then my narcissistic state of mind took over...

And I thought, "Are my efforts to be completely debt free (excluding the mortgage) making this big of an impact on the credit card companies?"

"Wow!", I thought, "I'm making a huge difference in this world!"

Then my rational mind took over once again.

I have been working really hard to be completely debt free.

And to stay that way too.

I think that credit card companies should be exposed for what they are...

They're not any better than any "loan shark" that you can find on the street.

*Total consumer credit: $1.7 trillion.

*Credit card debt carried by the average American: $8,562.

*Total finance charges Americans paid in 2001: $50 billion.

*Percent of U.S. households deemed credit worthy by the lending industry: 78%.

*Number of credit card holders who declared bankruptcy last year: 1.3 million.

Credit card companies are bad, and they take advantage of people who can least afford it.

If you only ever pay the 2% minimum monthly payments, each $1000 you owe will take nearly 22 years to repay and will add a further $2,300 to the bill, meaning you effectively pay $3,300. Despite this being common knowledge, almost 60% of credit card users DON'T pay their credit card bills in full each month. This reliance on high interest credit cards means that the average US family pays about $1,200 in interest on their cards each year, at an average APR of 18.9%.

Far from becoming rich, the average middle aged US citizen is only worth about $40,000, and that INCLUDES any equity in their homes. The rest of it belongs to banks and lending institutions.

What if United States citizens weren't in so much personal debt?

I wonder what would happen?

Would it be possible that maybe this attitude would trickle "up" to our state and federal governments?

Would it be possible for a debt free society and government to exist?

Do you think that there would be fewer families split up by divorce?

Do you think that it would have an effect on crime?

Do you think it would alleviate depression?

Do you think it would reduce the bankruptcy rate?

Do you think that it would make everyone's lives better in general?


What if...



Blogger Linda in Norman said...

yeap know what you're talkin about tj i just got done shreading about 10 of those credit card applications i got in the mail plus a few of the "free checks" hahaha that charge you 5.00 to 75.00 just to transfer a balance.
yes i am trying to escape that grip too!

September 25, 2006 12:06 PM  
Blogger Dreaming again said...

You are hilarious ... I went a step farther.

I squealed. I hollared for my 16 year old son. "LOOK SAMUEL!!!There is a public service announcement about debt!"

He started to laugh at his very weird mother ...just about the time that my face fell and Discover entered the picture.

"Dream on Mom ...."

Oh well ... at least my kids know ... your kids too ...that's 4 out of the next generation that get it????

September 25, 2006 1:40 PM  
Blogger Smalltown RN said...

OH how true......you know I paid out my mortgage, I paid off all my credit cards and then I got divorced. Go figure. No I have a huge mortgage, credit cards are out of control.

I will be paying off my credit cards next week. I too hate being beholdend to credit card companies. They charge an astronomical service fee and percentage. I am so mad at myself for letting that happen to me. But I can tell you this. I will come out from under their some and take control of my life again.

Thanks for the reminder. Those cards are getting burnt.

But you know what. Try and book a hotel with out a credit card, try booking a flight online without a credit card, try booking a flight other than in person without a credit card, it is next to impossible. Society is holding us captive. They are forcing us to use credit. Credit is what keeps the economy going. People like me paying outrageous interest and service fees.

Ok off of my soap box.

Great post.

September 25, 2006 5:37 PM  
Blogger Okiedoke said...

Do you think that it would make everyone's lives better in general?

Unless you're a banker.

September 25, 2006 6:17 PM  
Blogger It's me, T.J. said...

Hey Linda...

I got another batch of those checks in the mail today too. Plus another ~pre-approved~ credit card application.

Into the trash they go all torn up. (I still haven't gotten that paper shredder.)

I *know* how hard you've been working on your little "project"! You're an inspiration to me.

Hey Peggikaye...

So I'm not the ONLY person who thought that those scissors were "preaching" no credit cards?

Makes me feel better that I'm not completely unhinged!

Hey Mary Anne...

I can't imagine having a house mortgage paid off! I will use you as an inspiration in getting that accomplished.

As far as being held hostage... Do you guys have debit cards up there? If you use your debit card like a credit card, it will afford you all the "benefits" that particular card (like Visa) offers ie: fraud protection, etc. If you use the card like a debit or cash card, you don't have any "credit card" protection when you use it.

Hey Mike...

Unless you're a banker.


I'm not too worried about them. They'll figure something out.

They always do.


September 25, 2006 8:16 PM  

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