Everything old is new again

22 January, 2009
Rat Fink

Remember when VISA was called “BankAmericard” and MasterCard was “Master Charge?”

I remember when my dad brought his first credit card home. He told my mom, “Now you can put it on the Master Charge if you don’t have enough cash with you.” Such simple, innocent words.

I remember putting clothes on layaway in high school, using my weekly allowance and money from my waitressing job to pay down the balance. Remember layaway? The store kept the items until you could afford to pay for them. When the bill was paid, you got your stuff. My, my, how far we’ve come….

The consumer debt problem in this country is something I don’t have time to get into this morning, and I’m no financial analyst, but I got eyes. It’s going to get much worse before getting the tiniest bit better. And I’m not throwing stones at anyone, mind. Many of us are guilty of that impulsive credit card purchase; I’m the first to admit it.

But the trend is reversing, believe it. Could we soon see the days when retail commerce runs on a cash-only basis? I think the answer is, “sooner than you think.”

I read an article this morning with a quote from a woman in New Jersey who had just dissolved some personal debt. She said that “her family was only living according to their means and not spending anything extra.”

Imagine that.

Fink out.

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22 January, 2009 11:22 am

The credit card problem seems to be that most people regard “plastic” as “free money.” There are people, caught between a rock and hard place” that have used credit cards for cash advances and purchases, literally living on them for income and facing massive debts later after running them up to the maximum. Local check cashing businesses are currently trying to collect monies owed them by people who’ve used them to buy groceries and sundries. People have come to apply for help at our local St. Vincent de Paul Society who are truly “in debt” but somehow find the money… Read more »