Easy credit

This article about a couple’s consumer debt is full of breathtaking numbers. And don’t stop reading before the end, since there are some mind-boggling details towards the end about where the debt came from and how long it took to build it.

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4 thoughts on “Easy credit

  1. When I first encountered agrarian thought it was through a catholic web-site, and they called it distributism, and me being protestant I was very skeptical of it all. But I remember reading about and marveling at the amount of freedom, as measured by time spent together as a family pursuing their own interests, that a 13th century european peasant enjoyed.

    When I read articles like the one linked, I can’t help thinking about how much we have regressed because of the casual acceptance of usury. For too many the bumper sticker ‘I owe, I owe, so off to work I go’ is a sad reality.

  2. But I remember reading about and marveling at the amount of freedom, as measured by time spent together as a family pursuing their own interests, that a 13th century european peasant enjoyed.

    When I read articles like the one linked, I can’t help thinking about how much we have regressed because of the casual acceptance of usury.

    But the story of how they got there is “… 42-inch television … paying for books and living expenses after a return to college … credit cards rather than applying for lower-interest student loans … rings, a reception, a honeymoon and a new bathroom — about $50,000 in a seven-month stretch … mortgage payment … $500 vet bill … ”

    A bit of that is poor consumerism (not applying for low-interest loans) but most of it just shows that they valued a lot of things more than “time spent together as a family”. Nobody needs a 42-inch television, or $50k worth of a fancy wedding and home remodeling. Nobody absolutely must have a dog or a cat, and health care for pets is very expensive. For a lot of people, the dream to own a home is a financial trap. And then a lot of people extend that from owning a home to owning the biggest home they can afford on two incomes, often under the assumptions of no layoffs, no major illnesses, etc.

    Usury takes advantage of the problem, but casual acceptance of usury is only a symptom of the problem. Sub-prime mortgages are in the same category of taking advantage of people with those sorts of values but with the twist that the banks and the borrowers can both end up getting hurt. Double-ended greed.

  3. Rick,

    I tried to email you to let you know about the spam appearing on your blog (it sounded like you were gone to the wedding perhaps?). You probably found it yourself by now, but I thought I’d tell you about what I use that totally eliminates spam from my blog: it’s a WordPress plugin called SpamKarma2

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