Author Topic: Middle class are powerless victims of evil consumerism blah blah. GuardianUS  (Read 5364 times)


Elaine

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I like how there's no mention of the consumer's fault in this.

frugalecon

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Funny, the last time I had a credit card balance was in 1993. How long until the credit card monster finds me??

Cromacster

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It's these types of articles I just don't get.  How are we at the mercy of the credit card companies?

Bars didn't make me drive drunk, forks didn't make me fat, and rock and roll didn't get me pregnant.

But gosh, if there was a way I didn't need any responsibility and could buy whatever I want, what a world that would be.

Gin1984

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Well, I would prefer that students get access to grants and especially work study instead of loans and that we work on decreasing the state tuition.  When I started at community college, to the point I left (3 years) it went from $11 to $33 per unit.  My undergrad institution has increased the tuition by 5-10% every year since I started there (and has continued much after I graduated).
The rest, I eyerolled at.

gillstone

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Oh look, the Guardian has an un-nuanced article up about how the middle class is being destroyed by everything but their own choices.  Must be a Tuesday.

Spork

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I believe the philosophy at hand is that if you create a crisis, a heroic politician will save you.  Both sides are good at this.

warfreak2

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I read it as sensibly warning against maintaining credit card debt, and a good reason that we shouldn't try to fuel growth by encouraging more credit card debt. I didn't find "powerless", "victims", or "evil" anywhere in the article, that seems to be your own imagination.

Scandium

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I read it as sensibly warning against maintaining credit card debt, and a good reason that we shouldn't try to fuel growth by encouraging more credit card debt. I didn't find "powerless", "victims", or "evil" anywhere in the article, that seems to be your own imagination.

It was implied.. Also read the comments, and based on other "personal finance" articles in Guardian recently

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Each new surrender of a part of our lives to private debt-financing further consumes the fruit of labor we have not yet performed, in the form of compensation we have not yet earned. That is why, to put it bluntly, many household debts are a thinly disguised form of wage theft.

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that credit card issuers don’t want us to clear our credit card balance every month. Those who diligently pay up are derided in industry circles as “deadbeats”. The preferred customers are “revolvers,” who can’t quite make ends meet but who pay the monthly minimum along with penalties or late fees,


Here's the general Guardian readership mentality
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However, the society we live in is one whereby we are failures unless we consume. We are bombarded by advertisements and ideology and even our Governments rate our country on how much we actually consume regardless of how we actually end up paying for it.

cdub

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The comments are sadly hilarious.

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Somebody had to go into debt to provide you with the money you have got. It was your employer or your government, or somebody who bought your house.

warfreak2

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So you linked to this article because you think other Grauniad articles are anti-mustachian shame and comedy?

I really don't see anywhere in the article that assigns blame to anyone. It's an article about how consumer debt isn't a good basis for a strong economy. That sounds perfectly in line with mustachian principles to me.

If you meant the comments, you should have said so. I didn't read them.

thepokercab

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So you linked to this article because you think other Grauniad articles are anti-mustachian shame and comedy?

I really don't see anywhere in the article that assigns blame to anyone. It's an article about how consumer debt isn't a good basis for a strong economy. That sounds perfectly in line with mustachian principles to me.

If you meant the comments, you should have said so. I didn't read them.

I agree- I read through the article, and I mostly took away from it that you should avoid debt.  I also think he makes a fair point that there are problems when "social goods" such as education and health care are privately financed.   

Then I thought he hit it home with:

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Each new surrender of a part of our lives to private debt-financing further consumes the fruit of labor we have not yet performed, in the form of compensation we have not yet earned. That is why, to put it bluntly, many household debts are a thinly disguised form of wage theft.

Scandium

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So you linked to this article because you think other Grauniad articles are anti-mustachian shame and comedy?

I really don't see anywhere in the article that assigns blame to anyone. It's an article about how consumer debt isn't a good basis for a strong economy. That sounds perfectly in line with mustachian principles to me.

If you meant the comments, you should have said so. I didn't read them.

He state that we live in a "creditocracy", whatever that means, which seems to imply that we are forced into credit. And compare this to the struggle for worker's rights, and since credit is (somehow) wage theft we should all refuse to repay our debts. I think this is pretty silly.
But sounds like you took something else away from the article so maybe I'm wrong. Like I said my view is colored by other stupid self-victimizing articles in the guardian lately.

warfreak2

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He state that we live in a "creditocracy", whatever that means, which seems to imply that we are forced into credit.
Democracy means rule by the people, bureaucracy means rule by paperwork, kleptocracy means rule by thieves. My best guess would be that creditocracy means rule by lenders; apparently, my guess is not far off, because it's defined in one of the links from the article:
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Creditocracy (n.)
1.      governance or the holding of power in the interests of a creditor class
2.      a society where access to vital needs is financed through debt

There is something else on that linked page about "the citizenry have to take out loans to meet their basic needs", which is certainly hard to argue for if we don't define home ownership as a basic need, but it isn't part of the argument made in the article.

frugalecon

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So you linked to this article because you think other Grauniad articles are anti-mustachian shame and comedy?

I really don't see anywhere in the article that assigns blame to anyone. It's an article about how consumer debt isn't a good basis for a strong economy. That sounds perfectly in line with mustachian principles to me.

If you meant the comments, you should have said so. I didn't read them.

He state that we live in a "creditocracy", whatever that means, which seems to imply that we are forced into credit. And compare this to the struggle for worker's rights, and since credit is (somehow) wage theft we should all refuse to repay our debts. I think this is pretty silly.
But sounds like you took something else away from the article so maybe I'm wrong. Like I said my view is colored by other stupid self-victimizing articles in the guardian lately.

The journalist does seem to be arguing that it is acceptable to go into debt to buy stuff and then refuse to pay some of it off because the system is rigged. I agree with him that there is a certain amount of rigging in the system, but the option of simply living within one's means is not really presented as an option. I know that there are always cases of medical bankruptcy and similar situations, where people get sucked under inadvertently, but I think a lot of the people in trouble simply want to buy lots of stuff without paying for it. During the years after the initial crisis I got hooked on the Irvine Housing Blog, which chronicled unbelievable HELOC abuse, people who were withdrawing hundreds of thousands of dollars in HELOC cash from their homes to pay for vacations, luxury automobiles, plastic surgery, who knows. Nobody was putting a gun to their heads. I think that there is probably also abuse in the student loan program (I know of one egregious case...), but that will be a little tougher for the borrowers, because those debts are hard to discharge. I fully expect that there will be a program at some point, to forgive a portion of those loans. I won't be happy that I have to pay for a portion of it, but I won't have much choice, I suppose.