Monday, February 9, 2009

Why and How did the US economy get so totally based in credit?

OK. I am now going to give this blogging stuff a try.

The questions about blogs are still unanswered: Why me, I have nothing to offer? There are far brighter people in this world than I. But, I have questions to which you might have answers and I can't get anyone here to take me seriously when I rant. So I guess it is an outlet for discourse born of frustration.

So here goes:

Why and How did the US economy get so totally based in credit? When did it happen?

Thinking back over my 60 something years to find an answer, I remember parents who would not buy anything unless they could pay for it. If they couldn't pay for it they bartered for it or, God forbid, they exchanged work for it. Mostly they bought things truly needed; clothes, food and the like. Of course, I should mention that where I spent my most formative years there was a lag in catching up from the “GREAT DEPRESSION”. See it was so a part of our lives, I even type it in caps.

I was one of those odd people that didn't get a mortgage for years because I didn't like debt.

When in the late70's someone explained to me that a house was the best investment... So, slowly I gave into the yen to “own” instead of paying someone else rent; to “own” a house meant I could have pets without feeling guilty or spending days and sometimes weeks hunting a place that allowed them. “Owning” also allowed me to plant flowers and get to see the results. All justifying the larger venture into credit and debt. My husband loved to buy cars so we already had some debt.

Back to the bigger questions about credit and debt though. Was it credit cards that led to this mess or was it before those evil things? I remember when a check was easily accepted as payment or cash was not so inconvenient. We didn't have enough of the stuff to be concerned for quite some time after I married.

Was it that evil television? We did see more advertising. Maybe it was before that, radio sure had lots of advertising-some may remember the ads for the new, clean Blue Coal; newspapers, and magazines advertised good stuff since way back.

Well guess what. I found one great article on consumerism that actually looks a different direction but does answer some of my questions. has a pretty serious article updated in May of 2003 entitled: “Creating the Consumer. The article is by Anup Shah. Mr Shah writes in a way that even I can follow and gives many references including links to other articles he wrote as well.

So if you like me are trying to understand this great economic system that we are told must open the credit pipelines, I recommend the article mentioned above as a good beginning

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