The Criminalization of Integrity

Yesterday Congress passed the credit card reform act. The cynical part of me doesn’t like another law that is designed to protect the stupid from themselves, but that’s not what I’m really upset about.

The New York Times published an article Monday with several quotes from both credit card issuers and politicians. To paraphrase, they said that it was time to make the freeloaders pay up. For too long there had been a certain class of credit card user who rode on the backs of the others, and it was high time they got their just desserts.

These “freeloaders” (their word) are the people who actually pay off their credit cards! It seems that those folks (I am one) have been pillaging the system for free airline miles and points without paying the high interest rates that were supposed to make it all worth while.

They went on to infer that the poor people who ran up debts without being able to pay them back were carrying these looters, since their exorbitant interest fees were being used to secretly subsidize benefits to wealthy people who didn’t need the benefits and didn’t have to pay for them.

I don’t know about you, but I find this characterization of prudent, responsible behavior as somehow being part of a great conspiracy to defraud the poor and helpless to be very frightening. From this kind of demagoguery comes civil unrest. The downtrodden eventually come to the conclusion that the only way to get”their fair share” is to take it from those who have been unjustly withholding it.

Ayn Rand is smiling…

By the way, I got home Monday to find another credit card offer in the mail. This one was only being offered to the people with the very best credit, and promised the very best terms. The terms were 14% interest to start, with no lock and which changed monthly without notice. It was a bad deal, and I threw it away. No brainer. But then, brains aren’t what’s driving all this…

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One Response to The Criminalization of Integrity

  1. Kevin Cooper says:

    Spot On!!! There seems to be a complete vacuum of personal responsibilty out side of any system that has built in penalties. Oh say… like owning your own small business where you are emmediately held accountable by your customers and the market.

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