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Got Credit?

Message Vi Ransel


 Got Credit?


How many pounds of plastic are you dragging around in your wallet? How heavy is the debt monkey you’re carrying on your back? And why, pray tell, are you doing this?

“Credit.” My Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary lists the following synonyms: belief, faith, trust, confidence, favor, influence, name, character, reputation and honor. In fact, belief, faith, confidence and trust are all included in the number one definition of “credit”. Number two? Credible or trustworthy. Do you feel confident and influential when you open your credit card bills? Do you consider the companies sending the bills to be trustworthy and honorable? How does it affect your reputation when they call you at work? Just what is this “credit” you have so much faith in?

Credit, in the financial sense, is none of these things. “Credit” is a fancy way of saying “debt”. When buying on credit was kicked into high gear in the 1920s, preachers were still condemning it from the pulpit in no uncertain terms. Corporations and their craven minions in advertising rechristened “debt” as “credit”, thereby erasing its sinful associations. Suddenly the debtor was the admirable possessor of a line of “credit”. Eventually the U.S. Chamber of Commerce even undertook the “Economic Education of the Clergy.” So the fix was really in.

It’s just that simple. Credit is not a positive attribute when applied to money. It’s just the way you’re encouraged to dig yourself into a hole of debt way over your head. The more debt you take on, the more money the finance corporations make. Why do you think they send you all those “pre-approved’ credit applications? And they love it when you’re late with a payment. Your interest rate automatically goes up. Sometimes your payment is even due on a Sunday, so unless you send it in early, you’re late. And, joy to the world, that allows all your other credit cards to raise their rates, too, you deadbeat. No, actually “deadbeat” is what finance corporations call people who pay off their credit card charges every month, thereby depriving the creditor of his fat fees and interest charges. Just imagine your fees and interest charges times the millions of credit cards active in the U.S. today!

They want you to dig the hole as deep as you’re stupid enough (or needy enough) to dig it. Are you charging your way to Trumpdom? Parisville? Ain’t gonna happen. What you’re charging your way to is a set of chains heavier than Jacob Marley was dragging around in Dickens’ “Christmas Carol”.

You’re signing away your whole life’s earnings to corporate credit vultures who entice you to do just that. They offer the “freedom” of choices they’ve already decided you’re allowed to make. You get easy credit and they get a sucker hooked for life on the shiny trinkets you’re led to believe make up a civilized lifestyle, a decent standard of living, rather than a “low class” buy-what-you-need-when-you-need-it rational way of life. Plunging yourself into eternal debt to keep up with the latest fads, the most macho trucks, the teensiest techno gadgets, the “good life”, is exactly the opposite. And the billionaires you’re trying to live like are laughing at you even as they line their pockets with your hard-earned dollars.

Who benefits when you have to choose between paying the electric bill and the payment on that pimped-out pickup truck you just had to have? The auto company already got their money from the finance corporation they sold your debt/I.O.U to. You’re his b**** now. Who benefits from the interest you have to pay when you charge necessities like groceries, or the gas to get to work to make the money to pay the charge card bills and the interest on them? Why would you want to pay more for what you’re buying? When you use a charge card that’s exactly what you’re saying you want to do. In the end the interest on your purchases cost more than the purchases themselves. What would make you want to do that?! You’re being recruited so somebody else can make money off your back - for the rest of your life.

Speaking of your back, ever heard of being turned out? That’s exactly what’s been done to you. You’ve been sweet-talked by credit and advertising pimps promising youth, beauty, love, fantasy fulfillment, social status - all manner of things that can’t actually be bought - if you’ll just use that card. “Baby, do me this favor. I got this friend in town on business. I want you to go f*** Frank. And by the way, bring me the money he gives you.” But hey, you love all the pretty promises he’s making and before you know it your ass is out on the stroll turning tricks with the pros, all the while thinking you’re getting what you want when it’s actually your pimp who’s getting what he wants - your money.

“Ho” metpho’ not workin’ for ya? How about “junkie”? The first taste of credit, while not actually free, comes at a very low, perhaps unbelievable rate, albeit only for a couple of months. But once you’re hooked, the rate shoots up, WAY up.

“Junkie” not doing it for you either? Lab rat pressing a lever for cocaine until it dies. It couldn’t be any plainer. Take your head out of you know where and look at what you’re doing to yourself and your family, what you’re doing to your children, what you’re teaching them with your behavior. Don’t believe “the man” behind the TV screen or the credit application (up to 30 pages long) he sends you in the mail. That’s like inviting Dracula in for dinner and offering him your neck. Advertisers, their craven corporate masters and the finance companies are out to suck every drop of your blood, discard your dried husk and move on to your children. Credit card companies are targeting children ages 10-14.

Get this straight. “Consumers” are what’s being consumed. “Easy” credit is an oxymoron. It’s a synonym for doing hard time. And there’s no longer any relief in bankruptcy. They’ve got their fangs into you for eternity.

Cut up those cards. Pay them off. That’s the only freedom associated with these poisonous pieces of plastic. Free yourself from corporate ownership of your means of existence. Free yourself from the company store, the man, the shiny trinkets you’re selling yourself for. Do it now. Before it’s too late.

Don’t invite them in. Don’t offer them your neck. Cut up those cards and use the plastic shards to drive a stake into the plastic hearts of the credit card vampires.

In 1970, 51% of Americans had a credit card, compared with 93% today. The average cardholder has 7 cards. Americans owe $850 billion in credit card debt. The world’s 54 poorest countries owe $412 billion in foreign debt. Since 1996, when the Supreme Court struck down limits on credit card fees, the average late penalty has jumped 162% and the average fee for exceeding credit limits is up 138%. Credit card companies earned $90.1 billion in interest last year. They earned $55.2 billion in fees. In 2005, Congress tightened bankruptcy rules at the behest of credit card companies. In 2006, the top 5 credit card companies - JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citibank, Capital One and HSBC - made $8.5 million in congressional campaign contributions.” Dave Gilson, Mother Jones, Sept/Oct Issue

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Vi Ransel Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Vi's works appear widely both in print and online. She conducts Poetry Workshops and gives readings in Central New York. Her latest chapbook is "Sine Qua Non Antiques (an Arcanum of History, Geography and Treachery).
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