Who is to Blame for Credit Card Debt?

The new credit card laws are, gasp, as screwed up as the old ones. Credit card lobbyists have successfully done their job to keep the legislation watered down. But how much does the government need to protect us from ourselves?

This article blurb from a popular post at Current.com shows how much the average person refuses to take responsibility for their share of the household debt problem:

There have been very few things more damaging to American consumers over the past couple of decades than credit card debt. Easy credit has enabled many of us to live absolutely fabulous lifestyles, but outrageously high interest rates, ridiculous penalties and predatory fees have sucked the financial life out of millions of American families.

“Easy credit has enabled many of us to live absolutely fabulous lifestyles.” Translation: borrowing money from other people has allowed us to buy more crap than we could if we had to pay with our own money.

This is the reason why both US citizens and the US government are slaves to debt — we are short-sighted and don’t think about the repercussions of using other people’s money.

There’s a reason China and Germany don’t have this problem. They have common sense. If we save our money, we can buy either more stuff or time (i.e., retire).

I hate credit card companies as much as the next person, but people also need to use their brains and stop blaming everyone else. It’s not astro-physics that spending more than you make is BAD.

I have noticed an entitlement attitude when it comes to debt. I see interviews on TV and hear acquaintances speak about defaults as if they were entitled to use other people’s money to better their life, and now it’s too-bad-so-sad that they never intended to pay.

It’s one thing to get in trouble with a mortgage when we lose our jobs. It’s another to flake on a credit card after buying the newest clothes, eating out most of the time (and I’m not talking about ordering from a Dollar Menu), leasing an expensive car, and subscribing to top data and voice services for Blackberries and iPhones.

Predatory lending aside, people who can’t refuse a credit card are saying they have absolutely no free will. Whether paying with cash or credit, I don’t buy it.

Who do you think is to blame for credit card debt problems? Let us know in the comments below or click here to engage in deeper conversations in our new Forum.