Just in case you have been living in a cave for the last 6 six years, America has been plagued financially with a recession. And while our government keeps insisting that the economy is improving, the signs of a wrecked economy still loom large above us.
Prior to 2007, we Americans loved credit. We charged and charged and charged on credit. We bought TV’s, cars, stereo systems, RV’s, furniture, and jet ski’s. Life was good. And then the housing crash, the recession and the largest unemployment rate since 1983, and the carefree days of spending were over, just like that. Yikes!!!! What happened?
Well, lots happened. And while I have attempted to read through articles in the Wall Street Journal, sit through documentary anlysis’ and interviews on the History Channel, I still can’t make heads or tails of it. In fact most of the country’s best economist’s cannot agree on exactly what went wrong. But regardless of why it happened, it happened.
So if the economy and unemployment have remained relatively unchanged, why are Americans ramping up again on their charging on credit?
The Federal Reserve recently made a statement that “Americans sharply increased their borrowing for big-ticket items like cars and education expenses in March and used their credit cards more often”. In fact, the borrowing increased by more than $21 billion !!!
Some economist’s have stated that the reason for this is that Americans are feeling more comfortable taking on debt again. I’m not so sure. I know that for the most part that we tend to have a rather short term memory on most things, but the recession and subsequent unemployment is simply too soon for us to have simply forgotten it’s impact.
I personally think that the reason may be a little more simple. The average American has simply run out of options. We have made dramatic cutbacks to our spending for years now, and we are simply tired of it. Our cars are getting old, our Washer & Dryers are breaking down and out TV’s have stopped working. It is time to replace our old stuff with new stuff and we have waited long enough for the economy to improve. So ready or not, CHARGE !!!!!!!!!
And why not? The credit card companies have recently launched an aggressive campaign for people to use their cards. After all, who wouldn’t use a credit card when Alec Baldwin tells you to use it? I know I will. In fact with all the increased rewards and “mileage” points, I just may charge my new home on credit cards. Perhaps I can finally get enough points for a ride on the Space Shuttle. Who knows?
On top of credit cards and personal loans, many people have been rushing out and incurring Student Loan debt. Why? Well, simply the interest rate is set to almost double in the next couple of months. So many people are getting the loans while the gettins’ good.
So, what is the lesson here? History is doomed to repeat itself? I have no choice, so whatever I have to do…I have to do? If big corporations tell me to do something, I better do it? NASA has cancelled it’s Space Shuttle program? I don’t know……but, as long as I have a 50” plasma hanging on my wall, then nothing else matters.
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