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mia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 04:14 PM
Original message
Indebted Americans Ponder Maggots as Rates Rise
Reuters
A mouthful of maggots could not deter Michele Goncalo from vying for a $50,000 prize in a television game show because, like millions of other Americans, she wants to clear her credit-card debts. Besides tasting insect larvae on "Fear Factor," she crawled out of a helicopter as it hovered over a chilly lake. But luck was not with her. Goncalo was eliminated from the show, and a few weeks later the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the first time since 2000.

...U.S. consumers are laboring under more than $2 trillion in debt after years of easy credit. And with that era drawing to a close, the plight of those who borrowed too much has fallen under a harsh spotlight.

...Americans possess more than 600 million credit cards, or 4.8 for every holder in the country, and have loaded that plastic up with some $700 billion.

..."We're a consumer nation, and advertising works," he said. "They create demand and you feel that you've got to have it ... They don't ask 'Can you afford it?' You just look at the monthly payments, and suddenly you can afford it."


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biftonnorton Donating Member (187 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 04:27 PM
Response to Original message
1. Sheesh
..."We're a consumer nation, and advertising works," he said. "They create demand and you feel that you've got to have it ... They don't ask 'Can you afford it?' You just look at the monthly payments, and suddenly you can afford it."

They create a demand-- sheesh. You allow them to make you believe you have to have the shiny disposable thingie. Must... have... shiny... crap... Bah!
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 04:33 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Actually, advertising is very much brainwashing
And advertising creates the demand. It was found in a study a number of years ago that while watching TV, peoples brainwaves become very much like those undergoing light hypnotism, or brainwashing. You are more suseptible to suggestion. Also the repeated ad nauseum message of buy,Buy,BUY is very similar to tactics of repetition used in breaking down and reprogamming that goes on in brainwashing and cults.

There is a whole science, and art, to marketing. And sad to say, most of it involves blatant manipulation of the sheeple populace by whatever means possible.
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tandot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. a lot of unemployed use their credit cards to make it from month to month
buying groceries, medical bills, to feed and clothe their children.

Not all of them use credit cards to buy "shiny disposable things." For some of them, it is the last straw.
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FloridaPat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 04:47 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. Also trying to start businesses because they can't get job.
They use the credit cards instead of getting a biz loan.
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Auntie Bush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 04:37 PM
Response to Original message
4. Sounds like a lot of people listened/obeyed George Bush
when he asked everyone to keep spending money...the patriotic thing to do!
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mia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 04:46 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. I wonder how many of us are 3 years older and deeper in debt.
Shopping is Patriotic...

ST. JOHN'S - Western leaders, worried about the possibility of a recession fuelled by terrorist attacks in the United States, are urging their citizens to spend money, take vacations and buy new cars and homes....Mr. Bush urged Americans to "get on the airlines, get about the business of America" as he announced improved security measures on commercial flights.

Mr. Blair used a news conference at 10 Downing St. to appeal to the British public to return to everyday life, including their usual spending habits, to fend off recession.

"People in this country ask what should they do at a time like this," Mr. Blair said. "The answer is that they should go about their daily lives: to work, to live, to travel and to shop -- to do things in the same way as they did before Sept. 11."

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Cocoa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 04:46 PM
Response to Original message
5. eating maggots is now classified as a manufacturing job
and remember, Thomas Hamill went to Iraq to repay his farm debt. Probably many other soldiers and contractors too.

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Yavin4 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 04:48 PM
Response to Original message
8. It's Not Just Advertising, IT'S THE ENTIRE MEDIA!!!
When was the last time you saw a show on TV about a working class family struggling to pay the bills like Roseanne. Every day throughout the media, we're bombarded with images of wealth and massive over-consumption from MTV's "Cribs", to "Sex and The City", to "The O.C.", to the news shows. Watch your local news. It's indistinguishable from a Home Shopping Network. We're constantly being made to fell inferior if we don't have the latest gadget, or take an expensive vacation, or buy the latest crap. You cannot escape the consumerism messages throughout our media.

But, the biggest culprit in our over-consumption culture is our own government. Alan Greenspan lowered interest rates to unrealistically low levels for a long period of time in an effort to prop up Bush and his failed economic policies. Because of these low rates millions of Americans have foolishly bought properties or re-financed their homes in order to consume more.

The major problem is that these rates will eventually rise without increases in job creation and pay. Thus, millions of Americans will be holding debts with no means whatsoever of ever paying them off.
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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 04:59 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. Only one thing more predictable than local news coverage of Tax Day
And that's local news coverage of Christmas shopping.

Yes, Ken, Barbie and Biff always have lots of coverage about just what the must-have toys and must-have gifts are, as well as breathless wall-to-wall live video feeds of totally crowded malls and Wal-Marts or (God forbid) less-than-totally-crowded malls and Wal-Marts - inevitably met with furrowed brows and dark projections of what will happen to America if we don't beat last year's sales totals!!

You can count on the following cameos as well: (A) the people who started camping out days in advance of the day after Thanksgiving; (B) the couple with four or five carts worth of stuff; (C) the man/woman/child who got trampled in the rush for an unexpected announcement of a bargain on Aisle 9 and (D) the abashed husband and/or wife rushing to the stores at the very last minute to pick up that critical item, since we all know that procrastination is the thief of Yuletide cheer.

Oh, and did I mention that Ken, Barbie and Biff always have plenty of suggestions for those last-minute gift items as the 22nd and 23rd of December tighten like nooses around our collective necks?
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nolabels Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 04:53 PM
Response to Original message
9. Sorry, I draw the line at Maggots
Even sterile maggots

Press Release: LarvE now available on prescription.
From February 20th 2004, LarvE, sterile maggots of the common greenbottle Lucilia sericata, will be available on prescription. See the press release for further details.

http://www.larve.com/
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Gregorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 04:57 PM
Response to Original message
10. This is the beginning (ps, check out my new sigline.)
I did that. But I played my cards right. I'd have never loaded up three cards, if I lived anywhere but Silicon Valley. I KNEW I could sell my house when the time was right.

But this post is one of the more important ones, believe it or not. I have bought and sold real estate for nearly fifteen years now. And I saw it all happen. Now, it's a nightmare. A total nightmare. Two bedroom, no power, and an outhouse for $425k! In the middle of nowhere. A beautiful 26 acre nowhere, but nevertheless, crazy. I think this problem is just about to come home to roost. It's about time. I"ve been asking just who can afford to buy these houses I see. And we know the answer- noone can. Of course, noone ever has. But at least people could pay their houses off with a 30 mortgage. It now takes 200 years to pay off a house at these prices. Even at the good rates.
So, the long awaited crash should be right around the corner. It might be soft, but it isn't going to be pretty. This is just my observation. There could be other factors that I don't know, or understand.

But I only posted because I'm so proud of my new sigline. I heard it being used by a guy who called himself the singing cia agent.
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Ms. Clio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 05:30 PM
Response to Original message
12. I read an article yesterday about how CC companies can raise your rate
to 25%, even if you've never been late on a payment, or gone over your credit limit, but just because you use the card too much, and suddenly look like a risk.

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