In defence of credit cards

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Posts in total: 24
In my experience, credit cards have a bad reputation. Horror stories, such as having the overdue interest rocket well over 25%, are sometimes heard.

However, also in my experience, if you're able to be disciplined and organised with your credit card usage, there are perks:

1) Automatic extended warranty protection for any purchase

2) Any fraud doesn't result in you losing money immediately, like it would with a debit card

3) Rebate points and cashback (e.g. receiving 2.5% cashback almost offsets inflation, and you didn't have to invest a cent)

So, as you can see, credit cards are a handy tool for responsible adults.
The rewards encourage increased use while the cost is passed onto society at large, then often people end up spending them like a gift card towards an endorced outlet.  
--> @Plisken
The rewards encourage increased use
Sure, but they don't demand increased use. You can use something called self-restraint.

while the cost is passed onto society at large
This is so vague that only you would understand what you meant by this.

then often people end up spending them like a gift card towards an endorced outlet. 
What data do you have to reach this conclusion?

Besides, you're able to choose what rewards you receive, so I don't understand why this is a problem, if it is proven to be true.



--> @Analgesic.Spectre
How'd you copy to quote?

I would agree that credit cards, like most tools, have a bad reputation. In fact, debt has a bad reputation. Debt is actually a good thing, if used responsibly

Credit cards get the blunt of it because it is difficult to get out from under excessive credit card debt, especially if you missed even one payment to go to the default rate, usually around 28-35%. Also, credit cards are easy to get, which means people who should not be offered credit are (e.g. within months of filing bankruptcy), and it is seen as predatory.

And, of course, no one wants to admit fault, and it is easier to blame the credit card company rather than the teen who opened 10 credit cards and maxed them out on their 18th birthday.
--> @Mage-CPA
How'd you copy to quote?
1) Copy-and-paste the text you'd like to quote into the blank text field
2) Highlight the text you pasted into the blank text field
3) Use the fourth option just above the text field (It looks like two sixes. If you hover over it, it says "quote").

I would agree that credit cards, like most tools, have a bad reputation. In fact, debt has a bad reputation. Debt is actually a good thing, if used responsibly
100% agreed.

Credit cards get the blunt of it because it is difficult to get out from under excessive credit card debt, especially if you missed even one payment to go to the default rate, usually around 28-35%. Also, credit cards are easy to get, which means people who should not be offered credit are (e.g. within months of filing bankruptcy), and it is seen as predatory.
I really don't have much time or empathy for these idiots incapable of being responsible with money. If your money is so tight that you're on the brink of filing for bankruptcy, and you then decide to use a credit card which you may or may not be able to pay off, then it's your own fault.

And, of course, no one wants to admit fault, and it is easier to blame the credit card company rather than the teen who opened 10 credit cards and maxed them out on their 18th birthday.
Exactly. 

I support this kind of idiot tax. The more idiots that get slugged with an astronomical interest rate, the better my rewards are for being responsible with my money.



--> @Analgesic.Spectre
I really don't have much time or empathy for these idiots incapable of being responsible with money. If your money is so tight that you're on the brink of filing for bankruptcy, and you then decide to use a credit card which you may or may not be able to pay off, then it's your own fault.
Thanks for the quoting ability.

For the idiots that are idiots, like my father, yeah, not much empathy. It is on them.

But, not everyone is on the brink when they spend, but what happens when they have too much debt and income is lessened. And, that credit card companies, at least in the USA, could be argued as being predatory.

Personally, I used credit cards to get by for years (paying $40K in debt payments - plus taxes - while earning about $50K), and while I could make the payments, I knew that if I were to hit the default rate, my payments would double (I had rates of about 12-16%, not 28%) and that hole would have been near impossible to climb out of. You could say I was on the brink of bankruptcy, but I used my credit card for groceries and bills I could pay, causing a slow bleed upwards. I would say that was brilliant, not moronic. My debt problems were assuming debt I could afford at the time (often out of necessity, like car, school, or home repair), and later, no longer being able to afford it due to job loss or other income factors.

Debtors are too often viewed as a victim, and their hands are rarely clean.
--> @Analgesic.Spectre
I think that you can't just write this off as 'personal responsibility', as people aren't automatons and are demonstrably susceptible to manipulation on many levels.

But putting aside that, I think that the worse effects of this are more big picture. Wages have been flat for years now in the US, yet there has been no mass-revolt, no attempt to rectify this through political action. Why? I hold that credit cards are the answer. They make it possible to maintain a higher standard of living on a lower paycheck for a long while, until it eventually catches up with people. Since we live in a consumerist society with lessened community ties (which are our biggest source of natural happiness), people depend to a large degree on the acquisition of 'stuff' to define how happy they are. If your wages go flat, and you have a family, and you are in this psychological trap, then the credit card company offers a quick out whereby a person can maintain a facade (no father wants to tell his kids he can't provide for them in the same way that other fathers do).

So, big question, what have credit cards offered to people? Have they increased their real income? No. They've essentially offered an anesthetic solution to financial hardship, which as we've seen with widespread historic (and contemporary) opiate epidemics, is something that most people can't reject through 'willpower'. This is even more true when people live in a state with weakened community defense mechanisms. In the big picture, the credit card companies are economic parasites, who serve the interests of the upper class by tamping down the dissatisfaction which a real experience of flattening wages would produce, and funnel off an obscene amount of money from the working class in the process. The rich also use credit cards, but mostly in the manner which you describe, where they farm them for reward points in a conscious way. It is MUCH easier for people to do this when they are more financially secure; poverty tends to breed decisions which keep people in poverty through short-term thinking. People are still wired, in many ways, to pursue short-term survival strategies when put under resource stresses, which is what eventually happens when cost of living increases and wages stay flat. When you're scrounging for roots and berries as a neolithic tribesman this response makes sense, but when you're up against a faceless collective of sociopathic bankers it just makes you easy to manipulate.
--> @ResurgetExFavilla
I wrote this thread with the intention of countering the common argument of, "don't use a credit card". I really wasn't terribly interested in economic and macro-societal issues with the existence of credit cards, because I think societal decay is unflappably cyclical, and problems of usury and psychological exploitation always occur in this stage of civilsational decay. I think it's too much of a leap of faith to claim that people not protesting low wages is solely the fault of credit cards, although it certainly seems a major factor. I think it's also myopic to say that credit cards are the root of the problem, because this kind of monetary greed seems to occur during societal decadence. In other words, credit cards are a problem that can't be stopped.

Nevertheless, I can certainly see how poor people are screwed by them (or else banks wouldn't offer cashbacks). If I was poor and without an emergency fund, I would never touch a credit card. Then again, I'm sure you would argue that poor people aren't always in the best psychological state to make clear decisions. It's certainly a problem that badly hurts poor people, and even rich people with an unrelenting quest for material possessions.

--> @Analgesic.Spectre
While I definitely take a cyclical view of history, I think that the part of the cycle we're in now is historically unique because the scale of society has the very real possibility of destroying the environment, and/or entering a Calhoun-esque population collapse scenario in the West. Once the music stops playing there is going to be a lot of violence.

--> @ResurgetExFavilla
I have two questions for this:

(1) How likely do you think either of these scenarios are? From what I can tell, the majority of Whites aren't interested in their race's wellbeing, so I'm not convinced that they're likely going to defend it with violence.

(2) If either does happen, are we talking about a nuclear bomb wiping out a 1/4 of the Earth? Are we talking about a country plagued by chemicals of chemical warfare? I'm not sure governments would allow such a brutally inhumane conduction of warfare.
--> @Analgesic.Spectre
My credit score is above 800. Using a credit card responsibly and wisely is a big benefit. I can get whatever i want, with the lowest interest, bc of making wise choices with my credit. The only thing i like about debit cards is that it's harder to spend over what you have... but, you shouldn't be doing that with a credit card anyways. So... it has never been a problem for me. I use my credit card and pay it off with my debate card. A lot of people do it the other way around for some reason. I think it's bc it just feels wrong having to owe money later than just using "cash" on the spot. But just like many things in life, the best way is usually what feels counter-intuitive.  
--> @Outplayz
Yeah, sounds like you're going well with them. I guess there aren't more people like you because personal finance isn't taught to any serious degree at school. Just a guess, though.
--> @Analgesic.Spectre
It isn't taught at an early age or high school. But, my parents were always really good with money. They always taught me to make money work for me not the other way around. And in college, i learned a bit too since i'm a business major. 
Orange hair on 400lb rat-in-kitchen ---> bad!

Credit cards in hands of ninkompoops---> bad!

Free Market Cattle Ranching in amazon rain forest---> bad!

Free market inspired state increase of weapons designed to kill humans---> bad!
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Free market and state inspired fair, balanced standards-of-living in consideration of ecologically sustainable energy resource practices---> good!
--> @Analgesic.Spectre
It's not really about racial struggle against external threats. One of the best overviews of this is Spengler's The Hour of Decision. Despite the laughably inaccurate synopsis of the work available online (this work was banned by the Nazi party, it didn't 'inspire' them), the essay isn't about white Europeans having to 'fight' the 'colored races'. It is a pessimistic outlook on the future of Europe based on the decadence and weakness of European civilization, which, in Spengler's view, doomed them to lose 'by default' against other, more healthy civilizations in the long run. It's not a question of racial struggle at all, but of the state of fundamental weakness into which the European soul has collapsed.

'Added to all this is the universal dread of reality. We "pale-faces" have it, all of us, although we are seldom, and most of us never, conscious of it. It is the spiritual weakness of the "Late" man of the higher civilizations, who lives in his cities cut off from the peasant and the soil and thereby from the natural experiencing of destiny, time, and death. He has become too wide awake, too accustomed to ponder perpetually over yesterday and tomorrow, and cannot bear that which he sees and is forced to see: the relentless course of things, senseless chance, and real history striding pitilessly through the centuries into which the individual with his tiny scrap of private life is irrevocably born at the appointed place. That is what he longs to forget, refute, or contest. He takes flight from history into solitude, into imaginary far-away systems, into some faith or another, or into suicide. Like a grotesque ostrich he buries his head in hopes, ideals, and cowardly optimism: it is so, but it ought not to be, therefore it is otherwise. We sing in the woods at night because we are afraid. Similarly, the cowardice of cities shouts its apparent optimism to the world for very fear. Reality is no longer to be borne. The wish-picture of the future is set in place of facts - although fate has never taken any notice of human fancies - from the children's Land of Do-Nothing to the World Peace and Workers' Paradise of the grown-ups.

I don't see the whole demographic displacement as some aberration; it is what to expect of a civilization which has become spineless. It's the Wandering of Nations all over again.

The real unique issues that I see are ecological devastation and overpopulation. Overpopulation is not just a matter of 'too many people', but of the collapse in conceptual space which happens in low-trust environments. This collapse makes the deleterious psychological effects of overcrowding become much more pronounced, which can eventually completely dissolve social structures.
--> @ResurgetExFavilla
It's not really about racial struggle against external threats. One of the best overviews of this is Spengler's The Hour of Decision. Despite the laughably inaccurate synopsis of the work available online (this work was banned by the Nazi party, it didn't 'inspire' them), the essay isn't about white Europeans having to 'fight' the 'colored races'. It is a pessimistic outlook on the future of Europe based on the decadence and weakness of European civilization, which, in Spengler's view, doomed them to lose 'by default' against other, more healthy civilizations in the long run. It's not a question of racial struggle at all, but of the state of fundamental weakness into which the European soul has collapsed.
Usually, the racial majority will distribute resources to their own kind (always with a justification). The deeds of a civilisation are done so with the racial majority in mind. Thus, I would posit that civilsations are represented by their racial majorities.

So, a decadent and weak civilisation, being overrun by a more healthy civilisation, is essentially a decent and weak racial majority, being overrun by a more healthy racial majority. Albeit, this is not always the fate of a decadent and weak civilisation (for example, implosion is another possibility), but it's certainly a possibility.

'Added to all this is the universal dread of reality. We "pale-faces" have it, all of us, although we are seldom, and most of us never, conscious of it. It is the spiritual weakness of the "Late" man of the higher civilizations, who lives in his cities cut off from the peasant and the soil and thereby from the natural experiencing of destiny, time, and death. He has become too wide awake, too accustomed to ponder perpetually over yesterday and tomorrow, and cannot bear that which he sees and is forced to see: the relentless course of things, senseless chance, and real history striding pitilessly through the centuries into which the individual with his tiny scrap of private life is irrevocably born at the appointed place. That is what he longs to forget, refute, or contest. He takes flight from history into solitude, into imaginary far-away systems, into some faith or another, or into suicide. Like a grotesque ostrich he buries his head in hopes, ideals, and cowardly optimism: it is so, but it ought not to be, therefore it is otherwise. We sing in the woods at night because we are afraid. Similarly, the cowardice of cities shouts its apparent optimism to the world for very fear. Reality is no longer to be borne. The wish-picture of the future is set in place of facts - although fate has never taken any notice of human fancies - from the children's Land of Do-Nothing to the World Peace and Workers' Paradise of the grown-ups. 
Yes, it's difficult to ponder whether life is worth living, when you're struggling to make ends meet and intoxicated with a will to survive.

But I think this is the opposite of "spiritual weakness". I think these realisations, this ability to question the validity of life, is a potential escape route into further, ground-breaking evolution. I think it's a chance to realise that human life isn't as conducive to civilsation, which is the preferred set-up for human life, as we would have hoped. Perhaps it's time to radically reinvent humans. Perhaps it's time to realise the game of life isn't worth playing. Perhaps it's time for something else entirely. However, we now know that if we revert to "healthy" civilisational methods, it won't be long before we loop around to this state of affairs again.

I don't see the whole demographic displacement as some aberration; it is what to expect of a civilization which has become spineless. It's the Wandering of Nations all over again.
But civilsations naturally become spineless like this. It's happened for at least the last 2,500 years: Assyria (859-612 B.C.), Persia (538-330 B.C.), Greece (331-100 B.C.), Roman Republic (260-27 B.C.) (skipping a few), Romanov Russia (1682-1916), and Britain (1700-1950). They all last about 250 years. They go through the same expansion, consolidation and decay stages. There's no point reverting to what we consider as healthy civilisations because it's not sustainable (nor, arguably, worthwhile). Traditional values, religion and gender role etc. just lead to going through the same cycle again.

The real unique issues that I see are ecological devastation and overpopulation. Overpopulation is not just a matter of 'too many people', but of the collapse in conceptual space which happens in low-trust environments. This collapse makes the deleterious psychological effects of overcrowding become much more pronounced, which can eventually completely dissolve social structures.
I've never actually considered that as an effect of over-population. Now that you mention it, it seems true.
--> @ResurgetExFavilla
The real unique issues that I see are ecological devastation and overpopulation.

That has happen in past locally ex deforestation.   Currently we have a long string of droughts in middle-east.

Fuller made clear in his book "Critical Path" that most of middle-east conflicts are based on availability of fresh water.

Overpopulation is not just a matter of 'too many people', but of the collapse in conceptual space which happens in low-trust environments.

Ecological devastation and overpopulation is currently a global issue.  Most of humanity is brain dead  to this information for various reasons.

Under-educated by choice, or other.

Operatings systems of free market and government currently in place, are not, and will not address  these issues in time, to spare humanity a future here on Earth, or anywhere else.

What we have is something likened to the 70's 80's where people were in hope that a cure for all cancers would be found sooner rather than later.

The hope is, that we will discover a technology --likened to the Advance Extra-terrestial Aliens--- coming to humanities rescue.

I hope I will win the lottery also.  :--))


46 days later
--> @Analgesic.Spectre
I've made over $5,000 this year from credit cards that is currently paying for a 16 day jaunt to Belgium/Netherlands.

--> @askbob

--> @RationalMadman

--> @Analgesic.Spectre
The issue is that most Americans don't use restraint. They aren't financially literate. So where responsible people like you and I don't carry a balance there are 10, 20 a 100 other people who will and will get into trouble with them.

But that's their perogative. 

--> @KingArthur
The issue is that most Americans don't use restraint. They aren't financially literate. So where responsible people like you and I don't carry a balance there are 10, 20 a 100 other people who will and will get into trouble with them.
Do you have any data to support your statements?

--> @Analgesic.Spectre
The average credit card debt carried in America is nearly $7000.


--> @KingArthur
This is decently sound, especially considering that it's an inductive argument. Although, the average debt of nearly $7,000 may be caused by a small majority or even a minority -- the data doesn't seem to say either way.

Still, your previous comments at least apply to some Americans.