Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

SoylentNews is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop. Only 19 submissions in the queue.
posted by martyb on Thursday May 18 2017, @09:28PM   Printer-friendly
from the I-owe,-I-owe,-it's-off-to-work-I-go dept.

Another day, another record broken.

The debt held by US households has surpassed its pre-2008 record, several financial outlets note. A peculiar spotlight in the associated numbers falls on student loans, where delinquencies are multiple times higher than for other debt types: 10 percent is the norm.

That's some pretty troubling news for the economy [and wider society], notes Rana Foroohar at sister outlet the Financial Times. First off, there's the association between the rise in student debt, and a decrease in home ownership for young people. This connection is exacerbated by them millennials increasingly turning towards income-based repayment programmes, which spread out the debt over more years.

Secondly, the level of student debt delinquencies ain't changing: the 10 percent figure is a near-constant over the past 4-5 years. People who've ever had a delinquency -- even if they recover -- have a much lower rate of home ownership at age 30 as compared to their non-defaulted compatriots. Not having a home means not filling it with stuff, and filling with stuff is kinda what the economy is based on.

Then, thirdly, it's not only students that are hit by student debt: increasingly, their parents are taking on debt too, to help out. Fuel for that debt sandwich is something peculiar: the rate of inflation in college admission costs is three times higher than the consumer price index. Must be that college professors wages have increased a lot, then.

Given that boomers and their millennial offspring are the two largest voting blocks in the US, a snappy future president-elect might consider raising the issue a bit.


Original Submission

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough

Mark All as Read

Mark All as Unread

The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
(1) 2
  • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Ethanol-fueled on Thursday May 18 2017, @09:44PM (12 children)

    by Ethanol-fueled (2792) Subscriber Badge on Thursday May 18 2017, @09:44PM (#511849) Homepage Journal

    1. Purge the Jews
    2. Purge the illegal aliens
    3. Euthanize anybody older than 70
    4. Euthanize all defective offspring
    5. Halt immigration and kill all work-visa programs except those that require $300,000/yr talent.
    6. Shoot anybody who tries to illegally cross the border on sight
    7. Nuke the Middle East, including Israel
    8. Halt all foreign aid, including UN/NATO contributions
    9. Cap all salaries at 300K
    10. Execute bankers who are complicit in market crashes
    11. Execute George Soros and all other foreign meddlers
    12. Donald Trump, baby!
    13. Purge the American congress of the crooked pedo human-traffickers

    • (Score: 5, Funny) by edIII on Thursday May 18 2017, @09:59PM

      by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Thursday May 18 2017, @09:59PM (#511856)

      While I don't agree with all of your ideas, I find the idea of killing the President after his 71st birthday to be salacious indeed.

      Does Dear Leader know about this? I find your defection interesting.

    • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Thursday May 18 2017, @10:00PM

      by bob_super (1357) on Thursday May 18 2017, @10:00PM (#511857)

      14. Kinda edit them quietus posts stuffs, cause them form ain't conchistent with dat darn serious topic, guv!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 18 2017, @10:52PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 18 2017, @10:52PM (#511876)

      > 3. Euthanize anybody older than 70

      My father was still putting my younger brother & sister through college at this age, seems counter productive to axe the people that are in a position to help pay down the college loans...

      • (Score: -1, Troll) by Ethanol-fueled on Thursday May 18 2017, @11:46PM (1 child)

        by Ethanol-fueled (2792) Subscriber Badge on Thursday May 18 2017, @11:46PM (#511902) Homepage Journal

        Tell that fucking Jew to spit out the money and suck helium.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @01:03AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @01:03AM (#511922)

          > Tell that fucking Jew to spit out the money and suck helium.

          Beep, sorry your turn is up. My father was a Yankee and post-theological1. He worked well into his 90s and died in his sleep at 100...same age as his Yankee mother.

          1. http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Post%20Theological [urbandictionary.com]

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by idiot_king on Thursday May 18 2017, @11:12PM (3 children)

      by idiot_king (6587) on Thursday May 18 2017, @11:12PM (#511886)

      The very fact that some humans believe this qualifies as "humor" is not only horrifying but I would argue is precisely the reason we're in the predicament we're in now.
      Sincerity has gone out the window and, in its stead, has been replaced by Trumpian Hyperbole, by which I essentially mean every word uttered by everyone nowadays is essentially a loaded statement or is at least interpretable as a loaded statement.
      Such are the people, such are the times.

      • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by Ethanol-fueled on Thursday May 18 2017, @11:39PM (1 child)

        by Ethanol-fueled (2792) Subscriber Badge on Thursday May 18 2017, @11:39PM (#511895) Homepage Journal

        Hyperbole? Nonsense.

        I guarantee you, if my plan above is enacted, the world will thank us for it later, even if you don't.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @12:33AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @12:33AM (#511916)

          Can we purge annoying twits like you? For sure that would make the world a better place.

      • (Score: 1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @01:05AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @01:05AM (#511923)

        Most of the list really would help. Some of it is horrifying, but life is cruel. Going down the list...

        The more conservative Jews are not harmful. Problem is, they all left for Israel. We're left with liberal ones like George Soros. Those people are harmful. There is also something to be said about punishment for people who sexually mutilate week-old babies. That is an extra-special kind of evil.

        The illegal aliens are costing us billions upon billions. Just the services alone are more than enough to pay for a new wall every year. One of the reasons for a bad economy in Africa is linguistic diversity; we should not allow it here.

        Medical costs increase greatly over age 70, and productivity in the workplace greatly declines. Still, we might reduce incentives if we arbitrarily euthanize anybody older than 70. This one could backfire. We'd have to limit it to sickly people in families that have not been beneficial to our economy.

        The same goes for the "euthanize all defective offspring" idea.

        The idea that we should "Halt immigration and kill all work-visa programs except those that require $300,000/yr talent" is nearly perfect. It needs to be expressed in terms that won't be impacted by inflation. We should instead set a requirement that income must be at minimum 5x the median, 10x the 10th percentile, and 3x the 90th percentile.

        It is effective to "Shoot anybody who tries to illegally cross the border on sight". This works. Let volunteers participate. Also, we can do landmines.

        There are issues with the idea that we should "Nuke the Middle East, including Israel". I suspect it is a bad idea. The pros and cons are clear, but their relative seriousness is not. Fully autonomous drones with rifles would be far more environmentally friendly, so that is almost certainly a good idea.

        We could "Halt all foreign aid, including UN/NATO contributions", but then we lose some influence. We like our influence. We keep countries addicted to our foreign aid and we set conditions on it, such as buying American goods shipped via American ships. This one is another "maybe".

        The "Cap all salaries at 300K" idea is going to be ineffective (workarounds) and there will be inflation issues, so no, this one is a disaster. We should address corporate executive compensation in some other way, probably causing delayed payouts that relate to long-term performance even after the person leaves the job. We might also increase taxes for high-earners, perhaps to 50% of income over $million/year.

        We can and should "execute bankers who are complicit in market crashes". China does this.

        It would be great to "execute George Soros and all other foreign meddlers", but there are difficulties defining this precisely and difficulties ensuring that the law is evenly applied. I don't think this can work.

        Well yeah, "Donald Trump, baby!" is obvious when the alternatives all lacked the most basic qualification for the job: willing to put the USA first, without hesitation or shame.

        It's mighty hard to "purge the American congress of the crooked pedo human-traffickers". Sorry, they don't do this out in the open.

    • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @12:54AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @12:54AM (#511921)

      4. Euthanize all defective offspring

      Sweet! I just sharpened my guillotine blade too! Climb in the guillotine, Ethanol, you can be the first defective offspring we euthanize! The blade is razor sharp, won't hurt a bit.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @04:13AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @04:13AM (#512009)

      2. Purge the illegal aliens

      Trump is working on it. Or so he says..

      3. Euthanize anybody older than 70

      Also called withdrawal of care as in private care for people without money. To make sure this happens one devalues their savings.

      4. Euthanize all defective offspring

      No healthcare = they die. Though it may be the humans most adapted to survive that lives on. Not necessarily the best for the country.

      5. Halt immigration and kill all work-visa programs except those that require $300,000/yr talent.

      10. Execute bankers who are complicit in market crashes

      11. Execute George Soros and all other foreign meddlers

      Corporations profits and won't let that happen.. next? ;-)

      6. Shoot anybody who tries to illegally cross the border on sight

      Trump, maybe.

      7. Nuke the Middle East, including Israel

      That radioactive cloud will end up at home, in the US.

      8. Halt all foreign aid, including UN/NATO contributions

      That will enable Russia to increase their sphere of influence and cut the European bridge head from US influence.

      9. Cap all salaries at 300K

      Recipe for massive brain drain.

      13. Purge the American congress of the crooked pedo human-traffickers

      Not in the interest of the congress, which sets the rules for who is elected. Catch-22!

    • (Score: 1) by justinb_76 on Friday May 19 2017, @12:00PM

      by justinb_76 (4362) on Friday May 19 2017, @12:00PM (#512125)

      do you have, like, a newsletter or something? and how would I go about subscribing to it?

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Gaaark on Thursday May 18 2017, @09:50PM (14 children)

    by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Thursday May 18 2017, @09:50PM (#511852) Homepage Journal

    Some people need to stop doing 'studies', etc, and TALK TO FUCKING middle class/ poor people!!

    I mean seriously!

    Is this a surprise? Make people work 3 part time jobs after racking up huge student debt, then wonder why they are in debt and can't buy a house???

    Holy fuck 'some people' are stupid.

    --
    --- That's not flying: that's... falling... with more luck than I have. ---
    • (Score: 5, Touché) by DeathMonkey on Thursday May 18 2017, @09:55PM (2 children)

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Thursday May 18 2017, @09:55PM (#511854) Journal

      Yeah! Stupid scientists!

      Instead of doing a survey they should just ask a bunch of people some questions!

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by ikanreed on Thursday May 18 2017, @10:02PM (9 children)

      by ikanreed (3164) on Thursday May 18 2017, @10:02PM (#511858)

      Uh, you know that talking to them doesn't do anything to offset the fact that all individual worker productivity gains have been going to the upper class for like 30 years now, right?

      You can lie your ass off like a Donald Trump and pretend manual labor jobs that have been automated to oblivion like coal mining or steel milling, will magically come back, and you will absolutely successfully convince those very same fucked over people to be fucked just a bit harder along the way, but discussion and awareness of the problem have not been the problem for a while.

      As much as the "two sides" hate each other now(I'm not exempt, I'm starting to think the only path to a brighter future legit requires dead conservatives), the absence of dialog is a false problem. A non-existent one. Everyone knows that economic squeezing of actual workers is killing us. Everyone.

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by The Mighty Buzzard on Thursday May 18 2017, @10:16PM (8 children)

        I guess I ain't part of everyone then. The only ones I see doing badly in the US are the middle-class. The poor are still poor and the rich are still rich, both with a higher standard of living than I could have dreamed of just twenty years ago.

        --
        Save Ferris!
        • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @06:45AM (7 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @06:45AM (#512055)

          The only standard of living increase for poor people has been cheap shit. Yay, they can buy cheap electronics! Too bad their healthcare is worse, too bad education is worse, too bad economic opportunities are worse. The middle class has been gutted, it is now more of a lower-middle class at best, with true middle class shrinking rapidly.

          Keep living the nightmare dude, ignorance is bliss and all that.

          • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Friday May 19 2017, @10:27AM (6 children)

            Yeah, it's amazing what qualifies as cheap shit nowadays, ain't it?

            Couple big flatscreen TVs instead of one 12" black and white? Cheap shit.

            Getting to eat multiple meals at home a day that don't involve either beans or rice? Cheap shit.

            Getting healthcare that doesn't come in a bottle marked Robitussin? Cheap shit.

            Your bitch ass has obviously never been properly poor in a decade where half the amenities of the 90s middle-class weren't handed to you just for existing.

            --
            Save Ferris!
            • (Score: 2) by edIII on Friday May 19 2017, @09:40PM (5 children)

              by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 19 2017, @09:40PM (#512393)

              You're being a piece of shit again. Just stop.

              You have absolutely no idea what is like down in the barrios with the poor and the homeless. Have you donated your time to work with the sick and those in need? You don't. I know you don't, because you are full of shit. I didn't see anything remotely like what you just said out of your hate filled asshole blowing hot air.

              Couple big flatscreen TVs instead of one 12" black and white? Cheap shit.

              Not what I saw. A small TV, a barely working fridge, and a dirty apartment where the guy was clearly trying but in great need for help. That help you speak of? $542 per month from the state when it takes him $5 to pay for the bus just to get to the government offices each month to speak with somebody. Flat screens have been out for quite some time you dickhead. Have you been to a thrift store? They may have 3 of them because 2 of them are in such disrepair, and the 3rd they just got for $30 at Goodwill. There is a huge amount of cheap electronics in the U.S, and much of it has trickled down to the poor by the rich throwing out their toys. Some flatscreens are not a sign of wealth. Unlike some asshole fucking politicians thinking, neither is a fridge. It's a basic requirement now, unless we want people to get sick more than they already do.

              Those palatial meals 3 times a day? No. We bring them the food that they cannot afford to get themselves because the rent alone takes everything they have, and EBT doesn't cover it all. I know you are fucking full of shit today because of how many sick people, that are legit disabled, depend on the empathy and compassion of others just to survive. Thank God, not everyone is like you.

              Health care? Again full of shit. I live the truth personally on a day to day basis, and you are factually incorrect. They can wait 5 months to see a doctor, and any specialist they are sent to can be 2-3 months out. That is while they are suffering greatly and end up having to go the ER several times while waiting. Ends up costing us a ton for that kind of inefficiency and complete lack of empathy.

              TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE DIE EACH YEAR FROM LACK OF PROPER ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE. You are wrong if you think the same level of care the rich receive, is the same level of care the poor receive. Free clinics are not palatial, nor do they offer the same levels of care.

              Fuck you man. It's just not like that, and I can tell you that are as divorced from daily reality as Michael Jackson was, or Trump still is. You don't live in the real world, because it's so much worse in the real world. People like you just break my heart man. That's not hyperbole today. You're being a real piece of shit, and I think you have it in you to be better.

              I'll tell that guy that you think he has it so good the next time I see him. If I do. He's not doing too well, and I don't know how much longer he can make it.

              • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Friday May 19 2017, @09:59PM (4 children)

                I've been homeless, you pampered twit. Tell me again how I don't know what I'm talking about. The average poor family in the US has two televisions and a car nowadays. Learn what the fuck you're talking about before you go spouting off.

                --
                Save Ferris!
                • (Score: 2) by edIII on Friday May 19 2017, @10:38PM (3 children)

                  by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 19 2017, @10:38PM (#512417)

                  Learn what the fuck you are talking about! How long ago were you homeless, and on the dole?

                  Regardless of what you say, your version of reality wildly differs from established facts. Those facts are established by people leaving their fucking houses, having their feet hit pavement, pick up a fucking clipboard and a badge, and you go out and start helping people.

                  Whether you were homeless or not (allegedly), I know you are not homeless now. Or in the last 10 years. If you were, you would be saying something different. I'll take MDC's word about what it is like to be homeless, before I take yours.

                  You are still being an asshole, and your bigoted assumptions come directly from the Republicans where a refrigerator is a sign of wealth, and an iPhone is a sign of financial security and stability.

                  Where I go, I don't see opulence. I don't see the grasshopper jumping around up and down singing his tunes. I see grasshoppers barely alive, hurting profoundly, and in great material deprivation. I don't see your fucking world.

                  That, and how much is your head stuck up your ass? It's been 10 years since we started the Great Depression II - The Fuckening. Plenty of families and single people have contracted into smaller and smaller places, with less income, less benefits, but slightly more health care. Obamacare did at least get more people healthcare. My point? Whatever signs of wealth you might see are simply those preserved from better times. If you see 3 TVs, are the THREE fucking people living where ONE person used to live back in the good times? I hardly know anyone that is able to live alone anymore. Almost everybody rents, or sublets, or has roommates. Affording to live alone now with a SINGLE TV is a sign of wealth in many places.

                  You make a lot of arrogant hurtful assumptions, and that's assuming you've even seen the inside of ANY poor person's house in the last 5 years. I'm going to call you out and say that you do ZERO work with the community and those in the need, so how the fuck would you know a fucking thing huh?

                  Get your bloated fucking carcass off the goddamn chair you piece of shit and do some work in the community this weekend! Go to a church or someplace, online, whatever. I know that you can. I fucking dare you. Go out there and see the truth. One thing I can guarantee you is that anybody that does, rolls their eyes up into their head listening to you. Just like I do most of the time.

                  You have very little credibility when you speak of things easily verified and proved to be false.

                  • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Saturday May 20 2017, @12:45AM (2 children)

                    It's called Standard of Living. Going by it, we have no poor in this country who are physically able and willing to work. Not compared to the rest of the world and not compared to how I grew up in this country a few decades ago.

                    No, what we have now are a bunch of spoiled, entitled, little pussies. That is why you hear all the noise now compared to thirty years ago. They bitch to no end about poverty while playing their xbox on their flatscreen TV and ignoring calls on their cell phone to come in to work for a bit of overtime because the friend they're currently playing head-to-head with didn't show up for their shift or even call in.

                    Take your elitist bullshit somewhere else. I live in a town where over 75% of the population are below the poverty line. I know exactly what poor looks like today because I see it every fucking day.

                    No, I don't volunteer for shit because I'm too busy helping my actual neighbors who I know are at least halfway worth the trouble. The guy next door to me may have hocked his TV five times this year because he'd rather buy weed and beer than food but he's otherwise a pretty honest and decent guy who'll bend over backwards to help a friend or neighbor. I do not, however, give a flying fuck about some bitch living on welfare and child support. If you refuse to work, fucking starve and die. The world will be better off shed of you.

                    --
                    Save Ferris!
                    • (Score: 1) by Sabriel on Saturday May 20 2017, @11:36AM (1 child)

                      by Sabriel (6522) on Saturday May 20 2017, @11:36AM (#512585)

                      (watches the back and forth)

                      You two both seem very sure of your seemingly-incompatible assessments of your homeland, yet you're disagreeing with each other based on your experiences. Is it possible that this is because the United States is big enough, with its 50 states, 10 million square kilometres and 325 million inhabitants, for two citizens to have different experiences?

                      • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Saturday May 20 2017, @12:00PM

                        Possible. I've been to thirty-some-odd states and lived in a dozen or so of those, so I'm not exactly lacking in a broad perspective here. I think what we have is either a wicked case of confirmation bias on ed's part or he's really that narrowly experienced. I suppose that is possible though. Those pushing hardest for Social Justice generally know little to nothing about the subjects they're speaking to, only what they've been taught to parrot.

                        --
                        Save Ferris!
    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Ethanol-fueled on Thursday May 18 2017, @11:44PM

      by Ethanol-fueled (2792) Subscriber Badge on Thursday May 18 2017, @11:44PM (#511900) Homepage Journal

      This is exactly why the Hillary campaign lost.

      Her campaign was based on heavy appeals to the far left and far right tails of the bell-curve, totally neglecting that the middle of the bell curve is the biggest.

      The insidious plan was to appeal to leeching beaners to shift the μ of the distribution leftward. Whether or not the trend will be slowed or stopped remains to be seen.

  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 18 2017, @09:54PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 18 2017, @09:54PM (#511853)

    That's right! THEY'LL get us out of this mess, just like they've always done!

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by c0lo on Thursday May 18 2017, @10:08PM (8 children)

    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday May 18 2017, @10:08PM (#511860)

    Student loans... yet another way for banks to grant toxic loans during a downturn in economy. Looks there is something they keep forgetting:

    If you owe the bank $100 that's your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that's the bank's problem.

    Jean Paul Getty

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 18 2017, @11:37PM (7 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 18 2017, @11:37PM (#511894)

      Student loans... yet another way for banks to grant toxic loans during a downturn in economy. Looks there is something they keep forgetting

      Indeed. What's even more problematic is that the banks have no way of collecting on a defaulted student loan. If a home owner defaults on their mortgage the banks can at least foreclose on the property and get back some of their money. But what are they going to do if a college graduate defaults on their loan? It's not like they can demand that the (former) student hand over their diploma and use that to pay off creditors. So, how will the banks get themselves out of this one? Call on the government to rescue them yet again? What incentive can the banks offer to get Congress to go along with that? At least with the mortgage crisis the banks had some collateral in foreclosed properties to use as bargaining chips...but bad student debts? I don't see any good way out of this for the banks.

      • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @01:11AM (4 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @01:11AM (#511924)

        You cannot discharge student loan debt. If you stop paying, that also means you'll have to stop gaining any income for the rest of your life. The banks offered bribes and Congress took them long ago against the theory that students would spend $$$ at college and then simply declare bankruptcy right after graduating. That wasn't happening, but the bank's money was able to convince the government that it was a major issue. Afterall, students are smart so they'll do whatever serves them best, ethics be damned as that's what they would do. Studies indicated otherwise, but when did those ever matter?

        • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @02:42AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @02:42AM (#511961)

          This is what an empire in decline looks like:

          Over the last decade, GDP is up $5.2T; the total credit market debt owed is up $24.5T [mybudget360.com]
          (No publication date on the page; that appears to be May 2016.)

          In 1947, the FIRE[1] side of the economy made up roughly 10 percent of GDP. Today it is 21 percent. On the other hand, manufacturing in 1947 made up 25 percent of GDP while today it is closer to 11 percent.

          A country that manufactures less and less stuff is a country headed for oblivion.

          [1] Financial, Insurance, Real Estate

          -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

          • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Friday May 19 2017, @03:59AM

            by kaszz (4211) on Friday May 19 2017, @03:59AM (#512003) Journal

            A country that produces fiat money that others may suddenly stop to put a value on sounds risky ;)
            A system where real addition of value has gone is likely to, yes, decline.

        • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Friday May 19 2017, @04:01AM

          by kaszz (4211) on Friday May 19 2017, @04:01AM (#512006) Journal

          Only incomes in the visible economy and only in that country. Many options.. :p

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @04:25PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @04:25PM (#512238)

          You cannot discharge student loan debt.

          Indeed, you cannot. But have you ever heard the expression "you can't get blood from a stone"? This is going to put banks into a real bind. In order for the student to pay back the loan, they will need to have a job that pays well enough that they can earn a living and pay off their debt. Do you really think we are going to see debtors prisons come back into fashion? Or will the banks ask Congress for a bail out? As I mentioned before, with the mortgage crisis the banks had properties which they could hold as collateralhostages. With the student loan crisis the banks can hold as collateral...what? They hold the debt but they don't have much leverage to collect. I suppose they could wring their hands at those deadbeat lazy ass students and insist really, really hard that they need to get a job and earn some money to pay off those loans. Ummm, yeah. Good luck with that.

      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @02:35AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @02:35AM (#511955)

        Lifelong indentured service? Bring back the debt-prisons?
        You think I joke, but don't be so certain about that...

        I think we've seen the end of the second renaissance. Dark times are coming.

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday May 19 2017, @11:18AM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 19 2017, @11:18AM (#512117) Journal

        What's even more problematic is that the banks have no way of collecting on a defaulted student loan.

        Sure, they do. Get Uncle Sam to cover for it. Most of that junk is covered by federal loan guarantees. That's the real reason for making student loans impossible to discharge. These loans were huge liabilities to the federal budget.

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by DannyB on Thursday May 18 2017, @10:09PM (32 children)

    by DannyB (5839) on Thursday May 18 2017, @10:09PM (#511861)

    Do not use credit cards as a way to borrow money. Only use them when you are prepared to write a check that day.

    That said, use credit cards to buy everything. Fuel. Groceries. Utility bills (yes really!).

    Pay off the cards every few days. You not only have great credit, but you earn rewards. Step one is to get credit cards that give you the rewards you want. In my case Southwest Airlines card, and a Disney card (both from the same large bank). We buy fuel and groceries on the Disney card because of the higher reward for those particular items. We buy other things on the Southwest Airlines card to accumulate points.

    Then when you're planning one of your Disney World vacations, you buy Disney Gift Cards, at Target using your red Target card. This gets you 5% off, right off the bat. Yes, really. So buy, say $2500 worth of Disney Gift cards (thank God Target now has them in $100 denominations). But buy them, maybe $500 at a time. That 5% off of $2500 may not seem like a lot -- but it is FREE money. Don't buy the gift cards until a couple weeks before your trip. When you check into the resort, you pay with $100 gift cards. You budget your money so that you don't have sticker shock -- you know it is going to be expensive to eat in the park, and budget accordingly so you aren't surprised. Every day or so, you go back to the front desk and pay down your bill with more gift cards so that you don't have any bill when you check out. (The money you spend on the park using magic bands is charged to your credit card at the resort, so you pay it down every day with 5% off gift cards and have them reverse the credit card charge if they have already charged it to the credit card.)

    With airline points, one to one and a half members of our party have a free round trip flight already.

    With Disney Dollars earned on the Disney card, we have more money to spend in the park.

    Go for a nice long trip. (14 days, 17 days, 19 days was the longest) Buy an annual pass. That sounds expensive but it is break even after, I think it was, 11 days. Take one trip in December, when you activate your annual passes. Then take your next trip the following October, where your annual passes for park admission are still good. Possibly take a short six day trip in April. The annual passes get you park admission for vacations in two years, within a single 12 month period.

    On our "October" trip last year, we made it cross over into November so that (1) we could attend both a Halloween party, (2) a Christmas party, and (3) be at the park on election day in case of riots.

    So what do I think of credit cards? I think they are fantastic! I don't have any debt on them and never will. One time we bought a used car (about $3000) on a credit card -- which really got us more airline points. Who pays for the hundreds of dollars of benefits I get? The poor slobs that have tens of thousands of dollars in credit card debt. I do feel sorry for them, but I can't fix their problem. We're a single income family, we watch our money, and we get nice vacations.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Lagg on Thursday May 18 2017, @10:34PM (5 children)

      by Lagg (105) Subscriber Badge on Thursday May 18 2017, @10:34PM (#511868) Homepage Journal

      Debt terrifies me, and people who don't take it seriously frustrate me. So it confuses me greatly that people treat credit cards as a separate account rather than (forgive my terms) a delayed debit to your real account in the first place.

      Also my eyes roll back into my head when I read people trying to explain how to do coupon savings and take advantage of gift card incentive and all that shit, because I never need to prepare a budget that they would assist with in the first place. I just don't do the things you're talking about.

      I'm not judging you negatively of course, this is purely because I'm a lifeless loser. But saying it like you did is pretty much a solid example of why people just prefer to pretend their debt doesn't exist. When people who are familiar explain the concepts, they include a lot of assumed knowledge and usecases. Because your usecase is one that has been optimized by needing to do trip budgets. It's going to make people go "fuck it this is too complicated". I think that's also one component of the overall issue with the economy. Banks and credit sellers outright lie and mislead people into thinking they're getting benefits they're not. Purely because of ignorance brought on by unfamiliarity.

      --
      http://lagg.me [lagg.me] 🗿
      8DF5 7CC6 9572 2282 4BD7 CC2C 1316 E8D2 AB04 0CBD
      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by AthanasiusKircher on Friday May 19 2017, @02:42AM (2 children)

        by AthanasiusKircher (5291) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 19 2017, @02:42AM (#511960) Journal

        There's no reason to make credit cards sound as difficult as the parent does here. Yes, those who have specialized needs or who are willing to "play the games" with credit cards can maximize savings for themselves -- more power to them. But you're right that a lot of people who likely try to do that also end up messing up at some point -- and that can negate a lot of the benefits if they suddenly end up paying interest where they weren't expecting.

        Anyhow, it's also possible to be a lot simpler with credit cards. Rather than something complex with ever-shifting terms, find one that gives the rewards you want consistently and just use it almost exclusively. For maximum flexibility, just get a cash-back card. It's easy to find cards now (if you have good credit) that will give at least 1.5% back on ALL purchases, no limit, no annual fee. Done. No worrying about changing terms or complicated schemes to redeem "points."

        Most credit cards also offer an option for automatic payment of all balance due each month, so you never carry a balance. I check my statement each month, but I also receive an email warning when my payment is coming due, as well as a confirmation message that my payment has automatically been made for the entire balance. It takes no thought -- and I earn 1.5% "interest" just for allowing a credit card company to carry my "debt" on their books for a few weeks each month. That's better interest than most bank accounts have been offering for years.

        You may be horrified by such a perspective, but if I don't participate, I lose out on the discount. If there's a large purchase where I might actually be able to "wheel-and-deal" to get a cash discount, I'll pay cash. If it's a small business that prefers cash, I'll pay cash. Otherwise, I'll take the 1.5% discount. Heck, go beyond groceries and gas and utilities -- some insurance companies will accept credit cards for your premiums. Some apartment complexes will accept credit cards for your rent. If they'll offer it without a fee, I'll take the discount.

        The only main concern is privacy, and I get that concern. But to me, it's worth it even just to have a simple easy record of my financial transactions that I can view, download, autosort into categories, etc.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @01:02PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @01:02PM (#512145)

          The only main concern is privacy, and I get that concern. But to me, it's worth it even just to have a simple easy record of my financial transactions that I can view, download, autosort into categories, etc.

          The convenience far outweighs those concerns for me as it's not like someone really can use my credit card statement to shame me for some embarrassing purchase (without the receipts it'd be hard to tell what I bought most of the time anyway) but the automatic tracking in my budget software means that by now if I pay cash there is a good chance that I'll forget about that transaction as it needs to be entered in manually so at the end of the month I'm wondering "huh, why am I $18.79 short?"

          • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Friday May 19 2017, @02:28PM

            by kaszz (4211) on Friday May 19 2017, @02:28PM (#512188) Journal

            Or "huh, why am I in prison?" (for having similar buying habits as Muhammad).

      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday May 19 2017, @01:31PM

        by DannyB (5839) on Friday May 19 2017, @01:31PM (#512155)

        There's really nothing complicated about it.

        I have two cards. Whenever I (we actually) get fuel or groceries, we grab a certain card to pay it. Utilities (mobile phone, electricity, gas, water, etc) are on auto-pay on the other card.

        People spend enormous amounts of time "couponing". We don't. We consider our time more valuable than that. It's a simple reflex to use a certain card for fuel or any store that happens to sell food items that would qualify as grocery.

        Then there is the minor hoops to jump through to claim your rewards. On one card its easy to use airline points when you book tickets. On the other one, you have to visit a kiosk at Disney World to get your Disney dollars. For us this usually works out to somewhere between about $250 - $350 depending on what we spent that year on the cars, and whether it was the "short" gap between vacations or the "long" gap.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @06:46PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @06:46PM (#512298)

        Debt terrifies me, and people who don't take it seriously frustrate me. So it confuses me greatly that people treat credit cards as a separate account rather than (forgive my terms) a delayed debit to your real account in the first place.

        I used to think like this, and to a large extent I still do. However, I think that is to my, and your, detriment.

        The way to think about it is that debt is a vehicle to transfer money from your future self to your past self. For example, would you rather have $100 when you are 20 years old (in college with effectively no income), or would you rather have $200 when you are 50 years old (and earning an income of $100k a year)?

        Like any other money transfer, this can be a good idea or this can be a bad idea: Giving somebody $200k to get a house is probably a good idea, whereas giving somebody $200k because they claim to be a Nigerian Prince is probably a bad idea. Borrowing $500 to buy a nice suit for your first job interview is probably a good idea, whereas borrowing $500 to buy that "plane ticket to Florida for Spring Break because, like, EVERYBODY is going to be there" is probably a bad idea.

        Debt itself isn't bad: it's a powerful tool, and it's really easy to shoot yourself in the foot, but so is root access on your computer.

    • (Score: 4, Funny) by Snow on Thursday May 18 2017, @10:35PM (2 children)

      by Snow (1601) on Thursday May 18 2017, @10:35PM (#511869) Journal

      Your post stresses me out.

      11 days in disneyland/world? That's crazy. Then to do it again 11 months later... I can't imagine.

      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday May 19 2017, @01:26PM

        by DannyB (5839) on Friday May 19 2017, @01:26PM (#512154)

        You don't seem to understand.

        The first week is to have fun in Disney World. (Disneyland is simply too small.)

        The second week is to recover from the first week.

      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday May 19 2017, @03:24PM

        by DannyB (5839) on Friday May 19 2017, @03:24PM (#512222)

        It takes quite a while to do all the things Disney World has to offer. A couple years ago, I think in 2015, we took a "behind the scenes" tour. It's a 5 hour tour and includes lunch. You get to see things behind the show. Learn a lot of interesting things. You get to see the underground complex. It turns out it is not underground. They didn't build a complex under the park. They built the complex first, and built the park on top of it. Wow, that's thinking ahead. Once you are "off the promenade" everything looks like a fairly industrial complex. Workers. Machinery. Buildings that store parade floats. Once in the underground complex, you see ordinary things like a forklift with a pallet of officemax paper, etc. As soon as you go through a door and magically emerge into the park, everything looks magical again.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by DeathMonkey on Thursday May 18 2017, @11:45PM

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Thursday May 18 2017, @11:45PM (#511901) Journal

      Wow, I didn't know Bob Iger reads SN!

    • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Friday May 19 2017, @03:57AM (11 children)

      by kaszz (4211) on Friday May 19 2017, @03:57AM (#512001) Journal

      Does the time you need to spend to keep this scheme running equals a worthwhile hourly pay? Does the diverted attention steal that away from something that could have benefited you even more?

      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday May 19 2017, @01:34PM (3 children)

        by DannyB (5839) on Friday May 19 2017, @01:34PM (#512157)

        See where I wrote another reply above that says how simple this is. We don't spend any significant time doing this. Utilities are all on auto-pay on the airline card. When buying food / fuel, we use a certain card by reflex. Anything else, we use the other card.

        Then there is the going online to pay the cards at the end of each week. We don't want that money sitting in checking account looking like it is "unspent". (We could have a separate account, or do more bookkeeping, etc to keep the money in our hands until the last possible moment, but again, we're trying to not spend time on this.)

        • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Friday May 19 2017, @01:50PM (2 children)

          by kaszz (4211) on Friday May 19 2017, @01:50PM (#512168) Journal

          Btw.. is it possible to pay money to another credit card such that you can re-circulate plenty of money and be a "good spender" but in reality not using a dime? ;)

          Setup0)
          Card0 pays to Card1
          Withdraw as cash.

          Setup1)
          Card0 pays Card1 pays Card2 pays Card0 etc..

          • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday May 19 2017, @01:58PM (1 child)

            by DannyB (5839) on Friday May 19 2017, @01:58PM (#512171)

            No. It is not possible. Sadly.

            There is only one exception that I knew of, and I think it was closed off. One time, we bought a big stack of Disney Gift Cards on Target card, for 5% off face value. Then we went online to target.com to pay off the Target card, and were able to use another CC to pay it. Now that got us rewards on that other CC.

            • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Friday May 19 2017, @02:37PM

              by kaszz (4211) on Friday May 19 2017, @02:37PM (#512191) Journal

              Start a shell company?
              That has a credit card linked to it..

      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday May 19 2017, @02:15PM (6 children)

        by DannyB (5839) on Friday May 19 2017, @02:15PM (#512181)

        Now that you mentioned the time I spend (or lack of it actually), it reminded me. There is another CC we have that we don't even give a thought to. (At least I don't) My wife pays the bill regularly, but that is all done online and is a minor chore that she does. (I did mention we are single income.)

        Amazon credit card. The only reason we got this one is because Amazon gives you 3% in Amazon credit for all Amazon purchases. So we got that card. It is set up as the only payment method on Amazon. We buy enough stuff on Amazon to be worth it. We 3% back -- for doing nothing! Just spending according to our normal pattern. Right now we've got over $100 in Amazon rewards on this card that we could use any time. But we've built that up over the last year or longer.

        Again, this is an example of earning money without doing any work -- other than paying the Amazon card bill like the other credit card bills -- online.

        • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Friday May 19 2017, @02:39PM (5 children)

          by kaszz (4211) on Friday May 19 2017, @02:39PM (#512193) Journal

          I would say you spend less (ie 3%) but doesn't get any net income from it. The real way to "save" anything is to not buy ;)

          • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday May 19 2017, @03:15PM (4 children)

            by DannyB (5839) on Friday May 19 2017, @03:15PM (#512217)

            Even if we spend less, we still would get 3% or 0% on that lesser amount depending on whether or not we used an Amazon card to pay for it. We're not spending any differently on Amazon today than before we got that card. Like the subject line says, we are using the CC as a tool. We would end up having to pay Amazon on some credit card. Or debit card. Why not use a card that gives us 3%, which is higher than our other reward options for paying Amazon purchases.

            We already are careful about what we spend. We don't make impulse buys. I might think about it for days or weeks before I spend on something out of the ordinary like a Roku.

            Sometimes a sale can cause us to suddenly buy, if it is something we are already considering. Last fall we were talking about getting a new TV for weeks. We had the money. We had a reason to buy. Obviously, at this point we had held off on buying. When there was a sale, we looked at the options, talked about it some more. And made a decision to buy. Very deliberate choice. Naturally we bought it on the CC that would give us the best reward, and paid that CC bill within a few days. Then come late October, that helped us on our vacation. :-)

            That reminds me of an old Ferengi proverb.

            You should pay attention to the important things in life.
            Because sooner or later, they will go on sale.

            • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Friday May 19 2017, @04:31PM (3 children)

              by kaszz (4211) on Friday May 19 2017, @04:31PM (#512243) Journal

              Did the TV work well with the computer? in these times of incompatible protocols, HDCP (DRM), spy-r'-us etc.
              I guess the remote control thing hasn't been resolved yet.

              • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday May 19 2017, @06:13PM (2 children)

                by DannyB (5839) on Friday May 19 2017, @06:13PM (#512285)

                The TV was for the living room. It has a smart TV built in, sadly, which I do not use or ever want to use.

                I use a Roku 3 on that TV as well as a DVD player (not Blue Ray) and a Chrome Cast.

                The Roku will easily play video from a server on the local network. But not the audio on most. I can understand Roku not wanting to license that audio codec. The irony is that the Roku will play mp3 audio just fine. Even before the mp3 patent expired.

                I'm going to re-rip some of our DVDs but with audio being mp3 this time. Other video files can be easily processed with ffmpeg so that the video codec is "copy" and the audio is re-encoded to mp3.

                I'm not sure what remote control thing you are referring to. The TV has a remote. It a lot of configuration, menus, etc. Configuration of the WiFi (no way!), etc. But I only use four buttons of that remote's many buttons: Power, Input, Vol+, Vol-.

                No cable. I have tried an antenna, but don't really care for it, and nothing over the air is worth watching on network TV, other than PBS. But PBS is a nice app on the Roku.

                • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Friday May 19 2017, @07:20PM (1 child)

                  by kaszz (4211) on Friday May 19 2017, @07:20PM (#512310) Journal

                  Maybe you can start a small project to reflash the smart TV into BSD or Linux?

                  For the audio isn't there like raw PCM or a FLAC option?

                  My remote control idea was to be able to control the TV from a computer such that one playing one source the TV can be told to switch to that etc. And doing it using Ethernet or so instead of placing a IR emitter wired to some microcontroller near the TV-set.

                  I'll agree on shit-on-tv.. ;-)
                  Good as computer output unit. Worthless as a receiver of big corp trash.

                  • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday May 19 2017, @07:36PM

                    by DannyB (5839) on Friday May 19 2017, @07:36PM (#512320)

                    So many project ideas. So little time. I don't know anything about BSD. Other than some dabbling with Raspberry Pi and Arduino, I generally prefer to work at much higher levels of abstraction these days. Back in the 80's I would have been more interested in a project at this low a level. These days I think of C or C++ as very low level -- close to the machine. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

                    I'm talking about the audio being AAC in DVD's I ripped in the past. I wish I had used mp3 as the audio format in the ripped video file that sits on my server.

                    The remote I mostly use is the Roku remote. Or the DVD remote. Recently I started watching Babylon 5 on DVD again. Just about done with season 2. But I've got Netflix, Hulu (no commercials), HBO, Starz, Amazon Prime, PBS (free), and Sling. Not sure if I like the Sling content, may not keep it.

    • (Score: 2) by DrkShadow on Friday May 19 2017, @04:07AM (2 children)

      by DrkShadow (1404) on Friday May 19 2017, @04:07AM (#512008)

      You may be late to the game: that "Buy gift cards at Target and get 5% off the cash-value" trick was short-lived. You can't do it any more. They might let you use a credit card to buy the card at face-value, screwing them out of Visa's fees, though.

      I was looking for a way to do something like this for a friend just a bit ago. I found this trick, and found out it's expired. In the end I wrote them a check for the amount I was going to give them... and then threw the "refillable gift card" fee on top as a laugh. Help my friends, not large corporations.

      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday May 19 2017, @01:48PM

        by DannyB (5839) on Friday May 19 2017, @01:48PM (#512167)

        The last time we bought Disney Cards at Target, we got 5% off the face value. Right at the checkout line.

      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday May 19 2017, @02:03PM

        by DannyB (5839) on Friday May 19 2017, @02:03PM (#512175)

        Target, like other banks, keeps insanely increasing my credit limit to absolutely absurd amounts. I think this in the hope that I'll get into debt and end up paying outrageous interest for years and years.

        I'm not sure what you're talking about "gift card fees". Disney Cards are simple. Buy them at Target for 5% off face value (because Target red card gives you 5% off at the check out line). Then at Disney World, those cards are usable like money. Including paying your resort stay, annual passes, etc. As long as it works, we'll take advantage of it.

    • (Score: 2) by rleigh on Friday May 19 2017, @06:19AM (3 children)

      by rleigh (4887) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 19 2017, @06:19AM (#512048) Homepage

      I pay for everything with (a) cash or (b) my bank debit card. I don't have a credit card, and I don't get into debt at any point. It means my finances are very simple: I live entirely within my means, and only buy what I can afford and have saved for.

      By the way, there's no such thing as "free money". That "benefit" has to be paid for by someone, and usually that comes from increasing the markup of every item by 5% (for example). So we all pay for that, irrespective of whether we use credit cards or not. So using credit cards is basically quite selfish--you've placed an additional financial burden upon all of us just to suit you. Personally I'd prefer to pay the true asking price out of my own pocket, without that extra being creamed off the top.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @12:18PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @12:18PM (#512132)

        I hate debt, and pay off every CC bill every cycle without fail. However, I do use a CC for nearly all purchases. There are at least two very good reasons to use a credit card.

        First, your debit card is a direct line to your checking. If you use that everywhere, and it gets compromised, your money is gone when you find out and difficult to get back. The funds have left your account. You basically are the one that gets to fight to try and claw them back, and it's a huge time and headache. Plus inevitable issues with overdraft fees. CC companies have pretty ironclad protection in this circumstance - report the card stolen or compromised, they issue you a new card, and claw back THEIR funds.

        Second, all prices for things which can be paid by CC are 1-5% higher than they should be for cash alone. By law they can't give you this discount even if you wanted to pay cash, so ironically the only way to get closer to real pricing is to use a CC that has a discount/points. Choose one which lets you redeem for cash or stuff you actually use, and now you are getting a broad small discount. Remember, you're paying for this either way - using a CC is the only way to get some of this back.

        • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday May 19 2017, @01:37PM

          by DannyB (5839) on Friday May 19 2017, @01:37PM (#512160)

          Yep. We went through that a few years ago. Took 10 days to get our money back in checking account. That was before we figured out how to use credit cards without debt.

      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday May 19 2017, @01:42PM

        by DannyB (5839) on Friday May 19 2017, @01:42PM (#512161)

        Like you:
        * I don't get into debt
        * My finances are simple
        * I live within my means
        * I only buy what I can afford and have saved for (yes really)
        * And that includes saving for vacations -- but we get hundreds of dollars of leverage just by using CC to pay for things
        See the part where I wrote: we don't use the credit card for anything we're not prepared to write a check for today.

        I understand the game completely. That fact that it is unfair is not my fault. I'm just adapting to how the game works. The merchant pays credit card processing fees. But their agreement with the bank is that they can't charge credit card users more. So people paying cash or check, like you, are subsidizing my vacations. I wish it were not so. But that's how it is. Also, people paying outrageous interest rates on CC debt are subsidizing my vacations.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @06:53AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @06:53AM (#512057)

      Just don't forget that your financial data is one of their products. So put your entire financial life into the web, true dystopia will never arrive right? Oh wait, insurance already wants to peruse your purchasing history for risk assessment. Black market data will never result in nefarious schemes, oh look you are out of the country time to go raid your house!

      Yes, if you're on top of it you can game the system, get little rewards for excessive use of credit cards and build up your credit. Make the system work FOR you. Just don't ever have anything to hide, chances are someone could piece it together. Hell, someone could build a false blackmail portfolio against you, ruin your marriage even if you are innocent!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @10:13AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @10:13AM (#512106)

      That said, use credit cards to buy everything. Fuel. Groceries. Utility bills (yes really!).

      That's a terrible idea for people who value their privacy. Why would I ever want these companies to know about all my purchasing decisions?

      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday May 19 2017, @01:46PM

        by DannyB (5839) on Friday May 19 2017, @01:46PM (#512164)

        Just like using Google, GMail, etc. I'm trading that info for a lot of value received. They also are keenly aware of out of the ordinary purchases which helps prevent fraud. Even if I used a debit card, like most people, the bank would know what my purchases are. Even writing checks gives the bank information. So I could go to using cash for everything, but that seems like the opposite end of the spectrum.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Thursday May 18 2017, @10:29PM (9 children)

    by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Thursday May 18 2017, @10:29PM (#511866) Homepage Journal

    "I'm homeless. The only reason I can eat is soup kitchens."

    They never called again.

    --
    Donate To Soggy Jobs [soggy.jobs]
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Lagg on Thursday May 18 2017, @10:39PM (4 children)

      by Lagg (105) Subscriber Badge on Thursday May 18 2017, @10:39PM (#511870) Homepage Journal

      Do not tell them the person in question is deceased though. Even if it's true. I made the mistake of mentioning the truth - my deceased mom can't pay this medical debt - and they promptly sold it to a credit company and are now sending more mail.

      Good thing the only points of contact they have a is a now-destroyed SIM card. I guess.

      --
      http://lagg.me [lagg.me] 🗿
      8DF5 7CC6 9572 2282 4BD7 CC2C 1316 E8D2 AB04 0CBD
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @01:16AM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @01:16AM (#511925)

        And instead of dealing with your family's problem, you've pushed it onto the next person who receives that phone number. Nice ethics.

        • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Friday May 19 2017, @01:48AM

          I always answer my phone "This is Mike".

          That particular collection agent was after some other guy who was also named Mike. It didn't work to claim they had the wrong guy.

          Eventually I got a new phone number and the problem went away.

          --
          Donate To Soggy Jobs [soggy.jobs]
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @01:52AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @01:52AM (#511935)

          The problem resided with the estate. It was the creditor's problem.

        • (Score: 2) by Lagg on Friday May 19 2017, @04:46AM

          by Lagg (105) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 19 2017, @04:46AM (#512021) Homepage Journal

          Are you American too? I feel like you are because that sort of misplaced sense of responsibility to the state and corporations seems mighty American. Tying it to ethics seems especially American.

          But no. Debt of a decedent doesn't work like that. I am not an executor. Good luck surviving in the America we have created for ourselves in the last few years with that mindset though. You'll be eaten alive. Then the industry will ask for seconds.

          --
          http://lagg.me [lagg.me] 🗿
          8DF5 7CC6 9572 2282 4BD7 CC2C 1316 E8D2 AB04 0CBD
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @01:58AM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @01:58AM (#511938)

      Crowfard never misses an opportunity to brag about his great life.

      Debt collectors calling? Just be homeless!

      MDC is a lucky duck to be one of the beautiful people, and when he sings on the street, people give him money. Me, if I try to sing on the street, people tell me to shut up and fuck off and they call the cops. Yep. Crowfard lives the incredibly charmed life of one insanely fortunate motherfucker.

      FUCK MDC.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @02:57AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @02:57AM (#511974)

        if I try to sing on the street, people tell me to shut up

        Apparently, you have no performing talent.
        It's small of you to be jealous of the superior talent of MDC.

        ...and if you don't have sufficient skills/a job that pays more than busking, you should get in contact with The Mighty Buzzard.
        He has many ideas concerning the skills/job paradigm and he is VERY willing to share those.

        -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @06:58AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @06:58AM (#512059)

          Not so fast, TMB has been caught in multiple lies where he works for some company yet at other times is himself the employer with grateful minions. Pretty sure you'll be sucking sand from that goat's bladder, but you'll get a good dose of 'Murrican bootstrapping advice.

      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday May 19 2017, @02:21PM

        by DannyB (5839) on Friday May 19 2017, @02:21PM (#512184)

        if I try to sing on the street, people tell me to shut up and fuck off and they call the cops.

        You're doing it wrong.

        If I try to sing in the street, they pay me to go somewhere else and sing.

        You obviously have no talent sir.

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 18 2017, @10:47PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 18 2017, @10:47PM (#511874)

    The debt held by US households has surpassed its pre-2008 record, several financial outlets note. A peculiar spotlight in the associated numbers falls on student loans, where delinquencies are multiple times higher than for other debt types: 10 percent is the norm.

    Good thing students cannot escape this debt via bankruptcy and the Trump admin has allowed for interest to be charged on these government secured loans. Government guaranteed debts led to irresponsible lending which led to price inflation which lead to a fuckload of unrecoverable debt presented on the federal balance sheet as an asset. Millenials have a problem because a gender studies degree is useless in the real world and they cannot repay their debt and cover living expenses while working at starbucks. Sooner or later, they'll wake up and realise they are nothing but designated debt slaves.

    That's some pretty troubling news for the economy [and wider society], notes Rana Foroohar at sister outlet the Financial Times. First off, there's the association between the rise in student debt, and a decrease in home ownership for young people. This connection is exacerbated by them millennials increasingly turning towards income-based repayment programmes, which spread out the debt over more years.

    Oy Vey!

    Secondly, the level of student debt delinquencies ain't changing: the 10 percent figure is a near-constant over the past 4-5 years. People who've ever had a delinquency -- even if they recover -- have a much lower rate of home ownership at age 30 as compared to their non-defaulted compatriots. Not having a home means not filling it with stuff, and filling with stuff is kinda what the economy is based on.

    No, the economy is based on debt and they are already maxxed out. This is why the central banking system needs to import more debt slaves via immigration and everyone else can just kiss their standard of living farewell as their wealth is diluted and stolen from them.

    Then, thirdly, it's not only students that are hit by student debt: increasingly, their parents are taking on debt too, to help out. Fuel for that debt sandwich is something peculiar: the rate of inflation in college admission costs is three times higher than the consumer price index. Must be that college professors wages have increased a lot, then.

    Price inflation as I already mentioned...

    Given that boomers and their millennial offspring are the two largest voting blocks in the US, a snappy future president-elect might consider raising the issue a bit.

    Why? There's nothing a US citizen can train for at the US cost of living that an H1-B worker cannot train for at half the cost. Perhaps if people voted for sound economic policies instead of liberal fairy tales, this situation would never have arisen to begin with?

    • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @07:00AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @07:00AM (#512061)

      Liberal fairy tales? Is that what we've been so lucky to get for the last 30 years? I feel so BLESSED!

      /sarcasm just in case

    • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Friday May 19 2017, @02:35PM

      by kaszz (4211) on Friday May 19 2017, @02:35PM (#512190) Journal

      Good thing students cannot escape this debt via bankruptcy and the Trump admin has allowed for interest to be charged on these government secured loans.

      Maybe one should start a corporation like Trump so that one can go bankrupt without ruining ones own economy?

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 18 2017, @10:58PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 18 2017, @10:58PM (#511879)

    What this really comes down to is that people did not do their sums before diving into the shark pool of debt.

    Yes, it's very sad. Yes, there are lots of people suffering; I get that. None of that changes the fact that some person, nominally an adult, made a decision, presumably with eyes open, to take on a lot of debt to do a course in literature, or musicology, or anthropology, or whatever seemed cool at the time, without a solid idea of how to pay back those debts.

    I know a couple of people who graduated, debt-free. Most of them worked while studying. It took a little longer to get the paper, but now they have work experience as well as a degree, and no debt. Don't tell me sob stories about how impossible that is because of jobs no longer existing - they may have been shit jobs, but they existed and they paid the bills and tuition.

    The (in)famous american dream is out there, in a modern form, if you're willing to get dirty for it. Quite literally; one of the people to whom I refer worked on a farm. Back-breaking work, but valuable. And now works elsewhere, doing very nicely thanks.

    If there's one sickness that predicts all this nonsense, I'd call it the lust for instant gratification.

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @01:39AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @01:39AM (#511933)

      $30000 tuition (not including food or housing or bills) / $10 hr / 40 hrs / 52 wks = 1.44 years working full-time per college semester. Hardly instant gratification. It's impossible to graduate debt free under those conditions. Sure, cut tuition in half using scholarships (which aren't available to everyone) yet it's still 8 months per semester. 8 months working, 4 months studying = 1 year per semester = 8 years to graduate except classes start expiring after 7 years so you'll never be able to graduate.

      You can go to cheaper schools, use scholarships, work multiple part-time jobs, start your own business, etc... but all those things become very saturated when every student and retiree is trying to do the same thing. It's certainly not impossible to graduate debt free, but it's far, far harder than most people care to admit. So much easier to blame lazy idiots than actually think about the problem. Even the people I knew who interned at Microsoft ($6,700 per month) every summer and worked at on-campus jobs still graduated with some debt. Of course they all had 85K+ starting salaries so they'll be able to pay it off if they aren't stupid, but it still required debt. I don't know anyone who didn't work while attending the college and with so many people trying to get the jobs no one had anything nearing full-time employment.

      Whether you need a college degree or not is a different matter. And who do you expect to teach students how to minimize most of their debt? Parents and society certainly don't, they have to do it on their own before they realize they need to learn it.

      • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Friday May 19 2017, @03:52AM

        by kaszz (4211) on Friday May 19 2017, @03:52AM (#512000) Journal

        Take a degree somewhere else than USA?

        Work hard and save. Live in a cheap cabin with internet and read a lot?

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by kaszz on Thursday May 18 2017, @11:03PM (4 children)

    by kaszz (4211) on Thursday May 18 2017, @11:03PM (#511883) Journal

    Great, so now we can expect a new 2008 type recession? and what happens then. A lot of assets will be sold for CHEAP in a clearance sale in disguise. Bought by those that were rich or frugal. Then the economy gets better again magically. So that those that got assets for cheap from the last sale (recession) can once again buy cheap from people with too much debt and put more people into debt slavery.

    See a common theme here?

    Cheap money, price increases and then recession is a recipe for robbery and slavery. If you need to work or even playing the securities market. It will not match the power of lending out money you just printed for rent. You can't compete with the bank(s) in making money. It's setup for you to fail.

    Don't get into debt, it's a TRAP. Don't try to outdo the bank but exploit the economic tides. Secure your assets against inflation and monetary manipulation.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @02:03AM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @02:03AM (#511940)

      First, quit talking as if that slump is over.
      The "recovery" that Lamestream Media keeps yammering about is a fraud.
      The actual economy in the USA is still crawling along on its hands and knees. [google.com]
      That hasn't even gotten back to the 2007 levels of activity--forget the kind of thing that was going on in 2000.

      This is what happens when Capitalists screw The Working Class and don't make sure ordinary people have money to spend into the economy.
      The Capitalists' "brilliant" plan to keep wages at 1968 levels while per-worker productivity continues its increase is what got us to this point.

      Next, that's not a "recession"--unless you're still using the old completely-broken way to define that.
      What's going on in the casino is not at all indicative of what's happening in the high street.

      Sure the already-rich have money, allowing their gambling on the speculators' market, continually bidding up the price of each other's pieces of paper.

      Meanwhile, the labor non-participation rate has been stuck at 23 percent for years and years.
      When that happened in 1929 - 1933 on Hoover's watch, it was called A DEPRESSION.

      -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

      • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Friday May 19 2017, @03:45AM (2 children)

        by kaszz (4211) on Friday May 19 2017, @03:45AM (#511994) Journal

        Perhaps the recovery is more like the economy isn't in rapid decline. And has entered a kind of steady state. Which means that economic planning is a lot easier. Seems the way out is to either find a beneficial employer or start ones own business. Not necessarily a company. Just making sure the productivity isn't wasted.
        Some places have way lower unemployment than 23% so for them the situation is kind of back to normal or even good times.

        Unlike in 1929, people can at least get food stamps I presume?

        And at least we can agree on that parts of the upper strata of society is screwing most other people? ;) How it's done and how to counteract it may differ in opinion. But at least from my point of view is that by decimating their tools of power impact on your life. It enables the opportunity to thrive.

        I think there's some common threads:
          * Avoid debt (maybe.. with exception for a house)
          * Don't enter a race against the bank in spending power (on property etc)
          * Keep your assets out of reach for inflation or currency swings (and tax)
          * Make sure that the output of work benefits you, like bartering the result of your effort rather than the bare time

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @04:56AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @04:56AM (#512023)

          Brilliant analysis, and I love how your solution to unemployment can be summarized as "just get a job."

          • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Friday May 19 2017, @02:00PM

            by kaszz (4211) on Friday May 19 2017, @02:00PM (#512173) Journal

            If your options for people willing to pay for your time is limited and you can't educate yourself out of that. Well that sucks. No patent solution to that.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by idiot_king on Thursday May 18 2017, @11:14PM (11 children)

    by idiot_king (6587) on Thursday May 18 2017, @11:14PM (#511888)

    It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's the continual failure of Capitalism because we keep forgetting Capitalism does not nor ever did work!
    Maybe if we beat ourselves to death with it, we won't have to suffer under it anymore because we'll be dead.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @01:54AM (5 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @01:54AM (#511937)

      Clearly, the answer is to give the state more power and we can have the paradise of Venezuela

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by kaszz on Friday May 19 2017, @03:49AM (1 child)

        by kaszz (4211) on Friday May 19 2017, @03:49AM (#511998) Journal

        Yeah, Venezuelian communism and cronyism is the shit! :-)
        Lot's of oil resources and all to crap anyway. Nobel prize in inability? :p

        On a more clear thinking note it must be up to individuals to set the conditions for which they are willing to trade their carrots, tools or time for something else. And not dictated by others through the means of a barrel of a gun or thugs.

        • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @05:05AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @05:05AM (#512028)

          Before they could have Communism, they'd first need to have Socialism.
          That would be a whole bunch of worker-owned cooperative businesses.
          They don't have that.
          What they have is a BADLY-RUN Liberal Democracy that depends on ONE commodity.

          What that country needs is a proper ECONOMIC system.
          Clearly, State Capitalism isn't working out for them.

          -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @04:46AM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @04:46AM (#512020)

        Capitalism is NOT a governmental system.
        If you thought about it for half a second[1], you would then realize that THE OPPOSITE OF CAPITALISM IS NOT A GOVERNMENTAL SYSTEM EITHER.

        [1] I realize it's asking a lot of you to think. Don't blow a lobe, dude.

        The way to disempower Capitalists is to EMPOWER THE WORKERS.
        The way you do this is to make workers into worker-owners via the ECONOMIC system called Socialism.

        Government is -already- picking winners and losers and is subsidizing the rich.
        What's wrong with STOPPING THAT?

        Since 1985, Italy has been using national unemployment insurance payouts to turn workers who were idled by boom-and-bust Capitalists into worker-owners, presiding over their own businesses startups.
        In the process, they've created thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of worker-owned cooperatives which make up a sizable portion of the Italian economy.
        The Marcora Law [google.com]

        ...and do try to cough up some of that Cold War bullshit you've swallowed before it kills you.

        -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

        • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Friday May 19 2017, @04:58PM (1 child)

          by HiThere (866) on Friday May 19 2017, @04:58PM (#512256)

          I think what you're talking about is more syndicalism than socialism. Pure syndicalism, just like pure capitalism, is a form of anarchy.

          --
          Put not your faith in princes.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @08:41PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @08:41PM (#512368)

            Not in the slightest.
            I never mentioned labor unions in that comment.

            I'm talking about business startups that are One worker == One vote, with all votes being equal.
            In northern Italy, as mentioned, they have them by the thousands and, as mentioned, they make up a sizable portion of the economy.
            I've also mentioned the Mondragon worker-owned cooperative here hundreds of times.

            In the 1980s, Sweden proposed a system similar to what you mentioned.
            "Socialist" plan in Sweden would gradually take over private industry [googleusercontent.com] (orig) [csmonitor.com]
            It was still top-down.
            The voters rejected it.

            In recent months, we discussed an IT co-op.
            Swedish Worker Cooperative Software Development Company Has No Boss [soylentnews.org]
            THAT is the model to which I am referring.

            ...and I would be happy to see Baby Boomer business owners, as they retire, turning over their existing businesses to a worker cooperative formed by their employees.

            capitalism, is a form of anarchy

            Get a clue.
            Capitalism is top-down exploitation of workers.
            Syndicalism is top-down as well--especially when you consider the performance of USAian union officials over the last 4 decades.

            -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

    • (Score: 2) by migz on Friday May 19 2017, @07:38AM (4 children)

      by migz (1807) on Friday May 19 2017, @07:38AM (#512065)

      False. Fractional reserve banking is not capitalism. It's the continual failure of Central Planning.

      Imagine that the government decided tomatoes were the most important thing in the economy. Instead of farmers growing tomatoes and selling them to grocery stores which people bought them from the government outlawed all of that. Instead they founded a new "Independent" Federal Tomato Reserve. Tasked with producing tomatoes. If anybody else produced tomatoes they would send in the government for fraud. This makes sense because their tomatoes would not be as good as the FTR tomatoes. Who would ensure the quality of the tomatoes without the FTR? What if they produced too many tomatoes? What if they produced too few? There would be chaos.

      But instead of growing tomatoes, they produced little vouchers, that said, this voucher entitles the bearer to one tomato, or what ever the enumeration of tomatoes designated on the note was. Everybody liked this, because they no longer had to haul boxes of tomatoes everywhere, and could instead carry a few vouchers in their wallets instead.

      Later the FTR decided, they did not actually need to redeem the tomatoes.

      This is what government control of money looks like. It is ridiculous. It is however NOT capitalism. It is protectionism, it is monopoly, and it is only possible through the complicity of government. If you want to blame somebody, blame the responsible people. Government.

      • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Friday May 19 2017, @02:18PM (3 children)

        by kaszz (4211) on Friday May 19 2017, @02:18PM (#512182) Journal

        "Tomatoes" were only forbidden for plebs in the period 1933 - 1974 in the USA. And since 1977 it's even allowed to write contracts that demands payment in such way.

        Value as property is harder to devalue by printing or canceling paper notes or to tax because, they are not visible.

        An interesting effect occurs when two persons bid on the same object. Where person A is backed by loans. And person B is backed by other property. When person A wants to increase his wealth the bank can always outdo him. When person B wants to increase his wealth by adding property with value, the price of said property is likely to go up if the bank(s) tries to print more paper money.

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday May 20 2017, @04:08AM (2 children)

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 20 2017, @04:08AM (#512519) Journal

          When person A wants to increase his wealth the bank can always outdo him.

          I'm unclear on the concept of "outdo". Does this mean that if I borrow money to build a tomato farm, the bank president will go "We can't have that!" and build his own tomato farm to drive me out of business?

          • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Saturday May 20 2017, @02:08PM (1 child)

            by kaszz (4211) on Saturday May 20 2017, @02:08PM (#512613) Journal

            It means you can earn money to save up for something. But the people that are willing to sign away their future can always come up with more money from the bank. This scheme works as long as the seller accepts the bank currency.

            People will use their high salary to compete on how much the bank is willing to loan them to bid on property that sells for more money than it's actually worth. The end winner is the bank.

            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday May 20 2017, @03:53PM

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 20 2017, @03:53PM (#512629) Journal

              It means you can earn money to save up for something. But the people that are willing to sign away their future can always come up with more money from the bank. This scheme works as long as the seller accepts the bank currency.

              I'm still unclear on why you seem to think this is a problem or insisted it was the bank doing the outdoing. For a business, loans reduce cash flow problems. A tomato farmer who is more competent, has better farm equipment, better location, etc would also have advantages. But we wouldn't say that a tractor manufacturer, providing the better farm equipment, is outdoing the farmer who doesn't have that equipment.

              People will use their high salary to compete on how much the bank is willing to loan them to bid on property that sells for more money than it's actually worth. The end winner is the bank.

              So what? Nobody is forced to play that game. And bad decisions tend to be their own cure here.

              Also, this is a great way to transfer wealth from the people with high salaries to others. Banks take a cut, but the wealth doesn't all go to the bank.

(1) 2