Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Wait .. WHAT????

At the risk of sounding glib and tempting fate, my household has remained largely unaffected by the financiapocalypse. The combination of frugality, discipline, and sheer good luck have left us sitting pretty and feeling quite secure in these troubled times. And while I do realize that the slightest change in the winds of luck could have pushed us in an entirely different direction, I have little to no sympathy for individual consumers who have lived beyond their means for the past several years, and are now - finally - having to pay the piper. They made their beds with the overpriced Bajillion-count Egyptian cotton sheets that they so "desperately" needed, and now they can pay for them, with interest. C'est la vie, et ce n'est pas mon problème.

As it turns out, though, it might become mon problème. Consumers like me who use their credit cards wisely, and pay the balance in full every month, may soon feel the clammy hands of the credit card industry dipping into their pockets. To quote Edward Yingling, the Chief Executive of the American Bankers Association: “Those that manage their credit well will in some degree subsidize those that have credit problems.”

The "free ride" enjoyed by people like me, in the form of reward programs, may come to an end. I'll be the first to admit that I've made out like a bandit on the rewards program offered by our LL Bean Visa card, and I have the closet full of clothes and the vast collection of tote bags with free monogramming to prove it. I think it's safe to say, however, that the rewards program was more of a carrot on a stick for me, and that LL Bean comes out ahead in this particular equation. If the banks start punishing "dead weight" consumers like me, who pay no interest or fees, I'll simply stop using the bank's services, and I'll put my money under the mattress. I have no intention of bailing out greedy, undisciplined conspicuous consumers, or the greedy, undisciplined banks who subsidized their shopping sprees.

And to Mr. Yingling, I must issue this warning: Don't blame me when Maine's economy collapses and we run out of tote bags. It will be entirely your fault.


Anonymous said...

Amen Sister Rose! I am in 100% agreement with you. If I have too start paying for other people's greed, then I too will become greedy and shred my Gas Advantage card.


Anonymous said...

I think I would probably continue to shop LLBean, via their catalogue, because of the quality of their goods. I have a hard time finding goods made as well as their offerings. They do have sales from time to time, and I have usually found these in their
on-line site. Check it out.