The downfall of society has probably already begun – credit is just one of the factors riding along the snowball. Credit seems strange to me – I understand its purpose and the justification for “running your credit” to ensure that a person will pay up if they promise to do so. It is very understandable in that sense- a safety precaution for businesses. But at the same time, I believe that credit has gone from merely a tool for decision making and become quite an empire as a deciding factor for our lives.
I attended college and did not understand the concept of credit very well – I ended up putting a pretty big ding in my credit score, and even though I now work full time at a great paying job, I can’t do many things like get my own apartment, buy a house, or get a car without paying my life away to outrageous interest rates. I’m not a bad person, but my credit report makes me look like an irresponsible degenerate to a credit based society.
What happened to the good old days where the barter system made sure we all provided a service, and received a service in return. For example, I’ll be a farmer, grow some crops, and trade you after the harvest for another service I need, like some tools that you make. No credit needed. But thanks to the Quakers who thought it morally suitable to introduce the wonderful concept of “sue thy neighbor”, we are now trapped in a legal system where we sign contracts for everything, that way, we can be sued for intangible services received.
It almost seems like a child’s game – let’s pretend this piece of plastic with your name on it is worth $2000. Let’s pretend that you have this money, now go ahead and spend it like its real. We’ll pay for whatever you want, then when you pay us back, we’ll add on some more money for us being so generous to lend you money. What a fun game to play. What will happen when we all decide to provide services as “credit” – some intangible idea that seems to be worth so much. Credit vegetables are going to be pretty hard to eat.