Sunday, October 14, 2007

Just Put in on the Macy's charge card

Yesterday I was out and about buying some new threads. The new job I have undertaken will require me to suit up quite often. Seeing how the last time I wore suits to work was 1998, I figured I needed some updating of the old wardrobe. So off I headed to the mall. Not the best place to buy suits I suppose but good enough and Macy's was having some 20% off deal if you made a $5 donation to a charity.

The mall in question was one of those uppity up kinds of malls where 2/3 of the cars in the parking lot are $50K or more and 2 years or newer. You know where rich folk live. Rich of course meaning in debt up to their eyeballs living yet one more VISA offer in the mail.

Throughout the day I overheard the following exchanges:

Couple in their mid to late 40s checking out with men's clothes at Macy's in front of me. Woman's got the $300 haircut and a purse that's $500 easy (or so my wife told me). Total for the clothes comes out to $500ish. Husband says something like I don't know if there is enough left on the Visa for that much. Wife non-chalantly says, oh just put it on the Macy's charge card, there's enough left on that. And so he did.

And to me that is the American consumer in a nutshell. One credit card maxed out, no problem. Just put in on the 28% Macy's card. Is it just me or does anyone else find it pathetic that a couple close to 50 years old doesn't have $500 worth of free cash to pay for clothes and is relegated to using a department store card?

On a related note a friend of mine told a similar story, even more pathetic really. His wife asked a friend of her's if she'd like to go out for drinks. The friend declined citing lack of money. Said friend however drives an almost new luxury SUV that goes for $55K. Gotta love the priorities. Impress the neighbors with your 12 MPG pimped out SUV yet be unable to drive it anywhere and enjoy life.

And then these are the people that cry every 4 years about not getting ahead. These are the people that politicians pander to. There are the so-called swing voters who will swing to the party that promises to give them the most free stuff.

Of course you have nothing saved up for retirement. How can you when you spend 110% of your income? So not worries. The government will be there with a ponzi scheme called Social Security. You are paying $500 for purses and $55K for SUVs. No worries the government will get you the health insurance. No need for you to be responsible and buy your own insurance. Why that would mean living the ghetto lifestyle of driving a Honda instead of an Acura. And what would Misty two doors down think? Unthinkable.

And you bought that $700K house with an adjustable ARM that you can no longer afford. No worries the government will help you out there too with a taxpayer bailout. Heave forbid you live in a house less than 4500 sq ft. That would be criminal. You just go on and max out that VISA. You go on and buy those $500 purses. Don't you dare save a penny. You just spend, spend, spend and the government will be there to help you out.

Socialism will not arrive through a revolution. It will arrive through the stupidity and greed of Americans.

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