Monday, January 21, 2008

Blame Others for Your Problems

Finger PointingI was driving in my car when I heard an ad for debt consolidation. These ads are everywhere, so it must be pretty good business. Anyway, something I heard on the radio really struck a nerve with me. To paraphrase the commercial it basically stated, "Have too much Credit Card Debt? Don't you realize that the credit card companies are after you by charging you high interest rates? It's not your fault. Blame the big bad credit card companies who are out to get you!"

Now I won't dispute the fact that credit card companies are trying to make a lot of money off of you. After all, they are a business. However, this commercial really just bothered me. Seriously folks, when you have credit card debt, you really have nobody to blame for yourself. There are times where there is a legitimate emergency, and you have to use credit to get out of it. But these are few and far between. Even in these cases, I would argue it is still YOUR fault if you have EVER purchased something you didn't need on a credit card and left a balance because you should have been saving the money to put into an emergency fund in the first place.

So instead of blaming other people for your problem, why don't you stop buying things you can't afford? Don't let the credit card companies charge you interest in the first place. Be in control of your own finances, and you will be in control of your own destiny. I know it can be easier to just point the finger of blame at someone else. But when you point that finger back at yourself, you will find that more often than not, accepting responsibility for your own mistakes will be far more productive.


  1. I don't know if you watch the Simpsons, but casting the blame on others is a running motif. Homer said it best in one episode: why blame yourself when you can blame others? Between the choice of accepting responsibility and the passing the buck, many people find the former more convenient and less damaging to the ego.

    Another good example is from the movie Liar, Liar. Jim Carrey convinces a wife who has cheated on her husband eight times that she was the victim.

    Take a page from the current mortgage environment, I bet good money that there will be a class action suit against those big bad credit companies who did not cap the credit limit so that the credit card holders wouldn't overspend. After all, isn't it the responsibility of the lenders to set the proper limit?

  2. Here's something interesting (at least, to me). Today in the Spiritual Care Office I was talking with one of the other chaplains who was having frustrations with his credit cards/bills all having various pay dates and not the same date. Additionally, he has this one credit card that he didn't buy anything on for one year and they sent him a bill with a finance charge of $20 because he didn't buy anything. (According to the small print, had he charged but one cent, he wouldn't have received the bill).

    Anyway, I mentioned to him about the SNL skit that you once posted on this blog. So I went onto your blog and searched and searched and searched and finally found the post where you wrote about this and posted the video (only to find that the video has been taken off of YouTube for copyright stuff). Anyway, now that I've settled in and have read today the last few entries you've put on this thing, I realize that had I read this entry, I would have saved myself a lot of time in searching for that original entry I was looking for.

  3. I'm so sad that they removed this video. it was one of the best, if not they best, SNL skit.

  4. Yeah, that was a really great skit because it captured the American consumer rationality very accurately.

    For those of you who have not seen this skit, try renting that SNL episode from Blockbuster On-line or Netflix.