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Old 06-06-2010, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in Kentucky
3,790 posts, read 8,171,012 times
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No, really...what would it be like? Would everyone live within their means? Would there be a lot less bankruptcies? What would it be like?
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Old 06-06-2010, 11:02 AM
hsw
 
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Unrealistic hypotheticals...humans will be humans...most lack self-control and ability to gain useful job skills for a modern economy...and choose risky lifestyles

As a start, if consumers were not leveraged, would have far smaller housing, autos, home furnishings, retailing, tourism, entertainment, banking/credit cards, junk food/soft drinks, obesity-oriented healthcare, etc industries....major employers of many low-skill, illegals and legals

So, if lacking those low-skill, "wasteful" jobs, would these folks end up on welfare or working for govt as $100K+/yr bus/train drivers of mass transit to nowhere or what? Suspect taxpayer subsidizes excessive leverage or consumption in one way or another as long as govts run Ponzi schemes of leverage; anyone is allowed to reproduce no matter financial status; and if easy to enter US illegally, find a crooked employer to provide a job (and then start protesting about "rights")

Another problem of being a relatively frugal society (like Germany/Japan) is need big profligate customers for one's exports...counterparty risks of life
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Old 06-06-2010, 11:22 AM
 
7,100 posts, read 25,473,738 times
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We managed to get through WWII without credit cards. We lived from paycheck to paycheck, but we managed. We didn't know that every child should have his or her own bedroom, plus all the electronic do-dads, cell phones, etc. A two bedroom house might have two sets of bunkbeds for the children.

Credit was considered a "bad" thing. Maybe one day, we will again say, "if you don't have the money for it, don't buy it." It would take at least one generation of not having credit cards to charge the attitude that if we want it, we should get it....NOW..not later when we have saved up the money for it.
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Old 06-06-2010, 11:47 AM
Status: "Retired and happy about it" (set 5 days ago)
 
Location: WA
5,541 posts, read 22,670,821 times
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Credit cards are one aspect of the efficient electronic commerce environment that has aided the improvement of living standards. Responsible use does nothing but aid the consumer. The lack of credit cards would have reduced economic activity and hurt society.

BTW, I have used credit for most purchases for over thirty years and have never had a problem, paid no penalties, little interest, and know it has been nothing but good for my family.
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Old 06-06-2010, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in Kentucky
3,790 posts, read 8,171,012 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdelena View Post
Credit cards are one aspect of the efficient electronic commerce environment that has aided the improvement of living standards. Responsible use does nothing but aid the consumer. The lack of credit cards would have reduced economic activity and hurt society.

BTW, I have used credit for most purchases for over thirty years and have never had a problem, paid no penalties, little interest, and know it has been nothing but good for my family.
You are in the VAST minority. The majority get a card, run it up and pay the minimum payment monthly.

Even better are the people who go to furniture stores, get $5K worth of furniture and have $150 in their checking account. But hey...the sign said no interest for 3 years. Now how many people actually end up paying no interest on that?
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Old 06-06-2010, 12:45 PM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
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Just look back at the days of cash or lay-a-way.
Most only borrowed money for a car/home.
Then..families did exist on one salary. If it was too expensive they just didn't buy it.
No taking on excessive debt buying with no thought to affordability.

We've done this to ourselves..with easy debt, the cost of items don't seem to matter much anymore. The simple economics of supply and demand.
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Old 06-06-2010, 12:55 PM
 
Location: Planet Eaarth
8,955 posts, read 18,801,949 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kentuckydad95 View Post
No, really...what would it be like? Would everyone live within their means? Would there be a lot less bankruptcies? What would it be like?
Credit is necessary to "create" money ad infinitum. If all goods & services had to paid for "cash on the barrel head" the worlds economies would be much smaller.
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Old 06-06-2010, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Warwick, RI
3,704 posts, read 4,569,132 times
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Quote:
As a start, if consumers were not leveraged, would have far smaller housing, autos, home furnishings, retailing, tourism, entertainment, banking/credit cards, junk food/soft drinks, obesity-oriented healthcare, etc
In other words, we would have what we could afford, and a lot less of the excess crap that has come to dominate out lives. Would it work? It would have too, given no other choice. It worked just fine for our grandparents, didn't it?
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Old 06-06-2010, 01:50 PM
 
8,265 posts, read 11,233,510 times
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Yes it worked for our grandparents, but they also had less cool stuff. You could take that logic back as far as you wanted, saying things worked for the previous generation.

Bah do we need these new steam tractor plows? Our grandparents did just fine turning the soil with two horses and an iron blade.
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Old 06-06-2010, 02:21 PM
 
4,711 posts, read 11,521,823 times
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There was a lot of informal credit before credit cards. My dad owned a string of gas stations and other businesses...and if a customer he trusted needed a fill-up or a tire, but was a bit short of cash, he let them run a tab. We just handwrote it in a ledger and when payday rolled around, folks would come in and settle up (no interest).
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