Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Usual Bullshit on Debt

The CBC News has a feature story about Canadians' household debt:
Canadians are falling deeper into debt, with Equifax reporting Wednesday that they are carrying an average of $20,891 in non-mortgage loans.
As usual, this tragedy becomes an opportunity for debt advisors and accounts to offer their services (for a fee naturally) to help Canadians get out of their self-inflicted troubles:

Can we not take it as a given that Canadians of today are just as smart (and just as stupid) as Canadians of fifty years ago? (Similarly, young adults today are not lazier than young adults of the 1980s, 1960s, 1940s, etc.,?)

The article mentions that car loans are bad debts. Right there, ... for many people, having a car is a necessity to work. There are many parts of Toronto that are inaccessible by public transit. Other places just require a two-hour journey that frequently makes you late and, therefore, unemployed. (And that's for the Canadians who have foregone taking out bad debt to get a car. Imagine what the crowding would be like if all those working poor got rid of their cars and waited at the same bus stops as all those other people watching the red and white TTC sardine cans drive past them.)

Other communities don't have the public transit system that Toronto has.

And there are many people working multiple part-time jobs that requires a car to make all that flitting about even remotely possible.

Canadians are going deeper into debt because jobs are insecure and wages are stagnating.  And because of marketing and advertising. Corporations do not spend hundreds of billions of dollars annually for something that has no impact on our behaviour as consumers.

Capitalism continues to fail even by its own yardstick.

Certainly, in a country of 35 million people, you can probably produce dozens of anecdotes about unemployed people putting a trip to the Bahamas on credit, or simply otherwise financing a lavish lifestyle they can no longer afford with credit cards. But the underlying reality is that we've been conditioned to consume and denied the means by which to do so.

So let's all just shut-up and cheer on our brave troops as they fight to advance the interests of fundamentalist Arab monarchs and the overall global domination aspirations of Wall Street and the USA's military-industrial complex.