Saturday, August 18, 2007

Maxed Out

Last night, Brittan and I watched the docu-movie, "Maxed Out". I am told that the DVD has been one of NexFlix hottest rentals of late. I'm glad to hear that. Everyone should see it.

There were times, when the films left leaning bias frustrated me. For example, the only references in the program to personal responsibility as it relates to getting into debt, come from the smarmy managers of the Debt Collection agency. I find that unfortunate and believe it makes the whole documentary unbalanced.

On the other hand, the film makers do an excellent job of demonstrating the underbelly of the Credit Card industry and the devastating effects on the lives and families who find themselves buried in unsecured debt of various kinds.

Especially poignant are the stories of grieving families whose loved ones concluded that suicide was the only viable escape from their debt crises. These were interlaced with tragic tales of individuals and families who fell prey to unscrupulous sub prime lenders.

Pretty much all the major banks were portrayed as greedy, power broking evil doers who pretty much own Washington and get whatever they want. I doubt that Colombian drug lords could be painted in a more sinister light.

In the end, despite it's biases skewed viewpoints, one clear message comes through; credit card debt is BAD! Perhaps an upside of characterizing Bankers as purveyors of addiction, will be that we will learn to respond to the myriad offers of cards and loans the same way we teach our children to respond to the offers of drugs they hear and "Just say NO!"

See the movie. Watch it with your "baloney detector" turned on. And hopefully, when you're done, some plastic will be executed. I have some scissors if you need them.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Holy Cow, Where does the time go?

I can't believe how much time has passed since I last made an entry for this blog. Any readers probably think I've died. Or emigrated to Australia....

I've been very busy with work, our Church and a few other projects and didn't even notice how badly this spot has been neglected.

When you think about it, our finances get away from us in almost the exact same way. We get busy, don't pay attention and before you know it, the check book is a mess, bills are late and credit cards are at the max.

We have to stay on top of our money all the time, or it will run amok like an escaped zoo animal. It is a restless beast, ready to break free and devour us if given half a chance. But with vigilance and commitment, our finances can be tamed and even trained to do our bidding and give us pleasure.