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Saturday, December 6, 2014

Credit, No; Cash/check, Yes says Ralph Nader

Self-Emancipation from 
Debt Slavery
Excerpt, editing by Carolyn Bennett

“Ten reasons” Nader prefers “cash or checks over plastic”

PAY LATER slavery

1.      Plastic lays the groundwork for massive, daily invasions of privacy.

Personal purchasing data now floats around the world without controls. The data mining industry is everywhere and both government and hackers can get into peoples’ files.

As Facebook and Google demonstrate, it is almost impossible to keep up with the sharing of your personal information.

2.      Once you enter the credit economy you fall under the controls of arbitrary credit rating and credit scoring merchants.

Thus, if you complain strenuously to an auto dealer or insurance company, if you are a victim of false information in your credit file, or even if you have too many credit cards, your credit can suffer so that you pay more or are denied loans.

3.      The credit card economy, with its anti-competitive no-surcharge rules, etc. is inflationary and affects negatively consumer purchasing power as well as lower savings rates.

4.      Credit card issuers often approve consumers for credit cards with maximum spending limits that are too high considering their salary or lack thereof.

5.      Credit cards encourage impulse buying. The industry knows this very well.

Swiping a plastic card – rather than opening a wallet and directly taking out cash – creates, in the consumer, a disconnecting of purchase from loss of money.

6.      Credit card ‘terms’—what Senator Elizabeth Warren calls ‘mice print’—are mostly inscrutable and non-negotiable.

You sign on the dotted line, shut up, and shop.

Companies rarely compete over fine-print ‘terms’ that favor the consumer.

Compare, with a suitable microscope, the standard form contracts of Visa, MasterCard or Discover or GM, Ford and Toyota, or Bank of America, Citigroup or Wells Fargo.

Consumers have been driven into a choice-less contract of peonage or contract servitude.

PAY NOW freedom

7.      Using cash/check encourages consumers to live within their means and not get caught in an ever deeper cycle of debt.

For instance, if you are out shopping with cash and set a budget for yourself, it is impossible to overspend – if you simply do not bring more than has been allocated for your purchases.

8.      Paying by cash/check avoids the gouging of fees, penalties, termination charges, and of course, sky-high interest rates for consumers.

Corporations, on the other hand, enjoy low-interest rates across the board. (Remember, however, checks have a fee if they bounce.)

9.      Paying by cash/check—say in a restaurant—saves time and follow-up monitoring for errors.

Furthermore, it prevents the addition of any fraudulent charges to the bill.

10.  Paying by cash/check avoids having to give away your personal property to the likes of internet companies that turn around and very profitably sell this free information to advertisers with such specificity that the latter knows what ailment or craving you have.

bserving the growing trend if limiting “what legal tender can actually buy in America because of exclusionary fine print contracts (see faircontracts.org),” Ralph Nader declares that “there should be no discrimination against consumers based on their choice of legal tender” and “vendors should have to accept all methods of payment.”

Despite current obstacles, Nader says he does not use either “a credit card or a signature-based debit card.”

Sources and notes

“Ten Reasons Why I Don’t Have a Credit Card,” Ralph Nader, December 5, 2014, https://blog.nader.org/2014/12/05/ten-reasons-why-i-dont-have-a-credit-card/

Long time social critic and political activist as well as an author, lecturer, and attorney, Ralph Nader is a five-time candidate for the US presidency, having run as an independent candidate in 2004 and 2008, Green Party nominee in 1996 and 2000, and a write-in candidate in the 1992 New Hampshire Democratic primary. Nader rose to prominence in 1965 with the publication of his book Unsafe at Any Speed, a critique of the safety record of American automobile manufacturers in general, and most famously the Chevrolet Corvair. In 1999, a New York University panel of journalists ranked Unsafe at Any Speed 38th among the top 100 pieces of journalism of the 20th century. Nader’s areas of particular concern include consumer protection, humanitarianism, environmentalism, and democratic government. Born February 27, 1934, Nader is an American of Lebanese origin. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralph_Nader

See also The Essential Nader, https://blog.nader.org/2009/05/06/the-essential-nader/


A lifelong American writer and writer/activist (former academic and staffer with the U.S. government in Washington), Dr. Carolyn LaDelle Bennett is credentialed in education and print journalism and public affairs (PhD, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan; MA, The American University, Washington, DC). Her work concerns itself with news and current affairs, historical contexts, and ideas particularly related to acts and consequences of U.S. foreign relations, geopolitics, human rights, war and peace, and violence and nonviolence. Dr. Bennett is an internationalist and nonpartisan progressive personally concerned with society and the common good. An educator at heart, her career began with the U.S. Peace Corps, teaching in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Since then, she has authored several books and numerous current-affairs articles; her latest book: UNCONSCIONABLE: How The World Sees Us: World News, Alternative Views, Commentary on U.S. Foreign Relations; most thoughts, articles, edited work are posted at Bennett’s Study: http://todaysinsightnews.blogspot.com/ and on her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/carolynladelle.bennett. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/08UNCONSCIONABLE/prweb12131656.htm http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-000757788/UNCONSCIONABLE.aspx Her books are also available at independent bookstores in New York State: Lift Bridge in Brockport; Sundance in Geneseo; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center in Buffalo; Burlingham Books in Perry; The Bookworm in East Aurora


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