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Credit card ad sends wrong message

Credit card ad sends wrong message

* Bank's TV ad says, in so many words, don't live within your means, instead go deeper into debt.

An American Express ad that encouraged a couple to spend money that they didn't have greatly bothers Brian Hampel who writes in the Kansas State Collegiate: "We love to criticize the government for not knowing how to pay its bills... but millions of us have exactly the same problem...."

He continues: "Debt is essentially financial procrastination, akin to saying, 'I'll pay for it later.' Credit cards are probably the worst incarnation of the problem, not just because of their steep interest rates, but also because they are so incredibly easy to acquire and use."

Hampel astutely observes: "We spend most of our lives owing money to people or institutions, and I think that's the basic reason that it feels so easy and natural to borrow more. We end up with houses too big for us, cars we don't need and impulse buys galore. On our way to the American dream, we end up playing into the bankers' dreams of lots of people owing them money, and it's all too easy for us. It's not our money that we're using, after all, the money belongs to our future selves, and who cares about them?"

For Brian Hampel's complete commentary about Americans' cavalier approach to incurring debt, particularly credit card debt,"Click Here>

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