This morning, Warren Buffett said revolving charge cards were not good for America, and we would be better off without them. Certainly as individuals, we’re better off without them, but would the country be better off?
It would decrease consumption spending and corporate profits but only in the short term. They were introduced to “pull forward” consumer spending and ended up becoming a cancer on our financial health. While every person is responsible for their own decisions, some decisions are harder, even addictive, such as “buy now, pay later.”
Personally, in a nation that spends hundreds of billions of dollars treating diabetes and obesity, it makes no sense for taxpayers to subsidize sugar production. A recent Congressional effort to end this brought coast-to-coast TV commercials about the government increasing the “food tax” on soft drinks. (You see, decreasing the subsidy paid to growers would increase the cost in the store.) There was much gnashing of teeth about the “Mommy-state.”
So, it is permitted for the government to encourage sugar consumption by subsidies . . . because people have “free choice.” It is permitted that credit card companies encourage financial bondage . . . because people have “free choice.” How is it different from drug dealers who sell their sugar/debt/drugs to . . . people with “free choice?”
What do sugar companies, credit card companies, and drug dealers have in common? They all have the power to destroy lives of . . . people with “free choice.”