Monday, February 22, 2010

Preditory Credit Card Companies and Cuttin' Hogs

The news is all 'a twitter this morning about the new credit card consumer protection laws taking effect today. And, of course the news is full of tidbits about how the credit card companies have ways to “work around” the law. Is there anyone else out there who have these questions pop into their head? How does it happen, in America, that we must have laws to protect ourselves from our own companies? How did we come to have CEOs and company managers who can cheat and scheme ways to cheat its customers, put them in debt, and force them to pay years of payments, way over any reasonable limit of income, to the extent that any reasonable person would consider it bondage? Is anyone else angry about this situation? In my search for answers to these questions, I come up speechless. I have no answer.

It seems to me that predatory credit card behavior is a testosterone thing. A bragging right among the fat cats. Who got the biggest bonus for the best scheming? Who has the most customers paying the highest interest rates? Who has the most customers filing the most bankruptcies? Who has the most customers they schemed with “special offers” then screwed them with new fees and interest increases?

The only other animal, other than man, that is associated with greed and gluttony is the pig; or more appropriately in the vernacular of my youth – hogs. I can't think of a better word describing credit card company managers; they're hogs.

On that farm of my youth we “cut” pigs that were raised for market to limit the effect of testosterone on the pigs' behavior. They were less active, ate more and more apt to get fatter quicker. “Cuttin' hogs” was grabbing a young thirty or forty pound pig by a hind leg and its ear, flopping it over on its side and placing a knee on its ribcage to hold it down while someone else castrated the pig with a razor blade. That had to hurt... and the squealing pig confirmed that. Usually we dosed the cut with oil to prevent infection.

Maybe that's the answer, without anesthetic....


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