In a recent CBS News article written by Jill Schlesinger entitled “Credit Card Companies: Legalized Drug Dealers Strike Again” Schlesinger makes the startling comparison of credit card companies to drug dealers. In all fairness to Schlesinger she does mention offhandedly that “Yes, I know that the users are responsible for their actions too” in a somewhat token gesture to the notion of personal responsibility but what seems to be the most bothersome thing about the entire article is that pesky little word “too” that she uses.
When you decide to use your credit card to make a purchase isn’t it really your decision and your decision alone to decide to use the credit card or not to use the credit card? Julie Schlesinger adopts the tone of, “Oh, yea, by the way, people are responsible for their own actions, I guess…” when really isn’t it just plain and simple common sense that credit card companies don’t fill out credit card applications for people – consumers fill out credit card applications for themselves. Credit cards do not charge themselves and rack up purchases – consumers use credit cards to make purchases.
A credit card used responsibly is a great tool for building wealth. I personally use a cash back credit card that gives me a minimum of 1% cash back on every purchase with no limits and up to 3% cash back on some purchases like groceries and gas (up to a certain limit). I pay off my card every month and at the end of the year I love to get my cash back checks from the credit card company.
Now the question becomes: if I (and many other consumers) can use our credit card responsibly and be responsible for our good decisions then why is it that when some consumers use their credit card in a reckless and irresponsible manner that they are not deemed to be just as responsible for their own actions?
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