Monday, May 11, 2009

President Obama Seeking To Take Control Of Yet Another Industry

The Obama Administration Thinks Credit Card Company's Need To Be Spanked

The fact of the matter is that credit card companies will invoke punitive measures on people that have either had a setback or have in some way violated the extremely small print on the application that they filled out for the card. These punitive measures are painful, but what punitive measures aren't. They are also typically spelled out clearly, albeit in a font that you need a magnifying glass for.

Truth be told, who among us has ever read the fine print on that "contract", or many other contracts that we sign which have potential financial ramifications. This can include, but is not limited to, car rental agreements, car leases and mortgages.

Theme: Credit Cards

It would seem, according to the Obama administration, that the mere act of being able to sign our names (even if it is with an X) is the limit of our personal responsibility in this. We, as mere citizens, cannot be expected to understand fully the transactions that we are entering into. It is therefore incumbent on the government to step in, take care of us, and punish and invoke yet more control on another private industry in our capitalistic system in order to protect us from ourselves.

Think how lucky we are to have such a protective government that is willing to step in where we cannot or are not able to.

"...Americans know that they have a responsibility to live within their means and pay what they owe," Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday. "But they also have a right to not get ripped off by the sudden rate hikes, unfair penalties and hidden fees that have become all too common...

...You shouldn't have to fear that any new credit card is going to come with strings attached, nor should you need a magnifying glass and a reference book to read a credit card application. And the abuses in our credit card industry have only multiplied in the midst of this recession, when Americans can least afford to bear an extra burden," the president said...

...Railing against what he said was "abuse that goes unpunished," the president stressed the need "to strengthen monitoring, enforcement and penalties for credit card companies that take advantage of ordinary Americans."(AOL)

It is a lesson that we should teach to our children. Don't worry about what you do, what you sign, what contracts you enter into because if they are harmful you bear no responsibility and the government will take care of it. Big Brother has your back.

Seriously though, I have no sympathies for credit card companies or any of the other industry's whose contracts are written in type so small that my old eyes can't possibly read it. I have been dinged myself when I forget to send my payment in and get charges.

But "abuse that goes unpunished? Do they invoke penalties that are not in the contract? If so I agree with that statement. If not, then it is a ridiculous statement designed to pander to the public and gain fuel to take over the management of an industry!

But can the government step in, or should the government step in to every aspect of business or society that in it's mind is being unfair to the citizenry?

What ever happened to PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY?


  1. It's not that people should not read agreements and be bound by what they sign.

    The problem is that the language in which these contracts are written is completely, and intentionally, opaque. How many people who read these contracts actually understand all the ramifications in those contracts? And on top of all that, terms can change without warning. Unilaterally. How is that for fair?

    I agree that people should be bound by the contract they sign, but they should have a right to be able to understand what they are writing. Language is so versatile that you can change the wording on anything so that it can be read and understood.

    When you rent a car at AVIS, do you -really- read the fine print? All of it? You have that much time?

    When you install commercial software, do you really understand the EULA? Have you read a EULA? You need a legal degree to understand that stuff.

    When applying for a credit card, why is it that the terms and conditions are written in a byzantine, convoluted language in the first place?

    One of the things that should really be enforced by law is that contracts should be written in a language that the reader can actually understand. There is no excuse for presenting an opaque document. The only clear message that any such agreement sends is: "we are going to rip you off as soon as you sign on the line that is dotted." It bespeaks a profound disrespect for the customer that they would be exposed to the risks that they sign up for without being given an opportunity to understand the contract.

    The only thing that would stop this, aside from legislation, is to stop signing contracts until a lawyer explains what the language means. When business starts to suffer from lack of signed contracts, because the customers want to be clear about what the language says, then you're going to see changes.

    Which is to say: it'll never happen.

  2. I don't read it, which a problem, but it is my proble. My issue is not so much making the language clear, but it is the language of the fact that the compamies are earning to much from fees.

    The government is trying to step into industry and dictate who can make how much.

  3. mike, again your wishy/washy view is unclear..on one hand you hate democratic gov't intervention..on the other you worry that you yourself need help understanding the "small print"...your elitist wealthy view doesn't help the average don't care mike you must be rich...fuck the poor....let right wing corporate religious right american's like you mike shit on the less fortunate....keep your $$$ one wants dirty $$$$

  4. Your stupidity is shining through yet again. I said that if I don't read the fine print it is MY fault.

    Secondly my money doesn't matter, but your condescending view of the "poor" does.

    Is your contention that people that don't have a lot of money are not capable of reading and understanding?

    That is the "typical", elitist liberal view of the world. Does wealth equal intelligence? I don't think so.

    Beyond that, my point is not that the print should not be larger, but that the government should not be in the business of determining what business should earn.

    Stay brilliant Anon. You do a great job.

  5. someone needs to hold your hand mike, your religious right viewpoint is in a downward spiral in this country....look to our gov't to fail's negative assholes like you that bring down morals in our country...`you hope we fail because it's not the way you and rush's not suprising your opinion lives in antiquated politics ....i hope your visa went from6% to 23.9% without you knowing

  6. Beautifull! Now there is a positive comment. Keep up the good work. Every time you open your mouth with your words your ignorance shines through loud and clear.

  7. rush/jindal 2012...shining stars of the party