Monday, October 13, 2008

Consumers have all the power--What if we started to use it consciously?

In The Giant Pool of Money, we begin to understand just how much money is available in the world. Did you notice how powerful we, as consumers, are? The world economy depends on us. It depends on us to buy things. It especially depends on us to buy things on credit.

First, we buy things that are worth less than we pay for them, so the folks who make them can turn a profit. That's not so bad, right? We all want a little extra cash in our pockets. Profit is good. So we've been taught.

The big deal, though, is that when we use our credit cards to buy stuff--be it computers and high-def, wide-screen TVs or socks and school supplies--we pay interest. Say in August you plunked down six hundred Visa dollars for clothes and calculators to outfit the kids. Did you calculate the interest you'll pay for those purchases? How much did each of the items cost once you add the cost of the credit to their purchase price? Maybe you made it up by carefully shopping for bargains. Or maybe because you found the bargains, you were able to buy an extra pair of jeans or the trendy backpack your son wanted.

Whatever the case, your purchases contributed outright to the giant pool of money. The interest you pay on your credit cards will continue to contribute to that giant pool. Oh, and since shopping is exhausting, did you stop at the food court while you were at the mall and buy snacks and drinks for the girls and their friends? Don't get me wrong. I understand low blood sugar and shopping don't mix. So do the fat cats. That's why there's so much high fructose corn syrup in the drinks you bought, and very likely in a good portion of the food as well. Those guys know that a sugar rush and the resulting crash can lead to impulse buys.

That gleam in their eye, if we could see into their board rooms and private clubs, is in the shape of dollar signs. They're counting on us to spend, spend, spend and charge, charge, charge. They're counting on us to keep filling their giant pool of money, drip by drip, dollar by dollar.

What if we didn't?

1 comment:

  1. Money is an illusion... a nasty one at that! I've never trusted it, or banks.

    I was ten when my parents left Rhodesia and lost half their money due to bank "red tape" that was nothing more than blatant theft.

    In Africa I've watched banks and pension schemes collapse - leaving people with nothing. My birthland's inflation rate reached 10,200,000,000,000,000%
    this month. Can you even begin to imagine that? It's more than insane... it proves money means nothing.

    When we left South Africa to come to the UK we lost the value of our life savings at 16 SA Rand to £1. My parents owned two houses which they sold for a good price, and now they haven't enough to put a 10%deposit on a new home.

    The only posession I do still want is a home of our own.Due mostly to fickle landlords we've had to move five times in five years. Mostly what I hate about being a tenant is I can't go as green as I'd like to. I'd love to start a veg garden, put in a good compost system, improve the insulation in my home so that we don't waste heat, but I cannot do any of those things renting. .. well, not in any of the homes we've rented so far.

    Sorry for the rant, I've been feeling very very sick of having no solid homebase recently. Especially since it is freezing in this latest house as the upstairs has no insulation (hubby got into the crawlspace to check). We could fix it, in our last two houses we did fix a lot, but each time we fix up a house the landlord takes it back. Once they sold ata great profit, because we'd fixed up their house so well, nect time they waited till we fixed it up and then took it back for themselves. I can't do that again and yeah, I'm ranting, aren't I? Sorry Grace - just zap this reply if it offends, ok?


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