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Wednesday, March 23, 2005 | The current mood of DuctapeFatwa
Credit Cards as Poor Tax: Why the Bankruptcy Bill Makes Sense

We all know the most sensible way to use credit cards: pay off your balance every month. Use the card as a convenience, don't fall into the trap of buying things you can't afford, don't think of it as an emergency savings account, and whatever you do, don't charge up a big balance and get yourself into the position of struggling just to pay off the interest.
That's all terrific advice, and for folks lucky enough to be able to afford to follow it, it works. You get all the advantages of the card without any of the pitfalls.

But for an increasing number of Americans, it's just not that simple. Of course there are the Big 3 - medical treatment, divorce, job loss - and the fact that those big 3 are such a windfall for credit card companies should have been a red flag all by itself.

Now let's talk about Big 4. That's people who have a job, or two, or maybe they're uniquely American enough to have three. But even all that labor is simply not enough to make basic expenses. Not basic expenses like a night at the movies, or new curtains, and certainly not furniture.

No, we're talking about basic expenses like rent. Food, electricity, gas for the car, bus passes, diapers, things people who pay their credit card balance every month pay before they go shopping.

See, those folks have some money left over after they've paid for all that basic stuff. That money is called discretionary income. Or disposable income. Having that, even a little of it, is what separates the affluent from the poor in the US these days, and the number of poor is growing and the number of affluent is shrinking.

So what happens when your income is greater than your basic expenses? Cut back, naturally. But where do you cut back? Feed the kids a little less? Ask the landlord or the mortgage company if you can pay a little less this month? Doesn't work that way.

So you pay the rent and charge the groceries this month, you pay the rent and charge half your electric bill next month, you charge the expensive prescription the insurance won't pay for the next month, the next month you get a flat tire, you charge a new spare.

The money you pay to the credit card is more than what you would have paid for the groceries or electricity, if you'd had the cash. You didn't. So you must pay a poor tax.

The annual fees, the late fees, the penalty fees, the usurious interest charges, the fee computation fees, all of that is the tax that you, as a poor person must pay. Your affluent brother does not have to pay it, he is not poor.

The new bankruptcy laws are consistent with that. Your very wealthy brother will be able to declare bankruptcy and obtain relief from debts he incurred.

You, on the other hand, if you are forced to declare bankruptcy, will continue paying your poor tax.

This is because the market, in its wisdom, has decided that the value of your day's labor, your value to society, to the market, is not enough to justify a day of survival for you.

As a commodity, you are disposable. The only way the corporations can make any money off you is if you are in prison.

Then you become a revenue stream.

Sure, it costs your affluent brother more to keep you in prison than it would cost him to pay some of your rent and food, and doctor bills, but as an inmate, you're worth more to the corporations than you ever were as a low wage earner paying your poor tax.

And Americans have always been willing to dig a little deeper, pay a higher price, if they can be sure that as a result, the poor will suffer more.

posted at 6:13 AM

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Actions like Sep 11 do not happen in a vaccuum. Long before those hijackers ever stepped foot on the planes the damage had been done. They were brainwashed with the same type of garbage propaganda that is spewed from Fatwa's weblog.
Middle Eastern countries are so much more barbaric today and preAmercia than America can ever hope to be...America has only been around 230 years...who did you blame for everything before that Ductape? I am calling a Fatwa on your bullshit!
IMO - terrorist plain and simple. He is an Al queda operative who should be put in a cage on gitmo
My favorite..."In Defense of Holocaust Deniers"
I always thought that "The Enemy Within" was just a metaphore for liberalism, that is, until I encountered Ductape Fatwa. He should be in an orange jumpsuit for sure.
ductape is either a commie, al queda, or a deep cover mole
Tells you something about this asshole doesn't it. He's really serious.
I believe that DF is nothing but a Republican plant...
Ductape is a commie, a terrorist, and he drinks blood too. He drinks Capitalist blood. He eats unborn babies too
Give me your address and I'll send you $20 and a thank-you note for taking your hatred elsewhere.
A terrorist with a sense of humor!
He ain't nuthin' but shit
Jim Sagle

inadequate, halfway house bullshit
Arthur Gilroy
You are a dumbass. Fuck you and your condescension about us "benighted sheeple."
Untruthful, damaging bullshit
John Locke
no better than the neocons and no different than Timothy McVeigh space
a turd in the punchbowl...if DF were Joe Hill he probably would have killed himself rather than get put to death.
A compost pile of fecundity
despicable and literally mentally ill