Economic Reality Check

Perusing the news page (yes, I’ve started doing that, it is tornado season, ya know) I came across this gem regarding the high percent interest of rent-to-own stores:

Consumer Reports Investigation: Would You Pay the Equivalent of 311 Percent Interest to Own a Big-Screen TV?

After reading the article and first few dozen comments, I simply had to post my thoughts….

  • Payday check stores, rent-to-own and secured credit cards make it possible for our nation to gloss over (although the layers of illusion are growing thinner all the time) the very real problem of poverty and economic inequality within our current financial system.
  • It’s intriguing to me the percentage of interest on a TV is 311% as opposed to the 84% for a dining room table – true, maybe they do try to make needed goods more affordable (beds, kitchen appliances, etc.) but methinks that’s probably a well-planned strategy (“See?   We don’t set our prices high on things poor people really need to live…only luxuries, like TVs…. Not our fault if people have their priorities wrong.  We don’t need regulation.)

And last, but not least:

Yet another example of a well placed, front page stories to create more divergence in our nation through finger pointing between the well-off and not-so-well-to-do, creating an atmosphere of fighting, scapegoating and blaming instead of  creative space in which to examine the question…

Is our current financial system really the best we can do?


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