Saturday, March 28, 2009

Condoms or Credit Cards - What's In Your Wallet?

Ohio may become one of many states to restrict credit card advertising on state university campuses because “students are enticed to sign up for cards by free gifts” and then, presumably, are powerless to avoid debt, despair and destruction. The message is that credit cards are like heroin, which everyone, given the slightest opportunity, would OD on, assuming they were first enticed with free gifts*.

The people who think that keeping credit cards away from the kids is the way to stop them from getting in debt are the same people who think that “abstinence only” will prevent pregnancy and STDs.

Credit cards are a tool for monetary transactions. People are tempted to use them unwisely and get into trouble unwittingly. Taking the tool out of someone’s hand does not end the temptation or prevent future trouble. (Ironically, with sex, putting the teen’s tool in his/her hand DOES reduce the potential problems).

We put 16-year-old kids inside massive death machines and send them off to driver’s training so they can learn to use the car responsibly. But we can’t teach them fiscal responsibility? No, because spending money you don’t have is the foundation of our economy. We can’t trust the President to not put us irretrievably into debt, so how can we trust the college students who campaigned for his election?

By example, American parents teach their children that money does not grow on trees, it sprouts from the wall at the mall or from free-standing ATMs. During March Madness college basketball games, we have been bombarded with commercials enticing us to get a certain credit card because we can put a cute picture on it. We are likewise flooded with ads urging us to buy beer, but at least the beer ads suggest that you “drink responsibly” – and, though I’ve tried, you can’t drink beer you don’t have.

Requiring credit card pimps to stay a hundred yards from campus won't do much to prevent credit card debt among students. A better law would be one requiring parents and educators to exhibit and teach the students responsibility and moderation in all things including law making.

(*NOTE: I am aware that it is a true fact that "free gift" is a repetitively redundant phrase, indicating overextended word use by a person needing verbal responsibility and restraint.)


Cali said...


JohnnyB said...

:-) I posted this on a google group also - so far, counting yours, I've gotten 3 "amen"s and a "preach it, brother". I guess I am a littel preachy sometimes, but, with my intelligent readers, I am just preaching to the choir here.

Cali said...


Now you have one of those too..