Wednesday, January 13, 2010

And on the Sixth Day, G-d Created Debt Counselors.

The latest VISA commercial takes us back to a bygone age, an age before people carried pieces of plastic representing thousands of dollars in potential debt in their pockets, an age where people only bought what they could afford, and saved for the rest.

You know, the Dark Ages.

"Once upon a time, there was a thing called paper money..." yes indeed there was. When you had it, you decided whether you wanted to save it, or spend it. You created things called "budgets." If you are like me, you were handed a little blue book from your local bank when you were in first grade which had a quote from William Jennings Bryan on the cover- something about the words "We Cannot Afford It" being the most valuable in the English language. You brought your bank book and a dollar into school every day and it was put into a pile with the bank books of your friends. When you got the book back, you were thrilled to see the bank's stamp next to your deposit amount, and your eyes glowed at the increasing balance and the magic of Interest.

Thank goodness, those horrible days ultimately gave away to the glorious era of "Digital Currency." Watch now as everyone scans and swipes their way through life, so much more convenient than messing with that ugly, dirty old paper. As the Medieval Period gave way to the Renaissance, so did the days of carrying hard-earned cash (or even checks representing money you actually had in your account) give way to the era of taking out a Digital Loan every time you buy a pack of cigarettes or a roll of TP. And it's so much better now!

After all, using your own money to buy things is really overrated. I've noticed that you can buy much more if you use VISA's "Digital Currency," simply because VISA as more money than I do! And they are so happy to let us borrow it, why would anyone EVER use their own money, ever again?

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to look into stopping these Harassing Phone Calls...


  1. It's sort of horrible to realize that the bail-out has taught finance companies nothing; you'd think the close call with being nationalized would make them want to avoid a repeat of the stimulus that caused the peril.

  2. You lost me with the bank book, dollar bill, and school thing. I'm a Baby Boomer (tail end), but I've never heard of that.

  3. When I went I was in first grade, a rep from the local bank came in and handed all of us little bank books with our names in them, plus a back of brown envelopes with the bank stamp. Once a week, we'd bring in a dollar to be deposited in the bank, and get our bank books stamped with the deposit amount. Maybe it was a rural Vermont thing.

    As it turned out, when I was in eighth grade I found out I had more than $150 in a bank account downtown that had not been used in five years. :>)

    Of course, my only real point was that kids used to be taught about savings accounts and being frugal. Now they are taught very early on about "establishing credit" by getting credit cards and using them ASAP.

  4. Must have been a Vermont thing! :-)
    I always hated those other VISA ads in which people were buying things with their VISA check cards, moving like clockwork, when the Luddite who idiotically insists on using CASH throws a wrench in the works and ruins things for everyone else. The nerve!

  5. I kept meaning to comment on one of those commercials, where people are moving like gears in a machine because they are all swiping their cards, and some guy actually attempts use cash and throws off the whole rhythm...i want him to turn around and tell the annoyed people around him (and especially the cashier, who the fuck does he think HE is?) to kiss off.

  6. That one is almost as annoying as a spot some tech firm did for the 'paperless world' about five or six years ago. Some jerk was walking down the aisle of a grocery store shoving stuff in his pockets which led you to expect that it was a promo for a security system. When he passed through an archway, the security guard told him that he'd forgotten his receipt. The dumb premise was that in the future, we wouldn't even need to carry a wallet because the Computer would know who we were. Never mind that the ACLU would freak if they tried implementing a system like that, if it broke down, there'd be chaos.