Watch something on television and you will see monsters out to get you.
Lenders, credit card companies, bankers, and credit sellers are advertising more than ever before.
Just in time for Halloween. Being chained to debt if you carry a credit card balance or have payments on loans means you are forced to feed the creature.
Rising interest rates also affect this.
Many people are too young to remember the toll the 2008 housing crisis took on all of us. It is also called, fittingly, the financial crisis of 2008.
The public, still hurting, was called upon to bail out wall street. Taxpayers paid the bill. No white-collar criminal went to jail or was shot by police.
Many people lost their homes. Many people went into severe debt. Many people lost their savings, and in that, their future. Many who lost life savings and jobs turned to a MAGA savior — someone like Donald Trump — who they hoped would look out for the working American.
None of that worked out as planned.
When you carry debt, you pay more for your daily needs and services. Debt is a monster that feeds on your life blood, in other words. Those who want such profits are inviting you in to make money.
There is both a financial burden and a psychological burden, but also an overall effect of driving consumption and inequality. They honestly do not care if you suffer, or not. If people are not suffering or struggling with bills, lenders are not profiting.
Think about this when you see your favorite celebrity, or any clever advertisement to sell you banking services or home loans.
The monster looks very attractive
The credit and debt monster is a very attractive vampire. You see people in the commercials looking very happy and carefree while they travel, shop, achieve home “ownership,” and spend their trouble-free cash.
That is how the trap is sprung. You want to be carefree. You want to have a lifestyle with plenty of credit. You need a nicer home. You want a shiny new car. Or perhaps a new wardrobe and/or makeover will comfort you while everything is going wrong.
But home ownership, especially, is tricky. When you have a home loan, you are not the owner of your place, your lender is the owner of your house. This seems to be hidden from many people, deliberately.
It is essentially why there was an economic crisis in 2008. It is also why you may be hearing talk of another economic crash.
When you pay back all your loans, with a huge amount of interest, then you are the owner of all your stuff.
Wealth disparity and inequality
Those who sell debt are middlemen. Many jobs are now dependent, not upon making actual goods, but on pushing papers back and forth to support finance.
Wealth inequality happens because working people earn the money and other people, usually more powerful people, want it.
Do not blame your local bank teller, (which we still seem to have, for now) blame the industrial complex that outsourced labor overseas, took away good wages for real work, realized debt was very profitable and took advantage of working people by selling them on a heavy consumption lifestyle. Fossil fuel consumption, is of course, directly related to driving a debt economy and keeping people dependent upon toxic energy and leadership.
Another outcome is the climate catastrophe, which creates further inequality and hits impoverished people, often BIPOC and marginalized people, the hardest.
When COVID-19 damaged the economy, it was because of our risky relationship with food, consumption, and the natural world, but realize too, that is also related to the amount of money we have to spend, and to how much we consume, and how much we waste.
The simple answer is not so simple.
To rid ourselves of the very attractive monster we must all learn to value one another, including the supportive biosphere, more than we self-medicate with wealth or the sheer illusion of it.
Sadly for many of us, however, the vampire does not always show its reflection in our mirrors. We must first realize we are being possessed by the monster before we can rid ourselves of it.
This post was previously published on medium.com.
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