Tuesday, March 29, 2005

    Hello Lars Larson

    We have a local (Oregon) radio talk show hosted by Lars Larson. I like listening to Lars (although I don't always agree with him) when I can since he usually reveals how absurdly wasteful our local and state government officials are, how stupid their decisions are - no matter how hard they try to keep it quiet, and how irresponsible various agencies are with the resources provided them. In other words, pretty much like most union-based city and state governments.
    Those who have read my postings know I like to promote personal responsibility. I don't like so many handout programs, especially when those on the receiving end are capable of taking care of themselves but are just too lazy. Now Lars has a topic on his program today about a bill that would regulate marketing credit cards to college kids. I'm not really sure what position Lars will take on this - hopefully it will be on personal responsibility.
    Seems like student Brea Thompson got her some credit cards just before entering Washington State University and ran those cards up a bit. The bill that the Washington state House is presenting would restrict the credit card companies from marketing their cards on public school campuses. In other words, it's not the student's fault it's the credit card companies fault.
    To me, this is no different than trying to blame the fast food industry for making people fat. I really doubt if anyone has a video of a credit card company employee forcing any student to sign up for their card AND forcing them to use it. This whole bill reeks of blame-someone-else as well as limiting personal responsibility. For each Brea Thompson there are thousands that either don't apply for credit cards at that age or if they do, they are able to control when they use them. It is perhaps the very first test of an individual's financial responsibility - and Ms. Thompson failed. So heck - blame the financial institutions! It's far easier to do that than to address the real problem.


    Pundit said...

    Personal responsibility? Now c'mon! It's everybody else's fault that I'm fat, stupid, eat too much junk food, too lazy to exercise, to busy to go to school, to dumb to pay attention, and too bored to stay out of trouble. It's society's fault! That's why we have so many scum-sucking, bottom-feeding lawyers---so the rest of us can sue everybody else for our troubles and not have to be responsible! Don't ruin our day by stating the facts!!

    Gullyborg said...

    I also like Lars but I don't get to listen often because of my schedule. I feel about the same way you do--personal responsibility is better than government control. I could see Lars showing both sides of this particular issue and then staying ambiguous about his own belief, asking callers for both sides to defend their arguments. If you get a chance to listen today, please make an update post.

    : JustaDog said...

    I email Lars when I post about him or a topic I got from his web site. He emails me back his thanks. I think the good he provides outweighs any issues I don't agree with him on.

    Thanks for your post!

    Ken Grandlund said...

    For sure people need to take responsibility for their own actions and quit blaming others for their own follies. But.....

    How can we expect people to understand the intricacies of credit problems (or so many other day to day necessities) when we don't give them that information BEFORE they get the card? It is one thing to have no pity for the informed who make stupid or unresponsible decisions. It is another altogether to simply expect people to know everything and be aware of every pitfall that is awaiting them once they leave mommy and daddy behind.

    : JustaDog said...

    Good point Ken. I'm not sure the concept of credit is so intricate but I would expect the average student from a middle school to know it's not free money and it has to be paid back. In previous posts I do push for mandentory classes in personal finances and basics of economics. The very first lesson should be "ignorance of the law is no excuse"!

    I do think students know about credit card basics yet are under the belief that their income will grow and grow and paying off the balance will not be a problem - the very concept the card companies hope they will believe. For some, that is true.

    Personally I think the very best charge card for any student is an American Express card - the one that requires the balance to be paid in full each billing cycle. If a student can handle that, maybe they can get a charge card. Actually, that advice would go for anyone!

    JM said...

    OMG I am now a huge fan of your site. Personal responsibility should now be a class taught to the spoiled little shits attended our schools. Great writing, looking forward to more!