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    mission accomplished..., 2008-02-27 09:07:57 | Main | the real terrifying thing is the equanimity and detachment..., 2008-02-29 00:35:28

    from the liberal arts college to the grave:

    Here's a funny little clip from the movie form of James Scurlock's book Maxed Out:

    The funny thing, I think, about Jerry Falwell's "spiritual mathematics" here is that the fine print on his god's tithe is really a lot more generous than your credit card's. Comparatively speaking, Jerry Falwell was being an honest broker: you know, he probably had a soup kitchen somewhere.

    Here's the rest of the show:

    It makes out debt related suicides in America a little as though they're farmers in India, which I suppose might only be a preposterous comparison by so many rupees, but it does seem a little overplayed. What I mean is that I don't think I would make an emotional appeal based on a few anecdotal financial suicides the core of my documentary unless it had some aggregate statistical meaning. Then again just saying that makes me feel a little as though I've been working the night shift as a debt collector.

    The film presents a pretty decent case that the profitable basis for the credit card industry has become a sort of mass transfer payment program from low income earners to the financial sector. The creditors go in knowing just how to screw these mathematical representations of a particular type of anonymous consumer for fun and profit, and the imbalance in information between parties facilitates an impressive market failure in the form of broadening debt peonage. I'm just impressed that they haven't found a way to start it from the cradle yet. They probably eye child labor law as a ruinous obstacle to lifting people out of the poverty they sent the parents into.

    update: I suppose it could be worse.

:: posted by buermann @ 2008-02-28 21:02:51 CST | link

    go ahead, express that vague notion

    your turing test:

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