By JLP | October 16, 2008
This is the opening paragraph of a Newsweek article titled, Bah, Humbug!:
Here’s a scenario that will be more common this holiday season: You fill your arms with purchases and head to the register, where you’ve been told you’ll receive a 20 percent discount by applying for and using the store’s credit card. That will help, because you’re already nearing your MasterCard limit. But a moment later, the teenage salesgirl says, “Sorry, you’ve been denied.” You slink out, gifts left at the counter, angry and a little bit ashamed, too. Didn’t the store encourage you to ask for the card?
GASP! A Christmas you can actually AFFORD? What’s up with that?
Seriously, I fail to see what’s so bad about this scenario. Isn’t credit the reason we got into this mess in the first place? Yes, a lean Christmas for consumers will mean a lean Christmas for retailers. But, it’s time we get back to the basics in this country. Basics like buying what we can afford, when we can afford it. In other words, NOT charging Christmas and paying it off over time so that you have to turn around and charge next year’s Christmas too.