The reason why I dislike Socialists is that they want the government to do things for them that they can do for themselves. Do we really need more government intervention in our daily lives than we have now?
Many people bash corporations for caring only about profits. Believe it or not, for-profit corporations, as the name suggests, exist for profit. Profit has to be their first priority (as long as they stay legal) as if they don't make profits, they'll die, just as for an individual, breathing has higher priority than drinking water.
If you study corporations instead of blindingly bashing them, you'll realize that their obsession of profit is also their weakness, as it leaves them vulnerable to boycotts and competition from other corporations. Consumers can use this weakness to exert some control over corporations.
Since Slashdot caters to geeks, I'll use a software company for the boycott example.
When Inuit included activation feature in their TurboTax for 2002 tax year, it irked many of its users (http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1494361,00.asp
). Instead of bending over and letting Inuit have its way, its customers complained loudly and started to buy the competitors' products. This hit Inuit where it hurts (loss of profits) and they dropped the activation feature for the 2003 tax year version (http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,3973,1088341,00.asp
For the competition example, I'll use credit card companies, which are despised by geeks and non-geeks alike.
Many teenagers get excited when they turn 18 because they become legal "adults", with increased rights, one of them being the ability to sign contracts. What many of them don't realize is that rights also come with responsibilities, such as being responsible with contracts that they sign. Credit card applications are a form of contract, which also lists their terms of service. Terms of service pretty much states that when you are late with a payment or go over the limit, they get to rape you financially by charging you steep late/over limit charge and raising your interest rate. If you get hit with such a fee, act like an adult and accept responsibility for it, but you still can do something about it and I'll explain how later.
If you are a type of person that can't handle credit, don't get a credit card. If you already have credit cards that are out of control, cut them up. As an old saying goes, if you find yourself in a hole, stop digging! Don't blame your lack of discipline on easy credit because as I'll explain below, you can use easy credit against the credit card companies.
Now for the competitions example. If you are planning on getting a credit card, don't just go for the first offer that comes your way. Here's the first reason why easy credit can be good for you; there are many credit card companies out there that wants your business, so may them to compete against each other for your business in terms of interest rates and rewards programs. Go to person financial sites such as Bank Rate (http://www.bankrate.com/brm/default.asp
), to compare the offers by the credit card companies.
If you already have balances on high interest rate credit cards, don't just sit there and be angry about it. Instead, pick up the phone, call your credit card company, and ask for interest rate reduction. Most of the credit card companies will cut your rate if you are a good customer, as they'd rather keep you with reduced profit than lose you to one of their competitors and lose all of the profit. In my case, I was able to cut 4% during a 5 minute phone call. For more tips, go to http://money.cnn.com/2004/09/28/pf/debt/chatzky_program_0408/index.htm
If your credit card company is not willing to cut your rates, this is where you can use the easy credit to a good use. There are many credit card companies that are offering 0% balance transfer interest rates for one year. Use that offer to transfer your high interest credit card balances and save on the interest for a year. I've noticed that when I transfer the balance off of a card and not use that card for a while, the issuer of that card comes back with balance transfer offer of its own. By playing the balance transfer game, you may be able to pay off your credit card debit quicker with paying little or no interest. In some cases, people without credit card debt use the 0% interest rate deal to purchase low-risk investments, and payoff the credit card at the end of the deal while pocketing the investment learning. Yes, you can indeed make money off of the credit card companies if you know what you are doing.
Of course, credit card companies aren't stupid. If you make a purchase on the card with the balance transfer, you cannot payoff the principle of the new purchase until you pay off the transferred amount, which means that principle of the new purchase will just sit there and accumulate interests. Another gotcha is that if you are late on the payment or go over the limit, the 0% interest deal will be terminated. Beware of the rules before playing the balance transfer game and you'll always come out on the top.
Going back to the late or over limit fees, credit card companies may forgive the fee if it's the first offence so give them a call. Worst they can do is saying no..
Socialists like to spread FUD about how helpless you are and how you need to support them to protect yourself from the corporations and how the corporations will get you if you don't. That's no better than FUD Microsoft that's spreading about how their customers will be protected from lawsuits and how SCO will get you if you don't.
I just gave you a couple of examples where you can take control of your own situation to fight back against the corporation. If I chose to bitch about the high credit card interest on Slashdot and waited for the government to do something about it, I would've been no better off today.
Don't listen to the Socialists FUD telling you how helpless you are. Corporations need you as the consumer to survive, and you don't have to take their crap if you don't want to.