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Comment: Re:It would be cheaper for everyone.... (Score 1) 178

I guess I deserve that. What I mean is that the national government will have to crack down on local government corruption if they want to keep the local governments in line. They probably will eventually do this, as it was done in the US. Unfortunately, there is no government level above that to rein in corruption at the national level. You can see this at work in the US.

Comment: Re:It would be cheaper for everyone.... (Score 1) 178

It would be cheaper for everyone to just fix the pollution problem by putting heavy restrictions on emissions

This implies that they have the capability. Grease the palms of the inspectors, local officials, etc and the government will never know that you are polluting. I could be wrong, but it is also completely possible that the government would need to fix corruption before they can actually attack pollution.

Comment: Re:So! The game is rigged! (Score 1) 565

by MightyYar (#47574847) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

The problem is that this doesn't work. You can use debt for investment and then pay it back from the profits. You can't use debt to increase your quality of life because that doesn't increase your income, so any extra you spend today you have to make up by spending less tomorrow.

That is true, but irrelevant for most people. In general, people's income increases as they get older. So yes, they are "robbing" themselves of future cash flow, but they are also likely to have more cash flow in the future. In addition, for something like a fixed-rate mortgage, they are locking themselves into a fixed cost for a very long period of time for housing. If they were renting, they would almost certainly pay more as time went on. At the end of a 30 year loan, a mortgage payment that once seemed onerous will look almost trivial as the cost inflates away and real income increases.

the Government is prevented from investing by austerity measures while households are expected to upkeep demand by going ever deeper into debt.

I agree, and think that the government should be held to the same standards that they apply to businesses (and especially banks) in their finances. I'm not sure personal debt is actually getting worse - I think in the US it is actually improving - but agree that it remains a problem. There is smart and dumb debt... Rent-A-Center is probably never smart debt, but a 30 year mortgage is often a great idea.

This quagmire isn't going to dissolve until its causes - wages too low to keep up demand without going into debt - are solved and the detritus cleared.

Well, they are currently attacking the debt problem by printing money. This will probably work in the short term, and maybe even the long term if the banks stay de-leveraged. But color me skeptical. But for now, indications seem to suggest that QE is less disruptive than your proposal.

Comment: Re:So! The game is rigged! (Score 1) 565

by MightyYar (#47564689) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

I have no idea, so I'm totally speaking out of my ass here, but I suspect there is a reason Europe does it that way. In the US there are a few credit rating companies who have data on the entire population of the US, thus creating a de-facto system for determining credit. I'd bet dollars to donuts that Europe has a far more Balkanized collection of credit agencies.

Comment: Re:So! The game is rigged! (Score 1) 565

by MightyYar (#47562783) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

Big credit, perfect payment history and though short he now was eligible for a loan. WTF.

You surely understand that they are playing the numbers? For every wealthy guy from Europe with no credit score, there are probably 100 deadbeats with no credit score, and far more with a very poor score.

means you've not had the money to pay your bills

It certainly is not that simple! I could cash out my retirement accounts and be debt free. But that would be silly because the government only lets me hide a certain amount of income each year, and so I'd be losing a whole lot more to taxes then I currently do to interest. Similarly, a home loan at 3.25% is more like a 2% loan after the tax deduction. Surely you can imagine that it does not make sense to pull all of your investments when the S&P is on a record run just to avoid a 2% interest rate?

My car loan - they were offering a zero... that is 0.0%... interest rate for the car. Why the heck would I use all of my cash up? Yes, I understand that I essentially bought points when I purchased the car, but it still amounted to a very, very low rate.

T-Mobile did the same thing with my last phone - the price after financing was cheaper than the price on Amazon.

Look at it from another direction - debt can be used as leverage. Businesses do this all of the time. Since people aren't businesses, that leverage can buy a better lifestyle instead of simply improving income.

Comment: Re:You needn't charge anything (Score 1) 565

by MightyYar (#47562727) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

Truth or bullshit?

I think it might be true. I have this credit card from heaven which has a rate that is anchored to Prime+1.4% or something like that. Currently it is 4.65%. Obviously, I use it like crazy... at one point it had a lower rate than my mortgage! Since I frequently carry a balance on it, my credit score is insanely high - I think somewhere in the 800s. Once, I got greedy and kept within about 90% of the limit on it for a couple of months. This actually seemed to reduce my credit score, and the credit card company even reduced the card limit despite my never missing a payment.

Of course I also carry a mortgage and have car payments, so it is hardly the only "signal" on my report, but it seems to be correlated IMHO.

Comment: Re:So! The game is rigged! (Score 2) 565

by MightyYar (#47562221) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

It's a SCAM!

It's not a scam, but you do have to look at who the score is for. It is not for you, it is for lenders. They want to know how good of a risk you are, and to establish that you need a track record. It is trivial to maintain a good track record - simply use a credit card and pay it off. It will cost you nothing, or even make you money if you game the system like those Fatwallet acolytes.

Comment: Re:Not surprised. (Score 2) 565

by MightyYar (#47562183) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

Once you have something go into collections it is always there until you pay it. ... You're only 30-90 days lat for a short period.

You nailed it! Behold, math!

Collections stay on your credit report for 7 years, so long-term collections will be on there for 2377 days vs 180-30 = 150 days.

So you have 0.35/2377 < 0.05/150. Much less than. This is what you would intuitively expect.

Comment: Re:Lies and statistics... (Score 2) 565

by MightyYar (#47562115) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

the hospital would still not relent that my 6 yo son had required a breast pump for his treatment.

We had a similar love triangle going on between our pediatrician, the lab, and the insurance company. The doctor mistakenly ordered some kind of experimental genetic autism blood test for my son who was having digestive problems. The insurance company obviously refused to pay, and the lab wanted the money. The doctor ended up eating it, but had we paid the bill it would not have ended well for us! :)

I fully support anyone who cancels such things de facto (as long as they actually stop using the service), it's a horrible practice.

I have two blemishes on my credit report. The first is from the local newspaper (the Philly Inquirer), who gave me 60 days of free service and then kept on delivering the stupid paper after the 60 days. I had moved, and went by the now-empty house a few times to pick up the mess of papers stacked about a foot or two high (a friend was trying to sell it). Ultimately, they referred me to a collection agency. Yeah, good luck with that!

The other was a parking ticket from the City of Brotherly Love. They dinged me for staying too long in a 2-hour spot, even though I was in the middle of a move and I was just loading the vehicle for 20 minutes at a time and then returning to the same spot to load back up an hour or so later. Since I was moving out of state and selling my car, I figured I'd stiff them. They seem to have given up, though they put up a good fight - even tracking down my parents at one point! All for $25. It probably didn't help that I would tape a penny to the payment slip and send it back.

My credit is still north of 800 (according to my Discover Card statement) so I'm not really troubled.

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