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+ - 35% of (American) Adults Have Debt "In Collections" 1

Submitted by meeotch
meeotch (524339) writes "According to a new study by the Urban Institute, 35% of U.S. adults with a credit history (91% of the adult population of the U.S.) have debt "in collections" — a status generally not acquired until payments are at least 180 days past due. Debt problems seem to be worse in the South, with states hovering in the 40%+ range, while the Northeast has it better, at less than 30%. The study's authors claim their findings actually underrepresent low-income consumers, because "adults without a credit file are more likely to be financially disadvantaged."

Oddly, only 5% of adults have debt 30-180 days past due. This latter fact is partially accounted for by the fact that a broader range of debt can enter "in collections" status than "past due" status (e.g. parking tickets)... But also perhaps demonstrates that as one falls far enough along the debt spiral, escape becomes impossible. Particularly in the case of high-interest debt such as credit cards — the issuers of which cluster in states such as South Dakota, following a 1978 Supreme Court ruling that found that states' usury laws did not apply to banks headquartered in other states.

Even taking into account the folks to lost a parking ticket under their passenger seat, 35% is a pretty shocking number. Anyone have other theories why this number is so much higher than the 5% of people who are just "late"? How about some napkin math on the debt spiral? (And unfortunately, cue the inevitable geek snobbery about how people in debt must be "idiots".)"

Comment: Better question... (Score 4, Insightful) 228

by raydobbs (#47363965) Attached to: Nathan Myhrvold's Recipe For a Better Oven

Why the fsck should we listen to anything this dishonest vulture says or wants? He has worked to single-handedly ruin everything about anything we could ever care about. Intellectual Ventures is the scum of the Earth, and is akin to the mafia coming to you and mentioning that they need some money else something bad could happen to your precious new business venture. Everything this man and his cohorts touch is tainted - Intellectual Ventures and Mr. Myhrvold needs to be removed like a cancer before they can spread even further.

Fsck Intellectual Ventures.
Fsck Nathan Myhrvold.

In some parts of the world, they'd cut off his thieving hands. I wouldn't take one of his new ovens even if they gave it to me - except maybe to smash the crap out of it on YouTube.

Comment: Re:...another possibility... (Score 1) 304

by raydobbs (#47354429) Attached to: Ninety-Nine Percent of the Ocean's Plastic Is Missing

I am not saying this IS what is happening - I am saying that this is a possible scenario - like the article is proposing a possible scenario (hence the very concrete words 'possibly', 'maybe' and 'perhaps' being used. Oh, forgot the word 'IF' - the biggy).

This entire article is short on facts, very big on supposition.

Comment: Re:One non-disturbing theory (Score 1) 304

by raydobbs (#47354323) Attached to: Ninety-Nine Percent of the Ocean's Plastic Is Missing

This very well could be - we (you and I) basically came up with the same thought. With so little we know about the oceans of Earth, there could be a vast number of reasons the plastics we littered into the oceans have not turned up as pristine trash that lasts forever and ever. It could be fish, it could be other marine animals, it could be micro-organisms, it could also be some other unexplained process. Racing to panic about it being in the foot supply (without proof) is a little premature.

Comment: ...another possibility... (Score 0) 304

by raydobbs (#47354169) Attached to: Ninety-Nine Percent of the Ocean's Plastic Is Missing

...is that there is a complex ecosystem of micro-organisms that are breaking down the plastic into lesser components that we aren't looking for? I mean, there is a LOT about the ocean we don't yet understand. I mean, we know more about our solar system than we know about the entirety of the ocean ecosystem. That's not to say that the plastic BELONGS there or that we shouldn't be trying to reduce our uses for plastics - just that perhaps we aren't finding them in their entirety because there is some natural processes at work beyond fish consumption.

Comment: Re:50MB = 750$ (Score 1, Insightful) 321

by raydobbs (#47174711) Attached to: AT&T Charges $750 For One Minute of International Data Roaming

Guaranteed by your personal credit card? Whose fault is that? If your teaching, get the institution to foot the bill, so if (or in your case - when) they blitz AWS, the institution has recourse to bill the student and you aren't on a express train to financial raping. Your school should never have put you on the financial hook for covering such expenses - at least if they have any credibility.

Comment: Ubisoft and PCs... (Score 4, Insightful) 123

by raydobbs (#47103327) Attached to: <em>Watch Dogs</em> Released, DRM Troubles

Those 'in the know' generally don't buy Ubisoft games for the PC anymore - even though they have been trying to turn over a new leaf in terms of how they view PC gamers. Many at Ubisoft apparently still see PC gamers as pirates - even those who pay for products. Not the way to garner new customers.

Sadly, these days - the only way to buy new release Ubisoft products (if you want to at all, that is) is to buy the console versions of the products.

Comment: Pet projects and the hidden skunk-works. (Score 4, Interesting) 123

by raydobbs (#46984925) Attached to: How To Approve the Use of Open Source On the Job

In small businesses - often the best foot in the door for open source software is a pet project, something you can do transparently to design something to show management about the advantage of the software has over more traditionally licensed fare. Being able to speak the language of IT management helps - Cost of Ownership, Return on Investment, being able to present facts based on license costs is also helpful - management listens to dollars and sense, followed by legality.

Of course, if your business deals with large vendors who have a stake in keeping things locked to Microsoft, Oracle, IBM or HP - you are fighting a steeply uphill battle.

If you think the system is working, ask someone who's waiting for a prompt.

Working...