Credit cards still rule

Remember how the Great Recession was supposed to teach us all how to act more responsibly with our money? Remember how it was supposed to get us all to pay with cash rather than whip out the plastic at the slightest provocation?

Well, so much for lessons. The website has posted its analysis for the third quarter of 2010. It may be a little hard to follow the charts, but the bottom line is simple. As a nation, we’re charging more and more. “Consumers accumulated almost $6.5 billion more credit card debt in Q3 than Q2 2010,” the conclusion says.
Lest you think this is just a sign the economy is rebounding, in a separate e-mail to me this week a spokeswoman said, “… debt has actually increased in several quarters during the last two years.”
And we’re charging more and more. “The new data released by the Federal Reserve’s G.19 report indicates that consumer debt is increasing at a faster rate than it has in the past 27 months — which the (fourth quarter) 2010 Credit Card Debt Study will show later this month — but as you can see from the above data, credit card debt has actually been increasing for a much longer period of time,” the spokeswoman said.
This comes just as some members of the Federal Reserve Board are saying the Fed’s $600 billion money-printing scheme is no longer necessary because the economy is picking up. (Read it here.)
A lot of people, myself included, believe federal stimulus schemes have hurt the recovery. It’s a bit hard, though, to take public anger over deficit spending too seriously when the American people keep spending money they don’t have.

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About the Author

Jay Evensen

Jay Evensen is the Senior Editorial Columnist for the Deseret News. He has 32 years of journalism experience covering politics and a variety of other assignments at news organizations ranging from United Press International in New York City to the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Deseret News, where he has worked since 1986. During that time, he has won numerous local, regional and national awards. Most recently, he was given the Cameron Duncan Media Award, given annually in Washington, D.C., by the advocacy group RESULTS, to the journalist judged to have done the most to further the cause of the world's poorest people.

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