So I had a pretty good laugh from this today; and makes a lot of sense. I remember back in the day when my parents would DREAD credit cards. We’d have one for a purchase we needed to finance and then it was on the phone and cutting up the card IMMEDIATELY afterwards. If my folks didn’t have the $, they didn’t buy it; which coincidentally was almost every time I wanted something!
If you can watch video on your machine, I highly suggest you watch it to get the full effect as the transcript tells the story, but it isn’t delivered in all its comic genius. As all the politicians say:
My name is Hank, and I approve the following video!
For those of you that don’t have access to view videos (or don’t want to laugh hysterically) here is the transcript version. But really, you want to watch the comedy in this all too familiar American kitchen. A husband (Steve Martin) and wife (Amy Poehler) are eating their dinner when the book Salesman walks in…
Wife: Oh, I just can’t get these numbers to add up
Husband: Like we’re never going to get out of this hole.
Wife: Credit card debt, does it ever end?
Salesman: [entering from who-knows-where] Maybe I can help.
Husband: We sure could use it.
Wife: We’ve tried debt consolidation companies.
Husband: We’ve even taken out loans to help make payments.
Salesman: Well, you’re not the only one. Did you know that millions of Americans live with debt they can not control? That’s why I developed this unique new program for managing your debt. [Holds up book] It’s called, “Don’t Buy Stuff You Cannot Afford”
Wife: Let me see that. [Reading from book] If you don’t have any money, you should not buy anything. Hmmm … sounds interesting.
Husband: Sounds confusing.
Wife: I don’t know honey, this makes a lot of sense. There’s a whole section here on how to buy expensive things using money you’ve “saved”.
Husband: Give me that. And where do you get this “saved” money?
Salesman: I tell you where and how in Chapter 3.
Wife: OK, what if I want something but I don’t have any money?
Salesman: You don’t buy it.
Husband: Let’s say, I don’t have enough money to buy something. Should I buy it anyway?
Husband: Now I’m really confused.
Salesman: It’s a little confusing at first.
Wife: What if you have the money, can you buy something?
Wife: Now, take the money away. Same story?
Salesman: Nope. You shouldn’t buy stuff when you don’t have the money.
Husband: I think I’ve got it. I buy something I want, then hope that I can pay for it. Right?
Salesman: No. You make sure you have money, then you buy it.
Husband: Oh, then you buy it! But shouldn’t you buy it before you have the money?
Wife: Why not?
Salesman: It’s in the book. It’s only one page long. The advice is priceless and the book is free.
Wife: Wow. I like the sound of that.
Husband: Yeah, we can put it on our credit card.
Announcer: So, get out of debt now. Write for your free copy of “Don’t Buy Stuff You Cannot Afford”. And, if you order now, you’ll also receive, “Seriously, If You Don’t Have the Money, Don’t Buy It” along with a twelve month subscription to “Stop Buying Stuff” Magazine. Order today.
Welp, it is fairly straightforward and need not a lot of feedback but it really does show how the American way of life has changed in the past 30 or 40 years. Like I said at the beginning, my parents wouldn’t have THOUGHT of buying on credit if they had any other way around it. But today people think of credit the same way and dive right in.
Who is to blame? The banks willing to lend or the buyers willing to accept it? Know anybody like this?