You have the right. . .

I don’t listen to satellite radio often, but when I do I prefer the commercial free channels. The funny thing about satellite radio is that on the channels that are not commercial free, a great many of the ads are for credit repair, an unusual sponsor for a service that charges hundreds of dollars a year in subscription fees. Or maybe not. One in particular caught my ear lately.

It began, “You have the right to reduce your debt.” My first thought was, no you have an obligation to reduce your debt and it’s called bill paying. Actually, my first thought was to switch channels but I fought that off, not because I need to reduce my debt but that once upon a time I was so heavily in debt that your average homeless person had a higher credit score than I. I reduced my debt by stopping indiscriminate buying, selling off assets, paying off creditors, and closing credit cards. I was pretty sure the fellow espousing my rights to un-indebtedness didn’t have those notions in mind.

I’m sure there are many reasonable ways to reduce debt. Just because most governments haven’t figured out a way to do it doesn’t mean that we have lower ourselves to their levels. Especially on this weekend – Labor Day weekend. Huh? The thing is, you don’t want to reduce debt that’s going to cost people their jobs. Huh?

It doesn’t matter if a business is a 12 seat diner owned by the guy down the street or a multi-national banking business run by a bazillionaire. If you take money away from them they will work out a way of making it up. Either that means raising prices or lowering expenses – and the biggest expense of any business is its human resource.

Yes, you have a right to reduce your debt. It’s not right up there with life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But then again, maybe it is. If it makes you happy, you should reduce. You also have a responsibility to reduce honorably. When you sign an agreement to accept the terms of credit it includes the expectation of repayment. It’s what the people who lend you money deserve.  And it’s what the people who are paid their salary based on the money you pay them deserve.

Back to that ad – while most of it was playing I was mentally drifting thinking about most of what you just read. But I came back to earth in time to hear the tag line – “Don’t let the credit card companies trick you into thinking that you have to pay them what you owe.” Huh?

Happy Labor Day.

That’s what I think. Really. How ‘bout you?



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