Although shoppers kept credit card machines busy this holiday season, growing evidence indicates that Americans are starting to feel uneasy about the pile of debt to which we continue to add.
A new survey from CreditCards.com finds that more than two in five Americans currently carrying debt don’t know when they’ll pay off those balances — and one in four say they expect their debts to outlive them.
“It’s definitely a depressing statistic,” said Ted Rossman, industry analyst for the site. “When we did a similar study back in 2013, only 9 percent never expected to get out of debt, and now it’s 25 percent.”
A total of nine increases in the Federal Reserve’s benchmark interest rate since the end of the Great Recession means that credit card APRs — nearly all of which are variable and tied to the Fed’s prime rate — are at a record high of 17.41 percent, Rossman said. By comparison, the lowest average credit card rate came in April of 2008, hitting a trough of 11.11 percent.
It goes to show what a minuscule minority we are. Most Americans are resigned to be debt slaves forever.
Yes, there are folks that can have their finances destroyed by health issues. However, let’s not forget that Americans constitute 5% of the world’s population but we consume 24% of the world’s energy. On average, one American consumes as much energy as 2 Japanese, 6 Mexicans, 13 Chinese, 31 Indians, 128 Bangladeshis, 307 Tanzanians and 370 Ethiopians. So we consume a lot and you bet that much of it is shit we don’t need, like oversized cars, houses, TVs, burgers and other shit that is not essential.
We are also to blame for our debt slavery.
- Retail sales in the U.S. from Nov. 1 through Christmas Eve were up 5.1 percent to more than $850 billion, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse.
- That makes this the best holiday shopping season in six years, Mastercard said.
- The surge in spending comes amid the latest fluctuations in the stock market, worries on Wall Street about a potentially slowing economy and a partial government shutdown.