Saturday, April 19, 2008

Credit and Interest Rate Issue for the Election 08

This marks a very different election year because of the Internet. Never have voters been more involved in voicing their ideas, emotions, preferences and shared information about the issues or the candidates. Not all candidates were prepared for this kind of voter participation. Some of them have been left behind because dated approaches.

While several issues have been circulating, credit and interest issues have not been given the kind of attention needed. Many of us are overspent and underpaid. The government tells us to go shopping as an act of patriotism. No comment on such orders. I think it's more important to look at the credit card and interest rate as a failed substitution system for real income. While credit has helped many of us buy homes, cars, college classes, clothes and even our food; in the long term, credit has led many of us into serious problems, including financial instability, physical illness, or mental stress. It's clear that we need each candidate to address how he or she plans to force a dramatic increase in wages, so we can go shopping without relying on credit cards, so we can buy homes without falling victim to loan sharks, so we can take a vacation without the stress of financial burdens.

We also need commitments from each of the candidates on what each plans to do about the runaway interest rate. Some of us are locked into 30% interest rates on our credit cards. These rates must be lowered to 3-4%, so people are not paying mostly interest only each month. Some of us will never catch up at this rate.

Finally, we need the government to bail out homeowners who can still get back into their homes. And we need banks to lower all mortgage interest rates to below 5%.

If America is going to follow its Constitution, which includes the right of each of us to pursue happiness, the basic criteria for doing so must not be legally stolen from the people whom the Constitution is designed to protect.