• Buy now; pay later
    July 25,2013

    Buy now; pay later

    Buy now; pay later. What a great concept this is. It contributed mightily to America’s growth. It also removed the pain of waiting until you earned your reward.

    Properly managed credit is a very useful financial tool, but in the hands of an immature individual it can encourage imprudence that may end up in bankruptcy. Unfortunately, the greatest demand for credit is among those with the least monetary discipline.

    Bankruptcy is not fair to the creditors, but of course those who extend credit have an opportunity to examine the borrower’s record thoroughly before taking the risk.

    Now let us examine another “buy now” scheme; this one provides immediate gratification to the customer for a relatively modest cost while requiring unspecified payments from future generations. How many generations would be affected? That is also unspecified, and what happens if they cannot pay? That is unspecified, too. What we do know is that it will continue mercilessly for at least 6,000 years and, most likely, double that time.

    This is a contract that no sane businessman (or woman) would ever enter into knowingly — and there’s the rub. Those future generations do not get a crack at examining the risk factor or an opportunity to decline the offer.

    All this to avoid regulating the way this generation does business? Those who favor this lack of restriction say it destroys their freedom. That is not their freedom they are exercising. It is their irresponsibility.

    If you think this is unconscionable, I would agree with you.

    Of course, I am referring to the storage of spent fuel rods from all those nuclear generating plants — so you and I can pop two slices of bread into our toaster in the morning (among other uses, of course).

    Makes you feel proud, doesn’t it? It certainly gives a whole new dimension to bankruptcy and a whole new meaning to irresponsibility, too.

    We may have come from monkeys, but stop kidding yourself, it was no ascendancy.

    Have fun, kids. Don’t forget we love you. We’ll leave the light on for ya.

    Arnold Martin


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