Debt, Debt Awareness, and Debt CC

Debt is a terrible thing… from what I observed during my childhood at least. It was a time (from what I recall) when a person would only take on debt when buying a house, buying a car, starting a business, and at most, paying for the children’s education. And home equity? It is only used as a last resort. And people who borrow to gamble will always end up in pieces somewhere in a back alley.

You are free to call me “old school.”

Now more than a decade later, the world is a different place. Debt has become a commonplace. Consumerism is celebrated. Instant gratification is glorified. Debt is encouraged. The crowd would cheer as you sit on your European imported sofa, watching TV on your newest Sony Bravia LCD, inside your immaculately re-modeled home, which is complemented with a BMW M5 on your front porch. You may be swimming in a sea of debt behind the doors. But it’s aaaaaaalright. It’s totally fine to have debt.

Okay, I admit that the example is a bit extreme, and I know a majority of people don’t end up in debt due to such acts. Life situations could force us into debt. Nonetheless…the meaning of debt has become lost in translation (adverstisement) in this era. Way too much sugar-coating.

Debt Awareness

To begin to understand what debt means, I extracted some definitions from Dictionary.com:
Debt is something that is owed. Debt is an obligation to pay something.

In other words, when you have debt, it is an obligation to pay back what you owe. Debt is a responsibility. Since you are taking on debt, it means you don’t have much now, so you pay your debt with what you will have in the future. Therefore, when you take on debt, you are betting on your own future. If the future is unpredictable, debt becomes not so good an idea. And it a very bad idea when you take on debt – despite knowing that you simply won’t have “enough future” to pay back. How did we end up in financial crisis again?

Understanding that, it makes sense for a person to take loan for business purpose because they expect future gains that will enable both profit and payment for the loan. Debt is useful in this way. However, when people start consistently using debt to finance leisure and impulse purchase – things that produce no future gain, then there is a slight problem. The problem worsens in a capitalistic society where lenders set high interest rate to obtain sizeable profits, unlike if you borrow interest-free from a generous relative or friend.

Quotes about debt:

The indebted man “must smile on those he hates, he must extend his hand where he would strike, he must speak pleasantly with a curse in his throat”.

“He [borrower] wears dependence like a yoke.”

“The Borrower Is a Slave to the Lender.”

“Be frugal and free.”

Above all, I enjoy how all the quotes emphasize on the same theme of the “loss of freedom” because not only it’s very true, it relates to my biggest concern with taking on mortgage for a home. With a mortgage, I will be “mortally engaged” in the debt with the bank and a stable job to afford it. What if I am to lose my job? What if I want to do something different? I will have much less freedom to do so. I will be “dependent,” “a slave”, not “free”, and “must smile and speak pleasantly” with the bank and with the same job.

Debt CC

For those who would like some help with their debt issues, I introduce Debt Consolidate Care (Debt CC). Debt CC is internet’s first get-out-of-debt community that offers professtional help. It currently has over 100,000 members with thousands of practical topics regarding debt covered in the form of forums, wiki, and articles. And with the amount of members, you are almost guaranteed to find some information, tips, and advice concerning your debt scenario.

It’s good to know that Debt CC’s main objective is to make you debt free.

Below is the story of Debt CC and Denny, the found of Debt CC:

Debt – a four lettered word with a far reaching impact on an individual’s financial as well as personal life. Being in debt is an all consuming feeling that people carry around with them 24 hours– throughout their day in office and even at home while spending time with their family. It is rightly said that getting in debt is easier but getting out of it is harder and difficult to confront though it is not impossible. In fact nothing in life is not unattainable, with sheer determination hard work and patience, you can overcome biggest of problems. The story of Denny, the founder of debtconsolidationcare.com (DebtCC) says it all – from owning a company to sleeping in streets and frantically searching for a decent job to pay off his debts.

Way back in 2003, Denny started DebtCC with the sole intention to extend helping hand to debt crunched people. Since then it has been providing services on debt consolidation, debt settlement and credit counseling to assist people in getting their lives back on track. Being in debt can be very isolating and lonely. That’s the reason the site has an online community (Internet’s first get-out-of-debt community) that comprises of 106724 members where people can communicate with others who are experiencing similar problems. There have been countless instances where the experienced community members have helped individuals seeking financial help with their sound advices. There is a chat section too, where the members can discuss on topics ranging from debt to lost hair pin!

Sadly, most of the people incur monetary troubles because of the lack of financial knowledge. Keeping this in mind, the site has incorporated articles section that has a wide range of information on financial topics written by expert content writers.

You must have heard of the quote by Margaret Fuller that says “If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it” the wiki section is line with the thought. With the help of this section the community members who are empowered with adequate financial knowledge and keep themselves updated with the latest happenings in the finance world can also write articles to aid the financially challenged people.

Apart from offering out of debt programs, the site has various easy to use tools like debt calculator, e-books, and GPL licensed software that readily serve the purpose of the users.

Originally posted 2008-03-05 01:20:44. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

AIG and Thoughts on Bonuses

I always thought that bonus is bonus, where bonus means something extra that is given when performance is above and beyond the norm, relative to a job scenario. Specifically, we must be careful performance is not measured on short-term and must be a balanced evaluation of both short-term and long-term benefits. And in real life, well, bonus is like icing on the cake. I still view bonus as such even now as I am working. I like them, but I do not count on one. That’s why we call it BONUS.

Past few days we keep hearing about the AIG bonus ordeal. I don’t mind them giving out bonus when they are due for performance, but obviously, we can agree that AIG’s performance and moreover, most of the financial sector and Wall Street’s performance call for no bonus. Not only what they did destroyed the value in the system (or created tremendous illusional value), they believe they deserve to take even more value away from it for personal gains.

Conscience anyone?

One article writes that AIG’s CEO Liddy said he needs to pay out “retention bonus”. Correct me if I am wrong, but I am not sure if retention is something to be worried about these days. There is also the generic claim that we need to keep financial expertsto fix up the system, but have we forgotten that these top people are the same people who dug us the abyss on the ground (and covered it up) in the first place over a period of time?

Truth be told, I would be ashamed to be paid anything if I had screwed things up so badly. I would be ashamed of all the money I was paid in the last few years. And why are the people that had led us into this mess still in their positions anyways? In the old days, if you have f***ed up so badly, you should at least have the gut to resign, if you didn’t get your butt fired in the first place. In the even older days, I think you will get your head loped off.

Accountability anyone?
Responsibility anyone?

Now the government is talking about regulations. Maybe. But that will do is for people to come up with new ways to circumvent the new regulations. The system is not right not because of the system. The system is not right because of the people.

I’m just going to ask a few questions now. I do not claim to have answers, but it is something that we all could think about.

Should it really be that the financial sector’s employees are “entitled” to bonus?
How did we come to “count on” bonuses?
How could so many claim to deserve their pay and bonus, individually, when their industry is entirely in shamble? Does not that equate to a citizen claiming he deserves food when his entire nation is starving? (at this point, I feel a little sick in my stomach)

Finally, the top people in companies are always paid in the millions…
But let’s be serious, how many millions does a person really NEED?

Originally posted 2009-03-18 22:29:11. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Are You Ready to Change?

Phew, the election is finally over. For awhile I felt like the news, rumors, absurdities, bashing, and Tina Fey would never end. We can now be relieved and start seeing and reading other things besides all things presidential and campaign related. By other things, I mean economic crisis news ONLY. Okay, enough sarcastic comments for the day.

Finally the president is decided. Now we can move on. I am glad. The biggest unknown and question now is, “Are the people ready to change?” Our future will result in two completely different ends depending on the answer. I wonder if people really mean it when they say change.

If they mean that they are ready to change and better themselves, this would be a good answer.

If they simply mean that they await for others and the world to change for them, this would be the disastrous answer.

Originally posted 2008-11-05 21:36:41. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

The Dysfunction of Infinite Feedback

In so far that we had praised the extraordinariness of the invention of the Internet and other technology that “connect” us, there is always the other side of the equation.

Beyond hacking, beyond privacy, beyond other social issues, I find there is a bigger underlying trend that needs to be look at — the amount of feedback we receive because of all these inventions.

Let’s define feedback first. Feedback is an evaluative reaction or response to an originating process or activity.

We know feedback is useful for us to improve in whatever we are doing. Complicated machinary would always have a feedback system to adjust, adapt, and correct a subsequent action from the prior one.

Individually speaking, we have parents, friends, relatives, co-workers doing that.

But we are living in a modern world of technology, and in this society through the Internet and various other technology, we can get as many different feedback as there are people out there in the entire world. Thus an enormous amount of feedback.

That causes two perceivable problems.

1st one has to do with the amount of feedback rendering all the feedback completely useless. Just remember what happens when you put a microhpone to the speaker that its sound is coming out of. You get this unbearbly sharp, squealing sound becase you have created in infinite feedback loop. Our brilliant Internet and social networks can precisely create such a loop, and having too much feedback and having too much options are the same, where one gets completely confused.

2nd problem has to do with the quality of feedback. Feedback allows us to improve in so far that it is a constructive response. When one has as many response as there is Internet users out there, the quality naturally goes down the drain. Worse yet, when one takes them seriously, one likely becomes immobile because when someone who has many judges watching his every moves and beat him with a stick when he does wrong, he simply cannot move. Or, he can only move when everyone approves and we know that’s nearly impossible.

Applying the above perceivable problems that are currently affect every facets of our modern life — the individual, social, cultural, national, and finally global level — we have a world that is mostly confused and thus chaotic, and also a human social entity that is mostly unadaptive and unable to do what it needs to do.

I mentioned the above 2 problems without mentioning a key… issue. The media companies. Wherein if you add their “selling of drama through exaggeration and twisting of the facts” — be it news or TV programs — that serves to amplify the two said problems, it is only natural that the world is as absurd as it is now.

And we cannot blame the media companies either, because they do what they do only because it DOES sells.

One last observation is how we seem to find truth in only what has feedback coming from the news/media and the majority population connected by the Internet and technology. What has little to no feedback from those places, what cannot become famous, has no meaning and is not important. Is that truth?

Here ends my rant of the day :)

This post is more or less just an observation but is very much related to three posts from the past. You read and connect the dots :P

Originally posted 2010-03-14 21:56:48. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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