Monday, June 8, 2009
Catch-300: With Bad Credit, Everything ELSE Goes Bad
At least that's true in the 'legitimate' economy. The LA Times Business section today features a piece about folks who, having lost jobs and experienced difficulty in meeting their credit 'obligations,' later find it difficult to find new jobs BECAUSE their credit reports reflect 'deficiencies' ensuing from their un (or often, dis) employment. The Times story discloses this form of injustice is increasingly happening to formerly middle-class (and higher!) white people. The personal experiences should grab the reader where s/he lives.
We are all sooooo close to the abyss! What is it, 75-80% of people are less than one month's pay away from catastrophic insolvency?!?! Credit rating affects virtually every part of a person's life in the "straight" economy. Even landlords nowadays routinely require tenant applicants to complete credit applications, too, and base decisions on the results. (Aside: Did you know frequently checking on your credit score can actually cause the score to decline? It can, and does. Credit reporting outfits don't track who requests the information. They only count the number of hits, on the theory that if the account is active, the client is actively seeking credit, and they must NEED it for some reason.)
Ironically, on the page adjacent to the story there's a 'google ad' inviting the reader to "Access Your Score In Seconds Get Your Free Credit Report Today!" Or maybe it's not ironic, and that Vonnegut was right that irony died the day Kissinger was awarded the peace Prize. It would be ironic if the article in the paper included the fact that frequent checks of an individual's credit report can be regarded as damaging information and hurt the score. But the paper neglects the information. So Irony slumbers yet.
While reading and considering this story, perhaps in the back of the reader's (either one of them) mind should also be lodged the information that USer 'capitalism' contains within its structure of assumptions and conventions the stipulation that "Full Employment" is not REALLY "full employment." A certain level of "structural" unemployment is always factored into the equation. Typically in the range of three to five percent, depending, so-called 'structural unemployment' is required as a necessary condition for "market efficiency" because the unemployed present a threat quick replacement to workers who might be dissatisfied with capital's generosity to its workers and want to organize.
(Here concludeth Marx 101 for today. Go in solidarity!)