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Hardcover Credit Card Nation the Consequences of America's Addiction to Credit Book

ISBN: 0465043666

ISBN13: 9780465043668

Credit Card Nation the Consequences of America's Addiction to Credit

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Format: Hardcover

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Book Overview

Credit-card debt is choking American prosperity off at the neck. In Credit Card Nation, Robert D. Manning tells a fascinating story about the present and future consequences of credit dependence... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

What Manning is saying

I think reviewers are overlooking the central theme of Manning's book, made up of two observations by which he reaches his conclusion. First, he is telling us that our society has changed from the time when a person was known for his/her personal character, and Puritanical thrift was the rule to guide all. In times past, most people couldn't begin to afford to create an image or build their persona from non-essential purchases. Only minimal credit was available to Joe Average and that usually from a local merchant who sold essentials. As my dad (born 1898) used to tell me: never use credit except for a house and a car. He exploded with rage when credit cards began arriving unsolicited in the mail as he saw it as an extreme danger to society. Now, people are known for their lifestyle. They present themselves as an image built through their possessions. Revolving credit has been slipped into the toolbox of the average citizen through the careful marketing of the credit providers as an aid, an essential one, for the non-wealthy to participate in the culture-wide activity of individual identity creation and the maintenance of "success". Conclusion from the above: to participate in American culture, literally to be somebody (sad to say), you have to put up an image based on possessions. If you have money you do it effortlessly. If you don't have money, you do it with revolving credit. In other words, for those without money, credit is the foundation for being socialized into popular culture, in addition to being a lifesaver for status when a job is lost, or becomes part-time. It is not simply a matter of the individual being foolish to choose to get into debt, as it was back in the old days of "a penny saved is a penny earned." Manning is NOT dismissing individual responsibility to keep one's head above water financially. He IS saying that self-creation through possessions is a social demand that has been fed heartily by the self-interested financial services companies, who are eager to see the "individual responsibility" model kept in the spotlight in order to keep attention away from what those companies are really doing: subsidizing one group of people by preying on the habits of another group. This process involves two groups who, in the eyes of a creditor, should not be differentiated. This is the outrage that Manning identifies. To be specific, those who use credit for convenience get interest-free short term credit at the expense of those who pay dearly for the use of money from the same provider. Person A pays off his/her $2000 credit card balance in one month and has had that $2000 to use for free for any purpose, most likely something that could have been bought with cash. Someone else may need the $2000 for a rent payment, clothes and medicine. They borrow the same amount, for the same one month period, but since they don't pay it off they must pay a high interest rate. The less well off can use money foolishly, just as anyone can, bu

Mr Manning Should Be Honored By Congress

Robert Manning has provided a vital service to our nation...for many years I was caught in the credit vise, fortunately I entered a counseling program and paid off $30,000 in consumer debt, which I would have been saddled with forever. Sadly, a great portion of our national wealth is consumed by the banking industry, earning it's greatest profits from those who are the most vulnerable.Can one survive without credit cards? I am living proof that says "absolutely." The credit industry would have us believe that their cards are a necessity. They are not. Mr Manning goes into great detail explaining the reasons we got to the point that college students with no income receive multiple offers for credit and get into deep debt, some with tragic circumstances. Read this book if you have ever used a credit card or anticipate educating your children about this important subject.


A very explosive view of what may be a financial disaster for the individual, but huge profits for Corporate America. Well-researched and thoughtful, this book paints a picture that may make your blood run cold.In order for there to be victims, there have to be Victimizers. There is no substitute for individual responsibility, but the Big Sell of debt as a way to support inflated expectations is seductive. This book shows how debt was made acceptable and how the credit industry seduced a nation.

Credit Card Nation

An insightful, cogent and comprehensive analysis of how our individual and corporate debt woes began, evolved, and are on the brink of crashing in on our heads unless the credit industry takes immediate and pervasive (!) responsibility for the monstrous cash cow it has produced. With its udder full to overflowing, overabundant access to credit is about to explode, with disastrous consequences.Robert Manning is no fatalist; he also has a great sense of irony and proportion. Nevertheless, the bullets keep flying.. for example: If the majority of start-up capital used by entrepreneurs is borrowed from their credit cards, what will happen to the future of small businesses if credit begins to become restricted to this groupof individuals ? What responsibility should the credit card industry take to training young adults about the practical use of credit cards, particularly as relates to actual cost and long-term effects of making and maintaining high balances on one's credit cards ?

Sobering, thoughtful, compelling

Those of us who have had the distinct priveledge of hearing Manning speak now have this extraordinary study to solidify our understanding of the cult of credit in the United States. The author's forceful personality--and his unassailable integrity--come through very strongly here. His insight and compassion for all of us and our obsession for making it in America go to the larger question of how we as driven consumers equate credit with time: the crisis of life spans increasingly regarded as inadequate for experiential fulfillment. No longer is it a question of status, but of opportunity: If we don't buy/experience this now, we may never be able to again. Manning joins Svevo, Carlo Levi, and Gide in demonstrating how the manipulation and "evocation" of assets reflects a psychological and societal attempt to reduce inner dissonance about our mortality. Manning shows how our mania for packing our lives with sensations and stimulalting our senses to the hilt is now more about the ACT of buying that possession itself. As a result, the utter contempt extenders of credit have for those in the markets they pursue is no longer sublimated; giving the market "what it wants" has crossed the Styx of "savvy marketing" into an underworld of persuasive exploitation. Manning forces us to acknowledge our addictive propensity for money, whether we are "in glut" with it or want of it. Credit colors who we are with potential of peril for our lives.Even more, Manning sends us off into thoughts of the US's own fiscal and public policy, of a government enamored of "personal responsibility" in the administration of entitlement programs, yet rife with cynical hesitation in reducing national debt to the detriment of those who would promote it, promulgate, and perpetuate it. In the end, nothing is simple, and the author leaves us with the stark realization that we are in the eye of a surging whirlpool. He offers no solutions because there aren't any.In short, if you have the chance to hear Manning speak, avail yourself of it. In the meantime, be prepared to be enthralled with Credit Card Nation and be disturbed by it. It's a rare, communicative work of sociological scholarship that any reasonably alert, unflinching reader can grasp immediately and retain.
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