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Monday Morning Reading: Debt, Foreign Policy, and Crack

Reads form the past week that may/may not appeal.

NY Times: Given a Shovel, Americans Dig Deeper Into Debt Sunday July 20

I read this piece while sitting in Starbucks desperately trying to escape the 100+ heat outside. Nearly a third of the way through it dawned on me that the $3.58 smoothie in my hand may be the reason I don’t have any money. The article, well researched and full of real-life stories makes more than one valid argument as to why Americans are racking up debt faster than ever. Make sure to check out the online multimedia components as well.

NY Times: Me and My Girls Magazine Cover Story, Sunday July 20

Cultural reporter and media columnist David Carr writes vividly about his dark past including: womanizing, drugs, violence and jail. I only made it four pages through before wanting to buy his upcoming book. The story isn’t for everyone, but the writing is vivid, clear, and racy.

Speak Up Blog: Richard Edelman Serious Works Thursday July 17

Richard Edelman, the man behind Edelman PR, speaks about the magazine Foreign Affairs. The post provides a quick snapshot of the magazines health and aggressive subscription campaign. Proof that not all magazines are floundering these days.

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Categories: Journalism
  1. James Menard
    July 23, 2008 at 6:35 am

    Touching story, really. I’m sorry– but Mrs. Mcleod has only herself to blame for all that debt. To say that enticing credit offers and impulse shopping sprees are too seductive to resist is a pathetic excuse for living in excess. She said it herself, “when I got paid I would be buying things… I love shoes and handbags.” and referring to her relationship with her husband, “if we had a fight sometimes, I’d go out and shop and buy something to make me feel good.” Her desire for material wealth is the sole reason for her current situation.

    To blame creditors for “allowing” her to go over her limit is shifting the blame to where it doesn’t belong. Please don’t misunderstand me, I have no soft place in my heart for creditors that are always looking for schemes to make their shareholder’s stock go up 1/4 of a point, all it takes is a little bit of common sense. I have one credit card and it is not a state secret what would happen if I were to over-extend. Granted it takes some reading of small printing to find, but that is just part of being a wise consumer! If the bank somehow tricked Mrs. Mcleod into buying a home she couldn’t afford or Chase forced her to buy another handbag, that would be a different story. When MasterCard tells me that a tropical vacation is “priceless” I know what they really mean is “too expensive.”

    This brings me to the economy and the lending industry that is faltering because it is built the imaginary wealth of people like Mrs. Mcleod. What did any one expect? And why am I paying to “bail out” these irresponsible borrowers (and the institutions that extended credit to them) with my tax dollars? Because millions of people took out millions of sketchy loans, I now need to pay for their financial mistakes? What!? It needs to stop. If it takes an “economic downturn” to let Americans know that it’s OK to say, “you know, I just can’t afford that right now” then bring it on!

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