“In Debt We Trust”

Today during lecture we watched the first twenty minutes of the documentary, “In Debt We Trust” [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cltc4Og6HKo]. For decades, people all across the globe have relied upon credit cards to make their financial ends meet. Most people in our Soc 1 class have credit cards. These pieces of plastic allow consumers to buy goods and services now and pay for them later. The documentary we watched looked at the dark side of credit cards. What can happen when people don’t pay their credit card balances off each month?

This week we also talked about values. I asked the question, should values be taught in school? We debated this point. Some people argued that values should not be taught in the classroom, but a majority of you believed that values can and should be taught in school.

To connect this week’s lecture material on values with the documentary “In Debt We Trust,” I am going to create a hypothetical situation. Here it goes…

Pretend that you and I are having lunch at In-N-Out Burger. Because you are such a nice person, you buy me lunch. I order a 3×3 (with chopped chiles) with animal style fries and a diet coke (of course). You order a number two, protein style, with a chocolate milk shake. You whip out your MasterCard and charge the lunch. We wait for our food to cook and for our number to be called. Eventually, the nice lady behind the counter loudly calls out our ticket number. We pick up our food and sit down in a booth.

After the two of us sit down, I say to you, “Listen, [Insert Your Name], I appreciate you buying me lunch. But don’t you know credit cards are poison. If you can’t pay for something in cash, you don’t need it. Plain and simple.”

You take a moment to contemplate what I just said. Then you respond by saying, “Listen, Professor Avery, I appreciate your viewpoint. But like usual, you are oversimplifying things. You are not looking at the issue objectively. You are biased.”

“Biased, huh?”

“Yes, biased. You sound ridiculous when you talk. Credit cards are not poison. Some people need credit cards to survive.”

“No, they don’t.”

“Yes, they do.”





“Okay, fine, [Insert Your Name], explain to me why some people need credit cards, why credit cards are not poison, and why I am biased.”

“Gladly, let me educate you on those three points, Professor Avery.”

[Avery takes a bite of the 3×3 cheeseburger]

“Nice elbow patches.”

“Huh? What’d you say?”

“Oh, nothing. So some people need credit cards because…”

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