We just finished watching Maxed Out, the recent documentary about the viperous evils of the credit industry. We agree with the basic premise: Underinformed debtors are getting taking advantage of. And the stories are horrific, with three different people driven to suicide because of debt. The doc does a good job of outlining the links from debtor, to bank, to debt collector, to government representatives. It’s a nasty apparatus.
However, we found ourselves growing annoyed at the lack of appreciation for individual fiscal responsibility. At only one point that we can recall does one lady say something to the effect of, “yeah, I shoulda read the fine print.”
Yes, you should have. The bank is not going to manage your money for you. If you live beyond your means, you will some day lose control of your life. You spend other people’s money, they’re going to want it back. Yes, the credit industry should have stricter screening measures (though the prospect seems unlikely as it’s so much more profitable to not), but as long as you believe you are a victim of external circumstances, you will find yourself victimized.
Maxed Out is out on DVD, as well as Netflix’s “Watch Now.” — BEN POPKEN