We all know, at least passively, that the economy is deep in the shitter. I haven't thought about it too much because we don't live beyond our means. Too much, anyway. (grin) And I've felt, again passively at least, that things are changing for the better. The anarchocapitalists and their deregulation are out and we're reinstating some of the sensible things we did after the 1929 crash. After all, even Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill warned against an unrestricted capitalist free market. And John Ford Nash, Jr. proved mathematically that anarchocapitalism doesn't work. Assuming you consider Economics a science and addressable by mathematical processes, that is. Me, I'm not sure I do; but all those Economists certainly do.
But today scared me.
I've previously mentioned, in one of my typically cynical posts, the Centurion Card, aka the Black Card, or as Kanye West calls it, the African-American Express Card, which they offered to a limited clientele beginning in 1999. With a one-time signup fee of $5K, an annual fee of $2500, and a required annual spending minimum of $250K, I was not one of the people to whom Amex offered this card. Damn! And I really wanted one, too. I'm sure I could spend $250K a year on personal stuff if I tried.
Today I was offered the opportunity to join the second-tier semi-elite. Or something like that. Barclays (Visa) is now offering a Black Card of their own. Only costs $500 in annual dues, plus $200 annually for each additional card, and ya don't gotta spend a quarter of a million dollars per year, although I'm sure they wouldn't mind if you really wanted to use their card for that level of purchasing.
When you look beyond the fees and all the fabulous extras you get with the Barclays (Visa) Black Card and check the fine print, you might notice that the APR is 13+%. Cash advances are 20+% and the default APR is 27+%. There's a 3% transaction charge, no maximum.
My current cheesy, proletarian, nonelite Visa card is nowhere close to that kind of fee structure. Is this a hidden tax on the rich? Ayn Rand wants to know. Right now.
This is why I'm worried and how I know we're in serious trouble. I quit Microsoft in 1995 (That's 14 years ago!) but today they're offering me a Black Card. Barclays must be completely fucking desperate; so now, I'm scared.
Thanks for the offer, folks, but I think I'm gonna just tear this fucker up, stand shoulder-to-shoulder with my working-class brethren, and stick with my lame-ass old school Visa card which has no annual fees and an APR which, as one might say in Calculus, approaches zero as a limit.
Workers of the world, unite! Arise, ye sons of the proletariat! Eat
the rich! I hear they taste a lot like... bacon! Yum! I feel a new recipe coming on.