Dave Ramsey: The biggest financial killer of them all

By Neal McNamara | March 9, 2014
daveramsey

Are you ever watching TV, or go to a vitamin store, and see a product that’s being marketed as something that will make you more awesome? It will make you Faster, stronger, thinner, smarter, multi-lingual, richer – ad infinitum.

Those are bad, but there’s insidious miracle cure out there that’s worse. It’s the No. 1 most marketed product out there. It promises to make you the freest person in the world, but KTTH host Dave Ramsey says it will kill you.

“The credit card is the most aggressively marketed product in our culture today,” said Ramsey.

“Let’s try again. The credit card is the most aggressively marketed product in our culture today. More money is spent, more sophistication is spent, more effort is spent to get you to buy that than anything else – more than the Snuggy, more than the car, more than the latest gadget from Apple, more than a cell phone.

“It’s the most aggressively marketed product in dollars spent, in levels of sophistication in marketing, in consistency, in sheer volume. You can’t even get on an airline without them coming down the aisle and handing out credit card applications like it’s a shot of Wild Turkey.

“It’s unbelievable. And we all just stand back and think nothing about it. It’s worked out well for the society so far! So far, no one has been affected by credit card debt!

“You think credit card debt is where capitalism comes from? That’s pretty stupid on your part. Try working for Victoria’s Secret. You can’t even sell underwear – if you work for Victoria’s Secret you will be fired or not get hours if you don’t market the credit card.

“Your job when you work in retail is to now do the credit card. Your job is to make sure your customers are offered a credit card for the company you work for. This is out of control. Really, it’s crazy. So you really have to stop and think about the number of dollars you are spending on a credit card. It’s absolutely out of control.

“Visa spends $400, $500, $600 million a year just on the Visa brand. That’s not to say your Chase Visa, your Bank of America Visa, your Sun Trust Visa – they all spend another hundred million if not billions.

“I don’t think they ought to be regulated, but I have found this: a whole lot fewer people smoke cigarettes today than did when I was growing up. We knew it killed you back when I was young when the dinosaurs roamed the Earth. The number that smoke now is way down compared to where it was when I was growing up. Why? People realized it killed you.

“I don’t want the government to put the credit card companies out of business. I want you to quit using them because you’re too smart to be taken by a bad product.

“I want everyone to have the right to be stupid. It’s called freedom. I defend your right to be stupid. But I want you to think about what is killing you. Financially, the credit card is the cigarette of the financial world. These teens sitting outside my window right now, they’re going to look back and say, ‘I can’t believe people used to use credit cards.’ And that’s what people are going to look back and say.

“Wake up, America. Be grownups.”

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