VS. DON'T GET A CREDIT CARD, IT'LL RUIN YOUR FINANCIAL LIFE



The economy is not about the past, or even the present, but exploiting something that does not exist: the future. The stock market exists to exploit the future. Some will say the stock exchange is about the allocation of money; it moves funds from here (a place where they are doing nothing) to there (a place that can make good use of them). If you believe this, then you may as well believe in Santa Claus. Stock markets keep track of the profits of today for the purpose of convincing people (usually, rich people) there will be bigger profits tomorrow.

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Total corporate profits for 2015 were $1.6 trillion before taxes. But the market capitalization (value of all shares outstanding) for the S&P 500 (500 huge companies listed on stock exchanges) is presently at $19 trillion. Now, I hope that gives you some idea of how much rich people are banking on the future. It is astronomical. But guess what? That future will never come. And no one who holds and sells these shares is planning on it coming. What matters to the rich is making that paper today. Financial assets like shares and other tradable fictions are devices to make the future look so real that actual hard cash will pop into reality now. The realer this fiction seems, the more of this cash appears in offshore bank accounts.

What the rich do with shares, you need to do with credit cards. They, too, are based on the future that you may very well never see or, judging from the rate of climate change, may be so radically different that debts of this kind will be meaningless. So if you get a credit card, do not hesitate to max it out. When you have activated one, rush downtown and go hog wild. As for the future? Do the rich care about it? Then why should you? There will be no day of reckoning. There will only be those who enjoyed credit while it was around and those who did not.