It was revealed this week that leading US banks are considering imposing a cap on all consumer debit card transactions, with a view to limiting the swipe fees which cost retailers valuable revenue. Although the motion has yet to be confirmed, it would go further than simply assisting retailers in obtaining a higher level of profit, and would also potentially change the way in which American citizens purchased both everyday and luxury items. While the benefits for US companies are obvious, any potential advantages for consumers are far more contentious and debateable. Firstly, it is unclear whether this restriction on how and when consumers use their debit cards is either entirely neccessary or reflective of a democratic society, where individuals should be free to spend their wealth as they desire. However, there is also a very pertinent argument that forcing consumers to make more cash purchases would lead to an enhanced fiscal responsibility within society. Enhancing Economic Awareness The second of these points is the most interetsing facing the contemporary consumer, especially in an age where consumer and credit card debt has soared beyond $26 billion in the US. Although this issue was not helped by the global recession, the excessive use of debit and credit cards has also been cited as a major influence, with the clear inference that consumers are more likely to spend higher volumes of their wealth through card payments.
If you consider the intricacies of democratic government, then there is no doubting the size of the tasks that face officlals in the US and similar civilized societies. From attempting to represent their citizens in the most fair and balanced way to seeking to impart the principles of democracy on affiliate countries afflicted by war and by conflict, their resources are often stretched in an attempt to create a more functional world and individual societies within. While their intentions are good, you can not help but question whether the same democratic principles that define them are also taken advantage of by certain factions of society. As the US government look to battle a range of financial and health issues, they must face up to two especially prevalent aspects of contemporary culture. Firstly, that they are unable to appease everyone in a country of such diverse cultures and requirements, and secondly that a consequence of liberal government is the diminishing of personal responsibility. Changing Circumstance Through Education To give an example of the inhospitable situation that democratic officials find themselves in, you need only address the range of social issues that currently blight local and global societies. As obesity, consumer debt and instances of violent crime have shown general levels of oncreae over the last 3 years, there has been intense pressure to create resolutions and move the country forward. However, there is often little done to question the individuals own responsibliltiy for their personal plight, leaving them largely absolved an any accountability.
In an ideal and picturesque world, retirement is a golden epoch in an individuals life, where they are able to relax and enjoy the twilight years of their life in the company of their family and friends. In addition to this, they are rewarded for their years of hard work and significant contributions to the economy with a deserved pension, which is available to them in conjunction with any additional savings they may have earned over time. With the advances in medicine improving health conditions and the longevity of life, it is supposed to be a durable and well earned reward for the hard working individuals of the US. However, the harsh reality of existence rarely reflects an individual ideology, and the instance of retirement is a case in point. There is a global phenomenon of people retiring at an increasingly elderly age, and particular employment reforms in the US are ensuring that this trend is being reflected throughout the nation. The UK and France are also seeing modifications to their legislation which is deferring the average age of retirement, creating a generation of individuals who are forced to delay enjoying the fruits of their labors. Debt as a Central Issue Given the combined and individual levels of debt that continue to strange the life out of contemporary societies, it is little wonder that people are being forced to work harder and longer for their retirement purse. The recent global recession has not helped the matter, and governments are being coerced into delaying the standard retirement age to ensure the stability of social security, and also help to maintain an able economy. However, while the concept of a national debt is one thing, this issue is compounded when the levels of consumer debt remain so high and prevalent.
It is one of the more regrettable aspects of human nature that people apply blame to innocent associates and things for their own abhorrent behavior. This is not a new phenomenon, as examples of such conduct can be traced back hundreds of years. For example, the renowned phrase 'money is the root of all evil' is an adaptation of the bible verse 'the love of money is the root of all evil', which is a clear criticism of greed and how it creates deceit and ill judged conduct within society. However, the contemporary adaptation of this phrase suggests that it is money which stands as the significant factor in all that is wrong with the world, and not the people who handle and abuse it. This is an entirely inaccurate and irresponsible conclusion, as it absolves individuals of their duty to spend and save money responsibly. A simple phrase it may be, but its meaning is a clear indication of the blame culture that exists with regards to personal finance and expenditure. The Concept of Financial Infidelity The concept of financial infidelity is a further example, and is the process of one person keeping financial secrets and trends from their life partner. Instances of this behaviour seem to have increased during the global recession, which suggests that people have taken to creating their own individual financial safeguards even within a relationship of marital environment. There may be may potential reasons for this, but these issues are more likely to be the cause of the deceit rather than the presence of money itself.
Statistics released by the Federal Reserve suggested that the level of consumer debt stabilized throughout 2009, amounting to an estimated sum of nearly $2.5 trillion. To help comprehend these figures, this amount equates a consumer of debt of just less than $8,100 for every single individual citizen in the US. Despite showing signs of steadying, this level of consumer debt is still a sharp increase on the figures reported at the turn of the century. What is interesting is that despite the continuing growth in debt and financial burden, consumer spending continues to rise sharply and out of proportion to inflation.