Things that make me go “hmm…”

I don’t feel great today so instead of a well thought-out inquiry on a specific topic, you get a list of nonsense.  Here are some things that I wonder about, ranging from “has it always been that way?” to “this absurdity boggles my mind.”  Maybe I will get around to writing dedicated posts about these at some point for your curious and intelligent minds.

  1. Cash back/airline miles credit cards.  That freebie incentive for using credit.  I don’t really understand how the banks have money to give me money back for as much as I can possibly charge, every month, forever.  Didn’t these same banks need to get bailed out a few years ago?  And since I pay off my card, it’s not like the company is making money off my interest.  I personally find credit so tedious and repugnant that I do need a cash back incentive to use it rather than cash, but I imagine that the many other people who build up credit debt are all too pleased to use credit cards without any incentive.  So I am just not sure why they do this!
  2. Tax shelters for the wealthy disciplined.  Another potentially good thing for someone like Future Me.  This is more under the header of “how did I not know about this before?”.  I will gladly invest my money and enjoy returns on my already-earned money which are themselves taxed at a lower rate.  Helps you make more money even faster if you have the discipline to buy things like index funds rather than shoes.  I think that discipline should be rewarded.  They should make investment accounts for kids to teach them about investment as well as saving.
  3. Student loans.  At least the current system.  Student loans usually cannot be discharged in bankruptcy, but you can just “default.”  Or even “defer” for “legit” reasons such as being busy going back to school (paid for with more loans), which seems to be a legit recession-era resume filler.  Based on all the “student loan crisis” headlines I’m seeing lately, it sounds like there are a substantial number of borrowers not paying back at any given time for different reasons, so I am not sure how this system will be able to sustain on a fundamental level.  Without people paying back, I do not know how the banks have “money” in some form to lend out to others.  I guess that is why a crisis is brewing.

These things remind me that there’s a lot of complex stuff I don’t understand.  Anything got you going “huh?”

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