While I was in the middle of writing a long meditation on the moral obligations of the rich, I received the following email...
Think about the companies you love to hate: cable TV providers, cellphone carriers. It turns out that some of the most-hated companies out there don't care that you hate them because they're too busy going home to count all the money they're making.
My recent interactions with my former bank have prompted me to think about the feedback loop between consumers and the companies that squeeze profit from serve them. We like to think that when companies do something stupid or abusive, market competition will allow us to express our ire by taking our hard-earned dollars somewhere else. But what happens when that just doesn’t work? (Spoiler: it mostly never works. We just get screwed and keep coming back for more.)
So, I basically built up a ridiculously amount of credit card debt when I moved to the city a few years ago and had to intern for six months earning next to nothing. I've been sloooowly paying it all down, but I have a credit card payment of $250ish due, well, tomorrow, and I don't have enough money to pay it.
Dear Marie: It was with mixed emotions that I read your letter, in which you wrote that Liberty Bank values its relationship with me. I must confess to some serious misgivings concerning that relationship and the bank’s true feelings.
I think it's underreported how incredibly nice the customer service agents at Sallie Mae can be about you not paying back your loan.