This weekend I sat down to find something to stream from Netflix and came across the documentary Maxed Out, which is about credit card debt and how it has affected every day Americans. While painful to watch, it just confirmed my thoughts about debt – it’s a pain in the ass. From small town families who can no longer make the minimum payments due to job loss, all the way up to the Federal Government, it seems that while debt has become the standard way of life, it has some very ugly side effects. The film, while concentrating on the credit card industry for much of it, does also touch on real estate greed, how some people feel they “deserve” all the stuff they cannot afford, and how predatory lenders and check cashing schemes can make anyone’s debt situation even worse than it already is.
The documentary also talks to Dave Ramsey, who is a big-time anti-debt talk show host and author. While I disagree with some of the things he preaches, his overall message is good and helps many people get out of debt. Thank goodness there are people like him (who average folks can relate to) helping out those in need. So no – it’s not all gloom and doom out there. But the film does a great job of showing just how our indebted financial system works in this country and just who is holding the purse strings. My advice? See this movie ASAP and get out of debt. If you carry debt, you are enslaved to it and it may be holding you back from living the kind of life you want.