It’s called credit, not free stuff.

Some people are pretty upset about the recent rise in credit card rates.  I can understand how this would be a major drain on finances at a time when money is tight.  I understand it as a legitimate worry.  Still, I can’t help feeling that it’s a situation that you bring on yourself.  True, the credit card companies make it really easy to slip into debt with them.  But that’s exactly what it is – debt.  You owe them money.  They have the right to charge you interest.  And they have the right to change those rates, or sell that debt, to someone else.

Personally part of my view of the situation may be driven by the fact that I don’t pay credit card interest.  I don’t let my credit card balance accrue.  I use credit cards, but at the end of the month, I pay what I owe.  No interest charge.  Why do I use credit cards then?  Convenience.  Perks.  Cashback bonuses or airline miles or other things that accrue to my advantage because that credit card company wants you to spend.  They earn money through your debt’s interest.  That’s how it works.

But you don’t have to take part in the system.  Debit cards are now just as easy to use as credit cards.  The money can come directly from your bank account with no interfereing rates in between.  Or, you could actually budget your paycheck.  You know, don’t spend money you don’t have.

I don’t mean to come down hard on anyone.  Many of us have basic needs we are struggling to meet.  Many of us feel that big business and rich concerns have overshadowed our own freedoms.  I know it’s hard, very hard at the moment.  But I look at other places, or at other less fortunate times in this country, and I see plenty of people who made do with less.  And that makes me question exactly what it is we’re complaining about.

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Thank goodness for Belgians

I don’t know much about this small European country.  I know even less about Bavaria.  And I have never tasted what I would call an ‘authentic’ brew of either.  But if you asked me to pick between Anheuser-Busch and InBev, I prefer the taste of the latter.  Because of this, I have no hesitation in saying I’m glad A-B sold out.

It’s true that there will be some negative consequences for Saint Louis as a result of the merger.  Jobs are going to be lost.  A city that has been on the decline for some time is most likely going to sink further into its depression.  Philanthropic dollars of the merged company will most likely be spend elsewhere.  While the Budweiser name might remain, the Anheuser-Busch tradition will be one step further removed from that trademark.

Still, all is not lost.  The Clydesdales will most likely still be around for your visiting pleasure.  There will still be free samples given out at the brewery.  The names of Anheuser and Busch will still continue to adorn public buildings for some time.  And, finally, there may be a beer on the market available almost anywhere in the US that I actually like.