Credit Cards—The Decline of a Status Symbol

A couple of thoughts –
1 banks want to make money by lending to us
2 growing debt not growing wages was the basis for economic growth

Daily Economy

In a previous post, we discussed the fact that the relationship between consumer debt and economic growth hasn’t changed much over the last several decades, despite the proliferation of consumer debt products—credit cards in particular. But attitudes toward debt have changed quite a bit, especially since the rise of credit cards in the 1970s.

Like any new technology or product, credit cards carried a certain cachet when they first arrived on the scene. Even into the early 1990s, they were treated as something of a novelty in pop culture. Consider, for example, an episode of the long-running series Murder, She Wrote from May 1992, in which a local sheriff asks the employee of a murder victim whether his boss carried credit cards in his wallet. “Oh, sure—a lot of those,” responds the employee. “Made him look important.”

As historian Louis Hyman points out in Debtor Nation, in the…

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