Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 20, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

VIP TREATMENT....Via Hilzoy, Elizabeth Warren alerts us to a new film called Maxed Out, which promises to take us on "a journey deep inside the American debt-style, where everything seems okay as long as the minimum monthly payment arrives on time." Warren points out this fascinating little tidbit from the movie:

Did you know, for example, that while you need to sweat out your credit report, the credit bureaus keep a special "V.I.P." list of prominent citizens whose reports are specially tidied up so they look cleaner than they really are? If the big boys never experience the harassment or increased costs of a credit ding, then they are a lot less likely to insist on more legal oversight. There are many ways to lobby, and this one requires no reporting at all.

Why no, I didn't know that though I can't say that I'm surprised. It's just one more way in which congressmen and other VIPs are shielded from the aggravations of the real world.

Kevin Drum 10:01 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (19)

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Comments

How did Santorum finance that new house again?

Posted by: grape_crush on March 20, 2006 at 10:13 PM | PERMALINK

It is also a form of bribery which is clearly criminal and should be prosecuted. Favors of positive financial value to congressmen and regulators are crimes. Would Warren be so kinds as to name names ?

Posted by: Robert Waldmann on March 20, 2006 at 10:27 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't that sort of a bribe?

Posted by: toast on March 20, 2006 at 10:49 PM | PERMALINK

Why no, I didn't know that.

Are you sure you know it now? If it were me, I'd look for at least some confirmation of that before making it a major issue.

Posted by: tbrosz on March 20, 2006 at 10:50 PM | PERMALINK

I'm on the VIP list, it's real. Fools.

Posted by: Al on March 20, 2006 at 10:59 PM | PERMALINK

Y'know how politicians/CEOs/rich people like to say they're just like everyone else? Well stuff like this really pisses me off.

People like that live in a self-indulgent fantasyland where a hard days work of, "cuttin' brush" is just another step up the ladder to prosperity. And since they are on top of the ladder to begin with--born on top in fact--well that must mean that they've been workin' as hard/harder than everyone else. (I suppose a self-proclaimed "C" student frat boy getting into Harvard Business School had everything to do with his merits. And that weekend flyboy stint for the National Guard during Vietnam had nothing to do with the influence of his birthright.)

The gulf between the haves and the haves nots is growing every day thanks to people like this. The crass entitlement of the well-off is the most corrosive thing to American society today: more than gay marriage, more than gun rights, more than sex education in the schools, more than stem cell research, more than flag burning, more than aborted fetuses combined. Then to top it all off, Conservatives try to wave this sh*t in your face and then call you anti-American when you challenge their conception of "values" with the reality of paying bills and making ends meet.

No wonder why 30% of America doesn't vote. Who's got time to deal with that kind of B.S.

Posted by: Jon Karak on March 20, 2006 at 11:10 PM | PERMALINK

There's a class-action suit in this somewhere. Bastards.

Posted by: theorajones on March 20, 2006 at 11:24 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz:

Are you sure you know it now? If it were me, I'd look for at least some confirmation of that before making it a major issue.

Man, if only George Bush had listened to tbrosz before he'd made all those false WMD claims. It was on the WMD issue during late 2002/early 2003 where I think tbrosz really shined. What's so admirable about the way tbrosz's mind works is that he's always especially skeptical of claims that support his worldview. That's why he's such an instructive example of intellectual integrity and self-knowledge.

Posted by: grh on March 20, 2006 at 11:44 PM | PERMALINK

I will second that theorajonea. A poor credit score hikes up a the rate of interest a person has to carry. Now lets see these bastard credit agencies make whole the suckers they have screwed with higher interest rates as compared to there VIP's. It could make the ENRON trial look like a Cubscout meatup.

Posted by: DaveA on March 21, 2006 at 12:02 AM | PERMALINK


In a similar vein, I have noticed a disturbing trend for reporters and Congressmen do unusually well at the tables, when visiting a gambling establishment. While we're at it, do you think these guys ever die waiting for a transplant? Just asking.

Posted by: gcochran on March 21, 2006 at 12:10 AM | PERMALINK

Careful Kevin.

Many more posts like this and people might start analysing US society through concepts such as 'class' and 'class struggle'.

And that would be un-American(TM).

;)

Posted by: fake floopmeister on March 21, 2006 at 12:36 AM | PERMALINK

test:

job lies

Posted by: Neo on March 21, 2006 at 12:52 AM | PERMALINK

Some are more equal than others. Wonderful.

Gotta wonder how it might've changed Congressional attitudes on, say, the bankruptcy bill, if the credit bureaus, and their creditors, treated them the same as everyone else.

If this isn't illegal, it should be.

Posted by: RT on March 21, 2006 at 6:20 AM | PERMALINK

I'm thinking "House banking scandal." That was 1992, and the Republicans swept into power in 1994.

Posted by: Barry on March 21, 2006 at 8:18 AM | PERMALINK

I remember overhearing in a trading room (when I was laying on the floor running cable) that when politicians put their money into a blind trust with an asset manager during their term of office that they will not lose money because their asset manager will not let them lose money.

This depends on the asset manager, of course, Kit Bond (R. Missouri), put his money with PaineWebber during his first term in the Senate and they lost it.

Posted by: bidrec on March 21, 2006 at 8:20 AM | PERMALINK

just one more way in which congressmen and other VIPs are shielded from the aggravations of the real world

What's the price of a loaf of bread?

Posted by: E. Nonee Moose on March 21, 2006 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

Which consumer group could buy a small bank, and offer credit card services that aren't a rip?

Posted by: ferd on March 21, 2006 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

congressmen and other VIPs are shielded from the aggravations of the real world sounds like the second millenium version of "let them eat cake" to me.


I'm feeling excessively snarky this morning and have very little faith that no matter what outrage is posted the American public will essentially settle down in front of the tv with a beer and some popcorn. I mean, is it really news that credit bureaus have a special vip list that they hose off before going public? Call me cynical, but it's no surprise.

Citoyens! Man the barricades! The revolution is coming! Oh wait, isn't tonight The Sopranos?

Posted by: ExBrit on March 21, 2006 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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