Politics The USA

Ponzi Unlimited

It appears there’s no stopping this runaway train!  Our economy is a giant ponzi scheme and the word from the top is “It’s unstoppable, there’s no turning back and we’re gonna ride it to the end.”

This morning I read the following statement in the New York Times:

The Federal Reserve chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, warned on Wednesday of a “huge financial calamity” if President Obama and the Republicans cannot agree on a budget deal that allows the federal debt ceiling to be increased. – Tensions Escalate as Stakes Grow in Fiscal Clash

Need we ask why this man is flipping us off?

Unbelievable!  Apparently our financial system is so totally broken and we consumers (er, I mean citizens) are so totally accepting of this that Bernanke can basically threaten collapse if we try to turn this sinking ship around.  And no one is taking him away in a straight jacket! Or handcuffs.

As proof of how crazy things have gotten, I am awash in credit card offers so that I can slide ever deeper into debt along with the Federal Government.  My email spam filters are doing a pretty good job of filtering out crap but I am battling snail mail spam tooth and nail with little to no progress.

I send a letter to direct marketing every couple of months in an attempt to remove our names and address from marketing lists but the junk mail keeps on appearing in our mail box.  This used to work.  Just a few years ago, the new junk mail was addressed to new forms of our names and address and I was able to routinely fend them off with a new letter.  Not so these days.  Despite my letters, I continue to receive mail to the very same addresses.

Our good friend Shaun on Maui taught us a great trick.  Whenever he got a postage free return envelope in his junk mail, he took some of his trash, inserted it into the envelope and mailed it. I’m pretty sure this little trick helped him win the Zero Waste Challenge.

Last month, I took some unwanted advertising coupons to the post office window and asked if there was any way to stop this monthly wad of odd sized junk and they said, “No, we’re required to put that in your box.”  You probably get the same kind of thing, a loose insert with lots of different sized coupons, envelopes and offers from local and not so local advertisers.  It’s so easy to get real mail shuffled in with this pile that I have to look through the whole mess just in case, before I take it to the recycling bin.

Slate CardMy latest battle is with  We’re receiving three to six pieces of mail from these bozos each week!  I picked up three envelopes on Monday and decided to do something.  So I called the toll-free number they include under “You can choose to stop receiving “prescreened” offers from this and other companies by calling 1-888-567-8688.

Not surprisingly I reached a fully automated line which did not respond to my repeated attempts to reach a human being by pushing “0”.  I hung in there, stating and spelling my name and address, listening to the computer repeat what I’d said until they asked for my social security number.

“No!” I said into the phone to which the computer replied, “We did not understand your answer, please state your social security number.” I couldn’t help myself.  I answered again, “No, I will not give you my social security number!”  The computer repeated itself and I hung up.

This morning, I googled “chase slate scam” and a few other choice word combinations to see if these bastards have been reported to the Better Business Bureau and/or the Federal Trade Commission.  And to find an address for them so that I can report them because, of course the mail itself does not come with any form of return address.

While I didn’t find an address nor any hint or mention of a scam, I did find the online version of the automated opt out line I called on Monday.  With high hopes, I filled out the online form, skipping the (not required) social security, birthday and phone number fields and opted out of financial offers like the crap I’ve been getting from Chase.

On the one hand, I’m kicking myself to daring to hope and on the other I’m looking forward to the day I stop getting credit card offers in my mail.  In the meantime, I’m stuffing garbage into their return envelopes and mailing them back. It’s futile, I know but it makes me smile nevertheless.

Runaway Train
Jon Voight, hurtling to his death from the 1985 film "Runaway Train"

By Camille Armantrout

Camille lives with her soul mate Bob in the back woods of central North Carolina where she hikes, gardens, cooks, and writes.

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