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When Hurricane Katrina ravaged America's Gulf Coast, it laid bare an uncomfortable reality-America is not only far from the world's wealthiest nation; it is crumbling beneath a staggering burden of individual and government debt. Maxed Out takes us on a journey deep inside the American debt-style, where everything seems okay as long as the minimum monthly payment arrives on time. Sure, most of us may have that sinking feeling that something isn't quite right, but we're told not to worry. After all, there's always more credit! Maxed Out shows how the modern financial industry really works, explains the true definition of "preferred customer" and tells us why the poor are getting poorer and the rich getting richer. By turns hilarious and profoundly disturbing, Maxed Out paints a picture of a national nightmare which is all too real for most of us. Written by
Have you seen the new card that they're talking about putting out now-where you can get a credit card against your pension account, so that, when you go and charge it, it automatically, if you don't pay, will be withdrawn from the money you've put aside for your retirement? This is one more way that we're trying to string together with chewing gum and bailing wire to keep the American family looking like it's afloat long after it is really sunk with debt.
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I saw this movie at the SXSW film festival and can't recommend it enough. It is AWESOME - right up there with a lot of the great documentaries that have come out the past few years. Basically it's about the predatory practices of the credit card companies, and how the government just seems to look the other way. Doesn't sound all that entertaining, right? I guarantee it will tick you off...and then make you a little nervous (see it and then tell me you won't think twice before applying for another credit card). Some of the things it covers are the ways that credit card companies have refined their practices to prey on college students (without jobs), the mentally disabled, people in bankruptcy, etc. and are never held accountable by the government for their actions (if fact, the CEO of a bank that was fined $400 million dollars for SHREDDING customers checks to charge false late fees was actually made a member of the current administration's cabinet). It also spotlights the fact that the largest campaign contributer in the 2004 election was the banking institution that coincidentally co-authored a bill that made it harder for middle-class Americans to file for bankruptcy. I hope this movie is put into wide release. I think it's something everybody in this country should see.
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