The term visa in this post represents any creditor not just visa.
My wife and I had an interesting conversation on Friday about “moral obligation.” It really came down to a conversation about ethics. Ethics is such a grey topic that it’s hard to not become heated when discussing ones views of ethics.
For example. What is your moral obligation? Is it to your children or visa?
If you answered children congratulations.
Now let me ask you another questions. Do you make sure you pay all your visa bills on time even if it means your kids don’t get something they need? Or do you sacrifice your credit and get our child clothing that fits?
I feel (at least in our case we did) that most of us will sacrifice things our children need in order to pay that visa bill on time. The question for us came down to the point of one of our kids not having pants that fit any more (seriously though, kids need to slow down on the whole growing thing). If we can’t afford to pay both visa payment and new pants, which do we do?
So then the ethics come is. Is is ethical to not pay your visa bill? What if you found out there was a way you could postpone your bill payment because you found a loophole somewhere. Would that be ethical? Or is it ethical to make your child wear pants that are too small because you would rather give that money to visa?
What about braces? Visa payment or braces payment? Would you think it ethical to pay visa and make your kid wait for better teeth? Or is it ethical to get your kids teeth aligned properly and make visa wait? What about a life skill like swimming? Do you take them out of swimming lessons because visa wants that money?
It all came down to this. It is our moral obligation to pay off all debts, agree? So if you found a way that you could actually not pay all your debts and have it forgiven because of a loop hole, is it ethical to use that loop hole?
Lets think of it this way. You have to get pants for your kids. You find the pants you want and buy at x price. Then the next day you find out they went on sale. Is it ethical to go back to the store and ask for the deal to be put on the pants so you can save some money? Many would say yes, it’s fine. So what if you get a visa for x price and y interest rate, spend some money, and then realize that there is now a way to get the visa company to pay some of that off for you (give you a “discount” on your debt). Is it ethical to use that loophole? Or is it the ethical choice and moral obligation to pay off the full price of that credit card?
Is it true that many of us think that the super rich use unethical ways of getting money? What if they are not being unethical but have found loopholes that allow them to cut their debt in half?
Why does the word “loophole” make us cringe? We think of it as a cheat. What if we just renamed loophole as “a lesser known law,” would it still make us cringe, or would we seek out these lesser known laws? What if in the fine print, it never said you had to pay off the full balance? Would it still be unethical not to pay to full balance?
Are we being taught by our teachers or parents that it is unethical to use loopholes? That it is unethical to find a way not to pay all of our debt? I am pretty sure that those questions just made you cringe, like you were choosing a very bad decision.
How about this scenario. You find out there is $1000 sitting on a table free for that taking. Anyone who goes to this table can take $1000. Would you go? umm yes. So what if you found out that your creditor has a “loophole” that is $1000 off your debt? Would you consider it unethical to use that $1000? Would you think you were cheating your moral obligation by using that $1000 to reduce your debt?
My questions came because I started asking why? Why do we think it unethical.
What about this? Why is it ethical for banks to give you a 20% credit card but only a 4% savings account? Why is it ethical for banks to charge you a penalty for paying off your mortgage too fast? Why is it ethical for banks to charge all their interest upfront, so they make sure they get it just in case you decide to pay off your debt too fast?
Why do we let these things slide? I sometimes wonder how the world got so backwards. They can charge what ever they want, raise interest rates, charge penalties for paying our debts back too quickly, and we let it slide. Not only that, we think its a “good deal”. What??? Yet we think it unethical to find a way not to pay visa the max amount they demand.
What if the super rich just understand how money works and that “loopholes” are just “lesser known laws.” And they use them. Hence why millionaires can get away with paying no taxes (not saying all millionaire pay no taxes). Not that they did it illegally or unethically, but they sheltered it properly using “lesser known laws” and instead of it being considered income, it was considered something different. Taxes are designed for the middle class anyways. Taxes are designed for income. Money from a job. If you own your own business your don’t have to pay the same taxes and you can take advantage of more tax breaks.
Just some questions to think about. I think for the most part, ethics comes down to personal opinion. What one thinks is unethical another might think is perfectly fine and feels is honest.
Our society is putting us in a corner by making it nearly impossible to do anything without having a credit card. I feel it is extremely important for all of us to learn how money works. We get so afraid of it because it appears complicated or boring.
Either we control our money, or our money will control us.