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Documentary filmmaker (“In Debt We Trust”), producer “20/20”
Fame & Fortune Q&A:
Bankrate: How has making “In Debt We Trust,” about the credit cards, changed your life?
Danny Schechter: I’m certainly a lot more conscious and trying to use my card a lot less. I’m certainly more aware of it, but I’m also aware of how seductive it is and how needed it is. You go to an airport for instance, how are you going to buy something? Or on the Internet? It’s very insidious and it’s very difficult to keep it (credit spending) down.
Bankrate: Why not just stop worrying and love the debt?
Danny Schechter: No, there’s a lot that can be done. I mean, when you have 29 percent interest rate that is almost immediate (on a credit card), that’s worrisome. It’s usury. This is a function of a bought government. Politicians are in the pay of these companies and we need to do something about that. I worked at ABC News and CNN. In broadcasting, there is a shorthand called KISS – keep it simple stupid. The real world, though, is complicated, and there are a lot of interest groups and factors. Making a film about information is unfashionable. People would rather have a good story about one person rather than financialization and institutions.
Credit cards may be essential in modern life, but don’t let them rule your life.