Analysis Of Margeret Atwood And Debtor's Prism

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It seems that debt has become a norm in today’s society; people do not flinch at the sound of the word or attempt everything in their power to not succumb to it. When debt was a feared concept, people ran away from it. However today it seems that people are somewhat forced into a life of debt. The piece by Margeret Atwood, “Debtor’s Prism” is one about how the idea of debt has been deeply woven into our literature, social structure, and culture. Since the recession began in late 2007, Atwood takes a unique perspective of the history behind debt and the meaning of having been pawned. The piece, “Investigating the Nation’s Exploding Credit Squeeze” by Danny Schechter talks about the debt in a different way than Atwood did. Schechter’s piece…show more content…
Margaret uses a great example of Charles Dickens’ character Ebenezer Scrooge, from a Christmas Carol. Scrooge is a character that saves all of his money, in ways that he will not spend anything on himself or any luxuries. In the book, Scrooge makes a pact with a spirit where in return he gets only money, and due to his chosen lifestyle, he does nothing but sit on it. In Scrooge’s time, it was seen as something that intelligent people did, save money beyond all means, but in today’s society it is different. You are encouraged to spend your money, considering you will not be able to take it with you when you die. The ideal that is taught to people is that in order to live a good life, you must spend your money. Whereas in Dickens’ book, Scrooge is a slave chained to his debt, today the chain holder is the creditor. At the end of the book Scrooge is freed from his chain and instead of going back to his money-saving lifestyle, he begins spending his money on others (Atwood 354). In order for Capitalism to work today, money has to be moving, it is useless if it sits still. There is nothing that cannot be turned into to a game, even debt. At the same time, there is not a game that cannot be turned into something serious and unpleasant. This is the idea Berne calls “hard games”, everything goes, the plays are dirty and the outcomes ugly (Atwoord…show more content…
Danny Schechter wrote Investigating the Nation’s Exploding Credit Squeeze, two years before the 2008 world crisis. It is said that only true crisis can lead to change, an explanation to why so many people ignored the signs. Everyone is a target to the credit industry, not only the poor or middle classes. In a consumption driven culture, it is impossible not to spend your money and get into debt. Products seem fairly cheap, companies are always suggesting that you are making “a great bargain”, “buy two and one free” and it seems that everything is always “on sale” (Schechter 357). In the documentary In Debt We Trust by, Schechter talks about how the mall has replaced the factory as America’s dominant economic engine. The film shows how big banks and credit cards companies drive Americans to become sheep. Schechter is clear when he says that a bubble could burst, and comparison of the USA today is comparable to Rome before its fall (Schechter 358). Government loans are comparable to “mafia loan” because of their outrageous interest rates. In Debt We Trust shows behind the scenes of what the big banks and credit card companies do to their targets. It also demonstrates how advertising can be a seducing and powerful trap (Schechter 358). For the credit card industry, the newest target is the lower class. Steve Barnett, a former credit card company

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