Credit Card Saint?

Over the last couple of years, we’ve heard plenty about a certain person who now has his name attached to almost every major building in this state. He’s given fifty million here, another hundred million there. Oh my, here’s a half billion for you folks.
Yes, despite what the Beatles once sang, money can buy you love. He’s become almost a saint. Anybody who dares say a negative word about this guy routinely hears words about how he’s giving out of the goodness of his heart. Or that he desires no publicity. How dare anybody criticize such a godly figure! Just for stating this paragraph, I’m sure I’ll hear a few of these lines within minutes of posting this.)
I’ve never bought into this public relations miracle. Sure, it’s fantastic for the organizations that receive these portions of his fortune, even if their Fantasy Island ideas for using the money are a bit far-fetched. (A medical dome? Underground tunnels in a portion of the city with flood issues? Come on.)
I guarantee one thing, though. If the man in question has any skeletons in his closet, we’ll never hear about it. Would any of our local television stations dare investigate anything that’s attached to his name? I just can’t see a television program that features the man’s name on 90% of their broadcast and commercials daring to piss off their funding.
That doesn’t prevent the “normals” on the street from talking, though. Stories have been making the rounds from day one regarding various reasons about his decision to liquidate a good portion of his fortune. There are also stories floating around about his half-billion dollar namesake hiring his company to handle collections, which leads one to wonder if the entire gift is really just a tax-deductible business investment.
The past few days our daily paper has actually dared to criticize the man, albeit in a round about way. Since Sunday there’s been a series of articles investigating the state’s credit card industry, including the company led by this man. We read horror stories of people signing up to what they thought were no-fee, yet admittedly high interest cards, only to discover multiple fees that were well over half of the card’s limit.
I have to believe some angry phone calls were made, as Tuesday’s edition of the paper featured a smiling picture of the man, accompanied by an interview that can only be described as the best oral he’s ever experienced. Rich people tell him on the golf course that he’s the reason they’re successful, any unwanted fees can and will be waived, and he’s just there to help people. Come on. He’s a businessman – nothing wrong with that – whose legal team saw that our state was the perfect place for a scheme that was easier and cheaper than printing up his own money.
Yes, his credit card business is certainly legal, but it’s really just a short step up from the payday loan businesses. It’s another industry that thrives on the stupidity and desperation of their customers, and there are plenty of people who fit at least one of those two characteristics. I’ll give him credit for throwing his money to worthy fields, but let’s cut out the glowing fake-news stories every time that hospital installs a light bulb or digs a hole.


Anonymous said…
Anonymous said…
I also hear he's a bit of a skirt-chaser dirty 'ole man type.....
Anonymous said…

I briefly worked for this credit card company while in college, as well as another local company with parallel business practices. There is a reason my time with them was brief.
Anonymous said…
On a completely different note.... what happened to Kris from KRRO?

And why haven't you put your latest "get out of towns" up yet?

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