Actually, yes we do, and that’s almost too bad.

It’s an interesting thing to talk about, whether and why we need credit cards. I came upon an article on a site called The Grio (I don’t know) titled Credit Is The New Crack, where a writer named Dr. Boyce Watkins compared credit card companies to drug dealers and credit to drugs because they make you feel good.

Many of us have had our credit cards altered recently, whether we’ve been good payers of our bills or not, and it’s not pretty. Legislation coming from the federal government to protect our rights is still a long time away, so we feel as though we’re being picked on, and to a degree we are. At the same time, the credit card companies are hurting, and they’re just passing that hurt along to us.

Now, why do we need credit cards? There’s actually two reasons, one that has nothing specifically to do with us, and one that does.

The one that specifically has nothing to do with us is that without credit cards, there’s a lot of stuff that wouldn’t get bought, which would kill commerce and, by extension, capitalism. Yeah, a lot of people talk about wishing capitalism would go away, but what would we be left with? Communism and socialism as financial programs don’t work, and the concept of free market economy, at least how I see it, isn’t any different than what we have now. So, without credit cards, or more specifically credit, like as we know it would pretty much collapse.

Now, how does it specifically affect us? Have you tried to rent a car without having a credit card? How about holding a hotel room? Purchasing an airline ticket? The truth is that we’ve been set up so that if we don’t have a credit card, we’re pretty much a non-entity, or at the very least someone worthy of our distrust. Credit cards are used to prove we are who we say we are; it’s gotten to that point. We don’t need to have as many of them as we do, but we certainly have to have at least one in our possession.

There’s still this weird debate about whether or not we should cut up our credit cards, even as the companies are raising our rates. One economist on CNN said we should just bite the bullet, accept the rate, and try to move to another card. Who here has gotten a letter from a credit card company in awhile?

I’m not sure how it’s all playing out, but I do know this. My Capital One credit card jacked up its rate to an astronomical 22.7%, even with my not missing any payments. I’m cutting that bad boy up, canceling it, paying off the balance, and moving on. If it affects my credit score,… well, I’ll just have to deal with it. I’m hoping one of my other internet finance friends is correct in saying credit scores are on their way out.