3. Credit Cards

Some people view credit cards the way prohibitionist Carry Nation viewed alcohol: a hideous evil visited upon an unsuspecting and easily duped public.

It’s true that credit cards have paved many a road to financial ruin. The bankruptcy rate attests to that, as does the fact that millions carry credit card balances at rates so high that they would have been illegal 50 years ago. There’s no question that some people would be better off without plastic. Many others would have a lot more cash in their pockets if credit card companies weren’t so fiendishly creative at finding ways to snatch it away.

But just as most people can have a cocktail without ruining their lives, most people can handle a credit card or three. The oft-repeated ...

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