Review: 20/20’s “Flat Broke: Begging and Borrowing in America”

January 22, 2007 at 12:45 pm Leave a comment

Well, as most Dave Ramsey fans, we were disappointed that Dave only made it into 15 seconds of a 60-minute special on debt. You’d think someone so elemental in this particular topic would have had much more airtime. Oh well. Overall, we rate the show a 7 out 10. It was divided into 3 sections: Americans drowning in debt, debt collection practices, and cyberbegging.

All great topics, but for some reason, ABC decided to leave us hanging. The featured couple, struggling to make ends meet were presented with a choice to basically sell everything they owned or else face the decision in a few months time to lose everything. Whatever happened to them and what did they decide to do? I guess we’ll never know.

The second portion covered debt collectors and their practices. Although we knew most of what was being covered, we know that it was beneficial to those facing such a challenge. It’s important for consumers to know what their rights are, but it’s also important to understand that these collectors are simply asking people to pay back money they truly owe.

The last bit dealt with the topic of cyberbegging. Anyone who has spent any serious time online wasn’t surprised at the extent some folks will go to to make a quick buck either to pay their bills or just go on a spending spree. We really could care less about this particular part of the show and much less about the in-depth interview with “Screech”. Our opinion, they spent just a bit too much time on this than was necessary.

What was more dissapointing than anything, the Dave Ramsey thing is up there, was that in the beginning of the show, they featured Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard Business School professor, who likened credit card companies to drug dealers. Sucking consumers in with 0% APR and then raising rates, without notice, at any time. And, right before the first commercial break, they tell people they should have at least 2 credit cards. What? You compare them to drug dealers, the vilest of criminals and then turn around and tell people it’s okay to take a hit every once in a while? Talk about irritating. They do have to keep those advertising dollars.

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Entry filed under: Review.

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