Rhymes With Fuchsia

Friday, August 14, 2009

Let Me Deepen That Hole For You

It's been a great vacation so far, and I hope you're enjoying the pictures. I'll have more of them soon, but I have to write about the real world briefly, because this has been gnawing at me ever since I read about it.

We all know the economy is bad, and we all know someone who's been out of work for a while, and several people who just got laid off, and scads of people who are worried. They have reason to be, because more and more employers are pulling credit reports on prospective employees and denying jobs to people with bad credit — which would be a lot of people who've been out of work for more than a few weeks. So once you get into a bit of a hole, forget about trying to dig yourself out.

But people who are deep in debt must be irresponsible types, ne'er-do-wells who can't handle a steady job, right? Well, no. According to a study by a pair of Eastern Kentucky University professors, there's no correlation between bad credit and poor job performance. In fact the correlation seems to go a bit the other way: people with bad credit are more likely to work harder.

If you think about it, most of us aren't that far away from debt disaster. All it would take would be a lost job, a bad housing market, a catastrophic illness. (I read a story some time ago about a man who died a week after being diagnosed with a brain tumor. In that week he ran up $250,000 in medical bills that his insurance didn't cover.)

It's hard to avoid wondering if this is just another way for the rich to make sure the poor get poorer. There oughta be a law. In fact I plan to take a short break from vacation sloth to write my congresscritters and suggest that they work on that when they get back from recess.


  • Great idea! I've become dismayed at what credit reports can be used for...things unrelated to credit!

    By Blogger Marcy, at 9:28 AM  

  • A good post. I think I'll join you in communicating with them in Congress.

    By Anonymous Chris, at 3:16 PM  

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