Friday, July 14, 2006

Oprah is an Idiot...Maybe

I feel for you women who are loyalists of the Oprah revolution. There is so much bad information on her show. I DVR'd her show for a week to see what all the hoopla was about. One show that stood out was one of the five-part series The Debt Diet.

The "debt coaches" came into these people's houses and overblew everything that the family bought. One coach went through the teenage daughters closet and frowned at the 20 pairs of jeans, 70 pairs of shirts, and 25 pairs of bras. Total estimated cost: $2500. She said the family could save by eliminating wastes like that. The problem with that assessment: SHE WOULD HAVE NO CLOTHES!

Yes that's a lot of clothes, but what girl do you know doesn't have a closet full of stuff. And that's $2500 over how long? She must have stuff in there from at least three years ago. At least! And the parents make a combined income of $100,000 a year. So that's $300,000 coming in and $2500 for the daughters closet? I'm willing to spend 0.8% of my income on my kid's clothes. Totally overblown.

The guru then went into the mom's workshop and saw that she had $2,000 worth of scrapbook making supplies. And said that a few car payments could be made by eliminating the supplies. The problem with that: that's her HOBBY-- it's what she loves to do! Hobbies are what give our crappy lives a little worth. Everyone should have something that they put their extra money towards. It won't make sense to the guru, but it's meaningful to her. The coach told her she should sell it and pay off one of her bills.

Any adult with half a brain knows that you could save money by not buying anything. You can eat in every night, and have one pair of jeans, and two t-shirts from Wal-Mart. Go ahead and cancel the cable, and never go to mall again. Switch to dial-up, and pay bills all day long. And guess what: you'll be DEBT-FREE! But I forgot to mention your life will SUCK! But don't fret, all your bills will be paid!! You will have 8,000 more dollars in your bank account at the end of the year. Then you can pay MORE bills!

And what is with the crap about trashing the zero money down deals. Her "money professionals" said, "The catch is if you don't keep up with the payments they will charge you for all the interest you saved from the beginning." Oprah then says, "WOW, I never knew that. I knew it was too good to be true."

So let me get this right, a company goes out on a limb and gives you an unbelievable deal with NO INTEREST. All they ask is that you don't be a dead beat and to pay your bills on time. And if you don't , the only penalty they hit you with is to pay the NORMAL interest that you would have with any other loan. And that's a scam?? Pay your damn bills and you can get good deals you piece of sh_t!

Look, Oprah probably knows this advice isn't that good. But it's provocative. It will keep the ratings up. She can have teasers for her episodes like, "Find out the secrets the credit card companies DON'T WANT YOU TO KNOW!" And, "How to find thousands of dollars in YOUR CLOSET!" Bullocks! All bullocks!

1 comment:

dreams of november said...

I totally agree with you on this. I saw part of it yesterday, and it's been on my mind somewhat. I'm not working right now, because I just graduated, so I'm knee-deep in the whole job hunting process thing... so I do find myself holding back more than normal. However, people NEED to live and have some modicum of fun! I understand that these people were seriously in debt and needed structure, but it just seemed a little harsh to me. My mom gets mad at me when I am trying to save and questioning if I should go out with my friends or not. "You have to live," she tells me. The way I see it, there's ALWAYS gonna be bills to pay, especially the older we get. So, I can live my life being responsible AND spending money on my hobbies and die, or I can pay all my bills that will NEVER go away and have no life and still die. Hmm. Not a hard choice.