Credit card use is on the decline, as millions of Americans cut up their plastic or get cut off by their credit card companies.

In the past year, more than eight million consumers have stopped using credit cards, according to TransUnion, a Chicago-based credit researcher. That means 78 million U.S. consumers do not have credit cards, compared to 70 million last year.

The company said the decline is partly due to "charge-offs in the higher risk segments" and partly because of "more conservative spending in the low-risk segments."

Gerri Detweiler of said it is "unprecedented" for consumers to "abandon" their credit cards. "I've been covering this since 1987 and I don't recall numbers like that ever going down," she said. "They've always gone up."

Detweiler said the recession is a major factor. "When people are confident about their financial situation and the economy, they feel more confident about using credit," she said. "When they're scared or nervous about their own economic situation, or the economy in general, then they're more likely to buckle down and avoid debt altogether."

In other signs that consumers are casting off credit, TransUnion said the average U.S. credit card debt fell more than 11% over the past year to $4,964 in the third quarter. In that same time, delinquencies declined by nearly 25%.

It's not just the consumers, said Ben Woolsey, director of marketing and consumer research for, but also "the knee jerk reaction of the credit card industry to the recession and the credit card act."

He was referring to the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act, which went into effect earlier this year and put a serious cramp on the industry's ability to raise rates and impose fees. As a result, the industry cut off the consumers that it saw as dead weight.

"The recession really drove high credit card losses over the last couple years and the credit card industry reaction was to choke off new credit," said Woolsey. "They were also closing down dormant accounts and accounts that appeared risky."

These new obstacles to the credit card industry are seen as opportunities for other aspects of the economy, such as prepaid debit cards, which have their own host of problems.

For example, on Monday, the reality-show Kardashian sisters canceled their prepaid Kardashian Kard after Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal questioned the legality of its "pernicious and predatory fees."

Ezra Becker, vice president of research and consulting in TransUnion's financial services business unit, said this growing distaste for credit cards created "one of the fastest growing consumer segments. Consumers who do not have or use bank-issued, general purpose credit cards still have a need for other payment vehicles, a fact which is beginning to attract significant attention from credit and debit providers alike."

The American "credit" availability model was the driving force in the growth of the "American Dream" of owing things that could be bought with credit or on credit.

In the fifties, the "buy here pay here" models involved everything from furniture to cars and it spread as credit agencies were able to develop models of identifying credit worthy consumers who could then be granted credit by sellers of all types of products and eventually unsecured credit through the ubiquitous VISA, MASTERCARD and American Express, etc., and other unsecured cards.

The growth in the American economy can be almost directly traced to the ability to buy on credit, as can be easily seen in other countries which lack availability of credit.

Without credit, the direct spending of only the available cash on hand will have long term implications to the economy.

No credit means no purchases, especially among the low end consumers who tend to need to use credit to allow themselves the availability of products that are beyond their cash availability.

I was surprised to get among the 4-5 catalogs I now get daily to get one from the FINGERHUT catalog folks. Remember them?, they offer a variety of products "on their CREDIT" at inflated prices so that they can absorb the potential credit losses. However, one was able to get an electronic gadget, or TV or other expensive product with new or weak credit ( BUY HERE {PAY HERE MODEL). They still offer the same products on the same business model, and a spokesman said that they are doing just great as more people turn to them to get the things they otherwise may not qualify to buy elsewhere!

Local flea markets report robust business, barter sites are operating more and more sites, and a lot of sellers are just looking to trade for something they need without the need to exchange real money!

It is amazing how the free markets allow the development of such creative ideas.

Recently there was a feature story on how a CRAIGSLIST user, traded and bartered his way from a cell phone to a Porsche! each way along the way he traded with someone who wanted the product he had and was willing to trade!

This will be the way soon, as the government in its infinite wisdom has spent like drunken sailors while forcing banks to reign in the credit of consumers.


There is an old saying, "I'm from the government and I am here to help you."

That is the oxymoron that we have all learned to be true over and over again in every aspect of whatever the government sticks its nose into. Just try to name a single program initiated by or mandated by the government that works, that is not way out of control or is not spending the country into financial ruin, go ahead, name one.

There is no such program, every single federal program is not working as intended financially or for that matter operationally either.

The States need to step in, cut off the head of that juggernaut federal government constantly interfering in their affairs. All the powers not granted to the federal government were to be reserved to the states...what happened to that???

Every day and in every way the Federal bureaucrats interfere or elbow their way into every aspect of our life, with the latest being the first lady herself, telling us what to fee our children!

The feds mandate how much water is in our toilet bowl, what to do with our water from washing the car in the driveway, how much shampoo we can take in a plastic bad in our luggage, even the size of the plastic bag is mandated as well!!!!

Now the worst of all possible mandates are the various anti-manufacturing and anti- business proposals by the current group of naive non business academics running every federal agency and in all levels of the federal agency tentacles.

As the true unemployment hovers at 17.5%, the bureaucrats want to mandate that all business agree to having their employees become union members just by a "card check", adding to the business cost burden. Every aspect of a new business starting a manufacturing plant is regulated to slow down the process of getting started and going, in hiring employees and expanding the business.

Existing businesses are hassled and inspected and fined and mandated to the point where they simply close up. I just experienced seeing a 80 year old foundry finally closing up since they could not possible spend $4 million on additional cleaning processes for an already clean emission plant. Goodbye to the 250 jobs in the town.

I recall looking at the inspection reports by the OSHA inspector at a manufacturing plant, which for instance stated that the garbage disposal receptacles needed to be moved, and that a fan in the washroom needed cleaning or fines would be imposed, and that the inspector could come back and if not repaired they would be "written up".

I know of several instances of established USA based businesses, in manufacturing that simply were forced out of doing business in the USA due to mandates, regulation, etc., and simply contracted the manufacturing offshore....making more money and having less to worry about in running the business. At present they have a sales and order taking office only, with no OSHA mandates to worry about and be hassled by, also with 100 less employees, as they only needed 7 to run the same business, having all the manufacturing off-shored!

Any manufacturer would be crazy not to first consider off-shoring the manufacturing process due to the obvious cost savings, but also the ease of operating a business, getting tax credits to start elsewhere, getting income tax holidays etc.

So far only Puerto Rico has been smart enough to grant a total tax holiday for businesses starting there..and it is working. They just elected a Republican governor! He was a former Director of Economic Development on the island.

Imagine that, a pro-business Republican who is expanding business growth due to a tax holiday! Business is starting to boom there.

The last resort of stupid politicians is to deny the fact that the world is now one gigantic market place for goods, manufactured goods that the USA used to be the leader of. Well, no more.

Think about it; the USA has 5% of the world's population, so in theory 95% of the world still wants what we have, EVERYTHING! Cars, refrigerators, trucks, homes, building materials, baby carriages, diapers, furniture, TV's, stereos, gadgets, shoes, clothes, etc., etc...!

How many of these products can we competitively manufacture in the USA????

Look at that look in your own home, garage or closet...what from that list is manufactured in the USA????? I have a dining room set that was so beautiful, and so inexpensive, we just had to get it, guess what; it was made in China!

The rest of the world thus can not even buy a USA manufactured product, because now it would simply be too expensive to be sold competitively.

So all that talk about predicting improved employment numbers, getting people "back to work" is really just a bunch of talk. It can not happen, since there are less and less places to work, and even less to work at a "decent" wage.

Manufacturing wages were generally contributing to some of the best wages available, but with less and less manufacturing going on there can be no such jobs. The biggest growth will be in retail industries which are marketing more and more of the low priced products made offshore someplace.

Lastly, the final nail in the consumer's coffin is best demonstrated by just my Saturday trip to the WALMART store to pick up my "usual" weekly staples ranging from edibles to disposables.

The government has decided to destroy the value of the US Dollar by printing up about a trillion ( yes trillion) of them thus decreasing their value.

Just in the last two weeks, at my local WALMART, literally every item that was manufactured offshore was priced higher. The items that required longer distance trucking were priced higher, the items that were heavier were priced higher, and the prescriptions or over the counter medications that would be routinely purchased out of my pocket were each and every one priced higher.

Thus my disposable income met my budget amount, something had to be cut thus less employment for somebody in the USA, indirectly impacting a whole slew of domino effect service providers such as warehouse people, trucking and packaging, ships and shipping etc., etc.

Inflation in the sense that products cost more for no particular reason is actually being created by the government who is publicly saying that they are trying to stop it. This is the worst inflation as it is due to the lower valuation of the dollars we have to spend, and that is directly the result of again, you guessed it...GOVERNMENT ACTIONS AND MANDATES.


Read this before you toss your nutty business idea aside. THIS WAS FROM

While visiting Las Vegas in 2004, auto-dealership fleet manager Rico Elmore decided he needed some stylish sunglasses for his honeymoon. Elmore is six-foot-three, weighs 300-pounds and has a head to match, so finding shades that fit proved a struggle.

"I must have tried on 300 pairs and literally found nothing that fit," recalls Elmore, 36. "I walked out and said, 'This is ridiculous.' I decided to make sunglasses for people like me with fat heads." Elmore's company, Fatheadz, now sells "full-figure" glasses, for $28 to $54 a pair, and is on track to hit $2 million in sales this year--up from $700,000 in 2009.

Have a nutty business idea and need some inspiration to pull it off? We went looking for small companies that generate at least $1 million in annual revenue in unexpected ways. Look hard enough and they are legion.

Like many entrepreneurs, Elmore had a good idea but needed a little luck, too. Back in Brownsburg, Ind., after his honeymoon, he worked up a basic design for his super-wide specs. He hired a product-engineering company to make the molds and a contract manufacturer to crank out the frames and temple arms; he assembled the glasses at home during the evenings after work. Elmore tried patenting his discovery, but lawyers told him he could only patent the design of the glasses, not their size. Sales were a trickle.

Luck struck about a year later when an Indianapolis Star reporter called to interview Elmore about his friend, Rupert Boneham, the gentle-giant star of CBS' Survivor series. She mentioned Fatheadz in the article.

The ripples eventually reached a top Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT - News) executive, who ordered 300 pairs in three styles as a trial run. By 2008 Elmore's glasses were in 3,000 Wal-Marts and Sam's Club stores. Elmore also happened to know an equipment manager with the Indianapolis Colts; soon the players were sporting Fatheadz rims. (Elmore has no promotional deal with the NFL, but he says it's on his to-do list.) Now with a full-time staff of 10, Elmore plans to launch a new line for women--under a different name, of course.

Here are a few more highlights from our search for million-dollar businesses you've never heard of:

Geese Police

Howell, N.J.
Entrepreneur: Dave Marcks
Product/Service: Geese abatement using collies
Start Date: 1987
Startup Costs: About $3,000
Revenue: Estimated $2.5 million in 2010
Every Roadrunner has his Wile E. Coyote, and for golf-course superintendent Marcks, geese were the mortal enemy. Their incessant droppings vexed golfers and "fowled" water hazards, and he couldn't get rid of them. Then he discovered that border collies--an intelligent and persistent dog breed--are great at banishing the big birds for good. His elite force now includes 33 animals.

Texas Driving Experience

Ft. Worth, Texas
Entrepreneur: Dawn Stokes
Product/Service: High-performance driving lessons and retreats
Start Date: 2004
Startup Costs: About $500,000
Revenue: Estimated $1.8 million in 2010
Stokes never outgrew the driving thrills she got from her first car--a '63 Chevrolet Monza Corvair convertible--and she knew she had plenty of suppressed company. So the medical-products saleswoman cashed in her 401(k) to buy 10 Corvettes and start a racing school, hosted at local tracks. Stokes found a mother lode in the corporate-team-building market. "It fits well with sales vernacular," she says--as in, "racing toward the end of the year."

Mabel's Labels

Hamilton, Ontario
Entrepreneur: Julie Cole
Product/Service: Personalized, permanent labels for kids' stuff.
Start Date: 2002
Startup Costs: About $10,000
Revenue: $4 million in 2009
Moms hate it when their kids lose jackets at school or mix up sippy cups at play dates. Four Canadian career Moms hit upon a solution: durable, kid-proof labels. It took years to certify that their products were dishwasher- and microwave-safe. Now the line includes shoe labels, metal bag tags, ID wristbands and Allergy Alerts labels.

Stave Puzzles

Norwich, Vt.
Entrepreneur: Steve Richardson
Product/Service: Hand-made wooden jigsaw puzzles.
Start Date: 1974
Startup Costs: About $5,000.
Revenue: $2.5 million in 2009
Ranging in price from $125 to $5,000, these puzzles are made of cherry wood, covered with a dry-mounted image drawn by one of 100 licensed artists, and individually hand-cut into as many as 2,500 pieces. Bill Gates has one, and Barbara Bush gave another as a gift to Queen Elizabeth. "We try to make them hard to put together," said Richardson, 71, who calls himself the company's chief tormentor.

Austin, Texas
Entrepreneur: Kevin O'Brien and Angie O'Brien
Product/Service: Pet travel
Start Date: 2004
Startup Costs: $97,000
Revenue: Estimated $4 million in 2010
This husband-and-wife team sold a doggy day-care business to get into the pet-moving game. Initial investments included a new van, Google ads, a website and a $300 membership to IPATA, an international trade association of animal handlers. The couple claims it can move any live animal, anywhere around the world--say, a dog from Seattle to Shanghai, mole rats from South Africa to San Antonio and dart frogs from Switzerland to the U.S. It's a turn-key service, covering airline bookings, blood tests, vet check-ups, logistics, customs and quarantine.


Z├╝rich, Switzerland
Entrepreneur: Samuel Liechti
Product/Service: Sock subscriptions
Start Date: 1999
Startup Costs: $30,000
Revenue: $5 million in 2009
BlackSocks will ship you a batch of Italian-made, knee-high or calf-length cotton or cashmere/silk dress socks, automatically, several times a year, starting at $89 for nine pairs. Each new "sockscriber" receives a calculation of how much time he will save by not making sock purchases: about 12 hours every year, or three weeks in the lifetime of an average Swiss male, expected to reach age 82. Liechti brought his "sock-scription" service to the U.S. in 2005. Two years later, BlackSocks began selling subscriptions for underwear. Liechti now boasts 60,000 active customers in 74 countries. BlackSocks opened a New York office last year.

Sky Zone

Las Vegas
Entrepreneur: Rick Platt
Product/Service: Arenas covered with trampolines
Start Date: 2009
Startup Costs: About $2 million
Revenue: $3 million-plus in 2009
Cover five of the six sides of a gymnasium-size room with seamless trampolines and what do you get? People bouncing off the walls with excitement. Platt's three Sky Zones are hives of birthday parties, corporate events, three-dimensional dodge ball tournaments and rabid trampoliners willing to pay up to $12 an hour. He aims to begin franchising in 2011. "It was a wild bet," admits Platt, 60, a former scrap-metal broker. "Some people thought the idea was ridiculous. I thought if I could pull it off, I would have something unique."

DNA 11

Ottawa, Ontario
Entrepreneurs: Adrian Salamunovic and Nazim Ahmed
Product/Service: DNA artwork
Start Date: 2005
Start-up Costs: $2,000
Revenue: $1.4 million in 2009
Best friends Salamunovic and Ahmed blend science and medicine with modern art. With a simple cheek swab, they collect enough organic matter to create an image of human DNA using equipment similar to the machines Ahmed used to sell for a Canadian biotech firm. After selling a few prints to family and friends, the twosome was invited to showcase their work at an Absolut Vodka-sponsored party in Ottawa's SOHO neighborhood. An 8"x10" mini-DNA portrait goes for $200, while a 36"x54" wall canvas garners $1,300. The Museum of Modern Art features DNA 11 art in its museum stores in New York and Tokyo.

Murray Associates

Oldwick, N.J.
Entrepreneur: Kevin D. Murray
Product/Service: Eavesdropping detection and counterespionage
Start Date: 1978
Startup Costs: $5,000
Revenue in 2009: $760,000
Ever since taking a part-time job manning surveillance equipment for the Dennis Port, Mass., police department, Kevin Murray has been a spy buster. Businesses and governments hire him to find hidden bugs and such, which he does using sensitive thermal-imaging equipment (which picks up the heat given off by hidden sensors) to lots of plain old looking around. Murray handles about 125 cases per year, typically charging between $7,000 and $8,000 per day of inspection. Revenue dipped below $1 million in 2009 as Wall Street cut back on its anti-snooping efforts, but things are looking up this year.

The Fiero Store

Stafford Springs, Conn.
Entrepreneur: Matthew Hartzog.
Product/Service: Parts and accessories for the Pontiac Fiero
Start Date: 1991
Start-up Costs: $5,000
Revenue: $2 million in 2009
Hartzog spent his teenage summers and school breaks working for his stepfather selling parts and accessories for GM Opels. But the long-defunct, two-seat, mid-engine Fiero was where his heart lay. Approximately 370,000 Fieros rolled off the lines between 1984 and 1988 before Pontiac stopped producing the car; less than 75,000 are currently registered in the U.S. Fanatics make great customers.


The final stroke in any remaining support that the President had with any reasonable thinking people, was finally shattered when last week. when he referred to those who oppose his irresponsible policies as "enemies".

That's it, it is over for this arrogant,under-educated,over-hyped, false uniter of Americans.Too bad we can not sue to get our country back and recall him from office. His statements about working together, etc....was never valid, and simply a lie. His fiscal naivete is now legendary, we are all going broke while he "writes" books and gets million in cash advances that now total $6 million in his bank account.

The president's trip to India will cost taxpayers $200 million a day as he takes 3,000 people with him as well as helicopters, cars, and who knows what on such a needless trip.

Fiscally, Nancy Pelosi, the capo de capo of the president in the House of representatives stated that there will be NO DEFICIT SPENDING...while adding $5 TRILLION to the national debt with absolutely nothing to show for it, other than just increased debt.

Most of the Americans now graduating from our woeful public school system does not have any idea as to what this staggering deficit means to them, so it is irrelevant to them and will mean nothing the rest of their lives. The rest of us, know that this is the total destruction of the America as it was, the bastion of fiscal responsibility, the financial standard of the world.

The election today will hopefully change that in a major it needs to be changed. Future plans for this president included a bevy of fiscally irresponsible actions such as forced union membership, union pension bailouts, crony cap and trade legislation, onerous fuel standards, higher electric bills, and staggering increases in health care costs.

How can anyone support such policies, other than those who are uninformed?

The end is one day away....HELP...just in the nick of time...but still we are burdened with the fiscal disaster awaiting the future generations.

There is no reason that we have to give everyone who can not afford it, FREE STUFF: housing, health care, food, utility payments, etc....let's get them to WORK instead.

A growing economy " floats all boats".

Let's start floating,,,,,today's election will be a start.