The United States has long been seen as the economic pinnacle amongst the international community, but what many of us fail, or simply deny, to recognize is that this peak is being eroded by years of excessive greed and entitlement. There is a growing symbiotic relationship between uneducated debtors and the banking foundation that has slowly veered the economy off track towards a fate the consumer refuses to control. The “obvious” source, and root of much ridicule, is the banking industry. The establishment of the credit card and its promise of immediate satisfaction or economic support has been instrumental in this conclusion. In fact, there are approximately 175 million credit card holders in the United States. That simply means that 175 million people were sold on credit. Of those 175 million people, the median balance was $3,000, which means banks support $525 Billion of unpaid debt. Assuming a below average interest rate of 11% APY that means USUS citizen. This amount of continued profitability is enormous. In comparison, the total credit card receipts for one year are equal to 75% of the total gross domestic sales of every car manufacturer in the US market combined. However, this is not where banks reportedly derive their profitability. Their profitability is based off of bankruptcy and financial failure of the end user. With the addition of fees and interest the banks often triple the amount held as debt, and they do so for one particular reason. The debt is then bundled and rated relative to it’s risk and sold on the investment market. They’ve essentially passed the risk, and in doing so, greatly enhanced their profitability. This should sound eerily familiar to the faltering mortgage market, because it is designed in nearly the same fashion. It is due to this practice that banks actively seek out sub-prime candidates since they are most at risk to fall into this category. Ergo the banks seek to financially ruin sub-prime card holders as a means of increasing their profitability. consumers are paying out roughly $58 Billion in interest every year on credit cards alone. The $3,000 in average debt accounted for credit cards accounts for approximately 18 – 19% of the average debt, excluding mortgages, held by each of age Big, bad, evil banks are not the sole bearer of this financial bull run of greed. No one person is forced into a credit card agreement, and no one person is forced to purchase goods on that credit. Americans are becoming more and more addicted to the high offered by credit. Forever blinded by entitlement and materialism, the US consumer continuously looks for that next fix, and they get it with the swipe of a credit card. Like a drug dealer the banks entice them with offers of “free money” and the people sign. Years later, you find these people wondering how it happened to them, and myriad of excuses as to how it happened. All the excuses in the world do not cloud the fact that they themselves signed on the dotted line. They made the decision to take the responsibility of that credit. The mere feeling of entitlement to live the American Dream is substantiated to the middle class through the power of credit, and thusly completes the symbiotic relationship between the banks and consumer. So who is to blame? The US consumer is to blame. One hundred years ago credit cards did not hold a stranglehold on the livelihood of families. The ever growing rat race created by the US consumer is the primary growth factor. The increased demand for goods deemed necessities, the degradation of pride and responsibility, an ever growing society of victimization and ignorance, and the USUS consumer drunk off of entitlement are to blame. Americans can simply not deny themselves anything because they’ve never been held to do so. This mentality has spilled over into Federal policy in which seemingly nothing is withheld, even facing the detriment of ever increasing enslavement to debt. Forever more the consumer and bankers are driving, hand in hand, towards the end of the cliff, unwavering. At some point American consumers are going to have to face the facts and take control of their own destiny.