To appreciate credit cards, it is worth recalling that before they came along, people got personal loans from banks, finance companies, pawnshops and loan sharks. Such loans were less convenient, and repayment was less flexible. Some people bought things on layaway, which meant they didn't take the goods home until they were paid for. Loan sharks sometimes broke people's legs.
Credit cards didn't create consumer debt -- they are merely a superior alternative to older methods.
As President Obama and other politicians demagogue this issue, keep two things in mind: Life would be more difficult without credit cards, and banks don't have to keep issuing them. Be careful what you ask for
I've never understood how the poor are helped by limiting their choices.
Hey, John, maybe those politicians promising to help the poor are more interested in helping themselves.