I'm glad you learned from your credit card experience. I did as well. the financial irresponsibility in this country has grown to epidemic proportions (on all sides...duh). I don't think 'Daddy' can fix that by going out and punching the bulley in the eye for you. The best way to stick it to the credit card companies? learn to budget and live within your means. I mean once we level payday lenders and then the credit card companies what are we going to do go after those mean auto dealerships that forced you to buy a Lexus?
While I appreciate your candor and humor, I think it's a mistake to completely lay blame on the consumer or
the companies. I agree 100% that people need to be more responsible, but it's also quite the rigged game, and you know it is. Laws which prevent overly predatory practices are not inherently a bad thing, and the credit card companies have all sorts of ways to screw people over. While you can pretend that credit problems are all the result of people over-reaching for luxury items (a Lexus! brilliant.), the sad truth is that a large part of the average person's debt is not so luxurious, even though it still can be quite irresponsible.
Looking at the past three to four decades or so, the spending power of the average American has reduced because their wages have not kept up with the rising cost of living. A lot of things are now purchased through debt. Again, I agree that a lot of people do stupid crap on credit, it's not the entire picture either, and a lot of people use credit cards and other debt just to stay afloat during leaner times. Stupid and irresponsible? Yes. But also sometimes a necessity.
And once you've been burned it's hard as fuck to get back to a point where your credit score (and therefore how much you'll be able to purchase and your interest rates on all sorts of things from houses to car loans) is not completely screwed. It took me some time to pay off a debt which was relatively small; I don't even like to think about how much extra it cost me to climb out of that hole and how difficult it was to repair my credit score.