Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft Edge Encourages Indebted Americans to Guilt-spend Just in Time for Christmas

Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission from the original

M

icrosoft Edge has been adding bloatware, malicious anti-features, and outright spam and junk at a ferocious pace.



Even the pro-Microsoft bloggers (many of them paid to write sponsored content), are starting to take a step back. So much of the usual pro-Windows spam sites that crawl into my news feeds have turned sour on Edge.



We’ll see what happens long term.



I’m sure Microsoft isn’t amused that few people like Edge and I think there were almost as many users of a utility to stop it from popping up as users of the browser itself.



(It was enough to gain their attention and have them change Windows so the utilities won’t work anymore, although new code landed in the Brave browser today to make it a microsoft-edge handler on Windows….)



Their latest gimmick is a “pay in installments” plan that pops up on many online merchants.



Now, frankly, I’m annoyed by anything that loosens me up to spend. The pain of paying is important.



In fact, many financial advisors (right down to the hilariously mainstream Suze Orman) recommend a “cash diet” where you don’t use the cards at all. Leave them home, freeze them into a block of ice or something. Certainly don’t save them in a Web browser.



(In addition to removing the pain of paying, saving more and more of your life into a Web browser is a mistake, as features like Sync will send a lot of this stuff back to the mothership and make it potentially vulnerable to a data breach.)



These installment plans are wicked whether you pay fees and interest on the principal or you do not.



Going into the holidays with no money and lots of debt, apparently 13% of Americans said they would spend “nothing” (a new record, and up from just 3% two years ago), and this seems like odd timing to me.



Almost like a last minute way to juice holiday guilt-spending with money you don’t have.



Debt is slavery. For Christians, it’s even there in the bible.



“The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.”

– Proverbs 22:7 NIV


Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court?

James 2:6 NIV


Hey, those Sunday School lessons sure paid off. American Christianity is a bizarre thing. They go over and over that book and learn nothing important.



Many people learn that the rich are good, that they are superior, that “God” even likes them better. Of course, who is saying that? The rich!



You open that bible up, and it reads out that the rich are villains! They drag you into courts (which they control and get rulings that they can buy and pay for), they exploit you and suck you dry with their debt (hey, you sign for it and it’s yours!, and that overall, it would be almost impossible for someone like them to get to “heaven”.



(Should such a place exist. They want you to think so. And they want you to think that if you work hard to make them rich, you might get pie in the sky when you die. It costs them nothing, it makes you complacent. Win-win!)



The banks that keep you in debt borrowed the money themselves. They take on loans from a bigger bank, like the Federal Reserve.



Do you know how much interest they pay? The last I looked it was less than quarter of a percent. Do you pay anything like that on your credit cards?



Of course you don’t. You’ll pay 12%, or 18%, or 23%, or 38%, or whatever they can get away with based on the laws and you0r FICO score.



My home state capped interest at 22.9% and called anything higher “usury”, but I’ve had to throw some credit card offers in the shredder in my new state, which offered me 36% APR on a credit card. (When I had a FICO score of 800!)



Oddly, the one with the usury law is a red state, and the one without is a blue state. Hmm, almost like the Democrats don’t care? Almost anything you can trick someone into agreeing to flies here. How “looking out for the working class”…. But I digress.



In any event, they’re just making money by lending money that was created out of thin air, costing them almost nothing…which is horrific to anyone who stops to think about what keeps this dog and pony show going. It’s wrong, it’s immoral, and it’s parasitic.



In fact, while some accounts go to bankruptcy (one of the few mercies our system leaves to the indebted), as long as it’s a few percent they don’t really care. They barrage those people with scary letters and then those people file bankruptcy and usually nobody even shows up to creditor meetings or files any objections, and they just move on and suck the financial guts out of someone else.



But if there’s no interest, then how do these “pay in installment” schemes, and therefore Microsoft, make money?



Well, I don’t believe they would just add it if there was no money. That would be crazy! How do you get four equal installments with no fees?



Merchants are desperate to keep sales up in a dead economy, even if it means propping up zero percent loans. The alternative is that the economy just goes ahead and fails sooner.



The American economy works when people go shopping. It’s almost 4/5ths of GDP. After 9/11, a horrified country asked President Bush what they should do, and he said, “Go shopping!”.



No, really. And you keep people shopping by turning the mostly useless things they see (like Apple products) into Golden Calves (idolatry), and you make them covet each other’s belongings. If people stop caring about, what is essentially a dick measuring contest of consumerism, then the whole rotten thing falls apart.



We see few real statistics about the economy behind the smoke-and-mirrors of Big Government and the Big Banks, and the rigged stock market (which itself is inflated with low rates and bailouts and grows to reflect inflated dollars), but when Bloomberg admits the number of Americans not spending anything on Christmas has quadrupled in just two years, you know things really can’t be good.



The Fed knows the US economy is in trouble.



If the economy wasn’t in trouble, the benchmark rates wouldn’t be lower than they were in the 2008 recession’s immediate aftermath. Even then, they raised them more quickly than this. The Fed has been prescribing a “medicine” that failed to work anywhere, including Japan.



The mainstream media is dialing the propaganda up to 11 that everything is normalizing, and Biden is helping it. He needs to make everything appear normal even though the same statistics on the economy and the Coronavirus last year would have been “horrific”.



Last year, we were dealing with stubborn unemployment and lots of COVID, this year, despite a “95% efficacious” vaccine, we’re dealing with stubborn unemployment, lots of COVID (numbers that are nearly as bad as last year when there was no vaccine), and now a tidal wave of inflation.



The economy is messed up and people know it. Maybe some people are fooled but you can’t just blast people with propaganda, that many of them are now laughing at and tuning out of.



CNN, Fox News, and to a lesser extent NPR, are works of fiction, and now as the race riots and everything we saw them provoking last year have died down, they’re trying to stoke more “troubles”.



Ask yourself why they’d want that. Ask yourself why it would even be legal for a news network to try to incite more riots.



They need to keep people at each other’s throats about race, or else it turns into _class warfare_ and as long as it’s about race, they win the class war.



What does this have to do with the economy?



People are scared, they don’t want to spend, and I think the merchants are probably giving Microsoft a taste in order to ship “flexible payments”.



Why else would they add it?



Besides, most major merchants have their own “pay with installments” setup, and many credit card companies also block you from using those. Capital One is known not to work with, Amazon, at least, and I think also Paypal’s. They want you paying credit card interest rates from the moment the transaction hits your account. Anything that may help you avoid them has to be broken. So the credit card companies are going to war with these “pay in installment” plans.



For my part, I just don’t buy things if I don’t have the money on hand to pay for it. “Pay in installment” is just their latest trick to get people to overspend. I’m so reluctant to spend money that I don’t even pay for haircuts. It’s just vanity. I cut my own hair.



We plan to spend nothing this year, and it’s because we just have more important things to do. Like make sure that our healthcare expenses, rent, taxes, and other stuff are current. Letting these things fall into arrears so you can make payments on big ticket _optional_ purchases is just not responsible “adulting”. And these big corporations and banks have conspired to make it likely you’ll owe payments long after the thing breaks or ends up in some forgotten pile of junk in your house.



Microsoft Edge is a browser, but more than that it’s helping these parasites deliver the open sewer of consumerism into your home. It’s right there when you open the most used program on your computer?



Why do this to yourself?



It’s nice to have browsers that don’t add cruel manipulations and junk you don’t want, isn’t it?



Since Microsoft Edge is Chromium+Junk and spyware at best, what advantage does it have, exactly over Brave or GNOME Web? Nothing. It’s got nothing.



Something that brings in nothing desirable and quite a lot of undesirable things isn’t worth “free” (as in gratis) in a market where there are competitors that work better. and are free (as in gratis and freedom).



Microsoft, on some level, seems to understand this. They understand that in a market, with choices, nobody is going to stick around and deal with this pesky Edge nonsense. They’ve always understood that in a market with choices nobody was going to stick around for more Windows mess. That’s why they’ve spent decades trying to kill off everything else, from IBM OS/2, to BeOS, to GNU/Linux. So there would be no choice. But we’ve finally reached a point where they’ve jumped the shark and are looking ever more like the incompetent fools that they have working there today.



Political strategist James Carville (who, interestingly, coined the “It’s the economy, stupid!” phrase) said about Donald Trump, “Look, nobody is going to vote for four more years of this.”.



Well, you can modify that to apply to Windows. I don’t think it has 20 years left.



I doubt it has 10 where it’s around in a truly menacing way.



All that Microsoft can seem to do is figure out how to be more abusive and pesky to the people who stick around. And they’re going away fast! They’re disappearing to platforms that give them more freedom or at least aren’t crashing all the time and brimming with adware.



That’s why they’re messing around with Windows to stop you from ignoring that Edge is even there, but they can’t force you to install it in GNU/Linux, or your Mac, and so I don’t expect it will last much longer than their last “unix” browser, Internet Exploder.



It’s yet another reason to remove Windows and install GNU/Linux.



I’ve noticed that some of their software is available on Snap and Flatpak, and look, this is nuts. Why do it?



I certainly haven’t had any need for their products, and even if someone held a gun to my head and said (for example) “Pick a teleconferencing program and it has to be proprietary!”, it wouldn’t be theirs!



The way to make them go away is to ignore the fact that they’re even trying to invade. It doesn’t work if nobody cooperates.



The whole system breaks down. They don’t just put money into being on a platform where users have shunned them.



Let’s show them that we don’t want their stinking software and make this beachhead fail.

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