The fundamental problem here, see, is that I'm not a typical American. And by typical American, I mean, “Living beyond my means.” Well, maybe I'm taking that a bit far. But you get the point.
The fact that I've made a good salary for the last three years? Meaningless.
That I have cash saved in the bank? Eh, who cares.
That I have no debt, have never defaulted in anyway, etc. etc.? Not interesting.
I can certainly relate to that. Back in '97, I found out the hard way that I was considered a “ghost,” one without a credit history. I also found out that being a “ghost” is worse than being a “debtor” and one step away from declaring bankruptcy (heck, it may be worse than actually having declared bankruptcy).
I am begining to think that the old notions of saving money isn't as important as it once was; the economically powerful aren't those that have tons of money at their disposal, but rather the ability to move money through the economy. It's less about what you have and more about what you control and the two aren't necessarily synonymous. Building credit is a way of showing you can control the flow of money, which (from what I've read) seems to be the current theory behind the economy these days.
Hoarding is so 19th century …