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The Shylock Gold Card

You've heard of the new TV game that rewards people who let their debts accumulate by paying the bills of winners. Now a credit card firm comes up with the policy of punishing borrowers who pay on time.

These dutiful drudges face an annual fee that will not be charged to happy-go-lucky spenders who delay payments and fork over lots of interest. More credit-card companies are expected to cut expenses by dunning the freeloader who avoids interest by meeting obligations.

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After all, they are not Shakespeare's merchant of Venice, Antonio, who gave loans without interest, upsetting Shylock the well-known ducats lender. Watch your mail for the Shylock Gold Card: "Just Pay Late, And No More Pesky On-Time Fees!"

This can't be the America of thrifty Ben Franklin, let alone all the present politicians running on "values."

"If you cannot pay at the Time, you will be ashamed to see your Creditor," warned Franklin in "The Way to Wealth." What if Poor Richard knew that now, if you do pay on time, you will be ashamed to use your plastic?

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