We all love Band-Aids. If you ever made a boo-boo – and we all have – then you can truly appreciate the closure and security that a strip of gauze and a little tape can bring to an aching abrasion.
The only thing about Band-Aids is that they are only for small cuts and scrapes. They are just for little problems that don’t require any expert attention. You wouldn’t, for example, put a Band-Aid on, say, a broken leg.
But in their haste or perhaps even their well thought-out plans, a few Kentucky legislature members are doing just that.
State House Speaker Jody Richards, D-Bowling Green, is sponsoring a bill in the General Assembly to increase restrictions on on-campus credit-card solicitation. The bill is aimed at making it harder for credit-card companies to target college students under 21 years of age.
Under the bill, applying for a credit card would require parental consent for any student younger than 21, bar collection against a parent or guardian unless they agree in writing to such action and prohibit companies from offering gifts or other incentives to students who fill out applications on campus.
If that all sounds like a mouthful, it should, because most of what it actually does is blow hot air into a balloon that will eventually burst. And this proposed legislation will solve about as much as Inspector Gadget would without his niece Penny.
We admit, there is a problem with credit-card companies taking advantage of young college kids. They promote themselves through free T-shirts and invite unknowing students to dig bottomless pits for themselves financially. That is wrong and definitely needs attention.
But this isn’t a solution. It is like a three-day mandatory waiting list to buy a handgun – only a small deterrent. This problem is much bigger than students having to get mommy or daddy’s signature (which could easily be forged, by the way) before submitting an application.
This problem goes more to mentality. It is not a law problem, it is a social one. This country considers you an adult at age 18. You can go to jail, vote, and fight for your country in war. To say that you need a signature to get a credit card is pointless hand-holding.
You can’t say we are adults in some respects and not others just because it may be convenient or may create the appearance that something is being done.
True, you can point at the parents or the various freshman- orientation programs that exist at Kentucky schools to help educate, but we also expect the lawmakers to create laws that make sense.
Band-Aids make sense. But only when used properly. This never has been one, and we thought the experts had our back.
This proposed legislation doesn’t show that.
This editorial represents the majority opinion of the Herald’s 10-member board of student editors.