Maybe Adolf Hitler got it right. I don't mean the part about world domination, the master race, or all the illing and killing for which he's so justifiably reviled. I'm talking about consumer credit and the way the Third Reich got hard-working citizens to divert a little bit from their pay packet each week to purchase their very own Volkswagen. Theirs to use and enjoy, once they'd finished paying for it. In advance.
The practice seems exactly backward in a world where the idea is to sell as many cars as possible. Compare our U.S. system, pioneered by John Jakob Raskob for GM in the 1920s, wherein John Q. Public gets the car first and finishes paying later, in monthly installments. Hopefully before the car falls apart.
Aggressive consumer financing -not some fascist savings account but real, easy, right-here-now credit-became the great engine of American economic prosperity during the twentieth century. It has sold a lot of cars, agreeable finance being the mother's milk of car selling, in which immediate gratification is the whole point. The only things meant to concern us about the future are our ability to make payments and our next new car. This has been the American way longer than any of us have been alive.