Credit cards are not the problem. The runaway, impulsive spending habits of the average American are the problem. While there are some credit cards with predatory policies (prime rate plus 12 percent, you gotta be kidding me), if used responsibly they are fine. Stop putting the blame on inanimate objects and start taking responsibility for yourself.
I believe that credit cards are, for the most part, benefiting Americans. One easy way to see this is that most credit cards have some sort of rewards program. You can obtain points solely by using your own money simply by paying them off in a timely manner. This alone benefits Americans.
Credit cards are teaching people they can have whatever they want right now and worry about paying for it later. People are losing the ability to delay gratification and want everything immediately. This is not helping their long term development at all.
Credit cards are also landing lots of people in trouble and in debt.
Credit cards encourage some of the worst aspects of human nature, like indulgence, immoderation. People need to learn to delay gratification. Credit cards are the enemy of delayed gratification. The reason why more Americans don't save is because of credit cards. It seems that people would rather be in debt than in a stable financial place.
Credit cards, by and large, are damaging Americans. They allow people to live well above their means, swimming in debt, and never saving for a rainy day.Very few people have the self control to charge only what they can pay off in a month, causing a vicious cycle of having to rely on credit cards to survive.