The other day, I used my Facebook status as platform to rant about a particular freeloader in my life, and said I was contemplating putting up a huge sign above my front door inscribed:
“FREELOADERS ARE NOT WELCOME HERE, MOVE ON PLEASE.”
I think it amused many of my Facebook friends as they chimed in as to how I can remove this person from my life.
One friend suggested I pick out a special ringtone for this person so I would know immediately he was calling, and could thereby avoid his calls.
Another friend said I should tell him exactly what he was doing wrong. But how do you tactfully say to someone “Hey when you come over for dinner, don’t come empty-handed…”?
We know in real life that it is simply wrong to take something without giving something in return. It’s wrong to take a pair of shoes from Nordstrom’s without paying the cashier. It’s tacky to go to someone’s special occasion party without bringing a gift.
So why is it that people are screaming that they are being “robbed” by banks when Bank of America began charging their customers debit card fees? It actually costs the bank every time a user swipes his or her debit card.
If there is anyone to blame for the bank debit card fee, look to Senator Dick Durbin. It was under his leadership that the Democrat-controlled Congress passed the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The purpose of this law was do make the banks ‘pay’ just for being part of the corporate world that makes ‘evil’ profits at the expense of consumers. But corporations pass on their expenses to the consumers, so the lawmakers ended up sticking it to the consumers who like to use debit cards.
Bank of America is actually being quite straightforward about its rationale for instituting this new fee: it blames the government. A provision from last summer’s financial regulation bill promoted by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) capped the fees that banks can charge retailers when customers pay with debit cards.
Bank of America is trying to cushion revenue losses it expects to incur from new caps on the fees merchants pay when a customer uses a debit card at their stores. In June, the Federal Reserve Board finalized rules capping such fees at 24 cents per transaction, compared with a current average of 44 cents.
Let’s review what’s happening under my theory that this is a very deliberate plan by very smart politicians:
1. Politicians work very hard to make people think that they are out to help their situation.
2. But they have a sub-text: so as not to actually hurt big moneyed contributors.
3. In this case, they limit how much bank can charge their merchants to a quarter…
4. but they leave a loophole so banks can charge a monthly $5 — which is the equivalent of 20 transactions. The result is that the bank gets the better end of the deal.
5. Consumers think they won. Banks actually win. Politicians get good PR and they get consumers votes once again.