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Friday, July 17, 2009

This is how messed up things are

You know things are messed up--system broken--when even corporations want the change that the people on the street want and need.

I have two examples.

The first was in The New York Times yesterday and dealt with credit card fees being too high.

Sure, we've been experiencing this and complaining about it for a long time--getting killed by it, actually--but finally it's getting to companies, too.

Seems MasterCard and Visa and all of them have been adding all these additional fees to simple transactions and, like the old saying goes, a few million here and a few million there and all of a sudden you're talking serious money.

Wal-Mart, Home Depot and 7-Eleven "have spent years unsuccessfully fighting the biggest of these costs, known as an interchange fee, which generates an estimated $40billion to $50 billion in income annually for banks that issue credit cards."

Forty to fifty billion dollars.

You can see why those companies love to tack on those little fees.

Understand, this is for credit purchases and ATM transactions, both.

Keep in mind here, too, for the Republican years of 2000 through 2008, folks, those wonderful folks in Washington were so deep in the pockets of these credit card companies, there was no way this was going to change.

Heck no.

So now, finally, though the Democrats aren't exactly saints, at least it looks, finally, like something is going to change here, and for the better. Between the man on the street--you and me--and other Big Business needing this, it looks as though it's going to change.

And thank goodness for that.

The other thing that pits the "little guy" in with Big Business is on health care.

I contend that this is another big reason why we're getting a solution to health care right now. "Big Business"--and by that I mean General Motors, GE and a lot of other, big "heavies" in the corporate world--are getting killed with high costs on their health insurance. They can't take it either.

So, like I said, this is how screwed up our system is, on at least two levels, credit card fees and health care.

At least we're finally getting some help from our government and it isn't just attacking us, the way it did for those fateful, ugly, Republican, "pro-business", "to hell with the little guy" years.

All that good stuff said, however, one must keep in mind that the bankers virtually own our government and this falls into that grouping. Let's see if we get the change and improvements we need.

Link to story:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/16/business/16fees.html?th&emc=th

Update:

I see in the Huffington Post just now an article by Arianna, saying pretty much the same thing--but this time about Goldman Sachs and our screwed-up, unregulated banking system, particularly now that we've pumped so many billions (trillions?) of dollars into Goldman and the others.

Seems everyone thinks things are out of control and kilter--except Goldman Sachs, Tim Geithner, Larry Summers and other people in government who work (or worked) for Goldman. Ms. Huffington points out the venerable Wall Street Journal ran an op-ed piece about this yesterday which made them sound more like Robert Reich than the "always support business" rag they usually are.

See the article here:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arianna-huffington/shattering-the-right-vs-l_b_234582.html

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