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But wait, there's more.
There's just no polite way to say "Buy me things", is there?
Need a band name?
rant is where the heart is
entry for 2001-08-09 (15:34:00)
In which our plucky young hero pays to pay.
A few days ago, I tried to buy a sandwich with my debit card.
"Oh, do you have to do that?" asked the girl behind the counter. "We don't like to do debit transactions for less than five dollars. It costs us fifteen cents each for them."
Now, I like the sandwich place in question, and I give them a lot of repeat business for that reason, so I was happy to also get something to drink along with my sandwich. But I realized, as I slid my debit card through to make the transaction, that I was being charged for it too. My bank allows a certain number of free transactions every month (an amount I usually blow through within a week) and after that it's about thirty cents for each one.
So all in all, everyone pays for the privilege of not sucking twenty bucks out of an ATM and paying cash. Good business to be in, banking. It's the only industry specifically chartered by law to create money out of thin air, and pass on the costs to the customer. Not even the most dot-commie of stocks during the Internet bubble could just say "Oh, wait, instead of $100 in my pocket, there's $120. I'm declaring that this subway token is actually a twenty-dollar coin."
Now, I'm not complaining too badly about the banks. I like capitalism. Capitalism pays my rent and buys me food and gives me books with lots of pictures. But even so, there's still enough hackle in me to note that the bank is, when you get down to it, charging me money for giving them business.
Which doesn't mean I'm not paying it. Because there's minor outrage, and then there's principles, and all in all, I'd rather have the former than the latter. Or something like that.(Browse: previous or next. Notes: post or read.)
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