Saturday, January 09, 2010

Hit DEBIT NOT CREDIT to screw Wall Street BACK
(and it will help REAL businesses)

Our elected representatives in Washington seem congenitally unable to punish and neuter Wall Street for the economic terrorism they have visited upon the United States and the entire world with their various scams and trade deals that are decimating the middle class, so we are left to do it for ourselves.

One way to screw them is to stop doing business with national banks and move to community banks or better yet a CREDIT UNION.

NPR revealed another way to castrate these bastards when they talked about the difference between the fees for credit versus debit and who profits from each.

The bottom line is credit charges to merchants are much higher, usually a flat fee plus a percentage, whereas debits are just a flat fee. And credit card companies twists the knife in the businesses by having higher set fees for cheaper purchases. How much does it cost businesses? One merchant interviewed said:
"On the cost of a $5 purchase item, we lose a dollar of that sale."
While this directly hurts businesses, it's not hard to figure out that this extra cost will be past will be passed on to customers.

Two companies control 80% of all credit card business, which is why they can charge such extortionate rates. And those fees go to them. While debit charges travel through the same networks, they don't pay nearly as much to those monopolies.

There are two ways you can use this knowledge to screw the Wall Street assholes who are screwing us:

  • Obviously, hit the DEBIT button instead of credit every time you have a choice. If enough people did this, it would help businesses as much as any tax cut (without cutting tax revenues we could use for schools, health care, and taking care of our veterans maimed in our now endless wars).
  • A little less obvious is telling business people to let customers know that hitting debit saves them money and that savings could be passed on to customers. One woman called into the NPR show and said when clerks ask her "debit or credit," she asks them what they prefer and they say they don't care.
    Couldn't small business people figure out a nice way to tell their customers that they accept credit but prefer debit?

    I imagine the credit card companies have a clause in the fine print that says merchants can't give a discount for choosing debit, but they could figure out some creative ways to reward them.
The best thing about hitting the DEBIT button is it helps the REAL businesses that provide products and services while hurting the Ponzi schemes of sociopathic trust fund babies on Wall Street who have never made or done anything of value in their whole lives.

If the law cannot or will not reach into their gated community and private compounds, we can--not by climbing over their walls but simply by cutting off the flow of our money that keeps them alive and that they use as the club to beat us.

Now if we could just convince their servants to leave them, they would die of starvation and infection from their unwiped asses.

NOTE: The NPR story had more details like how buying gas can lead to overdraft fees even if your bank account isn't overdrawn. Here's a TRANSCRIPT and the AUDIO.

Response to Democratic party chair quitting

Chair Rochelle Sivan sent to the Framingham, Massachusettes Democratic Town Committee resigning because she changed her party affiliation from Democrat to none, and her letter was published in the Boston Globe.

My short response is ''Thank you."

The reasons why she quit will be familiar to progressive Democrats: continuing the Bush wars, the bailout that favored the Wall Street sociopaths instead of their victims, the erosion of our civil rights, and the final straw is the health care reform bill that also rewards the criminal insurance companies by delivering us as their coerced customers.

She anticipated the response of the apologists for the Democratic Party and gave her response to each:
  • Elect more Democrats and progressives - there are 82 members in the Congress Progressive Caucus and only 52 conservative "blue dogs" but which side constantly prevails? The problem isn't in the numbers.
  • The bill will be improved later - Like Nafta? Or the Patriot Act? Will that happen when we have control over the Congress and Presidency? Oh wait...
  • The other side is worse - Yes, the Democrats are better than the party of rabid conservatives the GOP has become, but not enough to matter, not enough to make the changes this country so desperately needs.
  • There is no other choice - I agree there is no viable third party but almost all of the important achievements the Left has won for the people of this country have come from people working outside of the political system - see the Abolitionists, the Labor activists, the Suffragettes and the Civil Rights movements. Apparently, the existing political system is too invested in the status quo to change without enormous outside pressure.

I posted the following response on the Boston Globe article:
In a two dominant party system like ours, the two parties don't exist forever. When one party no longer serves a sufficient constituency, it can disappear in a flash like the Whigs did. In the case of the Whigs, they failed to deal forcefully with slavery and left the wound to fester into gangrene.

We are at a very unusual place where that is about to happen to both parties. While the right wing constituency doesn't seem to realize the problem, the left does all too well--our economy and political system is rigged to benefit a very, very few even when it harms or even kills (in the case of our wars and health care system) the vast majority of working and middle class Americans.

The Bush administration pulled the mask off this system, making even the slightly milder corruption of the Obama administration and the Democratic Congress intolerable to those of us who really believe our government should try to form a more perfect union and support the general welfare.

The problem is not individual politicians or even one party, but a system that makes profound corruption and amorality the norm. While there have been some campaign finance and ethics reform, the fact that politicians can leave office and go to work as lobbyists, CEOs, and board members for companies that have business before Congress and still be respected by their colleagues and even run for office again instead of being thrown in prison makes us look like a Third World kleptocracy.