01 October 2011

At the Atlantic, someone is whining about Congress killing the debit card.  (What has actually happened, starting today, is that the cap on bank charges to merchants for debit card use has been reduced to 21 cents per transaction.) The argument laid out there plumbs new depths in baloney.  For example:

in particular, this action by Congress will hurt low- to middle-income Americans more than wealthier Americans. Banks find it very important to cultivate relationships with their wealthier customers, because they want their high deposits and to sell them other financial services. So banks' wealthiest customers will likely escape fees like this. Instead, less affluent Americans will end up paying more than their fair share.
Oh, because government is to blame for everything that banks do to raise profits?  A more self-evident proposition was never made, surely.

Courtier-lobbyists in old regime France made a similar argument against the abolition of feudal dues on the peasantry.  "The removal of these dues will gravely destabilize the ability of lords to care for their peasants.  Grands seigneurs will be unable to make an honest living without getting their 5 ducks a year!"

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