Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sometimes, the consumer isn't king

Or rather, in certain industries in the United States, the consumer isn't the customer. Yeah, that's right- especially in Debit and credit cards apparently, the consumer isn't the customer, the bank is. VISA and MasterCard especially, but also smaller networks, sell their brand name to banks. To get banks to buy their brand name (for which they get a few pennies off of every transaction) they have been pushing up the fees in a perverse price-inflation competition, which returns those interchange fees to the banks. Which raises the price on EVERYTHING else you buy- because it is the consumer that ultimately pays these interchange fees.

In other words- a certain business has learned how to enact a completely legal, hidden sales tax. von Mises must be spinning in his grave- it's a case of laisez faire competition raising prices and creating inefficiencies equal or greater than any government bureaucracy.

Funny how the Roman Catholic Church predicted something like this- this was the reason usury was considered a sin to begin with.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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Oustside The Asylum by Ted Seeber is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
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