Posted On: Thursday - November 19th 2020 5:22PM MST
In Topics:   Economics  Liberty/Libertarianism
There's a trend in retail business going on right now that, as big-time noticers, the Peak Stupidity staff is right on top of. We noted a year ago, in the post What's the
Often the charge is a surprise to the customer (it shouldn't be that way), but with gasoline, it's clearly advertised. I've seen differences of from 5¢ to 10¢ per gallon. It's great that gas prices are so low**, but now the difference in price is significant, 6% or so (just got some gas at $1.79/G). Debit cards, or cards used as such, are often treated as cash at these stations, but other times the debit price is in limbo. If you've got to go inside to find out, you may as well pay cash while you're in there.
Right now, lest the reader thing this is another Curmudeonry post, to the contrary, I am pleased with this manner of pricing gas and other retail purchases.
Retailers have to pay for those fees somehow. It's the credit card customers who are causing the charges, so, IMO, damn right they ought to pay for them. The reader may want to peruse Peak Stupidity's case for cash being King, in Chipotle - no credit, no debit, and hold the E. Coli, Cash is King (Part 2), and Cash is King (Part 3).
This charging extra for credit card purchases, unless it is done in a hidden manner, is helping to encourage the use of cash by Americans. It is a hassle to go inside the gas station for a fill-up, since starting in the summer of '08, when gasoline prices peaked, almost all stations became pre-pay. (It's not that long ago, but people forget quickly. If you went back to early 2008, most gas stations outside the ghetto or NY City let you pump the gas and pay afterwards.) I filled up a vehicle at that awesome $1.79, OK $1.799 per gallon, and found out I couldn't get those 11.1 gallons into the tank. That required another trip in. So, what, is it not worth a small extra effort taking 2 minutes max (unless those damn Lotto Players are in there scratching up a shit-storm!) to support cash purchases.
OK, let me explain why it is very important. This book about China I am 2/3 way through with, We Will Be Harmonized, is scaring the living out of me. It looks like the review will be a multi-part one. It will scare the living out of the average Peak Stupidity reader too, I'm guessing. The almost total elimination of the use of cash that has happened in just the last few years (I mean like 3!) is not the only Orwellian stupidity the book discussed, but it's a big part of it. Americans need to make really sure it doesn't happen here.
I've had airport vendors lately tell me I need to pay with a card. Reason # 1, after "out of change"?: COVID-one-niner! Sure that's the ticket. COVID-19, what CAN'T it do (to take away freedom that is)? I see this being pushed over here too, but only to a small degree so far.
You got extra credit card fees for the customer? Go ahead, charge the credit card customers out the ying-yang! Piss them off, hell, maybe even me some days. I'll get over it. I like this trend. What's good for cash is good for America.
* That post involved more than simple CC charges after the price was given. There was also a service fee that was told to me afterward, that added to the price quoted on the phone.
** In real dollars, they are as low as they've been in our readers' lifetimes.