It’s Friday, time for a few unpopular opinions.
Bank of America imposes a $5 debit card fee? Get over it.
Debit cards are quick and convenient, and most banks have been offering them free for years.
The banks paid for that service by charging fees, both large and small and mostly nonsensical, on other things, particularly small overdrafts.
Congress set limits on those fees, which cost the banks millions of dollars. Plus, it restricted what the banks could charge retailers for the use of the cards.
To make up for the things they can no longer charge for, the banks are putting fees on things they can. Bank of America has chosen debit cards.
People keep complaining that the bank is charging them for access to their own money.
Think of it this way: You’re being charged for the convenience of swiping a piece of plastic and receiving an instantaneous transaction that occurs with amazing regularity and accuracy.
Is that a convenience worth paying for? BoA’s customers will decide that, because they do have alternatives: switching banks, writing checks or carrying cash.
Pick one and stop griping.
Hank Williams Jr. compares Obama to Hitler. Get over it.
The problem with this little controversy is that he really didn’t.
He said Obama playing golf with House Speaker John Boehner was like Hitler playing golf with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
He was comparing two sets of dissimilar people to draw a contrast.
But the mental image, stretching as it did across generations, was so jarring that most of us needed a moment to wrap our minds around it.
What he clearly meant was two enemies playing a game together. At least that’s what we hope he meant.
At any rate, the guy is clearly not the brightest star in the galaxy. Tell us again why he is being interviewed about politics?
Here’s a suggestion for Williams and, yes, the rest of us, offered by Kathleen Parker of the Washington Post: “Retire the name Hitler for all time except when specifically discussing World War II and/or the Holocaust.”
Expecting successful American corporations to hire people to end the recession. Get over it.
We hear this over and over from politicians and TV reporters: Companies are sitting “on oodles of cash” and they should simply use it to hire the unemployed.
The idea shows a complete misunderstanding of economics and the nature of a recession.
No successful business merely adds employees because it has the money on hand to do so.
The reality is that businesses only add workers reluctantly, when there is no other alternative and when they have legitimate work for those people to do.
The pernicious nature of a recession is that businesses do not have enough customers, so they cut workers. When businesses cut workers, those people stop being customers. On it goes, round and around.
Traditionally, it has been the role of the federal government and the Federal Reserve to break that cycle and stimulate the economy — the government through massive infrastructure projects and the Federal Reserve by cutting interest rates.
The scary thing is, we tried both and neither worked.
Now we are going to do the exact opposite: can lots of government employees and cut federal infrastructure spending.
How that will work, we don’t know, but Republicans swear it will.
Let’s hope they’re right.
The opinions expressed in this column reflect the views of the ownership and editorial board.