That’s because the
These unfair, uncompetitive “swipe fees” hurt small merchants, cost jobs, hamper the economy’s recovery and raise the price of everything from clothes to gas to groceries to, yes, baseball tickets.
These fees run as high as 4 percent of a purchase. The cheapest tickets remaining at Minneapolis’ Target Field earlier this week – a pair as high in the bleachers as you can get, way out at the end of right field – were going for
Every merchant large and small in the country has to pay these outrageous fees because Visa and MasterCard control the vast majority of the market for credit and debit cards. They each illegally fix rates so that the banks, lured by the huge fees Visa and MasterCard permit them to charge, will use the duopoly’s brands.
This unsportsman-like conduct isn’t in the tradition of the free-market system that created the world’s largest economy and that underpins our democracy: It’s more like the robber barons and trusts and financial chicanery of the 19th century, a malignant anomaly in our capitalist system.
These abuses have become so intolerable that the fees are now many merchants’ second-largest operating cost after rent. Many pay out more in fees than they earn in profits on their investment and hard work. Fees here are eight times what Visa and MasterCard charge in
Sports have been very, very good to Visa: Surveys show more fans around the world know the brand after Visa stepped up its soccer advertising.
MasterCard, for its part, calls itself the official card of major-league baseball, though that hasn’t saved the
But when you see Visa or MasterCard’s commercials on television now or their logo in a stadium, think about what these companies and their big banks are doing to you in terms of higher prices and to the entire economy in helping hold back the recovery. And then think: “Why in the world is this outrageous behavior allowed to continue?”
For more information about unfair swipe fees, go to the
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