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RE: 'A Message from our Publisher Julie Reeder' 5-24-07


Last updated 5/31/2007 at Noon

Julie Reeder adroitly identifies the inequities inherent in the merchant fees assessed to businesses: “Ultimately all consumers whether using a credit card or not, pay the price for these fees.” She goes on to specify the reason the companies are successful with such subterfuge: “Visa and MasterCard control over eighty percent of the credit card market.”

Although we all hope that Congress will “take action and find a solution,” the reality is Congress long ago ignored their anti-trust responsibility to the public when they approved the merger of Visa and Mastercard, thus enabling and condoning the avarice of their corporate benefactors.

Congress should “Just Say No” to corporate mergers, but unfortunately for the American public that has not and will not happen. Our current political system allows corporations (which are not people and cannot vote) to override the freedom and opportunity of the citizenry (which are people and can vote) by supplying the Congress with money; money which ironically is extracted from the hardworking laborers and entrepreneurs that are the object of the anti-competitive collusion between Congress and corporate America.

This same phenomenon is on obvious display regarding the oil companies. Congress has approved merger after merger, and now we are surprised that gas prices are higher? Not to worry, Congress just passed a law disallowing gasoline price gouging; problem solved!

But, of course, the problem is not solved. Because the problem is not corporate greed or congressional malfeasance, the problem is our tolerance of it. We continue to promote or return candidates from the major parties who brazenly enrich their corporate masters while successfully masking their distain for the voting populous by dispensing copious doses of deceit to a generally ignorant, disaffected citizenry.

Perhaps in the not to distant future, there will be one oil company, one bank, one grocery store, etc. If that day arrives, I hope we at least have the honesty to admit the fault lies not within our politicians, but within ourselves.

Michael Kinnaman


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