Letters to the Editor

Plastic money a destructive force in society

To the Editor,

Re: Surcharges on cards an inappropriate cost, Letters, Dec. 17.

I would not agree with S.I. Petersen in his disapproval of price add-ons for credit card purchases.

In addition to a credit card price add-on, I also think they should add a charge for every Interac purchase.

It is well-known that retailers have to pay credit card companies a percentage of the charged amount and I believe Interac is a small flat fee. Regardless of the amount of these fees, it adds to the retailers’ cost of doing business which, in effect, raises their prices, affecting every customer.

I would prefer that not be the case and those who are intent on remaining disconnected from their own cash flow by using plastic should be charged accordingly.

In years past, I used a credit card for nearly every single purchase, no matter how big or small. It was easy to do and while I still shopped wisely and knew how much everything cost, it wasn’t until years later that I realized how disconnected from money I really was.

I now use cash almost exclusively. My admittedly low/moderate income is cash and I appreciate seeing the flow of money coming in when I sell something and then literally taking those same bills and paying other local businesses for their products/services.

It has transformed my sense of and appreciation for the money I make and have.

Frivolous or unnecessary purchases are rare and if they do happen I now put serious thought into whether or not I need that item. It’s not that I can’t afford it, I can buy nearly anything I need (want and need are different), it’s that shift in awareness that came with dealing with real money.

You likely won’t understand this concept until you actually live within it, which I highly recommend.

The writer suggests the price add-on is an Orwellian route.

I would argue that the proliferation of the use of plastic money (in all its forms) is more destructive to the welfare of a free society than a fee charged to the users of a payment system.

F. Forester

Nanaimo

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