Credit card reform legislation was passed. I applaud it. Todd Zywicki is upset. Why? He's upset because the poor and igorant will no longer subsidize our credit cards. Yes, really. The smart and well-to-do have been taking advantage of the poor and ignorant.
People who, like me, don't carry a monthly balance pay a low-or-no annual fee. We earn rewards and SkyMiles simply for using our credit cards. We then use our SkyMiles to take fabulous vacations. We were able to do this because credit card companies tricked and manipulated the poor and ignorant. We are stepping into the VIP room on the backs of the poor and stupid.
Look, it is nonsense. If you don't believe me, I'm not going to argue with you. In undergrad, having uninformed-but-clever-sounding arguments was good enough. Nature? Nurture! Is there a God? Well, I see His work all around me. As if this could be random? Yeah! Let's get drunk!
As adults, we should make decisions based on reality. Facts. True facts, not plausible-sounding ones. You know what those sound like. "Well, people in general..."
I encourage everyone opposed to credit card reform legislation to do a few hours of credit-card counselling. People are stupid. Banks take advantage of that stupidity.
Probably no one reading Crime & Federalism has a sub-110 IQ - well above average but still dull. Work with people who have ~100 IQs, and five figures in credit card debt. Talk to them. Counsel them. Really. Do it.
Then return with your arguments aobut free choice, and freedom of contract.
Oh, but Mike, you just want to protect the stupid from themselves. No. I want to protect the stupid from you.
I don't want large-but-stupid people mugging or raping you. I also don't want you stealing from the poor - or demanding that the poor subsidize your fabulous vacations. Oh, I know. It's different when you trick someone into giving you money, as opposed to taking it by pointing a gun at someone. Because, you know, people who can barely read People magazine and resist the Golden Arches have free will and stuff, man! (Puff-puff-pass.)
But how can we trust the government to regulate credit cards? We can't. However, we have emprical proof that the credit card companies are bad - worse than anyone with a dog-eared copy of Anarchy, State, and Utopia could have envisoned. When the private sector has completely ripped off a large segment of the public for years, please excuse me for not becoming offended when the government ends the caper.