Monday, September 24, 2007

On selling one's soul with membership dues.

When you lose faith in the very institutions you put your trust in, what hope is there of a better tomorrow?

Such Camus-like existentialism is bred when companies like Bank of America take the names of Iowa University alumni from the very organization that represents that alumni, and keeps the exchange of money a secret.

Now, I didn't go to Iowa, and thankfully I closed my BoA account long ago (after the 0% interest rate expired), but now my own goddamn fraternity is in the business of offering credit cards to members.

That's right: perhaps, if you're a brother, you've received these mail solicitations. I sure as hell have, and each one promises to support my fraternity.

Well I'm calling "bullshit."

For a while now, even Rotary International has customized a credit card for those Rotarians who are foolish enough to believe that MasterCard and Visa have the world's best interest at heart. What they're really interested in is earning that 17% interest above the 1% they give to our Rotary Foundation fund. It's marketing in the mode of philanthropy, and smarter folks than me should be able to see through it.

Using a credit card to help your favorite foundation or organization definitely has a "feel good" aspect to it, but here's an idea: give a charity the 1% yourself, and keep from wasting the other 12-20% in finance charges.

I like the idea of giving a charity I check that I wrote. MasterCard and Visa can send their own damn check.

They can rest assured it won't be me helping them to write it.

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