Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Whining is unattractive.

I went to an ATM. They wanted a $4 fee. I felt outraged! Four dollars just to get MY money?! But (and this is so simple but we forget it) it's a free market. PNC Bank is allowed to charge whatever they want for me to use the service that they provide (keeping my dollars safe and giving them to me anywhere I want). If I don't like it, I can go somewhere else.

I drove to Philadelphia on highway 76, paying about $35 in tolls on the way. Yow! Now, I can complain about the terribly unjust highway system, but they're the ones building the roads, and if our tax dollars aren't enough to cover the cost, well hey, it's an extra tax for the people who use the road. In a way, it's more fair than paying for roads with taxes.

At least under our current mostly-free market. You can argue that that should be changed; maybe you can argue that all banks should be forced to let any customer from any bank use their ATMs for free. Then you'd have to figure out how it's fair for us to force them to absorb this cost. You can argue that there are some fat cats in the system getting rich off the usurious tolls, but that requires more assumptions than "roads cost a lot to build" and so the burden of proof is on you.

If you're claiming moral indignation about something that's within the bounds of our market, and you don't have a better solution or a valid reason that it shouldn't be this way, you might just be whining.

(and if you go "what about media piracy?" I say read this; in short, downloading is the better solution.)


slifty said...

Regarding piracy -- just remember that at this point the industry has made it incredibly easy to download their product DRM free. If you pirate nowadays it's probably just because you don't want to pay for something.

Game of Thrones and TV is an entirely different bag of cats.

Dan Tasse said...

You mean the music industry? Yeah, that is pretty true. I wonder when movies or TV will get that way.