Reason Writers on Freedom Watch: Matt Welch Talks Swipe Fees and Entitlement Politics


On March 10, Reason Editor in Chief Matt Welch appeared on Judge Andrew Napolitano's Freedom Watch to discuss federal regulation of debit-card swipe fees and whether Republicans are beginning to get serious about entitlement reform. Around 8 minutes:

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  1. There’s just no way around it. Matt Welch does look like a fucking rodent.

    1. I’m willing to bet a lot of money that he’s better looking than you.

      1. Among rodents he may be a good-looker, but when it comes primates, you should hang on to your money.

  2. The Judge is terrible at playing devil’s advocate.

    Ellis has a hard time trusting banks but no problem blindly trusting government solutions with no apparent attempt to analyze possible unintended negative consequences.

  3. The gall of that asshole to claim that his voluntarily paying a $3 atm charge is somehow evidence of the bank “ripping him off”. I’ve never seen an atm that didn’t announce the charge and ask you specifically to accept it during the transaction process. Did it ever, in his wildest dreams, occur to him that he could have said, “no”?

    1. furthermore, does he think that running ATMs don’t cost anything? Does he think he has some right to demand that the bank (that he does not have an account with btw) provide him free ATM services?

    2. Who the hell uses debit cards, anyway? Use the right credit card, pay off the balance each month and earn points/money in the process of spending. It’s free and anyone who hasn’t trashed his/her credit rating with irresponsible behavior can…
      Oh, I forgot, we’re talking about Democrats.

  4. Most leftists will admit that price controls are bad policy, don’t work, etc. Arguing otherwise is tantamount to being a flat-earther.

    Except when it comes to banking and finance, they all suddenly forget what they claim to know about price controls.

  5. I use USAA so they will pay back up to $30 or 15 ATM fee transactions each month. So there are options out there if you do not like how your bank treats you.

  6. El Jeffe is on FBN right now.

    1. Over now.

  7. I believe passionately in free markets, but I also believe in regulated monopolies and utilities. And in the case of interchange fees, it is far closer to a monopoly than a free market. You can go to another bank if you don’t like a 3 dollar atm fee; good luck trying to find an alternative to MC and Visa for merchant charges.

    And also, the concept that banks will start charging for checking if they are denied the ability to gouge consumers and merchants for other, generally unrelated, services is preposterous. It presupposes that either banks have been offering certain services for free out of the goodness of their hearts, or that they are somehow entitled to some threshhold level of profit…

    The video didn’t strike me as a particularly intelligent conversation on the topic….

  8. If anyone is interested, Welch doesn’t start talking till 2:30.

  9. Well, the fees hurt the retailers too. So either way, prices will go up somewhere.

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