Tuesday, November 1, 2011


So Bank of America is, it seems, not going to charge poor people 5 dollars a month for a service that costs the bank next to nothing. The NYT describes this as a retreat in the face of  concerted opposition. It sounds to me like a bunch of nothing. The retreat comes when BoA does something, I don't know, good like proposing capping the swipe fee at cost plus 2% and lowers its CEO's and all execs' "compensation" by 50% while increasing tellers' by 50% and, while we're at it, lobbying for a living wage and debt jubilee.


  1. I don't think they understood how easy it is to switch from debit cards to either a low limit credit card or cash, and if you use cash it seems like you spend less money.

    For a long time now, busineeses have acted like they don't need workers, and it looks like they are starting to think they don't need customers, and why would they, thanks to the corporate welfare state, they are more conduits for wealth redistribution to the one percent, rather than viable businesses.

  2. Yeah, neoliberalism hates people. All the plans revolve around and are built on some notion of economic necessity rather than some set of notions about building an equitable society. It really is just bizarre how over the past 30 years of so the discourse of social organization has become a conversation about economic efficiency as if the sole purpose of humanity in a social situation is the maximization of profit.

  3. I don't think neo liberals know they hate people, conservatives generally on some level understand they hate poor people or brown people, which conveniently for them are usually the same people. Neo liberals really think they are doing the less fortunate a favor, like with Matthew yglesias's latest war on open space, I am sure he would argue that societies could do all sorts of neat things with the money they would make by turning all city parks into strip malls, maybe even make high quality videos about what open space used to look like.

    I guess I am saying that when you ask the question are they stupid or evil, I would argue neo liberals are generally the stupid half of the coin and conservatives are the evil half.

  4. I'll buy that distinction; but, I would also insist that Yggie defines himself, variously, as a liberal, a left-neoliberal, and a prgressive-neoliberal. Neoliberalism is legion because it contains multitudes. What Yggie doesn't understand, however, is that the policies he supports makes impossible the ends he claims to desire. Neoliberalism with its full on commitment to the superiority of the market create a system in which market forces, which is to say rich people's desires, construct reality. This is why democracy is anathema to the neoliberal project. If we bring the people back in the market, which is to say rich people, doesn't get to decide: we do.