I’m still on moveon.org’s mailing list, and I just got an intriguing email from them. Apparently, they are outraged that Visa is collecting their customary 3% fee for Haiti donations:
… when Americans donate to charity with their credit cards, the credit card companies get rich. In some cases they keep 3% of the donation as a “transaction fee,” even though that’s far more than it costs them to process the donation. It’s outrageous and wrongâ€”and it needs to stop.
I completely agree with this sentiment. Where we apparently disagree is that I think it is ALWAYS wrong for people to profit from the infrastructure of our economy. The fact is, Visa (or another credit card) is used as cash by a huge number of people. This means Visa gets a percentage on EVERY SINGLE TRANSACTION. This amounts to nothing more than a tax.
It’s funny to me that people only get outraged over profit happening around sanctimonious causes, ie, “think of the children” or “relief for the latest disaster.” Just because a Haitian needs medical attention because of a hurricane, it’s not OK to profit, but if some kid in south Portland gets hit by a car and needs medical attention, then profit is not only accepted and normalized, but encouraged.
Makes no sense to me whatsoever.