Expatriate Owl

A politically-incorrect perspective that does not necessarily tow the party line, on various matters including but not limited to taxation, academia, government and religion.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Crediting the Public Purse

Haven't posted in a while, preoccupied as I have been with teaching, the law practice, and some travel.

Remember how the banks were whining when Congress recently imposed more consumer-friendly restrictions on their credit card operations? Well, the solicitations from the banks for credit card accounts have continued to come to my mailbox, unabated. This includes me, the wife, kids, an alias I used a number of years ago to investigate a former client's case, and my son's pet guinea pig who passed away about 9 years ago and whose name was once used as an alias by my son. And our names are not always spelled correctly.

As much as we might despise the banking industry, I think we can all agree that the executives in that industry are, intellectually speaking, at the upper reaches of the bell curve. And I would venture to say that the industry as a whole would not continue its wholesale mail solicitation program if its upper managers believed it to be money-losing proposition.

But these solicitations, as often as not, contain a business reply envelope with the legend "no postage necessary if mailed in the United States."

So I take the envelope in which the solicitation arrived, tear off any identifying info that might be on it (oftentimes there is none), fold up the solicitation envelope and stuff it into the business reply envelope. I then put it in with my stack of outgoing mail.

In addition to the basic postage (currently 44 cents), the addressee pays a per piece fee (now 10 cents for the high volume accounts).

And because the bank's addresses are high volume addresses, the Postal Service can deliver efficiently, i.e., make some profit on each mailpiece.

Postal delivery service is one of the relatively few legitimate functions of a sovereign government (The fact that the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970 transformed the postal apparatus from a Cabinet Department to a public corporation is only incidental). Giving money to failing banks is not a legitimate function of sovereign government.

And so, I recoup the TARP funds from the banking industry back into the public fisc, one half dollar at a time.

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