flightless hag

A chronicle of the adventures of birdwoman: a lonely, talentless freak who wanders the internet in search of entertainment.

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I'm a 40-something married white female, survivor of weight watchers, avid reader of pulp. Dogs (not cats), extreme right (handed, not politics), ENTJ, alto, wanna-be knitter.

April 12, 2005

Poor Tax or Stupid Tax?

UPDATE: BLOGGER ate my BABY, well actually my post. This is put back together from the dregs of my memory. Hope Mr. Ogre comes back and reads the stunning conclusion...

This one's for The Ogre. And my husband. And all those fiscally intolerant folks out there. We know who we are.

The business section of the Inquirer yesterday had a column on how Knowledge Can Reduce the Poor Tax (their scare quotes, not mine.) (reg req)

There are examples of "Rapid Refund" offers, "loans til payday" offers, rent-a-centers where you pay twice the value of the furniture to pay in installments... Convenience taxes, all of them.

Look, anyone with half a brain and a year's life experience knows that you pay extra to have things fast or have things that you don't quite have the cash for. Compare the price of a loaf of bread at your local grocer to that at the 7-11. Take a look at how much interest you pay on a mortgage, all because you can't buy the whole thing at once. The savvy customer knows this exists, and decides when he or she thinks it's worth it to pay the convenience tax.

But, according to the Inquirer, this is keeping hoardes of the poor out of the middle class.

They go on to tell the story of a dude. Dude goes to car dealer to buy a car and gets totally rooked. He decides he's been rooked, goes to his credit union, Consumers' Reports type places, etc, etc, and armed with KNOWLEDGE, dude goes back to the dealer and gets a better deal.

The lesson of this story? That people should use their brains when spending money? No siree bob. The lesson the Inquirer draws is that "government can help people avoid overpaying in the first place, by promoting education on finances, and especially on often-baffling credit score". Like having the guvmint get involved has solved so many problems for people in the past.

On another note, can someone tell me why I'm still reading that rag?



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