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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Shit My Dad Has. Mom too.
Posted by Jill | 9:13 PM
Apologies to Justin Halperin for riffing off the title of his Soon To Be A CBS Sitcom Starring William Shatner That From All Accounts Has Shitty Writers And Is Going To Be Just Awful Twitter feed.

My dad has a Mac. In fact, he has two -- an iMac (I think) and a MacBook. He has wireless. He has an iPhone. He has a Roku box through which he streams Netflix movies. At this point, he's probably techier than I am (which isn't necessarily saying much, given how un-techie my current job is). He is 85. I assume he uses an ATM. Dad's wife has taken those Apple store courses where you make your own books from your trips and from family events. She's over 70.

My mom (who has been divorced from dad for many, many years) has a PC and a cell phone. She still uses AOL mail, but she's been buying and selling on eBay for years, and does a fair amount of online shopping. She is 83. She doesn't use ATMs most of the time because she likes to use the drive-up teller. Part of the reason for this, I think, is that bank tellers always like her dogs and give the dogs biscuits. It's a dog thing. You probably understand. She does know what an ATM is, though. She is 83.

This makes all these people more tech-savvy than Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, who will not be 70 until next year:
Lawmakers walk past that ATM all the time on their way to votes on the Senate floor, but don't expect to see Sen. Ben Nelson stopping to grab some quick cash.

The Nebraska Democrat pleaded ignorance when asked this week whether Congress should cap ATM fees. Nelson said that while he's no fan of unnecessary fees, he's unfamiliar with the charges.

“I've never used an ATM, so I don't know what the fees are,” Nelson said, adding that he gets his cash from bank tellers, just not automatic ones. “It's true, I don't know how to use one.

“But I could learn how to do it just like I've . . . I swipe to get my own gas, buy groceries. I know about the holograms.”

By “holograms,” Nelson clarified that he meant the bar codes on products read by automatic scanners in the checkout lanes at stores such as Lowe's and Menard's.

“I go and get my own seating assignment on an airplane,” Nelson said. “I mean, I'm not without some skills. I just haven't had the need to use an ATM.”

Perhaps he has suitcases full of bundles of $100 bills tucked away in his mattress. Maybe they're from NelNet, his largest campaign contributor, a big player in the student loan "business".
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Anonymous joel hanes said...
... once you reach that level of wealth, it is so easy. The culture of privilege sets in. You get discounts you don't need. You get invitations that no one else gets. The regulatory requirements become a wink and a nod. And soon, you begin to actually believe, "Yes, I deserve all this."

It happens with professional athletes. It happens to lottery winners. It happens to business persons who get that "big break". Sudden success means you are suddenly noticed.

We get fed this line that working hard always means ultimate success. But that's not true. You may have a better chance of making a comfortable living if you work hard -- but acquiring wealth has no guarantees and sometimes it's all about short cuts.

... The problem is that American capitalism carries with it some basic assumptions. Wealth is deserved. Wealth has privileges. Wealth has different rules. ...

Suddenly, politcal contributions mean access. Access mean special accomodations. Special accomodations mean special advantages. Wealth begets wealth. The haves become the have mores.
Dave Mindeman
"Denny Hecker Is A Symptom of Broken Capitalism"

Blogger PurpleGirl said...
Even if he used the Capital's ATM, there probably aren't any fees for using it. Fees are paid by regular customers at commercials banks. At one time Citibank gave its checking account holders 4 free withdrawals at non-Citi ATMs. A year or so ago, they changed that policy and all non-Citi ATM withdrawals carry a fee, so you pay two fees -- the Citi fee and the fee of the bank/company whose ATM it is. Now the only free ATM transactions are at Citi bank branches and some stores. I say some stores because if I get cash when by pay for groceries with my debit card, Citi charges me a fee. I didn't before the policy change.

Ben Nelson needs a new job.

Anonymous mandt said...
There's shit and there's stuff. Rand Paul is stuffed with the former.