Visa USA: Shun Those Who Hate Debt and Love Privacy

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ball dancing.jpgNaturally-colored teeth. Inappropriate eye contact and personal space allowances. There are enough stigmas dictating our grooming habits and everyday interactions.

Now we're supposed to feel lame for paying cash. Thanks, Visa.

You've likely seen the "Life Takes Visa" campaign ads. A flashback to Breakin' 2: Electric Bugaloo, cast from a United Colors of Benetton poster, shows a now vintage Visa scene of choreographed and carefree consumption. Some lame-ass trips up the funk by using cash for a transaction. Not even the most perfectly wrinkled of parachute pants could distract from the shame.

For over a year, this campaign has targeted a variety of audiences in order to castigate the cash-o-philes among us. Why?

Visa says cash and checks represent a $21 trillion opportunity for itself, and for other card companies able to convince customers that charging is preferable to handing over actual dollars and cents.

We knew that it wasn't about fighting global warming or feeding the hungry. We are used to being targeted and manipulated by advertising. But this is just shameless.

Yes credit cards are convenient, but we know their drawbacks. Most folks swiping their cards these days are in debt. Credit card fees drive up prices. Also, each credit or debit card transaction you make is recorded so that profiles of your consumer behavior can be bought and sold. Soon, law enforcement will be able to monitor us in real time as we make credit transactions (great in the case of Amber Alerts, not-so-great for the rest of us who like to move about freely).

Others have raged against the Visa machine. I'm asking you to give the giant a virtual ear-full: Contact Visa to say "Shame on You." Shame on you Visa, for trying to plant insidious seeds of nervousness and social pressure that will germinate as we try to give the cashier exact change.

You could even call or write a letter if you want to be all slow and cumbersome.

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5 Comments

Jannell said:

I just want to say - as a clerk from a major department store - the Visa hype is completely ridiculous. I'm really glad to see someone opening up a dialog about this issue. I myself am credit-card free (though not debt free) and use cash only. And two points from the perspective of my job:
-The Visa "Anywhere" Gift Cards have NOTHING but trouble. It doesn't work on some P.O.S systems (including ours) and has to be verified by a very long phone call followed by a lengthy referral code . This both frustrates and embarrasses the customers
-Cash is faster. Period. Any good business will always check an i.d or signature for any credit card. But cash is a simple exchange.

I hate Visa.

Naturally colored teeth, haha, I like that one. I can't really think of any way that paying cash would be slower than paying credit (or debit). Europe still uses cash for everyday transactions. Visa, etc. is used for online purchases where it certainly is more convenient than sending a check.

Now if only the cash was backed by gold or silver.

Stephen Sylvester said:

Those visa ads drive me insane. What stupid jackass actually thinks that it's faster to have to swipe a card, press the debit or credit button wait for the data to transfer and then have to sign? I remember when 21% interest was coverd under the usury laws.

brad said:

If they do succeed in creating a "cashless" society, the banks and the government will be able shut off your money and put you outside of mainstream commerce. But soon it may be necessary since it will cost $5 million for a loaf of bread, as fast as the fed is printing money. Everyone should look at Mises.org to find some info on how ridiculous the idea of a government "bailout" is.

Zereh said:

Cash isn't always quicker.

Last week was the 2nd time (1st happened near Christmas) I've waited (im)patiently in line at BestBuy only to be told that I had to wait for someone to come open a special register that could "take cash". WTF?? Did I not just wait in line to be waited on at a CASH REGISTER? by a CASHIER?

I've never been a huge fan of them anyway and they just gave me another great reason to spend my $100 bills somewhere else.

I have three payments that come out of my checking account automagically. I pay cash for everything else. I don't own a credit card. I do carry a debit card; I use it less than five times a month. I have not written a check in nearly four years.

Z

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Six Hours A Week Is:

A coping strategy, advocacy outlet, and form of protection. My life has been nearly destroyed by the unconstitutional practices of politically/socially-motivated private intelligence contractors and the corruption and cronyism that allow them. Apparently because I speak out in ways that prioritize the little guy and human and environmental health above gargantuan profit margins, and believe that facts are as important as PR spin, I was someone who had to be completely discredited. In 2007, after a few months of a surreal and relentless invasion of privacy and dignity, I started to spend six hours each week researching, communicating about, and advocating legal and ethical responses to assaults on our shared democratic and republican ideals. For most of that time I was writing from the perspective of someone whose life was manipulated into a constant state of terror and emergency. In 2010, many of the array of entrapment attempts seem to have failed and it seems no longer possible to get away with such excessive, obvious harassment and overt interference. As we take more practical steps to address what has been allowed to happen to my family, we do expect to see some more harassment and intimidation. But I should be able to chronicle it from a more measured perspective, rather than that of someone in constant fear. Part of me would like to go back and delete earlier posts, because even I find them hard to relate to in some ways. But this blog has been one of our only forms of protection as everyone in any official capacity ignored the truth and tried to spin and frame us into the troublemakers and perpetrators of one form or another. So I leave it up as a form of protection, a record of what has occurred, and (with luck) the account of our way back to credibility and some form of legitimate justice. All content on this site is property of Kyeann Sayer. All rights reserved.

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This page contains a single entry by Kyeann published on January 28, 2008 12:21 AM.

Meeting Senator Tester and Listening to Dr. King Make Me Hopeful was the previous entry in this blog.

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