You're Getting Mugged by American Corporations
If it seems like all of those hidden fees and surcharges are nickel-and-diming you to death — they are. Every time you turn around it’s $5 for this banking transaction, $10 added to your phone and cable bills for God knows what.
These hidden fees cost Americans $45 billion dollars a year. That’s roughly the same as the amount lost to Identity Theft each year. Unlike ID theft, these hidden fees are perfectly legal. After all, our legislators and regulatory agencies are fully owned and operated by the industries they're supposedly “regulating.”
This $45 billion doesn’t include penalties or late fees; these are simply the hidden charges you automatically pay every time you purchase a product or use a service. These hidden fees cost the average American almost a thousand dollars a year. Ah heck, you weren’t planning to use that thousand for anything, were you?
These hidden surcharges also don't include anything "extra" like vacations. This article is only based on the mundane everyday things you do: making phone calls, going to the bank, watching TV, using the Internet, saving for your retirement, buying groceries, etc. If you're some sort of spendthrift who likes to take fancy vacations, you might be paying closer to $4,000 a year in hidden fees.
The author of this article says: “Sneaky fees peck away at us like a swarm of mosquitoes that ruin an otherwise beautiful summer evening. And like mosquitoes, an individual bite might seem trivial, barely more than a nuisance, but repeated bites can actually change the way you live. They chase you inside, make you build a screened porch, and in extreme cases make you sick.”
He uses the term “Gotcha Capitalism.” “Gotchas are everywhere you turn, now. They are a way of life for consumers. They are our economic system, one that has replaced our former system, the free market economy. Gotcha Capitalism — your personal finances, under siege. Mosquitoes might threaten your life with death by 1,000 bites; Gotcha Capitalism threatens your finances with death by a thousand fees.”
cross-posted at Bring It On!