I certainly agree with reader Marc Perkel's ("This is not the United States of Corporate America," Oct. 14, AFN) implied assertion that the banks should not have been bailed out. They should have been allowed to fail. Our government certainly had no obligation other than that provided by the FDIC act ... protect the depositor.

However, Perkel's comments about debit card charges proves that one should read up on the facts before ranting.

Before the "Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act" (an oxymoron in its own right), debit card transactions were paid for by the merchant ... typically 44 cents per transaction.

Then the merchants, primarily funded by Wal-Mart, "urged" (and you know what that term means) Congress to forbid such charges. Thus, that particular paragraph of "Dodd-Frank."

The banks had no choice but to pass the costs on to the consumer.

Perhaps Perkel thinks that banking services should be free? I would remind him and all other like-minded readers that there is no "right" to free banking services, or, for that matter, a "right" to happiness, only a right to the pursuit thereof. In other words, you have to work for it.

Jim Thompson

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