In days of high gas prices, we don’t feel bad for proprietors of gas stations. While this article demonstrates that proprietors don’t make a lot of money in certain areas (I don’t see this happening in, say, Massachusetts), it also shows that our plastic-based economy has a long way to go before the “convenience” of racking up debt via credit card for gas, food, and other commodities shows any benefit whatsoever.
“The more they buy, the more we lose,” said Randolph, who manages Mr. Ed’s Chevron in St. Albans. “Gas prices go up, and our profits go down.”
His complaints target the so-called interchange fee — a percentage of the sale price paid to credit card companies on every transaction. The percentage is fixed — usually at just under 2 percent — but the dollar amount of the fee rises with the price of the goods or services.
The dollar value of the fee goes up, but so does the dollar value of his sales, and therefore his profit. It’s a percentage-based profit, so it doesn’t really make sense that he’s banning credit cards at his station. Then again, maybe we could all benefit from more businesses banning plastic. Our economy would slow down, but an economy based on debt (like ours) is headed for disaster anyway. Do we really want to trade away our future for a couple of extra dollars now – dollars that are worth nothing on the international exchange markets?