Naples man battled big banks, credit card companies and he won

Richard Marshall/St. Paul Pioneer Press 
 Mike Schumann, co-owner of Traditions Classic Home Furnishings in St. Paul, Minn., and Naples is an original plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit by retailers against Visa, MasterCard and several banks. The lawsuit claims the credit card companies and banks conspired to engage in price-fixing on credit card transaction fees and with a proposed settlement for $7.25 billion the case could become one of the largest anti-trust class-action settlements in U.S. history.

Photo by Richard Marshall

Richard Marshall/St. Paul Pioneer Press Mike Schumann, co-owner of Traditions Classic Home Furnishings in St. Paul, Minn., and Naples is an original plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit by retailers against Visa, MasterCard and several banks. The lawsuit claims the credit card companies and banks conspired to engage in price-fixing on credit card transaction fees and with a proposed settlement for $7.25 billion the case could become one of the largest anti-trust class-action settlements in U.S. history.

— In 2005, Mike Schumann, a Naples resident and business owner, took on Visa, MasterCard and the big banks, fed up with their ever-increasing "swipe fees."

He reached out to Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, headquartered in Minneapolis, because of the law firm's historic multibillion-dollar tobacco settlement.

"I needed a firm with deep pockets," he said, and one that would charge only if his case was successful.

He spurred a class-action suit that resulted last week in a proposed $7.25 billion settlement with retailers over credit card fees. The settlement, filed Friday in federal court in Brooklyn, still must be approved by a judge.

"It took a lot longer than I expected," Schumann said. "When we filed this lawsuit we expected that within two to three years the case would get settled. We were confident all along the case would be settled. We didn't know how good of a deal we would get."

In the lawsuit, retailers alleged Visa Inc., MasterCard Inc. and the big banks, including Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citibank and JPMorgan Chase, colluded on credit card transaction fees, creating a monopoly that drove up costs for merchants and ultimately consumers.

Now, businesses can't directly charge customers for the swipe fees, but to make up for the cost retailers often raise prices for everyone.

Schumann challenged the big boys because credit card processing fees swiped so much of his company's profits. He and his wife, Suzanne, own Traditions Classic Homes Furnishings, with two stores in Minnesota and another in downtown Naples on Sixth Avenue South, next to the U.S. post office.

The deal reached with Visa, MasterCard and 13 of the nation's biggest banks would be the largest anti-trust settlement of its kind in U.S. history, but some retailers aren't buying it, saying it's not enough. Appeals are possible.

"It's an extremely expensive and complicated process to do a suit like this," Schumann said. "The reason we settled was we didn't think we could get a better deal."

One of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, the National Association of Convenience Stores, has rejected the settlement, saying it fails to "introduce competition and transparency into a clearly broken market."

"Consumers and merchants ultimately will pay more as a result of this agreement — without any relief in sight," said Tom Robinson, the association's chairman and president of Robinson Oil Corp. in Santa Clara, Calif.

K. Craig Wildfang, an antitrust attorney in Minneapolis and lead counsel for the plaintiffs, said he assumed some merchants would be unhappy with the settlement because there's always those who want to hold out for more. There is time to change the minds of skeptical merchants.

There is a two-step process for court approval of the settlement, Wildfang explained. First the judge must decide whether the settlement is reasonable, then there will be a final hearing to consider fairness, he said.

The settlement could benefit millions of retailers, even those that have gone out of business, Schumann said. There are about 7 million retailers in the class.

"The amount of money that retailers are going to be getting back is a relatively small sum when you look at what the fees are that they have paid out over the years," Schumann said. "But it's still going to be a big check."

As part of the settlement, credit card processing fees would be temporarily lowered.

More importantly, Schumann said, will be longer-term changes the settlement could bring. Credit card companies and their issuing banks have agreed to modify their rules and practices to give merchants more flexibility to encourage their customers to use debit cards, cash or checks to avoid the higher credit card transaction fees.

Under the settlement, more retailers could stop accepting credit cards altogether or put a 2.5 percent to 3 percent surcharge on purchases made with credit cards to cover the swipe fees, which ultimately could encourage banks to lower the fees, he said.

"My gut feeling is that the gas stations are going to be the ones that are going to jump on this the fastest," Schumann said. "There are already parts of the country where cash pricing is pervasive."

Credit card surcharges have long been prohibited by Visa and MasterCard in their use agreements with retailers.

"Visa and MasterCard had a no-discrimination rule that said, 'You can't treat our cards any differently than you treat any other form of payment," Wildfang said.

After the class-action lawsuit was filed, the credit card companies changed their rules to allow merchants to offer discounts on cash purchases, but many merchants were hesitant to do it because there still were limitations on what they could do at the time of the sale, he said.

The Schumanns, who started their business 25 years ago in Minnesota, saw their credit card processing fees steadily climb, largely driven by more generous rewards programs offered by the issuing banks.

"It's a huge impact on us. Credit card transactions are the third-largest overhead expense we have, after rent and payroll," Schumann said.

He estimates his business spends $50,000 to $100,000 on credit card fees a year.

"A business our size will get in the tens of thousands of dollars in the refund," Schumann said. "How many tens I can't tell you. I don't know. You'll get a check and it's not something you are going to lose in your desk drawer."

While his business is headquartered in Minnesota, these days Mike Schumann, 61, spends more time in Naples. He's here about eight months out of the year.

"As I get older, I really don't like cold weather. And I've really gotten to like Naples," he said.

The Schumanns opened their store in Naples about 10 years ago after a customer from Estero, who was visiting one of their Minnesota stores, suggested they expand here because so many Minnesotans winter in Southwest Florida. After an unusually bad winter up North in 2002, they decided to check out Naples and were hooked.

They bought a condo, then opened a store here.Now, he's more involved in the Naples community than he is in St. Paul, Minn., where he still has a home. He volunteers for the Naples SCORE chapter, which offers free mentoring to entrepreneurs and small businesses.

"It's a really interesting community," he said. "It's a great community, particularly for Minnesotans."

© 2012 Naples Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 46

rtsspeaks writes:

When businesses use credit cards they have less cash on hand and less chance of being held up.
Cash in the till makes the employees prone to the danger of robbers. The credit card fees are passed onto the consumer and the employees are safer.
Cheap insurance for the worker.

Toolong_Inthesun writes:

If you think a telephone bill is incomprehensible try to reconcile your business credit card charges each month, the credit card processing companies are grand masters at adding extra fee and charges way beyond the swipe fee, as a business you are powerless as the companies are usually registered in states that do not have usury laws.

ed34145 writes:

Thanks, a lot Schumann. Your greed has resulted in the fact that now consumers will begin to be charged fees by businesses for using credit cards. What? Your profits weren't enough? You've really ruined it for consumers. You should have stayed in Minnesota. We certainly don't welcome you here.

manforpeace writes:

You should see how much those lawyers in Minnesota made on the tobacco deal. Not very well liked up in the northland.
As far as this little deal they will make more, and we will still be charged.
More propaganda from Laura Layden.
Pure and simple.
Basically means nothing.

gladesgator writes:

Once the lawyers are happy with their fee structure they tend to pressure the clients to settle.

So many people use their credit cards looking for points, cash back or some other inducement. But what is happening is they are taking helping card companies take money for the other coustomers who pay higher prices.

It seems that stores could just give discounts to people who pay by cash or debit card.

I have never had a merchant thank me for using a debit card or cash instead of paying by credit card.

gladesgator writes:

in response to manforpeace:

You should see how much those lawyers in Minnesota made on the tobacco deal. Not very well liked up in the northland.
As far as this little deal they will make more, and we will still be charged.
More propaganda from Laura Layden.
Pure and simple.
Basically means nothing.

I don't know about this case, but I hate to see the avarice of some lawyer negativly impact law and justice. People deserve better than this. Do we all get sick of getting class action notices not worth reading much less filling out while lawyers reap millions from worthless settlements.

Lawyers are not the same and it is hard to fix a system where people are getting rich and richer at others expense.

Gifted1 writes:

Typical wealthy merchant whining about the cost of doing business. Try lawn maintenance or working construction if you do not like the rules.

manforpeace writes:

in response to gladesgator:

Once the lawyers are happy with their fee structure they tend to pressure the clients to settle.

So many people use their credit cards looking for points, cash back or some other inducement. But what is happening is they are taking helping card companies take money for the other coustomers who pay higher prices.

It seems that stores could just give discounts to people who pay by cash or debit card.

I have never had a merchant thank me for using a debit card or cash instead of paying by credit card.

Have you ever asked a merchant if they will give you a discount for paying cash? I have and it works. Last week I made a rather large purchase and asked about paying cash, they were more than happy to knock off 15%. Another person heard my conversation and asked also and was given same deal. Too many people walk around in a haze and only do what they are told, SAD. Go with your gut folks, wake up!
Think for yourself, don't drink the water they give you!

swamp4ever writes:

Where is Chris Dodd and Barney Frank? I thought they were all about protecting the consumer? They had a filibuster proof majority for 2 years and couldn't take care of this for us?

tmmusic writes:

in response to manforpeace:

Have you ever asked a merchant if they will give you a discount for paying cash? I have and it works. Last week I made a rather large purchase and asked about paying cash, they were more than happy to knock off 15%. Another person heard my conversation and asked also and was given same deal. Too many people walk around in a haze and only do what they are told, SAD. Go with your gut folks, wake up!
Think for yourself, don't drink the water they give you!

Amen.

manforpeace writes:

They are both running for the hills, one got married in a perverted way, the other is under investigation. Both are clowns.

Gifted1 writes:

in response to manforpeace:

Have you ever asked a merchant if they will give you a discount for paying cash? I have and it works. Last week I made a rather large purchase and asked about paying cash, they were more than happy to knock off 15%. Another person heard my conversation and asked also and was given same deal. Too many people walk around in a haze and only do what they are told, SAD. Go with your gut folks, wake up!
Think for yourself, don't drink the water they give you!

LOL ! You are the one who needs to wake up. The cash went into his pocket. He will pay no taxes on it. That is why he discounted it much more than the 2.5% transaction fee.

gladesgator writes:

in response to manforpeace:

Have you ever asked a merchant if they will give you a discount for paying cash? I have and it works. Last week I made a rather large purchase and asked about paying cash, they were more than happy to knock off 15%. Another person heard my conversation and asked also and was given same deal. Too many people walk around in a haze and only do what they are told, SAD. Go with your gut folks, wake up!
Think for yourself, don't drink the water they give you!

What kind of merchant? Not Wal-Mart or Lowe's.

I've asked for discounts from local businesses but thats about it.

wentfishn writes:

in response to Gifted1:

LOL ! You are the one who needs to wake up. The cash went into his pocket. He will pay no taxes on it. That is why he discounted it much more than the 2.5% transaction fee.

Yup! Cash is king as they say in bussiness.

gladesgator writes:

in response to Gifted1:

Typical wealthy merchant whining about the cost of doing business. Try lawn maintenance or working construction if you do not like the rules.

What a s----- thing to say! What buisness person is not concerned with the cost of doing buisness?

Gifted1 writes:

in response to gladesgator:

What a s----- thing to say! What buisness person is not concerned with the cost of doing buisness?

A business that is having cash flow problems due to ANY type of 2.5% transaction charge is floundering. Typical business man thinking He is being screwed while maintaining at least two homes and living the good life. To him, enough, is not enough. Where will he look next to cut his costs of doing business? Paying his employees less commission or smaller hourly rate, I'd guess.

greathornedlizard writes:

In San Francisco back in the sixties a group called the Diggers opened a free store.
Everything was free (used clothing and such.)
Some people didn't get the concept, they caught a lady shoplifting!

Max_Headroom writes:

in response to Gifted1:

LOL ! You are the one who needs to wake up. The cash went into his pocket. He will pay no taxes on it. That is why he discounted it much more than the 2.5% transaction fee.

Why are you commenting to a NAPLES newspaper if Ft. Myers is your town (As you said in the obama visit thread)?

gladesgator writes:

in response to Gifted1:

A business that is having cash flow problems due to ANY type of 2.5% transaction charge is floundering. Typical business man thinking He is being screwed while maintaining at least two homes and living the good life. To him, enough, is not enough. Where will he look next to cut his costs of doing business? Paying his employees less commission or smaller hourly rate, I'd guess.

Well, the lawyers sure made out. But I respectfully disagree. This merchant may be doing well but certainly he should look to the seemingly usless cost of processing credit card service fees as a way to control costs. The credit card company not only hits the merchant and his coustomers on the front end but collects a lot of interest on the back end.

It is his perogative to try to cut slaries and benefits as it is the perogative of the emplyees to learn as much as possible, quit and compete with the former employer.

gladesgator writes:

in response to greathornedlizard:

In San Francisco back in the sixties a group called the Diggers opened a free store.
Everything was free (used clothing and such.)
Some people didn't get the concept, they caught a lady shoplifting!

LOL, makeing stuff free takes all the fun away for shoplifters huh?

checkbook_ira#259750 writes:

Well well well...look who the crooks are AGAIN..wells, boa, chase, JPmorgan....nothing but disgusting CROOKS. Why do people continue to do business with these thieves!

my-opinion writes:

in response to Toolong_Inthesun:

If you think a telephone bill is incomprehensible try to reconcile your business credit card charges each month, the credit card processing companies are grand masters at adding extra fee and charges way beyond the swipe fee, as a business you are powerless as the companies are usually registered in states that do not have usury laws.

You are absolutely right about USUARY. Banks and credit businesses are doing it every day. Bush II "deregulated" businesses and allowed for more USARY and greed has overtaken our economy. There isn't a greedy politician anywhere ready to tackle this issue.

Gifted1 writes:

in response to gladesgator:

Well, the lawyers sure made out. But I respectfully disagree. This merchant may be doing well but certainly he should look to the seemingly usless cost of processing credit card service fees as a way to control costs. The credit card company not only hits the merchant and his coustomers on the front end but collects a lot of interest on the back end.

It is his perogative to try to cut slaries and benefits as it is the perogative of the emplyees to learn as much as possible, quit and compete with the former employer.

I agree with your comment about the lawyers always making out great.
However your statement including
" useless cost" is so out of line.
The credit card companies do not provide the processing terminal.
They are the ones who set the rates.
The credit card companies are only offsetting these transaction fees with a fee of their own.
The credit card companies do not directly get this fee. They pay the terminal processing company ( which is linked to an overnight debt warehouse) to secure the dollars from the credit card company, move the funds to their " collection warehouse", then pay the merchant within a day or two, minus the the 1.00 to 2.00% fee for doing these transactions for the credit card companies.
The business owner here could have renegotiated his fee with the terminal provider. He also could have shopped his average monthly amount out to competitive credit card terminal provider companies for a lower rate, or if he reaches a set dollar amount a lesser rate ensues for the balance of the month.

Gifted1 writes:

in response to Max_Headroom:

Why are you commenting to a NAPLES newspaper if Ft. Myers is your town (As you said in the obama visit thread)?

When your comprehension of what you read matches your ability to read I might actually enjoy your worthless banter.
I directly quoted with " " ( they are called parenthesis by the way )The Republican Ft. Myers Mayor who is proud to welcome this countries sitting President to what she described as " my city".
I applauded Her on her stance and commented on how her GOP sheep wouldn't be as classy.

bana writes:

CASH, never leave home without it.

Max_Headroom writes:

Doesn't he know there's a caterpillar over his left eye?

checkbook_ira#259750 writes:

in response to manforpeace:

Have you ever asked a merchant if they will give you a discount for paying cash? I have and it works. Last week I made a rather large purchase and asked about paying cash, they were more than happy to knock off 15%. Another person heard my conversation and asked also and was given same deal. Too many people walk around in a haze and only do what they are told, SAD. Go with your gut folks, wake up!
Think for yourself, don't drink the water they give you!

Good for you. That saved you a lot of money. The merchant probably didn't put the sale on their books. So they saved money and you saved sales tax. Don't let anyone tell you that there is a "duty" to pay sales tax. That is another redistribution of wealth. You better start looking out for yourself because they won't. Civil disobedience doesn't work. Stealth disobedience is your only option for survival. And remember, those of you that have businesses should be thankful the government did that for you!

Sane_in_Florida (Inactive) writes:

in response to ed34145:

Thanks, a lot Schumann. Your greed has resulted in the fact that now consumers will begin to be charged fees by businesses for using credit cards. What? Your profits weren't enough? You've really ruined it for consumers. You should have stayed in Minnesota. We certainly don't welcome you here.

Wait a minute, a small business owner sues the Monster Bank and CC Monopolies and you call him greedy? I want whatever you're smokin!

Sane_in_Florida (Inactive) writes:

in response to Gifted1:

Typical wealthy merchant whining about the cost of doing business. Try lawn maintenance or working construction if you do not like the rules.

I'm befuddled by the ignorance of the people attacking this guy. I stop by the Beach Store on Vanderbilt Beach road a lot and talk to the owner. He's a Tea Party guy and I don't love that but otherwise he's an awesome guy and works his butt off. He gives my dog treats every time I stop by and he works sun up to sun down. The only thing I've ever heard him complain about is CC fees and that includes debit card purchases.

You're completely ignorant on this topic apparently Gifted1.

checkbook_ira#259750 writes:

If you buy anything over the net and use a credit card the state might claim you owe a "use" tax. Don't buy anything with a credit card if purchasing out of state. You must pay by a money order to avoid being fleeced for another 6%. Remember whose side they are on...NOT YOURS. The more they can take from you the more they have for themselves. Theft without a gun. Extortion the "legal" way.

Gifted1 writes:

in response to Sane_in_Florida:

I'm befuddled by the ignorance of the people attacking this guy. I stop by the Beach Store on Vanderbilt Beach road a lot and talk to the owner. He's a Tea Party guy and I don't love that but otherwise he's an awesome guy and works his butt off. He gives my dog treats every time I stop by and he works sun up to sun down. The only thing I've ever heard him complain about is CC fees and that includes debit card purchases.

You're completely ignorant on this topic apparently Gifted1.

Again, the credit card companies are only passing along a fee that they are charged by the company that provides the terminal.
READ:
The credit card companies do not provide the processing terminal.
They are the ones who set the rates.
The credit card companies are only offsetting these transaction fees with a fee of their own.
The credit card companies do not directly get this fee. They pay the terminal processing company ( which is linked to an overnight debt warehouse) to secure the dollars from the credit card company, move the funds to their " collection warehouse", then pay the merchant within a day or two, minus the the 1.00 to 2.00% fee for doing these transactions for the credit card companies.
The business owner here could have renegotiated his fee with the terminal provider. He also could have shopped his average monthly amount out to competitive credit card terminal provider companies for a lower rate, or if he reaches a set dollar amount a lesser rate ensues for the balance of the month.

Gifted1 writes:

in response to checkbook_ira#259750:

If you buy anything over the net and use a credit card the state might claim you owe a "use" tax. Don't buy anything with a credit card if purchasing out of state. You must pay by a money order to avoid being fleeced for another 6%. Remember whose side they are on...NOT YOURS. The more they can take from you the more they have for themselves. Theft without a gun. Extortion the "legal" way.

Or, make enough money to not have to worry about your insignificant little scenarios...LOL

Quietcat writes:

All costs ultimately get passed on to the consumer: Losses due to shoplifting, labor, insurance and credit card fees to name a few. The consumer ALWAYS pays. That's what drives inflation. Any move to reduce a business's costs should be beneficial to everyone.

Gifted1 writes:

in response to Quietcat:

All costs ultimately get passed on to the consumer: Losses due to shoplifting, labor, insurance and credit card fees to name a few. The consumer ALWAYS pays. That's what drives inflation. Any move to reduce a business's costs should be beneficial to everyone.

"beneficial to everyone."
Except the consumer. Lower business costs ALWAYS yield higher GPM's to the owner or parent company.
Not reduced prices.
Could you imagine a business reworking their price structure because a .5% fee reduction in their credit card processing account, or something more tangible like switching to more cost effective over head lighting?

Sane_in_Florida (Inactive) writes:

in response to Gifted1:

Again, the credit card companies are only passing along a fee that they are charged by the company that provides the terminal.
READ:
The credit card companies do not provide the processing terminal.
They are the ones who set the rates.
The credit card companies are only offsetting these transaction fees with a fee of their own.
The credit card companies do not directly get this fee. They pay the terminal processing company ( which is linked to an overnight debt warehouse) to secure the dollars from the credit card company, move the funds to their " collection warehouse", then pay the merchant within a day or two, minus the the 1.00 to 2.00% fee for doing these transactions for the credit card companies.
The business owner here could have renegotiated his fee with the terminal provider. He also could have shopped his average monthly amount out to competitive credit card terminal provider companies for a lower rate, or if he reaches a set dollar amount a lesser rate ensues for the balance of the month.

Visa, MC, and the Big Banks were essentially caught colluding. Yes there are processors but they aren't nearly as powerful as Visa, MC, and the banks who back the cc transactions. They have a monopoly over technology that they should no longer have. Drug patents last twenty years or so and then generics are allowed to compete. In this case, no one can achieve the scale needed to compete, hence the anti-trust/collusion suit.

Gifted1 writes:

in response to Sane_in_Florida:

Visa, MC, and the Big Banks were essentially caught colluding. Yes there are processors but they aren't nearly as powerful as Visa, MC, and the banks who back the cc transactions. They have a monopoly over technology that they should no longer have. Drug patents last twenty years or so and then generics are allowed to compete. In this case, no one can achieve the scale needed to compete, hence the anti-trust/collusion suit.

Visa, MC and the big banks are being charged .75% per each transaction from the terminal provider to move money from the credit card company account into the vendor account.
Why would you expect radically different costs to the consumer, so as not to allege collusion?
Gas stations all around the country within eyesight of each other have very similar prices.
Are they next?

Sane_in_Florida (Inactive) writes:

in response to checkbook_ira#259750:

Good for you. That saved you a lot of money. The merchant probably didn't put the sale on their books. So they saved money and you saved sales tax. Don't let anyone tell you that there is a "duty" to pay sales tax. That is another redistribution of wealth. You better start looking out for yourself because they won't. Civil disobedience doesn't work. Stealth disobedience is your only option for survival. And remember, those of you that have businesses should be thankful the government did that for you!

Sales tax is redistribution of wealth? Are you kidding me? We aren't Dubai or Qatar with gazillions of dollars of oil money to fund the government, sales tax is about as fair as it gets. Wow the cooks down never cease to amaze me!

Quietcat writes:

in response to Gifted1:

"beneficial to everyone."
Except the consumer. Lower business costs ALWAYS yield higher GPM's to the owner or parent company.
Not reduced prices.
Could you imagine a business reworking their price structure because a .5% fee reduction in their credit card processing account, or something more tangible like switching to more cost effective over head lighting?

Nobody is going to reprice their inventory to adapt to a slightly lower cost of doing business, that's true. It won't result in lower prices immediately but all savings go to the bottom line and will stave off some further price increases in the future. Also, depending on the volume of your business, even a small decrease in the discount rate can add up to some significant savings. Any business that wants to be competitive will pass those savings on.

LoadStar (Inactive) writes:

Bottom line - sounds like you and me, ie Joe Consumer, are going to get screwed. Thanks alot, big snarky eyebrow-man!

rags123 writes:

In the late Congress, credit card companies ran the show-no regs, goughing, huge bonuses and constant crying that their international banks weren't making enough money.
Good for Schuman--we need more suits for the suits.

wonderful (Inactive) writes:

in response to greathornedlizard:

In San Francisco back in the sixties a group called the Diggers opened a free store.
Everything was free (used clothing and such.)
Some people didn't get the concept, they caught a lady shoplifting!

dim keynote speaker, eh?

Enjoy!

marconan writes:

No wonder they won the law suit, with a lawyer named Wildfang the credit card companies got scared & settled real quick.

I hope Schumann got enough money out of it to fix that eyebrow.

bigcat21 writes:

in response to ed34145:

Thanks, a lot Schumann. Your greed has resulted in the fact that now consumers will begin to be charged fees by businesses for using credit cards. What? Your profits weren't enough? You've really ruined it for consumers. You should have stayed in Minnesota. We certainly don't welcome you here.

What about the bankster's greed? Do you fail to see that?

Becksperado writes:

Don't know where everyone's getting 1-2.5%. It depends on the card people use. Cards that give airline miles or other rewards can be as high as 5% of the transaction. And everyone seems to have a rewards card these days. Visa or Mastercard from another country, ie., Canada, can be 7% of the transaction. I won't even accept American Express, their fees are exorbitant. So, yeah, if your average transaction charge is $1000+, this is a significant amount of $ over a year. I would like to charge people at least 2.5% to use a credit card...haven't done it so far.

John_Galt writes:

in response to my-opinion:

You are absolutely right about USUARY. Banks and credit businesses are doing it every day. Bush II "deregulated" businesses and allowed for more USARY and greed has overtaken our economy. There isn't a greedy politician anywhere ready to tackle this issue.

You are mis-informed. Bush was the biggest regulator, passing MORE regulations than all previous presidents combined - until Obama came along and did 16 times more than even Bush. Who cares about facts when you can just take the democratic or republican talking points right?

BE LIBERTARIAN!

LIVE FREE!

http://www.collierLP.com

HAL9000 writes:

in response to greathornedlizard:

In San Francisco back in the sixties a group called the Diggers opened a free store.
Everything was free (used clothing and such.)
Some people didn't get the concept, they caught a lady shoplifting!

Gee, welfare for middle drop-outs. What a unique concept that was! Sweet William worked for the Diggers and later became a Hells Angel. His idea of a "real lady" was drug-addled Janis Joplin. The sixties shall remain a maximum in American history... I refrain from saying of what!

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