Regulating Something They Don’t Understand

Want more proof that those creating the regulations whereby the rest of us must live often are guilty of having no idea about the areas in which they are regulating? Note the following from this report from the Washington Post:

Quite a few of the Senate’s aging members appear to have little if any contact with the decades-old technology of cash machines.

Sen. Ben Nelson (D), for example, told the Omaha World-Herald this week that he has never once used an ATM card, relying on human bank tellers instead. His Nebraska colleague, Sen. Mike Johanns (R), has used his ATM card less than five times. And Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), the ranking member on the Senate banking committee, said he has a credit card but doesn’t use it for cash.

And then there is this revelation from Sen. Nelson:

“I’ve never used an ATM, so I don’t know what the fees are. It’s true, I don’t know how to use one,” said Nelson, who turned 69 earlier this week.

But, Nelson added: “I could learn how to do it. . . . I swipe to get my own gas, buy groceries. I know about the holograms.” An aide later said Nelson was referring to bar codes used to scan products at retail stores.

photo via Getty ImagesAll of this is in light of recent legislation in the Senate seeking financial reform — something sure to add more regulations on financial services, including ATM cards. Though they themselves do not appear to have much knowledge of or experience with ATMs, they are perfectly fine with making detailed rules and regulations telling those individuals and businesses who do use ATMs and ATM cards on a regular basis how to go about their business.

Not knowing how ATM cards and fees work may be merely ignorance. Pursuing detailed regulations and controls over them without knowing much about the subject is nothing but arrogance.

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