Wednesday, July 28

Plastics, Benjamin, Plastics - Since the WSJ is subscription only, I'm going to rely heavily on an article from John's hometown paper, The Virginian-Pilot, which liberally cribs from last Friday's Journal story on rising credit card use. The main point of the article: "in 2003, for the first time, Americans purchased more goods and services with credit cards than with cash or checks." I, for one, hope that this trend continues...there's nothing worse than being stuck in line behind some old crone who decides to start writing her check only after the entire transaction has come to a screeching halt. you have a debit card, ma'am, we all do. So why won't you just use it? The money comes from the same place? I don't want to have to wait the extra twenty-two seconds it will take for your check to be written, reviewed and approved. Of course some, including Christian Broadcasting Network founder Pat Robertson, claim that the pervasive use of credit cards is a sign that the apocylpse is near. Robertson's website, of course, accepts Visa and Mastercard.

But, I digress. Getting back to the central point, one big reason wider acceptance of plastic is the unusual places this form of payment is now accepted. Aboard Navy ships, paychecks are now distributed via debit card and the cards can be used to make donations at the chapel or to purchase soda, among other things. What's the benefit to the Navy? Not having to lug thousands of pounds of quarters to sea any longer.

Now, if only we can get grocery stores to start accepting Amex so that I can earn miles with my turkey and ice cream.