News of the Tautological

Daily Best of the Web   —   Posted on October 1, 2014

The following is an excerpt from OpinionJournal’s “Best of the Web” at WSJ written by the editor, James Taranto.

News of the Tautological

  • “The Insiders: Third-Party Candidates Could Be Spoilers”–headline, Washington Post website, Sept. 29
  • “What the Long Term Unemployed Need: Jobs”–headline, WeeklyStandard, Sept. 30

The Automated Teller Diet
“ATM Fees Are Officially an Absolute Ripoff,” asserts a headline at Writes David Ludwig:

ATM fees–our favorite thing to complain about–rose five percent in the last year.

That’s right, people. Withdrawing money from an out of network ATM–i.e. an ATM that’s not run by your bank–now costs consumers an average of $4.35 per transaction, according to data compiled for the annual Bankrate Checking Survey. Your bank pockets $1.58 of this while the ATM machine owner keeps the remainder.

To put it another way: Every time you withdraw money from a local convenience store you’re paying the equivalent of a Vente Chocolate Chip Frappucino from Starbucks. That’s 720 calories of blended coffee product that you’re paying for but not getting.

Ludwig has discovered a great weight-loss plan. If you weigh 150 pounds, paying the ATM fee instead of buying the Frappucino is the equivalent of spending more than two hours on the treadmill at 4 miles an hour, according to the calculator

Not only that, but add the gym fees you don’t have to pay to the cost of the forgone frappucino, and you see you’re actually making money on the deal. You can never be too rich or too thin, but David Ludwig’s ATM Diet is a step in the right direction.

For more “Best of the Web” click here and look for the “Best of the Web Today” link in the middle column below “Today’s Columnists.”