Joe Doakes from Como Park writes:

Ramsey County doesn’t take credit or debit plastic for recording fees for deeds, mortgages, etc., only checks or cash.

The recording fees can easily be $150.00. Who carries that much cash? Who carries a checkbook anymore?

The Credit Union put an ATM in the lobby for the convenience of customers, employees and the cash-needing public.

The ATM doesn’t meet the requirement of the Americans with Disabilities Act: it doesn’t have Braille keys.

Result: if everybody can’t use it, then nobody can use it. We pull it out.

So that makes everybody EQUAL, in having no access to funds. Everybody suffers together EQUALLY. I suppose it’s FAIR. But is it HELPFUL?

Does this application of the law actually make things BETTER for persons with disabilities, or worse? At least the old way, you could have a friend punch in the numbers so you could get your money. And you did bring a friend, right, to drive you here — because how else did you get to an office located across the river and not on a bus line? So you have a friend, you have money in the bank, you have documents to record . . . and we send you away. To be fair TO YOU, the disabled person. You’re the one we’re protecting with this law. You’re the one we’re “helping.”

We’re from the government and we’re here to help you. Why aren’t you more grateful?

Joe Doakes

Como Park

But remember, handicapped people who are traipsing back across the river to find cash: if you complain about government regulations, it’s back to tainted beef and sewage in your water!

Give thanks to Dear Governnment!


8 thoughts on “Fairness

  1. Sometimes us conservatives are smarter than your average citizen. When the ADA act was passed, I said it has noble goals and makes everyone feel good, but it is far too overreaching. And that is what happened. Example (and those against train subsidizes will like this one). An Amtrak station in Tomah Wisconsin, that boards about 8 people a day, had to build a $600,000 platform to meet ADA requirements. The newspaper story on this had a guy comment, saying “you give me $500,000 and I will be on call 24 hours a day to help any handicapped person who wants to ride, onto the train, and will even tuck them in. The gov’t saves $100,000”.

    But yes, under ADA, if everyone can’t use it, then nobody can use it.

  2. This really isn’t about ADA.

    Why would they require cash or check? That’s easy. First, a story.

    Back in 1990, Mrs. D and a few of her college friends took a trip to Europe. At one point they were in Budapest and needed to get some money, so they wrote out a traveler’s check and went to a bank. Hungary was still under Communist rule at the time. It took them about 2 hours to get the check cashed and at least 8 different people handled the check before it was cleared. They were able to watch the whole process play out and it was like watching a mouse go through a snake.

    Flash forward to today. It’s easy to guess that, somewhere in the bowels of bureaucracy, there is some sort of accounts receivable department in which a unionized worker (or workers, natch) has responsibility for handling cash and checks. If Ramsey County started taking plastic, those functions would be handled electronically and said unionized worker(s) would be left without a job. Can’t have that!

  3. Usually plastic isn’t accepted to avoid the transaction fee.


    This ADA story reminds me of all the signs in multiple languages for the immigrants and illegal aliens that are illiterate.

  4. I’m still trying to understand why my tax dollars go to pay for a Hennepin County Dept of Human Services and a Minnesota State Dept of Human Services. I sent the required telegram to the Dept of Redundancy Dept but still haven’t received a reply.

  5. Usually plastic isn’t accepted to avoid the transaction fee.

    True, K-Rod, but the government isn’t like gas stations, which will usually give you a discount in the price if you pay with cash. Ramsey County doesn’t have any competition for its services, so it can simply include the transaction cost in the fee they charge you. You don’t get a discount for paying cash at the Recorder of Deeds. That’s why I say this requirement is about keeping county employees wearing those rubber thumb thingies around. Especially if they belong to AFSCME.

  6. “The recording fees can easily be $150.00. Who carries that much cash? Who carries a checkbook anymore?”

    Indeed! We can’t disenfranchise anyone that has to cash a check. Hell, they might need a picture ID. Horrors!

  7. Usually plastic isn’t accepted to avoid the transaction fee.

    True, K-Rod, but the government isn’t like gas stations, which will usually give you a discount in the price if you pay with cash.

    I went and got tabs at the Brookdale Hennepin County Service Center last weekend. They used to take Visa/MC/Discover. There were signs all over the place saying “In order to comply with new legislative requirements concerning credit card fees, we no longer accept Visa. We still accept MasterCard and Discover”.

    Good thing I decided to bring the checkbook…JUST IN CASE…as my check card from Wells Fargo is Visa.

  8. The comments about the DMV refusing to take Visa reminds me of when Mike Freeman ran for governor in 1998. Freeman competed for the DFL nomination and as I recall his focus was on ways to save money in government by improving the way that services are being delivered. One of the things I remember him talking about during a radio interview was that it was much cheaper for the State government to have people file for things like renewing their driver’s licenses or file their income taxes online than to send in a paper application. Yet even though it ends up being less expensive for the government, they charge people for the convenience thereby discouraging them from doing something that would save the State money.

    Example: I finished preparing my income taxes last week on TurboTax but I make too much to qualify for free e-filing so I will likely print up a hard copy and mail it in to get my principal* back as it is much cheaper than paying the electronic filing fee. I still pay the fee for my license tabs though because it’s about $1.75 which isn’t worth the time to go to the post office and buy a stamp and envelope. If electronic filing were free (like the IRS) or had a more nominal fee, I think we’d have much better and more efficient tax compliance in our State.

    * I refuse to call it a “ tax refund” – what it really is is an interest-free loan that I was forced to make to the government for which I am now receiving part of the principal back minus the opportunity cost of being able to invest it or even keep it in my savings account.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.