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Wed Oct 3, 2012, 07:26 AM

10 things that used to be free

1. Airline services
From baggage and leg room fees to charges for in-flight movies, meals and even bottles of water, airlines have "unbundled" many of their complimentary services and

2. Food delivery
Many restaurants now charge a delivery fee, usually anywhere from $1.50 to as much as $6. Then you're expected to tip the delivery person on top of that.

3. Banking
Today, charges abound -- from monthly charges to overdraft and ATM fees. Some banks have even charged for talking to a teller.

4. Television
Years ago, TVs with "rabbit ears" might have looked silly, but the programming was free. Today, local TV is still free, but more than 100 million American households pay for it through cable and satellite providers. And we are still watching commercials.

5. News
Sure, there's still plenty of news out there for free, but 20% of U.S. newspapers require readers to pay to access online content,

6. Trash pickup
Trash removal is certainly something we wouldn't want to pay for, and often it's included in your property taxes.


7. Gas station services
There was a time when gas station attendants would pump your gas and clean your windshield for free.

8. School activities and facilities
As if college tuition wasn't high enough -- the average in-state tuition at public colleges is $8,244 a year, according to the College Board -- schools are increasingly charging extra fees for fitness facilities, parking garages or even campus health services.

9. Directory assistance
Back in the day, you weren't charged for calling directory assistance. Today, calling or texting your carrier's 411 service could cost you a couple bucks.

10. Paying a bill by phone
Today, you often have to pay a fee just to pay your bill -- over the phone, that is. For example, DirecTV charges $5, and Verizon charges $3.50 for over-the-phone payments.

http://money.msn.com/shopping-deals/article.aspx?post=f506917e-9c6a-4153-bfb7-83dfb377da39

57 replies, 4576 views

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Arrow 57 replies Author Time Post
Reply 10 things that used to be free (Original post)
liberal N proud Oct 2012 OP
a kennedy Oct 2012 #1
dvhughes Oct 2012 #36
BarackTheVote Oct 2012 #46
BarackTheVote Oct 2012 #49
Doremus Oct 2012 #50
hobbit709 Oct 2012 #2
HughBeaumont Oct 2012 #3
liberal N proud Oct 2012 #4
HughBeaumont Oct 2012 #10
blueamy66 Oct 2012 #18
hifiguy Oct 2012 #24
woodsprite Oct 2012 #28
HiPointDem Oct 2012 #39
SoCalDem Oct 2012 #42
MADem Oct 2012 #51
SheilaT Oct 2012 #38
DemzRock Oct 2012 #5
WinkyDink Oct 2012 #15
abelenkpe Oct 2012 #53
meaculpa2011 Oct 2012 #55
DemzRock Oct 2012 #57
MadrasT Oct 2012 #6
Jeff In Milwaukee Oct 2012 #8
WinkyDink Oct 2012 #16
EX500rider Oct 2012 #37
Skidmore Oct 2012 #7
pipoman Oct 2012 #9
Bluenorthwest Oct 2012 #21
Erose999 Oct 2012 #29
hfojvt Oct 2012 #30
pipoman Oct 2012 #47
nichomachus Oct 2012 #32
HiPointDem Oct 2012 #40
pipoman Oct 2012 #45
vanlassie Oct 2012 #11
yesphan Oct 2012 #12
Hamlette Oct 2012 #23
sufrommich Oct 2012 #13
WinkyDink Oct 2012 #14
liberal N proud Oct 2012 #34
wendylaroux Oct 2012 #52
HopeHoops Oct 2012 #17
Bluenorthwest Oct 2012 #19
liberal N proud Oct 2012 #35
Nye Bevan Oct 2012 #20
slackmaster Oct 2012 #22
ProdigalJunkMail Oct 2012 #26
ProdigalJunkMail Oct 2012 #25
spinbaby Oct 2012 #27
Initech Oct 2012 #31
madmom Oct 2012 #33
TBF Oct 2012 #41
AgingAmerican Oct 2012 #43
Octafish Oct 2012 #44
maveric56 Oct 2012 #48
pipoman Oct 2012 #54
meaculpa2011 Oct 2012 #56

Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 07:44 AM

1. This one is the just the worse......

4. Television
Years ago, TVs with "rabbit ears" might have looked silly, but the programming was free. Today, local TV is still free, but more than 100 million American households pay for it through cable and satellite providers. And we are still watching commercials.

Commercials.....CAN NOT STAND THEM..... I love my DVR. But when watching my Packers play football live.......thank gawd there are other channels I can turn to to watch during the commercials.

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Response to a kennedy (Reply #1)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 12:30 PM

36. Absolutely!

Paying to watch commercials. And A LOT of them. Drives me absolutely insane.
My favorite button on my remote is "mute"

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Response to dvhughes (Reply #36)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 02:56 PM

46. Broadcast TV is still free

and in many markets thee are several more networks available over the air than there were in the 70s... yeah, you pay for cable, but... that's a new technology/delivery system... what used to be free is still free, and in increased quantity and quality. Also, commercials pay for the operating costs of the channel and also go toward paying for the shows you're watching... commercials are basically to your basic cable (or network station for that matter) what subscriber fees are to premium cable stations or what box office is to movies... they make the programs you like possible. I'm sure I'm not saying anything people don't already know, but just to reiterate.

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Response to BarackTheVote (Reply #46)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 03:02 PM

49. Also

the money you pay to the cable company? Most stations don't see a cent of it. You're paying for the operating costs of the cable company and for access to their bandwidth.

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Response to a kennedy (Reply #1)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 03:05 PM

50. Before deregulation they used to limit the commercial time in an hour of programming.

Nowadays if you watch an hour of TV, 30 minutes of it are commercials.

If you happen to be watching a talk or variety type show, there are tons of commercials within the programming itself. The fourth hour of the Today show or the View are good examples of that. Lineups of products to buy, one after the other. It's pathetic what the plutocracy has been allowed to do with the public airwaves.

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 07:48 AM

2. Free air and water at the gas station.

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 07:56 AM

3. Pretty much everything in a hotel.

Breakfasts - used to be complimentary, but now most are charging anywhere from 6 to 15 dollars for their buffets.

Internet access - search for a wifi or stick with your 4G. . . dedicated high speed can run up to 14 bucks a day (at the Flamingo, par example), extra for printing.

Refrigerators - the last 4 hotels I've stayed at (including two pretty upscale ones) . .. not even a mini fridge. When the fuck did a refrigerator all of a sudden become a luxury? It's especially grating if you're a derby official and you need cold drinks.

Coffee makers - some hotels stopped including them. After all, why have that when you can buy Starbucks downstairs?

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Response to HughBeaumont (Reply #3)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 08:02 AM

4. I find it interesting that the less expensive hotels provide internet

But as soon as you start paying higher prices for the room such as those in Vegas, you start paying for internet service and other things.

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Response to liberal N proud (Reply #4)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 08:26 AM

10. Oh, no doubt.

We couldn't believe it when we went to Vegas and looked around at our room @ the Flamingo . . . no coffee maker, no refrigerator, a broken alarm clock, barely a working bathroom and 14.95 a day internet access. I mean, they got a killer pool, buffet and casino, but WTF, I've been to Comfort Inns with more in-room amenities.

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Response to HughBeaumont (Reply #10)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 09:35 AM

18. That is all because they don't want you in your room, they want you in their casino!

next time, stay somewhere off of the strip

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Response to HughBeaumont (Reply #10)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 10:24 AM

24. I go to CES every year.

Stay waaaaay off the strip at an extended stay place. The place is not luxurious in the least but the beds are clean, the broadband is free and there's a kitchenette in every rom and it's only about $375 for a WEEK.

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Response to liberal N proud (Reply #4)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 10:48 AM

28. Same thing with campgrounds - KOA=free wifi, Disney=$10/day, and it's wired n/t

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Response to woodsprite (Reply #28)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 01:27 PM

39. Not only campgrounds -- national parks, recreation areas, national forest lands, etc. Charging

 

'day use' fees just to park on undeveloped national forest lands. Fees to camp in wilderness areas.

When we were young we used to camp a lot. It was always free unless the location had significant amenities. I remember meeting a family of migrant workers who camped between jobs -- now it costs as much just to tent-camp for a month as it would to rent an apartment.

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Response to liberal N proud (Reply #4)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 01:52 PM

42. I love my little "cube" internet thingie I have

It goes with me & it's my own private internet service It's well-worth the extra I pay to Time Warner.

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Response to liberal N proud (Reply #4)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 03:21 PM

51. As someone who travels off and on, I have noticed that too.

The fancy "one night in the four/five star" is fun, but you pay through the nose for everything, from parking to the internet.

Go to a nice clean Quality Inn, the parking is free, the breakfast is included, and they usually have a decent pool to have a swim in.

Give me the cheaper venues for any amount of time...

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Response to HughBeaumont (Reply #3)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 01:21 PM

38. Breakfasts, refrigerators, and coffee makers

were things that first showed up in higher end hotels. So they were "free" only because you were paying a higher room rate. Back in the day, I used to carry an immersion heater with with me, along with instant coffee and my own cup and simply make my own coffee in the morning.

And I've noticed that it's only in the more upscale ones that they charge for internet. It's the el cheapos that (last I noticed) had it for free.

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 08:05 AM

5. I'm cheap so I avoid a lot of that stuff...

airlines = actually I almost never fly any more if I can help it. I would rather drive to Disney than fly.

Food delivery = luckily that hasn't hit me, but I often do food pick up anyway.

Banking = I've given up using other atms besides my own banks.

Commercials on cable = time to see what's on other channels.

News = I would never pay for online news. Too many free sites.

Trash pickup = didn't we always pay for this via taxes? ?????

Gas = I'm in NJ. We aren't ALLOWED to pump our own gas by law.

College = OK, this is ridiculous.

411 = use the computer to look up a number

Bill by phone = nope, use the computer

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Response to DemzRock (Reply #5)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 09:08 AM

15. "Trash pickup =" Depends upon one's community. I pay for private; next twnshp over is paid by taxes.

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Response to DemzRock (Reply #5)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 03:43 PM

53. Commercials-time to see what's on other channels

Exactly. On radio or tv if a commercial comes on I change channel or shut it off and check back in later if at all.

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Response to DemzRock (Reply #5)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 07:44 AM

55. I'd rather drink Drano...

than spend ten seconds at Disney.

Flying, driving, or crawling on my hand and kness.... No Disney EVER!

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Response to meaculpa2011 (Reply #55)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 09:32 PM

57. Oh come on it's fun.

If it's not your cup o' tea, that's fine. Also I have a daughter. "Nuff said."

I also like MLP!



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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 08:07 AM

6. TV is still free.

I get the same 6 channels with an antenna that my parents got 40 years ago with an antenna. More TV is available for a fee. But the same free service is available.

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Response to MadrasT (Reply #6)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 08:13 AM

8. I'm seriously considering going all internet...

If I'm going to pay for internet access (and I will) I'm getting to the point where I don't see the point in paying for cable on top of it, particularly when nearly everything that I want to watch is available streaming online.

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Response to MadrasT (Reply #6)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 09:09 AM

16. Depends where one lives.

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Response to MadrasT (Reply #6)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 01:06 PM

37. Here in the Tampa Bay area I get about 45 free channels over the air... n/t

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 08:12 AM

7. I must be creaking because I remember when

you could call your grocery order in and the grocer would have some enterprising young high schooler do your shopping for you and deliver it to your house--no charge. AND he'd put your purchases on a tab to settle with you at the end of the month. This was pretty handy if you were unable to go out or did not have a car.

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 08:25 AM

9. Certainly agree with some of these

some are quite relative though, ie..

#1, air travel has never been proportionately less expensive than it is today, therefore I don't mind either paying for additional services or declining them..

#4 As much as I dislike commercials, because of my DirecTV having 200 channels, the market share of each channel is a tiny fraction of what it was when I was a kid with 3 local channels and PBS. I think it's amazing that I can get access to a satellite, 200 channels, and a DVR for $100 per month...again, proportional to other forms of entertainment costs/values.

#5 News has always cost money, aside from the tuncated network TV news, and radio blurbs.

#6 I've never known a time when trash pickup was free..self disposal through burning it on my own property was an option as a child...it still is where I live today..

#7 Gasoline used to carry a higher markup in the days of full service. My dad owned a gas station in the 70's, he supported our family quite well on the profit from the sale of gasoline...now, the margins are so slim that most gas outlets view it as a draw to sell milk, soda, energy drinks, and blunts...the advent of the convenience store giving gasoline away is what caused full service stations to completely disappear.

#10 If I pay my direcTV online or using their automated bill pay there is no fee, only if I am talking to a person do they charge...OTOH, one of my peeves is my electric cooperative (rural electric) charges $3.95 for any payment not mailed or carried in (online or phone they charge it) even though these processing fees are less expensive to them than having to process checks coming in..

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Response to pipoman (Reply #9)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 09:48 AM

21. Full service stations did not completely disappear, Oregon has only full service

and we have convenience stores and the folks who own these places make good profit. All fuel is attendant pumped here, this makes life nicer for customers, safer for the store attendant, and gives jobs to the folks who pump gas.
Funny that it works for Oregon, also funny that folks can think something vanished 'completely' when an entire State has nothing but. Sort of sounds like the 'we can't make money with employees' rap is not exactly the truth. They make profit here, and they do full service by law....

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #21)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 10:54 AM

29. For a person from OR or NJ to get a drivers license in GA they have to demonstrate that they are


able to pump their own gas, lol.

There are a handfull of full service stations left here in GA. Usually places that have garages attached instead of convenience stores.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #21)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 11:05 AM

30. it would be interesting to see a list

of the percentage of people who have never been to certain states. Probably lots of people have never been to Oregon. I went some 22 years ago - by train. I kinda wanted to rent a car so I could see the Pacific Ocean, but at the time I had neither a credit card, nor a driver's license. But how do Oregon's gas prices compare to Washington's? I think there is still a full service station in Platte City, Mo but their price is about ten cents higher, or maybe just a nickel.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #21)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 02:59 PM

47. You have traveled outside of Oregon, no?

If not, you are going to be in a bit of shock to find that almost every state, county and town in the US is nearly devoid of attendants to pump your gas and laws requiring them. Oh, there are a few around in most states, but you might run out of gas looking for one. You do realize this?

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Response to pipoman (Reply #9)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 11:10 AM

32. What's the relative cost of airline travel

when you add in all the special fees? You pay to talk to an agent vs. using the often faulty online service. You pay to check a bag. Some airlines are charging now for carryon. Want a pillow - pay for it. Want a good seat -- pay for it. Don't want to be the last one on the plane to find there's no overhead space -- pay for it. Want something to eat -- pay for it (through the nose). Want a drink -- pay for it.

Airline service has declined terribly. You may be paying less nominally, but you're getting much less in the way of service and things that are normal parts of traveling -- carrying luggage, for example -- are an extra charge. Also, most airplanes have become little more than flying intercity buses. Uncomfortable seats, no leg room, no side-to-side room, crappy air quality.

What passes for domestic first class in the US today is what coach travel used to be.

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Response to nichomachus (Reply #32)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 01:29 PM

40. yep. the same thing happened to bus travel when they broke the unions. from a reasonably

 

comfortable experience to a cramped, dirty and sometimes dangerous ride.

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Response to nichomachus (Reply #32)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 02:48 PM

45. For me

the flight is as necessary evil as any other mode of transport to get to a destination. I don't need mints on my seat, fluffy pillows, or movies..I don't need to check a bag most of the time..I am looking for the cheapest route to my destination. I don't want to pay for your movie, pillow, or suitcase handling. All that stuff costs money to provide, if it's pay per use, or added into the cost of everyone's flight, it will get paid for. In the last 3 months I flew from tiny Wichita airport to San Diego (round trip) for $250, and Wichita to Pittsburgh for $290 (bought 1 week before leaving). There were no extra charges, that was it. Cheaper than driving, and a lot less fatiguing...3 hours vs. 20 driving..I would stand on my head in a barrel for 3 hours to avoid the 20 hours on the road. I have flown using internet tickets exclusively for the last 10 years with no problems (let's not pretend there weren't problems with travel agents prior to the internet too). For most people, I believe, air travel is simply a means to an end..I get to travel more because of the lower cost. Understand, I'm not in love with airlines, I sure like to get where I want to go.

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 08:54 AM

11. Clean Water.

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Response to vanlassie (Reply #11)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 09:00 AM

12. Bullseye !

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Response to vanlassie (Reply #11)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 10:17 AM

23. this is the one that pisses me off. We pay more for water than for gas yet no one complains.

our tax dollars go to providing safe drinking water. I know in some places bottled water is better but where I live tap water is just fine, good actually yet people pay up to a dollar for a 16 oz bottle of water wasting money and creating landfill with the empties.

dumb. We should insist on clean, good tasting water from the tap. Save outselves.

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 09:03 AM

13. I remember going to Detroit Edison with my mom to

turn in our used light bulbs in return for new ones, they were free.

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 09:06 AM

14. Today, local TV is still free, but more than 100 million American households pay for it = NOT FREE.

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #14)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 12:23 PM

34. If you ditch cable and don't get the satellite, you can pick up many local stations for free

That is what they were referring to.

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Response to liberal N proud (Reply #34)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 03:24 PM

52. I live in rural black zone

even with digital box thingy and antenna I get no channels. Lots of people in the same boat.

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 09:25 AM

17. A lot of Internet bill paying involves a fee (a "convenience" fee). That's after they pushed...

 

... for everybody to "go paperless".

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 09:36 AM

19. Number 7...in Oregon, all gasoline is pumped by the attendant, always...

It's the law. So 'there was a time' is right now, in Oregon. And guess what? Our gas stations employ people other State's stations do not, which make jobs and also makes the stations and stores more secure. Not to mention the boon to the consumer who does not have to get out in bad weather to pump fuel.
Also, we pay for our own trash pick up here. Odd that the piece says "Trash removal is certainly something we wouldn't want to pay for" because I don't care to go to the dump myself and I don't like trash around the property or the city.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #19)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 12:25 PM

35. I believe most if not all of New Jersey is as well.

Someone from NJ would have to correct me if I am wrong. I recall driving into Newark last year and pulled into a station, got out of my car and started to pump gas when the attendant came running our yelling at me that I couldn't do that.

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 09:47 AM

20. Surely "news" is the opposite?

Years ago I had to go out and buy a newspaper. Today I could spend the entire day reading news on the internet for free.

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 09:50 AM

22. I'm sorry, but that is simply not true. None of those things were truly free.

 

They were already paid for by someone - By taxpayers in the case of government services, or by other customers in the case of "free" services provided by businesses.

You can't live on any of those things. About the only things that are truly free in this world are sunshine and air.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #22)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 10:28 AM

26. ya beat me to it...

i should have read your post first...

sP

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 10:27 AM

25. none of these things were ever 'free'

yeah, you didn't have a line-item for them, but you still paid for them. the payment was made in the form of an additional 'cost' to some other product or service provided. now, i am not saying that we're not getting shafted... we are.

sP

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 10:30 AM

27. Parks and museums

Back in the 60s and early 70s I spent many happy hours at the Carnegie in Pittsburgh, which was totally free. I don't remember what they charge per visit today, but I'm paying $200 a year for a preferred membership.

Also, I seem to recall that national parks didn't charge you to visit.

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 11:09 AM

31. #9 and #10 - smart phones have done away with these.

You can use Google as your phone directory and most providers have apps that allow you to pay your bill automatically.

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 12:12 PM

33. A while back I had an argument with a paul-bot about

things that used to be free. He said hospitals and drs services used to be free. I told him no, someone was paying, be it by higher bills for some or higher taxes, SOMEONE was paying. His response was... well HE wasn't paying! That's all that mattered to him.

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Response to madmom (Reply #33)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 01:33 PM

41. It matters to people because we are splitting up a smaller

and smaller portion of the pie.

With the Walton family owning 40% of the wealth in this country the rest of us are left to split the other 60% - and there are bunch of millionaires and billionaires coming in ahead of us.

We are left with the rest of us fighting over a very small pot. And make no mistake the 1% of this country is not going to change this without pressure to do so.

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 01:56 PM

43. The race to the bottom ruined everything

Now corporations are trying to buy up water rights.

Eventually they will try to buy air rights, and charge us a monthly fee to breathe.

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 01:57 PM

44. America

Things changed after Nov. 22, 1963.

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 03:01 PM

48. We had "Free Clinics" in the 70's

If you picked up an STD just walk in and they'd give you a shot. Free and confidential.

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Response to maveric56 (Reply #48)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 07:35 AM

54. Except it wasn't free...

just because the recipient didn't pay, didn't make it "free".

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 08:01 AM

56. I have to fly for business...

and usually on short notice so I've been getting whacked for years.

Now it's much worse. Lousy service, high fares and ridiculous fees. I drive when I can, but that's rare.

I've never paid a delivery fee and I've ALWAYS tipped the delivery person.

MY wife takes care of all banking and she pays no monthly fees. We never had an overdraft, so can't say. When I want cash and I'm not near my own branch I duck into a grocery store or supermarket, buy something I need and take cash back. No fee.

Over the air television is great. Digital signal. Great picture. Most channels have expanded service, especially PBS. (Confession: I have DirectTV. I'll eat a bit less, but I won't go without NFL Sunday Ticket or SpeedTV)

I like the low gas prices in New Jersey, but I hate waiting for the attendant to pump my gas.

Plenty of news services are free, and those that charge can still be accessed through various links.

My son's tuition (in NYS) is $4,000 per year, but he commutes. He participates in several activities but there have not been any additional charges, yet. Would be nice if he attended a class once in awhile.

Trash pickup was never free. Just depended on how you paid for it. Visible or invisible. Friends of ours live on the East End of Long Island, pay horrendous property taxes and have to separate their trash and haul it to the dump themselves. If they're caught tossing trash into the wrong container there's a hefty fine.

Plan ahead. Never call directory assistance from a cell phone!!!

Can't comment on phone banking. As I said, my wife takes care of all banking and bill paying. If I did, everything we own would have been repossessed decades ago.

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