Surprising Stuff

Why is your credit card being declined in some places and not in others?
It would be good to have video cameras at the counters of most retail stores just to gauge the not so pleasing reactions to people being declined for no seemingly good reason using these “chipped” new credit cards. It appears there are some problems internal due to these new cards. Old problems coming back, in reality.

Freedom cards issued by Chase Bank are not working these days and neither are some Capital One Bank cards. No explanation yet for these problems. It’s not you, or your credit, if you’ve been declined with one of those, although there is no notification made at the time of the card use as to why the thing was declined. Many merchants are opting out of American Express Credit cards because they now charge 8.5% of the gross (which is more than Wisconsin sales tax!) for use. The new “money back” Discovery card is 5.5%. Oh, and the American Express Company requires merchants to “join” them for a hundred dollar annual membership fee.

Regular Visa and MasterCard still retain the 3.0% fee. Knowing this information going in can help you understand why merchants prefer one card over another and also can help you understand better the whole “decline” phenomenon that’s occurring across the credit spectrum. Five years ago the number of credit card declines of retail transactions was less than two percent (2%). Today that number is approaching eight percent (8%).


$550,000.00 for a middle lane right down the center of Main Street in Lake Geneva.
That’s right with no study to see if a new lane will improve anything. No study, no survey and nothing but “Piggy Bank” Winkler’s conclusions made from the window of his office that overlooks the site. Lake Geneva’s very expensive “Middle Finger” will be well placed this summer, and the more than half a million will be paid out to the exact same collection of cronies the money’s been draining out to for so many years.

Dan Winkler Lake Geneva

Dan Winkler. The guy on the right with the blue coat on. Out there in the winter air checking out where and how the new cable lines might be run under Center Street without interrupting traffic or business. The man is not all bad. He works. The question everyone is left with lately is a tough one though. Who’s he working for?


The rebuild of the old theater is a great idea and Shad Branen should be the new owner and developer if he thinks he can make money with the project.
But there is no way he should get $900,000.00 from Lake Geneva taxpayers to help him or fund the project in such a way that Lake Geneva is unprotected against the potential bankruptcy of the endeavor, or from the old structure being left right like it is and then sold for peanuts because the nine hundred grand covered the real cost of the purchase.
Think about it.
Nine hundred grand ($900,000) for improvements accepted and then redirected to pay the purchase price.
Sell the unrestored pile of mortar and stone for four hundred thousand, or so.
Net profit?
Four hundred grand ($400,000), or so. Do the math.

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