To This We Have Been Reduced – Too Poor To Bank

What does it mean not to have, for lack of opportunity, access to something as simple as a bank? For one, it means you are probably stuck with predatory check-cashing and pay-day loan companies for getting access to ready cash—and sure this is no secret, but consider in addition: You have no access to something as simple as a humble savings account, and this means that you can’t even keep what little savings you do have safe from theft, fire, or other disasters. You have no way of keeping your savings from being eaten away by inflation. You’re money is not insured by the FDIC, indemnifying you against fraud and malfeasance. Many online services are unavailable to you because they require a legit checking or savings account as proof of identity and as a guarantee of income. You can’t take out a loan or pay your bills without wasting time and effort. In short, life is a grinding, money sapping, poverty enforcing bitch!

A FDIC survey, reported in the Washington Post, estimates that almost 1/4 of American households, almost 60 million families have limited or no access to banks or other traditional financial services.

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9 thoughts on “To This We Have Been Reduced – Too Poor To Bank”

  1. @holte ender: Don’t you mean customers who DON’T have a zero balance (only) one or two days a week?

  2. Mr_Blog… NO! No public option! That’s…er…socialism, damnit! Now…what were we talking about?

    Frogette… And doing gang-buster business. The only thing that seems to stop them are state laws prohibiting usury.

  3. Holte… If only I could get my balances down to zero. I have a philosophy about that: If all the bills are paid, all the savings stashed away, all the other obligations met, and the balance is zero… I WIN!

    Robert… I think either way is reasonable. Banks just don’t want to deal with small accounts from which don’t contribute to their bottom line, assets-wise.

  4. Banks would prefer not to deal with individuals at all, save for the fact that we are the one type of customer that they can pretty much fleece at will; fees for everything, free nothing, penalties for perfection, criminally low interest rates.

    I think at federalized consumer bank would be a great idea.

    I’m fairly sure that it could be contested on constitutional grounds. I’ll have to do some research.

  5. I’m fairly sure that it could be contested on constitutional grounds.

    Thomas… No doubt Tea-party numbskulls would protest a federal consumer bank exactly *because* it would cater to the financially underserved.

    Even Gary Coleman uses pay day loans…

    Agi…I can definitely see that–a pound of flesh here, a pound of flesh there…

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