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A penalty for the poor

I went into my local bank this week and saw a big sign that from now on they will charge a $15 fee for cashing checks for someone without a bank account there. Why?..

Why is this legal? Personal checks I can see, they may be fake. But a paycheck from Sam Levi? A tax refund? The bank knows that check is pretty darn sure to go through, doesn’t it? The policy’s a rip off, penalizing the poor for being poor.

Respectable banks are joining rent-to-own shops, check-cashing joints, loan sharks, numbers runners and the state lotteries– deliberately targeting the poor. Why not? Take advantage! They went to bad schools, they’re gullible: why not con poor people out of the little they have?

Overdrafts are the biggest scam. The bank explains it like they are doing you a service by letting the transaction go through– but really, they’re piling up fees. They allow the big transaction that dips your balance below zero, then they bounce all the little ones and charge fees that are bigger than the checks you wrote when you thought you had the money.

Banks and finance companies operate completely backwards. They charge the most for people who are the least able to afford it. Wealthy people get their fees written off– they can be overdrawn by thousands!

In our country, rich people get privileges, and poor people are despised. I don’t understand this. Is it Social Darwinism? Our Calvinist heritage? What is it that invites us to abuse the poor? It’s as if poverty itself is a crime, and proof that the person’s not worthy.

By the same author;

House Number 230
Elmswood Park
Along 1st Road
Marondera, Mashonaland East 00000

Published by K. T. NHAMO

I would rather entertain people and hope they were educated than educate them and hope they were entertained.

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