by Pa Rock
A regular reader wrote in today to mention another way that some banks stick it to the poor. It is a process called a minimum balance fee - a special charge that is imposed on your account if you fail to maintain a certain amount of money in your account. So the poor, who are often lucky to have any balance at all, get dinged with an extra fee if they can't maintain the necessary amount.
The particular bank that he was talking about was Bank of America, a money-grubbing monster that charges a monthly "maintenance fee" of $20 on any checking account that fails to maintain a $2,000 balance. An average family that struggles from paycheck to paycheck can just about plan on donating $240 to the gargantuan Bank of America every year. That makes for a very lucrative income stream that doesn't pose any burden on the bank's wealthier customers.
It sounds to me like Bank of America is redistributing the wealth - sending it from the poor to the rich!
And here's another example of wealth redistribution, straight from today's headlines. Exxon-Mobile reported its best quarterly profits ever - $14.5 billion! The poor use just as much gas as the rich to drive to work every day, and often more considering that their raggedy-assed vehicles seldom operate at maximum fuel efficiency. Why can't a good portion of that obscene profit be used to lower prices at the pump? Or why can't fuel taxes be reduced and replaced with a stiff and meaningful tax on the corporate profits of the oil companies? Why must the public pay taxes to support the Oil War when it is companies like Exxon-Mobile who will ultimately benefit from the fiasco in Iraq with new pipeline routes and easy access to Iraq's oil fields?
Are you poor and living in America? Take a number and bend over - someone will be on you shortly!