“Our bank has a poor tax now,” was Jordan’s observation as we got this notice from Chase. And so it has: It now fines people who don’t have enough money. Checking is free if you have at least $1500 or make a monthly direct deposit of $500 or more. Otherwise, it’s a $10 a month fee.
Wait, what? So if you don’t have enough money…they charge you money? Thus ensuring that you will continue to not have money, so that they can continue to charge you money? Why not just bring back debtor’s prisons and have done with it?
It’s true that, assuming that they need more money and absolutely need to earn it by charging fees and not by, say, loaning money and making financial investments like a freaking bank, then yes, they have to do something like this, because they couldn’t charge you for putting too much money in the bank.
Oh wait, they earned $11.7 billion in profits last year. So they’re just being pricks.
They’re also shooting themselves in the foot in the long run, since they’re helping to create a class of people in abject, inescapable poverty. These people will never take out mortgages or make investments or any of the things that actually earn banks money. They’re also helping grind economic recovery to a halt, since what kind of person has no monthly deposits and can’t keep a minimum balance? The unemployed. But Chase is willing to accept all that for the chance to take $10 a month from people who don’t have $10 a month.
But enough from me. Someone else has a few choice words for Chase and the other banks:
Behold, the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields, and which has been withheld by you, cries out against you; and the outcry of those who did the harvesting has reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. (James 5:4)
You shall not be partial to the poor nor defer to the great, but you are to judge your neighbor fairly. (Leviticus 19:22)
But your eyes and your heart are intent only upon your own dishonest gain, and shedding innocent blood and on practicing oppression and extortion. (Jeremiah 22:17)
There is a kind of man whose teeth are like swords and his jaw teeth like knives, to devour the afflicted from the earth and the needy from among men. (Proverbs 30:31)
For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Timothy 6:10)
Woe to those who scheme iniquity, who work out evil in their beds! When morning comes, they do it, for it is in the power of their hands. They covet fields and seize them, and houses, and take them away. They rob a man and his house, a man and his inheritance. (Micah 2:1-2)
Hear this, you who trample the needy, to do away with the humble of the land, saying “When will the new moon be over, so that we may sell grain, and the sabbath, so that we may open the wheat market, to make the bushel smaller and the shekel bigger, and to cheat with dishonest scales, so as to buy the helpless for money and the needy for a pair of sandals, and that we may sell the refuse of the wheat?” (Amos 8:4-6)
On garments taken as pledges they stretch out beside every altar, and in the house of their God they drink the wine of those who have been fined. (Amos 2:8)
Therefore because you impose heavy rent on the poor and exact a tribute of grain from them, though you have built houses of well-hewn stone, yet you will not live in them; you have planted pleasant vineyards, yet you will not drink their wine. For I know your transgressions are many and your sins are great, you who distress the righteous and accept bribes and turn aside the poor in the gate. (Amos 5:11-12)
And basically the rest of Amos. Alas, I don’t think we’re actually going to see anyone get dragged with a meat hook. This is, however, a great illustration of why we can and should tax the crap out of the rich: Because the inherent structure of our society already fines the crap out of the poor. Just reaching the point where poor people are able to keep all the money that they earn, let alone gain interest on it, would be an advance.
In conclusion, can anyone recommend a good credit union in the Pasadena area?