What's the deal about poor people and banks?

Somebody help me...I really don't get this.

I've always had a bank account. And I've been poor. I've worked punch presses next to illiterates. I've been threatened with eviction. I've even (please forgive me, fellow Americans) been on food stamps. But maybe once in my life have I been to one of those pits of usury who charge an-arm-and-leg to cash your check (and even more to give you money before you get the check).

So this woman gets a check from FEMA because she was a victim of Hurricane Katrina. A BIG check, $18K or so. Does she go to a BANK (which I'm sure would be more than happy to open an account for that kind of money)? No, she goes to the local check cashery. Of course, they make a big fuss about cashing such a large check, probably quite loudly, taking their own good time. She walks out with $17,975 in cash, takes it home and hides it (only smart thing she did). She comes home from grocery shopping...and there are three masked gunmen, who take all the money.

This being the San Fran Chronicle, we're supposed to feel sorry. Yes, I feel sorry - sorry that the government blew $18K on this idiot. At age 42 with 5 kids, she's been around the block once or twice. She knows the morals of her peers and sub-peers.

So what's the deal about banks and the poor? It's a serious question to my readership.

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Posted on: March 17, 2006 10:46 AM

How us bringing the money home and hiding it, and eventually getting it stolen "the only smart thing she did"?

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Posted by: Jeffrey Quick
Posted on: March 17, 2006 11:10 AM

At least she had the sense to hide it, as opposed to carrying it with her to the grocery store. Of course, when you have one crook pointing a gun at you, and another at your 2 year old, and they know just how much you have, hiding it really doesn't help very much.

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