Poverty isn't Free
noticed the post by John Edwards at the new TPM Café titled: Being Poor is Expensive
For people who don't know: poor people are stuck in a cash economy because they can't afford the fees on checking accounts. The people willing to loan money to the poor charge rates that are often into triple digits and some still remember as the criminal offense of "loan sharking" or usury.
The products that poor people can afford to buy are more expensive in the long run as they are less efficient and don't last as long as the slightly more expensive models. The housing poor people can afford is less secure and efficient as the next level up.
A character in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series refers to it as the law of boots: $50 boots will keep your feet dry for 20 years, but the $10 boots you can afford fall apart in a year. Over 20 years the rich man has spent $50, but the poor man has spent $200 and has damp feet.
People who need money can't borrow it at a reasonable rate, but people who don't need it can buy cars with 0% interest rates. The system is geared toward gouging the poor.