I went to buy my bus pass at the city supermarket that sells the monthly passes. It’s not the usual glossy shiny supermarket I shop at but a higher priced less attractive one that offers this service. As I was waiting on long line of workers cashing their checks, I saw the list of charges that anyone who doesn’t have a bank account has to endure. First of all, to cash your paycheck you pay from 1 to 2$. They won’t cash tax refund checks-maybe that sum they charge doesn’t make it worthwhile.
Next, come the charges for paying bills. Electric, gas, and other services charge about 2$ or so. Paying your Verizon cell phone bill costs $3. If you don’t have a checking account (which if you’re earning minimum wage is too hard to keep up a balance so you don’t have to pay a monthly fee), you are charged at every turn for every action. And this isn’t even the worse- your neighborhood corner store will charge a lot more to cash a check.
So once again, the working poor are hit the hardest. Meanwhile, we are subsidizing all the corporate CEO’s who refuse to pay a living wage. Those workers have to be helped with benefits and food stamps because the CEO’s are earning millions and pay far less a percentage of taxes than I do.
And to top it off, 2 of my students had their bicycles stolen at work. For them the bikes are their means of transport. This loss is compounded with so many losses beginning with the most serious one- the loss of a homeland.