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Why should Americans play the banking game when the rules are so unfair?

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
April 23rd, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

In the court of public opinion, banks have been losing badly. Ever since the 2008 financial crisis, their billion dollar, taxpayer-funded bailouts, and their thanks to the people expressed by means of raising fees, banks are among the least popular institutions in the country. So why do we need them?

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The banking system is a racket, and you have to pay to play. Want to buy a house? You can either work for 30 years to save up enough to pay cash, or you will need a loan with interest. Same deal with a car or most other big-ticket items.

Of course, to qualify for a home loan, you'll need to establish credit, which is another racket altogether. Your credit score reflects how well you play the game financial institutions concocted to make you pay. If you want a good score, you have to obtain credit cards and pay annual fees, but don't use them hardly at all. If you do, you'll pay interest for the privilege.

Many people, fed up with what they feel is an unfair system designed to feed banker's greed, have resorted to non-traditional banking methods, including cash-only.

However, if a person chooses to deal only in cash, they can kiss their credit score goodbye. That's not a problem if you're a good saver and can afford to deal in cash, but very few people can manage that in practice.

Of course, even those who deal in cash encounter banks at some point. Want to cash a check? That's a fee. Need a money order? Another fee. Do you receive public assistance? It's deposited onto a bank card.

Do you need to make a payment online? Online payments were once free because they didn't require labor or infrastructure to process. Now, you pay just for the privilege of to paying. Fees of ten dollars or more are now ubiquitous.

Do you pay a little extra on your car loan? Great, that extra won't be applied to the principal. Instead, they just apply it to next month's payment. There'll be no saving on the interest if they can help it.

All of these fees and such are designed to get you to the bank, sooner or later. Once a consumer is in the bank, there are more fees. Fees for checking, mandatory minimums for savings, and so on.

Ultimately, banks serve as a place to store your money, and you pay them for the privilege of using your money to generate interest for themselves.

Of course, inside the bank, there's a scheme to part you with even more money. In addition to monthly fees, the system itself is designed to cheat you. Commonly, big debits come out first, which can overdraw an account, and forbid an overdraft, or two, or three because of it.

Banks make the rules so sooner or later, we all must pay, such is the nature of the business.

With the greedy disposition of banks, it's no surprise that many Americans are turning to credit unions and other non-traditional systems for managing their money. For many Americans, they simply pay the inconvenient "convenience fees" and deal in cash.

Others have found credit unions provide the right answer to the greed of the big banks. However, even credit unions charge fees and they also require a mandatory minimum deposit, although that amount is usually small.

No matter what, we live in a capitalist society. In this society you are expected to work hard, then pay your taxes. In addition to taxes, you are also expected to pay fees to private institutions, just to spend and manage your money.

Freedom is a wonderful thing and capitalism is filled with opportunity for the enterprising soul. However, what happens when the system is so pervasive and so perverse that that someone who starts poor is literally kept down by rules designed to part you from your money before you can even spend it?

Why are Americans punished for choosing to avoid banks, to avoid the credit racket, and to simply deal in cash?

Welcome to the new America where the banks make the rules and you pay to play. Don't like it? Too bad, it's tough to be poor.

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