Just yesterday, I found a meme on Facebook about predatory banking practices, with this particular one focusing on the Bank of America. The narrating voice was that of a predatory banker (again, imagine some official from the Bank of America) noticing that you only have $0.56 in your account. So, the bankster decides to charge you an "Monthly Maintenance Fee" of $8.95, which of course puts your account in the red. You now owe the bank $8. 39.
But wait! There's more.
Since you now overdrafted, you owe an additional $35 fee, which means that you now owe $43.39.
At the end, it says in obvious sarcasm:
You're Welcome, and thank you for choosing Bank of America.
Yes, I saw it and wanted to share it right away, because this is one of the main things that is wrong with America today. This is the reality of what people seemed to think of as a magical, fix-it-all political and economic concept of deregulation. When there are no rules in place to limit the greed and excess of powerful institutions, the little people get hurt. Clearly, if you have less than a dollar in the bank, you either have fallen on hard times, or you have long struggled financially. And instead of catching a break, you have to deal with predatory banking. Instead of helping you out, or at the very least leaving you alone to try and catch up, the bank will try and add to your misery so that it can line it's own pockets.
Now today, I saw another meme on Facebook, and also decided to share this one. It was from the Bernie Sanders campaign, which I support, and it had one of his quotes. Here it is:
"Sadly, in America today, it is very expensive to be poor."
~ Bernie Sanders
That not only is the truth, but it is why I support Sanders for the presidency. He is willing to tackle the real issues that affect people, such as predatory banking and other excesses from corporate culture run amok here in America. Sure, it's not sexy. It's not the Kardashians, or voting on some silly reality program. It is not millionaire athletes with big wallets and big mouths, whining about how they are underpaid. It is not, moreover, what passes for politics these days, with an obstructionist Congress that simply stands in the way of anything and everything that President Obama wants, whether or not it is good for the country.
What gets the attention these days in politics is Donald Trump. People like him, especially many blue collar workers. I am still not entirely sure why, although I guess it is because they feel that he is rich already, so he cannot be bought, like so many other corrupt politicians. Also, for better or for worse, he speaks his mind, and that might seem like a refreshing change to some.
But Trump also represents the worst that this country has to offer. He speaks loudly, but shows how little he is actually qualified to talk about in the process. He gets enormous attention because he promises the world, says some amazing, grandiose things, like he will be the biggest job creating president in history, and he says that when he is president, the country will get so used to winning all of the time, that they will get sick of it. According to him, he is going to win the presidency, and will end up as the be all, end all president.
Yet, he has sickened and frightened many with his ignorant and arrogance statements, showing a measure of xenophobia that is alarming for such a prominent national political figure.
So, how is it that he dominates the headlines so spectacularly, while a man of far more substance, who really is a champion of the middle class and blue collar workers, and who has a proven track record of not being sold and, in fact, of blasting the political culture that is so blatantly corrupt, receives little attention. How is it that the entire major media now seem to focus exclusively on Hillary Clinton, as if she were the chosen one now? How is it that she entered the race as rather far to the right of Sanders, then spoke as if she were a lefty when she found herself suddenly struggling, and now, once again the media darling, she has taken a predictable, inevitable hard right turn again?
It makes me angry, but it is just a bit of history repeating, after all.
Still, Bernie Sanders should have a much longer lasting impact on America than he is given credit for, and I think that you should read the article (see link below) to find out why that might be:
Donald Trump is getting all the press, but the Bernie Sanders movement is more important for the future Updated by Matthew Yglesias on December 11, 2015: