If for no other reason than low-income families actually being ableto forget their troubles at the bright shiny water park -- right, Scott?
‘How the Other Half Banks,’ by Mehrsa Baradaran, reviewed by Nancy Folbre (New York Times)
In 1890 the journalist Jacob Riis published “How the Other Half Lives,” a powerful indictment of the horrific tenements of New York that gave rise to a significant housing reform movement. Mehrsa Baradaran, a University of Georgia law professor, reaches for a similar impact in her description of the oppressive financial environment that low-income families inhabit.
The answer to the implicit question contained in her title, “How the Other Half Banks,” is simple: The “other half” hardly banks at all. Many families below the midline of income distribution in the United States rely heavily on check-cashing services, payday lenders and title vendors charging fees and interest higher than any chartered bank could legally impose. Financial deregulation enabled banks to slough off low-income customers even as it created new opportunities for storefront profit-taking.