Thursday, September 29, 2011
Prior to seeing the sign in the picture at this Raceway Gas station, I had called into my bank to check on my checking account and heard this strange amount that I know I had not authorized. When I asked about it, I was told it was the gas station (a different oil company, Chevron if my memory serves correctly) placing a hold on my account when I had purchased $20 worth of gas. A hold of $125 was placed on my checking account for a $20 purchase of gas. I guess this particular Raceway Gas station was receiving so many questions and complaints that the management just decided to place the sign in the picture on the gas pump explaining the practice. I have also just recently experienced having to give my zip code to the attendant when purchasing gasoline with a debit card. I don't know about you, but this seems like a whole lot of hassle in order for me to be able to use my money. I did say "My Money?" I don't think I can emphasize that enough, that it is my money in the account and not a loan or a credit. (I use "My" and "Your" interchangeably).
According to the Los Angeles Times, "Most Bank of America (BofA) customers will soon see a new charge on their statements -- $5 for any month in which they use a BofA debit card to make a purchase. Consumers should prepare for more such charges, analysts say, as big banks strive to recover revenue they have lost to financial reforms adopted in the aftermath of the economic meltdown.The new Bank of America fee will be phased in early next year, said Anne Pace, a spokeswoman for BofA, the nation's largest retail bank."
So now, let me get this straight.......... if I am not using my bank (the bank which issued the debit card) to withdraw money with my debit card, I am hit with a fee of anywhere from $1.00 - $5.00 as it is, and now Bank of America is talking about adding yet another fee to use your own money. Keep in mind, this is money in YOUR checking or savings account and not money that is being loaned to you. Money that you have earned and deposited in the account. Money that has already been taxed and will probably be taxed again somewhere along the line, that you are paying multiple fees and having your account held to access. Did I say it was YOUR money??? MY money?? In many Critical Thinker posts, I ask the question, "Does that make sense to you?" and this is another one of those occasions. Does this make sense to you? Now if it does, I need you to respond in the comment section of this blog because it makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever other than the fact that I am being ripped off. This sounds like the airlines charging for luggage. We are being nickled and dimed not only into the poor house but through it and out of the back door. We are heading into the outhouse of the poor house.
Keep in mind that the ATM and debit system was created to help banks be able to reduce personnel (tellers) and reduce face to face transactions at the bank (which was supposed to save them - the bank- money). How many ways can we pay for the convenience of being able to access OUR money 24/7? So the way I see it is, it will cost you almost 50% of your money to withdraw your money and when it is not costing you to withdraw it, it is being held so that you can't withdraw it. The more I write in this post, the more frustrating this is getting and I hope that the more you are reading in this post, the more frustrated you are getting. This is ridiculous. Fees on top of fees on top of fees to withdraw your own money..........
It is getting closer and closer to the time of placing your money in your mattress or pillowcase in order for you to be able to withdraw it when you want and how you want free of charge. Right now the mattress is not looking too bad considering that if BOA is going to roll out this monthly fee, you can rest assured that the others will follow. Yes indeed, the mattress is looking pretty good right now. I welcome your feedback in the comment section of the blog. Something else to critically think about.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Monday, September 19, 2011
Two days later as I parked my car and exited it, I ran into the kid playing football with some of the other neighborhood kids and when he saw me he immediately spoke, “Hi Mr. Medley.” Again I noticed that he said this with his chest poked out and smiling. I spoke back and walked up to him and asked him if he had learned anything in school in the past week and he said yes and that he had received two kites from his teacher. I surmised that the kites must have been some type of incentive/reward system based on the smile on his face and then he asked me, if he did well all year, would I get him something at the end of the school year? I looked at the young man and said, “Son if you continue working like you are doing now throughout the school year and you continue to do well, I will indeed get you something at the end of the school year. Words could not describe the look on his face when I gave him that response. Thinking about the kid later and everything that had transpired between us, I silently wept for this child and all of the others. It actually brought tears to my eyes as I thought about how important it was for this child to see someone who had “made it” educationally living right down the street from him; a professional educator right next door; one he sees at his school every day.
Why Black Flight to the Suburbs is Not the Right Move, an April 6, 2011 blog post written by a member of Rebuilding Your Community an educational-based community development program designed to teach citizens how to rebuild communities in distressed urban neighborhoods illustrates my point and is excerpted below: