Download e-book for iPad: Shortchanged: Life and Debt in the Fringe Economy by Howard Karger

By Howard Karger

"Shortchanged" takes an uncompromising examine the company vultures that prey on America's operating category. made of pawnshops, payday creditors, cost cashers, bank card businesses etc, the perimeter financial system entices weak shoppers into an financial netherworld of excessive rates of interest and ever-increasing debt. The publication examines the criteria at the back of the perimeter economy's upward push -- stagnant wages, emerging numbers of operating bad, and the 12 million U.S. families with no financial institution bills -- and investigates the sleazy practices -- immediate credits, cash-for-your-title loans, predatory loan lending, E-Z domestic fairness loans -- that lead to exceptional development for the and a nightmare for the patron. robust research is mixed with relocating own tales of the moms, fathers, and households whose lives were wear the road for the perpetuation of this economic climate. Ruthless, compelling, outrageous, and sometimes enraging, "Shortchanged" places the highlight at the shady facet of America's fiscal underbelly.

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Extra info for Shortchanged: Life and Debt in the Fringe Economy

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From 1994 to 2002, caseloads dropped from 14 million to 5 million, with most of the 9 million former recipients ending up in the low-wage labor market. 00 per hour, higher than the minimum wage but not enough to raise a family out of poverty. Most jobs are in the services and retail trade. 75 an hour, barely enough to raise a family of three above the federal poverty line. Fifty-eight percent of employed former recipients have an income below the poverty line, and more than half are unable to pay rent, purchase food, afford medical care, or pay for utilities.

When the last bank left in the late 1990s, the 21,000 residents were forced to make due with check-cashing outlets, payday lenders, and pawnshops. 27 The consolidation in the banking industry over the past 20 years has reduced the number of banks in low-income neighborhoods, increased the focus of banks on corporate and high-income customers, and limited banks’ interest in serving consumers with small accounts or less-than-perfect credit. To counter this trend, some scholars and community activists are encouraging mainstream banks to set up branches in low-income neighborhoods.

The list goes on and on. Interest rates in the fringe economy are often in triple digits, and the grossly inflated prices of goods and services have no relationship to their real market value. The poor and credit-poor live in a world where borrowing means temporarily or permanently losing a valued possession or paying an exorbitant fee for a small cash advance. The following is a brief roadmap to Shortchanged. Chapter 1 looks at the scope and size of the fringe economy and the characteristics of its customers.

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