If I Were A Rich Man...
Current mood: slightly angry
The Money Store
All hail the almighty dollar! Collect'em, trade'm, work yourself to the bone for them, horde as many as you can. The more you have, the happier you will be and the more POWER you will have over your enemies.
I won't be going into a long rant about the love of money or the depressing aspects of the capitalistic society and how it demeans us all and makes the rest of the world hate us. No, I will save those for sometime later when I don't have anything really good to say. Today, I am going to talk about something a little bit closer to home.
First some structure for the lecture. I live in Phoenix, Arizona. I know from traveling to other cities that Phoenix is much different than most other places in America. There are things that pass for 'normal' here that others would find to be downright insane, but such is the way of life in the desert southwest.
You have to realize something about Phoenix if you do not live here. This is the 'wild' west. That is meant to be read literally. There isn't really any law enforcement here. Ow, sure, if you rob someone with a gun, or stick someone with a knife, they are going to beat your ass and drag you off to 'tent city', which is actually a holding jail in the middle of the desert for low risk offenders. A fun place when it is 110 degrees in the summer. However; if you manage to steal something with a pen and a briefcase (say, having some old lady sign over her life saving to you or selling someone a car that isn't yours), they are not going to do anything to you in this state. I have worked in the regulatory branches of Arizona State government and still know folks that do. There is not enough funding or manpower in this state to even begin to catch all the white collar criminals here. So this is the land of buyer beware (Caviat Emptor). This is the state where you buy your little slice of heaven in the middle of no-where, put up a fence, buy some flood lights, get a shotgun and live happily ever after...owe and blow away anyone that dares cross your fence. Screw that 'Howdy Neighbor' crap. It is everyone for himself out here under the Arizona Sunset.
But wait! What the hell does this have to do with money and the almighty dollar you are asking? Hold your horses Bozo, I am getting to that point.
With the reality that Arizona is a haven for any illegal, felon, spouse on the run or just plain whacko nut job, how is that going to manifest itself?
Well, one way is "The Money Store" or any other name that these operations go by. You have seen them, they have sprouted up around here like weeds. It is well known that every street corner in Phoenix has three things. A Circle K, a Walgreen's Drug Store and a Money Store. The Circle K is so you can gas up your Hummer or your F-150 while you get a six pack of beer before going to work. The Walgreen's is so you can buy all the medication that folks need out here just to be able to cope with the stress and the Money store is so you can cash your check and not get caught by all the folks that are trying to find you.
My real beef here is the acceptability of that these new establishments try and put forth on the populous while all the time covering up what they do. These check cashing stores exist for one reason only. They cash checks for people who cannot cash them anywhere else. Now let's hold on a minute and take stock of who these people are. Folks that don't have bank accounts are who? Let me guess, maybe the following:
Illegal aliens, sort of hard to have a bank account when can't speak the language and don't have a social security number.
Folks with warrants out for their arrest, does not do you much good to open up a bank account and give the law enforcement authorities a neon sign showing where you live now does it?
People who are having their wages garnished, either by the courts or through bankruptcy or by ex-spouses. Better to pay 10% of the check and get something than to give it to MasterCard or your Ex-Wife.
Making the assumption that the folks that run these stores are not going to do so if they can't make a profit means that there is enough of a population of the above mentioned upstanding citizens to keep these establishments in business. There are at least 100 to 200 in the Phoenix area, so they surely out number the amount of bank branches we have. How many folks go to these places? One quarter of the population?, a third, maybe half? So these fine entrepreneurs are setting up shop in my neighbor (and eventually yours) to service the human cockroaches of society. All so they can make a buck at 10% to 20% of the paycheck from the individual that needs to stay 'under the radar' of society.
Land of the Free and home of the Brave, Indeed! Land of the vermin and home of the money changers is more like it. But don't worry, coming to a street corner near you...."Feel Good Plasma Donation Center" .... where only healthy people give blood for $20 a pop.
There...now I feel better.