The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Fleecing the Unemployed

Jun 30, 2008

Since June 2, the State of Michigan has joined states like Texas and New York in offering the “option” of unemployment benefits being paid electronically. Claimants have the “choice” of getting a debit card or having their money direct-deposited into their bank account.

Paper checks will only continue to be offered by mail “for a period of time.”

Wall Street’s J.P. Morgan Chase Bank is “partnering” with Michigan to provide this “service.” The plan is to phase out paper checks by the end of the year.

The poorest of the unemployed will find this new arrangement particularly difficult, since many can’t afford a bank account. Those still able to maintain a bank account may have liens on it.

Those who go the debit card route will find that these highway robbers have a list of fees and surcharges that starts at 95 cents and goes up to $17.50.

For example, with debit cards, it’s notoriously hard to keep track of the precise current balance. Say someone buys milk at the grocery store and accidentally attempts a purchase 1 cent over their current balance—there is a $1.50 fee for guessing your balance wrong. You can almost hear Chase going, “Gotcha!”

Unemployment checks are too small already. Yet Chase sees a growth industry in taking food from the mouths of the unemployed to feed their own insatiable greed. And the State of Michigan is more than willing to hand the unemployed over to them. Disgusting!