This pursuit led me to start researching other banks and their respective checking account offerings. I found that if you can maintain thousands of dollars worth of balances in your account, there isn't a whole lot you have to pay for. Now, I understand the reasons for this. Banks use the deposits of their investors to make more money. So, it makes sense that they would provide incentives for people to deposit as much money in their vaults as possible. As I was discussing this process with my wife, she pointed something out to me that I had taken for granted. She said, "That doesn't seem fair. If you don't have much money, why do you have to pay more for the bank?" What she said surprised me. I hadn't thought about that at all, but she is right. It really isn't fair. In fact it is downright unjust. And while I am not proposing an overhaul of the banking industry in the US, this situation is a microcosm of the economy as a whole, and it illustrates a lot of the injustices that poor people face in the world. The more advantages one has; the more resources there are available to him or her; the more they get to keep.
It is this basic premise of modern economies that creates disadvantages for people with limited resources. As a result, the rich get richer. This is an important thing for me to remember. I often resonate with the idea that poverty is a result of poor decisions and lack of work. While that is true many times, there are things inherently present in the system that conspire to keep people from getting ahead. May we all pause as we consider the plight of the poor around us. May compassion be generated within me along side a deeper understanding for the struggle of the suffering around us.