Thursday, July 20, 2006

We Got it 4 Cheap. Right?

Study Documents ‘Ghetto Tax’ Being Paid by the Urban Poor

WASHINGTON, July 18 — Drivers from low-income neighborhoods of New York, Hartford and Baltimore, insuring identical cars and with the same driving records as those from middle-class neighborhoods, paid $400 more on average for a year’s insurance.

The poor are also the main customers for appliances and furniture at “rent to own” stores, where payments are stretched out at very high interest rates; in Wisconsin, a $200 television can end up costing $700.

Those were just two examples among several cited in a report Tuesday showing that poor urban residents frequently pay hundreds if not thousands of dollars a year in extra costs for everyday necessities. The study said some of the disparities were due to real differences in the cost of doing business in poor areas, some to predatory financial practices and some to consumer ignorance.

The study, from the Brookings Institution, said finding ways to eliminate these added costs, often called a “ghetto tax,” could be an important new front in the fight against poverty.

Continue reading the article here

1 comment:

Brother Spotless said...

Well, the first thing that comes to mind is anger, because that ish is fucked up. The next thing that comes to mind is the fact that no one from these communities (or advocates for these communities) are raising a fuss about this. So, I will say this: even though it seems like an outdated method, I implore you all to write your representatives and other elected officials about this (i.e. Senators, Congressmen, Governors). I do not exaggerate when I say that doing so works, because these members have to react to stuff like this when they hear a concerned voice.