Report: Thirty-Three Percent of Chicagoans Have Less Than $250 in Bank Accounts Before Every Pay Day

depression-era-unemployment-lineThere is a truly disturbing report out of Chicago that highlights the massive wealth gap in our country. The Springleaf Financial Strength Survey, found that 33 percent of Chicagoans are living paycheck-to-paycheck and have less than $250. Nationwide 43 percent of families are living paycheck to paycheck.

The Chicago figures are worse than the nation as a whole, which themselves are pretty dismal. Twenty-four percent of families have less than $250 in their account.

This follows a report that wealth has risen to a record $263 trillion, but people (with a net worth of $1 million or more) represent a mere 0.7 percent of the planet’s population control 41 percent of its wealth.

Source: CNN

114 thoughts on “Report: Thirty-Three Percent of Chicagoans Have Less Than $250 in Bank Accounts Before Every Pay Day”

  1. @LloydB

    Uh, it looks like your link includes stuff like Social Security and Unemployment Benefits as part of the “Safety Net” which term you then blithely rename and characterize as “welfare.” Which action makes you either careless, or deceptive.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. Squeaky, 99 months of unemployment is welfare in my book. Social Security was not optional. You paid into it with every check. Fortunately, a lot of seniors saved over the years, knowing getting SS was iffy. It would have been better to put the 15% of my pay into a plan of my choosing, definitely not the government. But the people running the government want the power. So now it’s a mess. It would be smart to have a conversion plan available. Give you an option say at 50, to transfer your SS money to a private plan. Which means they can never be on SS. And time will fix that problem.

  2. Let’s face it, the banks are even poor–they can’t afford the K on Ban. (okay, just a bit of humor). Actually, I am not the least surprised and neither should anyone else be–if they listen to the news on the right channels.
    How did we get into the economic mess we are just starting to ease out of? People with poor consumer behaviors seem to put their full trust into big banks. For years they bought houses at prices they couldn’t afford. These instantaneous American’s continued to spend and buy new furniture, decor, pools, and landscaping, all on credit. They also added upgrades on credit too. Many bought new cars on time (better known as credit). Then they bought their children expensive gifts, clothes and more–on what? CREDIT! Our credit card mania is one of the biggest culprits that put us in this economic mess.
    I work with people on the verge of losing their homes (even today) and when we try to help them figure out their problem, they make every excuse they can think of and argue that they NEED those credit cards and they need other credit as well.
    I too was a slow learner, but now I’ve learned to “pay myself first.” In other words put a certain percentage of each check into an account. I’ve also learned to live within my means–I learned the hard way, but thank God I learned.
    Even today, I find more and more American’s people make excuses and refuse to give up their toys and credit cards.
    Big corporations, banks, the government are doing the same thing–only on a much larger basis.
    Maybe J. Gruber is right, we American’s are stupid, and I’ll add, gluttons.

    1. Your message about buying houses they couldn’t afford is due to Dodd/Frank, a bill that forces banks to give loans, even if not qualified. That’s a very simplistic description, but pretty much what happened.

  3. And I never said HSAs were a panacea. I just liked them, when I worked for another company, along with each and every person who voluntarily uses them.

    1. Karen, I think you would be surprised at how much money is available to the poor. A recent story from Pennsylvania, a woman could get $85,000 a year in benefits, without working. You are speaking of the working poor. I don’t know their total benefits, but they probably get food stamps and Medicaid. 50% of everyone else’s income is taken in taxes (Fed, State, Property). I think that’s enough.

  4. Medicaid still promotes the ER over a doctors visit.

    Oh, and is it whining for a middle class person to say that Obamacare is such a financial hit that it seems likely to bump a lot of families out of the middle class?

    Gee, I thought you really cared about the poor. But I guess you don’t really care what puts them there? Shall they just take their welfare benefits and quit complaining, then?

    Here is my suggestion. Since you imply that you care about the poor while I don’t, please give the poor an ADDITIONAL $450/month of your income, $5500 in additional costs for deductibles, plus throw in a couple thousand extra you will need to see a good doctor, which won’t accept your insurance. And then be told you’re a whiner when you complain. What you already give to charity doesn’t count.

    Come on. Put your money where your mouth is.

  5. Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter
    Meant to post this map above, not the first link:

    Are you saying that blacks and Hispanics voted in GOP rule? Right….But we just heard from Nick and company that the big democrat ruled cities are the reason for all the problems in the country. You can’t have it both ways;

    And by the way, Squeeky, most welfare is collected by whites, so your less than subtle racial response above is way off the mark:

    ‘Another finding of the study is that the distribution of benefits no longer aligns with the demography of poverty. African-Americans, who make up 22 percent of the poor, receive 14 percent of government benefits, close to their 12 percent population share.

    White non-Hispanics, who make up 42 percent of the poor, receive 69 percent of government benefits – again, much closer to their 64 percent population share.’

    It’s easy to blame blacks and Hispanics for most of Americas ills, but whites need to take a good look in the mirror to find the real problem….

  6. HSA plans in general have lower premiums than others. The reason for this, largely, is the HSA defers to using funds within the HSA to cover the lower expense medical procedures. There are tax benefits to doing this earned by the employee if this is under an employee plan. By reducing the tax liability for the individual has both direct benefit and auxiliary benefits such as in the case of lower compensated employees it helps bring them toward the Earned Income Credit ranges or increases the Earned Income Credit.

    HSA reserves accumulate over time and are not a one time draw. Some plans have lower employee contribution amount for their insurance and make having dependent coverage more affordable to both employer and employee.

    Because of the lower costs to the employer the cost can remain more attractive to the employer. If a business has under fifty (I believe it is) employees they are exempt from providing insurance coverage under the ACA. The small employers if squeezed by the increases in insurance costs which have risen in the past year might instead elect to drop health coverage all together but the HSA can provide savings in premiums that might have the effect of employers retaining coverage.

    Another benefit of HSA is to have pre-taxed income shunted to the HSA to be used to buy medical sundry items that insurance does not cover in some cases.

    The existence of an HSA does not preclude major medical coverage or out of pocket maximums.

    Recently employer provided insurance plans have raised deductibles to account for the rise in general premiums. The rise of deductibles can be dissuasive for individuals to seek preventative care or wait until medical conditions are worse and thereby more expensive and possibly more risky and negatively effective to the insured.

  7. @jim22

    At $9.00 per hour, most people can’t save enough in an HSA to cover squat. The real problem is the cost of health care. I have read where about 90% of the cost is because doctors and hospitals are not subject to anti-trust laws, Sooo, they ramp up the cartel behavior and screw the heck out of people. Here is a good link on this. He has written several other articles on this, too:

    Health care “reform” is the current hot-button, with the Obama administration now talking about a “public” health-insurance system to “keep the system honest.”

    Uh huh.

    Look folks, you want to know why we have the health cost problems we have? I’ll lay it out for you – in a way you can’t refute or argue with:

    There are no published prices. In no other line of work is it legal to do this. Nowhere. You can’t sell someone a hot dog and tell them after they eat it what it just cost them. You can’t hire a lawyer and have him tell you “I’ll tell you what this will cost when we’re done.” You can’t hire an electrician and have him tell you “I’ll make up a bill when I’m done.” In every line of work except health care, this is illegal. There are even laws for “major” consumer work (e.g. contracting, auto repair, etc) where they must give you a binding written estimate before beginning work!

    Robinson-Patman makes it illegal to discriminate against like kind purchasers of goods in pricing decisions when the effect of doing so is to lessen competition. While it does not apply to services, it darn well should. Whether you are paying privately, you have private insurance or you’re a Medicare patient if you need to have a breast reconstructed due to cancer the complexity of the procedure does not change. Yet it is a fact that the privately-billed amounts for uninsured (“rack rate”) patients are often ten times or more that billed to insurers or Medicare. Try charging a cash purchaser 10x more for a TV than someone who finances that TV on your in-house credit facility and you would be shut down and thrown in jail.

    #1 and #2 exist because of explicit efforts by the “health care” industry to exempt themselves from the laws that every other merchant of every other good and service in the United States must adhere to.

    To put this bluntly the medical industry has intentionally put forward a system by which it can screw you with impunity, obtaining exemptions from the laws that cover every other area of commerce, thereby effectively forcing you to buy overpriced services you do not want to purchase lest an unexpected life event literally wipe you out.

    This is an extortion racket and absolutely none of the proposals being put forward have done a thing to address any of it.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  8. Jim, you have a cushion when your HSA runs out. Do the poor have that cushion, or even the middle class? There’s that “me me me me me, mine, me mine, me” meme.

  9. Somone done Dick Cheney/Condi Rice’d the facts again. Let’s hope that this time, 30000+ American casualties don’t result from you “Republicon” version of truth.

  10. “Paul C. Schulte

    Jim22 – I know that Wells Fargo was financially stable and did not need bailout money but was forced into it. They paid it back as soon as they were allowed to.”


    Wells Fargo and all our major banks (and others including some in Europe) were broke without the bailouts. It was only after the changing of accounting rules that allowed for the pretense of bank solvency to be sold to the American public. Even after years of taxpayer handouts to them I still question the security and the solvency of some of our banks.

    1. Bill W – Wells Fargo and one other bank were forced to take the money. It wasn’t ALL banks but they wanted us to think it was all of them because it made the nanny government look better.

  11. Annie – “And yes a Public Option is the way to go. But Karen will shortly tell us why it’s better to use health savings accounts, as IF that will cover health care costs.”

    Annie, HSA’s are great. I’ve had one for years. An HSA with a major medical insurance is the way to go. Sure it doesn’t redistribute the wealth like you want, and it promotes personal responsibility, non nanny state living. Frightening isn’t it?

  12. Lloyd Blankfien – bankster, There is nothing funny about any of that just like there is nothing funny about a murderous gang member. I don’t defend either one. What’s your point? From your list, if true, you should be more angry at law enforcement not enforcing the laws/rules and not with the “banksters”. Who would argue that someone breaking the law should get a pass?

    “Pushing investments which they knew were terrible, and then betting against the same investments to make money for themselves. See this, this, this and this”

    This is the only part I disagree with you on. No one puts a gun to your head and makes you sign, so if you do, and you can’t afford it, that is your problem not the lender and especially, not MINE! Again, if you are not smart enough to understand what you are getting yourself into, it is up to you to learn it. Self responsibility is a bitch, but well worth it.

  13. And yes a Public Option is the way to go. But Karen will shortly tell us why it’s better to use health savings accounts, as IF that will cover health care costs.

  14. Actually Karen were talking about the working POOR here. But you can keep whining about your Obamacare health insurance premium all the day long. The working poor who often do NOT get employer health insurance or benefitsand used to use the ER for their provider, thereby driving up costs or everyone.

    1. Annie – the poor are still driving up costs. It is just shifting the costs.

  15. ACA has been good for some and not so good for others. I know that most Americans have a very short memory, but under GOP rule 2001-2007, premiums increased 46%. They have increased 26% under Obama and ACA

    Experts anticipate that premiums will rise a modest 4 percent in 2015, on average, slightly higher than last year but lower than typical recent Increases.

    Kaiser is an excellent resource for things healthcare related matters….

    This shows the cost increases by year. Those costs started rising long before ACA…..

    Single Payer is the only real option, but Americans prefer to pay twice as much for worse outcomes,

  16. Funny that bankster defenders give the white collar criminal more leeway than the kid in poverty who gets in trouble:

    Cheating homeowners – especially veterans – from laws meant to protect people from unfair foreclosure

    Engaging in mafia-style big-rigging fraud against local governments. See this, this and this

    Cooking their books

    Bribing and bullying ratings agencies to inflate ratings on their risky investments

    Pushing investments which they knew were terrible, and then betting against the same investments to make money for themselves. See this, this, this and this

    Engaging in unlawful “frontrunning” to manipulate markets. See this, this, this, this, this and this

    Engaging in unlawful “Wash Trades” to manipulate asset prices. See this, this and this

    Ot this:

    HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA)’s $1.9 billion agreement with the U.S. to resolve charges it enabled Latin American drug cartels to launder billions of dollars was approved by a federal judge.

    So I would reserve any sympathy for the bankster class……

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