The dirty little secret nobody talks about is how the poor have always subsidized the rich. A century ago it was best displayed by trans-Atlantic ocean transport. Today it's banking and social services.
Anyone who has seen the iconic movie Titanic understands the difference between how the wealthiest voyagers lived aboard ships compared to the conditions down in steerage where emigrants were packed in for their voyage to America. The actual costs for all the pampering First-Class passengers received far exceeded the ticket costs for those same wealthy travelers. The difference was made up by the tickets prices charged the masses below decks.
When airplane travel started, mail service made up the deficit for first class passengers. The average traveler couldn't afford to fly and used trains and buses instead. When mail stopped being a sufficient revenue generator, airlines took a page from the shipping companies and created coach class.
We got packed in and fed peanuts whiles the Dandies up front drank champagne and ate prime rib carved from a cart by their seat. Guess who subsidized that white glove service?
Today we are bombarded with right wing Repugnut talking points on the need to protect "Job Creators" what ever that means. It sure doesn't mean the job creators are doing much to actually create any jobs!
The Move Your Money Campaign and last week-ends Bank Transfer Day help to highlight today's subsidies.
Back in the late 70's through most of the 80's I worked for the original Bank of America at their San Francisco check processing department. Back then ATM's were just starting to be tested and hadn't gone into general use. Everyone wrote checks. If you bounced a check the bank charged you a fee usually around $2-$3 dollars. The actual cost to the bank was around $0.50 to process the check. The check was sent back to the retailer who also charged you a fee usually around $5.00.
Today banks charge $30.00 for an overdraft. Unlike 30 years ago, if you write a check at a retailer today they are more likely as not to electronically scan the check at the register and return the cancelled check to you on the spot. If an overdraft occurs, it happens later that day when the banks electronically update all transactions. The actual costs to the bank amount to third class postage to send you a notice and a tiny amount to amortize the cost of the software programming.
If you maintain a large enough balance, you pay no bank fees. If your an average depositor with less then $1,000.00 you pay a monthly service charge to keep an account at one of the big multi-nationals.
The big banks like to talk about how it costs them more to maintain low balance accounts, but the truth is those same depositors are subsidizing all the perks given to wealthier clients. It can be in the form of monthly fees, outrageous overdraft fees, and predator lending for everything from credit cards to mortgages. You didn't really think all those "cash back" credit cards came without higher costs did you?
These are just some of the more glaring examples of the poor subsidizing the comforts of the rich. If you look around you'll easily find more examples in our current stacked playing field.
Today's income disparity glaringly displayed by the 1% is yet another example of an arrogant sense of entitlement by the few at the expense of the many.