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Banking in Utah
 by Tom 379

Hey Bart, I’ve been keeping up on how the big banks are killing us
on fees and restrictions and thought the advice I read about
transferring my business to a credit union seemed like a sound idea.

So, I went to the credit union I pass by every day, about a mile
from my house, and I attempted to open a checking/debit card account.
I figure it’s worth it to save a few pennies on fees and supporting
credit unions means your supporting the “little guy” and I’m all for that.

My only source of income is my miniscule Social Security (which really
doesn’t even cover anywhere near my modest monthly bills), but as we
will soon be a “paperless” society, I have to bank somewhere.

The Corpopublicans will probably succeed in killing Social Security and
I’ll be out on the street eventually anyway and I don’t know why I’m
concerned about a banking account, but I’ll face that when the time comes.

The young man at the new account desk of the credit union laid out the
“terms” of membership to the credit union for me. It seems that I live
in the county next to the county that the credit union “serves”, so I
don’t qualify for membership on that basis. He perked me up by telling me
that there are several other criteria he can invoke to qualify me for membership.

Do I “worship” in the county that the credit union is located in?
No I do not I reply. I should have told him that I don’t “worship”
anyplace and even if I did, I wouldn’t worship in this state of Utah,
a state totally dominated on the local and state level by narrow minded
and ultra conservative Mormons.

Mormons (who shun liquor), who in their zeal to control every facet of
the daily lives of the populace, are closing the profitable state liquor
store system (the only places where you can buy booze), thereby throwing
over a hundred people out of work and forcing those that want to buy spirits
to go into adjacent states to do so.  

Had I told the account guy the proceeding I could have summed it up by
asking him why would I want to “worship” in a state that is so controlling
and openly and actively promotes a state religion? I should also have told
him that I wouldn’t be in this regressive part of the country were it not
for the fact that this is where we were when my late wife died as the
results of surgical complications brought about by an incompetent surgeon
and I can’t afford to get out of here, but why bother?

Then the credit union guy asked me if I have kids enrolled in the county
that the credit union serves? No, I reply, I don’t have any kids in any
school in Utah. I should have added that I’d never put any kids into a
school system where state spending per pupil is one of the lowest in
the country and a state that refuses to endorse any policy other than
the failed policy of abstinence only sex education. Local and state
politicians, when they are running for office in Utah all claim to
support public education.  But when they get into office the first thing
they do is to further gut education funding and blame the teachers
(and the unions) for the policies that they enacted that have led to
the miserable condition that education in Utah is in.

Then he asked me if I was a member of the local PTA. He kind of caught me
speechless on that one.  He basically went on before I had a chance to
compose myself enough to answer him. I suspect he already knew my reply
and shouldn’t have asked me that in the first place.

Did I hold any local public office? No, I relied. I should have told him
that I wasn’t part of the ruling Mormon class and had little to no chance
of holding public office. As such, my chances of anyone in power listening
to me on any level were next to nothing. I could have said that my views
on life and politics were liberal and I was a live and let live guy, so my
ethics and morals just didn’t fit in with all the ultra conservative
republicans in Utah.

He then asked me if I was registered to vote? Ah, I thought, finally we’re
getting somewhere. My elation was short lived when he asked me if I was
registered to vote in the county served by the credit union? No I relied,
one has to register to vote in their county of record and the credit unions
country is not my country. He seemed to be genuinely disappointed.

I then asked him if there was a credit union in my country and he relied
that there was. Waiting for the sucker punch, I curbed my enthusiasm.
He then produced a map with various shadings all over it. He proceeded to
tell me that even through there was a branch of his credit union in my county,
the area I live in is considered “underserved” (how do come up with this stuff?)
and as such none of the “local” credit unions can take my money.

Well, that was about it for me. I remained calm and collected, thanked the
man for his time and started to get up. I then thought, well, seeing as how
I had been so nice, even in the face of such gross stupidity, he deserved to
hear one of my many anecdotes that I feely dispense.  So I told him about the
time when I first came to Utah 3 years ago and I tried to open an account at
a small local bank. It seems that I had to be a resident for a certain amount
of time before I could open an account and it went on and on.

I told the credit union guy that that bank had folded. I then asked him that
with similar restrictive policies, what did he think his credit unions chances
were of surviving when he, like the bank, was basically saying that they didn’t
want my money? I didn’t wait for an answer and proceed to the nearest exit.

Until I can figure something out, I guess Chase will continue to “service” (lol) me.
It would seem that it can be tough to help the “little guy”.

One of your six readers in Utah.

Tom, thanks for that.



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