Several years back, there was a news story about an old guy who would buy a new car quite frequently. When it was discovered that he was senile and that a salesperson at the car dealership was taking advantage of the poor old fellow, some consumer protection laws were passed and it was established that sharpies had to be forbidden by law from exploiting vulnerable older citizens.
It used to be that at the bank this columnist uses, they had a service called "overdraft protection" and money in the savings account would automatically be transferred to the checking account to cover any shortage of funds if the balance in the checking account couldn't cover a check and the money in the savings account could make up for the shortfall.
Now, following a round of banking industry bonuses for their ineptness during the recent financial industry collapse, the banks are charging $10 for each instance of overdraft protection.
What type of customer would be the most likely to make a math mistake and need overdraft protection? Do you think that there would be an inordinately high number of AARP members getting dinged by these charges? If so, why don't the laws inspired by the serial new car buyer with Alzheimer's disease apply? Did the law have a specific exemption for greedy bankers?
If there seems to be an inconsistency in the fact that automobile dealers can't (by law) take advantage of older customers with diminished metal acuity, then should the same standards of business ethics be applied to the poor distraught bankers who came perilously close to failure recently and now need every small amount of profit they can squeeze out of the citizens in a strapped for cash period of history?
If what the bankers are doing qualified as an example of immoral business ethics wouldn't some of the nation's highest ranking clergymen be pointing out those transgressions to their congregations and denouncing such a move as a variation on the stealing principle? Don't bankers go to church every Sunday (and sit in the front row)?
If the bankers were doing something reprehensible, wouldn't the clergy revive the spirit of chasing the money changers from the temple and speak up?
If what the bankers are doing is not within the guidelines of moral responsibility wouldn't some crusading journalist with a national audience (if only Tim Russert were still alive, eh?) be pointing out any such financial malfeasance?