The "time tax" on poor peopleMany poor and black communities are so bereft of services and retail that residents are forced to pay what could be called a "time tax" -- either extra money or loss of personal time -- to access basic services.
In some communities, residents must take a cab to get to the bank, rely on costly check-cashing agencies and take two buses to get to the supermarket, said Dr. Kathryn Neckerman, a Columbia University sociologist.
On average, she said, low-income families earn $15,000 a year and large chunks of it are gobbled up by, for example, spending up to $2,000 a year on the check-cashing service.
"Time is money," said Dr. Neckerman, and all the time and costs put pressure on families. "We need to think about the time tax."
Read the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette report here.