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As I told you before. After our border girls get orders for us or after we do a knocking at the bars. Get. An order or get a. Foothold into a dar. I won't say come in to one of your homes on a call or by actually inviting myself by the door to door sales pitch. And get inside. I will give you to pitch. I will ask you what you need. I will ask your financial statement of you. Real rough one where you owe money how much your payments are really doesn't make any difference because our own credit union companies that we have will take any kind of a risk. We usually get enough back without work and not over ed without too much trouble. We have a whole battery of attorneys that work for us. They're paid on a year to year basis so whether they work or not is immaterial they get paid so we'd rather have them work. In other words trying to get money out of people that are falling behind. When I come into the home say I'm selling a.
Siting job. On your home and say I look at your house and it's a big jumble. What we call three and three bedroom flat. Needs about twenty four squares which means that the house itself would need about fourteen hundred dollars worth of work from a legitimate concern. I will start off maybe at thirty five hundred dollars. Now. Thirty five hundred dollars probably to the average person would be appalled at this. But you gotta figure that we are dealing with a certain type of individual. We are dealing with somebody that wants something on their house. Once a low payments doesn't want too much scrutiny through. Fortuity application under credit and is willing to take any kind of a deal as long as the payments are low enough. Now. I will come in. Sal do their job. Say I work on a person for hour two hours.
I don't get nowhere. But one thing I do get while I'm there I get a lot of information about you your physical makeup your character sticks your financial makeup your home in itself your likes and dislikes. Say for some I'm the reason you don't like me. Because maybe I am pitching too fast maybe there's something you just don't like about me is I told you before we work in pairs. I will then automatically get you to a price that farmed at thirty five hundred dollars. I will get you to a price where you're wavering whether to sign or not maybe it's twenty eight hundred and you're hesitating. I know that. Between twenty five and twenty eight hundred I got a deal with you. But for some ungodly reason like I said before you don't like me. There's something about me dead you don't like. This is perfectly all right with me. I've got as much information as I wanted to get out to you. I know just about where you'll falter I know just about where you're going to sign. The only thing you're not going to sign with me so don't after today is through will
I make up your house your name your address and when I meet at the office of my partner. I gave him this sheet I knew shows him everything he has to know. First of all he knows where you're going to buy it. He knows that you didn't like me. He knows your likes and dislikes knows your credit characteristics knows your financial status. He will be so ready now he won't come in the next day or maybe that same week. But he will come in probably the following week. Same way I got it and he'll knock down a dollar. Or he'll say that he knew it and worry you are interested in roofing and siding or whatever it is. Then he will come in with so much information in his mind that no matter what you say he'll be ready for you. And I tell you that 90 percent of the time you will sign because he'll be so ready with the answers that you fuck me with that he'll just give you what you want to hear. He won once in the whole camera zation say anything that you
will dislike because he's got you down pat. From what I told them out it is why we work as a team. We work as a team because we have to we know that every one of you people. If I talk to you as a salesman What are you going to think that I'm a smarty. Another guy it doesn't gotta like the way I look. Another man just doesn't like me for the reason that I don't know of. So in talking to this people we don't go out at a house when they say no we just keep on talking until we have what we think is justified information that the next man and. My partner can come in and sell you it not if you buy it for twenty five hundred dollars at twenty eight. You can rest assured we're making fourteen hundred dollars on you. We're willing to take all the abuse you can give us for the fourteen hundred you can call me a lot of names and I won't go out of doubts. I won't step out of there. I won't holler at you. I won't fight you just leave you talk so I can remember what you say and I'll walk right out. Thank you for what you gave
me as far as information which you thought you were giving nothing but you gave me everything I needed. Because when my partner comes in you'll addict. You gotta be a real strong person to then be able to fight my partner to see you don't like him too. This doesn't happen too often because this guy like I said is. Anything you want to hear he'll tell you. He knows that when I said this. You all are so you won't say that you'll say something else. Another gimmick that we have. Our method of sales that we have is that because we work in pairs. When I come into your home. And I get you to disappoint. Where on the twenty eight hundred dollars you're just ready to sign but I can't push you over what we call that period of indecision I can't push you over that line. Then I tried the other thing. I say well one thing about you Mr. Jones you're awful lucky guy so am I lucky
you're trying to hustle me for twenty five hundred dollars what's so lucky about that. I say I happen to have the president and company out in the car. He's just riding with me I'm just learning striding along so you can help me. I know that if I get the president in he's going to give you a little deal. And indeed the egg salesman had the president of this company is able to give the customer a good deal. In actuality the president is the salesman's partner. So when the president is magnanimous enough to lower the price to the point where the customer thinks he's gotten quite a bargain. The final price. That is the inflated original price minus the presidential deduction is still high enough for both the salesman and his partner to worry and exaggerated profits. Further our salesman noted this particular
gimmick is so flexible that it allows both him and his partner to change executive positions real fast. Finally and exposing another trick in his bag the ex salesman explained that certain customers are better marks than others. The elderly were quite gullible he found especially if you talk real nice and call them mom. And soon as the X salesman and the two Gyp victims show that a ride on this merry go round can be amusing also expensive sometimes complex and very often cruel. But the questions remain. Why do people get on such a merry go round and how if possible can I get off.
Dr. Milton Huber of the University of Wisconsin takes a look at the problem in the larger context of our credit's economy. To underscore. Consumer problems of the. Large city ghetto resident. I think it's important that we see it within the context of a larger society in which they are a part. And within the framework of. A. Similar process with which I like to deal I think it's important that we recognize first of all that this is a credit economy here in America. Ours is a buy now. Pay Later world.
Credit is an integral part of our society whether we like it or not or news or not it's here to stay. We're bombarded from morning to night on everything that's of attainable and within our grasp. The only way utilize credit one form how easy it would be of trouble with our bills we have to be able to borrow some more to take care of these old bills. How this solves a problem. Sure but credit is an important part of our economy. Some of the problems are being reflected as a result of this of course and Scott prices skyrocketing rates bankruptcies in our society which the last time I looked had gone up something like twelve hundred percent since World War 2. Talking about personal bankruptcy as few people realize that bankruptcy is a family affair. Ninety percent. Of all bankruptcies in this country are personal. Bankruptcy. It happens that the people in the ghetto we hear the
same enticements are bombarded with the same must the same advertisement as everyone else. I don't know if we're aware of how many riches A study has been done by a professor at New York University which indicates that each of us from the time he rising to go to bed in the morning I'm bombarded with some 2000 commercials a day. Now the people in the ghetto with limited education limited sophistication about the urban society have come from the rural southern background are nowhere near as prepared as we are to discriminate between of the liberty of one or the other answer much more easily taken than we are now in this context of this credit world in which we live this buy now pay later world. Let's by the way credit is largely a middle class phenomenon. The wealthy the very rich don't need to pay cash down the line. The very poor because it's high gris have a hard time getting it.
It's a middle class middle income groups that have been the main supporters of our. Revolving credit program these are consumer finance companies and credit unions and so on. Now when you come to the low income family and they get it and there are problems. This is a sort of bag to use your own phrase that they're caught in here. First of all because they have a limited income. Because their lifestyle is such that they don't meet the requirements of what constitutes a good credit rating. And I've seen a list of what constitutes the danger areas for retailers to be alert to handing out credit accounts. And socialize really reads like a description of a low income family moving off and changing jobs often broken homes.
All these characteristics that are typical of many ghetto families now. So these families if they wanted to. I can't get credit. To make any even modest purchases on the revolving credit and for clothing socks when I do this at jamming at the large department stores in the city. That door is close to home. They're considered too high risk. Now that door have being closed. Where can they turn in a credit society in which credit is no longer frowned upon. But is really praised to the heavens so that the banks which are ones always the Apostle's of savings are now out doing one another with their credit cards on a national regional basis as it were to hand out credit cards same crease the use of consumer credit. So 3 Ask them the proof they wanted from the old ways of thinking it has just been dismissed from our commercial world. So in this type of a setting when the when the low income
family wants to know where he can get his. Where he can see all this flashy merchandise operating reforms his eyes the television the the corners the clothes the appliances the furniture the jewelry and so on. How can the work and he turn when the main place to get there is the legitimate operators who have good merchandise at reasonable prices. Closer Dewar time for a kind account as hopeless a walloping save and pay cash. This type of person who lives there is never going to be either pay cash or just when you say that you're sane and don't buy you can't have anything. It's as simple as that. So where do they go. Well interestingly our society when there was a void has a way of filling in. And this gap has been filled by a group of merchants. Which are referred to often as the easy credit no money down dollar down or no money down a dollar a week. Operators that are found
to be dominate and to prosper right in the midst of the poverty of our ghetto. It's one of the products of our society that next to slum housing will be a street and have a big neon signs an obviously very prosperous enterprises lining the street and I was there doing a very good business. All these people have these operators have come to understand that they have a market thing find a way of feeling it. For the poor poor family. And these people are enticed into the place. Regardless of the quality of the merchandise required regardless of how they are treated on the basis that this is someone a place that will welcome me. This is a place that will give the credit. And this is probably for all it's worth and so you have to post here either think the people of the morning do they can get into a good image was able to get their money. So the other pole is the easy credit merchant who bases his Bismillah time on pushing shoddy merchandise off brand stuff when
it comes in clothing in front of her. And then things will want to person gets in the grasp of this in the video and all types of things start happening to him he runs too high for the race he runs in the tricky credit contracts that he can neither read much less understand with three degrees and I can not understand these I need legal interpretation. I wish I had one here to share with you and all the special fees that are tying if you try the merchandise so you get shot in merchandise it's only very poor. Any guarantee or warranty it goes along with it. The terms that are spelled out in repayment include a lot of extra fees that are to be found in the different merchants. I recall there's one merchant in this community for instance who was advertising the paper color TV for instance and maybe a competitive price of what you get downtown. When the parson go we're going to buy. As I've gone on and on a test basis. Yes the price is
that but then they begin to tack on a lot of extras for delivery. $25 for installation 25 hours a warranty 35 are all things of the same said downtown are included in the announced price and they're posted price. These are type 1 actually comes out another extra hundred dollars. And on top of this the interest rates with a run of seeing them 40 percent or more in some of these places these people with lemon income obviously can't make it turns the payments and very shortly they want to short on payments they become delinquent in their payments and their wages are garnished Sheen now this pressure point the Sejarah if this big operating profit store said this man was too much of a risk for him the touch. How can this little 20 foot storefront operator take on the rest. Where does he find his security for his security for Israelis. He finds a security for his wrist in the fact that you know the person is dealing with has a job. Or has someone close to him or a relative or
friend who has a job and it and it works along these lines of her offer her friend is asked to sign as a cosigner as it's called now on a person in a plant that you're working with on the street of a neighbor a relative say look I want to buy this but I need to get another sign or person signs at the office often think they're just signing as a character reference as a friend so if I get the merchandise they do not realize they are committing themselves to make good on the payments of the other fella can't. And Co-signing is going to bases a lot of families are making a modest marginal existence being tipped tipped into poverty because they got caught and cosign for someone else's loan. Now I said it sounds like a present contradictory security demand saying for the purchase at one of these places is that he has a job. When you said we're talking about poor people. I ask because we often confuse poverty and unemployment. But the fact of life it is that well over 50 percent of all families are under $3000 or
working full time. They're not unemployed. Do not confuse poverty and unemployment as synonymous terms. Many of our poor fives are working full time part time half time sporadically but they're working and are listed as being an employee someplace. And as long as a person and Cloyd then if he doesn't pay his bills in these easy credit houses he can be his wages can be garnisheed. Now we've heard of this thing as a constant process and a garnishment is a suit brought by an employer up brought against an employer by a creditor to withhold the wages of one of his employees and pay off this creditor. And this is a state piece of legislation and the stipulations for the vary from state to state. Here in Wisconsin where we sit Roughly speaking there are a lot of footnotes you have to take on of this for a single person all but 25 percent of his wages can be on a sheet. For a married man regardless of the number of children. All but 40 percent.
I was away just I can be gone is she. So really the security for the job for the. And for the purchase that low income probably makes is his job and behind it stands the possibility of the garnishment of his wages. So you have a situation here if you have a family is making it modestly because of their limited circumstances they are not except for a credit a revolving credit account at a large department store or a reptile merchant. They're forced into the hands of the Get emergent and once in there he gets caught in the cars when I was away his present reposition the merchandise possibly eventually loss of his job because employers do not like the fool around with garnishments in this day and age when wages are computed electronically without the touching of human hands. Almost I say and send me a garnishment against this employer for this one employee didn't pay his bill that means he has to pull all this out of electronic process he's got to put a curse on it
secretaries bookkeepers GIVE IT person has a class with a special operator he's going to fool around to let the person go first. So the garnishment office often economic suicide for the person that's going to see it and want to think honestly we want to know it's important to pick him up because he is going to pick up this bank in trouble and so I can lead once he gets caught in this whole trap. If we were to somehow pull himself out and come to a better station in life. And get a break let's say then he say Well now he can go to the to the retailer it would have been before but it doesn't work out that way for me Miles part of this credit rating this credit reputation and record with the credit political credit bureau it says has been repossessed has been garnisheed is president of bankruptcy. So now they've got another reason only that I can play in them and the mainstream so there's what I'm saying is there's been a whole separate saying with our commercial facades been set up to take care of the ghetto. Individual and he's really trad. He's a captive in this and he's he's really
got to break out if we're going to do anything about this problem we have to break out of it at one end we have to change the minds of the thinking and the base of the credit ratings retailers and that's not going to be an easy job or a good solid grounds for why they do things the way they do or we got to find some replacements for the get a merchant some alternatives some choices makes it possible for the individual to meet his his needs. Now across the country is probably programming increases. There are different things that are being tried. One way of handling differences certainly need an alternative source of credit that's very obvious and from what I've said to the get emergent and one of things is being utilizing crazily in power areas is Community Credit Union. Where a person at a more reasonable rate of interest a maximum of 12 percent of the year 1 percent on the unpaid balance which people may not realize is less than you pay on revolving credit
account which amounts to 18 percent a year want a half percent on the unpaid balance Monahan per month and a half times 12 because they are sent out. This is something of a break for them this means a person all right if they have any purchases justify McDermott they need a washing machine. The bed trying to get the money from the cutting in lending go to retailer Roger retailer where you get legitimate merchandise at a reasonable price and make the purchase with the cash there are also other things coming up in terms of what we're hearing about buying clubs buying clubs in all areas buying clothes the weather making deals and and going to communities organizations with a former way out in the arroyo area you brings in a just tour they'll deal with him just like another vendor and buy these eggs in VOC whole sale and the people come and collect on a certain point and they save 40 percent say on the price of eggs and boss and they've done a tremendous thing on this line starting with a simple buying club. With
me they were saying the people on prices were very high. I think this was about this time last year up to 46 percent on the aid. The savings that the the drive from this waste with these put in accounts in a credit union they started and with the credit union then they were able start their own furniture buying club in the ghetto and borrow from the credit union a B of A finance for cash transfer directly from a furniture manufacturer and now they're in fuel or they're in automobile tires. They're in some eight or ten different areas that they experience a multimillion dollar business that has been developed right in the ghetto under the lease of the ghetto people themselves I think this is a very interesting things for now on the other retailer and of this large retailer we've been doing some things very mentally here in Milwaukee with the cooperation of serve all the department stores.
One thing we've been able to do for instance is to sit with the head of the credit card one of the farm stores and ask them in a particular plant where there are a lot of peace time workers at the plant who had a lot of trouble with garnishments from the other houses saying our people would like to shop at your place but they have never tried it and they've been turned down if there's something we can do about this and what we've been able to do is say if you if they we send them once more to buy foreign accounts and then you make a credit check and they say well he's been garnisheed before you drop out and say you know there was an ask one other question please ask who garnishee them and it turns out to be one of these companies that base their whole business in get a merchant credit merchant. Oh I'm gonna spend process and we've asked if you call us knowing this family better than you do we'll give you guys answer what we think this family is worth taking a chance on them. We're trying to get him out of this bank. And if we say yes we'd like you to give him a chance over a period of years something like 60 percent of the families in that plan are now have a
revolving credit account at that place that they were they didn't have before. And this is a means whereby upward spiral they get them out of this vicious circle that they've been caught in before we've done this through one of these. So it's always easy organization of organization town which was another department of the work which in this case said well look you just screen ADC mothers and send us what you think we should own the cap we'll try a certain number of these families and give them credit up to $100 maximum and we'll see how it works out so we would have a break in there a little bit so there are all kinds of creative new types of approaches to this problem being explored. But I don't think there's any real basic understanding of all the more detailed programs that you get into the consumer problems of the styles of the ghetto unless you understand this credit operation because the next the housing next to housing alone credit is the number one consumer
part of the thing again. An. Anatomy of a gyp. Taken from interviews with two alleged victims of a gyp. Next salesman. And Dr. Milton Huber of the University of Wisconsin. Production by best friend and Ralph Johnson. This is journalist speaking. The preceding was produced w A.J. the University of Wisconsin. This is the national educational radio network.
The inner core: City within a city
Part 2 of 4
Producing Organization
University of Wisconsin
WHA (Radio station : Madison, Wis.)
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Edited re-release of Series 68-34, concerning urban area of inner Milwaukee and its problems.
Social Issues
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Producing Organization: University of Wisconsin
Producing Organization: WHA (Radio station : Madison, Wis.)
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-Sp.2-2 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:28:20
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Chicago: “The inner core: City within a city; Part 2 of 4,” 1968-09-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed July 25, 2024,
MLA: “The inner core: City within a city; Part 2 of 4.” 1968-09-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. July 25, 2024. <>.
APA: The inner core: City within a city; Part 2 of 4. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from