Today on my lunch break I wondered over to my regular food carts over on SW 9th & 10th. To my amazement, there was a block-long line in front of the cheese sandwich foodcart. The incredibly long line was full of professional busy-bodies, like myself, out searching for food. At the corner of Alder, I learned what was going on: Key Bank had partnered with this cheese sandwich cart to provide free sandwiches. A young lady in a red shirt offered me something like a promotional flyer, but I just walked by.
I looked around and saw the signs, on nearly every post and place, with a big Key Bank logo declaring "free food just around the corner!"
I paused for reflection. 1) I hate the banks. They're the biggest shits in this country, and I'm fine with watching their executives hang. 2) Free food is an objectively good thing for everyone.
So then I asked myself, if a bank is offering free food at a cart, should I take down their flyers because they're a no good bank - or keep the flyers up because they're offering free food?
I texted my close friends to ask their advice. Waiting and waiting and waiting, I saw a young couple standing at the corner having a smoke. I walked over to ask for a light, and shared with them my dilemma over a cigarette. The woman came to the conclusion that the banks don't need the signs up, and that they have people walking around informing people. The young man nodded, and showed me one of their promotional flyers offering $150 dollars if you open an account. He asked if I thought he should "just take the money and run after opening an account." I said that I believe the bank would do the exact same thing to him if given the opportunity, and that this would be fair game, and that this is the reality of how our economic system actually works. But, that I doubt he would actually ever get the $150 unless he had an account for at least a year. We exchanged advice on finding working and how to save money and invest money. I thanked them and walked away.
Then I received a text from one friend who thought they ought to remain up, another who thought they should come down. I spoke with a self-identified street person who thought they should come down, as those in need have some resources to get free food. He explained this morning he got a free meal from a church, and he will do the same tonight. I gave him a couple dollars for offering the advice. After this conversation, I further reflected upon the type of people standing in que, and it looked like one (plausibly) of out of 100 in line actually needed the food. I know that Key Bank does charitable giving, but this was certainly not charitable.
So - what do you do in this situation? Is free food worth promoting a bad bank?
I took as many down as possible.