Please consider the following:
- Local Governments, Churches, Community Groups, Prominent Business Men And Others Are All Divesting From Big, Corrupt Banks
- Bank customers flee to credit unions
- Massive pile of news results about closing bank accounts
This, ladies and gentlemen, is the protest that works.
This is the protest that actually wakes up the powers that be.
This is the protest that generates results, that generates real change.
It's the protest that says:
I do not believe in you, therefore I do not do business with you. Not another dime until you change your ways.
You want to change corporate America? Do not do business with companies you don't believe in. You don't like X company's labor practices or wage practices or environmental practices? Don't buy another thing from them. Find someone else. This is the age when you can Google for nearly everything and probably find 5 alternatives online that are cheaper, better quality, or more environmentally friendly.
You want to change the rule of big banks? Do not lend them your money. Find a local credit union or community bank and bank with them instead. Check out mycreditunion.gov to find one near you, then go close your account with the big bank and do business elsewhere.
You want to change the tone and tenor of Washington politics? Do not give a dime to any candidate running for office, period, because the electoral system is funded by individual donations as well as large companies. You want to make real change happen with your money? Skip the political candidate and donate to the local food pantry instead.
On a big picture level, the ballot box certainly is one of the most powerful tools that a citizen of a country (if they have the right to democratically elect their leadership) has access to. But on a day to day basis, there's an even more powerful tool: your wallet. Make conscious choices about what you believe in and support those choices with your money. Encourage others to do so as well. You don't need to convince everyone, just 4-5 friends and colleagues to make similar choices.
When you choose to stop doing business with someone, let them know why. Send them an email. Post it on their facebook page. Write up a blog post. Say to them very publicly and succinctly, with substantiation or citation of the facts you used to make your decision, here is why I am not giving you another dime. Hashtag it #notanotherdime or something like it so that others can see you and join you.
As evidenced by the powerful protests above, it does work.
Disclosure: I've been banking with a credit union since 2001. I do not hold investments outside of index funds in any banks.
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