Bail Out

I took my money out of Bank of America yesterday in solidarity with Bank Transfer Day and the larger Occupy movement. While the BoA tellers gave it a good effort to convince me to stay, even offering me higher interest rates, I decided that a bank that large and irresponsible needed another bailout... mainly me, bailing on it.

I'm excited to be part of a credit union now. There's a lot of reason why I made the switch, but if I could sum up why I feel it's a good choice in just one point, it's this one: credit unions are not-for-profit. In a literal sense, they aren't trying to nickel and dime your nickels and dimes. Because big banks have shareholders, they have to continually increase their profits, which means finding ways to make money off every one of your transactions. On the other hand, credit unions make enough money to operate, earning the majority of its cash from interest on loans.

Afterward, I headed downtown to the Occupy rally where there was a teach-in. Unfortunately, I was discouraged by a bunch of arguments going on amongst the participants. I understand that people come to the movement with differing opinions and that debate is healthy, but screaming at/heckling others who slightly disagree with you on some minor topic is not productive. Why not work together on the 95% of things you agree on rather than focusing on the other 5%? We're all here for the common goal of minimizing economic injustice.

As easy as it is to be cynical about everything, I also can't allow myself to write off a movement this important. As the consolidation of wealth and power increases over time, it's only going to be harder to break up, so giving up now might as well mean giving up forever. How to do it, though, is another issue. I'm still trying to figure out exactly where *I* fit into Occupy Wall Street. Hopefully we'll all figure out at least that much soon.

No comments: