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$7 Billion to get you to use plastic. Having you under their thumb. Priceless.

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Advertising for banking, credit and debit card services: $7 billion a year (1)

Computer systems to process plastic transactions: $50 billion a year (2)

814 lobbyists to get laws in their favor: $62.5 million in 2009 (3)

Having the government, taxpayers and customers under your thumb: Priceless.

As a taxpayer you already pay for one currency system: Cash. But the banks don't make any money on cash transactions, so they've invented another system: Plastic.

Each has its advantages and disadvantages. You could even say that comparing the two is apples and oranges. But this isn't about which currency system is best for what.

Big Banking has done nothing less than put the economy into near depression, take taxpayer money to the tune of $1 trillion dollars, curtail credit and lending, foreclose on homes, and up interest rates and fees. Something must be done, but what? What can we do to change the current stacked system?

I believe a simple, effective action against Big Banking is to Use Cash instead of plastic.

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Use Cash is about getting some power back into the hands of people toward ending the current unfair, usury and exploitive financial system.

It requires small, easy actions from large numbers of people willing to suffer a little inconvenience to send a message to Big Banking that enough is enough.

There are no pending plans in Washington to curb or cap usury interest rates, set limits on fees or penalties, stop home foreclosures or free up credit. Neither is their much happening to get Big Banks and Big Finance to end the casinoland games that gave us the financial crisis.

To get banking and monetary reform we first need to get the attention of the industry and the government. Letters, petitions, phone calls or political action will not work against the power and money at the disposal of Big Banking.

But there is one way to get the attention of any profit driven industry: deprive it of money.

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You don't have to cut up your cards. Just use them less to send a message.

Use Cash is an easy way to constrict an important flow of money to an industry that currently acts with impunity. Unlike a boycott, you need not deprive yourself of any particular product or service, including using your plastic. Just use cash more, credit and debit cards less.

This is how using cash will put a burning hurt on Big Banking.

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Chaz Valenza is writer and small business owner in New Jersey. He earned his MBA from New York University's Stern School of Business. His current feature film project is "Single Point Failure" an insider's account of how the Reagan Administration (more...)
 

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