As Wall Street holds our pensions and 401(k)s hostage, we need to develop a tactic as effective as theirs. It is overdue for us to express our outrage in an effective way. We have our own assets in this economy. We bring the millions of dollars in stock investments, bank deposits, home mortgages and certificates to the table. Too often, we suffer by hesitating until it’s too late to act. We passively watch our pensions and 401(k) devalued by speculation on the stock market by money market funds. We sit by and listen to Congress tell us how difficult things will be if we don’t throw $1 trillion dollars to fix real estate prices. Now that the bailout was passed and signed, our children will be hit with new punches aimed at Social Security, a public education, public infrastructures, and any semblance of economic stability for the future.
There is an old saying that “what goes around comes around”. Failing to protect OUR economic interests results in no health care, mortgage foreclosures, homelessness, unemployment, public education that is getting worse and worse every year, no economic security and no political representation of our views. Fear of hard times is something that only paralyzes us and keeps us from acting decisively and collectively.
Those of us who have lived in hard times and are living in hard times need to knuckle up to the challenge. We have lived during good times and bad times individually with various degrees of effectiveness. If we want to stop being marginalized we need to work together for common goals and find new ways to make our views effectively demonstrated.
If our weapons of choice are economic, we have an opportunity to reverse the scenario. Right now we are being held hostage by Wall Street. Our very homes, children and retirement are being held hostage. If we are paralyzed by fear, we become like a deer frozen in a spotlight. If we act now and on in a mass action, we put our chips on the table.
So, what can we do? The investment bankers speculated with our money and our homes. They are losing in their high risk gambles but none of their losses are theirs to begin with. They are taking our homes and depleting our pension funds and 401(k)s. They are depriving us and our children of Social Security and health care and education by increasing the budget deficit.
Our chips are things of value to us. We have money in the bank. We have homes. We have to act before we lose them. Yet, the greatest fear out there is a run on the banks. Why? Because the commercial banks fear it the most, it becomes our most potent weapon. Our fear is losing our homes, being unemployed or becoming homeless. We can get the money from the banks. We SHOULD get the money from the banks. It is ours and if we wait too long the message will not be heard.
Take our cash and make a dash. This is a simple but a dynamic force in becoming heard with total clarity. If we are to go through hard times, so be it. But we will never be heard until we act to be heard. Withdrawing our deposits at banks will not deny us of the cash we need for the future. It will simply provide us with the economic leverage that we need to demonstrate our dissatisfaction. Withdrawing our pensions and 401 (k)s is a double edged issue, that will cost us in 20% or more of what is in the fund. But, we can wait for the stock market to go up again, but we should avoid playing games and expecting the economy to get rosier. Many of us have no health care already so we cannot lose that. We are already losing our schools and Social Security remains on the chopping block in the future.
It's time to get off our knees and start acting together. It's time for us to act in ways that will have an impact. Let's stop agreeing with those who do not have our best interests in mind. Let's show that WE are here and will not be invisible in their debates over our lives and our children's lives. Take our cash out of the banks and cast your vote. Take the cash out of the banks and make our public officials listen to us. Stand up and don't be cowed by the very uncertainty that Wall Street and Congress would have us live with.