November 30, 2009
By Chaz Valenza
Transaction by transaction, we can deprive Big Banking of their lifeblood: fees, penalties and interest. Join the movement: USE CASH. It's a first step to banking and monetary reform.
You're about to start a banking revolution. Yes, you!
Not Chase, not Wells Fargo,
not Citibank, not even Bank of America or the Fed can or will do what you're
going to do.
The government? What a laugh. Big Banking already bought and paid for them.
You are about to use the power of the marketplace to change
banking in America,
for the better, for you.
They got the big bail-out.
They got the fix in on the Ponzi scheme that was collateralized debt
obligations (CDOs) and credit default swaps (CDSs) to the tune of a cool
trillion dollars. Now you are going to
take that money back. Legally. A little at a time.
The banks are currently so greedy they are increasing the
interest rates on existing credit card debt and snaring customers into usury fee and
penalty traps as a quick way to hefty profits.
They're allowed to do this, it's perfectly legal. The reason it's legal is you and I use their
It's just a subsitute for cash
The one service we tend to use the most, usually without a thought as to the consequences, the one Big Banking makes
billions of dollars on, is also the one you can do without: credit and debit
cards. How did we forget that plastic is just a substitute
for good ‘ol cash. (Oh, maybe the billions of dollars Big Banking spends to convince us plastic is better than cash? Is it? Where do they get all that money for all that expensive advertising?)
Think about it, with a little effort, using cash instead of cards is an easy, cost free way to save money and hurt the banks.
You may not be able to pay off all your credit cards today,
but you can stop using them, if not completely, less. And, every time you don't use their cash
substitute cards is a victory. Each is a
small but significant act of subversion the will help end Big Banking
Feel good about handling cash again. It's going to be the next big thing.
It's all about the Benjamins
Big Banking needs billions of transactions on plastic to be
profitable. Those profits allow them to
buy the lobbyist that buy the government that buys the laws, rules and
regulations that have let them steal all that money from us. How about we put an end to that?
Here's their current take:
plastic for a $100 purchase: $3.50 from
plastic to buy a $3.50 latte and overdraw your account: $35 fee
You use plastic
to buy a $35 gift and go over your credit limit: $50 fee
transfer a credit card balance of $1,000 for a lower rate: $60 fee
interest. Plus the days the
merchant doesn't get his/her money.
See: PBS documentary Frontline - “The Card Game.”
So, at minimum, for every dollar we use cash instead of
plastic, Big Banking is deprived of 3.5 cents.
Every dollar, ever time. Doesn't
sound like much, but it adds up and all we have to do is Use Cash.
If just you and I average $5,000 each in plastic purchases
per year and, instead, do those transactions using cash, we just deprived the
banks of $350 – minimum.
If one thousand of us do the same that's $175,000 –
minimum. If just one-million of us
switched to cash, less than one percent of U.S. households, $175 Million –
minimum – Big Banking is out.
Want to do it?
Step one: Carry some
cash and use it. Go to the bank first and
get the cash for larger purchases
Step two: Make
purchases with cash at merchants that offer a 5%
Discount for Cash
Step three: Talk to other people about “Use Cash,” and download
the “Use Cash” sign art tack it to your car's backseat window
Are you a merchant?
Step one: Continue to
accept plastic, but also offer a 5% discount for cash. (Wouldn't you rather have your money
now? And wouldn't you rather give your
customers 5% in lieu of giving Big Banking 3.5%?)
Step two: Download
the “5% Discount for Cash” sign and hang it in your store window
Step three: Talk to
other merchants about “Use Cash” and “5% Discount for Cash”
Transaction by transaction, we can deprive Big Banking of
their lifeblood: fees, penalties and interest.
Join the movement.
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 caused the greatest tragedy of the space age based on Richard C. Cook's book "Challenger Revealed." He is a former Director of Public Information for Planned Parenthood of NYC. His website is: www.WordsWillNever.com