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November 30, 2009

'Use Cash Movement' to Ignite a Monetary Revolt

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.

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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 services.


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 tyranny.

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:

You use plastic for a $100 purchase: $3.50 from the merchant

You use 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

You transfer a credit card balance of $1,000 for a lower rate: $60 fee

Plus 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.





Submitters Bio:

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

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