December 7, 2009
By Chaz Valenza
Main Street is mighty piss-off and itching to string up a few bank robber barons in the concrete canyons of Wall Street.But, there's a more effective, legal means at our disposal. With this plan, it's easy to easy to imagine putting a hurt on Big Banking to the tune of a billion dollars a year.
::::::::Main Street is mighty pissed-off. We're a'itching to have a hangin' party and string up a few bank robber barons in the concrete canyons of Wall Street. But I say, let's just take their money.
Not since the French Revolution has the aristocracy been so worried about their physical safety. Paul Craig Roberts puts these fears in context in his well documented article Trickle-up economics: Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice shame on me, OpEdNews, December 3, 2009.
Roberts cites no less than Bloomberg news for evidence of the fears harbored by those who have raped the financial system and left everyone else holding the bag:
"Goldman Sachs senior executives are arming themselves with New York gun permits, according to Alice Schroeder on Bloomberg.com. The banksters ‘are now equipped to defend themselves if there is a populist uprising against the bank.'"
If you're among those about to join the posse, may I suggest you put down the rope. Let's just all get together and stage a protest that will deprive Big Banking of a billion dollars a year.
That's right, and it's all legal. Plus, unlike violence, it will not give the authorities any justification to label Main Street an angry mob and commence cracking heads among the 90% of us bearing the brunt of the economic crisis.
Goldman Sachs executives' guilty paranoia aside, I don't know anyone willing to take such extreme measures, though we all have our fantasies. But, we can hit them where it will hurt by depriving the current banking and finance cartel of income and profits.
Posse lookin' to apprehend them bank robber barons
No, really, this is how: Right now, there is a growing movement to Use Cash instead of credit and debit cards whenever possible. Once it gets going it will terrify the Banksters.
How much money can we deny the banking/finance corporations? A lot.
Let's say a typical Use Cash protester can switch just $35 of spending from plastic to cash a week – buying gas for the car, and a couple other small purchases. That will deprive Big Banking their average merchant vigor of 3.5%: $1.
But $35 of lost credit or debit card “spend” also denies Big Banking enormous additional potential revenue. And, that's where they make a killing on cardholders. Penalties and fees forgoing over limit or usingover draft "privileges" that can range from $30 to $50, not to mention double cycle interest accumulations on prior balances.
Just sticking with $1 per week per protestor, if a million people join in that's a minimum of $52 million dollars a year.
But this is not a march on Washington. A million people is nowhere near the limit. And, for many people, switching $35 per week of plastic spending to cash is nothing.
Visa cardholders in the U.S. spend more than $1 trillion a year on their cards. (Source: Visa USA internal statistics, 4th quarter 2006.)
So, it's easy to easy to imagine putting a hurt on Big Banking to the tune of a billion dollars a year. That's just $35 billion in plastic spending switched to cash, only3.5% of Visa's annual volume.
This relatively easy, non-violent action against the banking abuses and financial scams that continue to plague our economic system has many advantages:
1) By using cash we can significantly decrease a important stream of money that directly finances the very institutions that inspired our wrath.
2) Using cash instead of plastic is an action that everyone, to some degree or another, can take both immediately and everyday.
3) Unlike a boycott, no participant will need to suffer any self-denial of necessary goods or services. Just substitute cash for plastic as much as possible.
4) The economic standing and physical well-being of the protest participants are, generally, not at risk. For example: No negative effects on credit reports, like those associated with foreclosure or non-payment. No risk of bodily harm from police or other altercations during a march or other protest.
5) Denying the dysfunctional part of the current economic system funding is an effective, nearly terrifying, prospect to banking and finance target of the protest.
6) As the action of using cash grows along with the numbers of participants, visibility for the protest will expand until it can no longer be ignored.
7) With the tools available on the internet, there is little to no cost for either advocates of, or participants in, the movement. Simple: Use Cash and let others know you're part of the movement.
8) Because Use Cash is the choice of one payment system in the market over another, they – the banking/finance cartel and the government – will not be able to stop the protest.
Yes, cash is less convenient than plastic for many transactions. It's a small sacrifice we should be willing to make if we really want change. Use Cash is is a lot easier than throwing a lynching party we were never going to have in the first place, isn't it?
Learn how to make the Use Cash movement work at Use Cash 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