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Protesting Banking Practices
What to Do?   

Q. I'm furious that the government and Federal Reserve (no matter who is President) are deliberately ruining the future of our children and grandchildren by bailing out huge, unethical corporations at the expense of taxpayers yet requiring very little oversight of how these funds are used. Is there anything we can do about it?

Answer:

Agreed…and we haven't even begun to experience tax hikes and inflationary prices yet. When we do I think more Americans will understand what it means to devalue the dollar and bail out fraudsters.

At some point Americans will be much more willing to do something about it once they feel the effects of devaluation. What to do is a tricky thing, though, especially for law abiding Christians.

James Quinn from Wharton Business School offers a few suggestions in a recent article that may be worth reviewing. He calls his suggestions a "Fiscal Sanity Movement." I've paraphrased a few of his comments although this is an incomplete list:



Buy only Necessities

70% of our GDP is dependent on consumer spending. We should "refuse to spend any money on discretionary items like electronic gadgets, furniture, and jewelry." (Ed. - I suggest we learn to purchase only necessities - buy fun stuff at garage sales and flea marts if you must).

"If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content" (1 Timothy 6:8, NASB).

Boycott Banks with TARP Funds

Americans should "withdraw every dime of their money from all the banks that have accepted TARP funds. …Pull your money out of these banks and put it in your local banks or credit unions that didn't bring down the financial system.

This would ruin the Treasury's latest $1 trillion scheme of hiding toxic assets." (Ed. - We are changing insurance companies due to one insurance company's heinous misuse of funds, for example. We are also changing a business account from a bank that accepted TARP funds to another local bank).



Stop Using Credit Cards

Stop using credit cards. "The major purveyors of credit cards, Bank of America, Citicorp, American Express and Capital One would collapse under the weight of bad debt. …Without charging 21% interest and collecting $25 late fees for being one day late, their businesses will implode." (Ed. - This is great advice. Credit card companies can't gouge those who leave their ruthless, evil system behind).

"I became convinced that non cooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good" (Martin Luther King).

Force Auto Bankruptices

If "Americans refused to buy new cars and choose to get by with the 240 million existing automobiles already in use this would force the necessary bankruptcies of General Motors and Chrysler."

(Ed. - It's unfortunate they didn't design dependable cars before. Fuel efficient, dependable and probably used cars are the only ones we should buy in the near future - and we can use local, independent auto mechanics to keep them running. In addition, there is something fundamentally wrong with school teachers with five-year degrees earning $30,000 per year while auto workers earn north of $120,000. This must change).

"Most of the luxuries and many of the so-called comforts of life are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind" (Henry David Thoreau).



Don't Buy McMansions

Refuse "to purchase any more 6,000 square foot McMansions." (Ed. - In my opinion this would help to put unethical mortgage bankers out of business and allow people to save again).

"Our houses are such unwieldy property that we are often imprisoned rather than housed by them" (Henry David Thoreau).

Strike&March

"Imagine a one day national strike coinciding with the largest March on Washington in the history of the Republic. This would surely change the dialogue in the country. The lightweight politicians in Washington DC would cave immediately."

"Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison" (Henry David Thoreau).

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References:


DeGraaf, John, Wann, and Naylor. 2005. Affluenza: The all-consuming epidemic. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler.

Quinn, James. 2009. When America ruled the world. 24 March. Available from:
http://www.financialsense.com/editorials/quinn/2009/0324.html.

Sider, Ronald J. 2005. Rich Christians in an age of hunger. Nashville, TN: Nelson.

Simon, Arthur. 2003. How much is enough? Grand Rapids, MI: Baker.








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