Monday, November 14, 2011

Occupy Wall Street? Occupy Bank of America?

Occupy Wall Street?  Occupy Bank of America? 

J and I have been having trouble with our bank accounts. Not only is there not enough in them--a normal phenomenon for folk on fixed incomes, but someone else has been using our bank accounts to pay their credit cards off that shouldn’t be. We do not use credit cards because we will not pay the usurious interest rates offered to people who have limited incomes. This has meant several trips to our local branch of BofA.

The young banker there has been quite solicitous and nice. But that still doesn’t seem to take care of the problem of how thieves have gotten access to our accounts. We have closed accounts and gotten new debit cards. We have talked unto we are blue in the face with customer service—when we finally can find a person to talk to. I sort of expect this kind of service from ATT but not my bank. They are using MY money after all!

We may have to move to a local credit union to do our banking business. But the big international bank has always been so handy. Our relocating our banking will not affect BofA. We don’t have enough for them to notice. But I do hope that with all those who are exiting from big banks because of OWS, it may say something.

I grew up with parents who had lived through the Great Depression. They had seen their parents lose it all—not that they had much. We were of working class heritage and never really trusted those who speculated on the Stock Market. We were sober mid-west folk. You put your money in a checking account or a savings account and you were careful with how you used it. You allowed the bank to hold your money so it was safe. For the privilege of holding your money the bank paid you interest. Now, the interest is negligible and going into the pockets of CEO’s rather than back to the depositors. Something is WRONG with this picture.

After yesterday’s Gospel reading of the 3 servants, I am totally convinced that what is wrong is the FEAR that unregulated capitalism perpetuates in the world. Capitalism is based on the idea that there is not enough in the world for everyone to have a bit. In order for unregulated capitalism to work, you have to believe that there isn’t enough of whatever so that you can mark up the price.

If there is anything I am sure of is that this world, if allowed to, can produce enough for every living thing to have a sufficiency to live at least comfortably. We have just been told that it isn’t to our “personal” or “national” (or these days “corporate”) interest for everyone to have enough. Not only is that bunk, it is immoral. There is enough food for everyone on this planet. And there is enough gas or oil to heat or cook if we are willing to share. We as a human race must come to the place where we have the will to make sure that all have enough. We have to put away the fear that comes with the economics of our age and trust in the One from whom all things come.

1 comment:

WiseFather said...

I made a video protest recently for my blog. It is quite funny even if you are pro-megabank. I called my credit card's customer service line to do some negotiating. Having a bit of leverage, I thought it presented a great opportunity to mess with them a little and make a few points about the unfairness of the credit card lending system. Since it's a protest at home, I called it my kitchen counterstrike against Bank of America. I think you might enjoy it.