City Government

Occupier On Banks, No Confidence In System

By MsInformationBoise
Occupy Boise Member

Here in Boise, Occupiers have several local issues they have decided they’d like to address. One issue that has been discussed is the decision to build on the “Hole” downtown. For many of us it was a revelation the CCDC was subsidizing millions in public money towards the construction of a new Zions Bank building. It will surely have living and business space besides just Zions, but I think there is more to that point; Zions also recieved TARP bailout money, and they currently entangled in some kind of legal actions against them. Is this really a wise investment for CCDC? Why don’t we do something drastically cheaper and just put in a park! Some of us see no reason to build a multi-million dollar building at a time when the economy is contracting. Especially when this money is being diverted away from other areas, such as education, city, and county governments.

On the national level Occupy Boise shares the same complaints and interests as every other Occupier out there. With so much discontent it is hard to see what a “victory” would look like, and I find myself doubting if it is even possible for political or legislated solutions to work towards such an end.

For us, Occupy represents our own complete lack of faith in the system. I think for now, that is powerful enough. There have been a number of positive messages and plans growing out of the Occupied discussions. We have working groups addressing the homeless and unemployed issues here in Boise. Others are interested in our education policy, and hope to be more engaged in our local political theater. There are talks of “occupying” local businesses that condone the kind of practices we prefer in the hopes that we can persuade our little community to support those causes over other outlets. Community building is just another goal for some of the diverse community that exists at Occupy Boise.

The biggest lesson I have learned from the scope of this public uprising, and from my personal experience with Occupy Boise is that every one of us needs to remember the way we live, the things we buy, our day-to-day actions all contribute to this network of businesses and government. Such an understanding causes one to confront our role as consumer, as producers, and to invest our efforts into strategic actions that will benefit those in our community. Vote ‘no confidence’ and support our local businesses and institutions.

One of the biggest moves so far has been the slow migration of Occupiers financial accounts from large banks to local banks and community credit unions. I spoke with my long-time bank manager upon closing my savings account. I had to explain that while I have no complaints, and wished no harm on the employees and their branch, I had to close my account because I understand that my money helps that bank do business, and I cannot support their actions any longer. We had a candid conversation about what it meant, both symbolically and realistically. That is the other thing about the Occupation. We are having these conversations. Everyday. Everywhere.

But I am from the creationist camp. I acknowledge the failures and the unsustainability of the current system—I have to—but if it is at all possible, I’d like to focus on a solution–one that requires quite a bit of personal responsibility. I want my efforts to focus on what is possible, and how we might make it happen. Mostly I am concerned with the way we might again be confident in our community, and our place within it.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Why we must stay vigilant and fight government expansion of scope into the private sector business. They will literally tax us into oblivion while giving the money to their “friends” for the good of the many. These are three stories from just today, but it happens day after day, and it is what a special taxing district is for. It takes from a sector that is doing ok and gives to one that needs to be allowed to fail.

  2. As for the “occupier” movement. It has a strange way of being of political origin with democrat themes and now that more real people are getting involved it’s shifting to be a grubby-smelly version of the TEA party? It’s been kind of fun to watch the (D) political establishment try to figure out how to keep the cat under control after letting it out of the bag a few weeks ago.

  3. It seems most of the occupiers are interested in waging class warfare and supporting income redistribution.

    But I have never heard a simple solution for all the “occupiers” out there on how they can each make a difference. Look in your wallet and look at all the various credit and debit cards you hold. Every time you use those credit cards the business that you spend it in pays fees to banks usually in the 2% to 3% range for each transaction.

    That means that every transaction you make here in little old Idaho is “taxed” by some large recently bailed out bank in New York. The banks have duped the public into this “travel rewards” shell game that basically gives card users .5% toward travel or other benefits while charging businesses 2-3% on each transaction. In the end it basically just makes everything more expensive and lines the pockets of bankers.

    Cut up your credit cards! Spend cash instead. Don’t invest in stocks of companies you don’t share common beliefs in. Buy local! These are things that will affect the status quo and change the way Wall Street does business.

    Standing around city hall and not showering achieves nothing. Instead come up with some ideas and start implementing them.

  4. Werner,
    Standing around city hall and not showering is there way of bringing attention to what they stand for. All the press and blogging, proves that it works. It’s up to people like you to press further, like you have done with this blog. Just because it’s not a standard policy change doesn’t mean it’s not effective.
    Vote Lawrence Johnson Nov 8

  5. Due to corporate “downsizing” (job elimination), my company is no longer paying for the car they “required” me to purchase. I approached my lender and asked to refinance the loan for a longer term. This institution holds more than 2x the amount of the auto loan in a CASH account and I have a very high credit score. The bank will not refi the loan because of my joblessness of one month. I just realized this morning that all my major credit cards (frequent flier, dept store, bank cards, etc) are with that bank. They are offering me over $120k in credit & cash lines, I have $40k cash in their bank and they won’t refi a $15k auto loan, for which I have never been late? So ridiculous!!! I called my local credit union, and they are happy to refi (as long as I maintain an account of the value of the refi) with an interest rate of 2.51% – 50% lower than the banks best rate. Plus, the Credit Union told me on the phone that they would do this loan. I did not have to spend 2 hours sitting in a bank waiting for them to say no. I am not going to use those credit cards anymore and I am moving my money today. We are responsible in part for our demise for buying things we didn’t have the cash for and allowing the bank to give us credit. The attitude of entitlement in this country needs to change and EVERYONE needs to start taking responsibility for their actions and think about what they are REALLY saying and doing.

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