Sunday, October 9, 2011

Thinking of Occupy Wall Street - Goodbye credit card

My intention was in the right place: go to the Occupy Denver march. Then it got cold. And then it rained. And rained. As I got my raincoat on and went outside to see how it felt, I realized that I did not want to go march in the cold and the rain.

The march was successful. I even saw coverage on TV. On "Sunday Morning", a news program we watch, they had a great spot about Occupy Wall Street.

Occupy Denver has a website which lets folks know what they need. I'll drop supplies off this week. I'll keep posting their hash tag on Twitter and promoting the idea that 99% of our population still have a voice. That's how I can help.

NOTE: I'm not impressed with those discounting the protests due to "lack of message". I think people get the message.

I believe that all of those protesting can go many more steps further. One of those steps would be to stop using their credit card.


I said it. This 45 year old gay vegan who loves to shop, loves his Mac, loves his cup of coffee and is part of the spending machine is actually suggesting that we cut up our credit cards. NOTE: If you don't have one, good for you. You can advance to another step in support of the protest.

What would it look like for the powers that be, those credit card carriers execs, although giving people money they don't have, make a fortune off of us. Me, I get it, I use a credit card to buy something I don't need. It's been a long time since I used though, and I keep thinking about what it might look like if 1,000 folks stopped using credit cards? 10,000?

A credit card burning protest? Maybe not. Yet in the quiet of one's home, with their family or a significant other, we can make a decision that will send a clear message: I'm done with you. Our relationship no longer works. The fees, the ever-changing interest rate, and your politics, no longer work for me. I want to break up.

We can start a savings account at our local credit union or local bank. I got that idea from a sign at the NYC protest. We can then use that account "for emergencies". Not a credit card that continually pays into a system that we most likely want nothing to do with.

Would anyone listen if we started to do this? Are people in a position that they can stop using their card to purchase groceries? Am I speaking from privilege when I suggest this?

I would LOVE every one's thoughts! What can we do in our daily lives to support Occupy Wall Street?

Thanks for reading.


  1. The credit card thing would be hard for me because I hate touching money and checks are a pain in the ass. But I agree everyone should go to a credit union or a small bank.

  2. Thanks John. I totally agree. It's been tough for us. We use debit cards now. Also, I never was one to pay my bill on time so I guess for folks who do that there is less of support to the companies.

  3. I totally agree. I gave up credit cards years ago. I have a debit card for my credit union, and that is it. If I can't afford it I don't buy it. Period. I've always heard the advise "don't borrow money from friends." Well, I think it is even more idiotic to borrow money from strangers. At least friends don't charge you fees for every little thing.

  4. Thanks Kathryn! It took us a while to get there but we're there now. Totally appreciate your comment!

  5. Love this idea. I do not have a credit card and never thought they were a good idea. A debit card works just as well.

  6. We just stopped using our card (we only have one) several months ago and feel so great about it! Just like you said, we started a savings account that's just for emergencies & will be cancelling our card as soon as we have enough saved up to feel comfortable.

  7. right on, dan! every single credit card purchase sends a percentage to wall street. if we want to stop or recalibrate the "machine", we have to stop greasing the wheels unthinkingly. on a related note, i was a human resources director for 10 years and never, in good conscience, could put money into a 401k. no matter how "green" or "thoughtful" the provider, there was always domination and killing being funded. and, as you know so well and work to awaken people to, our everyday consumer choices are SO important -- they are the number one thing feeding the unthinking machine. there's humility and a challenge to realize we, all of us, that *we* are the machine. we built it and we can fix it and/or shut it down. every dollar is a vote - how you spend it or how you don't. live our values and we change the world. thanks for being so thoughtful and for sharing your love and wisdom :) lotsa love to you and mike and the furry family.

  8. You are amazing. You've given me something to ponder. :)

  9. Awesome, well thought out post Dan! I paid off and cut up my last credit card in the spring... living without it takes a little getting used to, but I'm thrilled.