Banks are for-profit companies. They make money by charging intereston loans, collecting account fees and reinvesting all that money to earn more profit. But as for-profit companies, they also pay state and federal taxes.
Credit unions, on the other hand, are not-for-profit institutions. Technically, credit unions are owned by their account holders, known as members. Any profit earned by a credit union is either invested back into the organization or paid out to members as a dividend [source: Federal Reserve]. As a not-for-profit institution, credit unions pay no state or federal taxes, meaning they can charge lower interest rates than banks for most financial services.
Real free market, capitalist entrepreneurs want to own and control our own capital. With credit unions, we do so.
There are only three things–and only these three–that will cripple Wall Street’s democracy-killing concentration of wealth and power:
1. Transfer the 99%’s money out of Wall Street and the Too Big To Fail Banks
2. Remove campaign contributions from our democracy in a way that the corporate legalist lackeys in the Supreme Court cannot overturn, i.e. entirely publicly financed elections
3. Abolish Wall Street’s dealer, pusher and protector, the Federal Reserve.
My reasoning is very simple:
Everything else people want to see happen cannot happen if:
1) Wall Street and the SDI (systemically dangerous institutions) a.k.a. too big to fail banks, control most Americans’ financial assets and debts
2) The Federal Reserve exists to enable and protect the SDI’s wealth and power via Primary Dealers, the discount window and other pusher/dealer mechanisms
3) Wall Street and the other SDIs can use the billions of dollars they skim from our accounts, IRAs, 401Ks and pensions to buy political influence and protection from regulation and competition.
Therefore these are the necessary foundations of any real change.
As long as Wall Street and the other SDIs control much of the nation’s financial markets, assets and debts, and the Federal Reserve exists to protect and enable their predation and parasitic skimming, they will have the means to reap billions in profits which can then be funneled into our cash-corrupted political system of for-sale toadies and apparatchiks.
If we don’t end the Fed, it will keep propping up the Wall Street con artists.
If we don’t downsize the giant banks, they will keep propping up the Fed.