Let’s talk about power. From widespread unemployment and foreclosures to Wall Street bonuses to melting polar ice caps, this ride’s careening out of control. As George Jetson would say, “Jane stop this crazy thing!” And, as everyone under 30 would say, “Who’s Jane?”
As the problems get bigger and badder, we feel smaller and more insignificant -- mere specks of dust swirling in a tornado of chaos. Totally powerless. Right? Wrong.
There are three ways, fellow specks, to reclaim our power. But we all have to do it, so it adds up to something bigger than you or I. Because what is a mountain, really, if not just a massive pile of dust? So, let’s start piling:
One: Buy local. Whether it’s food or gas or gifts, whenever you can, make your purchases at businesses within your own community. Besides supporting the businesses that support your community and employ your friends and neighbors, your sales tax stays in your community and funds local services. Like police officers and swimming pools and parks. Would you rather pay for parks for your own kids to play in or somebody else’s in some other town?
When you do make those purchases, read the labels. If it’s made or grown in the U.S., great. If not, pick something else whenever possible. When you buy things with “Made in China” on the label just to save a couple bucks, you’re participating in the destruction of the American workforce. When you buy grapes from Chile because they’re cheaper than California grapes, you’re participating in the destruction of American agriculture. The money you saved was picked from the pocket of an American worker or farmer.
Furthermore, the farther away you are from the origin of that product, the more transportation involved. The more transportation involved, the more air pollution. The more air pollution, the more global warming and the more money spent on gasoline. The more money spent on gasoline, the higher the skyscrapers in Dubai. You know what I see when I look at pictures of that tower? A big middle finger extended at the U.S.
Two: Decline. Whatever your political affiliation, reregister as “Decline to State.” You can still vote Republican or Democrat or whatever. But by officially removing yourself from the two-party system, you’re putting politicians on notice that they can’t take your support for granted.
I became a Decliner about two years ago out of exasperation with the increasingly pathetic state of our political system. It’s just prettied up Monday Night Football. Blue team! Red team! Go Elephants! Go Donkeys! We’re Number One! Go Fight Win!
The politicians are the players, and we’re just the fans in the stands, hollering our lungs out and waving our stupid giant Styrofoam fingers. There’s a fine line between a fan and a fool. You don’t think the players are playing that game for you, do you? They’re not in it for you. They’re in it for the money. They’re in it to win. Period. It was not, is not, and never will be about the fans. Or the constituents.
Nothing illustrates this better than the healthcare debacle. The Democrats boo-hooed about dying babies and the Republicans went bat-crap crazy about socialism, and it was all a big fat charade. This wasn’t about healthcare. It was about getting reelected. How do you get reelected? Not by biting the hand that holds the check for your reelection campaign, that’s for sure. Just ask Joey “The Douche” Lieberman. The only ones getting healthy under this healthcare plan will be the insurance companies.
How can anyone with an IQ higher than an artichoke swear allegiance to any of this nonsense anymore! If you’re smarter than an artichoke, you’re smart enough to walk right out of the Red/Blue stadium, get a voter registration form, check the “Decline to State” box and mail it in. Don’t give them your vote anymore -- make them earn it.
Three: Move Your Money. If you haven’t heard of this movement, visit www.moveyourmoney.info, and be sure to watch the video. If it doesn’t make your blood simmer, go straight to the emergency room. You probably don’t have a pulse.
The Move Your Money effort ignited on the Huffington Post on Dec. 29, and is spreading exponentially via the internet. The message of Move Your Money is simple: Fight back against the very entities that caused the collapse of our housing market and subsequently the entire economy by taking your money away from the big banks and moving it to locally owned community banks. Don’t keep feeding the monster that swallowed our economy alive.
To find your local banks, just type your zip code into the field on the website and a list pops right up. Here in Yolo County, I’m delighted to report that First Northern Bank is well-represented on the list. I can personally vouch for the quality service you get at a community bank. I’m a devoted FNB customer, and the day they (God forbid) go out of business is the day my money goes into my mattress.
There you have it. You’re more powerful than you know. Feel it. Own it. Flex it. Use your money and your vote like the weapons that they are. Show them no mercy. The CEOs on Wall Street would write bonus checks with your blood if they could. And with pens made in China. And our so-called representatives? They’ll just look the other way. Some of those checks will fund their reelection campaigns.
Don’t just be a speck of dust. Be part of the mountain.