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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Dump the Douche

I've written about this before, so pardon me for repeating myself (but it was years and years ago and have I really been blogging that long? Wowza), but it bears repeating. Over and over and over again. Most of the links in the old post still work, FYI.

Mother Jones had an article recently highlighting how big banks are screwing poor folks in California. Bank of (we hate citizens of) America has a deal with the State of CA to provide benefits through debit-type cards. Naturally, there are all kinds of bullshit fees attached to these cards that cut into desperately needed funds. If you're a bleeding heart do-gooder like me, that article is gonna piss you off. You have been warned.

This is how the story always goes with these blood sucking assholes. Fees up on fees upon fees. Shady practices like calculating withdrawals before deposits. Packaging and reselling debt so frequently that folks have no idea who owns their debt to work out payment plans. Illegally foreclosing on homes, particularly among military personnel while they were serving abroad. Oh, yeah, and there was that whole wrecking the economy thing.

Big banks are run by sociopaths who would skin their own mothers if they could get 50 cents for their pelts. I don't care if they are simply playing the game of a "free" market. Their actions are frequently illegal and all too often immoral. Handing over our money to these monolithic douchebags is an act of self-harm. So, despite my previous DGAF supporting ways, I beg of thee: If you are still banking with the big beasts, stop. Dump the douche. Many, many folks have written details on how you can make the switch. Smaller, community-oriented banks are rad, but nothing really beats your local credit union.

I dumped B-holes of America a few years ago and am happy as can be (after getting over the initial screw ups I committed during the switching phase). I get excellent service and have a great rate on my car loan. Most importantly, I am part of a non-profit community-oriented bank that doesn't do heinous things, such as foreclosing on a soldier or marine while he or she is serving abroad (seriously, you demons? Seriously? Soulless bastards!). The switch does take some work, but it's a one-time deal that will ultimately save you money and take yet another tool away from the bad guys. And really, who wants to be a tool for those jerks?


EcoCatLady said...

OK... so I finally did it. I got an account at a credit union! I can't say that I'll move all my money there, as it's completely spread out over 4 different banks at this point - long story. But I do think I'll make an effort to move in that general direction.

But I do have a question - are all banks in the same category of evil, or are there different levels - you know, sorta like the levels of hell in Dante's Inferno?

I think that one of the banks I use is a local bank, and another is regional - used to be local but keeps getting bought out by bigger and bigger establishments. Just wondered if there's any rating system for relative evilness or if they're all pretty much the same.

Demandra said...

300 years later, I respond! Yeehaw on getting the credit union account! I'm kinda curious as to your long story around having so many accounts. That sounds complicated.

From what I've read, there are various levels of evil. When the Glass-Steagall act was demolished, we all pretty much got screwed. The big bad evils are the huge monolithic monsters--Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase, etc. Community banks with fewer branches that are pretty much just regional are generally far better and didn't really play much of a roll in tanking the economy. Credit unions are considered the best, because o' the non-profit status and the only shareholders they're answering to are their members. I went with a credit union because of that, but there is also a local bank, Farmers & Merchant, in my area that I would have gone with had they a better fee structure.