7-STEP ACTION PLAN FOR MORE FREEDOM IN 2014 Step One: Go Local

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Bank and shop local to keep more dollars in your local economy.

Start banking and shopping more locally to keep more dollars in your local economy. And, while you’re at it, use cash for purchases, as much as possible, because when you swipe a card, some of that money will likely leave your local economy, to cover global banking fees.

Leave the global banks (Bank of America, Chase, Citi, Wells Fargo) in preference of small locally-owned banks and credit unions. Most recently, we’ve seen headlines revealing that some of our largest banks were artificially propped up with $83 billion in taxpayer subsidies last year. Remember, just five years prior, in 2008, these same banks were bailed out with taxpayer dollars. Although, most people disagreed with that action, and even took to the streets nationwide in protest of this through the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011, no meaningful change occurred. Clearly, effecting change at the global banking level requires more than electing politicians who promise change, while in reality hold banks as their greatest source of campaign contributions. It’s going to take more than protesting en masse, as well.

What’s the solution? Several years ago, the people at MoveYourMoneyProject.org released a compelling short video, encouraging viewers to move their money from the too big to fail global banking giants to small locally-owned banks and credit unions. They explained that when we do this, our dollars are reinvested back into local business and economic growth, rather than invested into global banking interests.

Leave the global retails chains (Wal-Mart, Target, Costco, Home Depot) in preference of small local stores, resale & consignment shops, and garage sales. Most recently, we’ve seen headlines telling us that companies like Wal-Mart are also being subsidized with taxpayer dollars. In one congressional report, it was revealed that for every $1 spent at Wal-Mart, Americans pay $3 to subsidize their employees with welfare benefits. At the same time, it seems nearly impossible to buy goods made in the USA today; most, as we well know, are made in China.

So, what can we do? Continue buying these products at full retail price, lining the pockets of globalist retailers outside our communities, while lamenting that we have no other choice? Absolutely not. We have more power than that. Let’s take it back! Shop local stores and boutiques, featuring locally-made goods. Buy products at stores that feature the “Made Local” label. Shop resale, consignment, and garage sales – because although these will offer goods made outside of your area, any dollars spent on them will stay in your area. Expand your awareness of the local businesses available to you, and make it an exciting adventure getting find your next favorite place to shop. Expand your awareness of goods made in the USA, and support the companies that make them. Trying something new may be awkward at first, but once you get familiar with the great alternatives that surround you, you’ll likely be happier that you did.

Beware of fake buy local campaigns. As the movement toward globalization increases, this counter movement toward localization has arisen to the challenge; each side, vying for their stake in our national economy. Interestingly, American Express has engaged in cause-related marketing to support local businesses, with their “shop small” campaign, occurring every black Friday, in recent years. Though their efforts appear commendable and noble, Americans should be aware that American Express is owned by the same man who has ownership of Wells Fargo, Costco, and other Fortune 500 Companies; so, using American Express, even when shopping local, will benefit global interests.

Another key item to consider is who is ultimately benefiting from a shop small campaign, if the target of spending is simply “small” businesses and the time frame only occurs one day out of the year? Small business, to some, may mean that little Starbucks coffee shop around the corner, when the real target needs to be the locally and privately owned coffee shop around the corner. Also, in order to be truly effective, we’re obviously going to have to shop local more than one day a year. So, this cause-related marketing from American Express may be step in the right direction, but it arguably does more for improving their image, than actually benefiting this cause.

Culturally, we’ve been conditioned to bank and shop global, and we’ve become comfortable with it. Granted, implementing the changes mentioned here won’t be easy, but the pain of it is a far cry from what Americans sacrificed during the first American Revolution. For freedom’s sake, make a decision today, if you will, to spend less of your money on the companies and interests that do not serve you and your local community.

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Next post: “Step Two: Be a Job Creator”

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