Quotable: Alphonse Desjardins
“A credit union is not an ordinary financial concern, seeking to enrich its members at the expense of the general public. Neither is it a loan company, seeking to make a profit at the expense of the unfortunates…The credit union is nothing of the kind; it is the expression in the field of economics of a high social ideal.”
Alphonse Desjardins is the man who started the Canadian credit union movement 110 years ago. His thoughts are still powerfully relevant today.
(Bolded emphasis mine.)
A New Holiday Tradition?
Normally, I abhor e-mail forwards. To me, they are generally the Internet’s functional equivalent of cockroaches. Nasty and pervasive, they move fast and are damned hard to kill.
But I got one a few days ago that seemed to be a pretty cool idea. As the Holidays approach, why not swear off swag and buy local (and practical), gifts?
Here’s a sample from the e-mail, which I have edited (like most forwards, too much “foreign-bashing” for my likes - so I’ve cleaned out that language)…
“Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box?
Everyone — yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local hair salon or barber?
Gym membership? It’s appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement.
Who wouldn’t appreciate getting their car detailed? Small , locally-owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.
Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.”
(My suggestion …a membership in a local co-op … give the gift of sustainability!)
I’m not much of a consumer myself, hate getting stuff I don’t need or want … and don’t buy many presents for others. I prefer presence.
But it seems to me if gift-giving is your thing, this would be a way to support local businesses while giving practical gifts to the people you care about.
Let the War on Conspicuous Christmas Consumption begin!
Paul Krugman: Financial Big Lies
Great post on Paul Krugman’s Conscience of A Liberal Blog in the NY Times yesterday about the familiar (and tired) “Fannie-Freddie-subprime loans killed the economy” bunk we keep hearing.
An additional thought on this - decades of SUCCESSFUL lending to low-wealth households by community development financial institutions, which has not been widely reported in this context, also bolster the case Krugman is trying to make here.
Repeat after me: it’s not about the people who got the loans, it’s about the loans the people got!