Maybe this is off topic for Working Photographer. Maybe not.
Straight out of It's a Wonderful Life a wonderful idea has sprung up. If you are tired of the banking industry in America playing roulette with your money then there's an easy and effective way to stop them. Take your money away from Mr. Potter and put it in George Bailey's Savings and Loan! You remember Mr. Potter and George Bailey. Was there ever a clearer choice when it came to who was doing the right thing?
Well, there's a new movement afoot and I couldn't be happier. I heard about it first on the Huffington Post. It's called "Move Your Money" and you can read that article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arianna-huffington/move-your-money-a-new-yea_b_406022.html
It seems they got to talking at a dinner gathering about the problems of the banking industry when someone suggested taking their money out of the big, reckless banks and putting it in a community bank. Filmmaker Eugene Jarecki was among the party and he quickly suggested the analogy with the tale of George Bailey's Savings and Loan as he battled the forces of the powerful (and the clearly evil) Mr. Potter. With that image in mind the conversation took off and soon a plan was hatched.
Jarecki and friends sprung into action and produced a great video about the concept. See it here: http://moveyourmoney.info/
But they did more than that. They created that web site where you can put in your zip code and look up a community bank near you. If you move your money to a community bank you effectively take it out of the hands of the Potter's of the world (and there seem to be a lot of them.) That money then becomes available for local loans to local people. The hard working folks who came to George's rescue in the movie. If we care about local issues this is one not-so-small step we can take.
This is where I come in. I immediately put in our zip code (67456) and up came a long list of local banks. Down in there was our bank: Farmers State Bank! That's the one out on the corner by the Pizza Hut where Dave Schrag does business. (Dave would be our George Bailey though he doesn't look much like Jimmy Stewart. Sorry Dave.)
Now people sometimes laugh when I pull out my Mastercard with the name on it: Farmers State Bank. It's not a Gold Card, doesn't get me free flier miles, and it certainly doesn't elicit looks of admiration and envy when I flash it in a London restaurant or a Paris Hotel. But when I call the Farmers State Bank I talk to straight to Dave, tell him what I need, and I usually get it. Dave knows us and knows our business. He knows what we need to keep going and he's there when things are tough. You might think Dave would be better understanding the cash flow needs of wheat farmers, and you might be right. But I've had a lot of conversations with Dave, told him a lot about the freelance photography business, how things work (and sometimes don't work) and he's got a pretty good handle on it now.
So I guess we already moved our money. I'm glad to say it's a good idea. It works.
Small World Gallery
Main Street, PO Box 106
Lindsborg, Kansas 67456