I’ve been a small business advocate for thirty years. About a year ago, I brought up the Perc-up.Org site in an attempt to gather people in support of needed changes in credit card laws. My site didn’t have much of an impact. But in the end, credit card reform DID get enacted.
When our congressional leaders passed the regulations inhibiting banks from deceptive credit card practices, they abandoned the Small Business Owner. In fact, despite all their rhetoric, nothing has been done to provide any assistance to this group that drives our nation’s economy. SBA plans, be damned. They reach so few and are handed out by the very banks that have turned their backs on Small Business customers.
The Perc-up site encouraged the people of this nation to write to their Congressional Leaders and provided the links to do so. I personally wrote several letters to various Congressional leaders and received back boiler-plate emails, completely unresponsive to my queries.
Therefore, I recommend that we all attack this from another direction. Call your Congressman’s office and request a face to face meeting to discuss your issues. Bring your credit card statements with you. Make them take note of the financial hardship you are enduring due to the banks unrelenting increases in credit card rates. Vocalize your support for new legislation that will set a national usury rate.
Each day I encounter consumers and business owners that had been able to keep current on their revolving debt. But with each rate increase in the midst of declining revenues, brought about by this economic crisis CREATED BY THE BANKING INDUSTRY, more and more consumers and business owners are falling behind. The rate increases are a self-fullfilling prophesy. The banks say they need an increase in rates to help offset the increase in credit card losses. I say, the increase in rates is CAUSING a good portion of the credit card losses. Yes, the banks need to recapitalize; for without a banking system, this country’s economy is doomed. But we have supported every plan to help banks recapitalize as reflected in our nation’s debt which ultimately translates into debt that each American must bear. In the matter of credit card interest rates, the banking industy must relent and they will never do so on their own.
The Perc-up site was meant to be inspiring. I wanted to give the people of this nation a sense that if we all worked together towards a common goal that we COULD make a difference. Our government is counting on our complacency on this issue. Let’s show them that they are wrong. Take some action - ANY ACTION. Call your congressional leader’s office, set up a meeting, send an email, send an email every day, mail them a letter with copies of your credit card statements (black out your account number please), and if you are a group with perhaps a Ralph Nader’s influence: organize a March on Washington in support of usury laws.
We all must DO something. My Mom used to say: If you don’t vote, you lose your right to complain. (Actually, she was more colorful in her words).
I say: If you take no action, then you lose your right to complain.