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Friday, July 11, 2014

Occupy Brazil?

Posted Monday, November 14, 2011, at 10:09 AM

When a certain young lady was told an Ed Ames' song was a "60s protest song" she had to ask, "what were they protesting?" Our simple answer, "Everything."

It began with what came to be known as the Civil Rights Movement. What followed were the anti-war days when hatred of the Vietnam conflict was rampant, even to the extent of rejecting the young men who faithfully served. Out of all this grew "women's lib" and other meaningful social changes.

The key word, of course, being "meaningful." Protests worked because they changed things that needed changing, they changed meaningful things because meaningful protests work.

Now we are seeing something new (OK, nothing is new, only new people ignorant of the past). There appear to be ill-defined "occupy" protests abounding across the country. The question becomes, protesting what?

If these people want to change the world as it exists, do what the children of the 60s did -- work for solutions. If they just are about making noise, forgive me if I do what we mostly did in the 60s -- work for solutions.

Starting from an impudent presumption that the "occupy" goal is to make our community a better place to live, as my personal attempt to work for solutions consider this a clarion call to "Occupy Brazil!"

First, as to banks:

There are several banks in Clay County with local branches. To the best of my knowledge they are all Indiana based, so they are all right. Personally I favor locally owned Riddell National Bank. I like having President Mike Lawson know my name and being able to go into his office for advice. Also, it is a lot easier to cash a check or get a notary where Tellers know you on sight.

This observer's review of history indicates one of the keys to community success is successful and active banking. If any local banks are making a profit, well, they probably deserve it. They give the service we've come to expect, and take the risks capitalism demands of those who would profit.

In sum, if you want to occupy a Clay County bank, put your money there.

Then, as to "Crass-Commercialism":

My solution is to encourage anyone and everyone to buy from a local business -- even if that business is not mine.

As one integrally involved in a small local business (Computer Central), there is always a tendency to be anti-Walmart-ish. However, in a community this size any two businesses may find themselves competitors, but cannot become enemies. If I say something bad about your business, it will come back in the form of both businesses losing customers and income to another city. The fact is you don't have to go anywhere else to shop at Walmart. Anything that can be bought at any Walmart can be purchased at or through the Brazil store using their online services. When you do this the sales tax stays home and more employees get paid (money they can spend at other local business!).

Before you go to all that online trouble, though, try "occupying" other local businesses. Although I don't like to look back, repeating what I said this time last year:

"Were you aware there are over 400 business entities listed in Clay County Indiana; including Carbon, Center Point, Clay City, Coal City, Poland, etc.? Even if you can't find just exactly the right thing for that person whose name you were assigned, local business deserves a look-see.

"It may be easier, even ultimately necessary to go to the big city for this or that. But local jobs (and tax base!) depend on local business staying local whenever possible."

Anyhow, that's how I'd occupy Brazil, bank and do business locally.

If you really think it'd help to set up tents, squat and make a lot of noise on the Walmart parking lot let me know and I might visit you -- after I've been to the bank and finished shopping.



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My view from the back pew
David L. Lewis
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