In the VSECU Blog you'll find financial and lifestyle resources to help empower possibilities for your personal success.
What do you think of when you think of “the economy?” We hear that word all the time—on the news, on the lips of politicians and policy makers, and in casual conversations, too. But what is it, exactly? Do you feel like it’s something you have a meaningful role in? Or do you feel like changes in the economy are made out there, outside of your control, by other people like stock traders, senators working on trade deals, the Treasury Secretary, and places like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund? Well, we’re going to break it down a bit and focus on a powerful distinction within the economy—the difference between the financial economy and the real economy.
One of the many messages of 2020 was that our country is still far from the equality our foundational documents aspire to. Access to freedoms, protection, safety, and opportunity in the United States is unequal and falls along lines of gender, race, class, and more. After the killing of George Floyd, as the country reeled in protests and examined the historical and systemic nature of racism, the holiday of Juneteenth became one way to focus learning and actions. For many, especially those of us in New England where the holiday is celebrated by few, it was new and unfamiliar.
“Where money goes, so goes the future.” More and more, people are realizing that what they choose to do with their hard-earned money, and how it is managed by their bank, credit union, or investment broker, makes a difference in their communities and the world around them. There is a choice to be part of an economy that supports you, and help create a more resilient and prosperous community around you. So today, in the midst of a global pandemic, we are celebrating Banking on Values Day by talking to four of our many VSECU members who choose this way of banking and exchange every day. Their businesses are built to create benefit for their community, preserve and care for the environment where they live and work, and provide profit to support their livelihood.
“This is the moment credit unions were invented for. Or at least should have been...” This message from author, speaker, and former VSECU consultant Douglas Rushkoff hit my inbox in July earlier this year. VSECU had benefited from Douglas’s insights before and MIT named him one of the world’s top ten influential thinkers, among other accolades, so his words had weight. He was simultaneously praising of the foundations of mutual aid and shared values that credit unions are built upon and issuing a challenge for credit unions to rise to the many difficulties we are facing in 2020. So, on International Credit Union Day, a day when we celebrate the contributions of credit unions, we ask, “What is it about credit unions that makes them meaningful in this moment?” and “What are credit unions doing to meet the challenges of today?
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As a member and an employee of my local credit union, the question “Why Join a Credit Union” is one I’ve given a lot of thought to.
On the homepage of their website, the Vermont Foodbank notes that “In Vermont, one in four people struggles with hunger.” That means that on any given day, you may pass by a handful of people who will go to bed hungry that night. You may even be one of those who are struggling.
Cooperation: activity shared for mutual benefit – dictionary.com Humans are social beings who evolved with an ability to work together to meet survival and other needs, find and achieve common goals, and to thrive. People seem to love cooperating and they do it every day, whether it be to share the costs of a meal or to pool resources to build something a whole community can use, like a community center. By joining together, groups of people form strong social bonds as they leverage their combined strengths and resources to form complex networks that achieve more than the sum of their individual parts. These networks evolve to meet the changing needs of the group’s members. This is the beauty of cooperation and the reason the cooperative movement is so successful.