November 19, 2019

The Rise of the Neo-Pagan Credit Union

“Jason Fletcher, his wife, and his three sons live in Akron, Ohio. In many ways, Jason’s life looks a lot like what you’d expect for a middle-class guy living in the Midwest. Jason and his sons are active in the Boy Scouts. He and his wife help take care of his elderly mother, who lives with them. Jason has worked at three different banks in the last ten years, mostly in customer service roles. He now works from home, which he likes.

But Fletcher is different from a typical American in one interesting way: he’s trying to start a credit union. The financial crisis and Occupy Wall Street drove new interest in credit unions, which are cooperative, non-profit alternatives to banks, the “customers” of which are both members and owners of it.

Belonging to a credit union can have its advantages; notably, its members sometimes get better deals on financial products than they’d find at a traditional bank, since members’ money doesn’t get siphoned off to pay dividends to investors or to pay corporate taxes. And yet, the number of nationally chartered credit unions in the United States is shrinking. According to data from the National Credit Union Administration, we lost about 900 credit unions from 2014 to 2018, and, as reported in the Credit Union Journal, only a few new credit unions form each year.”

Read more

JJ Editor's Picks

"The top brass of China’s Communist Party (CCP) – its 370-strong Central Committee – recently emerged from the Fourth Plenum of the 2017 Party Congress. Such meetings, usually one a year, are key forums for policy discussion. At the previous..."

"Mayor Pete is having his moment — for the second time in the campaign. Surging to the head of the pack in a recent Iowa poll, and edging out Vice President Joe Biden in last quarter's money race, Buttigieg is staking his claim to being the..."

"careful reading of Walden; or, Life in the Woods makes it clear that Thoreau never intended his cabin to be a solitary hermitage, although fans and detractors alike often misunderstand this. It was more an author’s workshop than a fortress of..."

"In the fall of 2015, a rash of posters appeared around Copenhagen. One, in pink letters laid over an image of chicken eggs, asked, “Have you counted your eggs today?” A second — a blue-tinted close-up of human sperm — inquired, “Do they swim too..."

"While there’s plenty of disagreement about how the money should be used, almost everyone involved in public-policy debates agrees that it would be good if the federal government could collect more revenue without raising tax rates or reducing..."

"On a brisk November night, a solitary man wandered around the plaza outside the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts on the edge of downtown. He had just flown alone from New York to see his favorite comic, Louis C.K., and he had an extra..."

"Judaism has been described as many things: a culture, a people, a religion, a nationality, and more (including, according to answers given to the 2013 Pew survey of American Jews, a culinary disposition for bagels and smoked salmon or the..."

"US sex education is decades behind other countries. Right now, it isn’t even mandatory in every state. Add to that the awkwardness people feel about sex and bodies in general, top it with the idea of having to have these discussions in public..."