“The unbanked are described by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as those adults without an account at a bank or other financial institution and are considered to be outside the mainstream for one reason or another. The FDIC estimates there are 10 million unbanked or underbanked American households”
Relatively recently I discovered that like in the USA, tax is voluntary in my country too. There is perfectly legal and entirely reasonable way to opt out of paying tax if you so choose. Several actually. Of course the fact that you can do something does not mean that you should. There are important ethical, social and environmental considerations about becoming a ‘freeloader’. There are good arguments on both sides.
Long time readers will have a sense that my views are that community is essential, and the more locally we live the better for us all. Life should be lived in a selfless not selfish way and policies like universal basic income are an important step forward. This supports paying tax even if one doesn’t need to. Throw in subsidized health care and education as important considerations. While all very good reasons to pay tax I increasingly see my tax dollars funding hostile military actions against foreign people I have no beef with. If someone was bombing my community, murdering my family and friends and snatching my children in the night I might want to chop someones head off in retaliation. The solution to war is peace. You don’t and can’t fight for peace. You peace for peace. Make war unprofitable and there won’t be any. If we withdrew troops from protecting poppy and oil fields or stealing natural resources and killing under the guise of anti-terrorism we may find people become less hostile towards us. Add to this the massive increase in corporate welfare funded through a corresponding decrease in social welfare, or the militarisation of the peace (police) force, or the systematic running down of public health and the public fool (school) system and you will begin to understand my aversion to the government dipping its bloody, grubby, and sleazy hands in my pocket. Realistically I must also confess to being an idler that hates work and so the idea of an instant 40% pay rise sounds great! I feel that there is more social good in my family having the money and therefore free time to be more charitable than donating it off to the state funded bank bonuses and bloodshed. This long lead-in brings me to the point of this tale. To voluntarily withdraw my consent to remain a taxpayer I must take a couple of actions one of which brings joy to my heart. By depositing, or having someone electronically deposit money in a bank account, I am agreeing to pay tax. Under our law no bank = no tax essentially [WARNING: Please check the laws in your own country very carefully before embarking on a similar project]. While the thought of no bank and no tax is a happy notion the pragmatist in me is mired in questions of day to day life. Herein I arrive at the title of this post. As I struggled to figure how or even if it is possible to live unbanked (forfeiting the convenience of the 24 hour access money card seems like a big step) I discovered that significant numbers of young kids (millennials) have rejected the banks entirely. They are a socially conscious group that hates the devastation and destruction inflicted on us by the banking titans. They are a long way down the unbank journey and are awash with tips, tricks and clever strategies to successfully unbank. It has been empowering and refreshing to be mentored by such knowledgeable people as young as 15 years old! It has long been my opinion that one of the most important and most powerful actions you can take in the world is to unbank your families wealth. Up until now I have held an inaccurate view that unbanking would be all too terribly hard, but convenience is a sad and shabby reason to maintain these arcane and malevolent institutions and with millennials and the internet everywhere ‘how’ is really no barrier at all.