The Good News Bearer

Treating members like people instead of numbers can mean a lot to them.


I’m too bummed out about U.S. women’s soccer star Abby Wambach and our loss in the Women’s World Cup this weekend to talk about any negative news in this blog. So let me share some of my week’s more positive reads, including one article that underscores the credit union’s role as member-loving alternatives to banks. I think it’ll put me in a better mood.

First, I loved this little reminder from the New York Times’ Economix Blog about the value in credit unions treating their members as people, not numbers — whether they have jobs or not. In it, Catherine Rampbell shares an email from a reader responding to her article, “The Unemployed Somehow Become Invisible,” in which she describes how the roughly 14 million unemployed Americans are sort of voiceless.

The reader laments about how she has struggled to find a job despite her extensive experience in community relations. “I am unemployed. I am not a statistic. I am me. I have a life,” she writes, feeling like her situation is buried in an unemployment number so large that it desensitizes the rest of us to her plight. I’m so glad credit unions work diligently to prioritize their members instead of swooping them into faceless categories to drive profit.

Second, and speaking of jobs, this This American Life podcast on politicians’ efforts to create jobs boosted my spirits. It provided some clarity on how politicians can ramp up the job market through an in-depth series on job creation. It wasn’t 100 percent positive, but it was 100 percent practical.

And, finally, this second Economix Blog piece on who exactly is to blame for this slow job growth was a good read. Former IMF chief economist Simon Johnson questions whether the bank regulators are to blame for the unemployment mess. It was one of those articles that makes you feel a bit smarter for reading it.

There. A bit of good news about the credit union industry and our economy. And now that I’m thinking about it, even though we didn’t win the World Cup, at least Abby Wombach’s performance in these recent games earned her the Silver Ball Award and showed the world she’s one of its strongest soccer players. And as credit unions know, a hard-earned second place is something to be proud of.


July 18, 2011



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