Thrift is focus of new national campaign

A diverse coalition of leaders have launched a national campaign -- with a groundbreaking report, three new books, and artifact exhibit -- today at a conference in Washington, D.C. entitled "Confronting the Debt Culture." The Institute for American Values, New America Foundation, Demos, Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, Public Agenda, and others, have released a new report, "For a New Thrift: Confronting the Debt Culture," which proposes 5 major objectives and 19 specific initiatives to address today's debt crisis and promote a new thrift culture that would promote savings and sustainability.

"In recent decades, new predatory lending institutions have moved into the malls and main streets of America," said David Blankenhorn, president of the Institute for American Values. "In the private sector, they include payday lenders, some franchise tax preparers, auto title lenders, subprime credit card issues, subprime mortgage lenders, and private student loan companies. 'Anti-thrift' institutions promise 'fast cash' and 'free money' at usurious interest rates and trap many Americans in a cycle of debt. The public sector has its own anti-thrift institution -- the state owned and operated lottery."

The report calls for creation of a pro-thrift institutional environment that would encourage financial health, regular savings, and wealth building for all Americans. Among its recommendations:

  • A public education campaign for thrift modeled on the campaigns to reduce smoking and drunk driving

  • Increased support for existing thrift institutions like credit unions and development of new initiatives that provide low-interest consumer loans and savings as alternatives to payday lenders

  • Repurposing the state lottery to include a savings ticket feature

  • Return to usury rate caps on small loans

  • Establish Matched Savings Accounts for Children

  • Expand and improve school savings programs.

    The May 13th conference, held at the Washington Marriot (1221 22nd St. N.W.), included book signings by authors David Blankenhorn (Thrift), Andrew Yarrow (Forgive Us Our Debts) and Tamara Draut (Up to Our Eyeballs) as well as a new artifact exhibit, Thrift: In Search of the Art of Living Well.

    You may like these other stories...

    By Deanna C. White Millennials may be incredibly savvy when it comes to using technology to research nearly every decision they make, but when it comes to determining their financial habits, a new survey suggests they...
    By Deanna C. White A survey by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) indicates that many American parents are still reluctant to engage their children in significant conversations about money, with only 13 percent of...
    By Jason Bramwell The percentage of higher education leaders who  are "very concerned" about their ability to maintain current enrollment levels is on the rise, according to the second annual Higher...

    Upcoming CPE Webinars

    Apr 22
    Is everyone at your organization meeting your client service expectations? Let client service expert, Kristen Rampe, CPA help you establish a reputation of top-tier service in every facet of your firm during this one hour webinar.
    Apr 24
    In this session Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA introduces you to a powerful but underutilized macro feature in Excel.
    Apr 25
    This material focuses on the principles of accounting for non-profit organizations' revenues. It will include discussions of revenue recognition for cash and non-cash contributions as well as other revenues commonly received by non-profit organizations.
    Apr 30
    During the second session of a four-part series on Individual Leadership, the focus will be on time management- a critical success factor for effective leadership. Each person has 24 hours of time to spend each day; the key is making wise investments and knowing what investments yield the greatest return.