Amid the general excitement about Bank Transfer Day, some commentators have urged caution upon credit unions. They have pointed out that small-dollar, single-product new members may not be profitable; that a large influx of deposits may dilute net worth ratios; and that promises that “we’ll never charge you fees” may be difficult to honor in the future.

All of that may be true. But these arguments should not outweigh what I believe is the enormous opportunity credit unions have today. It’s not simply about adding members and enhancing the bottom line. It’s about reaching millions of people who are profoundly distressed by the growing inequality in the United States, by the skewed distribution of wealth and income and the predominant influence of large corporate interests over the democratic process.

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