Public Advocacy: The Micro Level/Family & Money

Dear followers: Thanks for reading my previous Posts.  I’ve brought you the facts on the macro level and now pose a hypothetical question to you:  If you had 2 children, who you dearly loved, but appeared to favor one over the other, how would you correct the inequality? 

 

Without meaning to favor one over the other, it happened, one was  consistently given more. The child who was given everything, will continue demanding. This child’s needs will never be satisfied. 

The other child is loveable, too, but not as demanding as the cash seeking sibling.  It’s easier to say “NO” to this child .   However, over time, the situation changed drastically for the child who got less. This child now wants and needs money to live, impoverishment is not a solution.

The question: How do you make restitution to the the child who got less?  Not solving the problem is not acceptable.  You want both children to talk to each other and to feel loved and cherished by you, the parent.

 

I propose this analogy to help focus our attention on Society’s problem; one sector of Society has gotten less, much less.  If we can solve “our family” problem, we can solve our problem on the macro level too.  One step at a time!

As always, your comments are welcome and appreciated. Thanks for following me. All the best. Joyce

PUBLIC ADVOCACY: In my humble opinion, seeking the good life!

1. To all my followers, I am deeply troubled by the ” state of our economic recovery”. I’ve tried to remain politically neutral , since I was disappointed in the results of both Parties.

It seems that I was incorrect. The sequester and it’s results are too devastating to the American people to remain silent. The rise of the stock market , though beneficial to some, is another ” bubble” waiting to burst. In fact, we have many bubbles waiting to burst.

The vast inequity in wealth has made it almost impossible for the ” middle class” to recover. The loss of their houses, sometimes legal, sometimes through illegal confiscation has destroyed the middle class.

We are no longer a middle class society with upward mobility, we have become a Country dedicated to the health and welfare of the top .01%. No society, can survive without the middle class, without new innovations. We have lost our moral compass and only the rule of law can help us achieve the results we seek. I, too, am humbled by my loss of empathy and a sense of decency on occasion. it saddens me , that no matter how hard I try, it takes a ” super act of will to be even handed”. I am human, I have free will, but that will must be tempered by Law.

1. The Banking system, has indeed become Too Big Too Fail and Too Big To Jail. I count only a handful of Senators willing to support some financial reform: Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown and David Vitter. There are now at least 10 Bankers advocating for a return to Glass Steagall .

2. Bernie Sanders is the lone voice on Citizens United. This law in it’s entirety should be struck down. I’ve come to believe, that Money and Politics, taken to the extremes that we see, have destroyed our Democracy. Perhaps it would be better to have a shortened political campaign season? : funded by the People taking the Lobbyists and special interests out of Washington?

3. Whatever happened to Common Sense? Whatever happened to integrity? Some folks still cling to our American Way of life but don’t have the perceived power to be a voice of change. If I am one voice and I am not perfect, then continue to listen to me and recreate the barriers between government and business interests. The interests of Big Business are self centered and do not help the Common Cause.

3.Meanwhile , the faster we accept Climate Change as a result of our efforts: the faster it becomes an opportunity and not a curse. 97% of the scientists agree that we are seeing rises in sea levels and aberrant weather, yet only 43% of the Public understands and advocates for the mitigation of Climate Change effects. Thanks to biased or non existent news on Climate Change the Public has been left out of exposure to data that would help them understand and advocate for better science. Luckily, there are isolated groups who are now becoming involved. The Universities, New Start Up groups and, in the not too distant future, The Insurance industry, will understand first hand that change is here, because they will no longer be floating on our premiums, they will be paying out property claims, before the ink dries on their contracts, That will make them believers and advocates for change.

4. The Fourth Estate, too long has remained silent on subjects of vital interest to the Public. They should be bringing the news, all the news that’s fit to print to our attention. Without well established newspapers and investigative reporting, it is not possible to make informed decisions. It is so difficult to get the news today, most give up or are forced to ” graze” many forms of verifiable media : like Pro Publica, The Economist, BBC, The New York Times, The Financial Times, Al Jazeera, The Wall Street Journal. If you’re interested, the news is out there but not easy to find. I half jokingly stated, that the massive lotto pot should be used to purchase the Bankrupt Papers on the Block. Their price tag was $660 Million. A hefty sum, but worth it to the people. We need news we can trust, not the best news a single Party chooses to distribute. It’s a thought for change?

5. Rumsfeld once said you go to WAR with the Army you have. The same is true for The Presidency and our Congress. We have to support and guide the President to make the correct decisions for our Country. However; he isn’t alone in governing and lack of cooperation by the other branches of government is not acceptable. We should be voicing our opinions loud and clear or this ” dance” in Congress and the Supreme Court will continue, until our Society is totally destroyed. As reasonable people, given our flaws, let’s request and submit our own options for living. Climate change presents an opportunity to join with Technology to start building the Society we want. Every time I hear it can’t be done, I remember FORD MOTOR CO., there was no such concept as CAN’t .

6. I look forward to answering any and all comments and suggestions you may have. In some of my posts, I will detail Bills that should be placed before Congress and have a countdown to action. I don’t believe the status quo should last. We have real problems of hunger, homelessness, and joblessness to overcome. Too much tragedy is effecting us on a daily basis. It is overwhelming for me to cope, I am so saddened by the constant bombardment of daily loss. However, giving up and giving in is not an answer. Like the courageous New Town Folks, we must ask; What would Daniel want or any of those poor kids, taken before their prime. What kind of Society do we wish for our selves and our children, If you can think it, it is possible. WALT WHITMAN STATED, ” MAN’S REACH SHOULD EXCEED HIS GRASP.” AMEN!

PUBLIC ADVOCACY: Progress on Issues?

1. Code for America / PBS Access services on the Web. The Ecumenical Food Program coordinates with Civic Apps. , to link the homeless and others in need with vital distribution services. The young technologically savvy are being encouraged to help cities spend less and work smarter by using Smart phone technology. Sounds like a win- win. We have a choice to use our technology effectively.

2. NY TIMES 5/24/13 (REDUX). Banks’ Lobbyists help in drafting bills on finance: there is a move to soften rules. Wall Street is finding the Capital a friendlier place, it now donates more. WALL STREET’s cozy relations include the Democratic Senators responsible for writing the Dodd Frank regulations. WHO BETTER TO WRITE 70 out of 80 lines of the Bills , then the industry that is regulated by those rules??. What happened to the laws written by Congress? If Senators abrogate their responsibility, do you continue to elect them to office? We have a choice.

3. NY TIMES: 7/4/13 Oregon has a plan to offer state education while deferring student loans. This bipartisan plan, following the Australian model, provides for ” State ” seed money to start the program; How much State money is required?; would depend upon the scope of the pilot program. The plan’s supporters have estimated that the plan would work , if 3% of a former students salary for 20 years is paid back to the State. This repayment is contingent on earning a Bachelor ‘s degree. It’s a third way? We have choices.

4. LOL : NY TIMES 7/4/13. Health Law delay puts Exchanges in Spotlight. At issue is the implementation of individual insurance exchanges and premium tax credits provided by the Affordable Care Act. Once again, the burden of compliance rests on the people who must participate in the health care program; buy insurance by 2014 or face fines. Corporations , with 50 or more employes, have been temporarily suspended from participation in the program; since many were opting to incur the $2000.00 penalty rather then provide insurance for qualified employees. Ultimately, the effect of this delay is unknown. ” De- bugging the system” is the real concern. We needed choices?

PUBLIC ADVOCACY: Highest levels of CO2 reported/ solutions

1. PBS NIGHTLY NEWS: Rockefeller University weighs in on Cities and their need to build redundant systems. A Smart grid was proposed as a project, creating redundant systems with the capacity to respond to weather crisis by delinking from the network when needed. Rockefeller University will partner with Miami, giving them a grant to implement sustainable infrastructure. Additionally, Miami intends to create a new department to effectively respond to climate crisis with orderly exit plans from the City. This partnership is meant to augment Government by proposing the latest technology to help the Cities in their attempt to adapt to the rapid changes in weather. We have choices! More importantly, we also have solutions to mitigate and adapt to the environment.

2. Town Hall meeting on PBS THIS EVENING 5/16/13. Richard Ravitch concurs with Rockefeller University that the The Power Grid is the single most important structure to be developed. Loss of power is something that can be resolved. Mold as a result of loss of power, persists. There is a simple remedy for Mold removal, Clorox or bleach. Never mix ammonia with Clorox , tough, since the combination produces a toxic gas. Work on both projects could provide work for many.

The Long Island Planning Board anticipates that the building of hardened infrastructure will take years. There was a major problem with sewage spilling into homes and waterways. Infrastructure has to be ” hardened”. They are not burying many lines because of cost? What about using unemployed supervised labor?

NY Polytechnic Institute says they had plans for a storm surge in 2009; but there was little forward planning. THE NEW SOUTH FERRY SUBWAY, NEVER SURVIVED THE FLOOD SURGE, BUT A CENTURY OLD SYSTEM SURVIVED? It frustrates Joe Nocera, that the body politic and the people are rejecting the concept that climate change is here. We have choices? Adapt and/ or mitigate it’s effects, sea levels are rising!

3. NY TIMES 5/15/13 For insurers , no doubt on climate Change. Over the last year , Super storm Sandy and the drought in the Mid West Corn Belt , cost insurers $35 Billion in privately insured property losses, $11 Billion more then the average over the last decade. The industry expects the situation to get worse.

Insurance is heavily dependent on scientific thought, Frank Nutter, president of The Reinsurance Association of America, told Eduardo Porter last week. Therefore, as the evidence states, prepare for rising sea levels and storm surges, a rise in summer droughts and cyclones, the industry pays attention but is not an advocate, yet. However, that may change, since they are getting a bad name for canceling policies: the effects of climate change are not only devastating for society but bad for business. We have choices.

PUBLIC ADVOCACY: The good life; A walk thru Red Hook

1. Yesterday I spent MOTHER’S DAY. Walking, through Red Hook, Brooklyn with my son. It was the ” best treat” on many levels. Relationships are tough, but we’ve bonded and have always, when not reading or discussing politics, have enjoyed ” the good life”. ART, FOOD AND WINE abound in this neighborhood, an easy walk from Carroll Gardens , near the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel at the base of a beautifully restored Waterfront.

2. Our first stop was The ART SHOW AT THE PIER, at the end of Van Brunt Street, BWAC. hooked on Art. Part Juried Art Show with formal pricing and on the second floor, art is for sale through the normal pricing process or via bidding to be sold after the silent Auction on 6/16/13. The show runs every year around this time and has wonderful new ideas in mixed media, photography and sculptural art. Photos of art and the scenes of Red Hook, will appear at the end of my blog. ENJOY, we have a choice.

3. Next stop, though out of order food wise, we had desert and wine before our main course. No regrets, the individual Key Lime Pies, were like tasting the South, but better. Creamy, on a graham cracker crust, not too sweet, the pies were wonderful. Joe’s Key Lime Pies on Pier 41, we gave it a big two thumbs up as we continued walking along pier #41 keeping close to the water, watching the tankers and sailboats and enjoying the day and our stroll , while spotting other eateries and wine shops along the way!

4. Red Hook Winery , has reopened, after Sandy devastation, offering a wine tasting of Superior Whites and Reds that they have formulated and bottled. I particularly liked the Red Hook Winery 2010 Chardonnay , made from north fork grapes. The owner Sandra, was on hand to help eager customers sample more then 70 varieties. Feeling no pain, we got into my car, we could have biked, and dined ” elegantly” on The famous Red Hook Lobsters.

5. The Red Hook Lobster, shop and Cafe, has reopened. The lines were out the door and the nearby seating area filled, as folks ordered their, whole fresh lobsters, or three types of Lobster Roll or fries, drinks; whatever you desire to munch heavenly on ” great Lobsters”. This walk thru Red Hook, was a serendipitous surprise. When asked, I’d repeat this walk, eating, talking looking at Art anytime. This is the Good Life. We have many choices.

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PUBLIC ADVOCACY: A Thank you to All my followers

1. During the past month my Blogging Community has expanded. This is a short note of Thanks to everyone. I will respond to you personally. However; it’s just me, Joyce and I request your patience as I move forward.

2. For those of you who have requested my feedback, let me state, Blogging is easy and there was only a $25.00 fee associated with this site. I also have a Twitter handle @ grandmajsilver. Feel free to contact me and I will answer specific questions. My passions are writing, people and the issues that concern me & us.

3. I will continue citing traditional media while enhancing my Blog content with information gathered at Conferences on topics important to our understanding of our Society. While the format will stay the same, the new content should reflect the latest thinking on solutions to “our problems”: Embracing “the good life”. We have a choice.

4. Interviews with prominent people in various fields, is something I’d like to present to you, as well. When we’re thinking and making choices, I for one, would like to have as many options as possible. Therefore; I ask your indulgence, as I morph, like my Butterfly, and present the best and most reliable information available.

Wishing you all the best. Continuing on with our journey.
I, remain, most sincerely; Joyce

PUBLIC ADVOCACY: Good things happening plus Financial choices?

1. NY #1 : 80 days after a devastating fire destroyed the ART WORKS of Pratt students, Pratt has solicited and found space to show the student’s new work. Check out the exhibit, open to the public at 375 Park Avenue, NYC , 8 th floor! SUPPORT THE STUDENTS , consider a trip to the upper East side ” gallery space”. We have choices.

2. NY TIMES 5/8/13 Foreign Food inspections on decline as Illnesses from imported goods rise. FDA budgets and inspectors are underfunded and cannot inspect and protect the Public from contaminated meat entering our Country. After years of budget cuts, only 2.3% of the 10.4 million annual shipments of food is inspected by the FDA. Lax control of our food supply means 2.5 million pounds of Canadian beef made it into US supermarkets, before being recalled. We have a choice.

3.NY TIMES 5/11/13. Heavy load of student loan debt weighing on the Economy, too. Student loans make up a growing share of debt for young people , hampering their ability to take out a mortgage or other loans. Total student loan debt is $1Trillion. Their problem, becomes a middle class parent’s problem, when an anemic economic recovery compounds middle class debt. There are choices. Borrowing at the Fed rate going forward Is one choice. What about a Re- set on the loans already in the system? These loans become a vicious cycle, in bad times, since poor payment performance may decrease a student’s chance of getting work? Why not Re- set mortgage and credit card debt rates, too. Using the Fed’s borrowing rate as a benchmark ? Many choices.

4. LOL: FINANCIAL TIMES 5/11/13 Beyond the politics of fear, a book review, exploring the Economic Crisis at home and fascism aboard forced US leaders of the 1930’s to walk a tightrope between dictatorship and democracy. The book, FEAR ITSELF: The New Deal and the Origins of our Time, written by Ira Katznelson, explains in great detail, that the presentation of FDR as a democratic dictator , has become part of political mythology. Instead, it was Congress that enacted much of the radical legislative agenda; statute , not executive command, transformed American capitalism.

” Much of the infrastructure that FDR created has been repealed, notably the Glass Steagall Act of 1933, which prevented commercial banks from engaging in the investment business: it’s absence is thought of presaging the current financial crisis. We had a choice.