PUBLIC ADVOCACY: “People ” Power

1. NY TIMES 8/4/13 As the cost of importing food soars, Jamaica( the Caribbean Island) turns to the earth. A decade ago, the government started a National food campaign, ” grow what we eat, eat what we grow”. Grocery stores prominently display signs stating food is locally grown. Seed kits are given out to promote local farms. Schools, prisons. Hospitals are encouraged to create local farms. An added benefit, food grown behind the schools, provides a healthy breakfast for hungry kids. A win win for Jamaica. They chose.

2. NY TIMES 8/1/13 A day’s strike seeks to raise FAST-FOOD PAY: Their plight was recorded Monday on NYC CHannel #1 and today, Steven Greenhouse reports. From New York to the Mid West thousands of fast food workers have walked out of McDonald’s, Taco Bell and others during peak meal times. They are asking for $15/ hour. ($600.00 for 40hr week) The strikers are backed by The Service Employees International Union. For the first time, coordinated strikes are planned to occur simultaneously in several cities. We have choices.

3. NY TIMES 8/1/13 An unusual feat in Congress : A student loan bill breezes on . Lawmakers are praising themselves for this bipartisan action, but what are the students and their parents cheering about? Rates for first time borrowers are capped for one year: 3 9% for undergraduates, 5 4% for graduate students. These rates could rise as much as 8.25% for undergraduates and 9.5% for graduates; If this is bipartisanship at it’s best, more choices?

4. NY TIMES 8/1/13 College Troupe formed to lift students sights is bound for the World Stage. The Hostos Reparatory Co located in the Bronx is headed for Edinburgh, Scotland for a prestigious competition in the Atrs, The Edinburgh Festival Fringe. They will be performing “Rough Magic”, based on Shakespeare The Tempest. Let’s cheer for our ” home” grown talent. They chose.

PUBLIC ADVOCACY: Mideast peace & other vital concerns

1. One woman’s opinion. If John Kerry and the President are moving forward with Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, why should the rest of the world interfere? I’ve been reading the press and the embargoes imposed by The UK and the European Union are not helpful . This morning, THE FINANCIAL TIMES, responded to the EU embargo, by stating, ” if this new regulation singles out Israel and it is not universal, then it would clearly be discriminatory?” Give PEACE a chance. We have a choice.

2. Reading “The Age of Greed” by Jeff Madrick. And have just read the reason why Milton Friedman’s assumptions were incorrect. Though Friedman believed in the potential of the market place as the great leveler, his theory is based upon incorrect assumptions. ” Above all, Friedman argued, NO ONE WILL TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OTHERS. “. IN OTHER WORDS, HE BELIEVED IN A UTOPIAN SOCIETY, one that has never existed. Since the 10 Commandments were passed to Moses, we have lived by a system of laws. We have choices to make.

3.NY TIMES 7/21/13 A shuffle of aluminum, but to Banks, pure Gold. Firms profit and consumers pay Billions as metal is moved among warehouses. Specifically, There are 27 industrial warehouses in the Detroit area where Goldman Sach’s stores Aluminum . As the aluminum changes hands the aluminum is moved.

Let’s determine where this process egregiously profits the Bank, or any other entity involved in the control, the storage and the trading of the same commodity.

According to The Times article, Goldman or whoever owns the warehouse and the storage of the commodity gets to collect fees several times; 1 st they collect a fee for storage. 2 nd they collect fees for delaying the shipment of goods required elsewhere, 3 rd by controlling the shipment of goods, they know in advance what the movement of a particular Commodity will be and base their future pricing on the movement of the Commodity within their control.

A WIN WIN FOR THE “Banks” involved in the ownership and transfer of Aluminum or other Commodities of Commerce; such as power, oil, wheat, copper, etc.

Deregulation in the 1980’s , allowed the merging of Bank’s and commerce. This is not utopian! This is a ” rigged” manipulated Commodity Exchange that does not benefit Consumers. We had a choice.

Now, According to the Financial Times, 7/22/13, the US SENATE, is scheduled to hold a hearing on Bank’s involvement with power plants, oil refineries and warehouses. Sherrod Brown has said, ” Regulators need to take a long hard look at the practice of Banks holding physical commodities.” A ban on owning a physical Commodity is on the table for Fed review, once again. We still have a choice.

4. LOL. It just occurred to me, whenever you see a Transfer charge on your Con Ed bill, think, who’s getting the fee? Why am I paying for this transfer fee? It should be a line item expense for ConEd and not a separate profit center? As small businesses become extinct, the large corporations collect profits without regulation or explanation. Where is our choice?

If Bank’s became Banking businesses again, not traders, maybe we would all have greater cash flow and Lobbyists would shrink as the Pool of coveted cash disperses. A thought for choice.

PUBLIC ADVOCACY: Financial Reform & Local Innovation

1. FINANCIAL TIMES 7/16/13. Outdated technology could lead to another crisis in Banking.

No one is rewarded for the maintenance of internal IT infrastructure; therefore, the ability of Banks to separate their operations is lacking. Last year, after RBS, inserted a new software program, there was a meltdown of their ” normal” payment systems as regular payment transactions failed. Andrew Freeman, fears” that the next time the money transmission system freezes, we could face rapid social breakdown. ( I.e. your money could be frozen within the Banks and unavailable for your use) It is that serious. We do have choices.

2. FINANCIAL TIMES 7/16/13 Jumbo loan rates as cheap as standard US MORTGAGES. The rates on expensive US mortgages are converging with those on government subsidized loans. Banks are competing to attract well healed customers as regulators try to wean the housing market off federal support. These mortgage benefits are available to a limited spectrum of borrowers and particularly desirable ones at that. One can only hope, that the home, shown in the NY TIMES, selling for $190 million with $120 million in mortgages, does not fall into this category. We have choices.

3.NY TIMES7/16/13 Andrew Ross Sorkin: On Wall Street a culture of greed, just won’t go away. Of 250 interviewed,” 23% of those surveyed, said they had personally witnessed wrongdoing in the workplace . 24% said they would participate in Insider Trading, to make $10 million, if they thought they could get away with it. “. 26% ” believed the compensation plans and bonus structures in place at their companies incentivized employees to compromise ethical standards or violate the law.” 5 years after the crisis, analysts are dismayed by the facts; Wall Street plays by it’s own rules and not for the benefit of it’s clients. We have choices.

4.LOL NY Times 7/17/13 Trying to sidestep Political gridlock to build a bridge. Two Northwest cities work to save a $3.4 Billion project. When State governments voted down legislation to build a bridge between Portland, Oregon and Vancouver , Washington, the Mayors of both Cities regrouped and have marshaled assets to redesign the Bridge. This is symptomatic of thinking locally and acting locally, a concept sweeping the Nation. The cavalry is not coming, wrote Bruce Katz and Jennifer Bradley, in heir recently published book, ” The Metropolitan Revolution “. We have choices.

PUBLIC ADVOCACY: Green shoots of change!

1. NY TIMES 7/14/13 Gretchen Morgenson Comments: Bankers are balking at tighter suspenders. CAPITAL requirements are being increased for the largest banks which will make the Banks less risky, by reining in Too Big To Fail. The new Capital requirement will create a buffer for capital preservation. This proposal has the endorsement of the FDIC , the Federal Reserve Board and the office of the Comptroller of the Currency. It is only a proposal, but it’s implementation will help the Banks absorb losses without imploding the economy. This is our choice. Taxpayers are no longer available for future bail outs?

2. NY TIMES 6/14/13. An alternative path for young entrepreneurial graduates who would rather make a difference and have decided not to pursue the $100,000 salary. Young people, graduating from prestigious Universities are opting to join VENTURE FOR AMERICA, a non profit group, sponsoring new ventures in depressed cities. Similar to Teach for America, this program is partly sponsored by some of our largest corporations: Quicken. Deloitte, etc. It is a win win, the young people hone their skills to benefit depressed communities, prior to developing longer term goals for themselves. We have a choice.

3.Foreign Affairs magazine Glenn Hubbard & Tim Kane comment on American Politics, since Eisenhower. Both Democrats and Republican’s nominated him for President; His quote, ” I despise people who go to the gutter on either the right or left and hurl rocks at the Center.” Since 1974, overlap in American politics has melted away. The authors postulate, that this stranglehold on American Politics can not last. Enhanced political competition will help voters generate solutions that advance both prosperity and equity and ultimately, allow the Country to take back it’s future. We have choices.

4.LOL Bill Moyers tonight. Let’s be Brazil by Marty Kaplan: Why aren’t Americans taking to the Street’s? He postulates that American’s are controlled by their use of media. One of the tragedies our time, is the lack of a free press, instead Journalism is demand driven and has become entertainment. What’s happening to Public Outrage over the systemic problems encountered in our ” Democracy”? It’s not apparent to many people that other’s are outraged too. It’s not obvious when reading the news, what is happening in your neighborhood or City. All the news that’s fit to print has to be found by reading many sources. To overcome the feeling of hopelessness, we need an independent press. We have choices and solutions.

PUBLIC ADVOCACY: Solutions/ the good life

1. NY TIMES 7/7/13 Gretchen Morgenson: 35 Big Steps to Accountability. ” Shareholder efforts succeed in changing corporate governance. So far this year, 35 corporations have been approached by the Shareholder Rights Project and have agreed to replace their staggered Board elections with annual elections to their Boards. This project is sponsored by the Harvard Law School and aims to influence how Boards are structured and held accountable to shareholders. The project has impacted Pension Funds holding $600 Billion. Thennext step? Transparency at Mutual Funds? We have choices.

2. NY TIMES 7/7/13 The Economic View: Austerity won’t work if the roof is leaking! Germany has taken investment in infrastructure seriously. It considers borrowing to repair bridges, tunnels, roads, airports, necessary investment for future benefits. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Nation has a backlog of some $3.6 Trillion in overdue infrastructure maintenance. With unemployment hovering at 7.6% and higher for America’s youth, with the lowest interest rates available for borrowing, we have a scenario that warrants spending for the future. If not now? When? We have a choice to act and move forward?

3. Eliot Spitzer is running for comptroller of New York City. A job , he could handle with his skills: He was one of NY ‘s best Attorney General’s; A relentless pursuer of Wall Street’ s ” evil doers”. Now Wall Street opposes him, along with the unions and main stream Politicians; when every establishment group opposes him, it makes me wonder, WHY? If we choose Elliot Spitzer , we may have the opportunity to elect a strong Public Advocate to City Government. Our choice to make.

4. LOL There ought to be a Law? NY TIMES 7/9/13. Regulators examining sales of early financial data. High speed news that can turn moments into MILLIONS. Eric Schneiderman, the New York attorney General, has a darker view of high speed data services then the Federal Government. ” The Securities Markets should be a level playing field for all investors and the early release of market moving survey data undermines fair play in the markets.” We have choices. (FYI: @ thevoiceofjoyce / high speed trades are at least 60% of all trades on Wall Street accounting for the movement of $360 Trillion Dollars overall.)

PUBLIC ADVOCACY: Two new Posts released , please read and comment

Hi there: I’ve just Posted two Bogs, they can be seen@ grandmajsilver on Twitter in their proper order or on Word press thevoiceofjoyce. Look for : Public Advocacy: Progress on the Issues, this 2 nd post is listed under May 18 th when it was started. Sorry for the confusion.

Please read and comment, the articles are current? You be the judge. Thanks,
Wishing you the best. Joyce