PUBLIC ADVOCACY: what infuriates me?

May 27, 2014
From my desk to you:  Dear readers 5/21/14

From my desk to you: Dear readers 5/21/14

What infuriates me?

When I hear “Icons ”  exposing bad policy, that makes me mad!   It really doesn’t matter which part of the Political divide our Senators or Representatives sit, their  Policy should be based upon “what’s good for our Nation”.  The  NY Times Oped page states, Charles Schumer supports bad policy, that’s bad for Americans.   One has to ask, WHY?  Why is he
supporting The Time Warner/ Comcast deal and  privatization of tax collection?    What’s to be gained by espousing these policies?

Or I keep reading about the brouhaha over Piketty”s book which was funded by the University of Texas. No one seems to genuinely understand Capitalism or why we have this State of Inequality? Are they kidding? Have they drunk their own cool aide? Inequality exists because we have skewed the entire tax and monetary structure of this Country to favor the ” rent seeking” 1% over the ” work for a living , Middle Class.

 

Surprise , surprise ! When you defund the poor, tax and burden the Middle Class with too much debt, stifle upward mobility , you get a “2 CLASS SOCIETY” .  Like The Emperor’s new clothes, the upper classes don’t  have a clue that they are naked and exposed.   Sure,  they prefer the Status Quo ,  it is skewed in their favor!  It’s also hard to believe, they don’t  have a clue about what to do next?

When I was at my Grand son’s track meet, I met two guys from Corporate America, one  concerned about his future and the future of his Corporation, which he thought was dead in the water, no new products and in a preparing for Bankruptcy mode? ( Which doesn’t compute with the profits they’ve made?)  The other Corporate employee, was Head of HR and when I asked how his job was going, meaning “is it stressful “? , “are you concerned about laying off more people”?  He stated, “his only concern was handling employees who didn’t follow the rules” ?  His follow up statement says it all;   he stated contemptuously, ” there were too many employees like that in the workforce. ”  He was happy to control those remaining in “his”  Corporation and truly angry that I asked him any questions.

So the divide exists, the useful productive individual afraid for his future and this arrogant ” representative of  Corporate management ” disturbed that people weren’t adjusting to the new reality of harsh unfriendly working conditions.

 

http://nyti.ms/1oDNUL7

Excessive demands are leading to burnout everywhere.

 

Follow my next post, showing the extent of the effects of rigging the system in favor of Inequality. It is a lose lose ” for we the people for the People” and a lose lose for America.


PUBLIC ADVOCACY: We the People want answers!

May 22, 2014
President Obama

President Obama

Something wonderful is happening, twice in one day, serious journalists are asking the same question? What happened to Financial Reform? They are asking for accountability and Solutions. My voice for the People has been joined by the voices of Pro Publica, gone mainstream at The New York Times and Gwen Ifill on PBS last evening,  5/22/14. An idea whose time has come:  FINANCIAL REFORM!  Mark your calendars on May 22, 2014, a Pro Publica writer, Jesse Eisinger,  questioned the wisdom of the President of the United States by asking the question, ” why is there no action on Financial Reform”? He notes that all strong Regulators were removed or have resigned. Why?

We know that Dick Durbin tried to help the American people by proposing a change in the Bankruptcy Laws. People’s homes would have been excluded and thus  saved from  bankruptcy and foreclosure; under his legislation , their loans would have been  modified to reflect reduced valuations .

  • Senators Warren and McCain proposed Glass Steagall for the 21 st Century
  • The Volcker Rule to control derivative trades was crafted under Dodd Frank but never implemented.
  • Sherrod Brown and David Vitter also proposed legislation on derivative trades
  • 16 Senators, 1/2 the total needed , are pursuing legislation to overturn Citizens United.
  • Sarbane’s has proposed legislation for Public funding of campaigns

Yet our President remains silent? Why? We the people are entitled to know the reasoning behind doing nothing. We can handle the truth.

On the same day, the scathing NY TIMES article was printed, Gwen Ifill of PBS interviewed Timothy Geithner, who evaded  answers to her questions. He stated, ” they did the best they could in 2008, and there was Collateral Damage; ” we the People” were the collateral damage. He is reverential when speaking about The Economic Titans of our day. Awe struck when he speaks about them and their inability to grasp the enormity of this Financial Crisis and their inability to cope with it’s  consequences.   Now he is a part of that Titan Group!

It’s odd to hear him speak, when Charlie Munger and Warren Buffett were warning the faithful for 10 yrs that the sky was going to fall and that the Country would go through ugly times. At the time I had no idea how Bad was Bad, but I assume Warren and Charlie and Michael Lewis knew.

Fast forward to 2014, a lot of us believe that we are no closer to Financial Reform now? We also know that TBTF has gotten bigger?  Why?  When is Congress going to stop being the “whipping boy ” for bad policy and earn the Country’s respect?  Who in our government is capable of providing leadership and passing legislation that protects the People and not Big Business. It is past time to reverse this State of Inequality..

Does no one other then several small voices, like mine, speak for ” we the People”? Who is going to take the first baby steps toward reform?

When I was at Ford Motor Company, there were problems with the paint finish at the Wayne Assembly Plant. I would meet with the operating committee of the Plant  weekly and no one would acknowledge the problem. Finally, after weeks of discussion and verbal abuse, the Supervisor of Paint stood up, took responsibility and stated before all of us what he perceived to be the problem and how to resolve it. The Plant Manager congratulated him and we proceeded to fix the problem. It was that simple!

Pfizer was more proactive.  It was( around ) 1980, we had contaminated a batch of streptomycin . I had the authority to stop the line. Everyone, managers, hourly employees met in a conference room, we brainstormed the problem. The cause of contamination was identified, isolated, cleaned and the line was up and running within 12-18 hours. Oh, I forgot to mention we took the time to notify the FDA , our Regulatory agency. All procedures followed in a thoughtful, orderly manner. Problem solved.

Denial is not a river. The Country has experienced severe economic retrenchment. We cannot afford to throw up our hands and pretend no problem exists. Rather we should be adding programs to help ” we the people survive”. We the People for the People, it’s my voice and everyone’s concern. We can’t afford to let this opportunity go to waste. The time for action is now. We have work do to if we have the will. If we can build space ships, decode DNA, the list continues, we can do anything. Anything except remain silent and do nothing!

 

http://nyti.ms/TyVASa NY Times Floyd Norris byline 5/23/14
Financial Crisis, over and already FORGOTTEN!

 


PUBLIC ADVOCACY: A questions on New Directions?

May 21, 2014
From my desk to you:  Dear readers 5/21/14

From my desk to you: Dear readers 5/21/14

Hi everyone:  I have noticed that something has happened on my site.  Under the guise of leaving a comment, people and organizations are self advertising using a “track Back”.  I am not familiar with this technique, but I will become knowledgeable.

Which leads me to a new idea?  Sponsorship of this site!    I’d like to choose the organizations and Corporations I support.  I know nothing about advertising, but I’m willing to learn.  What do you think, dear reader, would you be open to advertisements on my site ?  A link to Products?  Sponsors?  Perhaps these entities will become part of our Public Advocacy Solution and help US move forward in Society?  It’s a thought to be pursued.  Along with peer to peer lending, etc.  A new concept who’s time has come?

 

Note:  When I think Kick Starter, I don’t think “shadow Banking”.   The Shadow Banking topic has been and will be covered separately.

 

I am also contemplating U Tube and Blog Talk Radio to expand our conversation.  I proselytize about Public Advocacy and my Passions: Job Creation, Technion (Israel’s MIT), Israel,  and ART!  Would you join the conversation?

 

Additionally, if you have any other thoughts about expanding the conversation about” We the People For the People”, please tell me what role you wish me to play.  Is raising questions enough?  Should I become more Political?  What do you think?

 

PS It’s been 12 days since I sent an open letter to our Senators.  I know they know I exist since I’ve been solicited for Donations for their support.  I do hope they take the time to respond to my query on our behalf.  Wishing everyone the best. Joyce


PUBLIC ADVOCACY: just some thoughts when I can’t sleep!

May 21, 2014

This is what I think about, before I write my Posts.  My journey is our journey.  Enjoy!

 

The  Economist did not dwell on those aspects of Shadow Banking of concern. When I think Shadow Bank, I don’t think Kick Starter or peer to peer lending. I think, unregulated Hedge Funds, derivative trades, fast trades, mortgage backed securities, pay day lenders and Bitcoins. Not Peer to Peer lending platforms set up by the People for the People. Unless, as The Financial Times states, 60% of peer to peer lending has been infiltrated by the Banks.  Since they are unregulated ,  in the event they take a “hit”, who suffers?  If their shareholders and upper management suffer, that’s OK with me.   As long as their risky mistakes don’t backfire on the people once again.

 

http://on.ft.com/Sb8FQL The full story: The Financial Times
Peer to Peer Lending

 

I just had another thought early in the morning:    “C” corporations were established to protect the shareholders and employees of the Corporation.  Now, under Citizen United,   Corporations are People.   What person  is responsible for dispensing Corporate  Campaign Contributions?   When they do so, have they breached the Corporate veil? Can they be prosecuted independent of the Corporation ?  Can they make Campaign Contributions and not pay taxes?  Who or what entity is responsible for those taxes?  I think Citizens United raises questions about the sanctity of the Corporation? What do you think?

Just another ” thought out of the box” , as the Billionaire Titans battle each other for supremacy at the Polls;   I think , colossal waste of money. While people are going hungry and Congress remains at a standstill , campaigns shouldn’t receive money from  Billionaires or small investors. What have  ” our Representative”  done to deserve this largesse?

The pity is $1 billion dollars funds 1 million people at $10,000 each by  out right grants. ( I did the Math. ) Therefore,  I urge all Billionaires and the top .1% to Adopt a 99% person! Get their photo and just give the money away. It will serve a better purpose then funding Congressional races. At least some person or persons will actually benefit from this type of grant. Leave out the middleman and give the money to We the people, for the support of We the People. Imagine what a Trillion Dollars would fund. I know funding Congressional races, hiding dark money, bribing Congressmen is more exciting, but if you have nothing better to do with your money this is the way to go!

LOL POLICE COMMISSIONER Bratton says, we don’t need a 1000 more Police on the ground, we need drones. Our people have never recovered from  9/11, imagine how we’ll feel with ” drones” flying over us, manned to kill. Beats human to human contact, forget due process, forget privacy, hello Police State and, so sorry for the Collateral damage. They’re thinking in the box, yours and mine.

 

Politics effects us. Time to fight back and let our voices be heard?
We want  “Christmas” NOW!  a win win!


PUBLIC ADVOCACY: Israel and the Pursuit of Peace haunt my Dreams? A grand idea to move US forward

May 19, 2014
My Grandson & I touring Israel 2011

My Grandson & I touring Israel 2011

Read the rest of this entry »


PUBLIC ADVOCACY: Why I’m proud to be a Jew

May 19, 2014

ID_IC_MEIS_CHAGA_CO_001

For some of us,  Israel  embodies our spirit.   The stiff necked people, proud, strong, who are not afraid to question anything and anyone! Nothing,  no topic is sacred, not even God’s word.  That’s why, we are told,  God loved the simple shepherd, who questioned his word.

Perhaps that’s why I have embraced Judaism, no other religion gives me the flexibility to think , feel, and question.  We are a skeptical people, we have to be,  to survive!   Judaism demands that I be present, humane and accountable. Our philosophy is the basis of most Western Philosophies,

We have suffered for our arrogance. We’ve had campaigns launched against us, we have been a ” universal” scapegoat”, there have been attempts to annihilate us. Yet, we exist , not merely exist, for a relatively small population, we have a “loud” voice in human affairs.  Perhaps that’s why Israel and the Jewish People are held to a higher standard?

Never again is our creed and I take great pleasure in knowing that I belong to the vestiges of a “great race”.  Great trauma has effected us, but if we survive and face that trauma we will be a better People. It doesn’t mean we are ” soft”,  Au contraire, we are tough but humane. I like identifying with a strong people, forged of steel, confident and flexible;   the world has shaped us to be this way.

I don’t think we need apologize for being Jewish. It should be embraced like a Tallis. No wonder Chagall painted the Holocaust with a crucifixion? There was nothing in his memory to portray such horror besides a Jew wearing a Tallis and being crucified.

Since one never knows when the next Pogrom will begin, Israel must remain strong. The vision of Peace is tantalizing but there always has to be strength to back up our identity. Our claim to a land that was bathed with our blood.

Today the French are immigrating to Israel, tomorrow it may be the Ukrainians. We need a safe place of refuge: Because the future of the Jews is never certain.


PUBLIC ADVOCACY: Questions about our Future??

May 19, 2014

How many condolences do we have to offer, before we decide to take action? Demand change? We are not helpless victims, we have real choices to make.

Guns kill too many people. No one says take guns away, but we can provide an environment where we know who has guns, how many , and where. we can register them and ensure the folks have liability insurance. Institute the same accountability and consequent liability that we have for homes, businesses and boats, cars, etc. Any property with a potential for harm has a price to be paid for ownership and liability. Why not guns?

 

Newtown Shooting

Newtown Shooting

Climate change is a problem. There are more violent ” killer” storms every year, all over our Country, all over our Planet. How many times do we mourn loss of property and lives before we do something positive to either mitigate the cause of these horrendous weather patterns or adapt acknowledging that we want to curtail loss of life now? What will it take for us to change?

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8qFi74k2UE  Japan’s Tsunami/recently released.

 

 

Who else is a victim? We the people are victims? Who mourns for US? Not Fairholme Capital  & other hedge funds  now suing Fannie and Freddie. Not John Paulson, who shorted the Housing Bubble and made his fortune.  These people sue because they have the money and have bought the resources to win. According to the Financial Times, 5/12/14, “Hedge Funds are testing the Quality of US democracy”. If they win their lawsuit against Fannie and Freddie,  the taxpayers will lose $33 Billion .

 

--
Financial Times: 5/12/14 Hedge Funds are testing Quality of
US Democracy.  Edward Luce.  Public Policy auctioned to the
highest bidder?

Read the full article at: http://on.ft.com/1mPkuVU

” Paying off vulture funds will get seniority to the taxpayer. Some say it was always this way? Look at US agribusiness , they captured the bulk of the subsidies at the expense of small farmers. Or the ability of large oil companies to write off their investment costs. Likewise, private equity has managed , for years, to prevent ” carried interest” from being taxed as normal income”. And so it goes. Rewarding the top .1% at the expense of the rest of us. Aided and abetted by the latest Supreme Court rulings. No one is looking out for we the People, worse, Government by the People, for the People, is being gutted as we watch helpless? Do we offer our condolences to our Democracy, too?

We the people have suffered. We have lost our homes, our pensions and our livelihood. We are saddled with debt at the expense of Corporate welfare. What stops all of us from waking up and stopping the carnage? Haven’t we lost enough? Show your interest in your own welfare, start to discuss what’s wrong with our Democracy? Then start thinking about the change you want? Self interest is a good thing . Think and act for a better future.  Watch what our representatives to Congress do, not what they say?

Congress solicits our support and our money to overturn Citizens United. It takes 2/3 rds of both houses of Congress to overturn an Amendment to the Constitution or a convention called by the legislatures which represents 2/3 rd of the states. Ratification depends upon a vote by 3/4 of the State Legislatures. Therefore, since Congress knows ” we the people find Citizens United or the Mccutcheon  v. fec ruling egregious , why aren’t they acting in the People’s best interest?  Congress knows what ” we the People ” want,” a government by the people for the people”. They don’t need our money. They need to represent the People. Why not consider Sarbane’s bill that rewards small contributors? Personally, I prefer a totally government supported campaign spending program : by the People for the People. No more 2 yrs campaigning on promises, let’s see results first?

 

mobile.nytimes.com/2014/05/17/opinion/nocera-rethinking-campaign-finance.html?referrer= Open for debate!

 

Clearly, people living a marginal existence or The Middle Class are victims of our Society, too!  I read the  current Foreign Affairs magazine article on the results of programs to alleviate poverty. ” Show them the money” page 117 in the May/June volume 2014. From all the studies generated, it is not clear that people in poor countries benefit from aid distributed by the Government or through a middle man. It has been found that cash disbursements , via the internet , directly into someone’s account , actually costs less and has more importance to the person receiving the cash. Poor people spend money on necessities creating an economy based on need.

 

http://m.foreignaffairs.com/articles/141214/christopher-blattman-and-paul-niehaus/show-them-the-money

 

 

The question should be, what would help  people in developed Nations like ours? direct giving?   I was 1/2 joking at the start of this Recession, when I thought we should adopt a 99% person! meaning a person who had been out of work for 99 weeks. My thoughts have evolved after 7 years of Recession. Perhaps the top 1% should give to the bottom, 99% $10,00.00 per family. Doing the math , $1 Billion divided by $10,000 funds a Million people.   Imagine  $1 Trillion funds 100,000,000 all with an extra $10,000.00 to spend?  My next big question would be is this meaningful? How do you compensate people who have lost their jobs, their homes, their pensions and life savings? Certainly , this would be enough to jump start the economy as we seek larger more long range solutions.

According to all 3 religions, Christians, Muslims and Jews , 10% tithing to the poor is recommended.   How do we translate this commitment to charity,  to doing good in this Country and using our Model Globally? Lot’s to debate. Better then Mourning in America .


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