PUBLIC ADVOCACY: The Ressurection of The Middle Class

October 31, 2014

The money trap:

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

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

There is no Middle Class and folks seem to be comfortable with this fact. Can there ever be a Middle Class again? The short answer is , “Yes”, if ” we the People” become involved in controlling our destiny?

What do I mean? There is no way for the ” Powers in Place”, our legislatures to know the extent of your misery unless you and I, let them know , we are ” Mad as Hell” and we’re not going to take it anymore. Until we take our vacation, rest and organize into one Political group, we will have no choice and Politics will continue to affect us negatively.

Do you know the following facts about Money?  You should because it effects us directly:

  •   Money Markets rates to investors are the same rate as the Fed Funds Rate? 0.25%.   ” We the People” can’t make money by investing in Money Markets? Worse, some money markets are not guaranteed and you may lose your principle investment.
  • Mortgages cost  2-5% depending on your credit rating.   And we all know, thanks to the three credit unions, no one, not even the ex head of the Federal Reserve , has a “good” credit rating.
  • Student loan rates are 6% on average and 99% guaranteed by parental credit.  Ditto, we all understand the unfairness of this system, no need to articulate, now.
  • Lastly,  credit card rates are 9-35% depending on your credit rating, but since the ratings are rigged, too many folks are paying the maximum rates.   These are the facts.

Why do these facts rankle me? The short answer, I want to make a decent return on my investment. Years ago, I learned that a 15% return on your money was a Benchmark to be achieved when investing your hard earned Capital.   It still is , for those still invested in the market or some hedge funds.   However;  after the financial crisis of 2008, when many lost their life savings in the market , or lost their homes, the Middle Class became unable to take advantage of “MR. Market” or other financial opportunities.   It is also impossible for those of us with money saved for retirement to invest our hard earned cash in a Market that is risky and controlled. Retirees are  now urged to lock in their money in Bank or Insurance Annuities, it’s an option, though a “poor” one.   For those still working and living “hand to mouth” there is no investment option:  living “hand to mouth”, means you’ve got nothing more from one 24 hr period to the next.  Your options become limited to paying for food, clothing, rent or utilities.    The  ” new paradigm ” makes it impossible to accumulate any money, there are no options when you are living “hand to mouth”.  The Middle Class has become a class without options.  They are now the working “poor”.

What is the ” working Poor” profile?  Look at today’s Middle Class.  The Middle Class is hampered by lower wages and the same or higher expenses . The Middle Class can’t save since they are forced to live ” hand to mouth”. So, who is contributing to Bank deposits? The retired folks are purchasing long term annuities at various percentages below 5%. Locking in their money for security. That gives the Bank the deposits they need to have an ” asset cushion”, but gives savers little return on investment . Worse, since these are the only safe vehicles for investment and the money must be locked in from 4-7 yrs minimum, the Middle Class is locked out of decent returns .  The Middle Class can never climb out of this impoverished position on our own. That’s the new Paradigm?: It is not possible for the Middle Class to get out of debt and stay out of debt or make a decent investment for future living.

We are living in an altered reality of expectations for those retired and the once Middle Class. The Ultra Wealthy and the Banks still make 15-30% on their investment , but you and I can’t. I’ll tell you why? Since the Market has been rigged and pension funds are invested in the Market through Hedge Funds, the Market will continue to rise and benefit the few. Only when a Black Swan moment occurs ( so called by  Economist Taleb,  an unpredictable event), which forces  the Market to correct, consolidate and approach more realistic values, will those of us, still able to save, be able to take advantage of more realistic Market pricing and return on investments.    This singular event has to happen for” inequality”  to be noticed by everyone, not just the Middle Class.

What can we do? We must assign ourselves the task to right the wrongs  and reinstate  the laws that were “upended”  over the last 40 yrs..

” We “, the Middle Class have choices: we can do nothing and hope that our ” state of inequality” will disappear.   I call this “The denial and ostrich syndrome”,  when we cease to think about our  plight and  hope everything will be OK?

Or,  we can take a vacation in November and force the “Powers that be ” to recognize our demands for the creation of several monetary stabilizing bills plus the overturn of Citizens United and / or you can proclaim your choice for The Head of a New Party , whether it’s DEMOCRAT, REPUBLICAN OR INDEPENDENT , the Middle Class has my voice.

We the People know what’s wrong with our system and through education , all the People will understand , as well. Therefore, as soon as ” we the People, stand together as one body, with one Leader, the Market and the Legislatures will  not notice us. As I’ve told my friends, since ” we the people ” are quiet, the status quo can flourish. The once powerful  Middle Class ceases to exist .  There was no burial, no memorial service, we died quietly, as expected.  But,  “Our Resurrection”  is assured when we take the Power into our own hands.  Once we Recognize, that “we the People”,  The Middle Class has Power ,  we can dictate our terms.

Think about it. We’ve had 7 years of Recession and the job market can get worse, how long do “we the people ” want to wait before we create positive change which encourages Regulated Banking and Savings because the Middle Class finally has a toe hold in the American Economy. If you want to help yourself and the rest of the world. Seize the opportunity for change, support me as your spokes person and I will be relentless on our behalf.

We have choices, when Politics effects US!  The same holds true for all those following me from 93 Countries.  Dear readers, what works for US in America, works for you, too!  There is strength in numbers!  Don’t forget, there are a limited number of Politicians, there is a limited number of Corporations, but there are Billions of lives at risk.  All we want is the ability to earn our “daily bread”, to provide for our families and to save something for retirement.  Most of us, don’t want much, but , here, in America, we do want our Middle Class status back.  I don’t like this non-stratified society.  This is not a paradigm I wish to leave to my children or my grandchildren.  We have too many issues to resolve before any of us in my generation, can contemplate going quietly, “into that good night”.  Too much to do before we sleep!  The status quo is not an option.


PUBLIC ADVOCACY: The Plague by Camus ( an allegory for our time)!

October 28, 2014

When the Recession first hit, people were very upset: they had lost their homes, their jobs, their imagesdignity. There were cries for Bankers to be jailed for fraud, there were cries for financial and tax reforms, there were even cries for the “removal “of selected Supreme Court justices. 7 yrs ago, though The Plague was among us, Man still walked with dignity and purpose, the effects of the Plague were not yet evident. As the Recession wore on unabated, as The Middle Class lost all hope, the rottenness of The Plague overtook the Middle Class and we succumbed to our plight. Many lost their will to fight.

The cries for vengeance by the Middle Class ceased as they realized, nothing was going to reverse the trend in the country, which  rewards  one group over the needs of the Middle Class. So the slogan began to appear, ” our State of Inequality”!  It was recognized what had occurred. The Middle Class well understood what had happened to create this ” State of Inequality”, but they were now cowed. 7 yrs into the Recession of 2008, there were no plans to reverse the ” state of inequality”. The Middle Class once loudly proclaiming vengeance fell silent as they tried to survive. Barely surviving , as their salaries decreased and their expenses either remained the same or rose.  The Middle class was now erased as they worked for a pittance and knew first hand, what it was like to live ” hand to mouth”. Now, it would be impossible to speak out, because their silence was imposed absolutely, as they feared for their survival and the survival of their families.

But wait, man’s nature does not like to remain silent when facing adversity. It’s un-natural. Someone will speak, some people can still see and articulate the truth. Though the rage may be smoldering still, a new Hope has sprung up among the people. And so it was with the passing of The Plague, ” the pestilence taught the populace that there was more to admire in Man, then to despise.”

“None the less, ( our narrator, in Camus’ story, The Plague, the ” good doctor” continues,  as he ends the story of the Town’s fight and their eventual survival from The Plague)  he states,  ” he knew that the tale he had to tell could not be one of a final victory. It could be only the record of what had had to be done, and what assuredly would have to be done again in the never ending fight against terror and its relentless onslaughts”.  The Dr. goes on to marvel at the few who rose up to the occasion and   became healers, ” despite their personal afflictions, they were unable to bow down to the pestilence.”
And, indeed, as he listened to the cries of joy rising from the town, Rieux remembered that such joy is always imperiled. He knew what those jubilant crowds did not know but could have learned from books: that the plague bacillus never dies or disappears for good; that it can lie dormant for years and years in furniture and linen-chests; that it bides its time in bedrooms, cellars, trunks, and bookshelves; and that perhaps the day would come when, for the bane and the enlightening of men, it would rouse up its rats again and send them forth to die in a happy city.”

Excerpt From: Camus, Albert. “The Plague.” iBooks.
This material may be protected by copyright.

Check out this book on the iBooks Store: https://itun.es/us/5vTc2.l

While the Dr was bearing witness to the pestilence that engulfed his Town, he and his group, worked 24/7, to stamp out the disease. In the process of healing others and bringing other’s renewed life, they all changed . Finally, everyone embraced the day when the pestilence ended and all were more alive; imbued with a new spirit of caring, feeling and empathy. Since nothing is permanent , no “State ” is permanent , we must be ever vigilant and ready to work 24/7, to keep the Plague from our doors.

The Plague is allegory. We the people don’t need a plague to wake up and think and feel to do the right thing for ourselves, our families and our Society. Recognize that the The Plague resides within us now.  If The Middle Class is to survive, we must fight for our rights once again. Sleep walking without seeing and feeling, allowing the status quo to exist, is no longer an option. If our ” state of inequality” persists, we the People, will die off, just like those in Albert Camus’, The Plague. It will continue to ravage our cities unless and until we fight back and reclaim our place in this World for ourselves and future generations. We must be ever vigilant, we must work 24/7, to restore life and jobs to our people. And keep the pestilence at bay.

We have a voice, you have a choice, when Politics, like The Plague, effects US.


PUBLIC ADVOCACY: ” Write in” your candidate and Vote your choice. Play to “WIN”.

October 25, 2014

I’ve been thinking about the midterm elections and other elections in our Country.   I have questions about our current system of voting?  Where is it written , ” we the People”, have to Vote for only the candidates listed on the ballot:  those Politicians named and supported only by their Parties?  Why do we vote for ” the Hacks ” who work for themselves and not for us? Why not write in our own selection for Public Office?  It’s a time honored procedure.

Why stay away from the polls because we are disgusted with the system and feel helpless? Here’s my thought? Write in a candidate of your choice. You read right, no one can stop a write in campaign and past experience shows us, it’s been successful for winning.primaries , why not “elections”?   Look up” Write in campaigns”  in Wikipedia for further information on it’s effectiveness.

In New York, you could write me in for Governor or Zephyr Teachout and Tim Wu for Lt. Governor.  Our  choice,  “we the People ” decide!    Why restrict our options by conceding to the status quo?  Change the rules and you change the game. We the People have Power and we should start exercising our Power as soon as possible.

If you want to play to win, understand the rules for your state and start mobilizing everyone you know to write in the candidate of your and their  choice;   not the Designated Party Choice.   Use the Law to our advantage and eschew Crony Capitalism in favor of “We the People, for the People”.  It is the only way to take back our “Power”.

We don’t have much time to implement our choices, but it’s a beginning. Don’t be despondent, we have nothing to lose but our DEMOCRACY. Start today and today becomes the  day  when we take a giant step for “mankind” in our Nation.   I have one more suggestion: take time this evening to marvel at the Sunset, it’s been breathtaking in NYC. Have a great day and please let me know what happens.

We have a voice, we have a choice and Politics Effects Us!

PS: If you want to see what man can accomplish, when he tries to break records.  Enjoy Alan Eustace’s 15 min of fame, as he breaks the World Altitude Record, 25 miles above our earth.

Have a great day!


PUBLIC ADVOCACY: Update on February 2014 Archival Post

October 20, 2014

Dear Readers:

I have an important correction to bring to your attention. When I wrote the February Post on Derivative volume in this country , the total amount of Derivative volume was $360 Trillion, today, the volume has doubled to $700 Trillion with little regulation. “To Big To Fail”  has gotten bigger. Understanding the numbers and the risk involved to the global economy is frightening. When 65% of the Wall Street trades are made by fast traders, the guys who trade in milli seconds, do indeed create the market.

The general public can never get the same price as the ” fast Traders”, we will always pay more. Not only will we pay more, but once again, when ” the fast traders” decide to pull their money out of the market , creating volatility, we won’t be able to buy low enough to pay for our foolhardy selling ” Too Soon”.

My advice, keep cash on hand and be ready to invest in good companies when there is a real correction. At some point in time, sooner,  rather then later, a Black Swan event, something totally unanticipated will occur and the Market will correct. It could be “the Plague ” ( similar to Albert Camus’ a cautionary tale , titled, ” The Plague” , a must read or re- read) or it could be ” the People electing their own candidates to office  via petition or the write-in process, independent of the Parties”? Hey, you never know, all things are possible.

Thanks for listening and,do comment on my Posts. Be involved,  “we have a voice, we have a choice and Politics effects US”.


PUBLIC ADVOCACY: Enough discussion. TAKE A VACATION!

October 17, 2014
From my desk to you:  Dear readers 5/21/14

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

My fellow Americans there is  no new news to report on the Economic front.  The Fed’s Janet Yellen has noticed there are two America’s .  While the Senators I wrote to , on 5/9/14, asking for them to help us support their Legislation has fallen on deaf ears.  I know they are still working on their behalf, since I continue to receive requests for funding.  See the attached link, to my archival Post dated 5/9/14 A letter to Elizabeth Warren, John McCain etal.

The Summer has come and gone  along with our hopes for  change in our Economic status quo .  Congress  now enjoys an extended recess prior to the mid term elections.  Their re-election  and funding is upper most in their thoughts as they pursue reinstatement.   Meanwhile,  the usual pundits are still wondering what happened to the consumer’s buying power.  Except some Bloomberg news reporters  who have recently correctly stated that the Middle Class has been wiped out and lacks purchasing power!  However, this news was not convincing and  has not stopped most Pundits from wondering  if these pronouncements are just a downer ?   The Market can’t make up it’s mind either,  as it cycles violently from zephyr to through?  Some folks are still making money.   The Banks and Bankers are profiting now that they  have shed Mortgages and Loan portfolios.    The Banks are  enjoying record profits from fees and brokerage activity, while the Middle and lower classes are worrying about their ability to educate and feed themselves and  their children.   There is so much to think about on the home front, as  approximately 1/3 rd of our population is either underemployed or on food stamps or both.   Instead the media and the Papers are consumed with the latest topic” du jour”:  the War on ISIS in the Middle East and Ebola , a once obscure  West African disease, that has recently landed on our Shores.

With so much distraction during this “Mid Term ” season, there is no  time to think about “we the People” or to plan to bring AMERICANS out of the 2008 Recession.   ” We the people ” must care about our plight, more then our elected officials, as it was in 1776, “we have taxation without representation”.

Before the Summer began, I wrote several articles, advocating for the passage of legislation which would enable the Middle Class to prepare for a change in the status quo. I will link  some of these  Posts to this renewed  ” plea for action”. You the people have my voice, but you must want change more then I. I can not advocate in a vacuum.  The poor and the Middle Class need a vacation.  I propose we all take a vacation on November 1st.  It would be good for ourselves, our families and our Communities, if we had the time to think about our plight and stay home till the Economic Status Quo changed in this country.  Yes, you  read correctly,  everyone goes home and stays home until legislation is passed to stop these financial bubbles from  reoccurring. We need this interlude to refresh ourselves, take a vacation, perhaps, like Camus’ The Plague suggests, this might be a good time to get to know our families and our Community.  Do utilize this opportunity to entertain yourselves locally with your neighbors.  Let’s  show our elected officials we are serious about job creation and we realize that  incurring more personal debt is not the way forward for the Middle Class.

Instead, I propose a National Vacation , take time off,  rest with your families and recharge your batteries so that we can be better parents, spouses and citizens. We need this Vacation to reclaim our sense of Peoplehood , to join with our fellow Americans to overturn the corrupt corporate welfare state we have created.

We don’t have to demand much but we do have to demand that essential legislation be passed to assure that AMERICA becomes the agent of change in our World once again. All Nations are joined by our common fiscal policies , we need safety walls to prevent the crisis seen in 2008 from repeating itself. We are citizens of the world. We are citizens of the 21 st Century, we do not have much time left to right “wrong headed” views on our survival . If we fail to act, by 2032, we may lose more then our Social Security net, we may lose many lives to disease,  War and drought as we struggle to survive on the “hostile” planet we created. It is never too late to act,  but act we must. Together, we should have one thought, this is not a dream, we want to reclaim our place in our World for our children and their children. We want to go back to a way of life that ensured our happiness and prosperity.

This is my plan. Dear readers, anyone is free to add their own thoughts but I suggest we start somewhere and the time is right. “Take a vacation” before the shopping season begins, that’s the only way anyone will notice the seriousness of ” we the People”.

Thank you for reading and listening. We need to unite to bring back our inalienable rights.

If you agree, we should be continuing our dialogue , do  stock up on food for a long siege and don’t give anyone the opportunity to hurt you. We’ve moved beyond Birmingham and personal bloodshed.   The money matters to those in Power, while  we have nothing else to lose. Good luck and good day. Let’s come together to support each other because after the passage of several bills and the overturning of Citizens United. There will be much work to be done. We will have to invest our time in rebuilding our society to sustain itself through the 21 sy Century and beyond. This is a call to action.

Take a Vacation on November 1 st. Go home and stay home. When they notice our absence, I would be happy to represent us with our preliminary demands for a return of the Middle Class. We have a voice, we have a choice and Politics does effect us.

PS:  In chronological order, I’ve linked  several archival Posts discussing our State of Inequality and the solutions.  Please share in the conversation, comment and let’s all be involved!  Thanks for reading.  Our Community has grown by the 1000’s and “the voice of joyce” has received 106,000+ hits.  Thank you once again dear reader.  I wish everyone, only the best of times.


PUBLIC ADVOCACY: Lino Tagliapietra ( The Master of Glass)

October 15, 2014
Watch online!   The Hot Shop at the Museum of Glass will feature Lino Tagliapietra on Sunday, October 19, from 1 to 2 pm, Pacific time… Be sure to mark your calendar and watch online.  Here is the link.. .
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PUBLIC ADVOCACY: We are taught to hate others. Why do so many listen?

October 15, 2014

Photo on 2014-03-08 at 16.48It’s illogical to hate Jews and Israel. Even if I weren’t a Jew, it would make no sense. Follow my logic, please.

There are 13 million Jews left in the World, over 50% live in the US. The rest of us are scattered throughout the world which consists of approximately 7 billion + people. JEWS don’t even register as a percentage of the World’s population total. If we are intelligent , it’s ” thanks ” to natural selection and the Malthusian theory; war, pestilence and famine which pruned our population leaving only those capable of survival .

What do Jews have to fear? Everyone. I constantly ask why the hatred? Why do the Arabs and others want our demise.?  Who will they fight when their anger is not concentrated on the Jews? The answer is obvious, they will fight among themselves for supremacy, as noted by the recent rise in terrorists , whether Sunni or Shiite.

 

Speaking of billions,   why is “some Arab” money being used to Boycott Israeli  academics?   When professors are bought and told ” no Jews” allowed? That’s racist. There should be no moral dilemma for academics in this country or elsewhere. If no Jews or Israelis are allowed to speak, academic freedom has been jeopardized. No one should belong to an organization which dictates who may present academic papers. The exclusion of one group is a slippery slope leading to the exclusion of many other groups.   Who will remain to make a credible scientific case? BDS makes no sense to me.

 

I also stand up for the rights of others as well. I don’t like ” blind” hatred. We are not perfect. We are human, we all feel and we all have similar needs and DNA, we are after all brothers and sisters separated by ideologies. We are not born to hate , we are taught to hate.  Since  “Man “is capable of creating atrocities,  why can’t “Man ”  practice self control, consideration and compassion, as well?

Last Wednesday, I went with dread to listen to  a video of a fallen IDF soldier ,Tal Ifrach, prepared by his sister to  memorialize and celebrate his life.   I thought I would encounter hatred of the enemy.  Instead  I experienced  their grave sadness for the loss of one of Israel’s young heroes. Tal was 21 when he died fighting for his country. A young man, full of life, full of fun and yet part of a chosen elite ISRAELI force, the Golani  Brigade. He was tasked with entering the home of a Hamas leader which contained  HAMAS fighters and more significantly,  one of 31 tunnels leading to a Kibbutz . The Hamas plan, exposed by IDF soldiers , like Tal, who gave their lives for their country and I believe, Jews worldwide, was prevented.   ( Hamas Planned to stage a multi pronged attack on ISRAELI children during the JEWISH High Holy Days. A dreadfully evil intent.)

When questioned about the atmosphere in Israel today, the family stated they felt unsafe and threatened by HEZBOLLAH in the North and ISIS in SYRIA . As a citizen of the world, I think, Hezbollah fears ISIS as much as we do!   However, that didn’t prevent them from wounding 2 Israeli soldiers guarding the Lebanese Border. A warning Hezbollah stated, as if Israel has any wish to fight anyone else now.   Their people, like Americans, are more concerned about their standard of living and the price of  “MILKY” a food product they like to purchase, rather then War.

 

We have a voice,  we have a choice when Politics affects US!


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