Before I address the needs of the Berkshires and other cultural communities struggling to survive from the Great Recession of 2008, let me tell you what irked me after 4 days of computer and news blackouts.
1. On PBS, the news program was analyzing , Giuliani defending Trump on Meet the Press. He told lies about the Russian meeting and was allowed to speak unchallenged by media until this morning. Why not challenge civily, perpetuating lies in Public , when they occur? Challenge and Stop Fake News when it’s stated and stop the debates. Give “we the People” the truth. We can “handle” civil discourse.
2. If you see something, say something. I was on the MTA yesterday coming back from the Berkshires and was confronted by two young people , taking a seat from two elderly passengers loaded down with luggage and stuff. The young people shouldn’t have to stand , however , where was their sense of courtesy and civility? Couldn’t they have offered to help the senior citizens move their stuff so everyone could be seated?
3. Since my Chinese friend Shirley has returned to Beijing, we’re testing our texting and 4 days in China, we’re still communicating. We’re hopeful, it will last. As an update, my neighbor, just confirmed we can iPhone face time as well. I’m looking forward to seeing her and hearing her stories of adjustment.
4. I’m reading the “ Misbehavior of Markets” confirming my worst prognostications. The Derivative market is a bigger risk than acknowledged and there are over a Quadrillion Dollars at play. If we had considered my 6% tax, Americans would reap a $Trillion for Infrastructure, deceasing the risk and providing a profit for the finance industry, too! A win win for US. The economists writing this tome, believe the stock market has soared based on Luck! HaHa. They also do not put much faith in Bank capitalization. Greenspan proposed a 25% cushion, the Banks have approximately 12%. The Banks are not feeling secure and they’re tightening consumer credit. When was consumer credit loose? Did I miss out on a “new wave of entrepreneurship”?
5. The Berkshires have never recovered from 2008. Theaters have consolidated, stores are empty , yet restaurants are busy along with hiking trails. The local Bed & Breakfasts & Inns can’t attract part time labor @ $15 / hr . They’re leaving the Chamber of Commerce, knowing the Chamber stopped supporting the Community and small business. Now, shop keepers are looking to develop a sharing economy, including workers as partners and asked me what industry they could develop in the Berkshires. They’re looking at paper goods. I suggested hydroponics & bicycle manufacturing, for starters. in the many unused factories.
6. Pittsfield was a GE factory town , employing 15,000 workers in the 80’s and GE left without a plan for the 100, 000’s who would be affected by their closing. Once again , big business, looking after its own needs, laid off a significant population, without consulting government, townspeople or their workers and without planning for the day after. It never was that way before. I know, I was there when America changed the rules favoring “We the People “ in the 1970’s after Ford closed their Mahwah Plant with 5000 employees. Why can’t “we the People coexist” with Big Business? We need each other?We used to be “partners”.
7. Thinking about the Hospitality Industries needs, I was reminded by friends, there were HB-1 Visas available, previously. We also have undocumented workers, in these areas, ready to do these jobs, if only they could work again without fear.
See you tomorrow and we’ll chat.
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