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Here’s Who Killed the American Middle Class – and Why

The proof is in the pudding.
I thought this article is quite interesting in explaining the declining of democracy in U.S.A; and the condition of the middle class who have been reduced to poverty by the very politicians who they elected for their well being.
So who were the Republican and Democratic politicians behind the wholesale transformation of America, and where are they now?
Well…..
Here’s Who Killed the American Middle Class – and Why
By SHAH GILANI, Capital Wave Strategist, Money Morning • @WallStreet_II • May 23, 2017
There’s a widening wealth gap in America. It took a generation, but the middle class in this country has been hollowed out. Most people agree on that. But they don’t really know how it happened or who’s really to blame – it’s been obscured with false narratives, covered with “fake news.”
The thing is, the truth is in front of us. We’re living it in real time. It’s just never discussed openly – for a reason.
The people who are behind this catastrophic American collapse have fooled folks into thinking this is all normal.
Well, it’s anything but that…
Who to Blame for the Disappearing Middle Class
Republicans aren’t to blame: Their old-school platform of a smaller federal government, fiscal conservatism, more power to the states, and belief that a lightly regulated path to working hard and standing on your own two feet is what made America the global bastion of entrepreneurship and helped create a middle class that is laudable and fair.
Democrats aren’t to blame: Their old-school platform of a larger, more interventionist federal government, spending on social programs, supporting and safeguarding workers, all kinds of civil rights, protections for the environment, and their belief that government should stand behind those not able to stand on their own two feet, or who have been trampled by runaway businesses, helped create a middle class that is equally laudable and fair.
The two parties, with their visions and flaws balanced by democracy, made America great… once.
What happened is greedy, neo-con, profiteering Republican crony capitalists hijacked their party, while greedy, limousine liberal, profiteering Democrat crony capitalists hijacked their party. Together, as a new class of elites joined the Masters of the Universe, they began manipulating state apparatuses and banking for fun and profit…
A lot of profit.
The crony capitalists’ principal enrichment tools are “financialization” and, as we’ll see a little later this week, its manservant, “globalization.”
Financialization is the retooling of the economy’s production and distribution assets, consisting of made-in-America goods and services, into credit-driven banking and financial services products.
At its core, financialization is the transfer of low-risk, low-profit debt into high-risk, high-profit products.
The net result of the mass commodification of debt-based financial instruments and leveraged debt (grossly under-collateralized by low-risk debt) is rampant speculation.
This heavy betting, however, isn’t undertaken just for the sake of pyramiding risks for speculative gains. These so-called “products” are now integral and necessary investment tools because traditional, safe investments don’t yield adequate returns in the world of financialization.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), in 1980, financial services contributed 4.9% to the country’s GDP. At its peak in 2006, that contribution had almost doubled to 8.3%.
More to the point, in terms of profitability, James Kwak, law professor at the University of Connecticut, calculated in 1980 the financial industry’s profits as a share of total U.S. business profits was 7.5%. That share of all business profits in corporate America jumped to more than 41% by the mid-2000s.
U.S. GDP in 2016 was $18.56 trillion, according to the BEA. In full view of financial services’ share of GDP (which is rising again) and its share of corporate profits (also on the march to new highs), it’s impossible not to see the financialization of the U.S. economy.
Worse, it’s actually become the beating black heart of the economy. It’s happening that way by design…
How the Financialization Scam Became Settled Public Policy
The road to financialization began with the overturning of longstanding public and economic protections, starting with the Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act of 1980, a Trojan horse that let banks establish holding companies and gave the Fed more power over more banks.
That major deregulatory action was followed quickly by the Garn-St. Germain Depository Institutions Act of 1982, which leveled the playing field for banks and their holding companies experiencing competitive disintermediation and decreasing profitability.
Ultimately, a series of subsequent rules- and regulations-trimming by banks’ congressional cronies culminated in the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999, whose main function was the total repeal of the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act that had for decades separated insured, deposit-taking commercial banks from swashbuckling investment banks.
That’s how elitist Democrats and Republicans paved a super highway for the financialization of the American economy and their enrichment from the country’s transformation.
So who were the Republican and Democratic politicians behind the wholesale transformation of America, and where are they now?
You’d be shocked at how many of them you know as senators, House members, cabinet secretaries, principal regulators… Supposed stalwart guardians of American prosperity who’ve become filthy rich at the expense of the middle class, on whose backs and from whose labor and savings they’ve enriched themselves (and their reelection war chests). I’ve written thousands of pages in Insights and Indictments naming names and calling these sellouts what they really are: crony capitalist pigs.
The proof is in the pudding.
Actually, make that pooling.
Without financialization, we never would have had the subprime mortgage crisis and the market and financial system crashes.
I’ll show you how.
Home mortgages used to originate “locally,” with banks, thrifts, and credit unions that knew their communities, as well as the value of properties and creditworthiness of borrowers in those communities. Mortgage loans mostly stayed on the books of lending institutions until maturity or until properties were sold.
That was great for stability and fairness, and making sure things remain sustainable… but the trouble was, no one got filthy stinkin’ rich on it…
Financialization, with its cheap come-on capital, its dodgy pooling techniques, its structuring, its tranches, derivatives and synthetic derivatives of derivatives, turned a utility service into a speculative pyramid of leveraged loans that looked and acted more like a Ponzi scheme than the sophisticated, high-yielding, safe (a lot of them packaged with government approval and guarantees) financial instruments they were made out to be by rating agency co-conspirators.
We all know how that ended.
Thing is, it didn’t actually end there. How could it have? As horrific as the financial crisis was, as much wealth was vaporized, there was still lots more blood to drain from the middle and working classes – and their children.
A Bad Idea Gets Much, Much Worse
That bloodletting comes in the pooling of student loan debt. If anything, it’s even more sickening than the financialization of mortgage debt.
As if leveraging the living daylights out of the American dream of home ownership wasn’t enough, the financial vampires of the political class saw an opportunity in that other great American dream: higher education – the burning desire of people to better their lot and improve their wages and prospects at colleges and universities.
What happened to professors’, administrators’, state schools’, and private schools’ goals of helping Americans get a higher education for the fair wages they earned and the balanced budgets they hoped to achieve?
As horrific as the financial crisis was, as much wealth was vaporized, there was still lots more blood to drain from the middle and working classes – and their children.
They got greedy. They’re all in the big for-profit game now, thanks to financialization.
Hopeful students are suckered into cheap loans which are, of course, pooled, leveraged, sliced, diced, and sold to investors. The cash those investors fork over can be used to make more loans, to pyramid (or Ponzi, if you choose) students’ hopes and dreams that a higher education means a higher standard of living.
And if those loans are in arrears, in default, and don’t get paid back – hey – investors don’t have to worry.
The government, which is to say crony capitalist congressmen and women, have fixed that potentially profit-leaking hole.
You see, making student debtors “low risk” by having the state guarantee payment of interest and principal to investors – while extracting more payment from grossly indebted students (plenty of whom never graduate), no matter the cost or the poverty level of those beleaguered, unemployed, underemployed, and generally struggling indebted borrowers – means that more loans can be pushed like dope to the uninitiated who have no idea about the trap they’re being lured into.
And as for the neo-liberal educators and liberal arts universities who want more kids – customers – to get a better education, they’re making hundreds of thousands of dollars in salaries and tens of millions of profits every year.
That’s financialization at work.
It’s not at work alone. Later this week in my Insights & Indictments service, I’m going to show you how globalization is taking these crony capitalist schemes big time, as in, worldwide, trapping billions in a state of permanent poverty. Click here to get my update as soon as it’s released, and you’ll get all of my Insights & Indictments research, too – free.
Together, we’ll play the crony capitalists’ game while working to destroy it.
Follow Shah on Facebook and Twitter.

The priest beggar – Your good deeds will always be repaid to you

 Once upon a time Shree Krishna and Arjun went for a short stroll around the city. They saw a poor looking priest begging. Arjun felt pity at him and he gave him a bag full of 100 gold coins. The priest became very happy and thanked Arjun. He left for his home. On way, he saw another person who needed help. The priest could have spared a coin or two to help that person. however, he chose to ignore it. But on way to his home, one thief robbed him of his bag of coins and ran away.

The priest became dejected and went back again for begging. Next day again when Arjun saw the same priest begging and he was surprised that after getting a bag full of coins which can last a lifetime, the priest was still begging! He called the priest and asked him the reason for this. The priest told him about the whole incident and Arjun again felt pity at him. So, this time he gave him a diamond.

The priest became very happy and left for home and he again saw someone who needed help but he chose to ignore again. Upon reaching home, he safely put the diamond in an empty pot of water with a plan to cash it out later and live a wealthy life. His wife was not at home. He was very tired so he decided to take a nap. In between, his wife came home and picked up that empty pot of water, walked towards the river close by to fill up the water. She had not noticed the diamond in the pot. Upon arriving at the river, she put the whole pot into the running river water to fill it up. She filled up the pot but the diamond was gone with the water flow!

When the priest woke up, he went to see the pot and asked his wife about the diamond. She told him, she had not noticed it and it must have been lost in the river. The priest couldn’t believe his bad luck and again started begging. Again Arjun and Shree Krishna saw him begging and Arjun inquired about it. Arjun felt bad and started thinking if this priest will ever have a happy life.

Shree Krishna who is an incarnation of God smiled. Shree Krishna gave that priest one coin which was not even enough for buying a lunch or dinner for one person. Arjun asked Shree Krishna, “Lord, I gave him gold coins and diamond, which could have given him a wealthy life, yet it didn’t help him. How will just one coin help this poor guy?” Shree Krishna smiled and told Arjun to follow that priest and find out.

On the way, the priest was thinking that one coin Shree Krishna gave him, he can’t even buy a lunch for one person. Why would he give so little? He saw a fisherman who was getting a fish out of his net. Fish was struggling. The priest felt pity at fish. He thought that this one coin won’t solve my problem, why not I save that fish. So the priest paid the fisherman and took the fish. He put the fish in his small pot of water which he always carried with him.

The fish was struggling in a small pot of water, ended up throwing out a diamond from the mouth! The priest screamed with a joy, “I got it, I got it”. At that same point, the thief who had robbed the priest’s bag of 100 gold coins, was passing through there. He thought that the priest recognized him and may get him punished. He got nervous and ran to the priest. He apologized to the priest and returned his bag full of 100 gold coins. The priest couldn’t believe what just happened.

Arjun saw all this and said, “Oh Lord, Now I understand your play”.

Moral: When you have enough to help others, don’t let that chance go. Your good deeds will always be repaid to you.

 

Swearing in new Woman Deputy Secretary-General @UN

Ms. Amina J. Mohammed was Minister of Environment of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from November 2015 to December 2016, where she steered the country’s efforts on climate action, protecting the natural environment and conserving resources for sustainable development.
Prior to this, she served as Special Adviser to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Post-2015 Development Planning, where she was instrumental in bringing about the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the Sustainable Development Goals.

Before joining the UN, Ms. Mohammed worked for three successive administrations in Nigeria, serving as Special Advisor on the Millennium Development Goals, providing advice on issues including poverty, public sector reform and sustainable development, and coordinating programs worth $1 billion annually for MDG-related interventions.

Philadelphia Police fulfilled their duty to protect people’s right to Protest – Great work!

According to amnesty international, Police in Philadelphia handled protesters very well fulfilling their duty to protect people’s right to freedom of peaceful assembly and expression, police officers from other states should learn something from Philly police

Amnesty Insider 2016

PROTECTING THE RIGHT TO PROTEST

Amnesty International USA deployed a delegation of human rights observers to monitor protests and marches in Cleveland and Philadelphia for the political conventions – in order to help ensure that people’s human right to protest peacefully is respected.

Our observers in Cleveland saw mostly peaceful protests, with police securing march routes and taking steps to ensure the safety of protesters and the public. We are still reviewing notes and videos of the citations that police gave to protestors to better understand the context and the police response.

Now in Philadelphia, our team has been seeing peaceful protest, with police largely appearing to be fulfilling their duty to protect people’s right to freedom of peaceful assembly and expression. You can read more about the delegation of human rights observers here. You can follow more updates on our Twitter and Facebook.

In the weeks ahead, Amnesty will send letters to law enforcement leaders in both cities – and state and federal policymakers – outlining what the observers saw and what lessons can be drawn from how the protests were handled.

INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S NOTE

Margaret HuangWe’ve had powerful reminders this month of how important it is to ensure that people’s rights are respected everywhere, with the shootings of and by police in the U.S., the attacks in Nice, Mogadishu, Munich, Baghdad, Dhaka and Kabul, the brutal crackdown following the failed coup in Turkey, and so many other events.

Amnesty International’s work has never been more critical – and it’s never been more important for us to have a strong voice in the U.S. that’s connected to our global movement.

Last week, AIUSA Board Chair Ann Burroughs and I were in Barcelona to meet with the directors and chairs of other Amnesty International sections across the globe and plan our shared work as a movement. It was inspiring to share experiences and ideas with our colleagues from around the world. We addressed a number of key issues including governance reform proposals that would replace the current International Council Meeting (ICM) with a new Global Assembly; a new procedure for discussing and adopting contentious policies; and the new global campaign for refugees which launches in September. We’ll be sharing more about these discussions with you in the weeks and months ahead.

From AIUSA’s observer delegations in Cleveland and Philadelphia to researchers documenting human rights crises in Turkey, Saudi Arabia and all around the world, Amnesty is always focused on defending the human rights of every person–no matter who or where they are.

None of this work is possible without you. Your support and activism make Amnesty the powerful force for change in so many places around the world.

Thank you!

Margaret Huang
Interim Executive Director
Amnesty International USA

Turkey Coup

TURKEY: HARD-WON RIGHTS CANNOT BE TAKEN AWAY

The Turkish authorities’ reaction to a bloody failed coup attempt on July 15 was swift and brutal, unleashing a troubling crackdown.

Detainees have been denied food, water and medical treatment, and verbally abused and threatened. Some have been subjected to severe beatings and torture.

Amnesty International is pressing Turkish authorities to condemn torture and other ill-treatment in places of detention, and take concrete steps to end abuses. We need to make sure hard-won human rights in Turkey are respected, protected and fulfilled. The state of emergency must not roll back human rights in Turkey.

Take Action Now.

Saudi Arabia UNHRC

SUSPEND SAUDI ARABIA FROM UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL

The evidence is mounting—Saudi Arabia has committed gross and systemic violations of human rights abroad and at home, and used its position on the UN Human Rights Council to obstruct justice for possible war crimes.

Saudi Arabia has executed minors, killed civilians in airstrikes and blocked investigations into possible war crimes, all since joining the UN Human Rights Council. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have come together to demand that the international community hold Saudi Arabia accountable.

Join us in calling on the UN General Assembly to immediately suspend Saudi Arabia from the Human Rights Council.

Donate to AmnestyRaif Badawi, a blogger in Saudi Arabia, withstood 50 excruciating lashes. His full sentence requires a total of 1,000 lashes and 10 years of confinement – all because he published a blog that promoted religious freedom.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s government sits on a key human rights body – the UN Human Rights Council.

This hypocrisy cannot stand.

Saudi Arabia’s government has used its position on the Human Rights Council to shield itself from accountability. That’s why Saudi Arabia should be suspended from the Council. Donate and support our work pressuring UN member states to take action.

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2016 Regional ConferencesThe 2016 Regional Conferences promise to be some of the best we’ve ever had.No matter which AIUSA region you call home, you’ll have an incredible time hearing from inspiring speakers, networking with other activists, learning about the most pressing human rights issues of our time, developing your organizer skill set and shaping AIUSA policy.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity. Stay in the loop by saving the date and learning more about your regional conference on our website.

 

1960s Zanzibar a happy Island – Cultures Exposures – ViWiDA-USA

Cultures Exposures
Expose yourself to different cultures and appreciate humans as they are. It is the elimination of racial differences

Intended to educate and empower the followers about other people cultures in order to gain knowledge, which may come in handy when visiting, or doing business in an environment where they differ in cultures and/or, in places where cultures and religion may seem to intertwine when compared to their own cultures.


We have started a new endeavor in order to include our wonderful community in the chance to bring about miracles and to help others.


Mexico, Canada, and the United States, we’re calling on the three countries’ leaders to make concrete commitments to protecting human rights.

INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S NOTE

Margaret HuangGovernment leaders must prioritize human rights, and I was proud to take that message to the leaders of the U.S., Canada, and Mexico this week in Ottawa. I joined the heads of Amnesty International sections from Canada and Mexico in meeting with senior officials in all three governments in advance of an annual summit of the three countries’ leaders.

On behalf of 2 million Amnesty International supporters in Mexico, Canada, and the United States, we’re calling on the three countries’ leaders to make concrete commitments to protecting human rights. In particular, we’re urging them to do more to protect refugees—and to immediately end the detention of immigrant children. Nearly half of the world’s forcibly displaced people are children. Since the beginning of 2016, more than 39,000 unaccompanied children from El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, and Honduras have arrived at the U.S. border without parents or other adults. In many cases, these children are being put into prisons in the U.S., without access to any assistance or even translators, and then deported weeks or months later—sent back into the extremely dangerous conditions they were fleeing.

We’re fighting to protect those children—and to protect the rights of all refugees and migrants. Hundreds of thousands of Amnesty International supporters are demanding that government leaders do more, while we’re also engaging in direct advocacy with key decision-makers. We won’t stop until every person’s human rights are fully protected.Please take action to join us.

In solidarity,
Margaret Huang

Orlando, Solidarity and Action

ORLANDO, SOLIDARITY AND ACTION

During this month, Pride month, we witnessed the horrific mass shooting in Orlando—where 49 people, many of them LGBT people and people of color, were killed in a place they came to find community and joy.

The world responded with incredible solidarity, but meanwhile Congress failed to pass legislative measures to prevent the growing human rights crisis of gun violence. Instead, they introduced a wave of legislation playing on fear and prejudice toward Muslims.

We stand in solidarity with the victims and survivors in Orlando. We are committed to helping end gun violence in this country and to combatting anti-Muslim hate and bigotry in all its forms.

The America I Beleive In

WHAT DOES THE AMERICA YOU BELIEVE IN LOOK LIKE?

With a climate of fear and hate sweeping the United Sates, it’s time to take a stand.

Together, we’re rejecting anti-refugee legislation, harassment of American Muslims, and calls to respond to terrorism by committing torture and war crimes.

Don’t let fear win. Participate in our photo action to show what the America you believe in looks like.

Download and print out the sign, then you can write what the America you believe in looks like and post it to social media.

You can also get more involved by going to amnestyusa.org/Ibelieve

Donate NowTRAPPED ON THE BORDERS

Sham, pictured here, is a six-year old girl from Syria who fled to Europe in a rubber boat after bombs destroyed her home.

Amnesty International crisis investigators met her and her family when they were trapped in a ferry terminal in Greece after European governments closed their borders to refugees fleeing the violence in Syria. She was sleeping on the floor.

Help us surpass our $200,000 June goal to advocate on behalf of refugees like Sham and her family. Donate now.

Block the Bombs

BLOCK THE BOMBS FROM THE U.S. TO SAUDI ARABIA

Saudi Arabia has committed gross and systemic violations of human rights abroad and at home, and used its position on the UN Human Rights Council to effectively obstruct accountability for possible war crimes.

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch this week are calling on the United Nations to suspend Saudi Arabia from the UN Human Rights Council. We also need to make sure that no more US bombs are delivered to Saudi Arabia and used in human rights violations.

Block the bombs.

2016 Regional Conferences

2016 REGIONAL CONFERENCES

AIUSA’s 2016 Regional Conferences are set to take place in October and November, and they will be an incredible opportunity to hear from inspiring speakers, network with other activists, learn about the most pressing human rights issues of our time, develop your organizing skills, and shape AIUSA policy. We’ll have information soon on agendas, speakers, and more, but you can check out dates and locations on the regional conferences website.

If you’re a member and want to present at one of the conferences, don’t forget tosubmit your proposal for each conference by July 15.

Leonard PeltierTAKE ACTION FOR LEONARD PELTIER

Leonard Peltier is 71 years old now, and he has served 40 years in prison in a case that has long raised troubling questions—including from the judge who heard his appeal. He has an abdominal aortic aneurysm, and his health is deteriorating rapidly. If properly treated, Leonard could make a full recovery, but if the aneurysm ruptures, he has roughly a 10% chance of survival.

Amnesty International staff recently visited Leonard in federal prison in Florida, and he told us: “If I don’t get clemency, I’m going to die here—and not from old age.”
It’s time to bring him home to his family. Take Action.

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How did you like Amnesty Insider? Let us know what you think.

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Amnesty International USA

Black Power Without Green Power Is No Power

Last week was the 95th memorial anniversary of white folks’ bloodthirsty murder of 300 Black men, women, and children and also white folks’ wholesale destruction of 1,000 Black-owned businesses and homes on “Black Wall Street” in the Greenwood community of Tulsa, OK from May 31-June 1, 1921. Although I could justifiably rail against this destructive white devilment, I’ll instead praise this instructive Black economic independence.
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When Blacks today moan and groan and whine and complain and sue because whites won’t hire or promote us, I simply shake my head in disgust. And then I wonder why we expect anything good from the very same people who yesterday kidnapped us, sold us, bought us, enslaved us, raped us, lynched us and who today use their police departments to murder us, their judges to treat us like Dred Scott, and their prison officials/politicians/corporations to impose their new Jim Crow.

Blackwallst5White corporations and employers, generally speaking, don’t like us and don’t want us. They never did and never will. That’s why there are only five Black CEOs in the Fortune 500 and only two in the elite Dow 30. We must “do for self” like our “Black Wall Street” ancestors did nearly 100 years ago. And we can, as proven by the fact that Black-owned businesses currently show a growth rate three times the national (i.e., white) average. If our ancestors could succeed back then- and they did- we damn sure can now.

That 1921 rampage was born out of a 1916 Tulsa ordinance that banned Blacks from living on any block on which whites constituted at least 75 percent of the residents. So did the Blacks moan, groan, whine, complain, or sue? Hell no! They “did for self” by unifying economically and culturally. As a result, they created a community consisting of a multitude of separate Black-owned, Black-operated, and Black-patronized businesses- including (but not limited to) law firms, hospitals, newspapers, hotels, schools, restaurants, construction companies, real estate offices, and 24 supermarkets! As so insightfully stated by professor, author, and attorney Dr. Hannibal B. Johnson, “Legal segregation (in Tulsa and throughout the nation) limited the commercial options of African-Americans. This economic detour- this diversion of dollars- spurred business development and economic prosperity in the Black community. A talented cadre of African-American businesspersons and entrepreneurs rose up. Blackwallst4Blackwallst3

 

 

 

 

The problem is not that we don’t have the money to “do for self.” We got money! We have more than 35,000 Black millionaires in this country and a whopping 1,826 billionaires in the world. We also have earnings of $1.3 trillion annually in America. The problem is that, unlike other ethnic groups, we spend it with outsiders as soon as we get it. For example, a dollar remains in the Asian community for 28 consecutive days but only six hours in the Black community. Outrageous and embarrassing!

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To paraphrase the classic line from the 1948 film The Treasure of the Sierra Madre and the 1974 film Blazing Saddles, “Jobs? We don’t need your stinkin’ jobs!” We can do our own thing. But, in regard to government employment, don’t get it twisted. Although we don’t need white folks’ municipal, state, or federal jobs, those jobs are owed to us because we built this country and because we continue to be denied high salary and top-level positions despite our unimpeachable qualifications. For example, in Mayor Jim Kenney’s first couple of weeks in office, he appointed about 80 top officials, 66 percent of whom are white in a city that’s only 36 percent white. However, despite the fact that African-Americans make up 44 percent of Philly’s population, only 22 percent of his appointees are African-Americans. Former Mayor Michael Nutter was nearly as racially insensitive at best or racially discriminatory at worst with 64 percent of city employees who received salaries in excess of $70,000 being- you guessed it- white.


As reported this week by Eric Ture Muhammad in The Final Call, the preeminent S.B. Fuller & Joe L. Dudley Sr. Foundation held a “Mastermind Business Group Meeting” on May 26 at the Benton Convention Center in Winston-Salem, NC as a gathering dedicated to Black entrepreneurship. It brought together business leaders from all across the country and emphasized the critical importance of creating a “collaborative economic framework” for community wealth rather than focusing primarily on personal wealth.

A number of the event’s presenters, including networking mogul Dr. George Fraser, spoke about the Black community having foolishly adhered to an “economic welcome mat” policy that “allows anyone who isn’t Black easy access to Black dollars and consumers.” They pointed out that “anyone else can walk in, meet some community needs, wipe their feet on Black consumers like a doormat, and exit with tens of millions of dollars put in banks outside the community.”

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We must economically “rise up” as Dr. Johnson mentioned. And we can do it by creating Black-owned businesses and/or by buying exclusively from the more than two million Black-owned businesses (or the many predominantly Black-employed businesses) at least once a week starting this week, then at least twice a week next week, then at least one week next month, and eventually at least six months every year.

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We can do it by following the lead of the 15 young Black businessmen from the Black Male Entrepreneurship Institute (BMEI), which partners with the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. (USBC). BMEI did it last year when they sought out a Black financial institution and found Industrial Bank in Washington, DC where they made an initial deposit of $5,000. As stated by Ron Busby, CEO of USBC, “In order for there to be a strong Black America, we must have strong Black businesses. In order to have strong Black businesses, we must have strong Black banks.”

So let’s do the Black bank thing and the Black business thing- which means the Black power thing.

The words from David Walker’s Appeal, written in 1829, and the words of Christopher James Perry Sr., founder of the Tribune in 1884, are the inspiration for my “Freedman’s Journal” columns. In order to honor that pivotal nationalist abolitionist and that pioneering newspaper giant, as well as to inspire today’s Tribune readers, each column ends with Walker and Perry’s combined quote- along with my inserted voice- as follows: I ask all Blacks “to procure a copy of this… (weekly column) for it is designed… particularly for them” so they can “make progress… against (racist) injustice.”

 

Michael Coard, Esquire can be followed on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. His “Radio Courtroom” show can be heard on WURD900AM. And his “TV Courtroom” show can be seen on PhillyCAM/Verizon/Comcast.

 

Help Stop the killing of people with albinism in Malawi!

Take Action: Help Stop the killing of people with albinism in Malawi!

Get Involved
Take Action© LAWILINK/Amnesty InternationalAttacks against people with albinism have sharply increased in Malawi over the last two years, with four people, including a baby, murdered this past April alone.Take action now and support efforts calling on the government of Malawi to protect people with albinism.

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Whitney Chilumpha was just under two years old when she was snatched while sleeping with her mother in their home. Pieces of her skull, some teeth and clothing were found days later on a nearby hill.

Jenifer Namusyo, a 30-year-old woman, was found dead. She had been stabbed in the back, abdomen, and elbow.

Seventeen-year-old Davis Fletcher Machinjiri was abducted by a group of men who trafficked him to Mozambique, where he was killed and his arms and legs chopped off.

Right now there are five more people who have been abducted in Malawi and are still missing—their lives are in immediate danger.

Groups in Malawi are fighting to end this practice—but they need help. Call on the government of Malawi to urgently search for the five who are currently missing, and take steps to protect the life and security of people with albinism.

Today is International Albinism Awareness Day, and Amnesty International just released a report that shows at least 69 crimes against people with albinism have been documented since November 2014.

Amnesty International and other organizations on the ground are calling on the government of Malawi to adopt measures protecting the rights to life and security of people with albinism by providing increased levels of visible policing in rural districts and taking action when attacks occur.

Tell the government of Malawi to uphold its responsibility to protect people with albinism.

 

The Uber of Banking is Uber – Join Uber and make extra cash

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The Uber of Banking is Uber

A recent Quartz (qz.com) article identified that up to 30% of Uber drivers in the US have never had a bank account — many operated previously as taxi drivers in the cash economy. To be a driver on Uber, however, they need a minimum of a debit card to get paid. So Uber has had to solve this problem by allowing drivers to sign up for a bank account as part of the Uber driver application process, in real-time. Unsurprisingly, this makes Uber the largest acquirer of small business bank accounts in the United States today, bigger than Wells, BofA and Chase combined.

You probably never thought of Uber as an acquirer of small business bank accounts, but if you’re an Uber driver and Uber can give you a debit card that enables you to get paid — then why would you go to a bank branch to open an account instead? It also means that as a entrepreneur bank account the next obvious move is to design day-to-day banking into Uber’s app instead of standing alone as a typical bank account or mobile banking app.

For the millions of permalancers or gigging economy workers, it’s highly likely that the first time a freelancer opens a bank account will be directly in response to a new ‘gig’ or job offer — if that employer (like Uber or AirBnB) offers you a bank account as part of the sign-up process, why would you stop signing up for Uber, drive to a branch and sign a piece of paper?

Uber is offering car leases to its drivers also — allowing drivers with no vehicle to sign up and get car financing backed by demand from Uber. This is what the new banking experience looks like for small business entrepreneurs. Uber is effectively doing all the sourcing for bank relationships, and has become an acquirer for bank accounts, leasing and insurance. An Uber driver has no reason to come to a bank branch for his needs today thanks to Uber’s commitment to experience design simply enabling the needs of a new driver.