Tag Archives: activism

Nickel-a-Meal FAST FOOD Empowerment

image2015 EMPOWERMENT Resolution #1 — FOOD CHANGE

The header graphic I designed a few years ago as a commentary on many of the leaders of the food and fast food sector. All the companies had anti-obesity or healthy eating corporate activities on their web sites, though most failed to live up to their promises.

The game is a bit different now. There are a number of significant food activists organizations in place now, and many people writing about geo-food strategies. But for the most part the major fast food conglomerates still control the Eating Games … where we all run around in hopes of not getting killed by their profit and marketing ploys.

As good as the challenges are, however, almost none seek to use the dollars in the food sector as dietary empowerment. Most actually blame us for not eating well or exercising as we should. Let’s Move is no exception, nor are other activist initiatives that seem to be afraid of the power of food money. Even Brazil came up short here.

In a website on AngrySodas – this poor treat is an easy and cheap target of a lot of criticism – I proposed a new way to deal with is. It centers on what I called a Nickel-a-Meal Campaign, an answer to my first 2015 Empowerment Resolution! (Which you can see as a previous past.)

My idea assumes we can use electronic money transfer systems as a form of an organic revenue collection process – sort of like making virtual plastic donation jars where those who use ATM/Credit Cards chip in an extra nickel with each burger purchase. When we swipe our cards now, many profit-making finance entities get a portion of what we spend before the McBurger monger does.

But what’s so bad is they do so by tapping into finance systems built with public resources – yet we have to cut and thus no voice. There is even an oversight body without us being present!

The Nickel-a-Meal Campaign seeks to rebalance this. I suggest an extra five cents (per burger, per meal?) be collected electronically after the main purchase transaction is processed, exempting it from fees and taxes. Then these nickels could be gathered and instantly transferred to food empowerment agencies in the region where they were received.

The stream of money is pretty massive. Perhaps $50 million PER WEEK, if large portions of food business participated! And if we utilized a unique finance system we create, it thrives as a community-inspired money source for EMPOWERED FOOD CHANGE!

How many advocacy agencies have access to even a portion of such a budget?

This kind of idea needs thinking and support – not to mention the drive of some supposedly caring food outlets.

Tell me what you think!

Pull-Back Economics – A model for STUDENT DebtLESSness!

Just half of ADDED annual wealth increase pays down 50% of ALL American student debt! PULL BACK JUSTICE

Just half of ADDED annual wealth increase pays down 50% of ALL American student debt! PULL BACK JUSTICE

Except as a campaign hate line, no one thinks Trickle Down Economics worked. If anything, it’s chief effect has been a massive up-flow of wealth to those who hardly need it.

To address this critical and potentially explosive situation, we need a new economic model — a fancy academic justification for a new strategy that favors bringing money justice back down to our streets! It’s simply past the time for the brains of change to build us all better economic equality trap.

I favor a multi-step roadmap toward something called Pull-Back Economics. Such an economic strategy for re-establishing money justice (which makes this idea PBJ!), has yet to be outlined, but it’s logic seems sweet!

We simply need to show that when the consumers and buyers of capitalism are treated fairly, they enjoy the benefits of capitalism in reasonable proportion to their need to be in the game of financial success. Even the best of the wealthy won’t enjoy a teeter-totter of there is no up and down balance. Pull-Back Economics would provide the credibility for this truth to be once again understood.

Reagan pulled the wool over the nation’s eyes with greedy selfishness; it might be time for a progressive HilLiz (think either Hillary or Ms. Warren!) to write her own script to uncover our visions.

A quick example of the idea and need in action: Pull-Back Educational Debtlessness! That’s debt-LESS-ness, not indebtedness.

In 2014, America’s Billionaire Boys – if you believe Forbes – increased their wealth by some $270 billion. In just one capitalist season.

Or put another way, they gained an amount equal to have of the country’s entire student debt in one year, over and above the too much they already had.

President Obama – thanks O Glorious One!! – has suggested one way to effectively counter this. He wants the nation to offer free community college. Except it is just a proposal going forward, and it only works if his recommendation can be passed; and, of course, if the banking and finance interests don’t just shift the costs of this effort back to us under the disguise of these same conservatarian foolery that protects trickle down failures.

With a credible Pull-Back Economic model, we can be more direct — and act more like a dentist during an extraction! We simply need to establish that half of the GROWTH of billionaire booty for two years goes directly to paying down student debt. Then th same for a second year.

And magically, no more student debt. In that time – as community college becomes free – we would have taken a huge leap toward righting the academic economic foolishness that underlies the Reagan and Bushtakes.

I’m telling you, come up with some thinking like this and I might for the first time willfully volunteer to enroll in an economics class again — a Pull-Back Econ class!

EMPOWERED progressive INFORMATICS

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The Birth of a (Virtual) Nation

Praise the Lord God of all thinks collective! In her infinite and forever appealing way, she has ensured that we are NOT alone. There is a reality of the matrices that blend social and cultural justice activities with very cool information and communication technologies (ICTs).

And it goes by the name of Informatics — that some of us old farts didn’t even know much about until recently.

From my perspective, what’s important is the new identification of this sector. Or what it’s founders call Community Infomatics (CI), the science of data and information storage and management made possible by information and communication technologies and marrying this with all of the wonders of community engagement for good stuff.

(I know it all sounds like something that chops and dices and it sold on early morning TV, but we hope to change this too!)

Community Informatics is, to me, the perfect way to use the knowledge and understanding of the progress that surrounds us and connecting it and all that it captures with EMPOWERMENT justice and activism.

Which, in my mind, is exactly what RadicalNOT is all about: talking about this as it hits the streets of change running at full and powerful speed. So to see that there are others already engaged … well … it’s enough to make a grown man delirious!

But more about my emotional health later. For now I just want to feed you the Wikipedia URL that talks about CI and that lays the groundwork for why I’d call it EI, or EMPOWERMENT INFORMATICS. Here is what one of the summary paragraphs says:

Cultures ensure their growth and survival by continuing the norms and mores that are the bases of their way of life. Communities can use the infrastructure of ICTs as a method of continuing cultures within the context of the Internet and the World Wide Web. Once a cultural identity is defined within the context of these technologies, it can be replicated and disseminated through various means, including the sharing of information through websites, applications, databases, and file sharing. In this manner, a group that defines its cultural identity within the construct of technology infrastructure is empowered to hold valuable exchanges within the spheres of economics, political power, high and popular culture, education, and entertainment. [emphasis added]

RadicalNOT endorses this view wholeheartedly. I love it. It makes my sociological heart go pitter patter!

I encourage you to jump over and take a look at the second discovery that got me pushing my Viagra aside. See the perspective’s manifesto of desires, so to speak, offered by the sector’s lead founding proponent, Michael Gurstein: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_informatics

Gurstein’s piece offers many elements of what this transformation means and why they are so important. We’ll dissect this soon.

In the meantime, start thinking of themes for the celebration party! True and effective impact is in the making, and its name is EMPOWERED INFORMATICS!!