Tag Archives: justice

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!

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PEACE-olence – Hybrid Between Peace & Violence

We need a new term for the harmony and radical transformation we seek that lies somewhere new in the fields between peace and violence.

Coming off the annual high of MLK Day, we’re reminded of the attraction of both ideals (riotous discontent has its place), and of the shortcomings of each in major degrees.

peace burnWhich is why I propose a comfortable hybrid; an upgrade, that goes beyond the failures of the compromises of the past – compromises that often tried to appease the disputing advocates for each perspective by mouthing the best of each but settling on an ineffective and unstable patch of false bravados.

We need to accept that even good expectations have a taste of badness, just as bad ones can bring about goodness. Hence my alternative: PEACE-olence.

IMHO, this reconceptualization puts peace first but doesn’t downplay the fact that we need radical, profound, dramatic and sometimes even destructive change.

The future is heading towards us at the speed of a digital rocket, and there is no getting around the reality that it will destroy many social, cultural and even economic conventions. And we owe it to ourselves and the future to have our eyes and capabilities open to this wide-ranging truth.

Before everyone gets in a tizzy about my putting peace and violence on a loving teeter-totter (where each side gets deserving traction at some point to make the game worth playing), think about where we are in the evolution of our society, and in particular of our business, communications and connectivity levels. The best that has come out of the innovations of these sectors is thought of these days as being DISRUPTIVE, which is a rather violent expression, because they literally blow our past expectations away.

Not sure about this? Google “disruptive innovations” on the phone in your hand. Then share the results with the half the world now within your reach. See if they like your take on the results, good or bad.

As for peace, that’s problematic also; more than most of us like to admit. One person’s or group’s version involves unleashing classified security documents to let openness and honesty club secrecy and deception, while another lets us speak pornographically from the privacy of our home front – on the assumption that no one knows of our preferences.

Not being able to fathom this killed the King.

PEACE-olence, to me, does a good job of reminding us that our last efforts haven’t worked S we like. Injustices prevail, protests are getting angrier, and we use impersonal means to destroy people, places and facts from a false sense of distance – some would say like a sniper oblivious to the narrowness of his own dramatically false sense of patriotism.

Let’s put PEACE first but also not be afraid to play on the balance of a reality where riots and wars and dissatisfaction still prevail.

PEACE-olence works for me!

EMPOWERMENT RESOLUTIONS: 15 Steps to Change 2015

Jan 1

To change the world we with the gift of Empowerment, we need to get started on several fronts. Here are 15 ideas for 2015 …. My details for your arguments in the months ahead! Happy to hear your thoughts, complaints or suggestions. Merry New Year to All! (Oh…Thanks Mr. President for 2014)

Page 1 … 1-7…

Resolution page 1

Page 2 … 8-15 …

Resolution page

What’s EMPOWERMENT?

empower signI write and argue about a philosophy of empowerment. So I must be doing something right because people are starting to ask regularly what the heck I mean by that term; aren’t I just finding a new way of professing my liberal or progressive inclinations?

No, I’m not. Empowerment is a force for change that presumes that the systems we rely on are themselves grounded in engaging, supporting and opening the ways and means of action into the systems we use — and thus a method for ensuring that all social systems carry within themselves the avenues to challenges. They are approaches that fix problems while they help us and help us help each other.

If we have a system … for good, for bad; for social responsibility, for profit … it needs to carry within itself all that is required to empower its users to find solutions to issues or concerns related to its area or focus. Housing empowerment doesn’t give people houses; it enables our system of housing making and using to sustain avenues so all get houses. And most often that involves parterning with the largest force for collective protection we have, government.

Sorry libertarians! Starving or shrinking the beast isn’t empowering in most cases because it is used as an excuse to cut away the protections government offers to capitalism and consumerism — tactics that are seldom empowering (though interactive technology may be changing this game if we play it out right!).

Is it possible for there to be liberal and conservative forms of empowerment? Sure, I guess; though honestly in this time of fast-acting progress, conservative empowerment doesn’t make a lot of sense. But I’m open to reconsidering this if someone can convince me of the error of my ways.

If not, when I speak of EMPOWERMENT, I speak of systems that carry within them the ways and means (the actions and the resources) to fix the problems and engage those who are part of that very process. If we get this one right, then we don’t have to worry about what is radical and what is right. Good ideas will simply work.

Sell Detroit to Highest IMPACT Bidders

Appreciation to those whose work I've usurped. But I did help start the concept.

Appreciation to those whose work I’ve usurped. But I did help start the concept.

This is a true, reasoned, viable, heartfelt, practical and EMPOWERING suggestion for the city of Detroit: sell yourself to the highest team of Impact Investment companies.

Seriously. It’s worth the gamble. Impact Investors are a new breed of financiers looking for ways to put social responsibility costs and benefits into the ways and means of profiteering. To stay in the club, they actually have to practice what they preach. See for yourself. One of my favorite places is The Global Impact Investment Network.

Which is made all the more fascinating because folks don’t really know what the concept entails. They only know – thanks to passionate advocates like Jed Emerson – that they have to gamble on a better business future and be serious about their convictions. And already they are investing billions because the see the return on their investment in the concept as being helpful and worth trillions.

So let’s say a group of “Too Big To Care About Money” companies (or individuals with obscene wealth) each commit a nearly unnoticeably small share of their absurd profits — $25 billion each, with a commitment of the same amount again and again as needed over a period of about 10 years. Of course, because this is an Impact Investment, there will have to be a few restrictions … subject to collective discussion about how they are enforced. But basically they will require:

  • That the investors not rename the city with their monikers or other self-benefiting tags.
  • That they turn complete control of the money to a major collection of caring and passionate citizens who represent the major stakeholder groups, with such group being designed by said stakeholder interests in a fair and just way.
  • That, say, only about 60% or so of the funds can be used as loans to businesses with green and sustainable ideas, with the proviso that they payback the money in socially responsible returns (or cash).
  • That the rest of the money be used to build programs and projects and concept and strategies that empower people and families across many spectrums.
  • That all activity done by the oversight body be posted online and made available for discussion in real-time or as damn close as possible – including all decisions about how money is spent.
  • That, once engaged, said investors must lock away into another charitable entity sufficient resources or value worth at least $300 billion more to sustain the flow of growth and development until the ideas germinate.
  • And that a collaboration of universities be empowered to see, review, study, publish and share their objective takes on all that happens throughout this Impact Investment Experiment.

In return for this, the investors and corporations get … warm and fuzzy feelings of goodwill.

And the people get a city completely dedicated to making and maintaining an empowered and empowering urban place that works like a fair and just nation envisioned.

See? No problem. Sell Detroit.

EMPOWERED progressive INFORMATICS

people tags

digit tags

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!!

Internet Equality – Obama’s Clear & Present Danger

clear harrisonIE, or Internet Equality, is so important that it demands the absolute attention of our Commander-in-Chief. Even in this period of self-inflicted policy foolishness – where people, generations, the planet are being fracked away — the loss of the empowerment potential from the InterWebs outweighs all other urgencies.

The president might well consider this the single greatest contribution his administration can make.

Capturing and harnessing the subtleties of the virtual domains in favor of profit and privilege (which will happen without Net Neutrality) will destroy the possibility of us having a national heritage that is a model for electronic and digital freedom and participatory liberty. Which is why the battle presents a clear and present danger that cannot be ignored.

Have at me Chicken Little-ites! Show me why the virtual skies are not falling on us, thanks again to the greedy and unjust profiteer?

The unfettered high-jacking of capitalism that we see everywhere in the non-digital domain demonstrates exactly why the world’s people cannot thrive without having their own access to powerful weapons of mass access, transparency and organization. We will simply not be able to compete against those who do the same in the name of virtual consumerism.

Once a price is put on every portal, it will become much more difficult and much less desirable to turn those doors into avenues for change and democratic empowerment. Of this I am very sure.

The soldiers of what must be Obama’s war for engagement on this front should be the cyber hackers and activists who hold the programming keys to the digital kingdom (and I do mean King, since women are too far out of the gamer games at this point!). For whether people like to admit it or not, the Snowdens et al are fighters against secret and stored hostilities, biases and crimes against governments and natures – all kinds, and particularly those that fire the passions of empowerment.

President Barack Obama should undertake two simultaneous strategies as CEO and Commander, each directed to allow for broad creativity and innovation by those who know the playing fields:

  • DEFLECTING AND DIVERTING: He should go about the task of opening false and appealing “nonpartisan” nonsensical negotiations with conservaterians on the other issues thought to be important (bettering Ocare, immigration reform, debt, etc.). This will keep the contrarians flaming with a false sense of victory; and then,
  • DISRUPTION OF SERVICE TACTICS: He should use his fledgling CEO/CIC capabilities unleash the magnitude forces of cyber agents of all kinds to discover their own ways and means of victor. Massive self-interest machines like Google are already proclaiming their need to harness the potential of the InterWebs, and we must meet and beat them with spontaneity before too much damage is done. But sadly we don’t even know our own capabilities for empowerment until we come together to learn more and practice what we seek.

Conservative ideals are kicking and screaming for survival because facts and technology have killed their Snow White dreams. No one can kiss and awaken the ignorant beauty of a false past, no matter what the fox says (or hides). But in throwing around shiny objects, we may be able to distract their attention why we build a better progress trap.

As for what unleashed, justice-empowered Cyber Warriors might do once freed to program and discover, we’ll not know until they try.

Government of all flavors for generations has built a darn good infrastructure of caring and compassion – underground networks for women involved with domestic violence, communities of color working together to be heard, young people feeling empowered to have a voice in their futures. Now’s the time to set this potential free in partnership with the blended values of profit and social responsibility. Only in this way will we get the full ROI of a culture build on freedom and democracy.

If we don’t, the dangers are clear and present.

I’ll vote for a war like this anytime.