Highways, Banks, & Congress

Congress to Eliminate Billions in Wall Street Subsidies to Fund Repair of Nation’s Highways by C Robert Gibson a Contributor of US Uncut

Lawmakers Weigh Cut in Fed Payout to Banks by Ryan Tracy a Reporter for The Wall Street Journal

A US Uncut article popped up on my Facebook discussing Congress possibly defunding banks to pay for the repair of US highways. This tickled my suspicious nerves. Of course, I had to look deeper into it. Then I found The Wall Street Journal’s article. This could actually be a thing.

Here is the problem with cutting the Fed dividend rate from 6% to 1.5%: Banks are counting on that 3.5% difference when creating short term (yearly) and long term budgets. So Janet Yellen is right, this does have unforeseen consequences. For many of them, Congress members are just diverting their eyes away. Some of the bigger banks could make up for the difference by not paying their execs HUGE bonuses, but not only will that not happen, the smaller banks don’t have that leeway.

I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand I am all for requiring the rich to help keep this country great — or make it great again — by financing infrastructure directly and indirectly. On the other hand, a 3.5% drop in expected revenue/income/etc is a BIG drop to makeup.

As stated previously, the “big” banks have areas they could cut that would not affect their customers, clients, or the “average” American. These include: not remodeling the million dollar exec offices, lowering exec bonus, reducing “marketing” budgets for their largest clients (businesses spend money winning and dinning their clients, especially their big client. It is reasonable to assume banks do too), and much more. However, we can all assume that these reasonable adjustments will not be implemented. Instead, overage charges will increase, and loan terms will become less favorable and the “perks” will be reduced for the smaller clients.

Banks will react to this, they can’t not react. In the end, someone is going to be hurt, and I doubt it will be the wealthy.

Business Women and the Challenges for Minorities in the Business World — Commentary on an Article

Fundraising While Female: Women Entrepreneurs and VCs On How to Bridge The Gender Gap by Clare O’Connor a Forbes Staff member

This article has a some great advice. My favorite is if you have no idea what you would do if someone wrote you a million dollar check, it is too early to fundraise. My least favorite is “Look for ways to be unimpeachably good,” said by Sarah Kunst.

This advice upsets me, not because it is ‘wrong,’ but because it is true. An old saying, [insert minority group here] have to work twice as hard as white men to be seen half as good. This is a sad reality. Now before you get your panties in a bunch, we all understand that the ratio is not 4:1 (twice for half). However, minorities are hardly ever seen as the equal of the non-minority for equal work.

Once I spoke out about this inequality in a college class and the instructor had the audacity to tell me that there wasn’t a discrepancy between the pay of men and women and when asking for a raise I should bring up the fact that I am a woman and use that to my advantage. HELLO!

If I have to blackmail my employer for a pay raise by crying sexism in order to get the raise, the gender gap still exists… or I am a poor employee. We as a society should not have use our minority status in order to get equal footing. However, until we can get equal footing without it, inequality will remain a problem.

To eliminate the whitewash, each minority group has its own disadvantages, and if you are part of multiple minority groups, the issues compound. Are you a female? Strike! Are you anything but white? Strike! Are you a foreigner? Strike! Do you have an accent ? Strike! Are you not a citizen? Strike!

There are so many things that  can be held against you. Our society needs to recognize this so that we can overcome it. The good news is that there are many people who have. We have many social scientists that recognize that we all have bias and have discovered ways we can overcome our own bias. The bad news is that there are many people who refuse to recognize their own bias.

It is disturbing that minorities have to work harder and be better to be recognized as equals, competitors, and such.

What advice gets your panties in bunch? What do you think can be done to eliminate bias and discrimination?

The Lie of “Have to”

WARNING: This is a pet peeve rant.

Growing up, I recall adult family members repeatedly saying that I “have to” do something. I had to love person X. I had to work with people I didn’t like. And, many more such statements.

As a young adult, I decided that “have to” was a lie. I do not have to love anyone that I do not want to love, and I most certainly do not have to work with anyone I do not like working with. After much thought, I have decided that the only thing I have to do is die–and as medical science advances that to may one day be a choice. Oh, choice to is a must.

Whether you choose option A, or option B, or no-definite decision, it is all a decision.

Instead of telling our youth “you must” or “you have to,” I suggest telling them “think of the consequences.” This will provides the opportunity for our youth to make rational informed decisions AND helps foster creative thinking.

You might not have to love all of your relatives; however, you may find reasons to have a working relationship with them. This lesson will follow through to work relationships as well.

You most certainly do not have to work with anyone you do not like. You most certainly have the option of quitting. However, what are the consequences of those decisions? Do you have a work contract? What happens if you break that contract? If you don’t have a contract, what will happen when you put in your resignation?

We most certainly do not have to do anything we do not want to do. However, there are consequences to every decision we make. If we want a better life for ourselves and our youth, we need to be able to understand the consequences and be able to predict them.

What lies did you hear while growing up? What do you wish you learned earlier in life? LET ME KNOW!

Gun Violence in America

The article I read: Congress Still Bans CDC Scientists from Studying Gun Violence by Janet D Stemwedel a contributor to Forbes

In the wake of more violence in America, it seems as if members of Congress are purposefully trying to make the government more and more ignorant. I was completely unawares that the US Congress had forbad the research into gun violence by government scientists. How ludicrous is that!

Whether you are for or against gun regulation, it is irresponsible to disallow research into the matter. If you are for gun regulation, allow research so that we may understand whether or not we need regulation. If you are against gun regulation, allow research so that we may understand whether or not we need regulation.

This brings to mind that a state congress has also forbad the testimony of scientists when *discussing* the issue of climate change. Was that Florida? I don’t recall. Why are more and more anti-science politicians being elected to state and federal offices? Why are those anti-science politicians then being allowed to be part of science-policy-making committees?

The way I see it, if a group is against globally approved research, they must fear that the answers will prove them wrong.

It is sad to be an American today. It is so hard to be educated in this country.

*****

EDIT: I should also add, that the CDC is not the appropriate agency to study gun related deaths. Also, there have been studies from other agencies over the years, though I don’t know which ones. However, gun violence — especially, mass shootings — remain a problem, and we as a society need to work towards an answer to reduce such events. We need to know why events happen, so that we can take action against them. “This will always be an issue, so let’s do nothing” is not an acceptable stance.

Making it work in Syria

Somehow, This Tech Entrepreneur Pulled Off A Conference In Damascus In The Midst Of Civil War

Never ask Syrian’s to stay in their country. Those who have left, left because it is not safe. However, we should applaud those who do stay. Those brave individuals are trying with all their might to create a country of innovation and prosperity. I hope with all my heart that one day, I can travel to Syria and other middle eastern countries and witness their beauty.

Companies verses Countries: The Topic of Syrian Refugees

Do Companies have an Obligation to Help Syrian Refugees?

Whether companies have the obligation to help Syrian Refugees or not, they are helping. Some even want to help more, but … governments are standing in their way.

Companies are donating MILLIONS of dollars to help organizations provide for the refugees, such as shelter, food, medication, and education. Many companies have even open up internships and job training programs, but they are hesitant to put more resources into providing such opportunities for the refugees because …. countries across the world are clarifying their legal status. By not clarifying the refugee’s legal status, the governments are cause ambiguity towards whether they have the right to work or not and making it unclear whether or not they will be deported.

This makes companies hesitant to put resources towards job training and internships for them because at any moment – near or far – the refugees could be sent off. This wastes the company’s efforts towards job creation.

World leaders, I call on you to do your part in ensuring the wellbeing of those fleeing Syria.

Leading Employers: Local vs National

A few decades ago, GM was the largest employer in America — so I have been told and I am lazy and don’t want to look it up.
Today, Walmart is the largest employer in America — so I have been told and I am lazy and don’t want to look it up.

The problem that people propose is that when GM was the largest employer, people were paid well on average and the their was a large middle class. Since Walmart does not pay well on average, it is one of the causes of the decline in purchasing power of the middle class — among other issues.

My thought is this…. America is HUGE. Like super huge. Though I agree with the premise of this argument, there are additional factors at play. Yes, having a low wage employer dominate the job market does affect the quality of the middle class. That is on the macroeconomic scale. There is also the microeconomic scale.

You may or may not be aware that there are several magazines (FORBES being one of them) that publish on occasion Best/Worst Cities in America for Business/Middle Class/Whatever.

A single company is the leading employer in a nation because it has multiple locations. As the leading employer, its average wages does affect the national economy; however, that company is not necessarily the leading employer on a local level.

On a local scale, a manufacturer, bank, or other higher paying company may be the leading employer. Those companies have far fewer locations thus have far fewer employees than the nationally leading employer. This local leading employers have a greater impact on the economy.

During our fight reduce income inequality, we must identify our local leading employers and insure their feet are held to the fire too. This does not take from the social responsibilities for a company like Walmart.

Who is the leading employer in your area? What is their average wage?

Who am I?

Who am I? Who am I?

I am the person who takes on the world’s problems personally. The world’s problems are my problems.

I am the person who sees us a global community.

I am the person who is sadden by the xenophobia created by artificial borders.

I am the person who sees the wars in the middle-east as not wars of other people, of other lands, of not-my-problem.

I am the person who sees the homeless on the side of the road and is grief stricken that I am not in a position to help.

I am the person who hears about the wars, the genocide, the terrors of the world and it breaks my heart.

There are members of my family who have said that the Syrian refugees should stay in their own country–indirectly because they are muslims. This makes my blood boil to hear that people say because of an unrelated demographic-characteristic, someone should not flee violence, and the possibility of death.

To me such people are no better than ISIS or Bashar al-Assad the president/leader of Syria. ISIS is beheading people and al-Assad is bombing everything trying to get rid of ISIS. Then the people sell all of their possessions trying to leave, only to get crammed on a boat to the point of double or triple capacity. Many die trying to leave. Men, and women. Young and old. They die at sea.

The ones who make it out then face xenophobia from many of the nations that surround them. They are not allowed to work. In Turkey, they are not allowed to even travel! This is outrageous. For those who shout, “well, why don’t you take them into your home?!” My answer is that I would. In a heartbeat. If only our country would allow them asylum.

I am the bleeding heart liberal. Is that not better than a cold hearted conservative?

Let us stop name calling. Let us set aside our hatred for others. Instead of saying “why help this group of people when ….”, let us work towards bettering the world. Let us work toward bettering humanity.

Who do I want to be in 10 years?

Who do I want to be in 10 years?

In 10 years, or today if possibly, I would like to be a productive member of society. Not just holding down a 9 to 5 job, and paying my taxes. I want to contribute to the betterment of society. Unfortunately, I am young and an idealist, among so many other labels.

There are many jobs and careers that I understand CAN ASSIST in the betterment of society; however, those jobs I do not see in themselves as a benefit to society. That mentality is part of my upbring, and I am working on changing that. With that said, I can’t for my own well being, work in those fields.

In another age, I might have been a philosopher–if there were ever an age that a woman could be such. The future is such a wonderful and dreadful thing to envision. My dream career would be to shape that future. Which may be why economics, especially behavioral economics interests me so greatly. However, even that may not get me to where I want to go.

In 10 years, I would like to see our civilization to the point where fewer people where food and shelter insecure. It is heartbreaking to see so many homeless and working poor struggling to get by. As a humanitarian, I cannot sit by and allow this to be.

In between now and the end of my life, I would like to be part of the change in society that eliminates poverty. Is this realistic? In my wording most definitely not. However, there is no excuse as to why we all should not be working toward the increase standard of living of society as a whole–especially the disadvantaged, the disabled, the homeless, the poor, and the ALL of society.