January 25, 2010
“Today, default/delinquency/foreclosure rates continue to skyrocket and soon there will be more prime mortgages in arrears than subprime ones. More than 25% of all homes are now ‘under water.’ Millions more families are at risk. Foreclosures continue to rise. The housing crisis at the center of the financial crisis has not been ‘fixed.’”
Continue to think about that figure: “25% of all homes.” In this (undeniable) Second Depression, what would happen to the individuals and families in those homes if they were hit with an additional (Mandatory) Monthly BILL? If 14 million are headed to (or already on) the streets now because of this (ENRONesqued) crisis, how many more millions might end up there because of an Individual Mandate (without a “Robust” Public Option to compel meaningful competition on the private insurer monopolies)? Moreover, regarding the “new homeless” that are still working, how might they feel about not only getting run out of most public areas (“no camping”), but also having to face new IRS fines and “criminal” labels for not fulfilling their personal/family health care purchase responsibilities (8% of income / NOT A TAX)? : “Hey kids, we may not have a house or enough food to eat, but, at least we have the comfort of forced coverage by Blue Shield!!” Too fat? Canceled. Too skinny? Canceled. Homeless? We just increased your subprime premium by 189%. Why? Because there are special diseases out there for people who live like that (not enough showers), and simply, because we can. Petition your government for another subsidy, and we will be happy with the difference.
“These are the stock-in-trade tactics of the ‘power elite’ that C. Wright Mills wrote so poignantly about back in the 1950s.”
Again, Thank You, New Majority.
[“If a mandate was a solution, we could try that to solve homelessness by mandating everyone buy a house.”]
January 18, 2010
“The Weatherproof Garment Company . . . mounted a huge billboard on 7th Avenue in New York City’s Times Square advertising the so-called ‘Obama Jacket.’” “The Weatherproof jacket was sewn in Vietnam by workers afforded few human and worker rights protections [who are usually] paid 27 cents an hour.”
Sweatshop Wages in Vietnam
27 cents an hour; $2.16 a day (8 hours)
$12.99 a week (48 hours); $56.29 a month
$675.48 a year
“The Gospel of Prosperity”
To Hell With the Poor?
January 15, 2010
Haiti’s earthquake is a monumental tragedy. It did not happen because of a “pact with the devil.” Show your support:
Haiti Earthquake Relief: How You Can Help
Network for Good
January 9, 2010
As obvious through a recent PR Release, Rep. Carolyn Maloney believes that sugar-coating status quos will change what we have grown to know (as facts): “That 45-day period gives you nearly two billing cycles to do more than complain — to shop around for a card whose rate and terms of service you prefer.” Wow! Is it change — with teeth? (Please.) We have already been doing that for more than two years – while hearing foreign customer service agents of “banks” like Citi and Capital One tell us “If you don’t like it, you can close your account.” Were interest rates capped? No. Since passing the Credit CARD Act, has First Premier Bank escalated a sub-prime rate to 79.9%, Legally? Yes. “Laws like the CARD Act are reasonable and allow markets to function as market enthusiasts imagine they should: with less friction, more transparency, and with bad actors being driven from the field.” As a historic “bad actor,” was First Premier “driven from the field,” or, was it (like “prime” providers) emboldened? Having collectively witnessed and experienced the results of a rampant savaging of our world’s citizens and overall economic system, is it “reasonable” to “allow markets” to go forward, basically unfettered with any returning or meaningfully modified regulation? Moreover, how insulting (and detrimental) is it to have Representatives selling such a premise? After 100 million people (including the best tier of customers) were gouged into 29.9% (Usury) rates, as redress, did they seek what was “reasonable” in the view of their predators? “Once interest rates, terms and conditions are clearly stated . . . the consumer can make a clear-headed decision about what card to choose.” Got that? New language! New (“responsible”) consumer choices! Same results: “If you don’t like it, you can close your account.” In July of last year, Rep. Maloney seemed to be amazed that Citi, Chase, and BoA, were continuing their predatory practices: “Issuers during this crisis should be using this period to adapt . . . , not raising rates and changing terms on those who are already meeting their obligations.” Yet now, she is praising them – because they are making terms “easy to understand” (with notices): “There are some companies that seem to get it. Chase and Citi have added cards and services to their lineup which are simple and easy to understand. Bank of America sent notices far in advance to their customers explaining the new rules.” Let us respond – vociferously. In this collusive scenario, our incensed reactions and motivated decisions are just as “clear-headed” now as before. When the Act failed to take effect immediately, and did not cap rates or fees, all the relevant “actors” indeed “[got] it” – as we, the public, proceeded “[getting] it” in our updated terms (so to speak).
January 8, 2010
Left out in the Bail Outs? Final straws as the colluding monopolies continue to pilfer us out of existence (at 30% rates)? Have they eased lending? Or, have most dominant lenders used their propped-up fortunes (borrowed at 0.25% rates) to expand (take) – without giving anything back (as supposedly intended)? In direct relation to the latter, as well as ongoing predatory practices from the credit card industry (syndicate), there are positively assertive ways to make stands for ourselves and our communities in this regressive environment:
Time For a Credit Union Movement:
Combined with the following, we can make significant impacts, while sending irrefutable (“bottom line”) messages:
Time for a Community Bank Movement:
Faith Leaders May Move Money Out of Bank of America
Sugar-Coated Status Quos: Let the Markets Grow
Measuring the Move: $20 Million and Counting
Our Money, Our Values
Update (02-23-2013): More than three years since Predatory giants (like Capital One) caused uproars from millions, their practices remain the same. If my local credit union assesses a credit score of 796 combined with a perfect credit history as worthy of a new credit card account with more than double the credit limit and half the interest rate of a card I have maintained (in the most exemplary fashion) with Capital One for almost fifteen years, why would Capital One refuse to either lower the interest rate or raise my credit limit (on the same card/account they targeted along with almost everyone in the nation during their “Due to the Economic Environment” scam of 2008 and 2009)? Because a certain “Environment” continues – without repercussions (they can’t just laugh at).
January 6, 2010
The Washington Post’s publishing of complete propaganda from Peter G. Peterson (Fiscal TImes: “Support Grows for Tackling Nation’s Debt”) is another critical example of the end of all objective credibility within our predominant media landscape. This level of boldness makes it undeniably clear that the Ministry of Truth’s example, regardless of its ultimate immorality, is one now wholly embraced by the majority of the Fourth Estate. “Have you left no sense of decency?”
Washington Post Lets Pete Peterson Write The News On The Deficit
Mogul Buying Up Reporters to Promote Regressive Agenda
Washington Post Lets Lobbyists Write Its Stories
January 1, 2010
Modest Needs Foundation: “Instantly Change a Life”
“Founded in 2002, Modest Needs is an award-winning public charity with a simple but critical mission: we work to stop the cycle of poverty BEFORE it starts for the low-income workers whom conventional philanthropy has forgotten.”
“Small Change. A World of Difference“
Pennies from Heaven