One Good Cut

When you first learn about how our money is controlled, created and loaned you might very well not believe it. In fact, it is both so simple and so outrageous that often people think it is a lie. The reality is that our privately owned, corporate banking institutions have the power to create money out of thin air, then charge you for it. There is no real effective oversight either. Another lesser known fact is that the Federal Reserve, which set interest rates for banks and oversees banking in general, is not a entirely government agency. It is mostly controlled by the very private, corporate banks that it oversees.

All of this information just shows how distorted our banking systems and how reprehensible the actions of these banks are that led to a massive taxpayer bailout. They still show record profits and give out million dollar bonuses. These are just people who manage our money, not doctors or nurses or teachers – people who give real benefit to our society. Instead, because of the economic collapse caused by our bankers we have to lay off doctors, nursers, police officers and teachers while banks pull in still greater profits. Do they really provide such a useful service to our society that they should make millions while our basic social services are cut?

The creation of our money should be entirely in the hands of our publicly represented government, where we can see and control it! Banks provide a very basic service to our society, but when it comes down to it they shouldn’t run the world or have the power to ruin it.

One Good Cut is a great little film put together by Positive Money that outlines this issue and how we can repair it. Check it out:

Check out more on the One Good Cut website and take action!

Financial Policy the Definition of Insanity

Abandon Ship!
Abandon Ship!

The old saying goes that the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing again and again expecting different results.” There is talk now of more money needed to keep the big banks afloat. It has become apparent that Bank of America “needs” billions of dollars more (roughly $34 billion, with a B). If it didn’t work the first time, why should it now?

As we shake our heads in disbelief from that news, I should also mention the updated regarding the audacious bonuses that insurance giant AIG paid out after the government bailouts. Turns out AIG’s estimates of the bonuses paid were off by a littleby a factor of FOUR!!!

The total number is believe the be around $450 million in bonuses, given (for incredibly poor behavior) as “retention bonuses.” Seems to me their employees are not going to find jobs elsewhere, so a retention bonus is superfluous at best and deceptive at worst. That is nearly half a billion in taxpayer money given to greedy CEOs already worth more than the average American will make in their lifetime.

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Incentives for Healthy, Eco-Friendly Remodels

Richard Moyle, with the Mesothelioma Cancer Resource Center recently inquired about posting an article on this blog in relation to the new tax incentives that have been placed into law to “jump start” our economy. Of course, we don’t need a jump start – we need a whole different engine.

We need an economy that runs not on some insatiable growth-hungry, greedy engine, but a sustainable, development-centered engine. That being said, I agree with Richard on the need to inform people about the risks of Asbestos when remodeling your home. I am also pleased that our government is giving incentives to make our homes greener. And since I am currently studying to take my LEED AP Exam (hence the thin number of posts this week), this is relevant to my present state of mind.

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Say No to Bonuses

AIG paid more than 20 times the average US yearly income to executives in bonuses.

We own a substantial amount of companies that were on the brink of going under not to long ago. Now they are trying to defend what they call “retaining” bonuses: extra money to keep on executives. These are not the average “good-job, here’s a grand” bonuses that most professionals might be accustom. These are more than $1,000,000 bonuses. That is 20 times the average yearly income in the US – in a yearly bonus! 52 people who received these payouts are no longer with the company.

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Why the Stimulus Packages Will NOT Work

Recently congress passed the nearly $800 billion “stimulus” package (passed with strong republican opposition). For more information on the package itself, you can even go to the website devoted to it to learn more. There are many mixed views on it’s ability to help, harm, or do nothing to our economy. I confidently believe that it will likely be one of the latter two – harm or do nothing.

We may see a short upswing, perhaps even a temporary rebound, but it is likely to be years from now. We have yet to really see the impact of 3.6 million lost jobs until each one of those people run out of unemployment benefits – that’s when the proverbial shit will hit the fan.

However, this stimulus package is no better than using a bucket on a barn fire – any relief will be an illusion and not a fix to the real problem. The system doesn’t work, so the stimulus will not work. Consider the following…

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