Saturday, July 30, 2011

There's gold in them thar (over the) hills


I couldn't just retweet @Dmacc502's mention of this Miami Herald article Reverse mortgage scam targeted seniors - I had to take some time to shout out that it's only going to get worse.


Big Target

The baby boomer generation is well-documented as the wealthiest generation in American history. It is simply a function of human nature and supply and demand that, where there is so much money, there will also be a proliferation of those motivated to try to get their hands on their own ill-gotten pieces of it.

Monday, July 4, 2011

The growing gap of income inequality

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Search for terms such as "income inequality" or "wealth gap" will turn up some interesting reading. One series of articles I've actually read is by Timothy Noah for Slate called The United States of Inequality: Introducing The Great Divergence. There's good reason this topic is blipping more radars these days.


A block of quotes from Mr. Noah's introduction quickly puts things in perspective:
  • In 1915, University of Wisconsin statistician Willford King published The Wealth and Income of the People of the United States;
  • he was troubled to find that the richest 1 percent possessed approximately 15 percent of the nation's income (it was likely closer to 18 percent);
  • modern income tax was created in part to ostensibly prevent disparities in wealth turn the United Sates into a European-style aristocracy;
  • there had never been a time when class warfare seemed more imminent;
  • that was when the richest 1 percent accounted for approximately 18 percent of the nation's income. Today, the richest 1 percent account for 24 percent of the nation's income.
How did this happen? Thus begins Mr. Noah's examination of a host of possible factors. It's a fascinating and recommended read which arrives at the unambiguous conclusion: this is a problem that needs to be fixed.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Banks have it backwards


The concept that a corporation is a "separate legal entity" requires a closer look. These two articles provide the context for the problem:

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Understanding Morgan Freeman on Black History Month



Morgan Freeman's misunderstood and misused "I don't want a Black History Month" quote during an interview with Morley Safer on 60 Minutes is begging for clarification. Let's break down his six statements which, in context, show clearly that what he's really saying is not that Black History Month is not useful, but that Black History is all-encompassing and should be considered normative rather than marginal.

1.    "I don't want a Black History Month."
2.    "You're going to relegate my history to a month?"
3.    "Which month is White History Month? When is Jewish History Month?"
4.    [on Racism]. "Stop talking about it."
5.    "I'm going to stop calling you a 'white man'. I'm going to ask you to stop calling me a 'black man'."
6.    "Black history is American history."

First, here's the video:

Saturday, January 29, 2011

BHM Toronto History - Old Cicero, the last Grand Old Man


Black History Month is for everyone.  Unlike Thornton Blackburn, William Peyton Hubbard was a full Torontonian, born and raised. Much like Blackburn, Hubbard would also establish a Toronto institution.

Hubbard's parents were Virginia slaves who took the Underground Railroad to freedom, finally establishing themselves in Toronto. Born free in Toronto in 1842, Hubbard went to school to be a baker on the grounds currently occupied by Ryerson University. While most schools in Ontario were segregated, Toronto schools were not.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Have Your Story Told

Global Toronto is having a contest - tell them, in 500 words or less, what Black History Month means to you.  It closes January 31, 2011. For more information, see http://www.globaltoronto.com/story.html?id=4109241

Couple of quick notes:
  • while it is a "contest", it doesn't matter if you win or not. What matters is that we have an opportunity to tell our stories, to share our experiences and continue to stitch our threads into the tapestry of this great city. When these stories are told, everyone wins.
So, get writing!