To create a national financial institution, such as a bank or credit union, which is truly responsive to the needs and values of the 99% community. Our own financial institution would act to reduce economic inequality while supporting our crowdsourcing and crowdfunding activities.
Part 2: A General Perspective
Granted, this is a large and complex endeavor. But in the second phase of the FirstRateCrowd project, the planning and implementation tools for tackling such a venture will be in place for our community's use. Although it is not a new idea, it is certainly worthy of a review (more about this later).
In what I think are some interesting aspects embedded in the framework surrounding the subject matter, here are some thoughts on them to help us gain perspective. These thoughts will help to remind us why we are needing to tackle this idea to begin with. This overview I feel is best before getting into the substantive details regarding establishing a banks or credit union.
To start with, it is a rather simple formula as to how most financial institutions basically operate to entice and then control the 99% community. By control I mean to fleece us of our money for their greater wealth while simultaneously describing how they are really there to serve and help us (more on this later). They take our money and in kind offer us interest and services for doing so. Then they loan the money we gave them out to others at a higher interest rate to earn a profit. However, some of this profit is used to hire lobbyist, politicians and others to expand the stature of the wealthy elite. After all, tax, trade, and labor laws do not just grow on trees; they need to be crafted and then massaged through a complex Congressional process to support those who can pay to produce them. As irony will have it, this creative process uses our money to further suppress our wealth and income even more creating a negative downward spiral.
Post by Tushar Rokade
Written Jul 7, 2013
"A company is also called a 'corporate'. The Latin word 'corpus' means 'body' in English. A corporation is thus a 'legal person' created other than the natural birth.
As a legal person, a corporate is capable of enjoying many rights as well as liabilities of a natural person."
"Corporate personhood is the legal notion that a corporation, separately from its associated human beings (like owners, managers, or employees), has some, but not all, of the legal rights and responsibilities enjoyed by natural persons (physical humans). For example, corporations have the right to enter into contracts with other parties and to sue or be sued in court in the same way as natural persons or unincorporated associations of persons."
But we know that corporations, regardless of what was established in the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, are not really people. That is unless you consider the bleeding of green money by a downward sloping financial chart the same as the bleeding of real human red blood.
So, we anthropomorphize our current financial institutions to make them more human like with perhaps a glimmer of a soul. One of the ways to achieve this is through Socially responsible investing of which I am a fan. From my perspective, the more the soul like attributes and accessories a company has, the better. This is especially true regarding the avoidance of "sin stocks" or businesses such as those involving, gambling, alcohol, tobacco, coal, etc, with their destructive consequences upon society and the planet.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Socially responsible investing (SRI), or Social investment is also known as sustainable, socially conscious, "green" or ethical investing, is any investment strategy which seeks to consider both financial return and social good to bring about a social change.
Recently, it has also become known as "sustainable investing" or "responsible investing." There is also a subset of SRI known as "impact investing," devoted to the conscious creation of social impact through investment.
In general, socially responsible investors encourage corporate practices that promote environmental stewardship, consumer protection, human rights, and diversity. Some avoid businesses involved in alcohol, tobacco, fast food, gambling, pornography, weapons, contraception/abortifacients/abortion, fossil fuel production, and/or the military. The areas of concern recognized by the SRI practitioners are sometimes summarized under the heading of ESG issues: environment, social justice, and corporate governance.
Still, we need to ask, why we are in this economic inequality predicament to begin with? I present the following from the history book below in an attempt to point out that the genetic ramifications of greed persisting in humans is similar in from to our close line of ancestors, the monkeys.
"CONTROL SWITCH ON"
The Untold True Story
of the Most Powerful Man in the World
Who Shaped the Planet for Peace
by Ira Teller, Pharm. D., Esq., Published 2010
"We all have our greedy side, a side that makes us want to grasp onto the wealth of the world—but at what price? In the jungle, a hunter half-buries a long-necked bottle, its mouth pointing sky¬ward. The hunter then places candies into the bottle as bait and waits. When a greedy monkey comes along, it reaches in and grasps a fistful of candy but can’t extract its paw. Neither shaking with fear nor screaming at the top of its lungs will unclench the monkey’s fist. The hunter then sneaks up from behind, clubs the monkey on his head, and with a knife skins him bare. What a price that monkey has paid as the hunter first boils, then eats his flesh. Just like the hunter and the monkey, Erika and Ryan would try to entice me. But I was not about to let their enticements make a monkey out of me."
For those who do not see themselves as being capable of such greed, as presented in the above narrative, the following minute long YouTube video, "How to catch a monkey" provides a graphic example from Africa as to how monkeys succumb in a similar way to us with regards to the temptation of greed. Are we humans really that much different? In the end we too pay the price for wanting to grasp the wealth of the world—but at what price? Like our ancestral genetic brethren, we in a analogous fashion grab onto the financial institutions small amount of interest, services, and past ubiquitous free toasters for starting a new account while not being willing to let go. Yet we full well know these institutions, some of which are the worst offenders when it comes to economic inequality, are bent upon doing us great harm.
Part 3: Some General And Rather Limited Details About Banks and Credit Unions
How to Start a Credit Union Bank
From: Sapling, By: Philip Rodney Moon, August 19, 2010
Credit unions serve the role of banks.
Determining need and customers base
Organize a committee to establish a credit union. Individuals do not all need financial experience, but a financial background will help in establishing the credit union.
Settle upon the common bond for membership. Credit unions are limited in the type of customers they can seek. A "common bond" grew out of early credit unions being based around the communities that could monitor member financial responsibility. A common bond is required for a charter and can be based on location, place of employment or industry, religious community or other associations.
Survey potential credit union members. Establish if there is enough interest in the common bond group to establish a credit union. Learn the financial needs of the membership and use that as a guide for establishing the union.
Preparing for a charter
Decide whether to seek a charter as a basic or full service credit union. Basic service credit unions provide savings and checking accounts and small consumer loans. Most new credit unions are chartered as basic credit unions because of lower start-up costs and the lesser financial experience of management. Full-service credit unions require a more developed business plan and experienced management. They can include advanced services like business loans, check cashing and retirement accounts.
Contact the National Small Credit Union Program. The program, part of the NCUA, provides direct assistance to those starting credit unions and those serving low-income people. The NCUA can provide technical assistance, best practices standards and training assistance. The program will put the credit union in contact with a local examiner.
Hire management and staff for start-up. Qualified management and staff are necessary for operating and setting up the credit union.
Determine start-up costs. Start-up costs must be put in the business plan submitted to the NCUA. The costs include all staff needed, office space rental, office equipment and third-party services.
Establish the full business plan, including a listing of common bonds, information from customer surveys, start-up costs, current assets and plans for growth. The information will be evaluated by the NCUA in deciding whether to grant a charter.
Credit Unions vs. Banks – Differences, Pros & Cons
By Angela Colley
Posted in: Banking, Spending and Saving
At a time when banks are making record profits and customers are paying higher fees, many people are seeking financial institutions that will help them save money. One such institution could be your local credit union.
Credit unions offer numerous financial products that help people maximize their incomes and increase their savings, often with fewer or lower fees than traditional banks. But these institutions also have disadvantages which may make them unappealing to some banking customers.
What Is a Credit Union?
Credit unions are similar to traditional banks in the sense that both institutions offer financial products to customers. Credit union members, like bank customers, have access to checking and savings accounts, CDs, loan products, and credit cards.
However, credit unions differ from larger banking chains in two distinct ways:
One key difference is that a credit union is a not-for-profit institution. Since credit unions operate as nonprofits, they can offer higher interest rates on savings accounts and CDs, and lower interest rates on loan products and credit cards.
Another important distinction is that credit unions are member-focused institutions. A credit union is a cooperative, which means it is owned and operated by its members, as opposed to being owned by its stockholders like a bank. Your initial membership deposit makes you a part owner of the credit union and gives you a say in the credit union’s decisions.
Because of this ownership structure, potential members have to meet membership requirements that vary depending on the credit union’s objective. For example, a corporation’s credit union may only accept employees and their immediate family members. A credit union for teachers, on the other hand, may accept any teacher who works for a certain school district. A few credit unions have more relaxed requirements and may simply request that members live in a certain city or area.
The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) manages a database of credit unions. You can search the Find a Credit utility on the NCUA’s website to see if you qualify for a credit union in your area.
Advantages of a Credit Union
If you pass the membership requirements, credit unions have a lot to offer over a regular bank:
1. Higher Interest Rates
Credit unions offer more bang for your buck over traditional banks. They typically pay higher interest rates on all deposit accounts including savings, money market, and checking accounts. These rates range anywhere from 4 to 10 times the amount in interest you would receive from your local commercial bank. Only online banks offer rates that are competitive or, in some cases, better than the rates offered by credit unions.
2. Lower Loan & Credit Card Rates
Credit unions offer the same financial products as banks, but they are much cheaper. Most people use their local credit union for car purchases because the rate is normally lower than dealer financing and because commercial banks are normally a percentage point or two higher than credit unions. Credit unions also offer relatively low APRs on mortgages, personal loans, and credit cards.
3. Lower Fees
Credit unions have few fees compared to national banks. In fact, many offer checks, withdrawals, and electronic transactions free of charge. Many also offer checking accounts with no minimum balance and without a monthly account servicing charge. This could save you hundreds of dollars a year. Credit unions do charge bounced check and overdraft fees like traditional banks, but the amount is typically less. For example, most commercial banks charge $35, but my local credit union only charges $24.
4. Customer Focused Banking
With traditional banks, the management and board of directors want to make as large a profit as possible. Unfortunately, this goal often contradicts the goals of its customers, who want to enjoy low rates, fees, and the best customer service possible. In order to provide this level of service, banks must cut into their profits, which they’re not inclined to do.
However, due to the unique membership structure of a credit union, all members have an equal vote in any decisions made by the credit union, and they all work to serve one another. In other words, member goals aren’t at odds with “management.” Therefore, the credit union has more incentive to provide low rates, fees, and great customer service.
5. Better Service
My first checking account was with a credit union. When I visited, I always got help right away and my teller not only remembered my name, but recognized me on sight. At the traditional bank where I also had an account, there was always a line for the ATM and I was hard-pressed to find a teller who even recognized me, let alone remembered my name.
Because credit unions have small branches, they can offer fast and personal service. Many credit unions even assign one person to work with you. If you visit the branch often, you can develop a working relationship and often receive personalized service from the same person – something large banks have a hard time offering.
6. More Flexibility
If you have a blemished credit history or issues with your employment, or lack a large deposit, most banks will deny you a loan or credit card. Since banks process thousands of applications a month, they streamline the process by setting requirements on income, credit scores, and deposits. If you don’t meet these requirements, you are simply declined without further consideration since one lost customer means little to a large bank in the long run.
On the other hand, because credit unions are smaller and have a member-focused philosophy, they are more willing to work with you even if you have a troubled financial past. A credit union may also make exceptions for existing members in good standing should any unexpected issues arise with your application for a loan or credit.
7. Fewer Complications
Most credit unions offer checking and savings accounts with simple, easy-to-follow terms. For example, my former credit union offered free checking. Every deposit, debit card purchase, and check withdrawal came free as well. They also offered a free savings account, provided I maintained a minimum balance of $5.
Many traditional banks also offer free checking and savings accounts, but they come with loads of rules and provisions. For example, I have a “free” checking account with my bank, but in order to keep it free, I need to make at least 12 signature purchases with my debit card each month, write 10 checks, or set up 2 direct deposits into the account. I also have a “free” savings account, but to keep it, I have to make 2 withdrawals of at least $500 from my checking account into my savings account each month. If I don’t meet that requirement, I earn less interest for the month. It is these kind of restrictions and inconveniences that give a leg up to credit unions.
Disadvantages of a Credit Union
Despite the easy rules and low rates, credit unions have a few drawbacks as well.
1. Fewer Options
Credit unions offer fewer financial products than larger national banks. For example, Bank of America currently offers 5 different types of checking and savings accounts, 29 different credit cards, and a host of loan and investment products. In comparison, the credit union where I live offers only 2 types of checking and savings accounts, 2 credit cards, one mortgage loan, one personal loan, and one auto loan.
With less to choose from, you don’t have as much freedom. By going with a larger bank, you can select the financial products that suit you best, which could mean lower fees or more rewards.
2. Inconvenience with Less Locations
I left my credit union because they only had three physical branches and a sub-par online banking system. Once I moved away from the primary branch, I had no way to visit the bank. I could still mail in the occasional personal check to be deposited, but it just became too much of a hassle.
Credit unions work on a smaller scale than most banks, and that can mean inconvenience. In addition to having a limited number of branches, most credit unions keep shorter business hours than other banks, and offer fewer ATM machines.
3. Poor Online Services
Credit unions don’t always keep up with the latest in banking technology. In the past few years, banking has gone almost entirely online. With my national bank, I can view my current balance, transfer funds, apply for credit cards and loans, or pay bills – all in an easy-to-use, online interface. I’ve also elected to receive my statements electronically and I linked my Mint.com account to my bank for budgeting purposes.
While my credit union did offer online banking, it was primitive at best. I could log on and see my recent account activity, or transfer funds to another credit union account, but could do little else.
Credit unions often don’t have the necessary funding to build a large online presence, so they typically don’t offer many web-based features. And because they’re smaller than most traditional banks, they don’t always work with budgeting software like Mint.com or You Need a Budget.
Final Word: Who Should Use a Credit Union?
Credit unions offer free or low-fee basic accounts – enough options for basic banking users who simply need to deposit paychecks, pay bills, and make debit card purchases. Many credit union members love the personalized service they get and save hundreds of dollars on fees or from lower interest rates on loans and credit cards.
But credit unions may not work for someone who wants specialized financial products and advanced online services, or who needs their financial institution to have multiple or national locations. If you’re looking for a checking account that offers rewards, for example, you may not be happy with a credit union. Or if you’re constantly on the road and want access to fee-free ATMs and teller interaction, you may be better off with a national bank.
There’s also the corporate structure of a bank to compare against the member-centric structure of a credit union. For some people, this feature alone is enough for them to bank at a credit union in spite of potential inconveniences.
There are also new rules regarding how we at FirstRateCrowd may qualify as an association for a Credit union.
From: National Credit Union Administration
How to Add Associations to Your Field of Membership
NCUA LETTER TO FEDERAL CREDIT UNIONS
NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION
1775 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
DATE: July 2015 LETTER No.: 15-FCU-03
TO: All Federal Credit Unions
SUBJ: How to Add Associations to Your Field of Membership
ENCL: (1) Highlights of Associational Common Bond Rule Implementation Policy for OCP Staff
(2) Supervisory Letter to Field Staff on Associational Common Bond Requirements
Dear Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer:
If your federal credit union (FCU) serves associations in your field of membership, or is contemplating doing so, you will benefit from the enclosed new NCUA guidance describing our modernized associational common bond rule.
On April 30, 2015, a majority of the NCUA Board approved a new final rule on Associational Common Bonds to provide regulatory relief to federal credit unions seeking to add associations to their field of membership. Effective July 6, 2015, NCUA provides automatic approval of 12 categories of associations:
Religious organizations, including churches or groups of related churches;
Parent-teacher associations organized at the local level to serve a single school district;
Chamber of Commerce groups (members only, not employees of members);
Athletic booster clubs whose members have voting rights;
Fraternal organizations or civic groups with a mission of community service whose members have voting rights;
Organizations with a mission based on preserving or furthering the culture of a particular national or ethnic origin; and
Organizations promoting social interaction or educational initiatives among persons sharing a common occupational profession.
Based on past experience, the majority of associations are now eligible for FCU membership under one of these 12 categories of automatically qualifying groups.
NCUA has updated the Field of Membership Internet Application (FOMIA) system to accommodate the 12 categories of associations that automatically qualify as valid associations. The new system allows FCUs to receive an immediate electronic confirmation of approved applications.
For associations that do not qualify for the above categories of pre-approved association groups, NCUA is streamlining the approval process. The rule clarifies the four most important criteria NCUA considers to approve a valid association:
Whether the association provides opportunities for members to participate in the furtherance of the goals of the association;
Whether the association maintains a membership list;
Whether the association sponsors other activities; and
Whether the association’s membership eligibility requirements are authoritative.
How To Start Your Own Bank
From: The Huffington Post
11/11/2010 03:49 pm ET | Updated May 06, 2016
By Rebecca Harrington Author
Starting a bank sounds like an impossible Gilded Age enterprise; more befitting of a Rockefeller than today’s small business owner. But it’s not as impossible as one might think — or as risky.
According to Smart Money.com, “the three-year failure rate for new banks is less than one in 1,000,” which, compared with a “60 percent failure rate for new restaurants,” is not so horrible. The profits are not too shabby either. The site reports: “6,770 community banks earned $67 billion over the past five years.”
In a recent Wall Street Journal interview, even Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan says that he would start a bank — if he were 50 years younger.
Inspired by the Move Your Money campaign, the Huffington Post is investigating different options to make banking more local and personal. For enterprising individuals, one way to make your banking experience more individual could be to start your own. Here are some tips on how to get started.
Identify a Need
One of the first things any prospective small business owner must assess is the need for his or her business in the community. Being a bank owner is no exception.
When starting Global Trust Bank in Mountain View California, James Wall analyzed his neighborhood to see if it presented a need.
“The community banks in the general geography are all gone,” said Wall, president and CEO of Global Trust Bank. Global Trust was situated in Silicon Valley and many of the small banks in the area have recently been bought up by big conglomerates. That left a hole in the banking community which Wall and his partners were only too happy to fill.
Global Trust Bank opened on December 3, 2008.
“The customer has the ability to walk in the door and meet face-to-face with the senior executives and get decisions made on the spot” says Wall. “It’s one-stop shopping for very high-quality personal service.”
Capital and Regulation
Generally banks need about $12 to 20 million in capital to get started. Many community banks are able to raise that money locally. Mike Schultz, the CEO of Harmony Bank in New Jersey, found that 90% of the capital he raised came from within the community. In Harmony Bank’s case the board of directors was made up of business leaders from within the community, including a 40-year-old law firm, a construction company and an accounting firm.
Once capital is assembled, the process is hardly finished. The application to the regulatory agencies is an arduous process, especially in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Community bank applications have slowed since the recession.
“The regulators have gotten much more strict in their review of applications,” says Wall. “It’s probably harder today to get a bank approved than it would have been a couple of years ago.”
Once the regulatory approval process is over, however, the bank is free to go into business.
Benefits to Community Banking
Richard Whitsell, president & CEO of Fresno First Bank, has started three community banks — or as they call them in the industry, de novo banks (from the Latin for “new”). Whitsell used to work at Bank of America but, after a long career there, he needed a change.
“ get closer to real banking, and making real decisions and having an impact on the community in which we live,” Whitsell reflects.
Currently Whitsell has 22 employees. He sits on the same floor as the bank’s transactions and enjoys having a direct impact on the community he resides in.
“We really do create an economic force in the communities that we serve,” says Whitsell.
Part 4: The idea for developing a financial institution to support the 99% is not new.
The Occupy Bank | The Occupy Bank Working Group – OWS NYC
The Occupy Bank Working Group - OWS NYC. ... branch locations, that can be used to fund a bank dedicated to building the economic prosperity of the 99%.
January 8, 2012
Americans are furious about excessive big banks fees and dishonesty and are eager for a change.
There are substantial economic inefficiencies in the current system, like exorbitant executive salaries and expensive branch locations, that can be used to fund a bank dedicated to building the economic prosperity of the 99%.
The Occupy Bank reflects and represents the goals and values of Occupy Wall Street everywhere.
Help us get started. Put your dreams for The Occupy Bank in a sign or graphic form and post them in the comments below. Sorry that we can’t offer free money. Here are some examples:
Returned checks and denied credit card transactions are expensive, embarrassing and always seem to hit at the worst possible times.We hate these charges just as much as you do.The Occupy Bank wants to allow you to set your own secret alerts to be sent your choice of telephone number, email, text or Twitter accounts warning you when funds are limited or not available so you can take action BEFORE problems occur.
We even want to allow you to choose your own custom subject line so that it’s not obvious the message is from The Occupy Bank. The Llamas Are Loose or the Monkeys Are Missing… chose your own secret warning line.
Have you tried to read your loan or credit card agreements and found they were impossible to understand?All of The Occupy Bank’s legal agreements will be simple to read and understand.Elizabeth Warren will be proud.
We want to be the sort of bank you dream of… a bank that always operates with truth, integrity and honesty, trying to put our customers’ financial well-being above all other goals while still making a reasonable profit and focusing on enhancing your economic prosperity.
Do you know how much huge, expansive bank branches cost?
You pay for them as a customer.
The Occupy Bank branches will be just as nice, but just a little bit harder to find.
We want to keep our costs under control and pass the savings on to you.
The Occupy Bank – We’ll help you prosper!
* Note: As far as I can tell, The Occupy Bank has not become a viable venture at the time of my posting this idea.
Part 5: Do not be fooled, the elite are not your friends.
Do the wealthy elite have ulterior motives when saying they want to serve you? Consider their financial institutions. They are places of confidence where you are greeted with a smile, warmth, and a firm handshake. Yet there are an awful lot of Judas goats to help guide you in for the fleecing.
A Judas goat is a trained goat used in general animal herding. The Judas goat is trained to associate with sheep or cattle, leading them to a specific destination. In stockyards, a Judas goat will lead sheep to slaughter, while its own life is spared.
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... asgoat.jpg
In a similar vein, for those of us old enough to remember, and those young enough to still want to learn, a reminder about serving people from the Twilight Zone:
"To Serve Man" is episode 89 of the anthology series The Twilight Zone. It originally aired on March 2, 1962 on CBS. The story is based on the 1950 short story "To Serve Man", written by Damon Knight. The title is a play on the verb serve, which has a dual meaning of "to assist" and "to provide as a meal".
As the episode opens, Michael Chambers is seen lying uncomfortably on a cot in a spartan interior. A voice instructs him to eat. He refuses. He asks what time it is on Earth, and begins to tell the story of how he came to be here (aboard a spaceship) in flashback...(continues).
Here is the full version of episode #89, "To Serve Man"
Perhaps it is time for us in the 99% to have our own financial institution. We should have the power and resources to do so in some form. At least in the near run, a credit union with its less costly structure to initiate, is a viable candidate. The funding for a bank would most likely require an Angel of some type sympathetic to our cause, some form of equity crowdfunding, or other types of investments strategies. It is more a long shot in the race depending upon the goals and judgment of our community. However, FirstRateCrowd does not seem adverse to establishing a profit oriented business to meet its goals as is indicated in their FAQ section.
"Q. Will FirstRateCrowd members be able to work on projects not related to reducing economic inequality?"
"Answer: Yes, certainly. Our ability to do good in the world to a large extent will come from our financial success. As long as a project meets our organizational principles and it has our community member's approval it can be done.
Projects not directly related to reducing economic inequality, that is, those that are considered only for financial gain, allow our organization to grow. This gives us the power to accomplish other projects that are related to reducing economic inequality. Projects not directly related to financial gains, but showing great promise to reduce economic inequality, are also considered by our members if it is the will of our community. This balance of project selection will be maintained by the community members voted into the various organizational positions and those members who have voting privileges. They will decide the direction our organization takes by selecting which projects we work on.
As an example, the FirstRateCrowd platform will be using advertisements related to the content of our various crowds to earn income for our organization once we are in the second phase of the project. These crowds and their related advertisements are not necessarily related to reducing economic inequality directly but the overall effect is to support our platform financially in its goal to reduce economic inequality.
The ideal project is one that not only reduces economic inequality directly but also gains financial resources for our organization. The FirstRateCrowd platform is an example of such a project. It provides the needed financial gain from our advertisements and simultaneously supports the platform which is, in and of itself, an example of a company reducing economic inequality due to its inherent structure. Other ideal projects will present themselves in the future for our members to consider."
From the financial modeling done by FirstRateCrowd, as displayed in the operational overview, "At the end of the goal challenge, we expect a full membership of 1,024,000 individuals."
Community Platform Profits = Profits Locked/Platform Growth + Profits For community usage
2nd year Total = . $459,294 . $229,647 . $229,647
3rd year Total = $3,365,755 $1,682,878 $1,682,878
4th year Total = $7,062,864 $3,531,432 $3,531,432
5th year Total = $12,193,354 $6,096,677 $6,096,677
6th year Total = $16,671,926 $8,335,963 $8,335,963
7th year Total = $21,455,798 $10,727,899 $10,727,899
8th year Total = $22,957,704 $11,478,852 $11,478,852
"Finally, it is projected in year eight of the venture, nearly $23 million will be available during that year alone, just for member cash rewards; additionally, nearly $23 million will also be available to divide between growing the community platform or for member discretionary use. Over this approximate eight-year period, the community will have a cumulative $166 million at its disposal."
"With these profits, a great many exciting and innovative projects can be accomplished for the betterment of the world by the community."
Accordingly I ask, why should we continue to serve ourselves upon a silver platter only to be eaten by the rich? Let us instead be of assistance to ourselves by looking into the idea of establishing our own financial institution.
“To create a national financial institution, such as a bank or credit union, which is truly responsive to the needs and values of the 99% community. Our own financial institution would act to reduce economic inequality while supporting our crowdsourcing and crowdfunding activities.”
“Accordingly I ask, why should we continue to serve ourselves upon a silver platter only to be eaten by the rich? Let us instead be of assistance to ourselves by looking into the idea of establishing our own financial institution.”
After reading the full post, I get a strong sense that a credit union rather than a bank would be the preferred financial instrument to help those of us in the 99%. However, the bank concept does provide a good juxtaposition of the two ideas for the sake of comparison.
Here are my initial thoughts on the matter:
1) The capitalization cost for the credit union is much less compared to a bank especially in a startup organization such as FRC. The goal of a credit union too help those in the 99% with a credit union is still reachable even at a lower cost.
2) The Occupy Wall Street movement failed in its agenda to set up a people’s bank. Perhaps this bank was too grandiose an idea compared to a credit union.
3) Many individuals in the 99% are already using other credit unions. Having them change will be difficult unless there is a compelling reason. Maybe their growing dire circumstance of economic in survivability will be enough to convince them to band together under one unified banner. Economic pain can be a great motivator.
I think it is a good idea overall but needs to be explored and analyzed once the Community Business Plan is up and running. From what I read, the FRC business plan provides for a large commitment to the planning process. Here a sophisticated project such as this can be duly evaluated for feasibility. Although the idea will not solve the plight of the 99%, say compared to the potential of the Economic Inequality Rating App, it could offer some help to those who have become marginalized and live on the edge. Currently 15% of all Americans live in poverty with this number translating roughly into 45 million or more people. For them, just small fees and costs have more of an impact on their economic lives than those who are not in poverty. It would likely offer some relief to those who are impoverished.
In spite of a well thought out first idea, I do take some umbrage with Doctor A’s statement, “why should we continue to serve ourselves upon a silver platter only to be eaten by the rich?” Perhaps it is a mere parsing of his words but his statement implies a sense of finality to the process; it is like a hog being slaughtered, roasted, and then served with an apple in its mouth. Rather, I see the process the elite financial institutions employ as more of a parasite to host relationship. They suck out the vital fluids of sufficient quantity but just enough to keep us, the host, alive. This way there is still more for the next round of taking. And take they will. Talk about sustainability! Well, the elite banking institutions have had many generations with which to hone their craft.
I dare say, it is going to take a lot more than just holding hands. Here is what we are up against:Let us join hands to make this project a viable one!
I found this on the SingularityHub
Japan’s SoftBank Is Investing Billions in the Technological Future
By Peter Rejcek, Aug 29, 2017
https://singularityhub.com/2017/08/29/j ... al-future/
Of course when asked why they are doing all of this the response was:Japan’s SoftBank Group, led by its indefatigable CEO Masayoshi Son, is shooting to invest $100 billion over the next five years toward what the company calls the information revolution.
The newly-created SoftBank Vision Fund, with a handful of key investors, appears ready to almost single-handedly hack the technology revolution. Announced only last year, the fund had its first major close in May with $93 billion in committed capital. The rest of the money is expected to be raised this year.
The fund is unprecedented. Data firm CB Insights notes that the SoftBank Vision Fund, if and when it hits the $100 billion mark, will equal the total amount that VC-backed companies received in all of 2016—$100.8 billion across 8,372 deals globally.
The money will go toward both billion-dollar corporations and startups, with a minimum $100 million buy-in. The focus is on core technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics and the Internet of Things.
Really? For the betterment of humanity? Have you ever heard a company say they are doing this for the detriment of humanity, for the deterioration of humanity or even for the failure of humanity? My guess is they are traveling down the road to the singularity to make money and control the world just like the other banks are doing. Frankly, we are in deep trouble given the size of this investment in an attempt to control the future of technology. It is exceedingly obvious that those of us in the 99% will have little if any say into how this money is to be used but the "handful of investors" supporting this deal will have all of the power to do what they want.This spending spree begs the question: What is the overall vision behind the SoftBank’s relentless pursuit of technology companies? A spokesperson for SoftBank told Singularity Hub that the “common thread among all of these companies is that they are creating the foundational platforms for the next stage of the information revolution.All of the companies, he adds, share SoftBank’s criteria of working toward “the betterment of humanity.”
We must act now or become roadkill.
Worse yet, state players such as Vladimir Putin also have their eyes on controlling the technological singularity as he is quoted to say,It is exceedingly obvious that those of us in the 99% will have little if any say into how this money is to be used but the "handful of investors" supporting this deal will have all of the power to do what they want.
"Artificial intelligence is the future not only of Russia but of all of mankind," said Putin. "There are huge opportunities, but also threats that are difficult to foresee today."
"Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world," he said, adding that it would be better to prevent any particular "pair of hands" from achieving a monopoly in the field.
http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/01/world/put ... index.html
Who Vladimir Putin thinks will rule the world
Radina Gigova CNN September 2, 2017
Although the USA has a very high rate of inequality, Russia has an even higher rate. Putin, who controls Russia's military, its people, and technological development, is no friend of the 99% by any stretch of the imagination. What's more, he is known to suppress those who oppose him including the use of extrajudicial killings. He is more than just the person who sits at the top of an oligarchy, he is a kleptocrat and considered by many to be the wealthiest person in the world. This is because he was able to pilfer his country's wealth because of his power.
See https://www.usnews.com/news/world/artic ... eport-says and http://time.com/money/4641093/vladimir-putin-net-worth/
Most frightening is Donald Trump's admiration of Putin with an obvious secret desire to model himself after Putin's success. The road kill we will all become, as alluded to by Jessica, will be under the weight of a speeding eighteen wheel truck. Ouch!
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