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October 2011

Inspiring Moral Reform on Wall Street

I told the Bank of Wealth Bondage when they hired me that I had cheated my way through ethics in College. Even my under graduate degree is bogus. I took one course on Ethics in Sing Sing, to facilitate my parole, while doing time for playing three card monte in Central Park without a permit. Now I make more in one day teaching teach business ethics than a legitimate intellectual makes in a lifetime. After this I am slated to run the SEC.  What America needs is moral reform, not more regulation.

Goldman Pulls out of Fundraiser after learning it is Honoring Occupy Wall Street

A spokesman for Goldman Sach declined to comment on the controversy Saturday. NY Daily News

Lesson learned about philanthropy. The needs of both funder and grantee must be met, as in a good marriage. I could say a lot of things about my own patron, Wealth Bondage, that might be awkward for she who rules us all, Mistress Candidia, but I hold my tongue, or use it respectfully. For $5,000 all honor is due. That is stewardship. She gave me $50 once and more will follow if I am good.

Will The Demands of The Occupation be Funded?

Make NYC a functioning focal point for other people’s assemblies to dissolve and overcome the shadow government of big banks and corporations that is embedded here. Now that we know what the occuppiers want, progess should be swift.

I was hoping that we would see Rockefeller Foundation Senior Staff among the signatories, as committed as they are to social justice. At least these People's Assemblies are not calling for the dissolution of the foundations embedded with the Fortune 500, the media,  and the 400 dynastic families who own half the nation's wealth and want the other half too.

Meanwhile, with a flashlight I am going about New York in broad daylight looking for the root causes of wealth disparities. Keep looking, my funders tell me. Let us know if you find anything! I say, No, Boss, I can't find a thing. Maybe there are no root causes! Maybe it's God or something, or Nature. Maybe it is like complicated beyond human comprehension. They say, Keep up the good work, Phil, and the expense checks keep on coming. It is a racket like anything else. They pretend to want social justice, I pretend to seek it. It is all harmless. They mean well and so do I.

Maybe, in return for my loyalty, and relying on my proven incompetence, my funders will get me appointed to a Blue Ribbon Commission to study the Occupier's demands. I could present my official findings as to the causes of injustice - nada. All I would need is Foundation letterhead and a wax seal. Or just the empty envelope. I could tell the Occupiers that the envelope had contained my findings and a large check to address the issues by redistributing 50% of the national wealth downwards, but the envelope opened somehow and I lost the contents.

People, Planet, Profits, who Decides?

I work with wealthy people, Fortune 100 Oligarchs, their lackies in the think tanks, and with the theorists of philanthropy. We are in agreement with Occupy Wall Street that business must serve people, planets and profit. We disagree only over who decides. In our view, we as profiteers, and we who serve the profiteers, decide how to prioritize our wealth versus yours, our gains versus planetary collapse. As we hold all the cards, we really view your unrest as quaint. What are you going to do? Starve out there in the streets? Do you think we give a crap? Your starving in the street is justice. Why should your life matter more than that of a starving beggar in Calcutta?  Now, I must be off to work on Catalytic Philanthropy to cure Malaria in the Sudan.

Wealth Inequality Endgame

Joseph Stiglitz in Vanity Fair on inequality.

The top 1 percent have the best houses, the best educations, the best doctors, and the best lifestyles, but there is one thing that money doesn’t seem to have bought: an understanding that their fate is bound up with how the other 99 percent live. Throughout history, this is something that the top 1 percent eventually do learn. Too late.

How can wealth be redistributed from the few to the many? Taxes, gifts, or unrest. Giving is a great strategy if the alternative is tax. Otherwise the wealth of the most selfish dynastic families will compound much more quickly than that of the generous ones. That would leave the most hardened dynasts facing a desparate people. Which is how we get to Pinochet's Chile as an image of what is meant in the Chicago School by Freedom. And you will find conservative think tanks defending Pinochet as such a model.

What says Bill Schambra at Hudson's Bradley Center for Philanthropy and Civic Renewal? He is strangely silent on wealth inequality for a populist employed by such a wealthy board. In think tanks too the political is the personal. Wish I were as practical. I could be bought very cheaply, but have had so few offers at any price. The Morality of the Rich has now risen to a matter of national importance. Could I maybe head up a government agency devoted to Moral Renewal of Dynastic Wealth? We could tie it into campaign finance reform. And a military draft.

Live Positively Through Better Brand Conversations



Live positively in Wealth Bondage through interactive story telling. We must move from insights to provocations to insure that the world is a better place for those in Wealth Bondage - as we all are and must be forever and ever, Amen. Data is the new soil,  marketing is the old manure, and the brand is Messiah.  Let's not just bs people, let us authentically converse and build emotional connections. We must exploit the ecosystem of relationships. The public is the body of the brand, united in the holy bubbling sacrament.  We must focus on the evolution of story telling from art and revelation to adverstising to from and within the body, psyche and soul. In this way the world will at last be redeemed. All will drink and be made whole again beyond confusion.

SOCAP, Zizek, and Redemption of our Bond

Bob Ottenhoff at Guidestar:

I went to the SOCAP conference in San Francisco this year and left feeling a little uneasy.  While it’s exciting to think about new capital being generated for attacking social problems, most of the talk sounded as if using nonprofit vehicles as a way to attack long standing problems is no longer effective or what is needed.

Philanthropy 2.0, 3.0, etc. I wonder if we could back-rev to Jesus and 13 Apostles, one with silver at his feet. Results, inputs and outputs, investment - have we no other language of love, solidarity, redemption (I mean as in redeeming a bond or note, debt, or convertable stock, or stock option). Apparently Zizek in visiting Occupy Wall Street suggested that the holy spirit moved amidst the crowd. He also alluded to Wall Steet pagans worshiping false gods, like a bull, or something. Fidelity to the holy spirit - that is a theory of true social change, from a former Marxist politician. An investment worth making, costing not less than everything and returning maybe zero. The way of the cross - surely that is good business, rightly considered, not for each as frail bodies, but for all as human souls, or a species?

Solutions may involve business, but the language to frame what is needed must exceed the language of business as the language of adults exceeds that of young children.

Urban Justice Center

Urban Justice Center,123 William Street 16th Floor New York, NY, 10038

In 1984, Douglas Lasdon founded the Urban Justice Center as a one-person operation in a burned-out building in East Harlem, to provide badly needed legal services to one of New York City's most underserved populations – single, homeless adults. To make his services accessible to his clients, he conducted outreach legal clinics directly in soup kitchens, making us the first organization in the country to use this approach...The Urban Justice Center serves New York City's most vulnerable residents through a combination of direct legal service, systemic advocacy, community education and political organizing.

Related reading, perhaps.