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January 22, 2008

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Nonprofiteer

"We cannot perhaps reverse the movement of money upward to the few."--

Of course we can. That's what the progressive tax system, and particularly the estate tax, is for. I'm less concerned with educating the boorish wealthy than I am with separating them from enough of their money to educate all the people who haven't had their advantages. That's why I intend to vote Democratic in November.

Philippe Bradley

Are they generous? What kind of a question is that??

The real questions are: are they self-aware, enlightened about the system they're in, and truly critical of the inequalities that it produces and the appalling human behaviour (materialism, jealousy, isolation, competition) that it promotes? Are they prepared to do something about it?

If not, any 'generosity' is at best the purchase of absolution, no matter how sincere they (we? given elements of my background, it's perhaps hypocritical to say 'they') feel their actions are.

The generosity of the rich is a vital crutch for a crippled system. So I feel bad kicking it, but mainly, I rail against the system. This crutch is educated and often intelligent - so why the self-deception from the realities of its role in the system and its potential for redressing it more permanently?

Enough of the short term measures, the absolution - a system that over the past few decades (and centuries and millennia!) has tended to increasing the aggregation of wealth (in a world where money is so important) in a world where remaining resources are being stretched to unprecedented levels by increasing populations and the spreading of modern life to all corners of the Earth. This is about living sustainably, by thinking about the long term health of the system.

phil

Philippe, you might wish to comment on your sense of what education is most appropriate to one who will see past the appearances to what some call "the root causes." Philosophy, Politics, and Economics? Classics? Something other than law and finance, I suspect.

phil

Nonprofiteer, yes, vote Democratic. I heard Bill Clinton talking on philanthropy. At one point he referred to his "good friend, Slim Helu," the richest man in Mexico and some say the richest man in the world. NAFTA was key to enriching Slim. Now Slim and Bill are best buds. Slim can now do some philanthropy, and Bill will be the hero who encourages him. Meanwhile displaced agrarian populations swim the Rio Grande in search of jobs. Blackwater operates like a private army for hire, as the Pinkertons once worked for Carnegie, breaking strikes. You want what? You want to reverse the flow of funds? Maybe you had better just vote Democrat and leave it at that. You begin to seriously mess with the money and you may find yourself in a Dumpster. America is big on Economic Freedom, but not on Civil Liberty. Ask Hillary to reinstate the Constitution and the Bill of Rights as it was prior to 9/11. See if you can make your voice heard.

Gerry

Ask Hillary to reinstate the Constitution and the Bill of Rights as it was prior to 9/11.

That's the key question, isn't it? Which of the candidates will actually restore the Constitutional barriers that have been ripped down with intent and malice? Who will work for economic justice?

For Hillary, I would not be surprised if she did not change any of it, but I hope she is more humble than that. Barak and John would disappoint me if they won and didn't fix this and more. Will they be able to? That is a harder question, the entrenched forces arrayed against anyone with a mission of real change will always be substantial.

robert guinto

Iowa, Wyoming, New Hampshire, Michigan, Nevada and South Carolina have begun the process for selecting nominees for the various parties. I have not heard any conversation yet from any candidates of the role they foresee of nonprofits in their goals for America. I have heard over and over and over the words “An Agent of Change” and “Making Corporate America Accountable”.

Here are just four questions for an organization and its employees to think about as to which candidate really will make the difference.

Tax exempt organizations still pay a tax on gasoline and fuel. Exxon made 20 billion in profits. The other fuel companies made comparable profits as well. Government and nonprofits do not have enough money available to heat peoples homes who need it. How does an organization absorb the increases in the gasoline and fuel costs without making cuts?

The government pays farmers, mostly large conglomerates, not to grow food. This policy was to help the small farmers to have fixed prices on food. People are going hungry, cannot afford to buy enough food, and food pantries are unable to meet demand. Most of employees make less than a living wage and worry about feeding their family. How does paying millions for not growing food help people buy food or make food available to people?

The government has been trying to resolve the credit crunch due to the bad deals that big financial businesses created. The securities were in many ways a pyramid scheme that was dependent upon prying on US citizens and others peoples money. Now the government wants to help the investors pain and change the rules under the guise it will help everyone. What help has the government provided organizations to lower their exposure to cover costs they do not fund? How does the fact that in foreclosures the investors evict paying renters. How does this help the fact that most of employees struggle to find affordable housing?

Government has mandated educational standards and yet does not allocate sufficient funds to bring schools up to the standard. While there has been an increase in funding that is to be spent in each corner of the USA. Not much for each school to help students. Business demands tax breaks, uses tax loopholes to lower or not pay taxes. The US government spends billions overseas to help the economic growth of other countries and people. How has the standard helped an organization obtain the trained people you need?

We all have a choice. Vote and be heard.

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