Week 11x – Closing Statements for Course

Beginning the class I did not know what the course entailed but I am glad I took this class because it opened my eyes to a whole new world. Coming in as a business major its a whole new aspect into life and a way of thinking. I want to discuss the aspect of the economy and business and how this correlates to business. Corporations try and use loopholes in the rules and regulations to continue to manipulate the market in the favor. That is when the government has to enforce regulations to make sure the conduct of these corporations are done properly. After being in the finance industry for quite some time I have noticed that the most ethical companies are the companies that are the most successful in the long run. Investors look to see which companies have the best management and implementation of these practices that will last in the long run. The companies that try and manipulate the labor forces by going and doing business in other countries will have investors act negatively towards the corporations by pulling their equity if the companies are not acting correctly, or ethically. Watching for the companies that act ethically will act in ways of sustainability will provide the companies with practices that include helping the environment and reduce waste. for example if companies think of ways to reduce waste, this will reduce costs and thus increase their earnings. Alternatively if companies just try and look for loopholes to continue to act in ways for profit only, will be the corporations that eventually die out unless  they change their practices. For example my firm votes on proxies on the behalf of the clients so i know that recently the proposal for Exxon to provide more transparency  on their practices passed. This will make the company have to comply to these practices and thus change to company for the better. This means that the company should change up their business into a more environmental approach by discontinuing the current line of business in heavy investments on oil, coal, and natural gas and move to a business more closely tied to renewable energy like solar and wind, which is a start.

Most of the time individuals do not know the power they hold as shareholders towards the corporations. I have seen items for proposals in proxies proposed by individuals who own small shares, even 25 and their ideas have made it to the ballot. If a person gives a great idea that makes it to the ballot and has proper support from the big investors, the sky is the limit to the power they hold. This just goes to show that the people are still in power in comparison to the big corporations that seem to be in charge. Enrolled in this class has opened my eyes to the world of possibilities once the people join together and get involved in something they believe in.

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Week 10 – Untold History of United States

The untold story of United States begins with the war on terror after 9/11. President Bush ordered bombings, arrests and interrogations on innocent people in an effort to find the people guilty. Because of the treat of terrorists America backed the Presidents choices of no remorse. Guantanamo Bay has been known as a home for the torture of these terrorists. Regardless if they were guilty or not the intense treatment even resulted in suicides. Most of the people were released but only after humiliated and tortured. Bush began to spread the message through the media to make the perception of the adversaries as a national threat. People in the news were paid by the military to get on the TV and speak negatively about the threats. The entire message was repeated in different texts to make the people believe that there is an actual threat. With the backing of the people, the government made decisions on  their own. The people of the world protested about the entire choice to bomb Iraq, but none of that stopped the government to continue to keep the fight on and the negative propaganda towards these countries. The change came to America when his presidency ended and Obama took over the office and came to represent the other half of the country, the humanist, anti-war, and global side. This was seen as a new America. Though, under the Obama term, the companies that caused the economic crash were bailed out with 700 million dollar in government money, helping the “Too Big to Fail” companies. The taxpayers were the ones who were forced to pay up, in a time of high unemployment which only made matters worse. The system was structured that had average CEO incomes 343 times larger than the employees which were way higher than any other country. In this time the average American income dropped from 126,000 dollars in 2007 to 77,000 dollars in 2010. The hope for promised change was failed to be reached with the other chambers in government handed to the Republicans. Obama continued the acts against the “terrorists” with the same military actions. The whistle-blowers were sought out after by the government when anyone came out to reveal the truths. The government used a globalist method of actions, but acted in a similar to remind the world that America is the global power. American government used portrayed other countries to be seen as threats. So what Obama did was cut the spending on military infantry and spent extra on aerospace and cyberspace defense. This allowed America to have increased surveillance from the inside out. Under the Obama presidency, America increased the members of countries in the United Nations as well as increasing military bases in most of these countries to have an added global presence in a strategic design. As the government continued to portray the new foe in being China, they added efforts to increase allies in the harboring countries to have the military ability needed in case of war. In a reference to Star Wars, when in charge of the world through advanced technology, the leader will lead to tyranny.

In looking to the future the people of America have to decide if the decisions we make are just to the people of Earth and actually beneficial to people. Many of the regimes have ended and America will have a time where they are not the top power when the other powers decide to actually team up or a great power like China becomes able to become the next power. America has an increased importance in the choices they make because the do have so much power, and to act responsibly, instead of acting liking as they can cover up their mistakes.

Week 10 – A New Story of the People

Charles Eisenstein begins the Ted Talk speaking how the little things people do matter in the world, even though the outside world might not be aware. Other countries see the world as more for you is more for me, while our country sees the world as more for you is less for me. This way of thinking can be adopted for a better world to live in. The new story is spoken to be adoptive of these types of thinking to help the world by many regenerative methods.  The old story way of thinking is that the individual is too small to have influence on the world when there is so many bigger powers on this world for it to matter significantly. The logic says what good could it possibly do, and this is a old way of thinking that must be changed. People think that force and shame will be the only way to change this mindset when that is not actually true. When people change the mindset of thinking that a corporate CEO is different then “us” and think that everyone is similar, not separate, will the movement be more proactive to see there is a chance. It goes to speak about love and not hate. I can see that the spread of love to people that technically is not one of “us” can change the foundation of the way people have mindset in place. Part of the love, speaks to the interconnection and reliability of people toward each other. The new story speaks in the personal level and how it starts at each and every person first rather then a group. He continues to speak about the lack of people working with our hands and continuing to work with nature hand in hand. The purpose of people is to work together and empower each other.

Eisenstein makes great points which people have to work as one and this is something that starts with people on an individual basis. We can’t sit and wait for a bigger force to begin this movement with force. It takes intuition to begin the initiative to think more regenerative and live a life with more interconnection with our neighbors.

Week 9 – Who Owns the Commons?

800 years ago the Magna Carta was drafted. This gave limitations of the King of England, in which we have adopted in our own Declaration of Independence. The Magna Carta gave the commons the ability to have a say in their lives. People claim that the Magna Carta was the first time that the reign of the people rose against the reign of the powerful. Part of the Magna carta gave power to the people of the woods. This means that the commons have the right to their woods., their land. On the contrary the US used that to their advantage which took power away of the people of the woods in American, the indigenous people. The regime of the commons go against the norms of today. Today a person has to have a job, work for their employer to make them a profit so they can get compensated to provide for their family. The commons actually have another way of thinking, one that lacks the oppression for a greater power to force this idea on to the people. The commons provide for themselves and make a more reliable social community, one that does not rely on the corporations to provide for them. The change away for the lives of commons have been a century after century fight. Peter Linebaugh would carve today’s Magna Carta will incorporate the top 1% change their ways of living. This will be something as a process and will not be en rooted right away.

The commons are an essential part of the people and the economy and once we have empowered them, while reduced the powers of the rich is when the lives of the people will change for the better. The commons are the real representation of the people of the country. The commons have to be put back into their rightful place and that is their power instead of the current distribution of power which ties in with money.

Week 9 – How Capitalism Changes Intimacy and Family – Wolff

Wolff speaks about the top 5 companies and the compensation of the CEO’s. On a yearly to weekly scale. Combined they get compensated over 300k a week. The alarming fact is that they also have an increasing pay on a yearly basis. The wealth distribution is a bigger problem than people think. While the rich get richer, the rich hold their cash rather than putting it back into the markets and the economy. The rich continue to hoard their cash and this is not a stimulating act. Bloomberg is predicting that the failing of big companies which will result in a bail out from the government. We are also experiencing deflation. This is the lowering of the price of goods, opposite of inflation. Businesses do not like this because the production for something now will suffer in prices when goods are sold which will lower their earnings. This will also result in people postponing the buying of goods because the customers will wait to buy. Meaning the companies will lower prices again to sell the product, thus deflation increases. The wealth distribution comes down to the current form of capitalism with democracy in which we have in the United States. This allows competition to rule and we know that in business competition is run by the people at top with the most money, thus power. In this country, a man like Bernie Sanders, a known socialist, is ridiculed by the press because people refer to socialist as an evil force. In actuality, socialist views look for a more equal way of living which helps the poor.

I believe that the socialist views go against much of the corporations. Since socialist views give more opportunities and alley ways for the people to actually live a better life, socialism in reality is not all that bad that people make it to be. Socialist views are perceived by people to be a communist/ dictatorship sort of life because of past leaders abusing their power and America steps in to perceive the public as an evil corrupt way, thus the news portrays any socialist as a problem to humanity. This all originates from the big corporations giving money to lobbyists to make the people running for office to essentially work for them. Our system in place is actually much more corrupt than any communist or socialist view. When we change the social  environment to think more socially and less about earnings for corporations, then we will see a change in the economy.

Week 8 – Noam Chomsky: Democracy Is a Threat to Any Power System

Noam Chomsky is a professor of Philosophy at M.I.T.  and a worldly known intellect. He speaks much into about the people against the power and how this began. Chomsky speaks how throughout the history of the economy from the time of the Depression, the labor forces have continued to defend themselves from the big corporations by fighting for their rights. As time went by over the course of long fought years the labor unions enacted laws to protect themselves but corporations have always pressured those issues. He states that in the 1970’s the big corporation regulations were dismantled by the companies themselves. The laws intact to protect the good of the people were changed after those times. Propaganda is one way used to sway people’s opinion or convince otherwise. The wealthy can use communications to persuade the majority of the people that a rule is beneficial to them, while the rich are actually benefiting. He states that Democracy is a threat to any democracy system. Also Chomsky gave a pretty great statistic, that 70% of the population are disenfranchised with the voting system. Most of the people that vote are the rich white males just like the time in the 1800’s. The numbers of voters are declining and the demographic of people in that group mostly have socialist beliefs. Chomsky goes on the record to say that hand picked congressmen are funded by the rich to support the wealthy’s beliefs. This type of government, our current Democracy, is being spread throughout the world. Complications with other types of government can be escalated when referring to Russia. Also it will not take much to set off a nuclear warfare, and with the ability in today’s technology the nuclear power this is unavoidable.

I feel that Democracy is an obvious threat to the Power system because it spreads the power among many. The is a clear reason why the few in power would oppose these ideas. The wealthy will use anything in their power to control the information spread among the people so they can have a(n) (false) impression on the majority. I do believe the part of the problem is that the common people do not know there is a problem.

Week 8 – Matt Taibbi: World’s Largest Banks Admit to Massive Global Financial Crimes

The video begins with a report of some of the biggest banks: Citibank, JP Morgan Chase, Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland pleading guilty to misusing their power to manipulating the price of currencies and interest rates. The “companies” pleaded guilty for these crimes. But no person was charged with these crimes just the company. This means that no person goes the jail and the company takes the fall. A big time trader texted in chat saying “If you ain’t cheating you ain’t trying.” This was happening in the Forex (Foreign Exchange) markets which is the biggest of market and actually the least regulated. Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders came out to say that he wants to make an effort break up the big banks. He wants to put the individuals and corporations on notice that the pressure is on. Unfortunately, as we know he did become the president. The people of Democracy Now! released a quote saying the banks are still too big to fail because “The top six bank companies are considerably larger than before….Banks can still use taxpayer-backed insured deposits to engage in high-risk derivative transactions.” Since, Dodd-Frank the banks have gotten bigger and bigger from mergers and acquisitions, which make them harder to oversee. The worse part is that the top executives are not going to be the ones who pay for the wrongdoing, the shareholders are the ones that will be hurting.

In sustainable practices, this is not a sustainable measure. The fact that these banks are so enormous make it more difficult. Given the magnitude of their power, they should be more monitored not less. I believe that the government should be more aggressive in trying to find the wrongdoers and make examples out of them. It should make the companies feel obligated to do the right thing and encourage the people to increase their ethical standard. The standard of ethics are not common with everyone as they should be. I believe that the company’s executives have a big role in their practices. The message they spread for more morale will trickle down to the first employee. The ethics play a large role in this because they are in charge of people’s money, the markets and exchanges of goods which effect the economies of the entire world.