There is a lot of “ink” being spilled over what is going on in Zuccotti Park right now and not all of it is easily understood by the mainstream media and the average American. Just as a point of order I’m not here to proffer an opinion of protests or their efficacy – other than the fact that I’m thankful I live in a country where the peaceful assembly of the people and free speech are protected by law. That said the participants of the Occupy Wall Street (and the other “occupy” movements around the U.S. and world) are generally protesting economic inequity and corporate power/influence that has allegedly become more pronounced over the past several years. The movement was inspired by the social uprisings that occurred during the Arab Spring movement of 2011. Continue reading
Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy, generating eighty percent of jobs and half of GDP. They also create the foundation for healthy, diverse neighborhoods and strong local economies.
So why are we starving these vital enterprises?
The truth is, our financial and political system is stacked against small business. The stock market has become a vast, electronic casino that has abandoned any pretense of allocating capital to productive use. And community banks – a mainstay of small business funding – are an endangered species in a Too Big to Fail world. Don’t look to the government for help, though: politicians at the federal, state, and local levels are often under the sway of deep-pocketed corporations. Meanwhile, Main Streets and downtowns everywhere are slowly dying. Continue reading