How Brain Drain Contributes to Regional Inequality – CityLab

Across the United States, there are fewer states gaining brainpower than draining it, according to a new report from the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee.

“Perhaps the biggest problem afflicting America is its widening geographic divide between the winners and losers of the knowledge economy. A raft of studies has documented the growing divergence between places based on their ability to attract, retain, and cluster highly educated and skilled workers and to develop high-tech startup companies.Talented and skilled Americans are the most likely to move by far. While the overall rate of mobility among Americans has declined over the past decade or so, still, between one-quarter and one-third of U.S. adults have moved within the previous five years, a higher rate of mobility than just about any other country on the globe. But behind this lies a tale of two migrations: the skilled and educated “mobile” on the one hand and the less educated “stuck” on the other.”

Source: How Brain Drain Contributes to Regional Inequality – CityLab

Baby Bonds: A Plan for Black/White Wealth Equality Conservatives Could Love?

Baby Bonds: A Plan for Black/White Wealth Equality Conservatives Could Love?

Darrick Hamilton calls for spreading the benefits of asset-ownership to all Americans.

 

JOIN THE INSTITUTE IN DETROIT FOR A CONFERENCE ON RACE & ECONOMICS, NOV. 11-12.

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Black farmers were deliberately sold ‘fake seeds’ in scheme to steal their land: report

Black farmers were deliberately sold ‘fake seeds’ in scheme to steal their land: report

Black farmers in the Mid-South region surrounding Memphis used science to uncover a multi-million scheme to put them out of business and steal their farmland, WMC News reported Tuesday.

At the Mid-South Farm and Gin Show show in March of 2017, African-American farmers believe that Stine Seed Company purposefully sold them fake seeds.

Thomas Burrell, president of the Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association, explained how black farmers were receiving one-tenth of the yield as their white neighbors.

“Mother nature doesn’t discriminate,” Burrell said. “It doesn’t rain on white farms but not black farms. Insects don’t [only] attack black farmers’ land…why is it then that white farmers are buying Stine seed and their yield is 60, 70, 80, and 100 bushels of soybeans and black farmers who are using the exact same equipment with the exact same land, all of a sudden, your seeds are coming up 5, 6, and 7 bushels?”

The results were so stark, resulting in millions of dollars in losses, the farmers took their seeds for scientific testing by experts at Mississippi State University.

The tests revealed the black farmers had not been given the quality “certified” Stine seeds for which they had paid.

Burrell suggested a land grab was the ultimate motivation of the perpetrators.

“All we have to do is look at here: 80 years ago you had a million black farmers, today you have less than 5,000. These individuals didn’t buy 16 million acres of land, just to let is lay idle. The sons and daughters, the heirs of black farmers want to farm, just like the sons and daughters of white farmers.”

“So we have to acknowledge that racism is the motivation here,” Burrell concluded.

The farmers have filed a class-action lawsuit in United States District Court for the Western Division in Memphis.

A state legislator is also seeking an investigation into the scheme.

Tennessee Rep. G.A. Hardaway (D-Memphis) vowed state government would investigate “issues which have negatively impacted our black farmers.”

“We will explore the avenues — whether its civil, whether it’s criminal — dealing with fraud,” Rep. Hardaway vowed.

One farmer victimized, David Hall, explained why he had paid extra for high quality seeds.

“We bought nearly $90,000 worth of seed” Hall explained. “It’s been known to produce high yield, so you expect it, when you pay the money for it, to produce the high yields.”

The farmers “were effectively duped,” Burrell told WREG-TV. “It’s a double whammy for these farmers, it accelerates their demise and effectively it puts them out of business.”

“No matter much rain Mother Nature gives you, if the germination is zero the seed is impotent,” Burrell reminded.

Watch:

https://cdn2.trb.tv/iframe.html?ec=l1bHRwZjE6KOmV4BrvZctDofERl116ez&pbid=ffbcf8e010eb4c238d3dda4eb935d806&pcode=J5b3E62qXs0__5N6rt4w1q4FbPSD

Black Men In Chicago Are Taking Over Abandoned Property & Rebuilding The Neighborhood With The Youth By Creating Their Own Jobs – Ear Hustle 411

Black Men In Chicago Are Taking Over Abandoned Property & Rebuilding The Neighborhood With The Youth By Creating Their Own Jobs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicago, Illinois – Black men are demanding the city help them with the resources to help rebuild the community. These men are literally in the process of taking over abandoned property and training at risk youth to help fix up the properties that the city is trying to demolish.

Many of the properties are generally in pretty decent condition as far as the frame being solid brick and these men are saying they are not going to allow the city to tear down perfectly good homes.

A lot of the homes are boarded up and abandoned due to subprime lending where the Lenders/Bankers sucked the resources out of certain communities, left them in total disarray, foreclosed on the properties and resold many of them for pennies on the dollar to Hedge Fund Investors.

This happened by way if issuing Interest only mortgages where the borrower paid only the interest and no principal and when the term was up, they were forced to pay interest plus principle which the majority was unable to do therefore losing their properties while hedge fund investors bet against the people and walked away with tons of properties.

These investors slowly take over certain areas which are considered prime real estate and move the minorities out and gentrify the neighborhoods.

The men called on Alderman Michael Scott 24th Ward, Alderman  Jason Ervin 28th Ward,  and Alderman Walter Burnett 27th Ward and all the Aldermen across the city to help them make this happen.

The group said they are going all over the city and taking over the 20,000 properties that are sitting idle waiting to be torn down.

They then said that the people in the community want the buildings demolished however they don’t realize that for every building that is demolished, property taxes goes up.

The spokesperson Mark Carter said NHS, CIC and Globe Trotters organizations were supposed to help their parents and grandparents but instead they allowed the city to demolish their homes.

The men said the Mayor and Alderman sit back and watch these children get murdered in the communities and they refuse to sit back and do nothing about it.

He said they are demanding  the resources be given to them and they can rebuild themselves.

Check out the video:

 

VideoPlayer

 Photo Credit:  Mark Carter- Facebook

Source: Black Men In Chicago Are Taking Over Abandoned Property & Rebuilding The Neighborhood With The Youth By Creating Their Own Jobs – Ear Hustle 411

“The Case of IRP6” – OUR COMMON GROUND – Saturday, January 25, 2014

 “The Case of IRP6” 

IRP Solutions Corporation

How a business dream became a nightmare


Saturday, January 25, 2014

01-25 IRP6-3

Call In – Listen Line: 347-838-9852

       LISTEN LIVE

OUR GUESTS:   Cliff Stewart,  Sam Thurman, IRP Solutions Partners

Rose Banks and Ethel Lopez, A Just Cause for the IRP6

 According to a report prepared by Dr. Alan Bean, Executive Director of Friends of Justice, “the IRP6”, owners of a company in Colorado that developed software for law enforcement, known as the “IPR6”,  Kendrick Barnes, Gary L. Walker, Demetrius K. Harper, Clinton A. Stewart, David A. Zirpolo and David A. Banks, “. . . are six devout and dedicated executives serving hard time in a Colorado prison and their loved ones don’t understand why.  From the perspective of those who worked and worshiped with these men, the fingerprints of racial bias are clearly visible to the naked eye.” Bean further observes, “FBI agents and DOJ prosecutors never saw this (their prosecution) as a civil matter, a case of well-intentioned businessmen incurring business debt.  Instead, scores of federal officials concluded, in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, that this Colorado software development company had no prospects of success, no interest in success, and existed for the sole purpose of defrauding its business partners.

​This is a story about how prosecutorial tunnel vision created a tragic communication failure. ​The criminal justice system exists to give everyone a chance to tell their story. ​Juries decide who brings the best story to the table. ​Bad things happen when the system amplifies one story while silencing the other. (Dr. Alan Bean, Executive Director, Friends of Justice).

irp6

The IRP6 case concerns this African-American company (IRP Solutions Corporation) in Colorado that developed criminal investigations software for federal, state and local law enforcement. The case of the IRP6 is currently under appeal in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. The men were convicted in 2011 after fighting the U.S. Government pro se at trial and have been incarcerated at the Federal Prison Camp in Florence, Colorado since the summer of 2012. The IRP6 sentences range from 7 to 11 years in federal prison for non-violent, non-drug-related charges. The IRP6 continue to maintain their innocence. (D. Ct. No. 1:09-CR-00266-CMA)

According to IRP proprietary documentation, the company was actively engaged with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and was working toward a $12 million pilot project. IRP also provided pricing to DHS for their Confidential Informant module of nearly $100 million. Company documents and email communication show that Amy Kurland, Philadelphia Office of the Inspector General was in detailed talks with IRP. “Just one of these contracts would have resolved IRP’s debt issues, but due to interference the deals didn’t close, and they (IRP) were not allowed to go into detail in trial to show all of the facts,” says Thurman.

“When the case went to trial in the fall of 2011, the jury never learned that the federal government had repeatedly frustrated IRP’s attempts to conduct legal business,” writes Dr. Bean in his soon to be released narrative, “Money for nothing: how racial bias destroyed six lives, stymied a black owned business and outraged an entire congregation.”

Bean’s examination raises a critical question, “Why did the U.S. Attorney’s office criminalize a debt collection case?” He concludes that “the only justification is the bogus business theory: The IRP case departs from the typical failed-scam scenario for the simplest of reasons: the government’s case can’t stand up to scrutiny. The fraud alleged in the federal indictments is a mirage.” “The bogus business theory is bogus,” adds Bean.

“This case is troubling. We are seeking a congressional inquiry,” says Sam Thurman of Just Cause, a a volunteer organization that was established in 2005 by a group of concerned citizens who were witness to a federal criminal case that was grossly over-criminalized. “When justice can be blocked and people are not allowed to defend themselves by presenting solid evidence, the fairness that should exist in our legal system becomes like vapor; it vanishes.” Though court records show that an analysis was requested, in the end the analyst’s report showing the legitimacy of the business was ultimately denied.

Court records show that prior to commencement of trial, David Banks, Chief Operating Officer for IRP Solutions filed a pro se motion requesting that Judge Christine M. Arguello recuse herself due to her personal relationship with Holland and Hart attorney Greg Goldberg. On March 8, 2004, Greg Goldberg hand-delivered a letter to Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Kirsch requesting that IRP executives be criminally charged and articulated what statutes they should be prosecuted under. (D. Ct. No. 1:09-CR-00266-CMA)

For more information about the story of the IRP6 or for copies of the legal filings go tohttp://www.freetheirp6.org/ . For more information on the ongoing appeal or A Just Cause, contact Sam Thurman at (877) 573-5554 or visit http://www.a-justcause.com/.

The case of IRP Solutions (IRP6) is currently under appeal (US District Court for the District of Colorado, Honorable Christine M. Arguello, D. Ct. No. 1:09-CR-00266-CMA; Case Nos: NO. 11-1487, Case Nos. 11-1488, 11-1489, 11-1490, 11-1491 and 11-1492). For more information about the story of the IRP6 or for copies of the legal filings go to http://www.freetheirp6.org/ . Appellant Court panel includes the Honorable Senior Judge Bobby R. Baldock, Honorable Judge Harris L. Hartz, and Honorable Judge Jerome A. Holmes

    OUR COMMON GROUND with Janice Graham

 “Speaking Truth to Power and Ourselves” 

email: OCGinfo@ourcommonground.com

LISTEN LIVE and Join the OPEN Chat:

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Everything Is Rigged: The Biggest Price-Fixing Scandal Ever

Everything Is Rigged: The Biggest Price-Fixing Scandal Ever

The Illuminati were amateurs. The second huge financial scandal of the year reveals the real international conspiracy: There’s no price the big banks can’t fix

Illustration by Victor Juhasz

By 

OUR COMMON GROUND Voice

April 25, 2013

Conspiracy theorists of the world, believers in the hidden hands of the Rothschilds and the Masons and the Illuminati, we skeptics owe you an apology. You were right. The players may be a little different, but your basic premise is correct: The world is a rigged game. We found this out in recent months, when a series of related corruption stories spilled out of the financial sector, suggesting the world’s largest banks may be fixing the prices of, well, just about everything.

You may have heard of the Libor scandal, in which at least three – and perhaps as many as 16 – of the name-brand too-big-to-fail banks have been manipulating global interest rates, in the process messing around with the prices of upward of $500 trillion (that’s trillion, with a “t”) worth of financial instruments. When that sprawling con burst into public view last year, it was easily the biggest financial scandal in history – MIT professor Andrew Lo even said it “dwarfs by orders of magnitude any financial scam in the history of markets.”

That was bad enough, but now Libor may have a twin brother. Word has leaked out that the London-based firm ICAP, the world’s largest broker of interest-rate swaps, is being investigated by American authorities for behavior that sounds eerily reminiscent of the Libor mess. Regulators are looking into whether or not a small group of brokers at ICAP may have worked with up to 15 of the world’s largest banks to manipulate ISDAfix, a benchmark number used around the world to calculate the prices of interest-rate swaps.

Interest-rate swaps are a tool used by big cities, major corporations and sovereign governments to manage their debt, and the scale of their use is almost unimaginably massive. It’s about a $379 trillion market, meaning that any manipulation would affect a pile of assets about 100 times the size of the United States federal budget.

It should surprise no one that among the players implicated in this scheme to fix the prices of interest-rate swaps are the same megabanks – including Barclays, UBS, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and the Royal Bank of Scotland – that serve on the Libor panel that sets global interest rates. In fact, in recent years many of these banks have already paid multimillion-dollar settlements for anti-competitive manipulation of one form or another (in addition to Libor, some were caught up in an anti-competitive scheme, detailed in Rolling Stone last year, to rig municipal-debt service auctions). Though the jumble of financial acronyms sounds like gibberish to the layperson, the fact that there may now be price-fixing scandals involving both Libor and ISDAfix suggests a single, giant mushrooming conspiracy of collusion and price-fixing hovering under the ostensibly competitive veneer of Wall Street culture.

The Scam Wall Street Learned From the Mafia

Why? Because Libor already affects the prices of interest-rate swaps, making this a manipulation-on-manipulation situation. If the allegations prove to be right, that will mean that swap customers have been paying for two different layers of price-fixing corruption. If you can imagine paying 20 bucks for a crappy PB&J because some evil cabal of agribusiness companies colluded to fix the prices of both peanuts and peanut butter, you come close to grasping the lunacy of financial markets where both interest rates and interest-rate swaps are being manipulated at the same time, often by the same banks.

“It’s a double conspiracy,” says an amazed Michael Greenberger, a former director of the trading and markets division at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and now a professor at the University of Maryland. “It’s the height of criminality.”

The bad news didn’t stop with swaps and interest rates. In March, it also came out that two regulators – the CFTC here in the U.S. and the Madrid-based International Organization of Securities Commissions – were spurred by the Libor revelations to investigate the possibility of collusive manipulation of gold and silver prices. “Given the clubby manipulation efforts we saw in Libor benchmarks, I assume other benchmarks – many other benchmarks – are legit areas of inquiry,” CFTC Commissioner Bart Chilton said.

But the biggest shock came out of a federal courtroom at the end of March – though if you follow these matters closely, it may not have been so shocking at all – when a landmark class-action civil lawsuit against the banks for Libor-related offenses was dismissed. In that case, a federal judge accepted the banker-defendants’ incredible argument: If cities and towns and other investors lost money because of Libor manipulation, that was their own fault for ever thinking the banks were competing in the first place.

“A farce,” was one antitrust lawyer’s response to the eyebrow-raising dismissal.

“Incredible,” says Sylvia Sokol, an attorney for Constantine Cannon, a firm that specializes in antitrust cases.

All of these stories collectively pointed to the same thing: These banks, which already possess enormous power just by virtue of their financial holdings – in the United States, the top six banks, many of them the same names you see on the Libor and ISDAfix panels, own assets equivalent to 60 percent of the nation’s GDP – are beginning to realize the awesome possibilities for increased profit and political might that would come with colluding instead of competing. Moreover, it’s increasingly clear that both the criminal justice system and the civil courts may be impotent to stop them, even when they do get caught working together to game the system.

If true, that would leave us living in an era of undisguised, real-world conspiracy, in which the prices of currencies, commodities like gold and silver, even interest rates and the value of money itself, can be and may already have been dictated from above. And those who are doing it can get away with it. Forget the Illuminati – this is the real thing, and it’s no secret. You can stare right at it, anytime you want.

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Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/everything-is-rigged-the-biggest-financial-scandal-yet-20130425#ixzz2fiyVD7Ml
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matt taibbi

Debt Inc. – The American Scam Economy -ProPublica

The 182 Percent Loan: How Installment Lenders Put Borrowers in a World of Hurt

by Paul Kiel, ProPublica, May 13

Many people know the dangers of payday loans. But “installment loans” also have sky-high rates and work by getting borrowers — usually poor — to renew over and over. We take you inside one of the biggest installment lenders, billion-dollar World Finance. More »

 

http://www.propublica.org/series/debt-inc

via Debt Inc. – ProPublica.