|The Katchpole Effect||12.21.11|
Serious Solstice Expectations for 2012Yuroc of the 5th World
The megabanks and too-big-to-fail banks are vulnerable to people power, and someone may trigger the run on the banks that ends the 4th World, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy for 2012.
For those of us in the northern hemisphere, tonight is the longest night of the year; for our southern neighbors, the longest day. It is a time of reflection on what lies ahead. Exactly one year from this day, at 11:11 GMT, 12/21/2012, our planet lines up with the sun and the galactic rotational plane to enter a new era, long believed to be a time of dramatic change.
Will it be the end of time as we know it, or, since time is money, might it be the end of money as we know it? Or just business as usual?
Anything is possible, and none of us really know anything, but I give you what I expect. This is serious, yet I ask you not to be alarmed. Change is coming, and it is up to us to choose love and light over fear and darkness. We can transcend the change in a good way. Stay with me.
As a reader of this material, you no doubt already have observed that there is a split going on, perhaps several. One that is clearly portrayed in the news, is the 1%:99% split. The richest 1% of the US population now own one-third of the US net worth, and the super-rich 0.01% own a higher fraction of US net wealth than at any time since the Great Depression. Conditions are reminiscent of the times prior to the French and Russian revolutions. So our gun is loaded. But will it fire? Or is it a dud? A blank?
We can assume that the top 1% will defend their wealth, as the rich always do historically, but will the 99% rise up monolithically like the peasants storming the Bastille?
More likely, our scenario will differ. Most Americans have food, water, shelter, clothing, and some diverting entertainment on TV. When the underemployed and discouraged are added to the 9% official unemployment, we get perhaps 17% unemployed, but that still means that 83% of Americans are employed in some way. The situation must become much more extreme before most Americans will raise a finger to protest anything. We are not in bread lines yet.
Traditionally, in this nation of law, changes have come through the political system, with laws made by candidates elected by the people. But the Supreme Court "Citizens United" decision of January 2010 made corporations into people who have rights to fund political campaigns with their enormous resources.
Thirty major corporations now spend more on lobbying than they pay in taxes.
MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan created a stir recently when he went ballistic on the air about getting money out of politics. He knows the system is broken.
Times have changed. Gone is the idea that a good candidate or a good proposition can change anything. The ones that could damage corporate interests will be outspent. Period. They will lose. The cork is in the bottle, and the heat is being turned up.
The Occupy Wall Street movement began in September 2011 as a vaguely defined protest against a variety of complaints about the current situation. Initially only a few thousand persons were involved, but now the protests are massive and worldwide. As a percentage of the population, however, the movement is still small, and I do not expect it to ever rival the anti-war protests of the 1960s. Most people are too comfortable or busy to join any protest. But some clarity is emerging.
If there is one clear idea here, it is something about money—its devastating impact on politics, its inequitable distribution, the inability of most people to get enough of it to live with dignity.
It seemed like a minor story at the time, but one young part-time nanny, Molly Katchpole, who was only just getting by, was pushed over the edge by Bank of America's $5 per month debit-card fee. She formed an online petition, gathered an extraordinary number of signatures and forced BOA to rescind the fee. A "Bank Transfer Day" followed, and credit unions gained 650,000 new accounts and $4.5 billion in new deposits. A fuse was lit.
The second largest bank in the world, after J.P. Morgan Chase, is Bank of America, the great elephant, with $570 billion in assets, but it was clearly scared of a young woman. People power scared the giant beast. At the tail end of 2011, it happened again. Molly wrote,
"Verizon thinks it can do anything to its customers, and that we’re powerless to stop it. (Spoiler alert: We’re not.) By the way, I found out that a recent report says Verizon paid zero federal income tax from 2008-2010, and actually got almost a billion dollars in rebates from taxpayers. So they definitely shouldn’t be nickel and diming us.As a Verizon customer, I’ve started a new Change.org petition demanding that the phone company drop the fee for paying bills online. I’d be grateful if you signed it."
Within two days, more than 300,000 signed the petition. While it took months of hard work to get Bank of America to drop its $5 debit card fee, Verizon backed down in less than 24 hours. It seems that the people are getting more powerful by the day.
So people have power over the monster corporations. It is only a matter of time until they figure that out and use it. Stay with me.
It is a mistake, in my opinion, to assume that everyone who has access to enormous wealth is a bad person who cares nothing for the Earth, justice, or other people's futures. Warren Buffet, Ted Turner, Bill and Melinda Gates and many other generous elites do much good.
Another positive voice from wealth is Foster Gamble of the Proctor & Gamble fortune. His web site and film, "Thrive: What on Earth Will It Take?", is getting a great deal of attention as well it should. It is, in my opinion, the best treatment to date of the nature of the problem we all face on this planet, although it seems to suggest that a small number of conspiratorial evil doers are responsible for all this mess, while in fact, the system quickly replaces anyone who gets eliminated. In short, the protestors are right: it's the role of money, not specific people, that is at the core of the issue.
At one crucial point in his film, Gamble explains how the banks hold only 10% of the money they have loaned out, recycling the rest into more loans. This seemingly minor point will be noticed by some astute persons frustrated by the inability of Occupy Wall Street to make real change, and by the way that money now owns our political system. Why is this point significant? Because the Great Depression followed a run on the banks, when people panicked, thinking that they could not get their money out of the banks, and when they could not, banks failed, and bread lines followed. Once the idea spread, it was unstoppable.
If I can see something ominous coming this way, others can too. And they most certainly will.
Some Molly Katchpole out there will no doubt start a petition and gather millions of signatures from angry people at the ends of their ropes, people who want to hurt somebody because of the unjust pain they feel. The idea would be for massive numbers of people to remove their funds from some selected offending superbank in a coordinated way, at an arranged time that is triggered by the accumulations of a critical mass of signatures, perhaps a million.
Maybe the leaderless movement would be called "Millions." Balances would be transferred, accounts would be closed, and monthly bills would go unpaid, by the millions. The target corporation would immediately be in a cash-flow crisis, in danger of bankruptcy. When millions refuse to pay bills at one time, there would be too many people to intimidate, too few minimum-wage telephone naggers to harass everyone. Then another offending corporation would be targeted, and another. The list of offenders would be ticked off. Corporations would fold, one after another. Financial chaos would reign. The financial elite would be hit where they are most vulnerable -- in their pocketbooks.
Is this a good idea? Probably not, as millions would be hurt, but it may not matter. The path is open, and if enough frustrated people find the path and begin to flock to it, there will be a great commotion. There would be an angry reaction, of course, from the millions who still own stock in the targeted corporations, and from people whose pensions or retirements depend upon the well-being of these companies. But some in this "Millions" movement might foresee this eventuality as well, and before the offenders get their due, they might ask, "Where should the removed money go?"
Fortunately, there are a great many deserving institutions around the world that seek to create a better world and need investment. Their rates of return will not rival what one can make by speculating on oil futures, or raping the Amazon rainforest, or removing Appalachian mountaintops for coal, so one cannot make a killing through such investments, but one can make a living, and that is one lesson we can learn as a society.
Elia Wise in Letter to Earth writes, "You need working transformative models. Get practical. Provide enlightened options for satisfying primary needs. Transcending your current economic model, establish systems for providing yourselves with bio-dynamic or organically produced food; simplified esthetic and environmentally compatible individual and collective housing; all-inclusive, integral healthcare; and live forums for the transformative dialog. This will create positive public awareness and a popular desire to change the existing system, bit by bit. Divert the potential for social chaos by enlisting conscious public commitment to a cycle of social transformation. People will rise to transformational action once effective noncompetitive models for the maintenance of survival are available."
So we have our work cut out for ourselves, and we do not have much time. I hope that great masses of people around the world will soon wake up and begin to Thrive in good ways that lead to a better future along a path that avoids chaos. I like to think that it is possible, but a quick look at human history suggests that reforming people's thought patterns is a long and uncertain path. The real danger in the "Millions" idea is that preventing it will be almost impossible. It takes only one person to get it started, and once it starts rolling, it probably cannot be easily stopped.
An old Arab adage says. "Trust in Allah, but tie your camel." How do we tie our camels?
Move what assets you have now, out of offending places like hedge funds and megacorps, or opaque places like mutual funds, where you have no idea what kind of a world your money is building, and into safe, green investments. Donate to the 5th World Fund, where your money builds a better world directly. Gather with friends to amplify your positive intentions for a better world by using the torus energy of the 8/12/2001 Milk Hill formation:
Coordinate with others via the 5th World Fund, where visual imagery, beautiful music and moving animations will assist you in manifesting a better world.
Use only local banks. Reduce debt. Build community. Support local organic agriculture and other sincere seekers of good in the world, such as those at the emerging site Granite-Planet.net. When you need something, check the Green Pages first. Support those who are being the change they seek in the world. Learn to live locally. Know who your real friends are. Find out who can you depend on. Make emergency plans. It cannot hurt to be prepared for chaos while we all build a better world. Hopefully the gathering storm will pass us by.
Let's do it!
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