A picture is worth a thousand words. As Americans argue, fight, and in some cases kill over disputes about “freedom” regarding mask wearing and lockdown orders, the EU daily new cases steadily declined. Take a look at the graph in the article below and ponder “how can we as a nation do better?”
The California State University (CSU) system decided back in May to go online in the Fall. Given that the uncertainty that existed in May is still present today (hey, that rhymes), I believe it was the right call. For example, I don’t see how you can have all 30,000 students plus faculty and staff at Sacramento State compliant with mask wearing and social distancing. I can’t think of a plan that prevents virus spread (saves lives) that is robust to non-compliance without proven and readily available treatments.
Could you imagine the logistical nightmare of trying to implement an NBA season-restart “bubble” on every campus? In time, we will see the results of various attempts including the NBA bubble. Hopefully treatments (preventative and post-infection) come online soon.
Be patient my friends. Whatever arises, ceases.
Allow me to begin with a quote from the NPR piece:
For the past couple years I taught students “accumulate productive capital” (e.g. Sysco stock). That mantra and the facts on the ground during this bailout are consistent with a point mentioned in the Bloomberg Market Concepts training that I require of students: the statistical connection between the economy (typically measured by GDP growth) and the stock market is weak.
Let me state that another way: the connection between the economy (Main Street) and the stock market (Wall Street) is weak. Vanguard also verified the lack of GDP-stock market connection in a market predictors study. With the NPR article below, you now see a mechanism that weakens the connection: free money to corporations, laid-off workers (Main Street), and dividend payments (Wall Street). Think about who the shareholders are that receive these dividends: wealthy individuals including the corporate executives that approved the layoff and dividend payout plans. Think about the laid off workers: your friends and family that elitists attempt to vilify and then suggest those laid off workers should not receive any unemployment benefits.
So when I say “accumulate productive capital,” I suppose I advocate a “if you can’t beat them, join them” approach. However, many unemployed (and employed for that matter), simply don’t have enough to pay for both necessities and stocks.
Marx and Schumpeter predicted an end to capitalism albeit by different paths (revolution vs. gradual decomposition). Perhaps we all better take action to reverse the widening wealth gap and promote greater shared prosperity before either (or both) of those things happen.
I highly recommend this podcast to every person in America. Recent news events opened old wounds of an incident where a colleague here at Sacramento State University called police on me, an African American, during a routine Student Investment Fund meeting with 30+ students. Police were called on me for simply being present and not subjecting myself to this colleague’s control. I later found out the cop-calling was part of an orchestrated plan condoned in advance by our immediate supervisor. In the context of policing in America, as made obvious in recent events (which are repeats of past events), such a plan could have had lethal consequences.
This NPR podcast illuminates how policing in America has its roots in controlling black people. It then took an interesting look at contrasting and comparing policing in the South vs. the North. Again, the underlying theme is control with some nuances on who was being controlled and who did the controlling in the North.
I grew up in the Chicago area. I remember my father telling me of drinking from different water fountains, of being surrounded by white kids on his way home from school to fight every day, of the scars on his arm from when his home was set on fire in the winter, of how local government blocked the repairs on the roof during the brutal cold Chicago winter and how snow hit him in the face while trying to sleep. I could go on and on with his stories, and some of my own. The point is, his mother left the South for a better life in the North. This podcast puts perspective on how such a move was not a slam dunk. Actually, there’s a book titled “In Search of the Promised Land” related to the search for a land where you were treated simply as a fellow human being.
The podcast is an hour long, but has a very powerful start and ending. I hope as many of you out there as possible find the time to listen to the podcast from start to finish.
Yes, it is uncomfortable. #LeanIn
I’ll be back with more finance posts next time.
-  NPR May 26, 2020 – White Woman Who Called Police On Black Bird-Watcher In Central Park Has Been Fired: HTML.
- Her employer, financial firm Franklin Templeton, acted swiftly. From the NPR article: “Her now former employer, Franklin Templeton, said in a statement posted to Twitter she had been fired, less than a day after announcing she was placed on administrative leave.”
- In contrast, Sacramento State has yet to publicly acknowledge the wrongs of my “colleague” calling the cops on me – and here we are nearly two years later.
- To my knowledge there has not even been a reprimand of my cop-calling “colleague” or immediate “supervisor” that condoned this racially charged plan.
- Update: Woman who accused Central Park birdwatcher of threatening her faces charges, DA says: HTML.
-  Another incident, another professor, another college on Sacramento State’s campus…
- The State Hornet May 8, 2020 – Sac State professor apologizes for video featuring racial slurs, petition circulates for his removal: HTML
- The State Hornet May 17, 2020 – VIRTUAL TOWN HALL PREVIEW: Students prepare to voice their opinions about viral professor video: HTML.
- The State Hornet May 19, 2020 – BSU president presses Sac State to fire professor seen arguing with neighbors: HTML.
-  NY Daily News, April 20, 2018 – Starbucks manager called the cops on black men two minutes after they arrived for business meeting: HTML.
- “The men, both 23, said they feared for their lives during the arrest. They were not charged with a crime.”
- “The fallout also drew an apology from Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross, who initially backed the arresting officers and said they’d done `nothing wrong.’ `I failed miserably,’ Ross said during a press conference. `I exacerbated the situation with my messaging; it’s as simple as that.’”
-  CNBC, April 16, 2018 – Starbucks manager who called police on two black men has left the company: HTML.
- “A company spokeswoman told CNBC that `she is no longer at that store.’”
- “Starbucks’ CEO Kevin Johnson told ABC News on Monday that it was `completely inappropriate’ for Starbucks employees to call police.”
-  The Guardian, June 15, 2020 – CEO caught on video confronting neighbor over Black Lives Matter message: HTML.
- Lisa Alexander, who serves as CEO of the LaFace Skincare line, thought the person of color finishing a chalk stencil of a Black Lives Matter message, was trespassing and defacing property.
- James Juanillo, who is Filipino, actually lived at the house. However, Alexander, on camera “lies and says she knows that I don’t live in my own house, because she knows the person who lives here.”
- “Juanillo said a police officer pulled up several minutes after the encounter and drove away after recognizing Juanillo as a longtime resident. He later told KGO-TV he believes the couple accused him of defacing private property because they didn’t think he belonged in the wealthy Pacific Heights neighborhood.”
-  Mother Jones, June 15, 2020 – I’m a Black Female Scientist. On My First Day of Work, a Colleague Threatened to Call the Cops on Me: HTML.
- I’m getting tired of adding examples to this list. It seems to be never ending.
- “When I made the #BlackintheIvory post, people said, “Oh, well, you’re probably young.” Yes, but there’s a difference between a misunderstanding and threatening to call the police. You don’t threaten to call the cops on somebody that you think is too young to be somewhere, unless they’re at a bar. I was checking my mail. I had a suit on. There was nothing violent going on, there was no reason to call law enforcement. “
- “And so the suspicious woman said, “Oh, well, why didn’t you say anything? You just don’t look like you could work here.” And she walked away. There was no apology. It was so uncomfortable. And I don’t know if the worst part about it was the secretary was just like, “All right. That’s solved. And now go about your day.””
-  Sacramento Bee, June 17, 2020 – Proposed California law would make it a hate crime to call 911 because of a person’s race: HTML.
- The University has publicly acknowledged the bird-watching incident in New York  and described the other incident near Sacramento State’s campus  as “racially charged” and “abhorrent”: HTML. Yet no public condemnation from University Administration for the “abhorrent” and “racially-charged” cop-calling perpetrators, an incident that occurred on campus in front of 30+ students, despite my pleas for nearly two years.
- The Starbucks CEO quickly and publicly acknowledged it was “completely inappropriate” to call the police . When will the leadership of Sacramento State University do the same?