I Just Wanted An Experience With Understand In the Title

Here is what I am tryng so hard to understand tonight. Please, someone bear with me and help me because I am serious about this although the experience does not suggest that, I know.

This is what I know about the Clinton Global Initiative.

[okay fine, I just lost about 99% of readers--but I only need one person to have a dialogue with me here so I don't care]. Just one person to read this whole thing. That's all I need.

Bill tells me that people investing in each other can help change the world. Here's how it works:

Average people like me give $2o. There is a poor woman in Africa who gets that $2o. There that is considered a huge sum. I have invested in her and her business, in this case, the way Bill has explained it, she goes and buys fabric with the money. She makes a dress. She sells that dress easily because there is actually quite a demand for dressmakers in her village and people always need clothes.

She takes the money and tiny profit and goes and buys more fabric. She makes more dresses and she has no problem selling them and turning a tiny profit because she is a good dressmaker and is now making a name for herself among her neighbors. She pays back her small loan and she improves her life and the lives of those around her because people are starting to catch on. Other men and women see her success and it gives them ideas of their own and the whole little village begins to improve because they are all buying each other's stuff and they are happy and hopeful again. They are all getting $2o loans and paying them back and things are starting to turn around.

This is actually happening. This works. Lives are being changed. Progress is being made. This is called trickle UP--because by starting small with average people who need the help, the progress can be measured and calculated and prosperity can be gauged and the good feelings and genuine hope that come with that are real, and palapable both for the recipients and for the lenders who know that they have contributed to something good. The propsperity and the enthusiasm that results from it trickles up and grows and spreads.

Now. There are those who are convinced that trickle up does not work. They oppose the bailout and the stimulus that Obama is spearheading. They say. NO. Give tax breaks to the wealthy--do not give money to the poor and to poor communities and to small businesses or even big businesses who fail or who can't cut it in a bad economy. NO. Give the money in the form of tax breaks to those who have money. Those people will then take all their extra cash and invest it back into the market or whatever. THAT is called trickle down. And that will spur spending (eventually, when everyone starts breathing again). That is how trickle down works. That is what they say. Only it doesn't, at least not in the short term, which is really all anybody is talking about right now. 

Here is what I need someone to explain to me. Trickle down does not work. The money that is generated from that line of thinking goes right back into the pocket of the people who had it all in the first place. And they are not investing in Africa, (or in small town/city, America) because she/they will not turn a profit fast enough or large enough to ever make them sit up and notice. They tend not to be as...altruistic with their spending. So while the economy might get a little boost from tax cuts, it will never be enough to sustain the positive feeling that is generated from people--real people in communities across the country and across the globe that can happen when a turn around is based on trickle up rather than trickle down.

So why, why does loads and loads of cash blind otherwise nice, and relatively intelligent people to this concept? Why are those who disagree with this philosophy which, thank god, Obama will never back down from, trying so hard to block this and prolong our collective misery?

I need to understand how you make that argument that saving small communities and average workers is somehow bad for this country. How do you make that argument and sleep at night?

Someone, help me understand. 

PS. I know no one will read this whole thing or respond, but it helped me to write it anyway.

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6 Responses Mar 26, 2009

when i read things like this ,i always wonder why folks ,give the power of ideas to others ? <br />
every time you buy something you can suport someone in your town or a big company .if you choose veggies at a farmers market you keep the money local instead giving it to a chain store and a corprate farm. if you have a bussiness it improves the chances of them coming to you for your services . the big box store bussiness model has emptied main steet stores all over the land .just like the folks in africa when our neighbors prosper we do to ! the best way to fight corprate greed is to not give them your money to work with . the less we give them the less they can bribe our government with

The problem is really one of marketing, or propaganda. There are a lot of people in this world who are greedy, some come from "old money" and don't really understand the trials of "little people", others are just plain greedy. There is an old saying that some call the real golden rule, "he who has the gold makes the rules", and unfortunately in today's society that little proverb has been proven to be true. So basically you get people in positions of power, with money, propagandizing the public by telling them, that this is socialism and anti American, or that social justice is evil. The truth is, of course the people saying this know it is not true. Their job is to convince us "little people" that they know best, but many of us are smarter than they give us credit for, some call us progressive, some call it liberal, some call it just plain old fashioned Christianity (the kind we had before the right wing took it over). I suppose whatever you call it, it boils down to love. Either you love your fellow man or you do not, and clearly you do. Kudos to you.

Its funny... I found this site and story just now by accident. Talk about Karma (or whatever else you might call it)! I have just arrived at a time in my own life where I feel desperately sad to see and to have experienced so much nastiness and selfishness. However I also have met many people who are kind, gentle and caring and would not hesitate to pay it forward. <br />
I hope that as more and more people start giving a little to those who really need it, whether it be financially or emotionally, and society starts to experience the joy it brings to both the giver and receiver, we may move toward a more balanced humankind. Or should I say "humankindness" :)

The world needs more caring people like you. You have a big heart and want to make earth a better place. Thanks for sharing your feelings it is uplifting to the human spirit!

Unfortunately greed will always, I think, stop the people that have the most to give from agreeing with the "trickle up" solution . It shouldnt but it does. I love that concept , and I wish we lived in a world that greed and coruption did not exist , if we did that would have a chance to work but we dont and the people with the money and power will always call the shots . Maybe just maybe Obama may change that , but it will be a tough and hard road. See you didnt lose all of us by mentioning the "Clinton Global Initiative" ;)

Some people just listen to who they like and agree(It's called Reaganomics, that trickle down thing) and don't look for the proof. The theory behind trickle down is that those rich people having extra money will allow them to spend at luxury places, and those luxury places will give that money to it's employees who will spend it at middle-high end places, and the people...etc. The reason this doesn't work is because the employee at the luxury grocer doesn't get extra money because there's a sudden influx of cash, and they don't shop at the low end grocer, it stays at that top level. And conservatives believe Reaganomics works, in spite of evidence to the contrary