Reposted in entirety from:
WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED FROM THIS FINANCIAL DEBACLE CALLED THE BAILOUT?
If the $800 Billion + Bailout was not enough, now we learn about the outrageous behavior of the just bailed out AIG executives. Let us all hope that the rest of the bailout money (our money) is not spent so extragavantly or so obviously “in your face”. The “Bailout Bush and Buddies Bill” of 2008 is in future years going to be seen as a total sham. The structural problems in the economy are all too real. But if the “bailout” money is going to secure multi-million dollar executive salaries rather than pension funds, unemployment funds, or re-training funds — then lots of questions need to be asked and they need to be asked now. While the current Congress is in action, we all need to continue to assert our rights as citizens and taxpayers for demanding the truth (truth in lending). We need to show the leaders that the outpouring of anger, angst and the almost meltdown of congressional phone and email servers was not a one time flash, but rather a hot fire on their collective behinds. These people just voted on all this money to “stabilize the financial system” but how many Members of Congress, Republican or Democrat can tell any of us what a derivative swap is, or a fractional loan value, or for that matter the difference between a mortgage backed security and a partially mortgage backed financial instrument? Do they know what they voted on besides fear? How many of them can actually tell us what would have happened if this bailout was not rushed but rather put through the Committee System, be subject to debate and critique from the media, from academia and from other Government agencies?
You2Gov designed tools to make all of us more informed, more powerful. If we have learned anything from these times filled with fear, both literal and imagined – it is that the only thing that matters now is oversight. Not the kind you hear bandied about by this and that Congress person or Senator. No, I mean the kind of oversight a manager effects on his staff, or the kind of oversight that a principal has with the teachers, or even better the kind of oversight the military practises on itself through the chain of command. In this case the chain of command ends with you and me. We are the owners of the United States, the people. There are little read documents, some people don’t even know what they are. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights, If you have not read them lately or never have, now is a good time to catch up. One of the important things you will come away with is how seriously the Founding Fathers took the concept of “Power from the People, to the People.”
We all need to be that serious about this serious situation.
The Digital Divide.
It is still here, getting better and worse at the same time. I have written about the digital divide often, including its implications for Government 2.0 or “Gov 2.0″ as it is commonly called.
My most recent post on the issue is: http://www.silberberginnovations.com/silberbergs-gov-2-0-blog/updates-on-digital-divide-and-gov-2-0/. However since I am writing this on a tablet it probably won’t show up as a live link due to difficulty in pasting.
But I have a tablet, smartphone and until today a laptop. My laptop died an in-glorious death, slowly by 1s and 0s. In one day my consumption of information has dropped, and I have to work harder to achieve roughly same level of output as normal.
All of these are first world concerns. There are millions and millions of people to whom a phone is often located somewhere other than where they live. People to whom a tablet is a piece of rock or wood to work or cook on. These people don’t consume information – except that by the oldest social media there is, word of mouth.
Many great organizations around the world are addressing the Digital Divide in their own way. But as the speed and consumption of information rapidly increases around the world, what is happening to those not part of this torrent?