Occupy Forum presents . . . “Film: Walmart: The High Cost of Low Prices” on Monday, November 24

Monday, November 24th

at Global Exchange from 6 – 9 pm

2017 Mission Street near 16th Street BART

Information, discussion & community! Monday Night Forum!!

Occupy Forum is an opportunity for open and respectful dialogue

on all sides of these critically important issues!

OccupyForum Presents…

 Film: Walmart: The High Cost of Low Prices

Walmart is the cheapest place in the USA to shop. In some areas, it is the only place to get some things. So, the temptation to shop there is very high.

But Walmart does not create a level playing field. In areas where Walmart opens, other businesses close down, and downtowns are replaced by big box strip malls. Workers are forced to work there. And the conditions are not good.

Half the Walmart employees are paid so poorly that they qualify for Welfare, food stamps and Medi-Cal. Walmart also receives tax breaks, so the taxpayers are subsidizing it twice. Some Walmarts have provided workforce housing — by letting the workers live in their cars in the parking lot. Walmart workers have to work on Thanksgiving, which has now become BlackFriday. They run holiday food drives, in which the slightly higher-paid workers are asked to contribute money so that lower-paid employees can have food, probably canned, on the one day they don’t have to work, Christmas. Even minimum wage is too high for some Walmarts, which have gotten in trouble for hiring undocumented workers at sub-minimum wages. Meanwhile, the Walton family, which owns the franchise, are billionaires, and are only getting richer.

Understandably, the workers have been talking of striking for years. But Walmart has said that they will illegally fire all striking workers. Despite this, a strike is finally on. The demand is for a mere fifteen dollars per hour, which is becoming the standard minimum wage in many parts of the USA.

See Walmart, The High Price of Low Costs and then go out and support the striking workers.

Time will be allocated for announcements.

Donations welcome, no one turned away.

“The Masque of Anarchy” by Percy Shelley (1832) via Angelina Llongueras

THE

MASQUE OF ANARCHY

I.

As I lay asleep in Italy,
There came a voice from over the sea,
And with great power it forth led me
To walk in the visions of Poesy.

II.

I met Murder on the way–
He had a mask like Castlereagh–
Very smooth he look’d yet grim;
Seven bloodhounds followed him:

III.

All were fat; and well they might
Be in admirable plight,
For one by one, and two by two,
He tossed them humanhearts to chew,
Which from his wide cloak he drew.

IV.

Next came Fraud, and he had on,
Like Lord E–, an ermined gown;
His big tears, for he wept well,
Turned to mill-stones as they fell;

V.

And the little children, who
Round his feet played to and fro,
Thinking every tear a gem,
Had their brains knockedout by, them.

VI.

Clothed with the * * as with light,
And the shadows of the night,
Like * * * next, Hypocrisy,
On a crocodile rode by.

VII.

And many more Destructions played
In this ghastly masquerade,
All disguised, even to the eyes,
Like bishops,lawyers, peers, or spies.

Continue reading

Strike Debt Radio Turns an Ear Towards Predatory Payday Loan and Check Cashing (via JP Massar)

Community Check Cashing

With more and more people living paycheck to paycheck, and banks unwilling to provide short-term credit, people are finding themselves with no choice but to engage with Payday Loan operators when their kid needs a doctor, the car breaks down, or some other emergency ensues – only to find themselves unable to pay the loan off, then watching the balance grow exponentially.

But there is an alternative, at least in Oakland, California! Mike and Cassie interview Dan Liebsohn, the founder of Community Check Cashing, one of the few (and possibly the only) non-profits in the country that offer payday loans, check cashing and similar financial services, all for a fraction (typically 25% – 50%) of the cost of “traditional” for-profit operations that seem to be popping up on every street corner.

And that’s not all they do. CCC doesn’t try to pull their customers into a debt trap; instead they work hard to pull them out! They offer free financial coaching and work with their customers to make sure their loans are paid off as efficiently as possible.

CCC is located right at the Fruitvale BART, just around the corner from the Powderface Cafe.

How and why do they do it? Here’s some answers about their operations from their new flyer:

About Community Check Cashing:

Q. How can we be so much cheaper?
A. Unlike all other outfits of this type, here no one is getting rich
off of your need to get a check cashed or a short-term loan. We charge
enough to pay the rent and pay our employees a living wage. That’s it!
No money is going from you straight to absentee owners and Wall Street
backers.

Q. What’s in it for us?
A. Call us crazy. We think everyone deserves a fair deal. No one
should have to be rich to be treated right. We think it’s outrageous
that payday lenders and check cashiers make huge profits while their
customers sink deeper and deeper into debt. So we decided to do
something about it.

Q. We provide financial coaching free or at very low cost.
A. Don’t understand a bill? Have trouble with a creditor? Want to learn
how to manage your money better? We can help!

Q. We provide inexpensive financial coaching for very small businesses, too.
A. We offer below-market rate bookkeeping, advice in developing proper
methods of planning, creating systems for proper money management and
more.

Q. If we can’t help, we might know who can!
A. We’ll give you information and referrals for housing, immigration,
food, legal and other forms of assistance.

Link to full audio of Strike Debt Radio show:  https://occupyoakland.org/2014/11/strike-debt-radio-turns-ear-towards-predatory-payday-loan-check-cashing/