Two Undervalued Variables with Justice Work: Comfort and Rejuvenation

About one year ago, I wrote about “My Move Back to the South.” While the adjustment continues, I have found comfort and post-Obama presidency rejuvenation in primarily one thing: Black Jacksonians unfortunate, yet powerful, legacy of activism.

I am living in one of the most economically, politically, and socially muted states during the Trump presidency.  As a woman of color, and a generally concerned American, it’s an incredibly frustrating and mentally exhausting time; for the last ~6 months, I’ve wondered whether it’s even worth continuing to work towards economic justice. After some careful reflection, I’ve decided that it is important to continue this personal mission.

My background and experiences are at the root of my mission to solve economic injustice problems facing a large number of people. Self-interest is at the root of most of the world’s problems. The ability to see the effects of one’s actions is about compromise. I don’t mean that people should not be self-interested, but I do question the extent to which self-interest becomes a significant problem, posing a threat to the basic human need of others. If there’s no added benefit, then what’s the point? When I challenge close friends or family about this, I am not welcomed with open arms. However, the recognition of privilege goes a long way for outsiders interested in the fight for justice. But who exactly are the outsiders?

 

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Wired for 2017

My writing about economic empowerment has dwindled in 2016. While the year was a complete shit show for the World, I landed a really dope job in the community and economic development space (with a recent promotion), started developing side-hustles that align with my values and generate additional income, and a number of really good personal things happened. While I am extremely busy, I feel that 2017 will be an important year for my writing, as The Lucesco promotes knowledge sharing around economic issues. I hope that it also helps readers interested in confronting challenging social and economic issues as well. For those who have not figured it out: 2017 will be about running without any ability to hide.

The return to nationalism from globalization is briskly occurring across the developed World, due to Brexit and Trump (if you haven’t noticed, many countries seem to be gaining ground with “alt-right” agendas). Nationalism is the about prioritizing one country over another. With capitalism as the bedrock of America, nationalism will be about ensuring that we make more money and bring economic stability to Americans first, with little-to-no consideration to the well-being of our global peers. Globalization is much more inclusive, focusing on the well-being of all people in the World.

Perhaps, I have not written due to the urge to vomit from the state of the World. My Goodreads.com account has increasingly been filled with books about various revolutions. While it is evident that we are in the midst of a paradigm shift, I am certain that a revolution (another war) is near.

As someone who loves the field of Economics, I am terrified by the President-Elect. Not only did it hurt to watch an overqualified woman lose the appointment as the U.S. President, but also she lost to a bigoted, overly-privileged fool; this is the price that we pay for having a flawless Black president in tandem with a Great Recession. Between folks being ignorant about race, sex, gender/sexual identity and feeling the long-term effects of the Recession, we got President Trump.

Even with the pandemonium that we appear to be living in, I hope that everyone enjoys the holiday season, and I look forward to sharing more about the important work that I am doing and the importance of financial stability.

Update 10/02/16

1. The first U.S. Presidential debate was held at Hofstra University on Monday. The Vice Presidential debate will be held at Longwood University in Farmville, VA on Tuesday, October 4th. Over 40% of the voting population does not vote – you can find more information on registering to vote here.

2. The White House is considering adding a new racial category to the U.S. Census. The change would add MENA — Middle Eastern/Northern African to the list; currently, this group is categorized as white. Source: Newsy.

3. The Economist cover story this week highlights globalization. In the special report entitled, “The World Economy,” there are six articles that assess the current state of the global economy. Articles include details on the loss of American manufacturing jobs, the downside of open trade, migration/immigration, foreign direct investment (basically how businesses conduct business in other countries and where/how they pay taxes), regulation and competition, and how to make globalization fairer and more effective. Source: The Economist.

4. Brooklyn is officially the most unaffordable place to live in America. As a former Brooklynite, I find this saddening because my experience was filled with such rich, dynamic culture that cannot be the same today, due to gentrification. Souce: MarketWatch.

First Debate Impressions

The first debate is exactly what I expected. Filled with clearly laid out policies and thoughts from Clinton, freestyled opinions by Trump, and a few lies from both. At one point, I was embarrassed to be an American because the debate carried on like an SNL skit. At another point, I reflected on the current state of America, understanding the logical order of how we got here. This is a paradigm shift.

While I genuinely think that Trump is a fool, I think it is most foolish not to vote. Today is National Voter Registration Day. Take some time to register to vote, if you have not. Google has a cool voter information//deadline tracker here.

Update 09/10/16

It’s been 6 weeks since my last post. Between my daytime gig and two side hustles, I’m super busy and loving it. Working my way out of the graduate school debt aggressively.

1. The S&P500 dropped by 2.3% over the last week (and dropped 1.8% since my last market update on 07/23/16).

2. The first 2016 U.S. presidential debate will be held September 26th. The debate, held on NBC, will be moderated by Lester Holt. Don’t forget to register to vote!

3. Clinton apologizes for calling half of Trump’s supporters “deplorable.”

4. America and Russia agree on a 7-day ceasefire in Syria, beginning Monday, September 12th. This will allow both countries to target ISIS and al-Nusra.

5. Fourteen states had significant heroin rate increases from 2013 to 2014. More than 10,500 people died of a heroin overdose in 2014, whereas a decade earlier, there were ~1,900 annual deaths. Source: Newsy

Review of Stash Invest App

In Investment Tip #4, I laid out the investment management industry. Stash Invest was one of the new investment management companies that I mentioned because of its convenience, low fees, and low minimums — it provides everyone with the opportunity to invest

I’ve been using the Stash app for about 3 months now.

Positives

  1. App is easy to use
  2. Projected value calculation based on investment amount and expected returns
  3. Get $5 for every friend that you invite
  4. Several portfolios to choose from — I closed my Acorns account to use Stash Invest because of the portfolio options. I’m currently invested in a tech fund and Berkshire Hathaway B Shares (that is, Warren Buffett’s company)
  5. Can setup recurring auto-debit across different portfolio.

Negatives

  1. My credit union can’t be linked

Update 07/23/16

1. Hillary Clinton elected her VP,  Tim Kaine, who is the former Governor of Virginia. By industry, Kaine received a significant portion of his donations from the financial services industry.

2. The RNC was filled with a series of surprising events, including  Melaina’s plagiaristic speech to Ted Cruz “Vote your conscience” message.

3. The stock market finished 55bps up (that means 0.55% increase) this week.