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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Moynihan Report should be revisited after 46 years

The Moynihan Report was released after an investigation made by Asst. Secretary of Labor Daniel Patrick Moynihan who was also a senator, sociologist, and diplomat.

The 1965 Moynihan Report, which provided a basis for President Lyndon Johnson's "War on Poverty," detailed an unstable and dangerous situation in the black community. The Report was called "The Case For National Action" and claimed the nation was heading towards two societies, separate and unequal. "The United States is approaching a new crisis in race relations," it stated.

"The gap between the Negro and most other groups in American society is widening... The fundamental problem, in which this is most clearly the case, is that of family structure." At the time the Report was released, it was viewed as truth by some, but others blamed the crisis in black families on the history of slavery and powerlessness of black men.

Incarceration, the "War on Drugs," and societal racism are the biggest perpetrators of the black family being broken today. High unemployment, mis-education, and low job skills are also culprits. Hopelessness is affecting the national psyche, and a racial crisis embodied within a class and economic crisis exists.

As mentioned several times before on this blog, the wealth gap is widening. As Warren Buffett has warned, the poor and middle class are expected to pay more than the rich in taxes which is not fair.

How are factors affecting Blacks today viewed from the historical perspective of the Moynihan Report? To read and compare it for yourself, go to:

(Photo of Moynihan from Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress)

©2011 Tomi Johnson. All rights reserved.

Thought for today...

"Develop your body but do not neglect your mind, for it is the mind that leads a man to power, not the strength of body." ---Plenty Coup, Crow chief

Breaking news: Gas prices falling in metro Atlanta

The price for a gallon of regular unleaded has dropped to $3.19. Will President Obama receive any credit, or is it a sign that demand is low because people are not traveling are going to local malls?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Today's History Lesson

"Africa has always been and still is the world's richest continent. Africa has always had things other people wanted, that they could not do without and didn't want to pay for. Therefore, there has always been an excuse to invade Africa." ---Dr. John Henrik Clarke

Career expo for veterans in Columbus, Ga.

The Georgia Department of Labor’s Columbus Career Center and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) will co-sponsor a job expo for employers, veterans, wounded soldiers, personnel recently separated from active duty, and other job seekers. It will be held Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 28-29, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at VFW Post 665, located at 1824 Victory Dr. in Columbus.

Over the span of two days, the job expo is expected to feature approximately 70 employers, educational institutions, and resource agencies that provide assistance to job seekers. Some employers will be hiring, while others will be discussing possible future employment opportunities with the job seekers. Other organizations will be providing educational and other resources.

Applicants should bring multiple copies of their resumes and be prepared to fill out company applications and interview for available jobs. Also, interpreters for the hearing impaired will be available to assist job seekers. Parking will be available at the VFW post. And, parking for tractor trailer operators will be available on Thursday at 30 Parkman Ave.

Employers, educational institutions, and resource agencies expected to participate in the event on Wednesday include: Accounting Principals, AFLAC, Alatrade Foods, American General Life, American Home Shield, American Truck Driving Academy, Avon Products, Army and Air Force Exchange, Best Buy, Callaway Gardens, Civilian Personnel (CPAC), Columbus Consolidated Government, Columbus Police Department, Columbus State University, Davis Broadcasting, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Goldens Foundry, ILJIN Alabama, Kool Smiles, L&S Services, Lenscrafters, Liberty National Life Insurance Company, MediaCom, Military, Primerica, Prosperity America, Randstad, Russell County Department of Human Resources, Sears Holdings, Snyders-Lance, Troy University, U.S. Air Force Reserves, Waffle House, West Central Georgia Regional Hospital, and Westaff.

Those expected to participate on Thursday include: ACE CDL Training, AFLAC Sales, Alabama Career Centers, Auburn Police Department, City of Macon, Cobb County Department of Public Safety, Columbus Regional Health, Columbus Technical College, CVCC, Georgia Military College, Goodwill Industries, Home Depot, LaGrange Police Department, Lowe’s Home Center, Malone Staffing, MDF Executive Marketing, Primerica Calloway and Associates, Stewart Detention Center, TIC Federal Credit Union, Waggoner’s Trucking Company, and Walden University.

For more information about the job expo, contact Albert Lee at the Columbus Career Center at (706) 649-7423, or e-mail

Employment figures for Atlanta show declines, especially in finance

Total non-farm employment for the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) has decreased 30,000 jobs, or 1.3 percent, from one year ago, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report today. Nationally, nonfarm employment increased 0.7 percent.

Regional Commissioner Janet S. Rankin noted that this was the largest over-the-year decline since April 2010. Nationwide, over-the-year employment has increased for nine consecutive months.

The next largest loss of jobs in the area occurred in financial activities, down 8,100, followed by construction (-7,400), and information (-4,000). Over-the-year employment in construction has declined in the Atlanta area every month for the past four years.

Leisure and hospitality experienced the largest employment gain with the addition of 4,600 jobs, an increase of 2.0 percent. May 2011 was the eighth consecutive month that this supersector registered an over-the-year increase. Also adding jobs in May were manufacturing (4,000) and professional and business services (2,800).

Taken from

Friday, September 23, 2011 solicits pictures for jobs

Construction site on Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta - girders are rusting - construction on hold for years. Photo ©2011 Tomi Johnson. All rights reserved.

Can you take a photo to help create jobs? is making the following request:
"Yesterday, President Obama spoke from the Brent Spence bridge over the Ohio River about the vital connection between jobs and infrastructure repair. It's shameful that our bridges are literally crumbling while construction workers are unable to find employment. America's infrastructure needs work, and Americans need jobs. The solution is obvious: Put people back to work repairing our bridges, dams, highways, schools, and the rest of our failing infrastructure.

"We're putting pressure on Congress to pass a jobs plan that does just that. But we need to make the problem visible. That's why the American Dream movement is setting out to find and photograph the jobs that need doing—and we need your help.

"Can you take a picture of a job that needs doing in your community? Can you help out by adding a photo of infrastructure in your area that needs repair?" Go to

---Daniel, Joan, Wes, Marika, and the rest of the Civic Action team

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Today's history lesson: The Negro Act

The comprehensive Negro Act of 1740 passed in South Carolina made it illegal for slaves to move abroad, assemble in groups, raise food, earn money, and learn to read English. Additionally, owners were permitted to kill rebellious slaves if necessary. This version of the Act was adopted in the state of Georgia in 1755 and was called the Slave Code.

Taken from Wikipedia - Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Breaking news: Troy Davis loses and is executed in Georgia

Reporter's note: We still care about Troy Davis because he could have been us. Reminds me of lynching anyone, whether innocent or guilty, just to get revenge. Mark MacPhail's death should not have resulted in Troy's death in a supposedly Christian nation. Our country will continue to witness misfortunes brought on by God until we stop killing, whether it be Osama or Troy, whether by lethal injection, malnourishment, greed, or mis-education.

Romans 12:19-21 - "Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, 'Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.' 20 To the contrary, 'if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.' 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."

Previous news...The U.S. made a final ruling, and Troy Davis will be dead in a few minutes. They waited until darkness had enveloped the prison to deny his last appeal. While police presence expanded, fears loomed that this was a foreboding of a negative judgment. Through it all, Davis maintained his innocence. May God rest his soul.

After the 7:00 p.m. execution time, it was announced that the United States Supreme Court issued a reprieve. Immediately when the announcement was heard, WGST-AM radio talk show hosts ranted in anger over the news, that Troy Davis was not dead.

On Prison Boulevard in Middle Georgia, a world rally against the death penalty is unfolding.  At guard are police and state troopers dressed in riot gear. Across the street are hundreds of peaceful protesters holding signs, cellphones, and hopes for a miracle. Inside the prison awaits Troy Davis, convicted murder, who is awaiting final word on whether he will die or be granted a 5th chance by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Troy Davis' pastor, Dr. Raphael Warnock, said this is a "watershed moment." He said as with previous execution dates, Davis declined to eat a last meal because he did not believe he was eating his last meal. Warnock, who leads Atlanta's historic Ebenezer Baptist Church where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called home, said he believes Davis is innocent.

Warnock said the question should not be whether Troy Davis is innocent, but whether he is guilty. Also at question is the civil and human rights of those given the death penalty. A spokesman for Amnesty International talked to reporters about the inhumanity of the U.S. death penalty outside the prison gates.

Davis, 42, was convicted of the 1989 murder of Police Officer Mark MacPhail in Savannah, Ga. Savannah was a major slave port in Georgia and has a history of racial tension. Davis has been on death row for 20 years.

Over 60,000 people have signed a petition to the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles calling for the commutation of his death sentence. Those signing the petition include Pope Benedict XVI, Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, representatives for the European Parliament, and South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

©2011 Tomi Johnson. All rights reserved.

Prayer for Troy Davis

Dear God,

Time is drawing nigh for the state's execution of your son, Troy Davis. Since you are an all-powerful God, I pray that You will perform a miracle and spare his life. If it is Your will for him to become one with You in the spirit, then let Your will be done.

Lord, you are the ultimate judge. Even though Troy Davis has proclaimed his innocence, only you know the truth, and only you have the power over life and death. Please forgive us of all our sins. Please help us to love You more as well as our fellow man.

Have mercy upon us, have mercy upon us, is our prayer. Be with Troy through this ordeal and with us all as we try to sort out what is about to happen.

We pray in the name of Jesus,

Class conflicts from a moral perspective: a reporter's opinion


"...for ALL have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23)....God shows no partiality" (Romans 2:11) "...the same Lord is Lord of ALL and bestows His riches upon ALL who call upon Him" (Romans 10:12)
"...many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.” (Mark 10:31)

"All men are created equal"
---U.S. Declaration of Independence
"...equal protection of the laws" ---14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

The Repubs. have accused President Obama of fueling class warfare by condoning Buffett-like tax relief - making the rich pay as much as the poor in taxes. According to Wikipedia, "tensions due to competing socioeconomic interests can take the form of cheap labor; deaths from poverty, starvation or unsafe working conditions; coercion, such as the threat of losing a job or pulling an important investment...The conflict can be open, as with a labor lockout, or hidden, as with an informal slowdown in production protesting low wages or unfair labor practices."

These conflicts are often defined, monitored, and carried out by the ruling class, i.e. the rich. The rich are now saying that it is unfair for them to be taxed the same way middle and poor income groups are taxed. I say that our entire economic system is based on a series of entitlements for the wealthy. Perhaps the most egregious forms of economic class warfare deals with the different pricing schemes on goods and services for those who can pay IN CASH and those who can't.

Another tactic is to give the rich better interest rates on loans based on their good credit scores. The system of awarding the rich for "good credit" harms those who are of meager financial means and have poor credit from getting good "deals" on homes, cars, and appliances. These sort of DISCOUNTS foment economic, class conflicts.

The wealthy are given deep "discounts" in life. Many celebrities do not pay for lavish weddings (The Kardashians), or for clothes, jewelry, and other sundries when they give their endorsements. Some can buy their way out of military service. Others can get off in our courts from committing horrific crimes because they can afford high priced lawyers. Justice is not equal in America.

If you can pay CASH for something, you can be rewarded with a discounted price. If you don't have the money, you will be charged an exorbitant interest rate to be paid over time. This can lead to disastrous outcomes for those who don't have the money to buy a home and are in hock to banks for 15-30 years or more. This is akin to sharecroppers getting in debt to the company or country store and virtually having nothing at the end of growing season and often owing money after the "accounting" was made.

Undeception's website identifies Jesus as an "equal opportunity savior." People of faith should take His equality mantra to heart. Imposing economic equality before God, under the U.S. Constitution, and within the U.S. Declaration of Independence should be one and the same. If these ideals were truly adopted, class conflicts in the U.S. would cease. If these were adhered to, the world would be a better place.

©2011 Tomi Johnson. All rights reserved.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Troy Davis "March for Clemency" planned in Atlanta

Although the execution date of death row inmate Troy Davis is set for Wednesday, September 21 in Georgia, a last ditch effort is being made to save his life. Amnesty International, the National Action Network (NAN), and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) are hosting a march and prayer vigil to stop his execution and move for clemency.

The march will take place today, September 16, at 6 p.m. at Woodruff Park near Peachtree and Edgewood in Atlanta and will continue to Ebenezer Baptist Church, 407 Auburn Avenue, near the burial grounds of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King.

Davis, 42, was convicted of the 1989 murder of a Savannah police officer. He has been on death row for 20 years. Over 60,000 people have signed a petition to the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles calling for the commutation of his death sentence. Those signing the petition include Pope Benedict XVI, Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, representatives for the European Parliament, and South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

"After the march, I will be joined by Larry Cox, executive director of Amnesty International, Rev. Al Sharpton of NAN, and Rev. Dr. Raphael Gamaliel Warnock of Ebenezer at a rally at the church to continue shining a light on the appalling injustice that Troy Davis is facing," said Ben Jealous, President & CEO of the NAACP.

Performances by the Indigo Girls, several local choirs, and pleas from the Davis family are planned at the rally. "It’s times like this when we all know why we are so dedicated to the cause of justice," Jealous said.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

U.S. foreclosure activity increases

RealtyTrac® (, the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, today released its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report™ for August 2011, which shows foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 228,098 U.S. properties in August. This represents a 7 percent increase from the previous month, but still down nearly 33 percent from August 2010. The report also shows one in every 570 U.S. housing units with a foreclosure filing during the month.

“The big increase in new foreclosure actions may be a signal that lenders are starting to push through some of the foreclosures delayed by robo-signing and other documentation problems,” said James Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “It also foreshadows more bank repossessions in the coming months as these new foreclosures make their way through the process.”

Nevada, California, and Arizona post top state foreclosure rates . Nevada posted the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate for the 56th straight month in August, with one in every 118 housing units with a foreclosure filing during the month.

One in every 226 California housing units had a foreclosure filing during the month — more than twice the national average. Other states with foreclosure rates ranking among the top 10 were Georgia, Idaho, Michigan, Florida, Illinois, Colorado and Utah.

NEW WORLD ORDER contemplated by H. G. Wells

This sounds scary, but many of our former U. S. presidents have talked about The New World Order. Here is what H. G. Wells, a science fiction writer, wrote in 1940: "The loss of confidence and particularly confidence in the government and social order is already enormous. No one feels secure, in his job, in his services, in his savings, any longer. People lose confidence even in the money in their pockets. And human society is built on confidence. It cannot carry on without it."

Project Gutenberg of Australia eBooks


Will Obama's jobs plan work?

By Tomi Johnson...Is Obama's jobs plan trickle down economics? Will this new rising tide lift our sinking economy? Is any plan better than no plan? Will banks lend to small businesses, and will small businesses turn around and hire? There are no guarantees on this one.

This type of supply-side economics provides tax breaks to businesses in the belief that this will indirectly benefit the broad population, namely the unemployed. Akin to Reaganomics, this new plan also calls for not raising taxes on those making less than $200k - or $250k per year, better known as the non-wealthy.

Let's be clear: The poverty rate, which is increasing, is $10,890 for one person, and $18,530 for the average household defined as parents, offspring and extended squatters. Being rich is relative, but some would deem anyone making over $20k rich in this economy!

How will jobs "planned" to be created with the new initiative help the other 12 million unemployed, millions of underemployed, and people receiving no income not listed on unemployment rolls?

According to Economist William Darity, Obama's job bill if passed will only put a band-aid on the unemployment sore.

"The problem is, of course, it's not a direct jobs program," Darity said. "The government 'incentivizes' the private sector (especially these mystical small businesses that Obama keeps touting as the big source of jobs in our economy) to hire people, rather than the government hiring people directly."

According to Darity, the President of the United States (POTUS) and Congress must come up with another alternative to save our nation. "Many a slip betwixt cup and the lip in the POTUS' plan. We might do well to get two million new jobs out of it. We have 14 million people who are jobless."

Even post George Orwell 1984, one wonders whether it is prudent to have the government hire more people to solve our economic problems. In a recent letter to me, Obama encouraged the unemployed to go to USAJOBS website (, but getting a job there is near impossible, unless you are a veteran.

We also need to hire the unemployed, not just shift people from one job to another. We need to make sure that certain groups are not discriminated against in employment...we do not need the same old boys getting the same old jobs. We must narrow the wealth gap!

As our currency implores, PUT YOUR TRUST IN GOD, NOT MAN. We truly need a miracle!

©2011 Tomi Johnson. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Millions of homeowners being counseled on foreclosure

NeighborWorks America announced yesterday that more than 1.1 million homeowners across the United States have received foreclosure counseling through the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling (NFMC) Program.

In December 2010, an independent analysis of the NFMC Program showed that NFMC Program clients in foreclosure were 1.7 times more likely to cure a foreclosure and potentially avoid losing a home than homeowners who did not receive foreclosure counseling. In addition, NFMC clients who received loan modifications reduced their monthly mortgage payments on average by $267 more per month than they would have without NFMC counseling. This represents an annual savings of over $3,200 per homeowner.

The organization also said California and Florida were hardest hit by delinquencies and foreclosures, and minority and low-income homeowners and neighborhoods have been disproportionately impacted by the foreclosure crisis.

NeighborWorks America is one of the nation’s leading trainers on community development and affordable housing. In the last five years, NeighborWorks organizations have generated $20 billion in reinvestment in communities.

For more information about the NFMC Program, visit

Monday, September 12, 2011

Eugenics movement on the rise fueled by Tea Party debate

At tonight's Republican Tea Party debate, the moderator asked whether a 30-year old without health insurance lying in an intensive care unit should be denied care and left to die. This person could be the patient who was rescued by bystanders after a motorcycle accident in Utah. One person in the audience responded, "Yeah," while others applauded.

This outburst is one example of how some Republicans feel about social programs paid by taxes which include Obamacare. Although many Republicans claim to be Pro- lifers, what does this outburst say about them helping save a life?

The rest of the debate was pure entertainment with pointed swipes at President Obama, calling him scary, depressing, antiquated, and inept.

What do you think of the Tea Party movement? Please post your comments.
©2011 Tomi Johnson. All rights reserved.

Eliminationism without war: unresolved threats

While viewing the PBS documentary Worse Than War based on the book and research of Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, I wondered to myself can unemployment, incarceration, abortion, and mis-education lead to forms of genocide within our own borders?

Also, how will this month's United Nation's vote on Israel's border affect the United States if the Palestinian's demands are met?

What are your thoughts on these subjects?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Phishing phone calls being made by pseudo banks

Beware of automated telephone calls saying that your bank debit card has been compromised. Calling systems have been calling homes in the last two days, saying that unusual activity has occurred and that banking services may be suspended. These calls are tied to Bank of America accounts but may deal with any bank accounts held by customers.

According to Bank of America, if there is fraudulent activity on your account, the bank will notify you once and suspend the account but will not keep calling. A representative at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said these calls are set up to get personal information from bank cardholders and are actually "fishing" for your identity.

If you receive one of these calls, contact the Consumer Protection Agency in your state and lodge a complaint with the FTC by calling 877-382-4357.

©2011 Tomi Johnson. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Start-ups may be ineligible for SBLF funds

With employment rates remaining flat and the job market getting tighter, some folks are thinking of going into business for themselves, but "newbie" entrepreneurs with good ideas and little track record may still have a hard time securing financing. Start-ups may not even be eligible for $767 million recently given out to Main Street community banks by the Treasury Department in an attempt to jump start small business ventures and create jobs.

Charles A. Beard, President and CEO of Commercial Banking Company (CBC), says to his knowledge his bank is the first in Georgia to receive funds from the U.S. Treasury Department's Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF), and he urges small businesses to apply. CBC is part of Lowndes Bancshares, Inc. of Valdosta, Ga. which has received $6 million to loan small businesses.

"We are making these funds available to businesses in our local communities which are defined as Lowndes and Colquitt counties. The purpose of the SBLF is to facilitate banks making loans available to small businesses, and that is our intent." Beard said his bank prides itself on relationships and tends not to lend outside the market or to people they do not know who cannot be serviced on an ongoing basis. (Photo from CBC website)

Beard said funding categories for SBLF loans include owner occupied commercial real estate (attorney and doctor's offices, grocery stores, etc.), commercial or industrial loans which are basically small businesses needing more capital, or agricultural related businesses.

"We already have some customers in the pipeline who are eligible for the funds." Beard said he is not doing any advertising and will be delivering information about the funding by way of bank loan officers. Beard said this funding is more applicable to existing small business customers who are continuing to grow, expand, and maintain their businesses as opposed to start-ups.

"It's getting harder and harder to deal with banks because of adequacy of capital and cost of funds." Beard said that having customers in the pipeline makes it easier to accommodate existing customer's needs.

The SBLF is one part of the Obama Administration’s comprehensive agenda to help small businesses access the capital they need to invest and hire. The State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), which is also a key part of the Small Business Jobs Act, allocates $1.5 billion to new and existing state programs that will leverage private financing to spur $15 billion in new lending to small businesses and small manufacturers.

According to the SPLF website, the Fund encourages lending to small businesses by providing capital to qualified community banks with assets of less than $10 billion. Through the Small Business Lending Fund, Main Street banks and small businesses can work together to help create jobs and promote economic growth in local communities across the nation.

"Ninety-five percent of the funds that will be made available are still open for discussion." Beard advises those wishing to apply to have a business plan in hand to submit to a loan officer. For more eligibility requirements to participate in the Lowndes Bancshares, Inc. and CBC funding, go to or go into one of the bank's branches.

©2011 Tomi Johnson. All rights reserved.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Slavery, the Game is on You Tube

Supposedly being released in June 2012 and produced by Javelin Reds Gaming, a game based on slavery is a hot, You Tube video. The game allows the gamer to trade and exploit slaves in 17th century Europe.

To watch the bogus trailer, go to

©2011 Tomi Johnson. All rights reserved.

Friday, September 2, 2011

U.S. jobs report shows unemployment figures unchanged

Nonfarm payroll employment was unchanged (0) in August, and the unemployment rate held at 9.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment in most major industries changed little over the month. Health care continued to add jobs, and a decline in information employment reflected a strike. Government employment continued to trend down, despite the return of workers from a partial government shutdown in Minnesota.

The number of unemployed persons in the U.S. is at 14.0 million. Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (8.9 percent), adult women (8.0 percent), teenagers (25.4 percent), whites (8.0 percent), blacks (16.7 percent), and Hispanics (11.3 percent) showed little or no change in August. The jobless rate for Asians was 7.1 percent, not seasonally adjusted.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) was unchanged at 6.0 million in August and accounted for 42.9 percent of the unemployed.

To read the Commissioner's statement on unemployment, go to

First Busey Corporation receives $72.7 million to spur small businesses to create jobs

The U.S. Department of the Treasury has announced that an additional 50 community banks across the country received a total of $767 million as part of funding provided through the Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF). The bank receiving the most money was First Busey Corporation of Champaign, Ill., which received $72.7 million. The smallest award of $1.5 million went to PFSB Bancorporation, Inc. in Pigeon Falls, Wis.

“These funds will provide a powerful incentive for community banks to expand their lending to small businesses, spurring new investment and job creation” said Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Neal S. Wolin. “Breaking down barriers to credit will provide critical support to Main Street entrepreneurs looking to invest in their local communities, grow their businesses, and put more Americans back to work.”

The SBLF, which was established as part of the Small Business Jobs Act that President Obama signed into law, encourages community banks to increase their lending to small businesses, helping those companies expand their operations and create new jobs.

Enacted into law as part of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 (the Jobs Act), the Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF) is a $30 billion fund that encourages lending to small businesses by providing capital to qualified community banks with assets of less than $10 billion.

The Small Business Jobs Act defines small business lending as certain loans of up to $10 million to businesses with up to $50 million in annual revenues. Those loans include:
• Commercial and industrial loans
• Owner-occupied nonfarm, nonresidential real estate loans
• Loans to finance agricultural production and other loans to farmers
• Loans secured by farmland

To learn more about this program and other banks involved, go to:

New jobs report due today

The employment situation for August 2011 is scheduled to be released on September 2, 2011, at 8:30 a.m. by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.

NOTE: When George W. Bush became president in January 2001, the unemployment rate was 3.4%. When he left office in January 2009, the rate was 8.5%.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Avoid bank fees by having good relationship with banker!

"For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath." Matthew 13:12

NOTE: When banks stop offering walk in teller access to save on fee assessments, a savings passed on to customers, it could signal employee layoffs...

Many banks will have fee changes in October, and many customers who do not have a lot of money in the bank will get automatic deductions from their accounts. Other banks are merging and competing for customers by offering free money with a few requirement stipulations. The world of banking is changing, and customers should beware and be informed.

Students who set up accounts in high school after five years face fees automatically because of changes in requirements, even though they are still in college. Bank corporate offices send out junk mail-looking announcements stating changes, but often the information is overlooked. These announcements often state that unless a daily balance of $1500 is maintained, an $8.95 charge will be deducted each month. This is not good for students who are already strapped for cash and face huge loan payments when they graduate, even though they may not have jobs.

According to Wikipedia, "The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA, Pub.L. 95-128, title VIII of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1977, 91 Stat. 1147, 12 U.S.C. § 2901 et seq.) is a United States federal law designed to encourage commercial banks and savings associations to help meet the needs of borrowers in all segments of their communities, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods.[1][2][3] Congress passed the Act in 1977 to reduce discriminatory credit practices against low-income neighborhoods, a practice known as redlining."

Antron Freeman, banking center manager at Bank of America in Marietta, Ga., said the best way to avoid fees is to have a good, working relationship with your neighborhood banker and to examine all bank account options. "The industry itself is large...and it could take years to communicate information to customers, so we do it through the mail in hopes that our customers are looking at their statements and other bank correspondence."

Freeman said bankers are dependent on information from customers to better the system and come up with alternatives that work for both the bank and customers. "We just did a complete overhaul on the types of accounts that we offer, and one of the four accounts that we have may be a good fit," he said.

Banks are also buying out other banks. RBC is being acquired by banking giant PNC which is rumored to be merging with FlagStar Bank. RBC is offering $150 for opening checking accounts through mail out letters and $25 for customer referrals.

IronStone Bank, a division of First Citizens Bank, offers free business checking to accounts with DBA status. Lockheed Federal Credit Union is offering 2%interest on some checking accounts and 2% interest on children's savings accounts.

For more information, contact your local bank.

©2011 Tomi Johnson. All rights reserved.

Cobb Superintendent to speak at Democratic Women meeting

Dr. Michael Hinojosa, the new Cobb County Superintendent of Schools, will be the guest speaker at the Cobb Democratic Women's monthly meeting on Thursday, September 8 between 6 - 8 p.m. The meeting will be held at Scalini's Restaurant, 2390 Cobb Parkway SE in Smyrna, Ga.

"Come learn the latest on education in our Cobb County schools, and bring a friend!" said RuthE Levy, organization chairwoman.

The organization will also be collecting school supplies to be donated to children at the YMCA Battered Women's Shelter. Needed school items include paper, pencils, notebooks, gently used dictionaries, and working TI calculators.

For reservations and more information about this event, contact or call 770-639-5658.