The latest Restoration Calls piece is catching on like wildfire. Wait around and we’ll post TED’s reaction to the article. 
good:

Visit the website for TED, the conference for creative techies and do-gooding hipsters that vaulted the 18-minute lecture into an art form, and you’ll find speakers discussing everything from “Sculpting Waves in Wood and Time” to “Building U.S.-China relations … by Banjo.”
What you won’t find is a recent TED talk by Michael Hanauer, a wealthy venture capitalist, that argues income inequality is a problem that threatens the economy, and that higher taxes on the wealthy are part of the solution. 
Read more on GOOD.is →

The latest Restoration Calls piece is catching on like wildfire. Wait around and we’ll post TED’s reaction to the article. 

good:

Visit the website for TED, the conference for creative techies and do-gooding hipsters that vaulted the 18-minute lecture into an art form, and you’ll find speakers discussing everything from “Sculpting Waves in Wood and Time” to “Building U.S.-China relations … by Banjo.”

What you won’t find is a recent TED talk by Michael Hanauer, a wealthy venture capitalist, that argues income inequality is a problem that threatens the economy, and that higher taxes on the wealthy are part of the solution. 

Read more on GOOD.is →

These PowerPoints were too hot for TED:

Amazon investor Nick Hanauer gave a TED talk on income inequality and how the wealthy don’t create jobs. You’ll never see the video on TED.com. Why did TED deem Hanauer’s speech as too controversial?



It is astounding how significantly one idea can shape a society and its policies.  Consider this one.


If taxes on the rich go up, job creation will go down.  


This idea is an article of faith for republicans and seldom challenged by democrats and has shaped much of today’s economic landscape.


But sometimes the ideas that we know to be true are dead wrong. For thousands of years people were sure that earth was at the center of the universe.  It’s not, and an astronomer who still believed that it was, would do some lousy astronomy.  


In the same way, a policy maker who believed that the rich and businesses are “job creators” and therefore should not be taxed, would make equally bad policy.  


I have started or helped start, dozens of businesses and initially hired lots of people. But if no one could have afforded to buy what we had to sell, my businesses would all have failed and all those jobs would have evaporated.


That’s why I can say with confidence that rich people don’t create jobs, nor do businesses, large or small. What does lead to more employment is a “circle of life” like feedback loop between customers and businesses. And only consumers can set in motion this virtuous cycle of increasing demand and hiring. In this sense, an ordinary middle-class consumer is far more of a job creator than a capitalist like me. 


Read the full speech that TED said was too controversial to show. View the presentation.


What do you think? Is there a problem with income inequality? Do the wealthy create jobs? Should taxes increase for the wealthy? Submit your story, ideas, questions here.

Restoration Calls: The Last Time I was in my Mother’s House

I’m writing this post for my family as much as myself.

I grew up in a fading industrial town in southern Ohio surrounded by paper and steel mills. I watched my single mom claw her way up from poverty-level wages and 2 AM calls in her entry-level job at the dawn of modern computing. I still remember standing in my pajamas amidst the weird hum of mainframe computers as she worked whatever magic she had to work in the middle of those long nights. 20 years later, she would become a project manager making 80k a year.

I saw that struggle and learned what it meant to work hard. I also learned, at least as much as I could as a young man, what it must be to be a woman, a single mom, in present-day America.

Then I saw her lose it all.  A layoff. A foreclosure. An abusive second husband. A son (my brother) with severe addiction problems made worse by years of frustration in our below-average, one-size-fits-all school district.

I had worked through college, first community, then four year state school, after which I promptly put my liberal arts degree to use working retail and paying $150 a month for rent in our near-abandoned steel town. Just down the road, a flame from the plant burned day and night and sometimes when it rained it looked like Coca-Cola. Friends worked 14-hour shifts to churn out the raw material for automobiles no one in town was buying.

I had settled into this low place. Keep my head down, watch the town I lived in bleed out, and try not to think about the trials of my mother and my brother. I didn’t realize it, but I had given up.

One of the last times I was in the house where I grew up, before the foreclosure, I fought my stepfather. It was over something stupid that grew into something serious. He was drunk, things were thrown, skin was separated, and we both ended up  in police cruisers. I slept through my shower in the municipal jail the next morning and went before the judge still bloody from the night before.

At that point, I knew I had to do something new. I joined Americorps, working two wonderful years in urban schools and doing service projects in some of Cincinnati’s most interesting and underestimated neighborhoods. I met champions doing so much more than I had done with so much less than I had.

Telling stories has always been a passion of mine. After my service, I realized I would like the privilege of telling the stories of these champions— the stories of people who, despite being put down by economics or geography or gender or skin color, continue to push on and strive for the America that has always been promised but never quite delivered.

People like my mother.

So here I am, privileged to be studying journalism in graduate school. Is it a crap shoot? Hell yes. I need no reminders how hard it is to get a job in the field. Is it a calling? Hell yes. I can’t imagine doing anything else. People need to hear about and talk about the heroic efforts of everyday folks. Because at this point, the deeds of these folks are the only thing about this country I have faith in.


What’s your story? Submit your story and we’ll publish it here.

A candidate must be a chameleon, adapting to each person he meets, changing his expression and speech as necessary.

Politicians pandering to voters, making hollow promises, using ancient election techniques… guess what? These really are ancient election techniques. 

Read more advice translated from a memo believed to be written by Quintus Cicero to his brother, Marcus Tullius, in 64 B.C. while Marcus was campaigning for consul.

“Last month, the tour made a stop in Detroit, symbolically the ground zero for American Decline (the Eastwood ad notwithstanding), giving Springsteen the opportunity to connect with those who may have more keenly felt the ravages of modern times. The crowd, while not representative of the nation as it stands (too old, too white), was a mix of blue and white collars, most of whom sang aloud and pumped their fists along with each song.

But did they listen to what they were singing? For an arena show, it got real in a hurry:

They destroyed our families’ factories and they took our homes 

They left our bodies on the plains. 

The vultures picked our bones …”


Is The Boss the class warrior America is looking for? A post on Springsteen’s politics, latest album and his appeal to both the left and right. Read it here.


Senate Republicans on Tuesday blocked legislation to freeze interest rates on need-based student loans, creating an election-year fight that could double loan costs for some college students.
Americans aren’t the only ones looking to U.S. institutions for guidance, support, and sometimes even inspiration. For a long time now, America has been the world’s role model for democracy….
But when the self-proclaimed paragon of democracy fails to set an example, what chance do other nations have at building one from scratch?
Role Models
Restoration Calls: “My peers are lost.”

Hello! I am an 18 year old male from Southern California.

At 15 and 1/2  I tested out of our crumbling public educational system, got my diploma equivalency, and went straight into the community college system. At 16 years of age I was studying alongside peers 2 years my senior or more. Over these 2 years at community college I’ve noticed a few things: 

1. Most of my peers are horribly underprepared. This is a fact I could probably see coming, considering the mind-numbing experience I had during my year and a half at high school. The educational experience I’ve had at community college is distinctly better than the one I had at high school and I have to say that it’s probably a good thing that these kids came here first.

2. Most of the coursework in every class is disturbingly similar. English 1A/1B? Philosophy? Humanities? History? Art appreciation? “Today I will be lecturing on [sequenced topic #7492]. Next week I want a 5 page paper due on [specific detail or details within topic], double spaced, 12 point font.” 

The classes in which I learned the most were the ones most different from the others. My American Government class was classroom discussion-based, where the peers would solely communicate and debate with each other with accompanied mediation and fact checking from the professor. I remember more things from those classroom discussions (and it was two years ago!) than I do about my lectures last week in humanities and physics.

After being elected to the presidential position of my school’s chapter of an international organization, I actually started learning things about myself that I didn’t think were present before. Instead of jumping into a bunch of classes because that’s what was expected of me, I started going out and living life and experiencing; learning as I went along. 

I have no faith in our educational system. My peers are lost. Finding someone who has passion for their pursued topic of interest is near and narrow in between a large, zombified population who probably won’t say more than 3 words to you if you try to strike a conversation.

If I knew of another option (and if I wasn’t getting free, untaxed money from the government), I probably wouldn’t be here.

What’s your story? How have your dreams and goals changed since recession? Submit your story and we’ll publish it here.

Restoration Calls: “My generation is screwed, and the only question is how badly.”

I’m twenty, and incredibly lucky. I managed to find full time work in a job that pays a bit more than minimum wage. Assembly work, second shift. If I last past six months I get health insurance and a 401(5).

I dropped out of college a little more than a year ago, with a small student loan leftover. My mother lent me the money to pay it off, and I’m paying her back, since she’s not charging 6% interest like the government is.

I’m not planning on going back to college, at least not in the foreseeable future, because I don’t see much value in a bachelor’s degree anymore. It’s not guarantee of a job, and it’d cost me thousands in debt.

My mom makes over a $100 thousand a year, but that’s not a possibility for my generation anymore. I’m hoping I can find a way to break into $30 thousand by my late twenties, and even that feels unrealistic. My generation is screwed, and the only question is how badly.

What’s your story? Submit your story and we’ll publish it here.

Restoration Calls: “And I was always told to study what I love, to pursue whatever education I felt led to.”

I’m 21 years old, and a junior at Bible College. I’m nearly broke; I haven’t been able to find an employer willing to work around my school schedule. I was able to get a job on campus, but it only allows me to work about 5 hours a week—10 if I can convince nearly all of my coworkers to give me their shift. I’ve tried to get other jobs on campus, but because I already “have” one my name is automatically sent to the bottom of the list.

I’ve been trying to get a summer job, which is just laughable. No one is willing to hire me for just the summer, and because I went to school out of state, that was my only option. I eventually made the decision to get a place to live in the same city as my school, in the hope that I could get hired on for the summer and continue working there throughout the school year. But by now it’s too late to be putting in job applications, and no one has called me back. My parents are breathing down my neck, disappointed that I’m not coming home this summer, disappointed that I don’t have a job yet, disappointed that I have no money to speak of.

Also, I’m a Biblical Studies major. The job options for when I leave here are practically nonexistent. My plan is to go to grad school to increase my chances of having a career capable of paying off all of my debt. But there’s no guarantee that a Master’s will help me get a job—and plenty of guarantee that grad school will bury me even deeper in debt.

College was never optional for me. My dad didn’t have the chance to go to college, and he and my mom worked hard every day of their lives to make sure my brothers and I could get there. And I was always told to study what I love, to pursue whatever education I felt led to. I still believe that God has brought me to this city, to this school, to this degree program…but I can’t for the life of me figure out why.

What’s your story? Are you in school and pursuing a degree because you love it or because it will lead to a well-paying job? Do you think students should pursue practical degrees or chase their dreams? Submit your story and we’ll publish it here.