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Public Debt, Inequality, and Power: The Making of a Modern Debt State
Sandy Brian Hager
(2016) Free ebook 

Who are the dominant owners of U.S. public debt? Is it widely held, or concentrated in the hands of a few? Does ownership of public debt give these bondholders power over our government? What do we make of the fact that foreign-owned debt has ballooned to nearly 50 percent today? Until now, we have not had any satisfactory answers to these questions. Public Debt, Inequality, and Power is the first comprehensive historical analysis of public debt ownership in the United States. It reveals that ownership of federal bonds has been increasingly concentrated in the hands of the 1 percent over the last three decades. Based on extensive and original research, Public Debt, Inequality, and Power will shock and enlighten.

Confessions of a Municipal Bond Salesman
Jim Lebenthal with Bernice Kanner
(2006)

“I am down to my fingertips a municipal bond salesman. I deal in an investment that has had an historic cumulative default rate, up to September 2008, of one-tenth of 1 percent for every municipal bond rated from Aaa to C by Moody’s, and three-tenths of 1 percent for every municipal bond rated AAA to C by Standard & Poor’s. Municipalities can’t simply pull up stakes whenever the going gets tough. Governments have to stay in business.”

Through TV and radio ads with catchy taglines such as “Bonds are my babies,” many of which he starred in, Lebenthal shared his belief that tax-free bonds were a sound investment for the low or middle-income individual investor – “the little guy,” as Lebenthal called his primary customers. “My clients are poor people with money, and there are plenty of them,” he said in 1989.

One of Lebenthal’s commercial campaigns centered on building New Yorkers’ respect for public works through the company’s “Built by Bonds” slogan. He hoped this reverence would lead investors to buy the bonds that backed them.

Those commercials showed Lebenthal as a patrician Wall Street executive extolling the virtues of the city’s subways and sewers. In one commercial, Lebenthal, clad in an expensive gray suit, tossed garbage bags to promote a trash incinerator. “He’s taken a faceless commodity and put a face on it – a goofy one,” advertising executive Donny Deutsch told the New York Times in 1993. (source: obituary in Bloomberg News, condensed and slightly edited here for flow)

I am a white woman. I am standing beside a black woman. We are facing a group of white people who are seated in front of us. We are in their workplace, and have been hired by their employer to lead them in a dialogue about race. The room is filled with tension and charged with hostility. I have just presented a definition of racism that includes the acknowledgment that whites hold social and institutional power over people of color. A white man is pounding his fist on the table. His face is red and he is furious. As he pounds he yells, “White people have been discriminated against for 25 years! A white person can’t get a job anymore!” I look around the room and see 40 employed people, all white. There are no people of color in this workplace. Something is happening here, and it isn’t based in the racial reality of the workplace. I am feeling unnerved by this man’s disconnection with that reality, and his lack of sensitivity to the impact this is having on my cofacilitator, the only person of color in the room. Why is this white man so angry? Why is he being so careless about the impact of his anger? Why are all the other
white people either sitting in silent agreement with him or tuning out? We have, after all, only articulated a definition of racism.
— 

 This insulated environment of racial protection builds white expectations for racial comfort while at the same time lowering the ability to tolerate racial stress, leading to what I refer to as White Fragility. White Fragility is a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium.

Read the rest here  !!

White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo

First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you’re inspired or not. Habit will help you finish and polish your stories. Inspiration won’t. Habit is persistence in practice.
—  Octavia E. Butler, “Furor Scribendi” in Bloodchild and Other Stories

Today, I’m going to spotlight an amazing publishing company, @harpercollins / @epicreads! They’ve been sending me some “epic” reads this month and I wanted to share them with you!

📚Meet Me Here by Bryan Bliss (happy release day!)
📚The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
📚The Thousandth Floor by Katherine McGee
📚My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows
📚Down with the Shine by Kate Karyus Quinn
📚Dreamology by Lucy Keating
📚Unrivaled by Alyson Noël

___________

Also, I have never taken a photo from this angle before! Mostly because my bed isn’t anything special… But you want to know a secret?

I hung up the photos and lights right before I took this picture LOL! Actually, this photo is exactly why I made my bed area pretty hahahaha.

That’s one of the many secrets of a bookstagrammer😂. I don’t really decorate a certain way unless it will look good in photos. And sometimes, a set up is just for show! Say for example a cup of coffee is in the photo - Of course I will end up drinking it (because I’m so obsessed), BUT 50% of the time I made that cup of coffee specifically for a photo lol.

Hmm maybe I will do a blog post or youtube video about this in the future 😏

bookstagram | facebook | twitter | blog |

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Readings on Indo-Caribbean Women/Feminism

Indo-Caribbean Feminisms: Charting Crossings in Geography, Discourse, and PoliticsGabrielle Jamela Hossein and Lisa Outar

Changing Symbols of Indo-Caribbean FemininityPatricia Mohammed

Calypso and Krishna’s Flute: The Indo-Caribbean Woman’s Moving BodyAnanya Kabir

Fictions of the Past: Staging Indianness, Identity, and Sexuality Among Young Women in Indo-Trinidadian Beauty PageantsAnusha Ragbir

The Queer Potential: (Indo-)Caribbean Feminisms and HeteronormativityLauren Pragg

BOOKS (text not included)

Mobilizing India: Women, Music, and Migration between India and Trinidad by Tejaswini Niranjana

Diasporic Dis(Locations): Indo-Caribbean Women Writers Negotiate the Kala Pani by Brinda J. Mehta 

Critical Perspectives on Indo-Caribbean Women’s Literature by Joy Mahabir and Miriam Pirbhai

Bindi: The Multi-Faceted Lives of Indo-Caribbean Women by Rosanne Kanhai

Matikor: The Politics of Identity for Indo-Caribbean Women by Rosanne Kanhai

Classic Literature

Foreign Language Literature

Biology & Medicine

Physics

Chemistry

Psychology

Geography & Anthropology

Economics & Politics

Maths

History

Philosophy & Theology

Art & Art History

Music

[This is by no means a perfect list and I had real trouble finding books written by female authors, specifically in more scientific areas, so if you have any recommendations then send them to me and I’ll update this list]

Books & Cupcakes June Book Photo Challenge

Day Fourteen: Book Haul

Money has been tight lately because BILLS but these are all thanks to birthday gift cards. People know me so well. <3 I haven’t been able to read any of these yet because I’ve gone a little overboard at the library (I have like seven books out right now) but I can’t wait to read each of these!