Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, August 1, 2020

MVNews this week:  Page 13



Talking About The Things That Really Bother Us

Mountain View News Saturday, August 1, 2020 

EDITORS NOTE: If you are living in America here and now, these are extradinarily difficult times. It is as though 
every single thing that could possibly challenge us and our beliefs, regardless of who you are, is demanding attention. 
Right now. Regardless of your race, gender, political beliefs, religion, or national origin, everyone is talking 
about everything that is or has turned their lives upside down. Our faith in our Democracy is faltering. We are 
being divided because of our religious and political beliefs; we are in denial about the lack of respect we show for 
each other and how little concern we have over the plight of those who are different than we are. Add to that, we 
are all struggling with COVID-19 which has made us deal with a previously incomprehensible situation over which 
we have no control! Yes, there is much that we want to talk about.

Every single day, The Mountain Views News hears from readers who have something to say. Whether it is our nation's 
state of political affairs, schools opening during a pandemic and what is the right or wrong things to do; the 
demand for social justice, the name it and we hear from you. Why not share your conversations 
with others?

To that end, I have decided to run a special 'Letter To The Editor' section called "Conversations" where people can 
share their thoughts and/or experiences. We have a lot to learn from each other and we may find that we are really 
more alike than different. So, get on your computer, and send us what's on your mind. WARNING: Don't be 
mean spirited. No personal attacks. It's ok to be angry, but tell us why. Disagreement is fine and welcome, but this 
is a segment dedicated to having civilized 'conversations' about what concerns you as it relates to this country's current 
state of affairs. Share your experiences and feelings. We'd like to know. Maybe you can help us all out.

All submissions must be in electronic text format. No pdf's please. Submissions can remain anonymous if requested. 
Email your 'conversation' to: 

Susan Henderson, Publisher/Editor


John Lewis, the civil rights leader and congressman who died on July 17, 
wrote this essay shortly before his death. 

While my time here has now come to an end, I want you to know that 
in the last days and hours of my life you inspired me. You filled me with 
hope about the next chapter of the great American story when you used 
your power to make a difference in our society. Millions of people motivated 
simply by human compassion laid down the burdens of division. 
Around the country and the world you set aside race, class, age, language 
and nationality to demand respect for human dignity.

That is why I had to visit Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, though 
I was admitted to the hospital the following day. I just had to see and 
feel it for myself that, after many years of silent witness, the truth is still 
marching on.

Emmett Till was my George Floyd. He was my Rayshard Brooks, Sandra 
Bland and Breonna Taylor. He was 14 when he was killed, and I was 
only 15 years old at the time. I will never ever forget the moment when 
it became so clear that he could easily have been me. In those days, fear 
constrained us like an imaginary prison, and troubling thoughts of potential 
brutality committed for no understandable reason were the bars.

Though I was surrounded by two loving parents, plenty of brothers, sisters 
and cousins, their love could not protect me from the unholy oppression 
waiting just outside that family circle. Unchecked, unrestrained 
violence and government-sanctioned terror had the power to turn a 
simple stroll to the store for some Skittles or an innocent morning jog 
down a lonesome country road into a nightmare. If we are to survive as 
one unified nation, we must discover what so readily takes root in our 
hearts that could rob Mother Emanuel Church in South Carolina of her 
brightest and best, shoot unwitting concertgoers in Las Vegas and choke 
to death the hopes and dreams of a gifted violinist like Elijah McClain.

Like so many 
young people 
today, I was 
searching for a 
way out, or some 
might say a way 
in, and then I 
heard the voice 
of Dr. Martin 
Luther King Jr. 
on an old radio. 
He was talking 
about the 
philosophy and 
discipline of 
nonviolence. He 
said we are all 
complicit when 
we tolerate injustice. He said it is not enough to say it will get better by 
and by. He said each of us has a moral obligation to stand up, speak up 
and speak out. When you see something that is not right, you must say 
something. You must do something. Democracy is not a state. It is an 
act, and each generation must do its part to help build what we called 
the Beloved Community, a nation and world society at peace with itself.

Ordinary people with extraordinary vision can redeem the soul of 
America by getting in what I call good trouble, necessary trouble. Voting 
and participating in the democratic process are key. The vote is the most 
powerful nonviolent change agent you have in a democratic society. You 
must use it because it is not guaranteed. You can lose it.

You must also study and learn the lessons of history because humanity 
has been involved in this soul-wrenching, existential struggle for a very 
long time. People on every continent have stood in your shoes, through 
decades and centuries before you. The truth does not change, and that 
is why the answers worked out long ago can help you find solutions to 
the challenges of our time. Continue to build union between movements 
stretching across the globe because we must put away our willingness to 
profit from the exploitation of others.

Though I may not be here with you, I urge you to answer the highest 
calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe. In my life 
I have done all I can to demonstrate that the way of peace, the way of 
love and nonviolence is the more excellent way. Now it is your turn to let 
freedom ring.

When historians pick up their pens to write the story of the 21st century, 
let them say that it was your generation who laid down the heavy 
burdens of hate at last and that peace finally triumphed over violence, 
aggression and war. So I say to you, walk with the wind, brothers and 
sisters, and let the spirit of peace and the power of everlasting love be 
your guide.


Lot's of people have questioned the relationship of the Stock Market to our Economy. Below is an excerpt 
from an article by Matt Phillips that was written and published in May, 2020. Things are much worse now.

The stock market looks increasingly divorced from economic 

The United States is on the brink of the worst economic 
collapse since the Hoover administration. Corporate 
profits have crumpled. More than a million Americans 
have contracted the coronavirus, and hundreds are dying 
each day. There is no turnaround in sight.

Yet stocks keep climbing. Even as 20.5 million people lost 
their jobs in April, the S&P 500 stock index logged its best 
month in 33 years. After a few weeks of wild swings, the 
market is down a mere 9.3 percent this year and 13.5 percent 
from its peak — what most investors would consider 
a correction. On Friday, after the government released the 
staggering unemployment figures, the S&P 500 closed up 
1.7 percent.

Conventional wisdom would explain the market’s comparatively 
modest losses this way: Since markets tend to 
be forward-looking, investors have already accounted 
for what’s expected to be a cataclysmic drop in second-
quarter activity and are forecasting a relatively rapid economic 
recovery afterward. The Federal Reserve’s actions 
have also bolstered investors’ confidence that the bottom 
won’t fall out of the market.

But the pandemic has also highlighted a deeper trend. 
For decades, the market has been growing increasingly 
detached from the mainstream of American life, mirroring 
broad changes in the economy.

“Wall Street has very little to do with Main Street,” said 
Joachim Klement, a market analyst at Liberum Capital in 
London. “And less and less so.”

Still, the market retains its grip on the collective imagination. 
From politicians and corporate executives to mom-
and-pop investors, Americans have long relied on the 
stock market as a proxy for the U.S. economy — for reasons 
that are partly historical. Its crests suggested bright 
days ahead, while its troughs suggested a darkening outlook. 
The current economic fallout, however, could snap 
any illusions that the logic of the market is derived, in any 
consistent way, from real-world events.

Part of the reason is the makeup of the stock market, and 
the fact that the giant companies that make up the S&P 
500 operate under very different circumstances than the 
nation’s small businesses, workers and cities and states. 
They are highly profitable, hold significant sums of cash 
and have regular access to public bond markets. They’re 
far more global than the typical American family firm. 
(Roughly 40 percent of the revenues of S&P 500 companies 
come from abroad.)

In 2015, about 600,000 U.S. companies counted at least 20 
employees, and only 3,600 of those — or less than 1 percent 
— were publicly listed, said René Stulz, a professor 
of finance at Ohio State University, who has studied the 
changing composition of publicly traded markets.

Because the financial strength of big companies makes 
them more likely to survive the downturn, their share 
prices tend to underplay the impact of a widespread economic 
collapse. In fact, market indexes like the S&P 500 
are weighted to reflect the performance of the largest and 
most profitable companies. In recent weeks, the stocks of 
such companies have not only veered in the opposite direction 
of the outlook for the U.S. economy, but from the 
rest of the stock market itself.

The five largest listed companies — Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, 
Alphabet and Facebook — have continued to climb 
this year, as investors bet these behemoths will emerge in 
an even more dominant position after the crisis. Through 
the end of April, these companies were up roughly 10 
percent this year, while the 495 other companies in the 
S&P were down 13 percent, according to Goldman Sachs 
analysts. These highly valued firms — Microsoft, Amazon 
and Apple are each worth more than $1 trillion — now 
account for one-fifth of the market value of the index, the 
highest level in 30 years.

“It’s very easy to get confused by looking at the S&P doing 
well and that being driven by a relatively small subset of 
firms which aren’t really affected by this virus and actually 
gain from it,” said Mr. Stulz.

Nor does the mood of the market necessarily reflect the 
sentiment of a broad swathe of Americans. While U.S. 
stock markets are more democratic than most, with 
more than half of American households owning shares 
or investment funds like mutual funds, the overwhelming 
majority of stock accounts are relatively modest. Rather, 
stock ownership is heavily skewed to the richest segments 
of the population, who are least likely to feel the pain of 
an economic downturn.

“Stock ownership among the middle class is pretty minimal,” 
said Ed Wolff, an economist at New York University 
who studies the net worth of American families. He added: 
“The fluctuations in the stock market don’t have much 
effect on the net worth of middle-class families.”

In fact, a relatively small number of wealthy families 
own the vast majority of the shares controlled by U.S. 

The most recent data from the Federal Reserve shows that 
the wealthiest top 10 percent of American households 
own about 84 percent of the value of all household stock 
ownership, according to an analysis by Mr. Wolff. The 
top 1 percent controlled 40 percent of household stock 

Economists who have studied the performance of stock 
markets over time say there’s relatively little evidence that 
economic growth matters to the outcome of the market 
at all.

“The linkage is actually pretty weak,” said Jay Ritter, a finance 
professor at the University of Florida who has studied 
the long-run relationship between economic growth 
and market returns in world markets. “In the longer run, 
the relationship is, empirically, it’s not there.”

None of this is a secret. So why do millions of Americans 
continue to think the market really is a barometer on the 
economy? That’s more a question of history and culture 
than economics.

Historians say the stock market’s link in the American 
psyche to the economic health of the country goes back, 
at least, to the 1929 crash.

“You can think of the Great Crash as almost traumatizing 
Americans,” said Janice Traflet, a financial historian at 
Bucknell University’s Freeman College of Management.

With little quality economic information, many Americans 
saw the 1929 market collapse — the S&P fell an 
astounding 86 percent before bottoming in 1932 — as 
the event that caused the Great Depression. The close 
connection between the health of the economy and the 
health of the markets, in the minds of many Americans, 
had been forged.

“Whether or not they were right or wrong that’s the way 
many Americans interpreted it. And sometimes perceptions 
become the reality,” said Ms. Traflet.

From Stuart Tolchin, SM


Part 1 of 3

 The recent death of 
Civil rights icon John Lewis has 
motivated me to share some of my 
own experiences of my brief time in 
Mississippi as a civil rights worker in 
1966. Happily, I have been invited 
to write a series of two or three 
articles describing those experiences 
and tying them to the person I now 
believe myself to have become and the 
life that I have lived in the intervening 
54 years. So here goes. 



 To review: On November 
22, 1963 President John F. Kennedy 
was assassinated. He was handsome, 
elegant, eloquent, and possessed a 
beautiful wife. He was beloved by 
many but not particularly by College 
Age Males who felt that he had 
wrongfully entered the Viet Nam 
War which could well result in our 
being drafted. Kennedy was replaced 
by Vice-President Johnson, a large 
ungamely Texan with big ears who 
possessed none of Kennedy’s positive 
qualities; and worse had escalated 
the American participation in the 
Vietnam War. He clearly intended 
to draft my friends and I and send 
us off to some unknown world 
where we would probably be killed 
or worse. What many of us failed 
to notice at the time was that LBJ 
was a skilled, experienced politician 
who used the change in public 
sentiment resulting from Kennedy’s 
assassination, together with his own 
skill, to engineer the passage of a 
much needed and much delayed Civil 
Rights Bill. The intended effect of 
this Bill, now Law was to end racial 
discrimination anywhere in the 
United States in areas of housing, 
education, employment qualification, 
and eligibility and ability to vote.

 Predictably throughout 
Southern States these new laws were 
being ignored. Voter registration 
was being suppressed and most 
of the evils associated with racial 
segregation were still in place. Civil 
Rights workers were recruited from 
Colleges to assist in voter registration 
drives and to highlight continuing 
problems in the application of the 
law.(The film Mississippi Burning 
produced over 20 years later describes 
the brutal murder in 1965 of three 
such civil rights workers.) In 1966 
James Meredith, the first African-
American graduate of the University 
of Mississippi, organized a solo 
march which he entitled the March 
Against Fear. The march consisting 
only of Meredith and Black Men 
was a 250 mile walk from Memphis 
Tennessee to Jackson Mississippi. On 
the second day of the march, as it 
passed through Grenada Mississippi, 
James Meredith was ambushed, shot 
and hospitalized.

 As a direct result of this 
shooting the Southern Christian 
Leadership conference lead by 
Martin Luther King initiated a large 
recruitment program centered in 
Grenada Mississippi inviting College 
Students from all over to participate 
in Voter Registration and Educational 
Needs. Importantly the program 
was designed to support families 
concerned about the welfare of their 
children and to focus public attention 
upon the continuing racist policies. 
I was one of those college students 

 At the time I was a 22 year 
old Law Student, a veteran of several 
demonstrations and protests while in 
College at Berkeley. I had completed 
one whole year of Law School having 
arrived there with no particular 
ambition or plan for of the future other 
than to continue my deferment from 
the draft and to stop Lyndon Johnson 
from killing me. Other than that I 
felt myself fearless and invulnerable. 
So invulnerable in fact that I was not 
bothered by the amiable conversation 
of my seat mate on the plane, a White 
Southern Man who, once he learned 
my purpose in flying to Memphis and 
then going to Mississippi, informed 
me that soon after my arrival I would 
be seized by somebody, dragged into 
the bushes where ice water would be 
injected into my veins and cause an 
untraceable death. Ho, ho I thought, 
he can’t scare me; he’s not Lyndon 

To be continued…


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