Creditor? Debtor? Written-Off American?
“Written Off – America and Americans” (WOAA) is a book-in-process started on April 26, 2010 which will be published in spring, 2013. It will be dedicated to our country and its citizens indelibly marked by the events that we have come to call “The Great Recession” AND to the ragtag group of people in lower Manhattan which announced themselves to the world as OccupyWallStreet (#OccupyWallStreet and #OWS).
WOAA and its contents are to be sourced almost entirely through interviews with these people and their supporters as well as scores of people encountered on the Internet through Social Media engines such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Oh yes, and innumerable email exchanges.
Speaking of LinkedIn, please join this “Facebook for Grownups” and then my group there, OccupyEverywhere (http://linkd.in/rkRIgV). Over 500+ and growing and a hotbed of great dialogue about the OWS movement and where/how it is going. Check it out.
Now, back to my book-in-process…
Who could be more “written off” than the ragtag people who first showed up to occupy Wall Street and then found their way over to Zucotti Park – now known as “Liberty Square,” where they camped until their forcible eviction.
And, who could be more “American?” Of the original band, some were unemployed, some were playing hooky from work or school, some were employed but curious…and all were people showing up as the evolving rainbow of race, occupations, religions (or not), political parties (or not) and of almost every philosophical persuasion.
They did share several things in common that have since gone national – a seething anger against the excesses of Wall Street, the historic crimes that have gone unpunished, and the real and perceived sins of the 1% (rich) against the 99% (poor).
At the time of this writing, and for the unforeseeable future, these people will stand in for the rest of America in demanding that significant changes be made in the financial institutions of the United States. And, if this book meets its highest purpose, it will serve as a source of education as to how we got into this mess, a survival guide for those of us – all of us – who are debtors and citizens in a debtor country, and an Activist Manual for those who want to bring about change.
Just exactly how has the Great Recession come about? Who is to fault? Where is there hope? Will “Written Off – America and Americans (WOAA) evolve into just another “How To” book to be scanned through and deposited – never to be opened again – on someone’s bookshelf or into a used-book bin? What, exactly will be its contribution? Will it mire itself in blame games and doom-and-gloom, or offer hope and support?
That will largely depend on the spirit and intention of the contributors to its chapters.
Contributions which began as a trickle became a stream, and soon a river. These people may not be household names – yet – but the quality of their wisdom and their material is astounding. “Liberty Square” occupants will have their say. My personal Social Media sources at LinkedIn and Twitter now number in the several thousands and likely will be considerable at WOAA‘s publishing.
There is one thing I can reveal – WOAA has evolved from a “survival manual” to an actual Activist Resource. It won’t be about reading – it will be about doing!
If this is the first time you have landed on this site, be sure to come back again and again as the chapters are revealed. As you come and go, find a topic of interest and leave a thought or two behind to help others.
We need you to stay and play because this site is not about “taking back” America, it is about “moving forward America. It is about questioning the sanity – or insanity – of debt, whether owed by you or owed you by others. It is about a system which is, on purpose or not, designed to put us in debt and keep us in debt. The barely-haves beholden to the really-haves. Forever and Ever.
Ergo, you owe it to yourself (pun intended) to better understand the economic dance in which we are engaged… a dance in which more than toes can be stepped on.
This is not a book about Doom and Gloom, it is a book about Hope and Help.
My purpose and role in authoring this book? My 30-plus-year entrepreneurial career in finance, credit and collections has given me access to the inner workings of Corporate America and how they manage money. I and teams I have put together have collected for them to the tune of millions of dollars, and at times depending on my own finances and fortune, have personally been collected on by them.
I know both sides of the story. And, when you consider that this work will be the collected wisdom and experience of those of us who have “been there and been done to,” who better than all of us to write such a book?
So, it is your take on the economic structure of the U.S. and what do do about it that interests me.
Here’s the structure: people submitting materials to me both here and elsewhere (I am a big LinkedIn and Twitter fan – with a Facebook page that will be fully launched when the book is published) that are used either whole or in part will receive as compensation a free eBook of “Written Off – America and Americans.”
Contributors of particularly impactful material will receive a signed copy of the bound edition of the book (assuming it goes to publication) and liberal credit and attribution in articles and during radio/tv/Internet interviews.
You have an assignment if you stay and play – if not to contribute your story, wisdom and rants, then to take in the experience and wisdom of others and improve your own life so as to bring back success stories. I look forward to every thought sent my way…as will your fellow readers and travelers down this rocky highway.
Jerry Ashton (Twitter Link)
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