Tuesday, July 22, 2008

New Online Nonprofit For 18-34 year olds; Help With Money, Work, and Health challenges   

The SEIU, one of the nation's biggest and most active unions, is taking a new approach toward providing services to and advocating for financially strapped young people. You may never meet a union organizer, but they hope you'll turn to Qvisory for information and tools to help with money, work, and health challenges.

It looks like the website has a lot of useful information. I'll be blogging on the site occasionally (pro bono); they have quite a roster of young bloggers covering these issues very, very well. They also will have political action alerts on issues like credit card regulations, and they're promoting discounts on certain online tools related to budgeting and credit counseling. All in all, this could develop into a very useful resource if it catches on.

I get approaches from people and organizations almost every week who have some kind of idea to do something like this for Generation Debt, and who want me to sign on or become a part of it. I think that keeping it nonprofit is a really good idea, rather than connecting it to a certain product or financial services company. (Although they are endorsing certain products...hmm. Seems like there's always going to be gray areas there). And the connection with a particular type of political organizing that has proven to be very effective in the past is certainly potentially powerful and intriguing. As a matter of policy, I promote collective, progressive political action as well as personal responsibility, even though it alienates the free-market weirdos. You know what? Actually, I hope they are alienated. Enjoy your unregulated economy with no social safety net, guys. It's doing awesome right about now. And if you don't like it...don't read my blog.

Above is a tagcloud from the first report Qvisory released along with their launch, capturing the problems that are most on the mind of Generation Debt, according to their survey. " 55 percent say that their finances, the economic squeeze and money are their biggest problems. "


Eric said...

So that is your defense? You must resort to name calling? While I might label myself as a weirdo, your stereotyping me is a form of ignorance.

I want you to stop spreading misinformation about what you call a "free market." We haven't had a free market since before the great depression. It's the very regulations on industry that have caused these problems for our generation.

Licenses to cut hair, to sell cut flower arrangements, to serve alcohol in a bar or restaurant are ant-competitive government policies. They keep the POOR out of those businesses thereby padding the profits (and increasing prices to you and me) of those who are willing, and can afford, to deal with the bureaucracy.

Don't think that these restrictions are limited to small businesses either. Millions of people die every year waiting on the FDA to approve a drug. What is more, high food and fuel prices are the result of GOVERNMENT policy on ethanol production and subsidy. As you have no doubt seen the effects have been the worst for the world's poorest; yet, they haven't reversed the legislation.

Anyway, we don't have a free market as you protest. We have a highly regulated market that severely limits technology, charity, and other great ideas that would improve our lives.

Big corporations and interest groups have no authority, in and of themselves, to make you do anything. They use the power of government to get what they want at the expense of the young, poor, and unorganized.

This Nonprofit is a great thing...It should be about people helping people--not government mandating help.

I apologize for my lacking tactfulness; however, I was hoping you would have been open minded enough to see these generational problems from a different point of view.

As for the social safety net, don't you think I, as a "free" citizen of the United States, ought to be able to choose whether or not to participate?

I have read your book, and I enjoy reading your blog because I find your ideals intellectually stimulating--something lacking in my current employment.

Unknown said...

"55 percent say that their finances, the economic squeeze and money are their biggest problems."

Young people worry most about money. It's amazing. These are the guys who need it least. Time was you were meant to be an idealist in your youth and to worry about politics and heart. Perhaps this failed generation -- which is doomed in advance, as a matter of economic destiny -- will be able finally to look at the financial peace of mind their parents worked so hard to achieve, and see that it's worth next to nothing. That those glorious lives were wasted. That it might be better to shrug and serve God or some equivalent.

The glory of a degraded middle-class lifestyle can't possibly be worth struggling for, much less working for.

Unknown said...

Yeah, Eric, you're right. There's no such thing as a "free market" anymore. This is why when the 300 or so banks that will fail over the next few years (seven so far in the last seven months), the FDIC will step in with OUR TAX MONEY and make sure people don't lose their money. I love it when conservatives and GOP-ers talk about how they succeeded in SPITE of government. Yet when the profits are there, the owners, CEOs and stockholders get them. When they go bust, the AMERICAN TAXPAYER has to bail them out. What kind of "free market" is that??

Seems to me like everyone in this country gets a safety net except the poor and the middle class.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for writing about Qvisory and for your contributions to our site.

With regard to our products, we do make recommendations for some money, work, and health products after reviewing what is out there. We're striving to provide a vetting service that helps young people get the products and services they need, regardless of whether they choose what we offer or something else.

Here's where we talk about how we choose our products: http://qvisory.org/qvisory/chooseproducts

This link shows some work products that compare to the product we currently offer in our membership: http://qvisory.org/membership/eureka/compare and this shows how our online storage product compares to others on the market: http://qvisory.org/membership/mesdb/compare

We do not permit advertising on our site; we do not take product sponsorship dollars; and we do not sell or share our subscriber list to any company, including those whose products we offer. Our users get the choice of whether to share their personal information with our partners.

We greatly appreciate your letting your readers know about us and for contributing to the very important discussion of the money, work, and health needs of young people.

Thanks very much.

Eileen V. Quigley
Executive Director, Qvisory