Sunday, March 4, 2012

Pedagogy- Credit Union - Chevy Volt

Ideas of pedagogy is an interesting subject linked to the psychology of health, in my view.  For example, in reflecting on this combination of posts, I realized that Giroux's article is strictly critical, and not radical transformative.  I found an article on Credit Unions in Guatemala to suggest the usefulness of this kind of participatory institution, immediately and included in this selection of posts.  Farmers are not the only people who can benefit from credit unions, of course.  Here in Northeast Brazil, Banco Palmas is a community co-op bank which supported the founding of a detergent-maker co-op and a textile co-op.  Pirambu Digital Co-op is another enterprise here which is offers IT services. 

The Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid came with a lot of hype, and I'm curious to see what the truth turns out to be.  Ah, GM, of "Who Killed the Electric Car" notoriety.  Tesla is a great hero also mentioned here.

Dangerous Pedagogy in the Age of Casino Capitalism and Religious Fundamentalism

by: Henry A. Giroux, Truthout | News Analysis
All over the world, the forces of neoliberalism are on the march, dismantling the historically guaranteed social provisions provided by the welfare state, defining profit-making and market freedoms as the essence of democracy while diminishing civil liberties as part of the alleged "war" against terrorism. Secure in its dystopian vision that there are no alternatives to a market society, free-market fundamentalism eliminates issues of contingency, struggle and social agency by celebrating the inevitability of economic laws in which the ethical ideal of intervening in the world gives way to the idea that we "have no choice but to adapt both our hopes and our abilities to the new global market."[1] Coupled with an ever-expanding culture of fear, market freedoms seem securely grounded in a defense of national security and the institutions of finance capital. Under such circumstances, a neoliberal model now bears down on American society, threatening to turn it into an authoritarian state. The script is now familiar: there is no such thing as the common good; market values become the template for shaping all aspects of society; the free, possessive individual has no obligations to anything other than his or her self-interest; profit-making is the essence of democracy; the government, and particularly the welfare state, is the arch-enemy of freedom; private interests trump public values; consumerism is the essence of citizenship; privatization is the essence of freedom; law and order is the new language for mobilizing shared fears rather than shared responsibilities;  war is the new organizing principle for organizing society and the economy; theocracy now becomes the legitimating code for punishing women, young people, the elderly, and those groups marginalized by class, race and ethnicity when religious moralism is needed to shore up the war against all social order.[2]

February 15, 2012

Rural Lending Supports Guatemala's Economic Growth

World Council project promotes credit union outreach to farmers

2012_2_14_Brian Branch, Elio Moreno, Oswaldo Olivas
2012_2_14_Brian Branch, Elio Armando, Oswaldo Olivas_GuatemalaWorld Council President and CEO Brian Branch (left) talks with Cooperativa Tonantel CEO Elio Armando (center) and FENACOAC CEO Oswaldo Oliva, about the credit union's expansion into rural agricultural lending.  
JALAPA, Guatemala — In light of the changing global economy, credit unions in Guatemala are ramping up rural lending strategies to financially strengthen the agricultural sector and help grow the country's overall economy. Through a pilot program implemented by World Council of Credit Unions in partnership with Federación de Nacional de Cooperativas de Ahorro y Crédito (FENACOAC), its Guatemalan member, farmers are experiencing greater financial stability through their credit unions' support.
The five-year Cooperative Development Program (CDP), also operating in Mexico, is supported by US$4 million in funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development. The program, which runs through 2015, focuses on creating and testing agricultural and financial tools to improve rural economic and financial sector development, personal income and food security. Program results will include a scalable methodology to increase small farmers' access to markets, inputs and technical assistance. Participating farmers are expected to increase production, improve their livelihoods and offer better financial support to their communities.
"The CDP program at work both here and in Mexico combines new methodologies and technological delivery of financial services to help small Latin American farmers succeed," said World Council President and CEO Brian Branch, who led a delegation to both countries last week to evaluate the pilot program's progress since it began in 2010. "With FENACOAC's assistance, we can more effectively help Guatemalan credit unions implement the program among their rural members."
World Council and FENACOAC are currently carrying out the program through four credit unions. Cooperativa Tonantel, a credit union located in Guatemala's Jalapa region, is already realizing the benefits of investing in the rural economy. Tonantel last year added agricultural lending to its portfolio and lowered its interest rates on loans. Membership has since grown by 30% to 70,000 members, and loan delinquency now stands at just 1%....

December 05, 2011, 12:03 PM EST
Chevrolet Volt Sales Rise Amid Probe

By David Welch
Dec. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Sales of General Motors Co. ‘s Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid rose 2.8 percent in November from the month before as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigates the car for battery fires.
GM sold 1,139 Volts, the company said in a statement. That compares with 1,108 units in October, according to Autodata Inc., a research firm in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey. NHTSA announced a safety probe of the Volt Nov. 25.
GM expanded Volt sales to all U.S. states in October and has been increasing output in the year’s second half. Chevy also pushed sales up last month by allowing dealers to sell 2,300 demonstration models to retail buyers. GM has sold 6,142 Volts so far this year and has a target of 10,000 this year.
GM plans to increase production to 60,000 a year, starting in January. The company expects to sell 45,000 Volts in the U.S. next year and the rest overseas.
The Volt investigation has the potential to harm the reputation of electrified vehicles. Lithium-ion batteries, such as those used in the Volt, are also installed in all-electric cars, such as Nissan Motor Co.’s Leaf and models made by Tesla Motors Inc.

see link above for rest of story

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