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Doug Jones' Blog

By Doug Jones | Mortgage Broker
or Lender in 95126
  • Silicon Valley Homeless

    Posted Under: General Area in San Jose, Agent2Agent in San Jose  |  April 26, 2013 11:20 AM  |  462 views  |  No comments
    In the movie Apollo 13 is the line, "Houston, we have a problem here." The comments below will show that Silicon Valley, we have a problem here.
     

    California’s Silicon Valley is a microcosm of America’s new extremes of wealth and poverty. Business is better than it’s been in a decade, with companies like Facebook, Google and Apple minting hundreds of new tech millionaires. But not far away, the homeless are building tent cities along a creek in the city of San Jose. Homelessness rose 20 percent in the past two years, food stamp participation is at a 10-year high, and the average income for Hispanics, who make up a quarter of the area’s population, fell to a new low of about $19,000 a year — in a place where the average rent is $2000 a month.

    As this week’s Moyers & Company remembers Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy in economic justice as well as civil rights, we visit Silicon Valley to bring you this story about modern-day poverty and inequality. We talk to Cindy Chavez of Working Partnerships USA; Russell Hancock of Joint Venture Silicon Valley; Martha Mendoza, an AP writer whose recent piece about Silicon Valley poverty brought this story to our attention; Daniel Garcia, who became homeless after losing his job in a Google campus restaurant; and Teresa Frigge, a homeless woman who used to make the silicon chips that give the valley its name.

    With every problem comes an answer and the Salvation Army certainly acts as part of the answer. I have been a board member of the Salvation Army Silicon Valley and will visit any group, church, service club or company to tell how you can help.

  • Early Appeal to Vote

    Posted Under: General Area in San Jose, Quality of Life in San Jose, Market Conditions in San Jose  |  September 27, 2012 8:45 AM  |  835 views  |  No comments
     have many attorney friends and know that several always have the Constitution of the United States of America with them. The book is small enough to keep in a suit jacket.
     
    When I visited the Nixon Library in Southern California I purchased a copy of the Constitution and occasionally read parts of it. What struck me last night is that Amendment that has changed most over the years is the right to vote.
     
    Amendment XV ratified February 3, 1870 just after the Civil War says that citizens cannot be denied the right to vote based on race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
     
    Amendment XIX ratified August 18, 1920 says that citizens cannot be denied the right to vote on account of sex. Thru women gained the right to vote not that long ago.
     
    Amendment XXIV ratified January 23, 1964 states that citizens cannot be denied the right to vote even if they have not paid their taxes.
     
    Amendment XXVI ratified July 1, 1971 says that those who are older than 18 years of age are allowed to vote. My memory tells me this came about because our Military has drafted those who turn 18 to the Armed Services and they fight in wars but still were not allowed the right to vote.
     
    The Constitution takes voting seriously and grants the right for citizens over the age of 18 to vote. I know so many who do not vote and with this blog want to encourage everyone to register and express your opinion at the polls.
  • What Silicon Valley could learn from the Jefferson County Bankruptcy

    Posted Under: General Area in California, Financing in California, Agent2Agent in California  |  November 10, 2011 12:21 PM  |  677 views  |  No comments
    Yesterday Jefferson County in Alabama filed the largest Municipal Bankruptcy in U.S. history. The number is somewhere between $3 Billion and $4 Billion depending on which source you read.
     
    How could a County bankruptcy in Alabama perhaps affect you if you live in Silicon Valley? For four years Jefferson has fought the battle to not file a bankruptcy but finally had to do so because they could not come to a settlement with creditors that they felt would work for them. More than 500 county employees have been laid off and satellite courthouses have been closed.
     
    JP Morgan is the biggest creditor and that is ironic because they fought so hard to get the account. Matter of fact they bribed and paid people to get the contract. Because of that they paid the Securities and Exchange Commission a $722 million settlement.
     
    The Municipal Bond industry is in damage control stating that the municipal bond market remains one of the safest and soundest financial markets in the world - which it may be.
     
    Back to the question? How can this bankruptcy filing affect those in Silicon Valley? There are individuals and companies who may decide to pull back on investing in municipal bonds. We have a lot of large investors right here in our valley.But I think there is a danger lurking and Jefferson County exposes the danger. It seems to me the biggest danger to the counties, the cities, states, and individuals is the debt;more than that, the interest on the debt. There are many towns, municipalities, and especially individuals who barely make it month to month.
     
    The Fed has been holding interest at an all time low but even small interest movements on a large debt can be costly to the point of forcing a company, individual, or municipality into a bankruptcy. Jefferson County and all counties play with big numbers. What is the cost of .25% interest rate (1/4 of 1%) on a billion dollars? It is $25,000,000 a year or $2,083,333 each month - that expense could cost a lot of jobs and reduce many services.
     
    Most of the nation is walking on a tight wire.
     
     
    Doug Jones
    Mortgage Magic
    NMLS 286668
 
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