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Meet Kat and Mike: Transformational Leaders And Social Justice Advocates For Business And Banking

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Meet Kat and Mike: Transformational Leaders And Social Justice Advocates For Business And Banking

With the launch of Building Banking on Values, a new VoiceAmerica radio series I’m hosting that goes behind the scenes to tell the stories of the people, passion and positivity within the values-based banking and financing sector; I thought to introduce you to some of our guests. Listen to the show now!

Meet Kat Taylor: Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer, Beneficial State Bank (USA)

Kat works in service of restoring social justice and environmental well-being. She is active in a variety of social enterprises, public benefit and philanthropic ventures on the West Coast of the USA. Currently, she serves as Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Beneficial State Bank, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) whose mission is to bring beneficial banking to low-income communities in an economically and environmentally sustainable manner. Beneficial State Bank is the result of a merger between OneCalifornia Bank, which Kat and her husband, Tom Steyer, founded in Oakland, CA, and ShoreBank Pacific, with offices in California, Oregon and Washington. The bank’s revolutionary ownership mandates that any distributed profit be invested in the low-income communities it serves and environment upon which its communities and customers depend. Learn more.

Kat is also a Founding Director of TomKat Ranch Educational Foundation (TKREF), dedicated to inspiring a sustainable food system through ranching, training, tours, research, and school food and garden programs. TKREF owns the social enterprise LeftCoast GrassFed, raising humanely cattle and other livestock for the benefit of people and the planet. Kat serves and has served on many non-profit boards including the Harvard Board of Overseers, Ecotrust, Good Samaritan Family Resource Center, ProPublica, CuriOdyssey, Insight Prison Project, KQED and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. She graduated from Harvard College and earned a JD/MBA from Stanford University. Tom Steyer, Kat’s climate/energy activist husband, and she have four grown children, each pursuing their one wild and precious life.



Meet Mike Townsend: Chief Executive Director, Earthshine (USA)

Mike is a business and economic transformation leader, advisory Board member, speaker, teacher and author of The Quiet Revolution.

Mike is Founder/CEO with Earthshine – an international business consultancy/think-tank that integrates sustainability principles into the heart of business strategy and operations – enabling sustainable business success and the transition to a sustainable & low carbon economy. He is passionate about making a real difference.
In addition to running Earthshine, Mike serves on an advisory board with University of Oslo, he teaches courses/lectures on Sustainable Development, Business & Economy, and delivers inspirational keynote speeches.

Mike is author of The Quiet Revolution, Editor of Reframing the Game (2015), Lead author of A Journey in Search of Capitalism 2.0 (2013). He is also a regular contributor for Huffington Post, 2-Degrees, The Guardian, Edie.net and others.

Mike holds an MBA from the University of Birmingham Business School (UK) and a bachelor degree in Civil Engineering Management from the University of Wolverhampton (UK), and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Learn more.


Don’t forget to tune into Building Banking on Values. My VoiceAmerica radio show airs on Thursdays 15:00 PDT on the Business channel. Learn more.

#BankingOnValues @CatalystWarrior @bankingonvalues @VoiceAmBusiness @ZuidDave  @mike_earthshine  @beneficialstate

http://beneficialstate.com/, https://www.linkedin.com/in/kat-taylor-28a6974b, https://www.linkedin.com/company/79855, https://www.facebook.com/BeneficialStateBank, http://www.earthshinesolutions.com, https://www.linkedin.com/in/mike-townsend-08b1b614 , https://www.linkedin.com/company/5174875

Steve Forbes Says Flat Tax Fairer Than Fair Tax

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Steve Forbes Says Flat Tax Fairer Than Fair Tax

Steve Forbes

With tax season in full-swing, millions of Americans have begun the arduous process of filling out their Federal and State returns. The IRS estimated that Americans spent six billion hours filing returns last year, which begs the question: is a 4 million-word Federal tax code full of new regulations and guidelines necessary?

Renowned publishing executive and two-time Republican Presidential candidate, Steve Forbes, believes it is not. “We need radical tax reform,” he says.

Forbes, who has long been a vocal advocate for the “Flat Tax,” joined The Costa Report to explain just how complex the current tax system has become. He says the 4 million-word code is the tip of the iceberg because it doesn’t take into account millions of additional pages of interpretations, analysis, legal rulings, and other data experts must navigate to comply with the law. According to Forbes, growing complexity has increased the number of errors reported. He pointed to a recent government investigation which discovered that agents who monitor the IRS Hotline were wrong 20-30% of the time, and the IRS taxpayer assistance program had a 61% error rate.

Forbes says the “current code is beyond redemption,” and strongly urges government leaders to adopt a “Flat Tax” system. When asked whether he would support a “Fair Tax,” which would replace income taxes with a higher sales tax, Forbes made the point that a “Flat Tax” on income is more feasible and fair than the proposed “Fair Tax.” He cited four reasons why the “Fair Tax” is problematic. First, the government would be required to raise sales taxes to a very high rate to make up for lost income and payroll tax revenues. According to Forbes, this would discourage consumer spending and cause the economy to suffer. Second, the government would need to institute a way of distinguishing business purchases from personal purchases, as businesses are taxed differently. (How would the government determine whether an individual purchased office supplies for their personal use, or for use in their business?) Third, the “Fair Tax” assumes the government would pay itself taxes on the purchases it makes. The government is one of the largest spenders in the economy – if it failed to pay itself a sales tax on its own purchases, there would be a shortfall in revenue. And finally, the 16th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which gives government the power to impose taxes, would allow Congress to institute a “Fair Tax” without completely eliminating the income and payroll tax. So, in order for the “Fair Tax” to work, the 16th Amendment would have to be repealed – a move Forbes says is unlikely.

On the other hand, the “Flat Tax” can be instituted with no repeal of a Constitutional Amendment. The “Flat Tax” would require all taxpayers to pay a single fixed-rate regardless of their income, “with generous exemptions for adults and children below a certain income level.” Forbes points out that “A family of four, for example, would pay NO federal income tax on their first $52,000 in wages.”

On the business side, Forbes proposes cutting the current tax rate from 35% to 17%, a move he says will help revitalize the American economy. “When you have high income tax rates, you don’t get the kind of investment that is necessary for a productive economy,” claimed Forbes. “What a flat tax does … is it does not punish productive work, risk taking, or success.”

To listen to the full interview with Steve Forbes HERE.

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