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TerryM

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #250 on: October 03, 2018, 03:18:52 AM »
A more gilded age: Lord at truthdig compares the gilded age to our own, and we suffer in the comparison.

" no matter which of 1918’s titans of wealth you consider, the corresponding slice of America’s 2018 elite controls a greater portion of the country’s wealth."

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/in-2018-the-u-s-is-even-more-gilded-than-in-1918/

I fear more and more, that the remedy will be a very old one. One oligarch, one lamppost.

sidd


The lampposts are further apart since we left that gilded gaslit frieze,
and the cross posts so much higher
make the hangings so much harder.
Strange fruit swinging in the urban breeze
while no tree grows in Brooklyn.


Apologies to Billy H.
Terry

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #251 on: October 04, 2018, 11:32:18 PM »
Rich get richer:

"The total net worth of the 400 people included on the list hit a record $2.9 trillion this year, up from $2.7 trillion last year."

"The average net worth of billionaires on the list rose to $7.2 billion, an increase of a half-billion over last year’s average of $6.7 billion."

"The $2.9 trillion in the hands of these 400 richest people in the United States is roughly three-quarters of the total federal budget"

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/10/04/forb-o04.html

sidd

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #252 on: October 04, 2018, 11:33:34 PM »
$15/hr minimum wage could result in net loss of income:

"Curtis Skinner of the National Center for Children in Poverty estimates that a raise to $15 an hour could end up costing a parent over $10,000 a year. According to the Center for Community Solutions, an Ohio worker who receives a raise from $11.50 to $15 actually makes $29 less each month as a result of losing eligibility for food stamps, housing subsidies, and Medicaid."

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/10/04/pers-o04.html#pk_campaign=sidebar&pk_kwd=perspectives

sidd

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #253 on: October 17, 2018, 10:59:27 PM »
Two generations condemned to poverty: Stankorb at WaPo reflects on the death of the American Dream:

“It’s cancer,”

"her mobility faltered."

"My father has become my mother’s caretaker"

"he’s dealing with respiratory issues of his own"

"I ask what happens if one of them falls, and there’s no good answer, because they don’t have the money for assisted living or whatever comes next."

“I never intended for you to become my retirement plan.”

"we’re paying a mortgage. And we’re still paying off sizable student loans."

" the median annual cost of a nursing facility was $97,455 for a private room, $87,600 for a shared room or $45,000 for assisted living. "

"don’t want our children struggling, like we are "

"In the coming decade, millennials will struggle to help sick parents, raise kids and stitch together a work life with little or no promise of pensions or the social safety net we keep investing in with little faith that it will be there to support us. We’ll work until we die, and pray that something better is in store for the generations after us."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2018/10/17/im-part-sandwich-generation-i-feel-more-stretched-than-squeezed/

sidd

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #254 on: October 22, 2018, 11:00:15 PM »
"Foreign workers, mostly from the Philippines, Pakistan, Bangladesh and impoverished Arabic-speaking countries, are, through the kafala system are often kept as virtual or even literal slaves, cleaning the mansions and 7-star hotels. "

"... the sheer obscenity of shoes that cost $17 million get to the heart (or lack of) of the UAE. It’s an entity that embodies the very worst of the region – states and enterprises built for ultra-rich people over the bones of starving Yemenis, oppressed South Asian slaves and people who don’t deserve lives of basic dignity ... "

sidd

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #255 on: October 22, 2018, 11:51:51 PM »
Hedges on oligarchy:

"Once the uber-rich take over, Aristotle writes, the only options are tyranny and revolution."

"The state apparatus the uber-rich controls now exclusively serves their interests. They are deaf to the cries of the dispossessed. They empower those institutions that keep us oppressed—the security and surveillance systems of domestic control, militarized police, Homeland Security and the military—and gut or degrade those institutions or programs that blunt social, economic and political inequality, among them public education, health care, welfare, Social Security, an equitable tax system, food stamps, public transportation and infrastructure, and the courts. The uber-rich extract greater and greater sums of money from those they steadily impoverish. And when citizens object or resist, they crush or kill them."


"There is no force within ruling institutions that will halt the pillage by the uber-rich of the nation and the ecosystem. The uber-rich have nothing to fear from the corporate-controlled media, the elected officials they bankroll or the judicial system they have seized. The universities are pathetic corporation appendages. They silence or banish intellectual critics who upset major donors by challenging the reigning ideology of neoliberalism, which was formulated by the uber-rich to restore class power. The uber-rich have destroyed popular movements, including labor unions, along with democratic mechanisms for reform that once allowed working people to pit power against power."

"In “The Postmodern Condition” the philosopher Jean-François Lyotard painted a picture of the future neoliberal order as one in which “the temporary contract” supplants “permanent institutions in the professional, emotional, sexual, cultural, family and international domains, as well as in political affairs.” This temporal relationship to people, things, institutions and the natural world ensures collective self-annihilation. Nothing for the uber-rich has an intrinsic value. Human beings, social institutions and the natural world are commodities to exploit for personal gain until exhaustion or collapse. The common good, like the consent of the governed, is a dead concept. This temporal relationship embodies the fundamental pathology of the uber-rich."

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-rule-of-the-uber-rich-means-either-tyranny-or-revolution/

sidd

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #256 on: October 25, 2018, 10:22:09 PM »
Some brighter signs in the USA: it turns out if you follow individuals and families (and make some different assumptions about things like unreported income and benefits) rather than looking at snapshots of economic quintiles as in Piketty, the picture looks better. Of course this means ignoring the changing demographics of quintiles, so Piketty et al. are correct in their view also.

Article with many references at

https://medium.com/@russroberts/do-the-rich-capture-all-the-gains-from-economic-growth-c96d93101f9c

References:

http://davidsplinter.com/AutenSplinter-Tax_Data_and_Inequality.pdf

http://davidsplinter.com/Splinter-Mobility_and_Inequalitya.xlsx

https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/11_generations_isaacs.pdf

http://www.equality-of-opportunity.org/papers/abs_mobility_paper.pdf

https://www.pewtrusts.org/~/media/legacy/uploadedfiles/pcs_assets/2012/pursuingamericandreampdf.pdf

https://www.ntanet.org/NTJ/66/4/ntj-v66n04p893-912-new-perpectives-income-mobility.pdf

sidd


Klondike Kat

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #257 on: October 26, 2018, 01:06:20 PM »
Some brighter signs in the USA: it turns out if you follow individuals and families (and make some different assumptions about things like unreported income and benefits) rather than looking at snapshots of economic quintiles as in Piketty, the picture looks better. Of course this means ignoring the changing demographics of quintiles, so Piketty et al. are correct in their view also.

Article with many references at

https://medium.com/@russroberts/do-the-rich-capture-all-the-gains-from-economic-growth-c96d93101f9c

References:

http://davidsplinter.com/AutenSplinter-Tax_Data_and_Inequality.pdf

http://davidsplinter.com/Splinter-Mobility_and_Inequalitya.xlsx

https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/11_generations_isaacs.pdf

http://www.equality-of-opportunity.org/papers/abs_mobility_paper.pdf

https://www.pewtrusts.org/~/media/legacy/uploadedfiles/pcs_assets/2012/pursuingamericandreampdf.pdf

https://www.ntanet.org/NTJ/66/4/ntj-v66n04p893-912-new-perpectives-income-mobility.pdf

sidd

Very nice sidd.  I found it quite interesting the part about mobility; two-thirds of Americans moved out of their parents income status, with over 80% exceeded their parents status.

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #258 on: October 28, 2018, 07:49:50 PM »
Kids bailing on the USA to escape debt bondage:

"I've put America behind me,"

"I couldn't make the math work in America,"

 "I lost faith in my country."

"I wish I could come back to America and not be scared,"

Debts that cannot be repaid will not be repaid. A trillion here, a trillion there, soon you're talking real money.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/10/26/he-moved-to-a-jungle-in-india-to-escape-his-student-debt--and-hes-not-alone-.html

sidd

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #259 on: October 30, 2018, 06:58:07 AM »
Too many poor people ? Redefine poor !

"reducing the number of undernourished people by half before 2015, which, given the population at the time, meant slashing the poverty headcount by 836 million."

" the goal was rewritten ...  the new goal was effectively reduced by 167 million."

"the goal was diluted two more times. First, they changed it from halving the proportion of impoverished people in the world to halving the proportion of impoverished people in developing countries, thus taking advantage of an even faster-growing demographic denominator. Second, they moved the baseline of analysis from 2000 back to 1990, thus retroactively including all poverty reduction accomplished by China throughout the 1990s, due in no part whatsoever to the Millennium Campaign.

This statistical sleight-of-hand narrowed the target by a further 324 million. So what started as a goal to reduce the poverty headcount by 836 million has magically become only 345 million - less than half the original number. "

"But there's more. Not only have the goalposts been moved, the definition of poverty itself has been massaged in a way that serves the poverty reduction narrative. "

"the absolute number of those living on $1 per day or less continues to increase. The worldwide total rose from 1.2 billion in 1987 to 1.5 billion today and, if recent trends persist, will reach 1.9 billion by 2015."

"This amounted to a PR nightmare for the World Bank. Not long after the report was released, however, their story changed dramatically and they announced the exact opposite news ... This new story was possible because the Bank shifted the IPL from the original $1.02 (at 1985 PPP) to $1.08 (at 1993 PPP) ... The IPL was changed a second time in 2008, to $1.25 (at 2005 PPP). And once again the story improved overnight ... creating the illusion that an additional 121 million souls had been "saved" from the jaws of debilitating poverty ... "

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2014/08/exposing-great-poverty-reductio-201481211590729809.html

sidd


sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #260 on: October 30, 2018, 08:24:32 PM »
Hudson interview on bailout of banks and immiseration of the debtors:

"The problem is, you can’t save the banks and the economy. "

" this is the Democratic Party’s position: The role of wage earners is to make enough money so that all of their income over and above survival needs has to be paid for the banks"

"The first debts to be wiped out are going to be what companies and states owe for pension payments. "

"The first thing Obama did when he was elected was to send a list of recommended cabinet positions to Rubin at Citicorp. So Citicorp got to name the cabinet. Of course, it wasn’t going to accept anyone who would regulate it, or any people in Justice who would throw a banker in jail. "

"But you can’t bail out the banks, leave the debts in place and rescue the economy too. Somebody has to lose."

"a large portion of the politicians elected as Democrats are actually Republicans running as Democrats."

" Ben Bernanke, who was head of the Federal Reserve under Obama, wrote a paper a little while ago saying that there wasn’t any crisis in 2008. In his view, there was a panic, simply because people didn’t have faith. If you have faith in the neoliberal system and its rising debt overhead, everything will be okay. "

"Almost 100% of mortgages for houses under about $600,000 are now guaranteed by the Federal Housing Authority. Banks will not make loans on housing, or student loans, unless the government promises that if the loan goes bad, the government will pay. So the banks take zero risk."

"The Eurozone was designed by rightwing politicians. It was basically a fascist plan, fascist as in the 1930s, fascist as in the Austrian School ...  The Eurozone was created as an anti-labor, organization ..."

"the Eurozone is basically a class war against labor. The intention of the Eurozone from the beginning was to break labor unions, to increase unemployment, to make living standards fall by about 20%, to shorten the life spans, to increase suicide rates, increase disease rates and lower birth rates. All of this was written at the time, as if this is a solution to the inflation problem, not a problem in itself. The solution to the economic problem, the Eurozone said, is people are living too well. We have to cut their living standards by 5, 10, 20% so that all the money goes to the wealth creators, namely the financial sector. "

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2018/10/michael-hudson-rescuing-banks-instead-economy.html

sidd

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #261 on: November 06, 2018, 10:13:25 PM »
Rich folk shouldn't have to see the poor: move em on out

"The first six months of the year saw a rise of almost 50 percent in the numbers of London’s homeless families being rehoused outside the city, some as far away as Cornwall and Manchester."

" ... one of her constituents with a job, a 12-year-old at school and a 14-month-old baby being moved away. She told Buck she had to wake her family at 5:40 a.m. to get her daughter to school and herself to work. They got home at 9 p.m. after nearly five hours spent commuting."

"Birmingham has moved nearly 2,000 households outside the city, and Liverpool has moved 82."

"Figures for January 2018 showed a 169 percent increase in rough sleeping since 2010. The July-September figures show this trend continuing, with outreach workers finding 1,382 people sleeping rough for the first time during this period. This was up 28 percent on the previous three months, and up 20 percent on the same period last year."

" ...  449 deaths since October 2017, well over one per day."

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/11/06/home-n06.html

sidd

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #262 on: November 07, 2018, 08:41:33 PM »
Apparently rich people don't like the poor to look at them: Tate Gallery sued

" a handful of residents in the multimillion-dollar homes — part of the NEO Bankside development that was completed in 2012 — filed a lawsuit against the Tate Modern, arguing the museum has created a state of "near constant surveillance" since opening the terrace"

https://www.npr.org/2018/11/05/664527780/luxury-apartment-owners-head-to-court-against-peeping-from-tate-moderns-balcony

sidd

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #263 on: November 08, 2018, 01:31:30 AM »
To have and to have not in the USA:

"Estimates of adults living from paycheck to paycheck range from half to 60 percent to 78 percent."

"No American adult in the bottom 40% has more than $31,124 in total wealth, including house and car and savings"

"While 1 in 7 Americans is part of the world’s poorest 10%, nearly 3 in 7 Americans are part of the world’s richest 10%. "

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/proof-poverty-in-the-u-s-is-getting-exponentially-worse/

sidd

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #264 on: November 19, 2018, 06:24:11 AM »
Pope tells it like it is:

"the wealthy few feast on what, in justice, belongs to all. Injustice is the perverse root of poverty."

" "The cry of the poor daily becomes stronger but every day heard less," he said. That cry is "drowned out by the din on the rich few, who grow ever fewer and more rich," the pontiff said. "

https://www.apnews.com/c183ed8b9269499ea0f537d9e8a9f2b6

https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/pope-din-rich-drown-cries-poor-59276074

sidd
« Last Edit: November 19, 2018, 06:38:42 AM by sidd »

Red

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #265 on: November 20, 2018, 01:32:24 PM »
Not sure if this is in the right place? The more I look at "connect the dots pieces" the more it looks like the path to the place in time we now live in was paved decades + + ago. We have a human tendency to look for an "axis" of evil and for many that live outside its borders it's the US. I think the problem is not the US as many would quickly point to. The US has been highjacked by the forces of moneyed interests and is being used to promote a point of view that is vastly different from what its real power is being used for. Most of the decision making is being influenced by people who aren't even Americans or no longer live there much. After all you wouldn't want to have to look too long at the US hinterlands which tragically reveal the aftermath of five + decades of fiscal policy that has moved the value of industry to other countries, so as to pile more wealth on the few. I love connect the dots in the human enterprise, it really is as simple as follow the money. We very much are the product of our environments, if taken literally means, we soon will be comprised mostly of machine and plastic. I fear the plastic part the most.

In Retinger’s words he founded Bilderberg Group simply to, “foster dialogue between Europe and North America.” That was for public consumption. In reality he built a very dark agenda that drew in the most reactionary circles in postwar Europe and tied them to the most powerful of postwar American oligarch families, that of Rockefeller and their emerging “American Century.” The Bilderberg Group was to insure that that Century would be heavily influenced by postwar Vatican geopolitics. Its first meeting in 1954 was funded by Walter Bedell Smith’s CIA, with subsequent meetings financed by the CIA’s close ally during the Cold War, the Ford Foundation. [10]

https://www.greanvillepost.com/2018/11/19/bilderberg-group-keeps-europe-and-usa-under-the-thumb-at-a-grand-hotel-in-holland/

kassy

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #266 on: November 20, 2018, 10:01:00 PM »
It is much older of course.

If you are interested in this see WW1 Conspiracy Corbett Report on Youtube.

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #267 on: November 23, 2018, 08:51:01 PM »
Killing the poor: In the UK they die a decade earlier than the rich

"the life expectancy gap between the most affluent and most deprived sectors of society increased from 6.1 years in 2001 to 7.9 years in 2016 for women, and from 9.0 to 9.7 years in men."

"Working income has stagnated and benefits have been cut, forcing many working families to use foodbanks. The price of healthy foods like fresh fruit and vegetables has increased relative to unhealthy, processed food, putting them out of the reach of the poorest."

He added: "The funding squeeze for health and cuts to local government services since 2010 have also had a significant impact on the most deprived communities, leading to treatable diseases such as cancer being diagnosed too late, or people dying sooner from conditions like dementia." "

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-11-poorest-dying-years-younger-rich.html

sidd

magnamentis

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #268 on: November 24, 2018, 01:02:08 AM »
Killing the poor: In the UK they die a decade earlier than the rich

we can start with nutrition:

i made many test as to the purchase of food over a given period of time and found out that eating:

a) junk = 1x (the base)

b) normal (common often processed and industrialized food) = 2x the price of (a)

c) normal healthy but non-bio or top quality etc. = 3x the price of (a)

d) very healthy and select food without any processed food = 5x the price of (a)
.   that's without fancy stuff like too much booze, caviar or champagne but basics
.   like fresh vegetable, fresh meat, fresh fish and fresh fruit from the markets
.   y tiendas de alimentos saludables

e) top level, bio only and non-processed food = 15x the price of (a)
.   the difference is about what kind of fish and meat, a t-bone, chuleton de buey or a porterhouse
.   costs about 3 times as much as an average entrecote and some fish or crabbs cost about 10
.   times as much  as common fish like rosada and the likes.


hence it's obvious that the vast majority with kiddies cannot afford anything but (a) + (b) and in some countries eventually (c) while (a) and (b) are rarely really healthy, too much salt, sugar and other chemical ingredients.

normally when the two of us stick to a mix of (c+d) the food costs about 1000€ and once we calculated that for a 4-5 people household once can guess that's rarely feasible as an average
amount people can spend for food permanently.
http://magnamentis.com
Knowledge, Understanding & Insight Are Among The Best Sources For Personal Freedom & Vitality !

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #269 on: November 26, 2018, 10:02:08 PM »
Kill the old. No good to us anymore.

"some residents regularly soiled themselves while waiting for help to the bathroom. A woman dying of uterine cancer was left on a bedpan for so long that she bruised."

"One man had been dosed with so many opioids that he had to be rushed to a hospital, according to the inspection reports. During an undersupervised bus trip to church - one staff member was escorting six patients who could not walk without help - a resident flipped backward on a wheelchair ramp and suffered a brain hemorrhage."

"a nurse's aide who should have had a helper was trying to lift a paraplegic woman, the woman fell and fractured her hip"

"my mom would call us every day crying when she was in there ... It was dirty - like a run-down motel. Roaches and ants all over the place."

"Under the ownership of the Carlyle Group, one of the richest private-equity firms in the world, the ManorCare nursing home chain struggled financially until it filed for bankruptcy in March"

"The rise in health-code violations at the chain began after Carlyle and investors completed a 2011 financial deal that extracted $1.3 billion from the company for investors but also saddled the chain with what proved to be untenable financial obligations, according to interviews and financial documents. Under the terms of the deal, HCR ManorCare sold nearly all of the real estate in its nursing home empire and then agreed to pay rent to the new owners."

"we can't afford to have that many people on staff. "

" three falls, multiple infections, dehydration and bedsores"
" multiple falls, one that caused a broken hip"
"fallen six times during four months"
"broke his hip when aides were moving him  ... had to wait two hours before he was taken to a hospital."
"The short-staffing was to the extent that it was very dangerous for the residents,"
 "At times, it was just one aide for 60 patients. And it just kept on getting worse."

Read the whole thing, if you have the stomach:

https://www.themorningsun.com/business/distress-detailed-at-nursing-homes-that-went-bankrupt-after-investors/article_d8ec674c-31e2-5cc8-9f09-7c40fe364c61.html

I go thru Pottsville a lot. Beautiful countryside that conceals these horrors. I find it amazing that none of the the children of these tortured, sick, unfortunates have not yet hunted down and murdered the Carlyle board of directors.

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #270 on: November 29, 2018, 12:15:12 AM »
Too poor to live:

" she needed to raise $10,000 before she could be put on a list for a possible heart transplant."

asked to raise money on the net:

"  The Committee is recommending a fundraising effort of $10,000 "

"Spectrum Health told the media that the cause of Martin’s rejection was her insurance’s annual deductible of $4,500 and drug co-pay of 20 percent, stating that if she couldn’t afford the immunosuppressant drugs the donor heart would be “wasted.” Costs are sometimes a “regrettable and unavoidable factor in the decision making process,” they said ..."

"the hospital involved is Spectrum Health’s Richard DeVos Heart & Lung Specialized Care Clinic"

"After two strokes and two bypass operations, Richard DeVos travelled to Great Britain to receive specialized care and a heart transplant at the age of 71."

"as many as 25 percent of the poor or uninsured give their organs, but very few receive them."

“GoFundMe is our healthcare system now,”

"Having raised the cash, she said the hospital may now reconsider her case."

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/11/28/char-n28.html

sidd

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #271 on: December 14, 2018, 09:48:55 PM »
Screw the old. No good to us anymore.

"At 80 years old, Coomer is still working as a part-time greeter five days a week at a Walmart in Oklahoma."

"Over the years, they burned through retirement savings and downsized their house and lifestyle, but still have a mortgage they can never pay off."

And look, we got 'em blaming themselves:

"If I had planned harder when I was younger and if things had went better, I wouldn't be going to work this morning ... That's in my mind a lot and I blame myself for it."

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/i-blame-myself-retirement-remains-out-of-reach-for-millions-of-americans/

sidd

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #272 on: December 14, 2018, 09:52:47 PM »
Half the USA never recovered from 2008:

" nearly half of all counties nationwide saw flat or declining growth"

"While a handful of places around the U.S. are thriving, most regions are barely trudging ahead. And that trend is creating a widening geographic gap between a relatively few prosperous areas, mostly urban oases, and the desert of stagnation that lies beyond."

"The bottom third of U.S. counties actually saw their economies shrink"

"Between 2007 and 2016, the U.S. added 3.7 million net new jobs, Lettieri said. But more than 90 percent of those were created in the richest 20 percent of ZIP codes."

"that threatens the idea of fundamental fairness to our system."


The "Fundamental Fairness of the System." Now that's funny. Tell me another one.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/half-of-america-hasnt-recovered-from-the-recession/

sidd

magnamentis

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #273 on: December 14, 2018, 11:39:36 PM »
Half the USA never recovered from 2008:

make that half of western economy ( countries instead of counties)

Quote

"that threatens the idea of fundamental fairness to our system."

The "Fundamental Fairness of the System." Now that's funny. Tell me another one.

that's an easy task to come up with another one ;)

what about: "that threatens the idea of fundamental un-fairness that is our system"

while we have to put into account that nothing in this universe is fair, sounds perhaps a bit off but i really think that we are fighting kind of laws of nature (creatures) which is why we
make progress so slowly and why each apparent progress is soon replaced with a new scheme
to re-establish and/or keep the idea of "fundamental un-fairness" running

have a nice week end @all
http://magnamentis.com
Knowledge, Understanding & Insight Are Among The Best Sources For Personal Freedom & Vitality !

TerryM

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #274 on: December 15, 2018, 12:47:43 AM »
Screw the old. No good to us anymore.

"At 80 years old, Coomer is still working as a part-time greeter five days a week at a Walmart in Oklahoma."

"Over the years, they burned through retirement savings and downsized their house and lifestyle, but still have a mortgage they can never pay off."

And look, we got 'em blaming themselves:

"If I had planned harder when I was younger and if things had went better, I wouldn't be going to work this morning ... That's in my mind a lot and I blame myself for it."

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/i-blame-myself-retirement-remains-out-of-reach-for-millions-of-americans/

sidd


Relentless propaganda blaming the victims rather than identifying the perpetrators is probably the only thing keeping torches and pitchforks from destroying our better's enclaves. The armed guards at the gate are primarily to assuage the guilt driven paranoia of the residents.


So many followed the rules, did as they were told, and ended their lives in misery, blaming themselves for circumstances over which they had no control. Wikipedia claims that suicide in America increased 24% between 1999 and 2014. My guess is that it's terribly under reported.
Terry

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #275 on: December 15, 2018, 09:13:02 AM »
"The armed guards at the gate are primarily to assuage the guilt driven paranoia of the residents."


Sorta like US defense spending. But thats for another thread.

sidd


sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #276 on: December 24, 2018, 07:33:39 AM »
Mateus at wsws on economic and racial makeup of police killings in the USA:

"USA− includes only the cities and rural counties throughout the country in which a police killing occurred ... "

"The population of USA− has significantly different demographics from the USA as a whole. Non-Hispanic whites made up 44.5 percent, blacks 18.6 percent and Hispanics 26.7 percent of this region. The median household income is slightly lower at $52,218 per annum, and the percentage in poverty (PP) is much higher, at 19.5 percent.

If one compares the poverty rate of USA− to the poverty rate of the remaining nearly three-quarters of the country, where no police killings took place, the disparity is even more stark. The poverty rate is 19.5 percent in what might be called the police killing zone. It is only 9.5 percent, less than half that rate, in the rest of the country."

" the rural regions, which encompassed 463 small and medium towns, including counties with less than 100,000 people, accounted for only 16.8 percent of USA−. However, they accounted for 50.2 percent of the people killed by police, a remarkable 496 victims."

"This data may seem surprising, but it gives credence to the perspective that the focus of many of the most recent high profile police shootings was in large urban centers where blacks were the victims. Poor whites are in essence invisible to the national discussion on police killings. What the present data show is that what whites and blacks who are killed by police have in common is poverty. Rural communities are devastated by low wages and the opioid crisis, rising suicide rates and limited access to social services. This may well be a contributing factor to the higher rate of mental illness seen among white victims of police violence, compared to blacks and Hispanics."

Read all three parts:

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/12/20/kil1-d20.html
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/12/21/kil2-d21.html
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/12/22/kil3-d22.html

sidd

Sebastian Jones

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #277 on: December 24, 2018, 06:15:06 PM »
...... What the present data show is that what whites and blacks who are killed by police have in common is poverty. ...
sidd
I think this is true in most places. Here in Canada, it is First Nations citizens who are disproportionately targeted by the justice system, and who are disproportionately poor. I have had he dubious privilege of living in abject poverty and I can attest that the police are feared by the poor in a way that does not concern middle and high income people. So, it is racism, but the racism is primarily directed at keeping some groups poor. Killing and incarcerating them is simply a side effect.

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #278 on: January 10, 2019, 09:50:26 PM »
Rich forever: rich families stay rich for centuries

"the richest families in Florence 600 years ago remain the same now."

" a family’s status in England can persist for more than eight centuries"

https://qz.com/694340/the-richest-families-in-florence-in-1427-are-still-the-richest-families-in-florence/

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #279 on: January 15, 2019, 02:25:07 AM »
Sacrifice zones in the very heart of late stage capitalism: NYC public housing "gone without heat for a decade."

"legal requirements that landlords provide heat and hot water in private residences do not extended to city owned housing."

" lost heat and hot water ... lead paint, leaks, mold, broken elevators, rat and roach infestations"

"the city had suspended lead paint inspection, falsifying compliance reports and failing to notify tenants of the toxic contamination in their homes, putting thousands of children at risk of poisoning. De Blasio was informed of the falsification but suppressed the information for one year while he ran for re-election"

"I have one heater, but the Con Edison bill—I can’t afford it. And we need to use the oven for more heat and that gas costs too much money too. And yes, it is dangerous. We use the oven to heat. We know it’s dangerous but we have to do it. I hate it."

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/01/14/hous-j14.html

Fuck the poor. They don't deserve to stay warm. They don't like it, they can go live in the Obamavilles under the freeway ramps.

sidd

vox_mundi

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #280 on: January 21, 2019, 12:55:22 PM »
World's 26 richest own same as poorest half of humanity: Oxfam
https://phys.org/news/2019-01-world-richest-poorest-humanity-oxfam.html

“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

Lurk

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #281 on: January 25, 2019, 03:14:57 PM »
The modern myths about "adam smith" is one of those things that really annoys me. The false beliefs run so deep it;s usually impossible to ahve any genuine discussion about the sweeping implications of this in regard economics, politics, neoliberalism, corporatists, income inequality, free trade deals, globalisation on steroids, and so on.

Just found this outtake from Chomsky who addresses many of the core problems from the misinterpretations (aka distortions/disinformation/lies) about adam smith and the usual obscuring of related histories which is sadly the norm too, even among 'educated' people. 

Solving Climate Change means changing 'The System' because nothing changes when nothing changes.
Each one of us must consider our deepest values, proceed to act from this standpoint alone, ignoring other voices of illusion, false hope, and distraction that might threaten to throw us off course.

TerryM

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #282 on: January 26, 2019, 05:12:18 AM »
Thanks for the Chomsky link!


"It takes a very effective educational system to prevent people from seeing (it)."


At some point will it be recognized that rather than educating, the education system, to say nothing of the MSM, is at it's heart a system designed to obfuscate the machinations of the .1% as they crush not only the revolution, but the will to even contemplate rebelling against their increasing control.


With the recent uniting of Corporate Government Propaganda, Mass Surveillance & Data Collection, and Individualized Virtual Reality fed through such as Cambridge Analytica, our chance of independent thought, action or response have been diminished and now approach the vanishing point.


Democrats demand more war. Journalists want Assange silenced and call for his imprisonment. The victims of WWII's Waffen-SS praise Stepan Bandera and tear down statues honoring their rescuers.
Black becomes the new White. The Left moves so rapidly to the Right that the Center implodes without a so much as a whimper.


Is the coming bottleneck our only shot at recovery? Must the whole house collapse before sanity dares to come out of the closet?


Noam Chomsky is 90 years old.
Terry


« Last Edit: January 26, 2019, 12:27:31 PM by TerryM »

Lurk

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #283 on: January 26, 2019, 10:49:06 AM »
I have no idea Terry but you raise some very pertinent questions everyone could be asking. I'm finding it really hard to be able to compare today in any meaningful way with the 60s or 70s for example. Not saying back then was good or bad, only there is nothing "fixed" I can hang my hat on and "compare" what's going on today versus my past experience knowledge etc. of how things "used to be" back in the day s say when you packed up and went to Canada.

{ I am really curious why there are not daily "caravans" of Americans moving to Canada today claiming asylum and protection. I would. }

Sure Vietnam was going on and there riots everywhere and Nixon's watergate, and COINTELPRO (yikes!) and if you didn't toe the socially expected line you were post haste pilloried and excluded ... get ya hair cut you girl ... but there;s something quite different about today. It's OK to out there as gay as camp can be, even trans but gosh question the "unquestionable" and the whole world comes down on you from all sides it seems.

But if today's "economics/industrial relaitions" setup was being implemented back in the 70s say there would have been global outrage and massive strikes and revolutions going on -- or am I dreaming? That's what I mean I just can't put my finger on it. It is way different in so many ways today.
Oh well, all in good time I suppose.
Solving Climate Change means changing 'The System' because nothing changes when nothing changes.
Each one of us must consider our deepest values, proceed to act from this standpoint alone, ignoring other voices of illusion, false hope, and distraction that might threaten to throw us off course.

Lurk

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #284 on: January 27, 2019, 04:41:53 AM »
I will keep saying that everything is connected. Nothing will ever be done to tackle Climate Change until the System that drives this ever looming catastrophe is addressed and totally reformed. There are no 'coincidences' nor incidental 'relationships' only Connections that are contrived and implemented.

The #1 barrier to practical rational actions to curtail Climate Change is of course is the United States of America - it is the #1 driving force behind the present Economic, Financial, Political System as it exists today. And it is a nefarious negative force upon the world bar none other.

The USAs most substantial direct support comes from the United Kingdom. In particular the Financial Hub of the 'London City'. You know those chaps who started and who still own most of the secretive off-shore Tax Free Havens of the world.

The obvious connections in the similarities of their Geopolitical stances, intelligence services activities, their Think Tanks, their AGW/CC denier ops, the prolific western media manipulations, trade sanctions on various "bad" nations, and Military actions is no coincidence either. The top 1% especially the wealthiest 0.1% are literally joined at the hip globally.

So let's have a look at what will be presented as a "critical issue" but not really connected to anything else like Global Finances, the MIC, the Media or Climate Change.

How Dangerous is the US Recognition of the Opposition in Venezuela?
The Thom Hartmann Program with Richard Wolff economist


Quote
Hartmann: 1:08
We got that on the one hand we've got these bizarre clueless oligarchs meeting in Davos and then on the other hand you've got the country in that Mike Pence pointed out yesterday of the day before Venezuela has the second largest oil reserves in the world outside you know second to the Middle East, the region of the Middle East and you know we're starting to seriously mess with not just Venezuela's economy, we've been doing that for some time but also with their with their government. We're not recognising Maduros re-election and we're saying now this 35 year old guy who's you know into Libertarianism [Neoliberal] and Billionaire$ he's actually the one we're gonna recognize as the president of Venezuela.

Do you see a common theme here?

Wolff 1:53 replies:
 
Yes I see a system that is exploding! That is producing these kinds of absurd contradictions and very very extreme behavior.

It's been coming it's been noted for quite a while the cluelessness  that you refer to, it also blew my mind particularly Commerce Secretary Ross' commentary, it shows you that the divide is so severe that literally the people on the two sides not only don't understand each other.

But what is much worse is they're able to understand the other one in terms of fantastic make-believe and that's a that's a sign of severe disruption of society and I think for me it's sort of the last milestone on a society that cannot hold itself together and seems to imagine that that's not a problem.

Although I have been reading papers that have circulated at the Davos conference that indicate quite a few big investors are aware have overcome this divide and are warning the folks gathered there these super-rich politicians and CEOs and so on that the social divide is threatening everything they have and everything they do.

And so there are even panels on that subject and those panels then have a few people saying: 'Look this is terrible we have to deal with the social divide.' and then the other side like Ross and the politicians particularly needing to pretend everything is rosy and lovely.

It's quite a spectacle for me as an economist. It's clear to me that the society is polarizing! It's clear to me that capitalism's justification for most of the post-world War two period was the claim that it created and sustained a large middle class.

If you're a society that has held together around that idea and you are systematically eviscerating the middle class you ought to be worried about where that leads.

Goes on for 10 minutes:




Quote
Wolff 4:30
I think it links perfectly which is probably why it occurred to you. To the extraordinary behavior in
Venezuela you have an election there like most elections it's got its problems and its flaws and all the rest. But you have an election, you have an elected government, the United States doesn't like the elected government, so it is deciding to give the government to somebody else.

And this in a country where the United States tried with a previous leader Hugo Chavez to bump him out of office, only to have that come back and destroy the relationship between Venezuela and the United States.

I mean maybe that the phrase "Make America Great Again" literally means going back to the old colonial imperialist days of manifest destiny in the United States. But this is a society that you know can't control itself internally and at that moment instead of facing that problem is overreaching around the world trying to control what happens in Afghanistan, what happens in Iraq, what happens in Syria (in Libya, Guatemala, Honduras, Brazil, Bolivia, Columbia, Mexico, and Ukraine, and Russia, and China and Iran and Turkey) and now opening yet another front in Venezuela.

It does remind you of Ancient Greece and Rome, the British Empire at a certain point imploding because the USA cannot face its own real problems and keeps overreaching until it literally destroys itself.


Would be the best thing to happen to the world right now.

Cannot come soon enough in my opinion.
Solving Climate Change means changing 'The System' because nothing changes when nothing changes.
Each one of us must consider our deepest values, proceed to act from this standpoint alone, ignoring other voices of illusion, false hope, and distraction that might threaten to throw us off course.

Lurk

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #285 on: January 27, 2019, 05:45:35 AM »
The modern myths about "adam smith" is one of those things that really annoys me.

2014 "Noam Chomsky": Why you can not have a Capitalist Democracy!

Quoting Noam Chomsky 2014

Quote
I started by saying that one of the relations between Capitalism and Democracy is 'contradiction.' You can't have Capitalist Democracy.

The people who really sort of believe in markets or at least pretend to understand them, if you read Milton Friedman and other apostles for Libertarian-ism, they don't call for Democracy. They call for what they call "Freedom." Which is very restricted concept of Freedom. 

It's not the freedom of working person to control their work, their lives and so on. It's their Freedom to submit themselves to control by a higher Authority. That's called "freedom". But not Democracy. They don't like Democracy. And they are right - Capitalism and Democracy really are inconsistent.

What's called Libertarian-ism in the United States is an extreme example of anti-libertarian you can imagine. They are in favour of private tyranny. The worst kind of tyranny. Tyranny by unaccountable private concentrations of wealth.

When they say we don't want Government interference in the market they mean 'that' (tyranny) -  the kind of interference they want to block is the kind that would permit unconstrained tyranny on the part of totally unaccountable private tyrannies, which are of course what Corporations are.

It's worth bearing in mind how radically opposed this is to Classical Liberalism. They like to invoke Adam Smith but if you read Adam Smith, he said the opposite.

He's famous for 'the claim' he was opposed to government regulation and interference in markets. It's not true. He was in favour of regulation when it benefits the working man! He was against interference when it benefited the Masters! That's traditional classical liberalism.

This what's called 'Libertarian' in the United States, which likes to invoke the history that they have CONCOCTED is radically opposed to classic libertarian principles.

(People should read Adam Smith for themselves and believing all the Myths and Lies they have been fed.) Adam Smith at the time was considered to be a dangerous radical. He was pretty much an Anti-Capitalist as we know it today, he was opposed to it.

Adam Smith condemned what he called:

"The Vile Maxim of the Masters of Mankind: All for Ourselves and Nothing for Anyone Else!"
Solving Climate Change means changing 'The System' because nothing changes when nothing changes.
Each one of us must consider our deepest values, proceed to act from this standpoint alone, ignoring other voices of illusion, false hope, and distraction that might threaten to throw us off course.

Lurk

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #286 on: January 27, 2019, 08:42:21 AM »
Synchronicity or a Coordinated IRA Pro-Putin Troll effort? :)
 

‘US should look for its problems at home’ – Russian minister on Soros rant about ‘dangerous’ China

“China is not the only authoritarian regime in the world but it is the wealthiest, strongest and technologically most advanced,” Soros said. “This makes Xi Jinping the most dangerous opponent of open societies.”

China brushed off the comments, saying that “statements by certain people, which portray black as white and distort facts, are completely pointless and not worthy of even a rebuttal.” Aside from Beijing, Soros has also expressed similar concerns about Russia.

According to Russia's Minister for Economic Development Maksim Oreshkin, the US should stop trying to blame the troubles of “open societies” on someone else, but look for the root of its problems at home.

“Look at what is happening in America. Over the past 30 years real income of the middle class and below haven't grown almost at all. The expenses for healthcare and education have risen trifold, even taking inflation in account,” Oreshkin told RT during a press conference in Davos.

Naturally, it has led to the growth of dissent in America, becoming one of the factors in Donald Trump, with all his peculiar rhetoric, becoming the president.”

    The problems are within the US. An external enemy, which impedes them and causes all the trouble in the US – whether Russia or China – is just substitution of concepts.

The official warned that such an approach – expressed by Soros and other figures of the US elitesows nothing but confrontation, which ultimately harms the US itself and impedes economic growth worldwide.

“Until every country realizes that the problems exist, above all, in themselves and not in some external forces, such mindset will persist and we'll continue to hear such statements,” Oreshkin added.
https://www.rt.com/business/449748-us-look-problems-home/

Those Russians are so dumb, right? Clearly they want to take over the whole world and turn it into their own private Slave Gulag along with their Chinese mates.
Solving Climate Change means changing 'The System' because nothing changes when nothing changes.
Each one of us must consider our deepest values, proceed to act from this standpoint alone, ignoring other voices of illusion, false hope, and distraction that might threaten to throw us off course.

Lurk

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #287 on: January 28, 2019, 03:45:50 AM »
May 2016 - Noam Chomsky: After the Electoral Extravaganza



Of course the biggest issue is that America is not a functional Democracy. It is a root and branch Corporatocracy where Bill Clinton signed the Bill to repeal Glass-Stegal which led directly to the 2008 GFC meltdown and the same thing is happening all over again.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bruce-e-levine/the-myth-of-us-democracy-corporatocracy_b_836573.html

Highly recommended doco with Noam Chomsky for the clear thinking, sane, well informed reader – and even better for those still living inside “fantasy land”. http://requiemfortheamericandream.com (on netflix)
Solving Climate Change means changing 'The System' because nothing changes when nothing changes.
Each one of us must consider our deepest values, proceed to act from this standpoint alone, ignoring other voices of illusion, false hope, and distraction that might threaten to throw us off course.

Lurk

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #288 on: February 04, 2019, 07:02:33 AM »
This is a good obscure panel from WEF Davos - ( Whatever you do don't mention high marginal tax rates for the mega rich and the super mega rich Billionaire$ )




06:06
 "So to answer your question what's gone
wrong - how is it that the most intellectual
creature that's ever walked on this
planet is destroying it's only home,
destroying the environment, and causing
all these inequalities in our societies?
What's gone wrong? And I think that
what's gone wrong and at least in my
perspective is that we've broken the
link between intellect and wisdom
.

 "And if we think of wisdom as love
compassion and making decisions not
based on how will this help me now, how
will this help my bank account, how will
it help the next shareholders meeting,
how will it help my next political
campaign, but 'How will this decision I
make today affect future generations?'

That link seems to have been broken."



10:34
  "I think that we have we have to change
our paradigm of development
and we
definitely have to do that soon quickly
and that was about Agenda 2030 wanted
to do that I don't know if we're going to
accomplish that soon but we definitely
have to change the development paradigm
and we have to move to a more sustainable
future in the sense of a circular economy." 


11:38
  " ....... number two
let me say that when we talk about tax
avoidance I'm talking about something
very concrete Latin America and the
Caribbean. The tax avoidance annually
comes up to $350 billion dollars a
year that's a lot of money. 6.7% of
the GDP of Latin America and the
Caribbean is going out of the region
through tax avoidance.


 "A $110 billion dollars a year are going
through illicit flows and not narcotraffic
no no no no, is in the trade, in the trade
customs where this is happening."


16:05
 "(the Yellow Vests protests) the most important
reason for all of these (tax change) processes
was the abolition of the Wealth Tax in
France! So I mean it's not not rocket science.

What we need are way higher taxes on the
wealthy so that we can actually fund
this green transition to a much better
planet
but I mean the the scale of
the challenge is so radical that again
it will never be solved by by just a
private sector alone, or just by words
alone, or by philanthropy we really need
to start to realize that we need something
like the moral equivalent of a war (footing).
"


29:23
"Paid $2 for a taxi ride ..... 20% goes to the
corporate network, the rest is split between
the driver and the taxi car owner ....
He said they rent a room three taxi
drivers they sleep in turns six hours
five hours because they can none of them
can afford to rent a room that's the job,
those are the jobs they are being told
about .. that globalization is bringing Jobs.

But the quality of those jobs matter,
it matters that these are real jobs of
dignity. In many countries workers no
longer have a voice. They are not allowed
to unionize, they are not allowed to
negotiate for their salaries. So we're
talking about jobs but jobs that bring
dignity. We are talking about health care,
the World Bank has told us that 3.4
billion people who are on $5.50 dollars
a day all the verge are just a medical
bill away from sinking into poverty.
They don't have health care,  they
are just a crop failure away from
sinking back into poverty. They have no
crop insurance. So don't tell me about
low levels of unemployment (in the USA)
you are counting the wrong things. You're
not counting dignity of people, you're
counting exploited people
."

Ouch! The audience cheers if high agreement!


Native cultures like the American Indians refer to that as the principle of "Seventh Generation"





00:00
    "It's about seed. It's about life.
Seventh Generation is about vision, it's
about a leadership looking ahead, it's
about responsibility. Seventh Generation
reminds you that you have
responsibilities to generations that are
coming and that you are indeed in
charge of life as it is at the moment."

2:09
 "The most important thing, I would think,
is that the leadership changed their values
of power and authority to responsibility
.
I don't think, as in the United States
have a Bill of Rights you know that they
added on to the Constitution of the
United States and I think that should
have been a Bill of Responsibility - not a
Bill of Rights. Because people talk about
their rights, their rights, but they never
talk about their responsibility, and
leadership has got to have that above
all. They've got to have vision, they've
got to have compassion for the future
- "I got to make that decision for the
seventh generation"
. That's not just the
casual term, that's a real instruction
for survival!
"
« Last Edit: February 04, 2019, 09:23:51 AM by Lurk »
Solving Climate Change means changing 'The System' because nothing changes when nothing changes.
Each one of us must consider our deepest values, proceed to act from this standpoint alone, ignoring other voices of illusion, false hope, and distraction that might threaten to throw us off course.

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #289 on: February 05, 2019, 05:45:24 AM »
A family that made 4 billion US$ hooking people on drugs:

El Chapo ? Not quite

https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/02/heres-what-the-sacklers-didnt-want-you-to-see-in-the-oxycontin-lawsuit/

sidd

vox_mundi

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #290 on: February 08, 2019, 05:57:41 PM »
The ephemeral nature of digital currency ...

Where's my paycheck? Wells Fargo customers say direct deposits not showing up after outage
https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2019/02/08/wells-fargo-outage-customers-report-issues-paychecks-deposits/2810562002/

Quote
Social media users said Friday they were having trouble seeing paychecks and direct deposits in their Wells Fargo online and mobile banking accounts a day after the bank suffered a major outage.

Widespread technical difficulties hit Wells Fargo's online banking and mobile app Thursday following a power shutdown caused after smoke was detected at a data center in Shoreview, Minn. The outage was "not due to any cybersecurity event," the bank said.

By late Thursday, Wells Fargo said in a statement that ATM services had been restored and mobile and online banking were "operational" with the exception of some features, like consumer credit card and mortgage balances.

However, some customers reported direct deposit paychecks were not appearing in their accounts early Friday.

Quote
"Alright @WellsFargo once your 'contained issue' is resolved I will be moving every account I have at Wells Fargo elsewhere. A mason jar in the backyard seems like a much better option at this time. #DontFWithMyMoney," Twitter user @ILoveMyRicky10 wrote.
https://twitter.com/ILoveMyRicky10/status/1093824611463192576

No electricity; No money.
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

Lurk

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #291 on: February 09, 2019, 05:37:00 AM »
Smart people would see this trial as an astounding success indicating positive news that it should be further trialed and adopted more broadly as a Net Benefit to society and especially for the individuals involved.

https://www.rt.com/news/451028-finland-basic-income-results/

Report
https://www.kela.fi/web/en/news-archive/-/asset_publisher/lN08GY2nIrZo/content/preliminary-results-of-the-basic-income-experiment-self-perceived-wellbeing-improved-during-the-first-year-no-effects-on-employment
Solving Climate Change means changing 'The System' because nothing changes when nothing changes.
Each one of us must consider our deepest values, proceed to act from this standpoint alone, ignoring other voices of illusion, false hope, and distraction that might threaten to throw us off course.

oren

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #292 on: February 10, 2019, 12:33:06 AM »
I would love to see a carbon tax distributed as dividend, at such a level that it could provide a basic income to all citizens. This could reduce economic inequality while going some way towards reducing our carbon addiction, and could actually receive voter support, as it includes an immediate strong benefit to a large number of people.

vox_mundi

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #293 on: February 13, 2019, 06:12:55 PM »
Russian-Style Kleptocracy Is Infiltrating America
https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2019/02/russian-style-kleptocracy-infiltrating-america/154749/

When the U.S.S.R. collapsed, Washington bet on the global spread of democratic capitalist values—and lost.

... Washington had placed its faith in the new regime’s elites; it took them at their word when they professed their commitment to democratic capitalism. But Richard Palmer, the CIA station chief in the United States’ Moscow embassy, had seen up close how the world’s growing interconnectedness—and global finance in particular—could be deployed for ill. During the Cold War, the KGB had developed an expert understanding of the banking byways of the West, and spymasters had become adept at dispensing cash to agents abroad. That proficiency facilitated the amassing of new fortunes. In the dying days of the U.S.S.R., Palmer had watched as his old adversaries in Soviet intelligence shoveled billions from the state treasury into private accounts across Europe and the U.S. It was one of history’s greatest heists.

Washington told itself a comforting story that minimized the importance of this outbreak of kleptomania: These were criminal outliers and rogue profiteers rushing to exploit the weakness of the new state. This narrative infuriated Palmer. He wanted to shake Congress into recognizing that the thieves were the very elites who presided over every corner of the system. “For the U.S. to be like Russia is today,” he explained to the House committee, “it would be necessary to have massive corruption by the majority of the members at Congress as well as by the Departments of Justice and Treasury, and agents of the FBI, CIA, DIA, IRS, Marshal Service, Border Patrol; state and local police officers; the Federal Reserve Bank; Supreme Court justices …” In his testimony, Palmer even mentioned Russia’s newly installed and little-known prime minister (whom he mistakenly referred to as Boris Putin), accusing him of “helping to loot Russia.”

The United States, Palmer made clear, had allowed itself to become an accomplice in this plunder. His assessment was unsparing. The West could have turned away this stolen cash; it could have stanched the outflow to shell companies and tax havens. Instead, Western banks waved Russian loot into their vaults.

... this was capital flight on an unprecedented scale, and mere prologue to an era of rampant theft. When the Berkeley economist Gabriel Zucman studied the problem in 2015, he found that 52 percent of Russia’s wealth resided outside the country.

As in the Russian case, much of this plundered wealth finds its way to the United States. New York, Los Angeles, and Miami have joined London as the world’s most desired destinations for laundered money. This boom has enriched the American elites who have enabled it—and it has degraded the nation’s political and social mores in the process. While everyone else was heralding an emergent globalist world that would take on the best values of America, Palmer had glimpsed the dire risk of the opposite: that the values of the kleptocrats would become America’s own. This grim vision is now nearing fruition.



... Every House district in the country has real estate, and lobbyists for that business had pleaded for relief from the PATRIOT Act’s monitoring of dubious foreign transactions. T... And they persuaded Congress to grant the industry a temporary exemption from having to enforce the new law (International Money Laundering Abatement and Anti-terrorist Financing Act).

Around the time that Trump took up occupancy in the White House, the PATRIOT Act’s “temporary” exemption for real estate entered its 15th year. Without anyone ever declaring it so, the ephemeral has been enshrined.

Much of the money that might have snuck into banks before the PATRIOT Act became law was now used to purchase property. The New York Times described the phenomenon in a series of exposés, published in 2015, called “Towers of Secrecy.” Reporters discovered that condos in the ultra-luxe Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle in Manhattan were owned by a constellation of kleptocrats. One condo belonged to the family of a former Russian senator whose suspected ties to organized crime precluded him from legally entering Canada for a few years. A condo down the hall belonged to a Greek businessman who had recently been arrested in an anti-government-corruption sweep. The family of a former Colombian governor, imprisoned for self-enrichment while in office, owned a unit he could no longer visit.

As the Treasury Department put it in 2017, nearly one in three high-end real-estate purchases that it monitors involves an individual whom the government has been tracking as “suspicious.” Yet somehow the presence of so many shady buyers has never especially troubled the real-estate industry or, for that matter, politicians. In 2013, New York City’s then-mayor, Michael Bloomberg, asked, “Wouldn’t it be great if we could get all the Russian billionaires to move here?

The warm welcome has created a strange dissonance in American policy. Take the case of the aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska, a character who has made recurring cameos in the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. The State Department, concerned about Deripaska’s connections to Russian organized crime (which he has denied), has restricted his travel to the United States for years. Such fears have not stood in the way of his acquiring a $42.5 million mansion on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and another estate near Washington’s Embassy Row. ...

“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

Neven

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #294 on: February 13, 2019, 06:27:32 PM »
When the U.S.S.R. collapsed, Washington bet on the global spread of democratic capitalist values—and lost.

Poor Washington, bad, evil Rooskies!
Il faut comparer, comparer, comparer, et cultiver notre jardin

Lurk

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #295 on: February 14, 2019, 12:49:34 AM »
Quote
This narrative infuriated Palmer.

It also infuriated one V. Putin and the many people who have been in the Russian Government for 2 decades. It has taken a very long time to repair some of the damage caused by GHW Bush and Bill Clinton Administrations and London City 'rulers' of most of the Tax Havens in the world.
Solving Climate Change means changing 'The System' because nothing changes when nothing changes.
Each one of us must consider our deepest values, proceed to act from this standpoint alone, ignoring other voices of illusion, false hope, and distraction that might threaten to throw us off course.

Lurk

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #296 on: February 14, 2019, 02:55:48 AM »
<moved this comment to the US intervention thread; N.>
« Last Edit: February 14, 2019, 09:54:47 AM by Neven »
Solving Climate Change means changing 'The System' because nothing changes when nothing changes.
Each one of us must consider our deepest values, proceed to act from this standpoint alone, ignoring other voices of illusion, false hope, and distraction that might threaten to throw us off course.

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #297 on: February 15, 2019, 11:05:27 PM »
Beams at wsws on Zucman's latest: Rich get richer faster

"the top 1 percent in the US now owns about 40 percent of total household wealth"

"The acceleration is even more marked in the highest income levels."

"The trend is reflected globally. "

"In the US, China and Europe combined, the top 10 percent owns more than 70 percent of the total wealth, the bottom 50 percent less than 2 percent "

"Zucman has calculated that 8 percent of the world’s individual wealth—the equivalent of 10 percent of global gross domestic product or $5.6 trillion—was held offshore on the eve of the global financial crisis in 2007. He cites other analyses that put the figure much higher. According to one study, the global rich held around $12 trillion of the wealth in tax havens in 2007, with another putting the figure at between $21 and $32 trillion."

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/02/15/zucm-f15.html

Zucman paper:

http://gabriel-zucman.eu/files/Zucman2019.pdf

A very good companion paper by Kades on perpetuities and dynastic wealth increase: how the rich gutted the Rule Against Perpetuities

"America  is  paving  the  way  for  the  creation  of  dynastic  family wealth. Abolition of the Rule Against Perpetuities in over half the states along with sharp reductions in, and likely elimination of,  the federal estate tax mean that there soon will be no obstacles to creating large pools of dynastic wealth insuring lavish incomes to heirs for generations without end."

https://scholarship.law.wm.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2937&context=facpubs

All open. Read and weep.

sidd

oren

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #298 on: February 17, 2019, 11:51:59 AM »
Quote
There soon will be no obstacles to creating large pools of dynastic wealth insuring lavish incomes to heirs for generations without end.
The good news, if you can call it that, is that all these dynastic wealth pools will only last one generation (if at all), before the coming societal collapse mid-century wipes all away.

Lurk

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #299 on: February 18, 2019, 07:18:05 AM »
Jimmy Dore fills in for Jesse Ventura. Producer Brigida Santos and Jimmy discuss the looming corporate debt crisis. Constitutional Lawyer Bruce Fein talks about ending wars started by presidents without congressional approval.

System Failure



btw US Govt debt has risen from about $13.5 Trillion in 2010 to $22 Trillion this year. In 2000 it was only $5.7 Trillion :)
Solving Climate Change means changing 'The System' because nothing changes when nothing changes.
Each one of us must consider our deepest values, proceed to act from this standpoint alone, ignoring other voices of illusion, false hope, and distraction that might threaten to throw us off course.