Posts Tagged ‘#corporatism’

British filmmaker Temujin Doran has released a new movie that is based on the book “The Death of the Liberal Class” by Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges. “Obey” explores the rise of the corporate state and the future of obedience in a world filled with unfettered capitalism, worsening inequality and environmental changes.

Warning: Viewers may find some of the clips in the film disturbing.

US Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, revealed for the first time in Senate testimony Tuesday that at least twenty-three billionaire families have contributed a minimum of $250,000 each so far in this year’s campaigns.

“My guess is that number is really much greater because many of these contributions are made in secret. In other words, not content to own our economy, the 1 percent want to own our government as well,” Sanders told the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights.

via The Nation & YouTube


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The man who forced the government of Iceland to resign and kicked out the IMF representatives from his country, Hordur Torfason, is now teaching meta-modern democracy throughout Europe.The rest of the world would benefit from following the example set by Iceland: Arresting the corrupt bankers who are responsible for the current economic turmoil.

Full employment contributes above all to achieving human dignity.

“It’s nice to be important, but is more important to be nice.”

People’s Congress Interview — Iceland’s Revolution Leader Hordur Torfason — June 3, 2012

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Glenn Greenwald - Caricature

(Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

DemocracyNow.org – Four years after the 2008 economic crisis, not a single top Wall Street executive has gone to jail. “These executives knew that they could take these huge risks and even break laws and pay no real price, and that’s what happened,” says Glenn Greenwald, author of “With Liberty and Justice For Some: How the Law is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful,” and a blogger for Salon. “It’s not just a travesty of justice that we haven’t punished them for past transgressions. The real danger is that we’re continuing to send the signal to the world’s most powerful financial actors that they don’t have any fear of criminal accountability when they commit these obvious crimes.”

Watch the extended interview with Glenn Greenwald

 

Glenn Greenwald (born March 6, 1967) is an American lawyer, columnist, blogger, and author. Greenwald worked as a constitutional and civil rights litigator before becoming a contributor (columnist and blogger) to Salon.com, where he focuses on political and legal topics.

In this acclaimed Lannan foundation lecture from September 2002, Arundhati Roy speaks poetically to power on the U.S. War on Terror, globalization, the misuses of nationalism, and the growing chasm between the rich and poor. With lyricism and passion, Roy combines her literary talents and encyclopedic knowledge to expose injustice and provide hope for a future world.

 

 

Arundhati Roy With Howard Zinn: A Conversation After the Come September Speech – 18 September 2002

 

 

Income InequalityThe inequality of wealth and income in the US is greater than at any time since the 1920s. As Professor Elizabeth Warren has explained, “there is nobody in this country who got rich on his own.” Nobody. Not even Mitt Romney. As Simon Johnson, former chief economist of the IMF, noted recently, “the U.S. is unique…just as we have the world’s most advanced economy, military and technology, we also have its most advanced oligarchy.” Today, we are told by the 1% and their political representatives in Washington DC that we can no longer afford money for public education and the social safety net, even as trillions go to Wall Street and the unending wars purportedly fighting terrorism (although it could easily be argued that terrorism begets terrorism, we must also consider who in the world really uses & traffics in Weapons of Mass Destruction?).

The Occupy Wall Street protests (the 99%) are a protest, a rebellion of human beings thinking reasonably and rationally. After all, isn’t government supposed to serve the People, and not the other way around? Government employees are “public servants” not corporate servants, and not solely servants of the 1%. The greater the disparity in wealth between the very rich and everyone else, the more unstable an economy becomes. Consumer demand is what drives a capitalist economy, and as more people sink into poverty, they are unable to buy products because they don’t have enough income to make those purchases.

In 1928, one year before the global economic collapse of the Great Depression, the wealthiest .001% of the U.S. population owned 892 times more than 90% of the nation’s citizens. Today, the top .001% of the U.S. population owns 976 times more than the entire bottom 90%.

Extreme Income Inequality

Chart courtesy of The Nation magazine. Click for full size.

As you can plainly see, there has been a radical redistribution of income to the top 1%. And yet, they don’t call this “socialism”. This dire economic situation just didn’t happen by accident either. The wealthiest 1% reaped 2/3rds of the economic benefits from Bush’s tax cuts. In 2010, top 1% incomes grew by 11.6% while bottom 99% incomes grew only by 0.2%, its lowest level in nearly 30 years. Hence, the top 1% captured 93% of the income gains in the first year of recovery. It is likely that this uneven recovery has continued in 2011-12 as the stock market has continued to recover. [For a more detailed description of these and other sources of income inequality data, please see Chad Stone, Hannah Shaw, Danilo Trisi, and Arloc Sherman, “A Guide to Statistics on Historical Trends in Income Inequality,” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, March 5, 2012, http://www.cbpp.org/files/11-28-11pov.pdf.]

Poverty-In-AmericaOne out of every 5 children in the U.S. lives in poverty (21%) compared with approximately 4% in Sweden. One out of every 4 (25% of) children in the U.S. is receiving food stamps (SNAP). Social spending makes up most of the difference: in Sweden, social spending reduces child poverty by 70%, while in the U.S. it reduces child poverty only 5%, down from 26%. These differences arise as a result of policies that create these enormous inequalities in resources, or in the absence of policies that would bridge the inequalities.

This is a list of countries or dependencies by income inequality metrics, including Gini coefficients, according to the United Nations (UN), the World Bank, the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the OECD. The tables there are sortable by column, but in pretty much every case, the United States ranks right near the bottom among both developed and developing countries, meaning it has the highest rate of income inequality. We might expect to see something like this in authoritarian dictatorships, but not in a country like the U.S.

A number of factors may help explain this increase in inequality, not only underlying technological changes but also the retreat of institutions developed during the New Deal and World War II – such as progressive tax policies, powerful labor unions (.pdf), corporate provision of wages/salaries, health and retirement benefits, and changing social norms regarding pay inequality. We need to decide as a society whether this increase in income inequality is efficient and acceptable and, if not, what mix of institutional and tax reforms should be developed to counter it. And we need to vote for politicians that will propose and support those policies.

Inside Job‘ is the first film to provide a comprehensive analysis of the global financial crisis of 2008, which at a cost over $20 trillion, caused millions of people to lose their jobs and homes in the worst recession since the Great Depression, and nearly resulted in a global financial collapse. Through exhaustive research and extensive interviews with key financial insiders, politicians, journalists, and academics, the film traces the rise of a rogue industry which has corrupted politics, regulation, and academia. It was made on location in the United States, Iceland, England, France, Singapore, and China.

 

The Dodd-Frank pay disclosure mandate, the new PayWatch notes, has become more “needed now” than ever. Big-time CEO pay outpaced average worker pay by 380 times in 2011, the stats show, up from 343 times in 2010.

The gap at many individual corporations runs much higher than this overall 380-times average. But we can’t now identify which specific corporations sport the widest pay gaps between CEOs and workers since corporations — until the Dodd-Frank disclosure mandate goes into effect — don’t have to disclose how much they pay their most typical workers.

The SEC could have — and should have — written the rules necessary to put the Dodd-Frank pay ratio disclosure mandate into effect in time for this spring’s annual corporate meetings. The agency flubbed that deadline.

via Pay Ratios: Shoving CEOs under an Online Microscope.


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Capitalism Is The Crisis: Radical Politics in the Age of Austerity examines the ideological roots of the “austerity” agenda and proposes revolutionary paths out of the current crisis. The film features original interviews with Chris Hedges, Derrick Jensen, Michael Hardt, Peter Gelderloos, Leo Panitch, David McNally, Richard J.F. Day, Imre Szeman, Wayne Price, and many more!

The 2008 “financial crisis” in the United States was a systemic fraud in which the wealthy finance capitalists stole trillions of public dollars. No one was jailed for this crime, the largest theft of public money in history.

Instead, the rich forced working people across the globe to pay for their “crisis” through punitive “austerity” programs that gutted public services and repealed workers’ rights.

Austerity was named “Word of the Year” for 2010.

This documentary explains the nature of capitalist crisis, visits the protests against austerity measures, and recommends revolutionary paths for the future.

Special attention is devoted to the crisis in Greece, the 2010 G20 Summit protest in Toronto, Canada, and the remarkable surge of solidarity in Madison, Wisconsin.

It may be their crisis, but it’s our problem.

For two hundred years Americans have been indoctrinated with a mythology created, imposed and sustained by a manipulating cabal: the financial elite that built its absolute control on the muscle and blood, good will, ignorance and credulity, of its citizenry.

America began with the invasion of a populated continent and the genocide of its native people. Once solidly established, it grafted enslavement of another race onto that base.

With those two pillars of state firmly in place it declared itself an independent nation in a document that nobly proclaimed the equality of all mankind.

In that act of monumental hypocrisy America’s myth had its beginning.

via History of Capitalism in the United States: Exposing the Myth of America « Dandelion Salad.