leftymathprof on Feb 15, 2015
Inequality, externalities, and alienation are inherent in any market economy, but they are not inherent in human nature.
Transcript at http://LeftyMathProf.org/3evils includes embedded links to related materials.
Participation is a cornerstone of the democratic ideal. It sits alongside those other marginalized tenets: social justice, freedom and equality. Forgotten principles in a world of corporate politics driven by the quest for endless economic growth and maximum market share. Hailed as the world’s largest democracy and touted as ‘an emerging economic powerhouse’, India’s economy is beginning to cough and splutter with the rupee trading at an all time low, and the ‘current account’ showing an $88 billion deficit.
This week marks both the fifth anniversary of the fiscal meltdown that almost tanked the world economy and the second anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, the movement that sparked heightened public awareness of income inequality. Yet the crisis is worse than ever – in the first three years of the recovery, 95 percent of the economic gains have gone only to the top one percent of Americans. And the share of working people in the U.S. who define themselves as lower class is at its highest level in four decades.
More and more are fighting back. According to Robert Reich, Bill Clinton’s secretary of labor: “The core principle is that we want an economy that works for everyone, not just for a small elite. We want equal opportunity, not equality of outcome. We want to make sure that there’s upward mobility again, in our society and in our economy.”
This week, Reich joins Moyers & Company to discuss a new documentary film, Inequality for All, opening next week in theaters across the country. Directed by Jacob Kornbluth, the film aims to be a game-changer in our national discussion of income inequality. Reich, who Time magazine called one of the best cabinet secretaries of the 20th century, stars in this dynamic, witty and entertaining documentary.
It’s been two years since years of hard work, dedication and frustration finally erupted into mass protests that swept across the globe on an unprecedented scale, and briefly awakened the propagandized masses. Our unjust economic system and the corrupt forces on Wall Street and in Washington were exposed in grand fashion. For once, the people became too powerful to ignore. We finally crashed through the corporate gates of the colossus mainstream media. We penetrated the very leviathan that had divided, isolated and enslaved us. Continue reading
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” — Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
“The organic-food movement is in danger of exacerbating the growing gap between rich and poor in this country by contributing to a two-tiered national food supply, with healthy food for the rich. Could Wal-Mart’s populist strategy prove to be more “sustainable” than Whole Foods? Stranger things have happened.” — Fred Maloney
In 1935, Sinclair Lewis wrote a satirical novel entitled It Can’t Happen Here. In the book, a democratically elected President transforms the country into a totalitarian, ruthless regime, relying upon patriotic rhetoric and fear to dominate and control a docile populace.
It was said in the wake of Margaret Thatcher’s death that, although she never understood art, she certainly inspired plenty of it.
Or, at least, so did her policies.
And so it is with my latest project, a kids’ comic book version of Robert Tressell’s ‘The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists’. [See video below.]
Clearly frustrated at the refusal of his contemporaries to recognise the inequity and iniquity of society, Tressell’s cast of hypocritical Christians, exploitative capitalists and corrupt councillors provide a backdrop for his main target — the workers who think that a better life is “not for the likes of them”. Hence the title of the book; Tressell paints the workers as “philanthropists” who throw themselves into back-breaking work for poverty wages in order to generate profit for their masters.
The hero of the book, Frank Owen, is a socialist who believes that the capitalist system is the real source of the poverty he sees all around him. In vain he tries to convince his fellow workers of his world view, but finds that their education has trained them to distrust their own thoughts and to rely on those of their “betters”. Much of the book consists of conversations between Owen and the others, or more often of lectures by Owen in the face of their jeering; this was presumably based on Tressell’s own experiences.
Change is afoot. Confronted with state corruption and corporate greed, abuse of human rights, environmental chaos and extreme levels of economic and social injustice, the people, overwhelmingly the young are taking to the streets demanding change, and a new political/economic system, that is inclusive and just.
RTAmerica on Jun 18, 2013
Nearly 200,000 demonstrators took to the streets of eight cities in Brazil to protest the rising cost of public services and the government’s spending on next year’s World Cup. The protests originated in Sao Paulo where people showed their opposition to increased public transportation fare, but now that sentiment has spread across the country. Mark Weisbrot of the Center for Economic and Policy Research takes a closer look at the protests.
An exclusive series for Occupy.com
The Global Power Project, an investigative series produced by Occupy.com, aims to identify and connect the worldwide institutions and individuals who comprise today’s global power oligarchy. By studying the relationships and varying levels of leadership that govern our planet’s most influential institutions — from banks, corporations and financial institutions to think tanks, foundations and universities — Continue reading
with Noam Chomsky
MyUCD-Apr 3, 2013
UCD Philosophy Society Inaugural Lecture 2013
One of the world’s leading intellectuals and political activists, Professor Noam Chomsky has been awarded the UCD Ulysses Medal, the highest honour that University College Dublin can bestow.
The award was inaugurated in 2005, as part of the university’s sesquicentennial celebrations, to highlight the ‘creative brilliance’ of UCD alumnus James Joyce. It is awarded to individuals whose work has made an outstanding global contribution. Continue reading