The monster of economic waste—over $7 trillion of dictated stock buybacks since 2003 by the self-enriching CEOs of large corporations—started with a little noticed change in 1982 by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under President Ronald Reagan. That was when SEC Chairman John Shad, a former Wall Street CEO, redefined unlawful ‘stock manipulation’ to exclude stock buybacks.
Hovering Hurricane Harvey, loaded and reloading with trillions of gallons of water raining down on the greater Houston region—ironically the hub of the petroleum refining industry—is an unfolding, off the charts tragedy for millions of people. Many of those most affected are minorities and low-income families with no homes, health care or jobs to look forward to once the waters recede.
Since 2001 the US has been at War in Afghanistan – the longest war in US history. Headlines concisely tell the story of this cruel boomeranging quagmire of human violence and misery. Below are some newspaper headlines from 2010 to the present to show that a militarized foreign policy without Congress exercising its Constitutional duties and steadfast public engagement will drift on, costing our soldiers’ lives and limbs, nearly three-quarters of a trillion taxpayer dollars, hundreds of thousands of Afghani lives and millions of refugees, with no end in sight.
As the Trump wrecking crew ramps up its destructive campaign against federal health and safety protections and social services for impoverished, disabled and vulnerable people (young and old) the latest targets of their ire are the federal civil servants who faithfully keep our government functioning here and abroad.
Before recommending a practical way to reverse the devastating impact of Congressional Republicans’ attempts to strip tens of millions of Americans of health insurance coverage, and the non-stop anxiety and dread that comes with such cruel and vicious legislation, note the impact of having gerrymandered (the politicians pick the voters) Washington rulers.
Notice how more frequently we hear scientists tell us that we’re “wholly unprepared” for this peril or for that rising fatality toll? Turning away from such warnings may reduce immediate tension or anxiety, but only weakens the public awareness and distracts us from addressing the great challenges of our time, such as calamitous climate change, pandemics, and the rise of a host of other self-inflicted disasters.
The unraveling of a society’s institutions, stability and reasonable order does not sound alarms to forewarn the citizenry, apart from economic yardsticks measuring poverty, jobs, wages, health, savings, profits and other matters economic.
It is time for an urgent clarion call.
Given the retrograde pits inhabited by our ruling politicians and the avaricious over-reach of myopic big-business bosses, the self-described pillars of our society must step up to reverse the decline of our country. Here is my advice to each pillar:
For his smallish stature, Amazon Boss Jeff Bezos has a booming, uproarious laugh. Unleashed during workdays, its sonic burst startles people, given it comes from as harsh and driven a taskmaster as exists on the stage of corporate giantism.
RT America on Jul 1, 2017
On this week’s episode of On Contact, Chris Hedges travels to Cambridge, Massachusetts for a conversation with America’s most important intellectual, Professor Noam Chomsky. In Part I of their conversation, Chomsky discusses the adverse effects of neoliberalism on the working class, as addressed in his book, Requiem for the American Dream: The 10 Principles of Concentration of Wealth & Power.
The hype and unsubstantiated hope behind the self-driving car movement continues unabated, distracting from addressing necessities of old “mobilities” such as inadequate public transit and upgrading highway and rail infrastructure.
In 2006 a book was published called Losing Our Democracy by civic leader, Mark Green. His 21st book, it was the usual Mark Green brand of meticulous research with memorable examples. One would have thought such an important subject would have received wide coverage and circulation. In fact, it was almost completely ignored by reviewers and the media interviewers. In 2017, the danger of having the door shut on the practice of democracy by its citizens is more important than at any other time in recent history.
The large marches, in Washington, DC and around the country, calling attention to importance of science and focusing on the calamitous impacts of climate change had impressive turnouts. But the protests would have been more productive if they concentrated more – in their slogans and signs – on 535 politicians to whom we have given immense power to influence policies relating to those issues, for ill or for good.