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Economics

Time to Stop Worshipping Economic Growth

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  • To remain within the nine planetary boundaries, nations must shed the fetish of economic growth and transition to a true-cost, steady state economy.
  • From the Archives | 4 Pathways to Our Climate Future—Which Will We Choose?

Brent Blackwelder, The Daly News / Common Dreams

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http://www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files/planetary-boundaries.f.-pharand-deschenes-globaia.jpg Saturday, October 31, 2015 | There are physical limits to growth on a finite planet. In 1972, the Club of Rome issued their groundbreaking report—Limits to Growth (twelve million copies in thirty-seven languages). The authors predicted that by about 2030, our planet would feel a serious squeeze on natural resources, and they were right on target.

In 2009, the Stockholm Resilience Center introduced the concept of planetary boundaries to help the public envision the nature of the challenges posed by limits to growth and physical/biological boundaries. They defined nine boundaries critical to human existence that, if crossed, could generate abrupt or irreversible environmental changes.

Brent Blackwelder, a Ph.D., is president Emeritus of Friends of the Earth U.S., a national environmental organization dedicated to preserving the health and diversity of the planet for future generations.

Full story … 

Related:

From the Archives | 4 Pathways to Our Climate Future—Which Will We Choose? Nicole D'Alessandro, EcoWatch <>

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  • What would the future look like if we took drastic action to cut emissions—or no action at all?
  • We can choose our own ending to this story. Which way will it go?
  • Top 20 ‘Dirty Denier$’ Who Accept Big Bucks from Big Polluters

Robert Reich | What Happened on My Tour Through Red State America

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  • The best way to learn is to talk with people who disagree with you.
  • The Continuing Middle Class Crisis
  • Dick Rowan | Putting the Con in Conservative

Robert Reich, RobertReich.org / AlterNet

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http://prodimage.images-bn.com/pimages/9780385350570_p0_v1_s192x300.jpg November 9, 2015 | I’ve just returned from three weeks in “red” America. It was ostensibly a book tour but I wanted to talk with conservative Republicans and Tea Partiers.

I intended to put into practice what I tell my students – that the best way to learn is to talk with people who disagree with you. I wanted to learn from red America, and hoped they’d also learn a bit from me (and perhaps also buy my book).

Robert Reich has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. His latest book is "Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few."

Full story … 

Related:

Dick Rowan | Putting the Con in Conservative / memegenerator.net

He put the "Con" in conservative (and we fell for it)!

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The Continuing Middle Class Crisis, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 

  • The people are fighting back and the elites recognize it. There is fear in the investor class as they see people organizing and mobilizing. Corporations are now investing more time and money in preparation to protect themselves from investor actions and legal challenges. The actions of corporations and governments against the people are a sign of their fear, and a sign of our unrealized strength.
  • Part 1: Goodbye Middle Class: 51 Percent Of All American Workers Make Less Than 30,000 Dollars A Year
  • Part 2: There Has Never Been an American “Middle Class”.

How Taxes Have Kept Wealth White

From the days of slavery to the 21st century rebirth of the poll tax, our tax system has been concentrating wealth at African-American expense, as legal scholar Andre Smith details in a timely new book.

Sam Pizzigati, Too Much

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http://toomuchonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/andre-smith2.jpg?bbed9e The recent state surge of “voter suppression” laws, notes the Delaware Law School’s Andre Smith, amounts to a reincarnation of the poll tax.

October 31, 2015 | The concept of institutional racism, thanks to the Black Lives Matter movement, is moving right onto America’s political center stage. The institution under the brightest spotlight? That has to be America’s criminal justice system. But considerable attention has also focused on other institutions as well, most notably education and the financial industry.

But one institution hardly ever comes to mind when talk turns to institutional racism: our tax system. Most of us simply do not think about racism when we think about taxes. Andre Smith does.

Sam Pizzigati, Editor, Too Much

Full story … 

 

Marc Ash: Socialism? Let’s Cut to the Chase

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  • “A basic principle of modern state capitalism is that costs and risks are socialized to the extent possible, while profit is privatized.” – Noam Chomsky
  • “This country has socialism for the rich, rugged individualism for the poor.” – The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Marc Ash, Reader Supported News / Rise Up Times 

http://readersupportednews.org/images/stories/article_imgs18/3286-abandoned-lee-plaza-hotel-detroit-061509.jpgThe downfall of Detroit. Detroit’s former Lee Plaza Hotel, closed in the 90s. (photo: Yves Marchand and Romaine Meffre/Time

September 29, 2015 | You are going to be hearing a lot about “Bernie Sanders, the Radical Socialist” in the coming months. So before that bandwagon rolls off down the great American highway let’s pin a little truth to its tail.

Socialism is nothing new in American politics or economics. Of course it’s not called “Socialism,” that would screw up the corporate 1% media’s branding. They call it good economic policy or bailouts or quantitative easing or free trade – but it’s Socialism.

Marc Ash is the founder and former Executive Director of Truthout, now the founder, editor and publisher of Reader Supported News.

Full story … 

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Related:

Socialism According to Eugene V. Debs, Elizabeth Schulte, Dandelion Salad <dandelionsalad>

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  • Sanders is promoting something that falls far, far short of the fundamental change that Debs fought for. Sanders relegates socialism to the realm of nice ideas that can be talked about, but never really be implemented—while he accepts what little the Democratic Party is willing to concede.
  • What did the man who Bernie Sanders today claims as his personal hero really stand for? Elizabeth Schulte tells the story of American socialism’s best-known figure.
  • Bernie Sanders Is No Eugene Debs

Section(s): 

The Continuing Middle Class Crisis

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  • The people are fighting back and the elites recognize it. There is fear in the investor class as they see people organizing and mobilizing. Corporations are now investing more time and money in preparation to protect themselves from investor actions and legal challenges. The actions of corporations and governments against the people are a sign of their fear, and a sign of our unrealized strength.
  • Part 1: Goodbye Middle Class: 51 Percent Of All American Workers Make Less Than 30,000 Dollars A Year
  • Part 2: There Has Never Been an American “Middle Class”.

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 



Part 1: Goodbye Middle Class: 51 Percent Of All American Workers Make Less Than 30,000 Dollars A Year.

Sadly, the trends that are destroying the middle class in America just continue to accelerate.

Michael Snyder, End of the American Dream

http://endoftheamericandream.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/The-Middle-Class-Public-Domain-460x307.jpg October 20th, 2015 | We just got more evidence that the middle class in America is dying.  According to brand new numbers that were just released by the Social Security Administration, 51 percent of all workers in the United States make less than $30,000 a year.  Let that number sink in for a moment.  You can’t support a middle class family in America today on just $2,500 a month – especially after taxes are taken out.  And yet more than half of all workers in this country make less than that each month.  In order to have a thriving middle class, you have got to have an economy that produces lots of middle class jobs, and that simply is not happening in America today.

You can find the report that the Social Security Administration just released right here.  The following are some of the numbers that really stood out for me …

Michael Snyder: publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog. 

Full story … 

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Part 2: There Has Never Been an American “Middle Class”. 

The U.S. Working Class Has Always Been Poor.

Alan Nasser, Global Research

http://www.globalresearch.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/118386-400x355.jpg [The] lack of upward mobility … has jeopardized middle-class America’s basic bargain — that if you work hard, you have a chance to get ahead. (from Obama’s May appearance on David Letterman)

October 21, 2015 | One of the most firmly entrenched myths of The American Ideology is that the U.S. is a “middle class society,” a “land of opportunity” where anyone who works hard has the opportunity to achieve the standard of living which has made America “the envy of the world.” A common, and spot on, rejoinder has been to remind us that America has always had a sizable class of permanently poor people and that it is just factually false that those ready, willing and able to work are on the path to middle class status.

But does this reply concede too much? Has there ever been a substantial middle class in America? Or has a poor working class been able to mask its condition by accessing an institution that has disguised a large portion of a poor working class as a middle class? The best place to start is with the history of the modern American middle class.

Alan Nasser is Professor Emeritus of Political Economy and Philosophy at The Evergreen State College, where he taught from 1975 to 2006. His book, United States of Emergency American Capitalism and Its Crises, will be published by Pluto Press next fall.

Full story … 

The question of Socialism Vs Capitalism

  • Socialism in some form, which has been around before civilization, will eventually prevail.
  • Part 1: Socialism Vs Capitalism: Past, Present, And Future 
  • Part 2: 'Capitalism Is Mother Earth's Cancer'

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Part 1: Socialism Vs Capitalism : Past, Present, And Future 

A new synthesis of Marxism and Existentialism rooted in each country's culture, traditions, and needs of workers and not just the bourgeoisie may produce successful leftist regimes in the future. Socialism in some form, which has been around before civilization, will eventually prevail.

Jon Kofas, countercurrents.org

23 September, 2015 | Contemporary civilization and its progress under capitalism are measured largely, though not exclusively, by stock market indicators and the wealth index of corporations and millionaires that mainstream media celebrates. All other issues are only significant if they enhance or diminish corporate wealth. This includes the political, social, environmental issues that may either entail greater profit opportunities or instability and lower profits. “Accordingly, the extent to which corporate democracy represents general, social interests or narrow, profit-oriented interests is largely a function of political contestation and state policy.”

Carl Gershenson, “Protecting Markets from Society: Non-Pecuniary Claims in American Corporate Democracy” Politics and Society (March, 2015, vol. 43, no. 1)

This “corporate measure” of the social contract in modern society is to the exclusion of the misery index in what Frantz Fanon once called “The Wretched of the Earth”, referring to the manner that imperialism determines social class in Africa and the masses’ reaction to create a more socially just society. The conditions Fanon described pertaining to Algerian struggle against French colonialism pertains today to conditions that capitalism universally creates and perpetuates as it always has since its nascent phase in the 15th century when European colonialism and the transatlantic slave trade began. An African-American youth shot by the police in the ghetto in 2015 is just as much a victim of the same class formation that capitalism creates as an Algerian youth fighting against French colonial rule in the 1950s. 

Jon Kofas is a retired university Professor from Indiana University.

Full story … 



  http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Another%20World%20Rainbow.jpgPart 2: 'Capitalism Is Mother Earth's Cancer'

World People's Summit Issues 12 Demands 

Deirdre Fulton, countercurrents.org

Decrying capitalism as a "threat to life," an estimated 7,000 environmentalists, farmers, and Indigenous activists from 40 countries convened in the Bolivian town of Tiquipaya for this weekend's World People's Conference on Climate Change, aiming to elevate the demands of social movements and developing countries in the lead-up to upcoming United Nations-led climate talks.

"Capitalism is Mother Earth's cancer," Bolivian President Evo Morales told the crowd, which also heard over the course of the three-day conference from United Nations Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon as well as other Latin American leaders.

Deirdre Fulton, Assistant Professor of Religion in Old Testament, Baylor University

Full story … 

Section(s): 

Chris Hedges | What It Means to Be a Socialist

  • Another%20World%20Rainbow.jpgI can promise you that an open and sustained defiance of global capitalism and the merchants of death, along with the building of a socialist movement, is our only hope.
  • The call to resistance, which will require civil disobedience and jail time, is finally a call to the moral life. Resistance is not about what we achieve, but about what it allows us to become. In the end, I do not fight fascists because I will win. I fight fascists because they are fascists.
  • Both Major U.S. Parties are Plagues on Humanity

Chris Hedges, Truthdig

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nysehedges_590.jpgA giant American flag hangs on the facade of the New York Stock Exchange. (Mary Altaffer / AP)

Sep 20, 2015 | We live in a revolutionary moment. The disastrous economic and political experiment that attempted to organize human behavior around the dictates of the global marketplace has failed. The promised prosperity that was to have raised the living standards of workers through trickle-down economics has been exposed as a lie. A tiny global oligarchy has amassed obscene wealth, while the engine of unfettered corporate capitalism plunders resources, exploits cheap, unorganized labor and creates pliable, corrupt governments that abandon the common good to serve corporate profit. The relentless drive by the fossil fuel industry for profits is destroying the ecosystem, threatening the viability of the human species. And no mechanisms to institute genuine reform or halt the corporate assault are left within the structures of power, which have surrendered to corporate control. The citizen has become irrelevant. He or she can participate in heavily choreographed elections, but the demands of corporations and banks are paramount.

History has amply demonstrated that the seizure of power by a tiny cabal, whether a political party or a clique of oligarchs, leads to despotism. Governments that cater exclusively to a narrow interest group and redirect the machinery of state to furthering the interests of that group are no longer capable of responding rationally in times of crisis. Blindly serving their masters, they acquiesce to the looting of state treasuries to bail out corrupt financial houses and banks while ignoring chronic unemployment and underemployment, along with stagnant or declining wages, crippling debt peonage, a collapsing infrastructure, and the millions left destitute and often homeless by deceptive mortgages and foreclosures.

Chris Hedges, a weekly columnist for Truthdig, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has reported from more than 50 countries, specializing in American politics and society. 

Full story … 

 

Related:

Both Major U.S. Parties are Plagues on Humanity, Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report

  • The two corporate parties have collaborated in knocking off countries targeted for invasion and regime change. They have both nurtured the jihadist international network that was created under presidents Carter and Reagan. And presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama are complicit in the capital crime of genocide in the Congo, where six million people have died since 1996. The presidential nominee of either party must be a ghoul, a fiend, or a banshee.
  • Chris Hedges | America's Electoral Farce

 

 

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