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George Lakey | The world’s happiest people already have a Green New Deal, and they love it.

https://riseuptimes.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/people-riding-bikes-denmark.jpg?w=640&h=427
/ People riding bikes in Copenhagen, Denmark. (Flickr/Kristoffer Trolle)

  • The Nordics [are] in the top tier of nations for equality because they adopted a radically different economic model.
  • Related: Series | Part 2: The Secret to Funding a Green New Deal

George Lakey, Waging Nonviolence

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April 10, 2019 | According to the latest report from the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Solutions Network, the Nordics are once again in the top tier of the World’s Happiest People. This year’s report, which came out March 20, pulled together the scores from the last three years to build a composite score, revealing that the four happiest countries from 2016-2018 are Finland, Denmark, Norway and Iceland, with Sweden coming in seventh.

The researchers combine a number of indicators to define “happiness.” One especially interesting for Americans is “freedom to make life choices,” since we like to think of ourselves as leaders in liberty. The index, however, places the United States at 62 (narrowly ahead of the United Kingdom), while the Nordics remain in the top 10 countries in freedom.
 
George Lakey is an activist, sociologist, and writer who added academic underpinning to the concept of nonviolent revolution. He also refined the practice of experiential training for activists which he calls "Direct Education". He has been involved in some of the greatest protests of the 20th century.

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Related:

Series | Part 2: The Secret to Funding a Green New Deal, Ellen Brown, Truthdig

https://www.truthdig.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/AP_18344670204945-850x567.jpg / Environmental activists occupy the office of then incoming Democratic majority leader Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md. (J. Scott Applewhite / AP)

  • A network of public banks, including a central bank operated as a public utility, could similarly fund a U.S. Green New Deal—without raising taxes, driving up the federal debt or inflating prices.
  • Related: Series | Part 1: This Radical Plan to Fund the ‘Green New Deal’ Just Might Work.

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Shrinking the Military-Industrial Complex by Putting It to Work at Home

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/ Ships travel in formation in the Pacific Ocean during the Rim of the Pacific multinational naval exercise, July 25, 2014. (Reuters / US Navy / Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Shannon E. Renfroe / Handout)

It’s not a pipe dream.

Peter-Christian Aigner and Michael Brenes, the Nation

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February 26, 2019 If you needed further proof of Bernie Sanders’s argument that most Americans stand with him on the issues, consider the reaction to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal. Despite attacks from the leadership in, or around, both parties, over 80 percent of voters support the litany of proposals advocated by the House resolution: job and income guarantees, universal health care, a cleaner environment, and lower socioeconomic inequality. Americans turn out, yet again, to be far less conservative than elites have maintained over the last half-century.

Nowhere has the gap between majority will and elite consensus been more conspicuous or longstanding than on US foreign policy. Trump’s election is perhaps the best demonstration of that fact. But there is strong evidence that most Americans were never “liberal internationalists” either. While it is notable that support for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has waned in recent years, in polls Americans have consistently preferred diplomacy to military “solutions” before (and not long after) 9/11. Nonetheless, US soldiers and mercenaries are now prosecuting the latter in 80 countries, nearly half the planet.

Peter-Christian Aigner is the deputy director of the Gotham Center at the City University of New York.

Michael Brenes, a historian and the senior archivist for American diplomacy at Yale University, is currently finishing two books: one on the role of the military-industrial complex in American politics, the other on Lyndon Johnson and Hubert Humphrey.

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Related:

The Military-Media Complex, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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  • Part 1: Militarism in the Media, World Beyond War
  • Discussing the role of the media in promoting violence and warfare.
  • Part 2: Highlights of #NoWar2018
  • This video reduces a day and a half to 1 hour.
  • Related: From the Archives | Special Report: The Media and War: Week of June 29, 2014
  • Related: Your Complete Guidetothe N.Y. Times’ Support of U.S.-Backed Coups in Latin America

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Help enlighten others. Be sure to pass this on to friends and kin. We must break the system's  ability to lie with impunity.


 

The Whole Economic System is Rigged for the Rich.

  • Part 1: Of Course College Admissions Rigged for the Rich. The Whole Economic System Is.
  • The college admissions scandal is just the tip of the inequality iceberg.
  • Part 2: School Daze: Use That Bribe Scandal to Fight for Debt-Free College.
  • Since 2006, student loan debt has grown 170 percent.

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest


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Part 1: Of Course College Admissions Rigged for the Rich. The Whole Economic System Is.

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/ A commencement ceremony at Yalu University. "It's no shock college admissions are rigged for the rich," writes Gerard. "The whole economic system is rigged by the rich." (Photo: via Yales News)

The college admissions scandal is just the tip of the inequality iceberg.

Leo Gerard, Common Dreams

Thursday, March 14, 2019 | The children of working stiffs learned a brutal lesson this week as federal prosecutors criminally charged rich people with buying admission to elite universities for their less-than-stellar children.

The lesson is that no matter how hard you work, no matter how smart or talented you are, a dumb, lazy rich kid is going to beat you.

https://www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files/styles/medium/public/leo_gerard.jpg?itok=exv71rYR / Leo Gerard is the International President of the United Steelworkers (USW) union and is the second Canadian to head the union. He is also a vice president of the AFL-CIO. Gerard is co-chairman of the BlueGreen Alliance and on the boards of Campaign for America’s Future and the Economic Policy Institute.

Full story …



Part 2: School Daze: Use That Bribe Scandal to Fight for Debt-Free College.


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 / Last week’s revelation of a big college bribery scandal among the rich and famous is further proof of the vast inequality between rich and poor and the plutocracy’s willingness to game the schools for themselves while ignoring the educational plight of everyone else. (Photo: Getty)

Since 2006, student loan debt has grown 170 percent.

Michael Winship, Common Dreams

Monday, March 18, 2019 | This will come as no surprise to most sentient human beings but we have an education crisis in this country that begins with the Cheeto Benito in the White House and trickles down all the way to households in which a child has never had a storybook read to them.

That my generation, as a wise man once said, is the first to teach the next generation less than we know goes beyond a sad commentary on our growing collective ignorance to reflect a society in which the best education is too often reserved for the scions of the high and mighty, the children of the very wealthy.

https://www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files/styles/medium/public/authors/michael-winship-150x150.jpg?itok=OQKVZfvI / Michael Winship is the Schumann Senior Writing Fellow for Common Dreams. Previously, he was the Emmy Award-winning senior writer for Moyers & Company and BillMoyers.com, a past senior writing fellow at the policy and advocacy group Demos, and former president of the Writers Guild of America East.

Full story …

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A US Tax on Wealth Is Long Overdue

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/ Carefully calculated by economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, the proposal by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), now running for president, sets a rate of 2 percent on fortunes valued between $50 million and $1 billion, and 3 percent above $1 billion, Getty Images

Between 1930 and 1980, the rate applied on the highest incomes was on average 81 percent, and the rate applied to the highest inherited estates was 74 percent. Clearly this did not destroy American capitalism.

Thomas Piketty, the Boston Globe / Common Dreams / Portside


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February 12, 2019 | What if the final blow for French President Emmanuel Macron came not from the yellow vests but from US Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts? Warren, who announced her candidacy for president on Saturday, has proposed what will doubtless be one of the key points of her campaign — the creation of a genuine federal progressive wealth tax.


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Carefully calculated by Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, the Warren proposal sets a rate of 2 percent on fortunes valued between $50 million and $1 billion, and 3 percent above $1 billion. The proposal also provides for an exit tax equal to 40 percent of total wealth for those who relinquish their American citizenship. The tax would apply to all assets, with no exemptions, with dissuasive sanctions for people and governments that do not transmit appropriate information on assets held abroad.

Thomas Piketty is a French economist and the author of the best-selling book, Capital in the 21st Century, which emphasises the themes of his work on wealth concentrations and distribution over the past 250 years.
 
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