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The Great Transition
Policy news & blueprints for the transition to a new Sustainable and Social Economy
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Reality economics

Reality economics | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

Michael Hudson reviews  Norbert Häring and Niall Douglas, Economists and the Powerful (London: Anthem Press, 2012). Their books demonstrates "how economics was turned into a propaganda exercise for financiers, landlords, monopolists, insiders, fraudsters and other rent-seeking predators whom classical economists sought to tax and regulate out of existence. This state of affairs reflects the century-long drive of these free lunchers to fight back against classical economics by sponsoring self-serving fictions that depict them as earning their fortunes not in predatory and extractive ways, but by contributing to output as “job creators.”

Willy De Backer's insight:

Another absolute must-read from critical economist Michael Hudson.

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Obama 2.0: Presidential Declaration of Independence from Wall Street

Obama 2.0: Presidential Declaration of Independence from Wall Street | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
What might a truly new economic vision for America look like? This is my answer framed as the presidential address we must prepare the way for a future president to deliver.

 

Re-elected President Obama would do well to read this insightful piece written by David Korten in 2011.

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Global Noise takes on austerity: 'We are not going to be silent'

Global Noise takes on austerity: 'We are not going to be silent' | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Demonstrators across the world are calling for an end to austerity as Global Noise protests kick off in more than 30 countries, including many in the Nobel Peace laureate European Union.

 

Is Global Noise the new "Occupy"? Opposition against globalised new class warfare will need more than just a narrative. It will need organisation.

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The Twilight of Protest

"... the people who will have the most to offer their communities, their societies, and the biosphere that supports all our lives will be those who have the courage, now, to walk away from the consumer economy and its smorgasbord of dubious pleasures, and learn, now, how to get by with less, use their own capacities of body and mind, and work with the patterns and processes of nature. For the time being ... protest can still accomplish goals worth pursuing, especially if activists wake up once again to the power of personal example; over the longer run, though, it’s the change on the individual, family, and community level that so many of today’s activists reject as pointless that have the most to offer the world."

 

Inconvenient musings by John Michael Greer on the demise of organised protest, the need for individual behavioural change, bobos and how the Republicans are preparing the revival of Marxism in the US. An absolute must-read.

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In Chief Executives’ Pay, a Rich Game of Thrones

In Chief Executives’ Pay, a Rich Game of Thrones | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Although the growth in C.E.O. compensation slowed last year, the pay numbers are still eye-popping.

 

More shocking figures on the economic perversity of CEO's paychecks or why capitalism and democracy will implode.

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Davos man weighs future of capitalism

Davos man weighs future of capitalism | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

The WEF's Schwab says capitalism's original distinction between the entrepreneur and the salaryman has been corrupted by excessive pay. He says top managers should not earn more than 20 times their lowest paid worker.

 

Does Mr Schwab practice what he preaches at WEF? Any of his lowest paid workers want to answer that question?

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Taxing the 1%: Why the top tax rate could be over 80%

Taxing the 1%: Why the top tax rate could be over 80% | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

On the excellent Vox.eu blog, economists Thomas Pikketty et al provide interesting ideas on why taxes on the rich could be increased without endangering productivity and economic growth.

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What Are Leaders Really For?

What Are Leaders Really For? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

At the Harvard Business Review Blog, Yahoo's Duncan Watts has great insights into social movements and their leaders and what it means for the Occupy movement.

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How to Occupy the moral and political high ground

How to Occupy the moral and political high ground | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"Naomi Wolf: The worldwide protest can be a critical force for change if it follows some simple rules..."


Bit of wishful thinking here. In the end, I am afraid, the Occupy movement will need to think about political organisation.

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Class in the 21st Century

"We are witnessing the birth of a new era: novel relationships of class and nation, of ideology, identity and mobilization, and of global left-wing politics are taking shape. The end of the Cold War brought no ‘peace dividend’, merely a new cycle of wars. The triumph of Western capitalism was not followed by universal prosperity, but by soaring inequality and recurrent economic crises: East Asia, Russia, Argentina, and now the ongoing Euro-American turbulence. The classic issues of concern for the left—capitalist exploitation and imperialism, oppressive hierarchies of gender or ethnicity—have reproduced themselves in the new century. The struggle will go on: of that we can be sure. But who will stamp their mark on it—the new middle class, or the plebeian masses? "

Willy De Backer's insight:

Brilliant long essay by Swedish sociology professor Göran Therborn on the historical birth, demise and challenging future of the working class as a political and social actor at global level.

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Stiffed: Occupy

Stiffed: Occupy | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
It is harder to organise a political movement to help young people than old people. Young people are less susceptible to being organised and they lack the patience for the hard graft of a long political campaign. They are more likely to be seduced by the weak ties of social networking and the false promise of slogans like ‘We are the 99 per cent.’ Nonetheless, these are the victims who need the most help and who lack the clout or visibility to be heard among the more pressing demands being made by the more militant elderly. They are the 5 per cent and we should do something for them.

 

London Review of Books has an excellent critical analysis by David Runciman of the Occupy movement and the 99% versus 1% narrative.

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Declare Your Radicalness

Declare Your Radicalness | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

Great post again in the Harvard Business Review blog, written by Umair Haque, on the need for radicalism instead of the pragmatic incrementalism of our crisis management.

 

"Sure, radicalism's dangerous. But what's even more is dangerous is not enough radicalism in a time of mega-failure."

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The Fable of the Century

Imagine a country in which the very richest people get all the economic gains.

 

Wonderful but scary little fable by former  Secretary of Labor Robert Reich.

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The 1% Strike Back

"The richest 1 percent of Americans capture 93 percent of all income growth. The challenge now is not to reinflate the economy, but to build a new foundation for growth by enpowering workers and holding executives accountable for the corrosive effect on democracy of this concentration of wealth."

 

Great analysis in Open Democracy about growing inequalities in capitalism and what to do about it.

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Global rebellion: The coming chaos?

Global rebellion: The coming chaos? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

Global elites are confused, reactive, and sinking into a quagmire of their own making, says Californian Sociology and Global Studies Professor William I. Robinson in this absolutely brillant, must-read, analysis of the current crisis of capitalism.

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The Political Case Against Out-Sized Executive Pay

The Political Case Against Out-Sized Executive Pay | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
The exponential growth in executive compensation over the last thirty years, as compared to slow growth in average worker pay, has been at the center of debates about the financial crisis and its aftermath.

 

The Harvard Business Review blog has this excellent analysis by Ben Heineman on extreme compensation growth for CEOs  in companies and the societal implications.

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Robert Reich (Occupiers Occupied: The Hijacking of the First Amendment)

Robert Reich (Occupiers Occupied: The Hijacking of the First Amendment) | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"A funny thing happened to the First Amendment on its way to the public forum. According to the Supreme Court, money is now speech and corporations are now people. But when real people without money assemble to express their dissatisfaction with the political consequences of this, they’re treated as public nuisances and evicted."


Former US labour secretary Robert Reich on the eviction of the Occupy movement in several cities. His conclusion: "Time to occupy our democracy".


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