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Policy news & blueprints for the transition to a new Sustainable and Social Economy
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Want to Get into the Doughnut? Tackle Inequality

Want to Get into the Doughnut? Tackle Inequality | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
...we need to get into the doughnut: the safe and just sweet spot between social and planetary boundaries
Willy De Backer's insight:

must-read article by Kate Raworth.

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Reclaiming the Radical Imagination: Challenging Casino Capitalism's Punishing Factories

Reclaiming the Radical Imagination: Challenging Casino Capitalism's Punishing Factories | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Henry Giroux: Cultivating the radical imagination, civic education and critical modes of literacy are central to producing an informed citizenry, but even more so to constituting any viable notion of politics.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Brilliant analysis of casino capitalism and its austerity and inequality excesses. "We live in an age of proliferating political zombies, disimagination machines and punishing factories. This is an age of full blown authoritarianism parading, ironically, in the name of freedom and liberty".

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Davos man thrives while the rest of us pay for his excesses

Davos man thrives while the rest of us pay for his excesses | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"Davos is intellectually bankrupt. But the ideology it champions won't fall just by itself. Capitalism's dead end requires intellectual challengers, social movements and trade union leaders prepared to dare to reimagine their role."

Willy De Backer's insight:

Very good comment in the Guardian by Will Hutton.

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"The Bad Society"

"The Bad Society" | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"The attitude of indifference to income distribution is in fact a recipe for economic growth without end, with the rich, very rich, and super-rich drawing ever further ahead of the rest. This must be wrong for moral and even practical reasons. In moral terms, it puts the prospect of the good life perpetually beyond reach for most people. And, in practical terms, it is bound to destroy the social cohesion on which democracy – or, indeed, any type of peaceful, contented society – ultimately rests."

 

Good article in Project Syndicate by Robert Skidelsky on inequality and its effects on prosperity, the "good life" and democracy.

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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 Rich Get Even Richer

The Rich Get Even Richer | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
The bottom 99 percent received a microscopic $80 increase in pay per person in 2010, after adjusting for inflation. The top 1 percent had an 11.6 percent increase in income.

 

This NY Times article again confirms the perversity of current financial capitalism. Does anyone really believe this can go on for over?

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IMF economist: equality is the best remedy against crisis

IMF economist: equality is the best remedy against crisis | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"Unless countries reduce income disparities the next financial collapse is inevitable, argues economist Michael Kumhof. Perhaps a surprising conclusion from a senior researcher at the IMF. In interview he argues that equality is the best recipe against crisis."

 

Great interview in Eurozine with IMF economist Michael Kumhof.

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Why economic inequality leads to collapse

Why economic inequality leads to collapse | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
The lesson of the Great Crash was that unequal enrichment provokes asset bubbles, excessive demand for debt and, finally, economic failure.

 

Excellent article in The Observer tackles the myths of inequality and economic growth.

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Economic unfairness, not overregulation, is the problem

Economic unfairness, not overregulation, is the problem | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

Interesting poll in the US: majority thinks inequality is a bigger problem than over-regulation. Does this ring the end for the "free the market" fundamentalism which has caused our economic chaos?

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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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Economist receives rock star treatment

Economist receives rock star treatment | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
The reception for his “Capital in the 21st Century” has led the French economist Thomas Piketty to Washington’s halls of power and New York’s media outlets.
Willy De Backer's insight:

More praise for Thomas Piketty in the NY Times

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Eli Levine's curator insight, April 19, 2014 1:03 PM

The one who points out a possible theory of function is hailed as a hero and villain for the public to see.

But the one who points out the impending collapse of civilization, based on evidence gathered from history, is left in obscurity.

 

I'm young, I get it.

 

But that doesn't make what I've said any less valuable or accurate.

 

But will anyone listen to me, even though I've basically got the essence of how to get out of this mess, from which either party could capitalize considerably from for generations to come?

Of course not.

 

I'm just a "kid" after all.

 

And these adults with so much negative experience are just going to keep doing what their brains have programmed themselves to do.

 

Think about it.

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Some 95% of 2009-2012 Income Gains Went to Wealthiest 1%

Some 95% of 2009-2012 Income Gains Went to Wealthiest 1% | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Research released this month shows that the incomes of the well-off have largely climbed back from the toll of the most recent recession while those of the poor have yet to start recovering.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Crisis? Whose crisis?

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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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Joseph Stiglitz Sees Terrifying Future for America If We Don't Reverse Inequality |

Joseph Stiglitz Sees Terrifying Future for America If We Don't Reverse Inequality | | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
What will life look like down the road if we don't reverse economic inequality? We must see through the myths of capitalism and build a mass movement if we are to save ourselves.

 

Alternet has a really good interview on inequality and its dangers for democracy with Nobel-Prize economist Joe Stiglitz

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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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Tackling inequality: a new role for the state

"For the last thirty years we have been operating a faulty economic model. Yet it has survived the second deepest recession of the last 100 years largely intact. To escape today’s era of slow and intermittent growth and prolonged instability requires the great concentrations of income and wealth to be broken up – just as they were in the 1930s. Instead, across the globe, the great wealth divide has continued to grow through the recession." (Source: Open Democracy)

 

Brilliant analysis of the relationship between the Great Depression and 30 years of free-market policies which increased inequalities in all economies.

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Tackling inequality - OECD Observer

The average income of the richest 10% of the population is about nine times that of the poorest 10%, up from seven times what it was 25 years ago. Even in more egalitarian countries, such as Germany and Sweden, the earnings of the richest are over six times higher than those of the poorest, compared with just over three in 1985. Inequality has narrowed in countries like Chile and Mexico, though the income gap between rich and poor is still 27 to 1, and in Brazil, which as this edition shows has implemented impressive programmes against poverty and inequality, the gap stands at 50 to 1. Clearly, the benefits of economic growth have not trickled down or been fairly distributed.
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The future that workers need?

The recently released "zero draft" for the Rio+20 negotiations, lacks new commitments and concrete outcomes to advance sustainability, but workers have some concrete and achievable proposals.

 

Very good critique by SustainLabour, the International Labour Foundation for Sustainable Development, of the Rio+20 zero draft.

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Governments must tackle record gap between rich and poor, says OECD

Governments must tackle record gap between rich and poor, says OECD | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
The gap between rich and poor in OECD countries has reached its highest level for over half a century, and governments must act quickly to tackle inequality, according to a new OECD report.

 

Even the Club of the Rich starts worrying about rising inequalities and the societal protest resulting from the divide.

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Obama Tax Plan Would Ask More of Millionaires

Obama Tax Plan Would Ask More of Millionaires | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
President Obama will seek a new minimum tax rate to ensure that people making more than $1 million a year pay at least the same percentage of their earnings as middle-income taxpayers, administration officials said.

Populist measure from a weak president - will have no impact whatsoever on US and global inequality.

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