Advocating a Wealth Threshold
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Moyers & Company Show 141:Plutocracy Rising

"The One Percent is not only increasing their share of wealth — they're using it to spread millions among political candidates who serve their interests. Example: Goldman Sachs, which gave more money than any other major American corporation to Barack Obama in 2008, is switching alliances this year; their employees have given $900,000 both to Mitt Romney's campaign and to the pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future. Why? Because, says the Wall Street Journal, the Goldman Sachs gang felt betrayed by President Obama's modest attempts at financial reform."

Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

Plutocracy is a necessary outcome of extreme wealth accumulation, which affords political power to its holders. Plutocracy can only be replaced with true democracy by setting a wealth threshold for individuals and market-share threshold on corporations.

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Advocating a Wealth Threshold
There is a poverty threshold, but how about a wealth threshold to save democracy, economic stability, the environment, cultural diversity, and much more!
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Resolving the Economic Dilemma

Resolving the Economic Dilemma | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it
Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

A social dilemma occurs when everyone doing what a social system expects them to do causes it to collapse. In other words, what causes the breakdown is the way the system itself is structured.

Today's predominant brand of industrial capitalism, with its unbridled accumulation, is one such dilemma. Unchecked 'free' market competition leads to the concentration of ever more resources in fewer and fewer hands, and the ensuing dynamics increasingly stress the system until it snaps.

Capitalism itself, which in essence only means private ownership of the means of production, is not the issue here. What is being questioned is a system that enables an individual or corporation to accumulate so much wealth and power that they not only significantly influence the market, but also sway the policies, laws, conscience, and monetary systems of entire national governments in their favor. This is what needs to be checked by setting wealth thresholds beyond which there can be no passing.

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The Pain You Feel is Capitalism Dying

The Pain You Feel is Capitalism Dying | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it
It can be very confusing to know that you won’t find a decent job, pay off student loans or put in a down payment on a h…
Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:
"You are not alone. All 7.4 billion of us alive today are going through this. We are doing it together. Now is the time to become fully aware of the systemic nature of what we are going through. The future will not be like the past. It is going to be painful and confusing at times. Yet the prospects for getting through this struggle are nothing less than a thriving planetary civilization that is inclusive and nourishing for all people while at the same time remaining in harmony with our home planet of Earth."
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The Path to Spiritual Economy and Spiritual Enterprise

The Path to Spiritual Economy and Spiritual Enterprise | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it
Thursday, May 19 2016 - 8:00 pm EST
Webinar with Lawrence Miller

Register here.

The relationship between money or financial/material assets and the size and success of a business is not what it used to be. Other forms of “cultural capital” are now considered more important than money. Businesses that prosper in the future will master the skills
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Looks like a very interesting Webinar
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How to make a profit while making a difference

How to make a profit while making a difference | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it
Can global capital markets become catalysts for social change? According to investment expert Audrey Choi, individuals own almost half of all global capital, giving them (us!) the power to make a difference by investing in companies that champion social values and sustainability. "We have more opportunity today than ever before to make choices," she says. "So change your perspective. Invest in the change you want to see in the world."
Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:
Social investment is an excellent way to "vote with your dollars" for social justice and sustainability while making a profit.
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Social Democracy

Social Democracy | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it
Not Socialism, And Coming To America This paper by Lane Kenworthy, published alongside three others, is one of many proposals for a systemic alternative we have published or will be publishing here at the Next System Project. You can read it below, or download the PDF. We have commissioned these papers in order to facilitate an informed …
Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:
Lane Kenworthy proposes a model that closely resembles the actual political economies of the Scandinavian countries and has as its primary goals the full realization of economic security, equality (low inequality) of opportunity, and shared prosperity. It is in essence a market capitalist model with generous and employment-friendly social policy. Government transfers rather than taxes would play the principal role in reducing and minimizing inequality. Over the past century, it is argued, the U.S. government has slowly been moving closer to a social democracy, as policymakers have come to realize that larger government will help to improve economic and living conditions and have pursued policies to that end. Going forward, this is likely to continue.
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Participatory Economics and the Next System - The Next System Project

Participatory Economics and the Next System - The Next System Project | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it
This paper by Robin Hahnel, published alongside three others, is one of many proposals for a systemic alternative we have published or will be publishing here at the Next System Project. You can read it below, or download the PDF. We have commissioned these papers in order to facilitate an informed and comprehensive discussion of “new systems,” …
Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:
Robin Hahnel describes a model (developed together with Michael Albert) that revolves around (a) social ownership of the productive “commons,” (b) consumption rights based on effort and need, (c) and workplace councils and neighborhood consumer councils which coordinate their interrelated activities through participatory planning rather than through markets. While long-run development and investment planning are carried out mostly by federations of industry and consumer councils, an annual planning procedure decides which worker councils will produce what goods and services for consumption by which consumer councils. Ever more accurate estimates of the full social costs of producing goods and services, and the opportunity costs of using different capital goods, categories of labor, and natural resources and sink services, emerge during the annual participatory planning procedure, as councils and federations revise and resubmit proposals for what they wish to do until a feasible plan is agreed on. All proposals and revisions of what a council will do originate with the council itself – which distinguishes the participatory planning process from all other planning models, and ensures meaningful self-management by workers and consumers.
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"It is important to limit riches" says 'Abdu'l-Bahá in his "Paris Talks"

"It is important to limit riches" says 'Abdu'l-Bahá in his "Paris Talks" | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it

"Certainly, some being enormously rich and others lamentably poor, an organization is necessary to control and improve this state of affairs. It is important to limit riches, as it is also of importance to limit poverty. Either extreme is not good... A financier with colossal wealth should not exist whilst near him is a poor man in dire necessity. When we see poverty allowed to reach a condition of starvation it is a sure sign that somewhere we shall find tyranny... There must be special laws made, dealing with these extremes of riches and of want... The general rights of mankind must be guarded and preserved... This is the only way in which the deplorable superfluity of great wealth and miserable, demoralizing, degrading poverty can be abolished." ('Abdu'l-Bahá)

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Modeling inequality and use of resources in the collapse or sustainability of societies

Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

"The measure “Carrying Capacity” is shown to be a practical means for early detection of a collapse. Mechanisms leading to two types of collapses are discussed. The new dynamics of this model can also reproduce the irreversible collapses found in history. Collapse can be avoided, and population can reach a steady state at maximum carrying capacity if the rate of depletion of nature is reduced to a sustainable level and if resources are distributed equitably."

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Building Power & Connectivity: Medea Benjamin on System Change

Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CODEPINK, discusses her personal journey in systemic thought; how corporate and militarist forces converge to keep the U.S. in a state of perpetual war; and how social movements build deeper interconnectivity to develop a genuine alternative. 

Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

Find out more and sign the statement at http://thenextsystem.org

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Transforming cities, changing the system

"The system is broken—so where do we start building a new one? Faced with interlocking ecological, economic, and political crises, local innovators are organizing at the city level to develop real foundations for systemic alternatives."

Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

The popular myth that individual change is sufficient to bring about a better world is challenged by the Next System Project, which says that the world's problems are systemic and, therefore, require systemic solutions. Personal change can contribute, but only if it involves transforming individuals into agents of systemic change.

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Inheritance is Key to the Concentration of Wealth - Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB)

Inheritance is Key to the Concentration of Wealth - Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB) | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it
Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

The bottom half of the pyramid is conducive to overall economic well-being, while the top half is counterproductive and contributes to waste, economic volatility, and the downfall of democracy. Systemic change requires measures to strengthen the former and discourage the latter.

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13 maps about America worth bringing up at dinner parties and/or first dates

Did you know that Texas' economy is the same size as Australia's? Now tell your date.
Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:
See especially:1) More than half of America's wealth is in this circle2) … and more than half its GDP is in these tiny orange areas:5) California is as rich as Italy, with 11 million fewer people6) The West, upper Midwest, and rural South are the happiest places in the United States8) America spends eight times more on defense than Russia10) Delaware, Maine, North Dakota, and Alaska don't have any billionaires
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The age of entitlement: how wealth breeds narcissism | Anne Manne

The age of entitlement: how wealth breeds narcissism | Anne Manne | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it
Anne Manne: As people get richer, they are more likely to feel entitled, to exploit others, and to cheat. That extends to politics too
Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

Extreme wealth is bad for the very wealthy themselves, not just for society as a whole.

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Does Spiritual Capital Exist?

Does Spiritual Capital Exist? | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it

"To the degree that an organization can enable, support, or encourage a depth of personal morality and dedication to a noble purpose, it possesses spiritual capital."

Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:
"Spirituality simply refers to our aspirations, our guidance, our connections not founded in the material world, but rather from some source, we regard as more noble. Two key components of spirituality in the workplace are of genuine value, assets, to the organization. The first is the degree to which members of the organization are committed to an ennobling purpose; and second, the degree to which shared values serve to guide ethical behavior. A worthy purpose, the impulse to do something significant, to make a contribution to humanity, is the most fundamental form of motivation. Great leaders instill a sense of noble purpose in their followers and thereby create human energy. Shared values, the discipline of adherence to a code of values within a group, is the basis of trust and sociability. Just as low-trust societies are economically handicapped, so to are low-trust companies."
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Systems of Wealth Hoarding Hide in Your Mind

Systems of Wealth Hoarding Hide in Your Mind | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it
The internet is exploding with conversations about the Panama Papers — the largest data dump in history of secret files …
Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:
"Our hope is that the Panama Papers will open up a conversation about why we have let this Ponzi Scheme go on so long and what we collectively would like to replace it with. Getting at the deep rules that give rise to pattern-level behavior of the whole system is going to be necessary before we can make the change."
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A conservative's plea: Let's work together

A conservative's plea: Let's work together | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it
Conservatives and liberals both believe that they alone are motivated by love while their opponents are motivated by hate. How can we solve problems with so much polarization? In this talk, social scientist Arthur Brooks shares ideas for what we can each do as individuals to break the gridlock. "We might just be able to take the ghastly holy war of ideology that we're suffering under and turn it into a competition of ideas," he says.
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What is Economic Democracy?

"Democratize labor! Democratize capital! Democratize democracy!"

These are the rallying cries David Schweickart deploys in his call for Economic Democracy, one of the first papers in our "New Systems" series exploring viable political-economic alternatives to the present order. This short stop-motion video illustrates some of the core features of Professor Schweickart’s model for an alternative system to capitalism."

Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:
We need more of this kind of proposals, and more public debate regarding them, to find a viable way to limit the anti-democratic, anti-economic power of the wealthiest few over the marketplace.
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Whole Systems Change - The Next System Project

Whole Systems Change - The Next System Project | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it
A Framework & First Steps for Social/Economic Transformation This paper by Riane Eisler, published alongside three others, is one of many proposals for a systemic alternative we have published or will be publishing here at the Next System Project. You can read it below, or download the PDF. We have commissioned these papers in order to …
Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:
Riane Eisler’s model places economic policies and practices in their larger social context, proposing two integrative social categories that go beyond religious vs. secular, capitalist vs. socialist, East vs. West, and so forth. It distinguishes between societies that orient to either a domination model or a partnership model, the latter characterized by three interactive components: a democratic rather than authoritarian structure in both family and state or tribe; equal partnership between women and men rather than ranking the male half of humanity over the female half, and with this, valuing in both women and men of the “feminine” such as nurturance and caregiving; and an end to institutionalized/idealized abuse and violence as no longer necessary for maintaining rigid rankings of domination. It proposes an action plan to break with traditions of domination, identifies trends in this direction, and outlines four strategies to build the missing foundations for a more equitable and sustainable socio-economic system.
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Economic Democracy

Economic Democracy | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it
Democratize labor! Democratize capital! Democratize democracy!
Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:
David Schweickart proposes a model that would preserve a role for markets in goods and services while extending democracy into the workplace and the linked spheres of finance and investment. In place of private ownership of the means of production with markets in capital, labor, goods, and services under capitalism, or state ownership and planning under socialism, Economic Democracy has a basic economic structure of socially-owned, worker-controlled firms in a competitive market. The model has neither capital markets nor labor markets in the usual sense. Workers would control their own jobs and workplaces, while productive resources would become the collective property of society and there would be social control over investment.
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Capitalism will eat democracy -- unless we speak up

Capitalism will eat democracy -- unless we speak up | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it
Have you wondered why politicians aren't what they used to be, why governments seem unable to solve real problems? Economist Yanis Varoufakis, the former Minister of Finance for Greece, says that it's because you can be in politics today but not be in power -- because real power now belongs to those who control the economy. He believes that the mega-rich and corporations are cannibalizing the political sphere, causing financial crisis. In this talk, hear his dream for a world in which capital and labor no longer struggle against each other, "one that is simultaneously libertarian, Marxist and Keynesian."
Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

“We mistakenly believe that capitalism inevitably begets democracy… Liberal democracy only surfaced when it was possible to separate fully the economic sphere from the political sphere, so as to confine the democratic process fully in the political sphere, leaving the economic sphere – the corporate sector – as a democracy-free zone…

 

“In our democracies today, the separation of the economic from the political sphere… gave rise to an inexorable, epic struggle between the two, with the economic sphere colonizing the political sphere, eating into its power… It is a little bit like a population of predators that are so successful in decimating the prey that they must feed on, that in the end they starve. Similarly, the economic sphere has been colonizing and cannibalizing the political sphere to such an extent that it is undermining itself, causing economic crises…

 

“One can be in government today and not in power, because power has migrated from the political to the economic sphere, which is separate... We must reunite the political and the economic sphere, and better do it… by democratizing the reunified sphere… Will such a world dawn? …The answer lies in a political choice that we shall be making collectively. It is our choice, and we better make it democratically.”

 

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62 People Own Same Wealth as Half the World | Oxfam America

62 People Own Same Wealth as Half the World | Oxfam America | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it
Runaway inequality has created a world where 62 people own as much as the poorest half of the world’s population – a figure that has fallen from 388 just five years ago, according to an Oxfam report published today ahead of the annual gathering of the world’s financial and political elites in Davos.
Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

"Oxfam is calling for urgent action to tackle the extreme inequality crisis that threatens to undermine the progress made in fighting global poverty during the last quarter of a century."

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Getting to the Next System - The Next System Project

We have encompassing problems because of fundamental flaws in our economic and political system. By understanding these flaws, we can end them and move forward to a new system.
Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

The problems of the world are systemic, and therefore require systemic solutions. The myth that individuals are to blame for these problems, or that they can be solved merely at the individual level, has been tested and shown to be false.

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Citi's Chief Economist Recommends a Universal Basic Income - Futurism

Citi's Chief Economist Recommends a Universal Basic Income - Futurism | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it
It's becoming clear that increased automation as well as the rise of artificial intelligence is threatening ever more jobs. Now economists are starting to seriously consider a universal basic income.
Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

Although this addresses the issue of the poverty threshold, making it operation will likely make it necessary to tax the rich more heavily, which is a step towards developing the wealth threshold that this decade has shown to be indispensable.

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OPINION: We need a new economic system | Al Jazeera America

OPINION: We need a new economic system | Al Jazeera America | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it

"...this idea that we urgently need to democratize ownership of the economy is not really all that “radical” in the normal sense. It does not reject all private ownership; it merely demands that more people share in it, and that the public undertake new ownership strategies. Even in the recent flood of proposals for reform and regulation, elements of such a next system shine through. Economist Joseph Stiglitz’s “Rewriting the Rules” report for the Roosevelt Institute, for instance, suggests that a public option for mortgages could do much to address the deficiencies in a home-financing landscape where public welfare too often bows to private profit. Stiglitz also recommends a public option for savings banks, organized through the post office, and a public option in health care (“Medicare for all”). These and other kinds of public enterprises, designed to be owned democratically by the nation as a whole, would not aim simply to regulate the consequences of the profit-maximizing behavior of corporations — they would aim to displace them.

Further suggestions in other documents go straight to the heart of the relationship between labor and the ownership of capital. Remarkably, democratic socialist Bernie Sanders, in his presidential campaign economic agenda, and former Treasury Secretary and centrist’s centrist economist Lawrence Summers, writing inside the Beltway for the Center for American Progress, agree that worker ownership, including worker cooperatives, can and should be encouraged through federal policy initiatives."

 

Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

While it is great to see this dialogue opening up, it should not be framed in the old Democrat versus Republican dichotomy. What is good for the nation is good for all - both rich and poor - Democrats and Republicans. Perhaps part of the problem is precisely the false dichotomies that prevail in today's party political system - erroneously made synonymous with democracy - and the antiquated concepts of power, as something to be wielded over and against others, on which it is based.

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Monsanto's Government Orgy | Brainwash Update - YouTube

"Abby Martin takes a closer look at the incestuous relationship between the White House and Monsanto, by calling out Romney and Obama's longstanding ties with the company."

Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

Just one more example of how extreme wealth is destructive of democracy.

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Princeton Concludes What Kind of Government America Really Has, and It's Not a Democracy

Princeton Concludes What Kind of Government America Really Has, and It's Not a Democracy | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it
What kind of oligarchy? As Gawker's Hamilton Nolan explains, Gilens and Page's findings provide support for two theories of governance: economic elite domination and biased pluralism. The first is pretty straightforward and states that the ultra-wealthy wield all the power in a given system, though some argue that this system still allows elites in corporations and the government to become powerful as well. Here, power does not necessarily derive from wealth, but those in power almost invariably come from the upper class. Biased pluralism on the other hand argues that the entire system is a mess and interest groups ruled by elites are fighting for dominance of the political process. Also, because of their vast wealth of resources, interest groups of large business tend to dominate a lot of the discourse. 

In either case, the result is the same: Big corporations, the ultra-wealthy and special interests with a lot of money and power essentially make all of the decisions. Citizens wield little to no political power. America, the findings indicate, tends towards either of these much more than anything close to what we call "democracy" — systems such as majoritarian electoral democracy or majoritarian pluralism, under which the policy choices pursued by the government would reflect the opinions of the governed.
Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

Establishing a wealth threshold would be a big step towards achieving true democracy, not only in the USA, but in all countries around the world.

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