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Spotlight on Worldwide Inequality

Spotlight on Worldwide Inequality | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it
The disparity between the wealthy minority and the billions living in suffocating poverty is greater than it has ever been.
Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

The extreme dualities of poverty and wealth inevitably create the vulnerable and the powerful, the abuser and the abused. There are wide ranging consequences of such social division, foremost being the erosion or denial of democracy. With money comes power and with power comes political influence, making it inevitable that “inequality reinforces itself by corroding our political system and our democratic governance,” as Stiglitz says. 

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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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What the Social Progress Index can reveal about your country

What the Social Progress Index can reveal about your country | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it
The term Gross Domestic Product is often talked about as if it were “handed down from god on tablets of stone.” But this concept was invented by an economist in the 1930s. We need a more effective measurement tool to match 21st century needs, says Michael Green: the Social Progress Index. With charm and wit, he shows how this tool measures societies across the three dimensions that actually matter. And reveals the dramatic reordering of nations that occurs when you use it.
Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

The worst part of this story is that GDP, by averaging out yearly income, only measures growth by big business. The Social Progress Index is a fabulous tool to ensure that the 40-60% poorest of a country get their needs met. Only economic stability can result from that!

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The Coming Revolution: Evolutionary Leap or Descent Into Chaos and Violence?

The Coming Revolution: Evolutionary Leap or Descent Into Chaos and Violence? | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it
After extensive research, it is clear that we don't have much time left before we descend into chaos. If we want to change things through nonviolent methods, the window of opportunity is closing f...
Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

"A revolution is coming - a revolution which will be peaceful if we are wise enough; compassionate if we care enough; successful if we are fortunate enough - but a revolution which is coming whether we will it or not. We can affect its character; we cannot alter its inevitability." (Robert F. Kennedy)

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CEOs Make WAY More Than ANYBODY Thinks - YouTube

Published on Sep 27, 2014

"Rumblings of discontent about executive wages, the 1 Percent, and wealth gaps know no borders. And neither does fierce debate about income inequality in general. But until now, it's been relatively unclear how much people think CEOs should really make compared to other workers on a global scale.

In their recent research, scheduled to be published in a forthcoming issue Perspectives on Psychological Science, Chulalongkorn University's Sorapop Kiatpongsan and Harvard Business School's Michael Norton investigate "what size gaps people desire" and whether those gaps are at all consistent among people from different countries and backgrounds.

It turns out that most people, regardless of nationality or set of beliefs, share similar sentiments about how much CEOs should be paid -- and, for the most part, these estimates are markedly lower than the amounts company leaders actually earn."* The Young Turks hosts Ana Kasparian, Ben Mankiewicz (Turner Classic Movies) and John Iadarola (TYT University) break it down.

*Read more here from Gretchen Gavett / The Huffington Post:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gretche...


Via Khannea Suntzu
Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

Close on the heals of curbing the insidious effects of speculation and unlimited corporate growth in volatizing the world economy, setting a reasonable scale for pay grades is the next most important way to achieve economic stability. 

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Beware, fellow plutocrats, the pitchforks are coming

Beware, fellow plutocrats, the pitchforks are coming | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it
Nick Hanauer is a rich guy, an unrepentant capitalist — and he has something to say to his fellow plutocrats: Wake up! Growing inequality is about to push our societies into conditions resembling pre-revolutionary France. Hear his argument about why a dramatic increase in minimum wage could grow the middle class, deliver economic prosperity ... and prevent a revolution.
Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

There is a lot of truth in what Mr. Hanauer says, but raising the middle wage to strengthen the middle class does not go far enough. We also need to establish maximum wages or wage differentials, limit the market share a given corporation can dominate in each sector, eliminate or ensure they pay for negative externalities, get the money out of politics to end plutocracy, and curb today's unbridled, destabilizing speculation.

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The best of capitalism is over for rich countries – and for the poor ones it will be over by 2060

The best of capitalism is over for rich countries – and for the poor ones it will be over by 2060 | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it

The OECD's prescription – more globalisation, more privatisation, more austerity, more migration and a wealth tax if you can pull it off – will carry weight. But not with everybody. The ultimate lesson from the report is that, sooner or later, an alternative programme to "more of the same" will emerge. Because populations armed with smartphones, and an increased sense of their human rights, will not accept a future of high inequality and low growth.

Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

This is what will happen if we don't change our socio-political-economic paradigm soon. What are we waiting for?

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Amazon.com: The Price of Inequality eBook: Joseph Stiglitz: Kindle Store

Amazon.com: The Price of Inequality eBook: Joseph Stiglitz: Kindle Store | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it

In this timely book, Joseph Stiglitz identifies three major causes of our predicament: that markets don't work the way they are supposed to (being neither efficient nor stable); how political systems fail to correct the shortcomings of the market; and how our current economic and political systems are fundamentally unfair. He focuses chiefly on the gross inequality to which these systems give rise, but also explains how inextricably interlinked they are. Providing evidence that investment - not austerity - is vital for productivity, and offering realistic solutions for levelling the playing field and increasing social mobility, Stiglitz argues that reform of our economic and political systems is not just fairer, but is the only way to make markets work as they really should.

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Why good leaders make you feel safe

Why good leaders make you feel safe | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it
What makes a great leader? Management theorist Simon Sinek suggests, it’s someone who makes their employees feel secure, who draws staffers into a circle of trust. But creating trust and safety — especially in an uneven economy — means taking on big responsibility.
Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

We evolved within communities of loving, caring, compassion, empathy, cooperation, mutual trust and support, and self-sacrifice for each other, which kept us safe from the dangers outside. Let us now tap into that innate human capacity, to create a new world of loving, caring, compassion, empathy, cooperation, mutual trust and support, and self-sacrifice for each other.

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Here’s an unlikely bestseller: A 700-page book on 21st century economics

Here’s an unlikely bestseller: A 700-page book on 21st century economics | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it

The book argues that the underlying mechanisms of capitalism tend towards massive inequality. Piketty argues that the era between 1930 and 1975 -- often hailed for the way in which wealth was broadly shared -- was actually a departure from the norm. That period of economic growth, he says, was the result of unusual circumstances like World War II, a global depression and the government's actions in the aftermath of those events: strong policies raising taxes and increasing regulation. But now, with many of those policies rolled back, societies are reverting back to extreme inequality.

Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

A best-seller 700 page non-fiction book on economics? Sounds like the world is really waking up to the fact that there is a problem and is looking for answers!

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The Next American Revolution - YouTube

"Capitalism, in its current form, no longer fits the world around us." (Klaus Schwab - Founder World Economic Forum)

Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

Capitalism really only means private ownership of the means of production. In order for this to work, that ownership must be in moderation. In its present form of unchecked growth, it has become like a cancer to society. 

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Inequality and Philanthropy: part of the solution or part of the problem?

Inequality and Philanthropy: part of the solution or part of the problem? | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it

"Oxfam put out a media briefing this week ahead of the Budget announcement which grabbed a lot of headlines. It was based on a report (A Tale of Two Britains) which highlights the growing issue of income inequality in the UK, with the “killer fact” that five families in the UK now own more wealth than the poorest 20% of the population put together (roughly 12.6 million people).

 

This is basically a stark reworking of the “1% of the world’s population own 50% of the wealth” statistic that underpinned the whole Occupy movement, and seems to have been successful in putting the wider issue of inequality at the front of people’s minds as the standard annual drip-feed of stories about giveaways and tax tinkering gathers pace in the run up to the Budget."

Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

While philanthropy has done and can do a lot of good, as a means to pacify the masses into accepting a grossly unjust, unstable, unsustainable economic system, it is not helping us find the real answers we urgently need. It is like taking a cold medicine that temporarily relieves symptoms while hampering the diagnosis of an underlying deadly disease.

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Why Income Inequality Is Going to Get Catastrophically Worse

Why Income Inequality Is Going to Get Catastrophically Worse | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it
Inequality is endemic to the core structure of an America that operates more as a plutocracy than a democracy.
Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

We need to start seeing rampant, unchecked accumulation as a socioeconomic and political cancer, rather than as an inevitable outcome of today's brand of financial capitalism. Only then can the political, economic and social will be generated to put into place measures to first curb and then reverse the growth of this cancer, in order to stabilize the economy and reorient its goals  towards human development, bringing true liberty, justice and prosperity for all.

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The 3 agencies with the power to make or break economies

The 3 agencies with the power to make or break economies | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it
The way we rate national economies is all wrong, says rating agency reformer Annette Heuser. With mysterious and obscure methods, three private US-based credit rating agencies wield immense power over national economies across the globe, and the outcomes can be catastrophic. But what if there was another way? In this bold talk, Heuser shares her vision for a non-profit agency that would bring more equality and justice into the mix.
Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

De-concentrating the market power of these rating companies is an essential positive step towards developing a truly transparent, competitive global market, free from monopolies and oligopolies. 

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Plants talk to each other using an internet of fungus

Plants talk to each other using an internet of fungus | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it

"The more we learn about these underground networks, the more our ideas about plants have to change. They aren't just sitting there quietly growing. By linking to the fungal network they can help out their neighbours by sharing nutrients and information – or sabotage unwelcome plants by spreading toxic chemicals through the network."

Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

The science of ecology is portraying a new view of cooperation in nature (albeit still tainted by old adversarial worldviews) that are challenging our former assumptions about the "law of the jungle" as being based on a win-lose competition for scarce resources. The new abundance paradigm (the more I contribute, the more there is for everyone, including myself) shows promise for a new basis for reorganizing our society in more win-win terms.

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Will you still have a job in 2025? The alarming rate at which jobs are being disrupted | NewWorldOfWork.co.uk

Will you still have a job in 2025? The alarming rate at which jobs are being disrupted | NewWorldOfWork.co.uk | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it

A recent MIT Technology Review reveals an alarming trend. Since the early 2000′s and increasingly since the financial crisis of 2008, the levels of employment have decreased even though productivity has increased over the same period.

 

Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew Mcfee call this the “great decoupling” of productivity and employment. Historical trends show that as productivity increases so too does employment and the wealth of nations. Since WWII, increases in productivity have been tracked closely by increases in job creation. However, recent figures show that something new is happening as productivity continues to increase but employment flatlines.

 

The culprit McAfee and Brynjofsson argue is the impressive advances in computer technology that is changing everything not only in manufacturing, clerical and retail work but also in professional services such as law, education, medicine and financial services.

 

For anyone working in agriculture and manufacturing, that machines, software, automation and robots can replace people may seem obvious, but today we are seeing the emergence of a new trend: The information technologies that make our jobs safer, easier and boost productivity are now also reducing the demand for many types of knowledge workers.

 

Although not clear cut, there is a growing pool of evidence to suggest that advances in artificial intelligence, big data analytics, storage capacity and processing speeds mean that knowledge worker jobs previously believed to be safe from machine automation are being destroyed faster than they are being created.

 

Click headline to read more--


Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

We must bear in mind that the the purpose for work is not only economic, in the traditional sense of generating material goods and wealth. The social impact of useful labor is humanly ennobling, while joblessness and boredom are degrading, alienating and dehumanizing.

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Agency Warns About Decline in Access to Education

Agency Warns About Decline in Access to Education | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it
“The benefits of the expansion in education were shared by the middle class, but did not trickle down to less-advantaged families. In relative terms, the children of low-educated families became increasingly excluded from the potential benefits that the expansion in education provided to most of the population,” he said.

Andreas Schleicher, the organization’s director for education and skills, says education can lift people out of poverty but for that to happen “we need to break the link between social background and educational opportunity.”
Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

Equal education opportunities is the next largest piece in the process of stabilizing and de-volatizing the economy. As Andreas Schleicher, OECD director for education and skills, says, education can lift people out of poverty but for that to happen “we need to break the link between social background and educational opportunity.”

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How the Rich Rule

How the Rich Rule | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it
Widening inequality in the world’s advanced and developing countries inflicts two blows against democratic politics. Not only does it lead to greater disenfranchisement of the middle and lower classes; it also fosters among the elite a poisonous politics of sectarianism.
Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

"The rise of the religious right and, with it, culture wars over “family values” and other highly polarizing issues (for example, immigration) have served to insulate American politics from the sharp rise in economic inequality since the late 1970s. As a result, conservatives have been able to retain power despite their pursuit of economic and social policies that are inimical to the interests of the middle and lower classes."

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The age of entitlement: how wealth breeds narcissism

The age of entitlement: how wealth breeds narcissism | 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 everybody, not only the poor, but also the wealthy. How can we restructure the economy in such a way that it does not hurt both extremes but works for everyone?

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The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone

The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it

Why do we mistrust people more in the UK than in Japan? Why do Americans have higher rates of teenage pregnancy than the French? What makes the Swedish thinner than the Greeks? The answer: inequality.


This groundbreaking book, based on years of research, provides hard evidence to show:

- How almost everything - from life expectancy to depression levels, violence to illiteracy - is affected not by how wealthy a society is, but how equal it is

- That societies with a bigger gap between rich and poor are bad for everyone in them - including the well-off

- How we can find positive solutions and move towards a happier, fairer future

 

Urgent, provocative and genuinely uplifting, The Spirit Level has been heralded as providing a new way of thinking about ourselves and our communities, and could change the way you see the world.

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The Doom Loop of Oligarchy

The Doom Loop of Oligarchy | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it

"In the year's scariest economics book, Thomas Piketty argues that capitalism, left unchecked, subverts democracy by always and everywhere concentrating wealth at the tippy-top. That creates a class with so much economic power that they begin wielding tremendous political power, too. And then they use that political power to further increase their wealth, and then they use that wealth to further increase their political power, and so on. You might call this the Doom Loop of Oligarchy: wealth buys power, which buys more wealth. You can see it playing out over the last two weeks in American politics."

Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

If the United States is serious about becoming a true democracy, in contrast to its current status as an oligarchy (according to recent Stanford research), it must address its soaring economic inequality and eliminate both extreme poverty and extreme wealth. There are many measures that can be taken towards this end, one of which is to remove the structures that make political power subject to extreme wealth. Dollars must not have more voting power than people.

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How to rob a bank (from the inside, that is)

How to rob a bank (from the inside, that is) | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it
William Black is a former bank regulator who’s seen firsthand how banking systems can be used to commit fraud — and how “liar's loans” and other tricky tactics led to the 2008 US banking crisis that threatened the international economy. In this engaging talk, Black, now an academic, reveals the best way to rob a bank — from the inside.
Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

A brilliant, tongue-in-cheek explanation of one of the many fraudulent ways in which extreme wealth is accrued, and what to do about it.

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Study: US is an oligarchy, not a democracy

Study: US is an oligarchy, not a democracy | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it

"American democracy is a sham, no matter how much it's pumped by the oligarchs who run the country (and who control the nation's "news" media)," he writes. "The US, in other words, is basically similar to Russia or most other dubious 'electoral' 'democratic' countries. We weren't formerly, but we clearly are now."

Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

Ok, folks, it's official. No more dilly-dallying around saying it ain't true and making up excuses. No more imposing it on the rest of the world. Time to get to work changing things. Now.

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We the People, and the Republic we must reclaim

We the People, and the Republic we must reclaim | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it
There is a corruption at the heart of American politics, caused by the dependence of Congressional candidates on funding from the tiniest percentage of citizens. That's the argument at the core of this blistering talk by legal scholar Lawrence Lessig. With rapid-fire visuals, he shows how the funding process weakens the Republic in the most fundamental way, and issues a rallying bipartisan cry that will resonate with many in the U.S. and beyond.
Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

This is one very important way to return wealth to the service of human well-being: divorcing political power from economic power.

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My wish: To launch a new era of openness in business

My wish: To launch a new era of openness in business | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it
Anonymous companies protect corrupt individuals – from notorious drug cartel leaders to nefarious arms dealers – behind a shroud of mystery that makes it almost impossible to find and hold them responsible. But anti-corruption activist Charmian Gooch hopes to change all that. At TED2014, she shares her brave TED Prize wish: to know who owns and controls companies, to change the law, and to launch a new era of openness in business.
Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

This is a very important part of the effort needed to eliminate the extremes of both wealth and poverty.

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We need money for aid. So let’s print it.

We need money for aid. So let’s print it. | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it
During the financial crisis, the central banks of the United States, United Kingdom and Japan created $3.7 trillion in order to buy assets and encourage investors to do the same. Michael Metcalfe offers a shocking idea: could these same central banks print money to ensure they stay on track with their goals for global aid? Without risking inflation?
Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

Wow! Innovative thinking based on solid reasoning should really be listened to and explored more deeply. But, are we serious enough about socioeconomic  justice to find the political will to carry this out? Or is the "we are helping the poor" discourse just a pretty whitewash for today's globally corrupt, plutocratic, anticompetitive political-economic system? Let us bear in mind that since that discourse was born in 1945 with the Marshal Plan, global resources have become more highly concentrated, the poor have become poorer and the rich have become richer -- at an astronomical rate.

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What The The Great Gatsby Teaches You About America In 1 Chart

What The The Great Gatsby Teaches You About America In 1 Chart | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it

"The Great Gatsby curve is just one of the many consequences of rising income inequality in America. The International Monetary Fund found that reducing income inequality could prolong periods of economic growth. And Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz argued in a New York Times op-ed that income inequality is holding back America’s recovery."

Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

There are several other sites discussing the implications of the Gatsby curve and related measurements. Food for thought...

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Christophe CESETTI's curator insight, February 1, 10:11 AM

Pearltree "Bienfaits de l'égalité Méfaits de l'inégalité"

Claude Emond's curator insight, February 9, 10:04 AM

Pretty hard to participate to the Collective Intelligence revolution when you have less and less economic means