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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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As economy recovers, the richest get richer, study shows

As economy recovers, the richest get richer, study shows | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it
A new study shows that wealth disparity has been accelerating in the two years since the recession ended.
Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

All income brackets have lost money "since the recession ended" (has it?), except for the half-million and over bracket, which has gained 21%, making the macroeconomic gain a deceptive 14%. What the title doesn't say is that "the poores get poorer". This is only adding to a topheavy economy and deepening its instability and potential volatility. Another crash in the making.

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Lawrence Lessig: We the People, and the Republic we must reclaim

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:

Why the USA is not a democracy (government by the people) but a plutocracy (government by the money), and what we can do about it.

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First as Tragedy, Then as Farce

In this short RSA Animate, renowned philosopher Slavoj Zizek investigates the surprising ethical implications of charitable giving.

Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

The need to go beyond the kind of charity which perpetuates an unjust system by alleviating its injusticies, to the kind of charity which consists of deconstructing it and reconstructing a system in which poverty no longer exists.

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Stagnant Wages and Speculation Triggered the Crisis

Stephanie Seguino: Blacks, Hispanics, and single mothers have much greater loss of income since crisis, triggered by income inequality in the first place
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Stunning Facts About How the Banking System Really Works ... And How It Is Destroying America

Stunning Facts About How the Banking System Really Works ... And How It Is Destroying America | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it
Paintings by Anthony Freda: www.AnthonyFreda.com. Reclaiming the Founding Fathers' Vision of Prosperity To understand the core problem in America today, we have to look back to the very founding of...
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Young Man Blues -- We're not lazy, you're just greedy!

Young Man Blues -- We're not lazy, you're just greedy! | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it
Instead of complaining about how many people are moochers on welfare in the US, address why they need welfare in the first place - unchecked business greed.
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Why Justice Matters to Development

Fifteen years ago the UN's Millennium Development Goals set out to eliminate extreme poverty. Some of the original goals have been achieved. Now, with the MDGs about to expire in 2015, the world is drafting a development agenda. It's a chance to get things right. It's a chance to include a goal for justice.

In this video George Soros, Amartya Sen, and others speak to the importance of including a specific goal for justice.

Let's make access to justice part of the global development agenda.

Learn more at http://osf.to/justice2015.

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FOCUS | Monsanto Protection Act Proves Corporations More Powerful Than Government

FOCUS | Monsanto Protection Act Proves Corporations More Powerful Than Government | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it
'Monsanto lobbyists have gone as far as to generate legislative inclusions into a new bill that puts Monsanto above the federal government.' Anthony Gucciardi, Natural Society
Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

A good example of how extreme wealth works against efforts at democracy in a plutarchy such as the USA.

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Gar Alperovitz: The Next American Revolution (TRAILER)

While there's been no shortage of commentary about the structural crisis plaguing the American economic and political system, from wage stagnation and chronic unemployment to unchecked corporate and state power and growing inequality, analyses that offer practical, politically viable solutions to these problems have been few and far between. This illustrated presentation from distinguished historian and political economist Gar Alperovitz is a rare and stunning exception. Pointing to efforts already under way in thousands of communities across the U.S., from co-ops and community land trusts to municipal, state, and federal initiatives that promote entrepreneurship and sustainability, Alperovitz marshals years of research to show how bottom-up strategies can work to check monopolistic corporate power, democratize wealth, and empower communities. The result is a highly accessible look at the current economy and a common-sense roadmap for building a system more in sync with American values.

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Trailer : A Place at the Table (2013)

One nation underfed. Really? Many of us don't think of the U.S. as the land of the underfed. In this era of the expanding waistlines, we hear far more concern about obesity than we do about hunger. But the two are more closely connected that many of us realize.

 

A new documentary, A Place at the Table, peels back the curtain on the problem of food insecurity, weaving the stories of low-income Americans who struggle to put healthy food on the table, despite the fact that they have jobs. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that about about 50 million Americans fall into this category of "food insecure" — meaning they don't always have the resources to buy the food they need. This includes nearly 17 million children in the U.S.

 

The film includes the voices of hunger and nutrition experts, as well as advocates who criticize federal farm subsidies of crops such as wheat and corn. These crops supply the bulk of our nation's processed foods, which tend to be calorie dense, and nutrient poor. Food policy expert Marion Nestle points out there are no subsidies for fruits and vegetables — one reason, perhaps, that they're so much more expensive. Raj Patel, author of Stuffed and Starved, weighs in, too.

 

But as producer Lori Silverbush (married to chef Tom Colicchio, who appears in the film) pointed out during the after-screening discussion, subsidies are just one part of a complex story. The bottom line, according to hunger advocate Billy Shore of Share Our Strength: "Childhood hunger in this nation is a solvable problem." Shore says we have enough food and good nutrition programs.

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jennifer whiddon's curator insight, March 15, 2013 11:45 AM

We will watch this video in class as a part of our study of hunger in Howard County.

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RSA Animate - Crises of Capitalism

In this RSA Animate, celebrated academic David Harvey looks beyond capitalism towards a new social order. Can we find a more responsible, just, and humane economic system?

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From PLUTOCRACY to DEEP DEMOCRACY - David Korten

GREAT TURNING author David Korten ( www.thegreatturning.net ) explains how - if we can awaken from our collective entrancement with a false story of our past  - a country successfully designed to be ruled by the wealthy few can be transformed into one really governed by We the People.

Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

Establishing a wealth threshold will democratize our economy and eliminate the plutocracy that is enabled by the inordinate economic influence that the global 1% has over governments around the world.

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Sacred Economics - Charles Eisenstein

Sacred Economics - Charles Eisenstein | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it

Sacred Economics traces the history of money from ancient gift economies to modern capitalism, revealing how the money system has contributed to alienation, competition, and scarcity, destroyed community, and necessitated endless growth. 

Today, these trends have reached their extreme - but in the wake of their collapse, we may find great opportunity to transition to a more connected, ecological, and sustainable way of being.

Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

We need to rethink and re-engineer our economic concepts, theories, practices, structures, and systems. This requires a broad, open dialogue among diverse actors around the world. this book and the video that introduces it are a valuable part of that dialogue.

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The United States of Inequality | Bill Moyers

The United States of Inequality | Bill Moyers | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it

In an extended essay, Bill shares striking extremes of wealth and poverty across the country. The unprecedented level of economic inequality in America is undeniable. In an extended essay, Bill shares examples of the striking extremes of wealth and poverty across the country, including a video report on California’s Silicon Valley. There, Facebook, Google, and Apple are minting millionaires, while the area’s homeless — who’ve grown 20 percent in the last two years — are living in tent cities at their virtual doorsteps.

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RSA Animate - Superfreakonomics

Are we really as altruistic as we might like to think? In the RSA's new animation series, we put into pictures Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner's case for re-evaluating the evidence.

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RSA Animate - The Truth About Dishonesty

Are you more honest than a banker? Under what circumstances would you lie, or cheat, and what effect does your deception have on society at large? Dan Ariely, one of the world's leading voices on human motivation and behaviour, is the latest big thinker to get the RSA Animate treatment.

Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

At the end explains that the financial crisis is a problem of perverse incentive structures. "Unless we change the incentive structures we are not going to find a way forward".

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Billionaires profit during jobless recovery

The stock market is enjoying record highs, and the mainstream media is touting a recovery in the nation's housing sector. There are more billionaires than ev...
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How rich “moochers” hurt America

How rich “moochers” hurt America | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it
The 3-point plan of wealthy landlords, lenders and insurance providers -- the true "takers" threatening the nation
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8 Ways the Prophets of Capitalist Greed Justify Their Success and Your Slide Toward Poverty

8 Ways the Prophets of Capitalist Greed Justify Their Success and Your Slide Toward Poverty | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it

From the 'get a job' critic to the 'self-made' entrepreneur, capitalist greed is splitting the world in two. But rather than look objectively at their failures, many of those responsible have been hypocritical, portraying themselves as advocates of freedom and prosperity while the greater part of the world slides into poverty.

Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

It is important to be able to debunk these myths, in order to help rally the public support needed to cure humanity of the dangerous cancer of excessive capital accumulation in too few hands.

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The Pragmatist: Maximum Wage and the Limits of Human Inequality

The Pragmatist: Maximum Wage and the Limits of Human Inequality | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it

Pegging the rise of maximum compensation to the rise in the minimum will go a long way towards avoiding global disruptions.


The appropriate maximum wage that society should have will be a critical issue in this century. It is generally agreed upon at this point that a neurosurgeon should get compensated more than a tour guide. The Soviet experience of a relatively narrow gap between highest and lowest compensation (top company manager officially earning 3-5 times the entry level worker) shows that society's progress stagnates if tangibly unequal abilities and contributions are rewarded with compensation that's perceived as relatively equal. Yet various banana republics (United States included) around the world demonstrate that stagnation also sets in when wage inequality gets sufficiently monstrous.

It is not enough to look at relatively egalitarian societies like Japan or Sweden to try to find some golden maximum/minimum ratio. What is needed is a common sense and/or philosophical framework that 1) justifies a certain income ratio and 2) creates conditions compatible with human nature and self interest that allow the set ratio to be maintained.

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Corporate Profits Are Eating the Economy

Corporate Profits Are Eating the Economy | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it

In the last 30 years, there has been a great divergence between growth and workers' incomes, as the New York Times reminds us today. Corporate profits have soared, in the last decade especially, particularly because of three things:

1) Globalization has pushed down the cost of labor available to multinational corporations;

2) technology has allowed companies to make more with fewer workers, in general; and

3) Big Finance has gobbled up the economy, as the banks' share of total corporate profits has tripled to about one-third since the middle of the last century, according to Evan Soltas.

 

Here's the short story of corporate profits, GDP, and workers' income since the Great Recession. As you can see, corporations rode a wild roller coaster, but they quickly found their way back on top. GDP has been sluggish and overall labor income has struggled to keep up with even that sluggish pace.


Via Khannea Suntzu
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The Concentration of Wealth

The Concentration of Wealth | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it

A graph of the the concentration of wealth in four banks from 1995 to 2009, by the US Federal Reserve and GAO.


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

A graphic depiction of how we are moving away from true capitalism, free market, the invisible hand, and democracy towards oligopoly, oligarchy, plutocracy, and a very visible hand.

 

We should actually be moving in the opposite direction, as this state of affairs holds within itself the seeds of its own destruction and that of everything and everybody dependant upon it (see "Social Dilemma").

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Khannea Suntzu's curator insight, March 15, 2013 5:14 AM

This is unacceptable. This is nothing like free markets. This is Oligarchy. This is the end of functional democracy. The politicians who envisioned this corruption and did nothing are traitors. The politicians who were paid to facilitate this are the enemy of humanity.

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David Korten - The Great Turning

David Korten speaks at the StoryField Conference on August 27, 2007 about "The Great Turning", an evolution of spirit that is transforming humanity and its relationship to the earth.

Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

This amateur video starts out a little rough, but then settles in and lets you focus on this great talk.

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David Korten - The Great Turning

David Korten author of "When Corporations Rule the World" on "The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community" at the Veterans for Peace 2006 National Convention in Seattle.

Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

An idea whose time has come.

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Radical Abundance: David Korten

David Korten presentation to 39th Trinity Institute National Theological Conference on Radical Abundance: A Theology of Sustainability
Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

An incisive analysis, followed by bold proposals for economic reform. Includes questioning the assumptions regarding human nature by which such reforms are impossible to achieve.

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