Advocating a Wealth Threshold
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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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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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3 Ways Humans Create Poverty

3 Ways Humans Create Poverty | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it
Poverty isn't just a fact of nature. We made it happen, and we can fix it.
Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

How can we change our economic system in such a way that it no longer creates poverty -- but rather well-being -- for the masses of humanity?

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The Perfect Salary for Happiness: $75,000

The Perfect Salary for Happiness: $75,000 | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it
The study, which analyzed Gallup surveys of 450,000 Americans in 2008 and 2009, suggested that there were two forms of happiness: day-to-day contentment (emotional well-being) and overall “life assessment,” which means broader satisfaction with one’s place in the world. While a higher income didn’t have much impact on day-to-day contentment, it did boost people’s “life assessment.”

Now we have more details from the study, conducted by the Princeton economist Angus Deaton and famed psychologist Daniel Kahneman. It turns out there is a specific dollar number, or income plateau, after which more money has no measurable effect on day-to-day contentment.

The magic income: $75,000 a year. As people earn more money, their day-to-day happiness rises. Until you hit $75,000. After that, it is just more stuff, with no gain in happiness.
Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

Other studies also suggest that beyond the 'happiness threshold", additional wealth actually has a deleterious effect on individual or family quality of life and -- therefore -- overall happiness.

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How equal do we want the world to be? You'd be surprised

How equal do we want the world to be? You'd be surprised | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it
The news of society's growing inequality makes all of us uneasy. But why? Dan Ariely reveals some new, surprising research on what we think is fair, as far as how wealth is distributed over societies ... then shows how it stacks up to the real stats.
Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

I especially like that he included the concept of an "action gap" and how to address it.

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Economic Inequality: It’s Far Worse Than You Think

Economic Inequality: It’s Far Worse Than You Think | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it
In a candid conversation with Frank Rich last fall, Chris Rock said, "Oh, people don’t even know. If poor people knew how rich rich people are, there would be riots in the streets." The findings of three studies, published over the last several years in Perspectives on Psychological Science, suggest that Rock is right. We have no idea how unequal our society has become.
Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

I don't think rioting is the answer. Studies are showing that extreme wealth is bad for both the poor, the middle class, AND the extremely wealthy. Setting a wealth threshold through progressive taxation all the way up to 100%, limiting inheritance, taxation of speculative investments, progressive taxation of capital increases, limiting share percentages, controlling companies controlling other companies, and many other proposed and proven measures is... well, it's just good, solid economic policy.

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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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$10.10 Minimum Wage Would Lift 4.6 Million Out of Poverty, Study Says | TIME.com

$10.10 Minimum Wage Would Lift 4.6 Million Out of Poverty, Study Says | TIME.com | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it
As Congress debates the increase, a new study shows the real-world impact of raising hourly wages
Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

Anything that can be done to reduce the gap between extreme wealth and extreme poverty would be most welcome, even this simple measure.

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Capitalism isn't working the way it should. Thankfully, we have options.

Capitalism isn't working the way it should. Thankfully, we have options. | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it
They say if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Well, it's broke.
Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

The Next System Project emphasizes that the world's problems cannot be solved merely through individuals correcting their personal behavior. Rather, the major problems are systemic and, as such, require systemic transformations.

 

This does not mean that adjusting personal behaviors to collective well-being is misguided, but rather that our main efforts should be oriented towards changing the system we are part of, not merely changing our individual behaviors.

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Why we need to rethink capitalism

Why we need to rethink capitalism | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it
Paul Tudor Jones II loves capitalism. It's a system that has done him very well over the last few decades. Nonetheless, the hedge fund manager and philanthropist is concerned that a laser focus on profits is, as he puts it, "threatening the very underpinnings of society." In this thoughtful, passionate talk, he outlines his planned counter-offensive, which centers on the concept of "justness."
Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

Using "justness" instead of "justice" diverts attention away from seeking legal loopholes and towards seeking fairness in the market. Market pressures, based on public dissemination of social, environmental and other "justness" metrics can have a great impact, but it takes people who care enough to make sure these metrics reach households on a mass scale.

 

Let us not forget capitalism only means that individuals can possess their own means of production, not that those means can grow out of all proportion. In fact, increasing concentration of the means of production in fewer and fewer hands is what is keeping today's twisted version of capitalism from working as well as it should and could.

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A Rogue Reporter Takes on the Masters of the Universe

A Rogue Reporter Takes on the Masters of the Universe | Advocating a Wealth Threshold | Scoop.it

"The media would have you believe that there is no racket, that it’s purely an accident that we live in a world where 85 people — 85 people! — own half the world’s wealth while more children die of starvation every year than died in the Holocaust. Of course it’s not an accident, a mere quirk of history — it is the result of a huge injustice, the policies of a giant mob. To help our species and planet survive it is necessary to shake off the hypnosis and see the racket for what it is.


"They know who they are; it’s time to blow their cover."

Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

The de-essentialization and de-naturalization of extreme wealth and its anti-democratic power is an essential step towards preparing the voting public to accept the fact that a wealth threshold is not only a practical possibility but also a vitally necessity.

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