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Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

– Bill Moyers writes about the conflict between the wealthy few seeking to preserve their privilege, and the balance of society seeking fairness for everybody:

I keep in my files a warning published in [The Economist] a dozen years ago, on the eve of George W. Bush’s second term. The editors concluded back then that, with income inequality in the United States reaching levels not seen since the first Gilded Age and social mobility diminishing, “the United States risks calcifying into a European-style class-based society.”

And mind you, that was before the financial meltdown of 2007–08, before the bailout of Wall Street, before the recession that only widened the gap between the super-rich and everyone else. Ever since then, the great sucking sound we’ve been hearing is wealth heading upwards. The United States now has a level of income inequality unprecedented in our history and so dramatic it’s almost impossible to wrap one’s mind around.

Contrary to what the president said at Rutgers, this is not the way the world works; it’s the way the world is made to work by those with the money and power. The movers and shakers—the big winners—keep repeating the mantra that this inequality was inevitable, the result of the globalization of finance and advances in technology in an increasingly complex world. Those are part of the story, but only part. As G.K. Chesterton wrote a century ago, “In every serious doctrine of the destiny of men, there is some trace of the doctrine of the equality of men. But the capitalist really depends on some religion of inequality.”

…The winners bought off the gatekeepers, then gamed the system. And when the fix was in, they turned our economy into a feast for the predators, “saddling Americans with greater debt, tearing new holes in the safety net, and imposing broad financial risks on Americans as workers, investors, and taxpayers.” The end result, Hacker and Pierson conclude, is that the United States is looking more and more like the capitalist oligarchies of Brazil, Mexico, and Russia, where most of the wealth is concentrated at the top while the bottom grows larger and larger with everyone in between just barely getting by. 

– Chris Lehmann reviews Brooke Harrington’s Capital Without Borders as a useful look at how “wealth management” serves to sever wealth from social responsibility. But Canadians for Tax Fairness point out some good news in the CRA’s response to the Panama Papers – including audits of 60 individuals and corporations caught in the offshoring scheme.

– Unfortunately, John Ivison suspects that the Libs are gearing up to push through the Trans-Pacific Partnership to further the trend toward corporate control.

– Phillip Inman reports on the latest study from Global Justice Now showing that corporations are pushing further up the list of the world’s largest economic entities, leaving an increasing number of countries behind. But there may be some opportunity to direct that news toward positive ends: if we’re going to need some outlet for Canadian national pride, surely staying ahead of Wal-Mart should be a reasonable minimum standard for global relevance.

– Finally, Kendall Worth offers some suggestions as to how to teach students about poverty in order to better understand the lives of people in their communities. Alana Semuels points out how the U.S. in particular has gone in the opposite direction by setting up institutional barriers to any serious economic study of inequality. And Peter Armstrong discusses how traditional economic policy is failing to produce the growth that would normally be expected – with a top-heavy distribution of wealth and power looming as the prime culprit. . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.- Ronald Inglehart discusses the political roots of inequality – and the likelihood that the forces that have allowed it to fester for decades will eventually be reversed:New political alignments, in sho… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Dead Wild Roses: The Price of Civilization – Taxes

And yet, many corporate members of society do their utmost to avoid doing so. Funny how so much has been intoned by corporations about ethical obligations, yet so many fail this one basic test.

 

Filed under: Politics Tagged: Bill Moyers, Corporations, Economy, Tax Havens, Unethical Behaviour

. . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: The Price of Civilization – Taxes

Dead Wild Roses: Climate Change – Bill Moyers and David Suzuki

 

 

Why is it that we bow down before the market? It is not a fundamental force of nature, yet we in society are instructed to think of it as such.

 

Filed under: Politics, Science Tagged: Bill Moyers, Climate Change, David Suzuki, Economics

. . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Climate Change – Bill Moyers and David Suzuki

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

– Bill Moyers interviews Richard Wolff about inequality – featuring Wolff’s observation that anybody trying to justify inequality as an inevitable byproduct of unregulated markets manages only to make those markets indefensible: Bill Moyers: When you say that there’s no economic argument that people should be kept at the– . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Dead Wild Roses: The Mad Dash Toward Oligarchy – Bill Moyers

We’re running out of canaries people, wake up and smell the system you’re living in.

Filed under: Politics Tagged: Bill Moyers, Oligarchy, Political Influence

. . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: The Mad Dash Toward Oligarchy – Bill Moyers

Dead Wild Roses: The Mad Dash Toward Oligarchy – Bill Moyers

We’re running out of canaries people, wake up and smell the system you’re living in.

Filed under: Politics Tagged: Bill Moyers, Oligarchy, Political Influence

. . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: The Mad Dash Toward Oligarchy – Bill Moyers

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

– Bill Moyers offers up a superb summary and reading list on inequality: Inequality in America: How bad is it? In 2011, Mother Jones published a series of charts capturing the depth of inequality in the US, which remains one of the best big-picture looks at the problem out there. We have greater . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

Dead Wild Roses: NRA – Fighting for the Right to Slaughter Children in Schools

Unfair? Nah.

Filed under: Education, Politics Tagged: Bill Moyers, DWR PSA, gun control, Gun Violence, NRA unreason

. . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: NRA – Fighting for the Right to Slaughter Children in Schools

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

– Paul Krugman highlights why inequality is indeed an issue which demands action – both for its own sake, and for its impact on other goals such as economic sustainability. And Bill Moyers discusses the difference between a government responsive to its people and one completely controlled by elites: . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Dead Wild Roses: Happy 4th of July – Oh btw America, Welfare *Promotes* Independence.

“When we see the expansion of the dependency class in America and you add this to the 79 other means tested programs that we have in the United States, each time you add another brick to that wall, it’s a barrier to people that might go out and succeed. ” – Steve King Idaho (R).

. . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Happy 4th of July – Oh btw America, Welfare *Promotes* Independence.

Dead Wild Roses: Big Brother and You – Lawrence Lessig on Privacy Rights.

Some relevant background given the recent publicity of how much our governments pry into our personal lives.

Whatever your take on recent revelations about government spying on our phone calls and Internet activity, there’s no denying that Big Brother is bigger and less brotherly than we thought. What’s the resulting cost to our privacy — . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Big Brother and You – Lawrence Lessig on Privacy Rights.

Dead Wild Roses: Susan Jacoby – The Age of American Unreason

I would recommend adding this to your reading lists, I’m only a third of the way though, but it has been a detailed and interesting account of genesis and growth of the large mean streak of anti-intellectualism that is currently dominating the zeitgeist of American society. Jacoby was interviewed by Bill Moyers and thus, . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Susan Jacoby – The Age of American Unreason

Dead Wild Roses: Ya Gotta Pay to Play – Money and Private Interests vs. American Democracy

What is democracy about these days? Looking to the North American model to the south of Canada, one begins to worry that idea of responsible, accountable government is a sadly antiquated notion. Bill Moyers and his guests detail what is happening in Washington. Revolving doors, “dark” money, influence peddling – a veritable laundry list of . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Ya Gotta Pay to Play – Money and Private Interests vs. American Democracy

Dead Wild Roses: Why Congress is Failing – It’s the Republicans, Stupid.

Bill Moyers almost always has interesting guests and topics of discussion. The topic of this video is why the American Congress has been so ineffectual as of late(?). A long view, but interesting none the less.

Filed under: Politics Tagged: American Politics, Bill Moyers, Congress Fail, Republicans

. . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Why Congress is Failing – It’s the Republicans, Stupid.

LeDaro: Bill Moyers Commentary on Iraq War

The lies and deception.

Bill Moyers Journal: Buying the War from BillMoyers.com on Vimeo.

Politics and its Discontents: Intelligent Thoughts on Intelligent Design

While I firmly believe in a transcendent reality, I have no patience or tolerance for the promotion of ignorance in the guise of religious freedom in education. This intelligent and articulate young man sets the record straight:

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Dead Wild Roses: The Croney Capitalism Blowout

 

Why do things happen the way they do? Why do certain segments of society do well when everyone else is being hammered? Some would say through being “smart” and “working hard”, but that is weapons grade bullshite of the highest order. It is because, systematically, our system is being run for the benefit of . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: The Croney Capitalism Blowout

Dead Wild Roses: Knock, Knock – It’s Climate Change

I wonder who we’ll blame after the next super hurricane or the next drought? I’m curious as to what will be the explanation for those that come after us be when we’re done here on Earth. Let it be shown here in 2012 that we’re still talking about if climate change is a serious topic . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Knock, Knock – It’s Climate Change

Dead Wild Roses: Bill Moyers: Remember the Victims

As far as I am concerned, the NRA needs to pack its bags and go away. Bill Moyers says it better than I could right now.

Filed under: Politics Tagged: Bill Moyers, Gun Violence, Remember the Victims

. . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Bill Moyers: Remember the Victims

CuriosityCat: Justin Trudeau & The Middle Class: Justin, read Winner-Take-All Politics if you are serious

My advice to Justin Trudeau and his team if he is serious about standing up for the middle class, is to buy a copy of Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer — And Turned Its Back on the Middle Class by political scientists Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson. The authors talk about . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Justin Trudeau & The Middle Class: Justin, read Winner-Take-All Politics if you are serious

Dead Wild Roses: Why are we killing kids that don’t need to die? – Bill Moyers Essay

I’m struck by the casual nature of the media when it comes to reporting on imperial wars. Casualties are tallied, the right words are said, but then off we go to the next soundbite. Time for reflection and contemplation is becoming (has become) a lost art. Louder, Bigger, and Faster are what we’re all about . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Why are we killing kids that don’t need to die? – Bill Moyers Essay

Dead Wild Roses: Moyers & Company – Plutocracy Rising

“Across America, this divide between the superrich and everyone else has become a yawning chasm and studies indicate it may stifle jobs and growth for years to come. At no time in modern history has the top one hundredth of one percent owned more of our wealth or paid so low a tax rate. But . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Moyers & Company – Plutocracy Rising

Politics and its Discontents: Attitudes Toward The Poor

“The more wealth you have, the more focused on your own self and your own needs you become, and the less attuned to the needs of other people you also become.”

So says social psychologist Paul Piff in response to a study Chronicle of Philanthropy report on charitable giving, discussed in a . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Attitudes Toward The Poor

Dead Wild Roses: Hedges on Occupy

Excerpt from the Alter.net transcript of the Moyers/Hedges conversation.

BILL MOYERS: “They lost control of the park. The arrival in cold weather of individual tents, along with the numerous street people with mental impairment and addictions,” that you’re nothing if not honest in what you write, even about those people you support, “tore apart . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Hedges on Occupy