Last week I interviewed Branko Milanovic, one of the world’s foremost authorities on inequality. Our conversation moved freely from global trends in inequality over the past quarter-century to the rise of a new plutocracy and the threat it poses to democratic governance. I thought it worthwhile to transcribe our chat in full.
A bit more about Branko: he is currently a professor at the CUNY Graduate Centre, where he also heads the Luxembourg Income Study Centre. His most recent book is The Haves and the Have-nots: A Brief and Idiosyncratic History of Global Inequality and he has a great blog worth reading. Here is (Read more…)
I have two guests to talking about inequality today. First up is Branko Milanovic, who speaks with me about global inequality as well as the rise of a global plutocracy. One of the world’s foremost experts on inequality, Branko is professor at the CUNY Graduate Centre, where he also heads the local affiliate of the Luxembourg Income Study Centre, former chief economist at the World Bank’s research unit and author of the The Haves and the Have-nots: A Brief and Idiosyncratic History of Global Inequality. He blogs regularly; it’s always interesting.
I’m also happy (Read more…)
Those at the very top of today’s neoliberal, free-market capitalist, global economy see the writing on the wall – capitalism has just about run its course.
It’s hard to get your head around the idea, isn’t it? It sure is for me. Imagine, the economic model around which our society has been structured is bogus. It is the product of 18th century economics, 19th century industrialism and 20th century geo-politics. It worked for a couple of hundred years, perhaps right up until the early 70s, but it’s now dawning on us that it doesn’t work any more. It’s lost its (Read more…)
I have missed reading the Mound of Sound since he put his blog, The Disaffected Lib, on hiatus about five weeks ago. A man of wide-ranging interests and passions, his posts on climate change and politics never failed to catch my attention and stimulate my own reading and research.
Yesterday I received an email from Mound; while he is not interested at this point in restarting his own blog, he asked if I would be open to hosting the occasional guest post from him. I responded with both alacrity and pleasure. What follows is the first of what I (Read more…)
Guardian enviro-scribe, George Monbiot, took the arrival of a recrod, 400 ppm concentration of atmospheric CO2 to deliver a few thoughts on our losing battle against climate change and what really stands in the way of our hope for progress.
“The data go back 800,000 years: that’s the age of the oldest fossil air bubbles extracted from Dome C, an ice-bound summit in the high Antarctic. And throughout that time there has been nothing like this. At no point in the preindustrial record have concentrations of carbon dioxide in the air risen above 300 parts per million (ppm). 400ppm (Read more…)
An interesting essay from George Monbiot today on the grooming of oligarchs and why, even though they govern in our name, they don’t rule on our behalf. They rule as they were born and raised to rule. An excerpt.
In the Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt explains that the nobles of pre-revolutionary France “did not regard themselves as representative of the nation, but as a separate ruling caste which might have much more in common with a foreign people of the same society and condition than with its compatriots”.
Last year the former Republican staffer Mike Lofgren wrote
. . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: They Are Not Of Us
Finding a way out of the the seemingly permanent global economic crisis is going to require looking at the factors that got us there. Noam Chomsky opines that the downfall really started in the 1970′s and has been on an ever increasing spiral of ruin ever since. One of the interesting parts of his article has to do with the division of the people into the Plutocrats and the Precariat.
“Plutonomy refers to the rich, those who buy luxury goods and so on, and that’s where the action is. They claimed that their plutonomy index was way
. . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: The Precariat – Where we are going to…
Image by Images_of_Money The current debate in Washington as to whether or not and under what conditions to raise the debt-ceiling has for the past week dominated global news coverage and the public mind. Absent from the debate and mainstream coverage is a discussion of the debt limit in the context of the American monetary system, which creates a structural monetary deficit in the American economy and makes inevitable ever-increasing debts and deficits in the public and private sectors. It is this system which has fostered the current situation, which is not so simply that the federal government (Read more…)