money

United States is Now the Most Unequal of All Industrialized Nations

Jon Stewart spoke with Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz about how the extreme concentration of wealth in the hands of a few plutocrats is destroying the very principles upon which our country was founded:
“It seems like people are not angry at wealth or success, they get frustrated by what appears to be an entirely different set of rules put in place by the wealthy, who then say: ‘Hey man, I’m just playing by the rules’, as though those rules were an arbitrary design of the free market.”

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Global Elites Hide Trillions in Secret Offshore Economy Each Year

A new report has been published which compiles detailed information about the enormous amount of money that is being hidden by billionaires in offshore accounts. The research, The Price of Offshore Revisited, shows that over 21 trillion dollars, more than the total combined GDPs of both the United States and Japan, are being sequestered out of sight into the legally murky offshore economy. The super elite are using every available resource to exploit loopholes in cross-border tax rules to avoid paying their fair share.

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LIBOR Scandal Exposes Systematic Corruption throughout Banking Industry

The most egregious criminal financial fraud of all time is now unfolding before our eyes. A handful of corrupt banks have been intentionally manipulating global interest rates, also known as LIBOR, which stands for London Interbank Offered Rate. When it is not being illegally twisted by bankers for their own monetary gain, LIBOR is meant to gauge the average interest rate that banks charge each other to borrow money. The measure is also used as the basis for nearly all other lending rates, from what we pay for student loans to home mortgages.

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For-Profit Probation Services are Jailing People for Being Poor

As our nation’s economy continues to flounder, an increasing number of municipalities are incarcerating people who can not afford to pay for tickets and misdemeanor fines. Some regions have turned over government services, such as probation, to private for-profit companies. Their court systems are attempting to raise income by imprisoning the most vulnerable — trying to balance their budgets on the backs of the poorest and most disenfranchised people in our society.

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Wisconsin Election Previews Our New Citizens United States of America

Since the Supreme Court’s disastrous Citizens United decision, our nation’s democratic process has become so corrupted by unlimited corporate donations that it seems to be crumbling before our very eyes. Now that money is considered speech, the voices of millions of citizens are being crushed by a handful of billionaire plutocrats and narrow big business interests. The corrupting influence of unrestricted campaign donations upon our elections was evidenced in yesterday’s elections in Wisconsin.

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Money is Fiction: Working to End the Monetary System

Imagine a world where money does not exist; it’s not difficult, if you try. Money itself is useless — you can not eat a twenty-dollar bill sandwich, or live in a house constructed entirely of silver dollars — all that we need are the things that money can buy for us. Now is the time to re-imagine how our lives would look without wages, debt, interest or any form of money.

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Maddow & Krugman Explain Link between Wealth Disparity & Economic Disaster

Paul Krugman, the Nobel prize winning economist and author of the new book, End This Depression Now!, spoke with Rachel Maddow about the direct correlation between expanding income inequality and the increasingly divisive political polarization present in the United States. The wealth disparity between the rich and poor has been historically shown to greatly increase just prior to a severe economic crisis, as it did before the Great Depression; and the wealth gap in our country has never been as extreme as it is right now.

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Student Loan Forgiveness Act Introduced into Congress by Hansen Clarke

This week Michigan Representative Hansen Clarke introduced the Student Loan Forgiveness Act, HR4170, into Congress. Hansen’s proposed bill will allow for all student loans to be forgiven if the borrower can make payments equivalent to 10% of their discretionary income for 10 years. After that point in time, the entire remaining balance of their federal student loan debt would then be expunged.

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Sacred Economics: Money is a Societal Construct with No Inherent Meaning

My sustainable economics reading group recently finished Charles Eisenstein’s seminal book, “Sacred Economics: Money, Gift and Society in the Age of Transition”. Everyone should read this amazing book. The text is very accessible, engrossing and compelling; the concepts that it raises may radically change how you perceive the concept of money, community, scarcity, the world that we live in, and your own personal identity.

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Help Protect Free Speech by Supporting Bananas!* Filmmakers

Recently we told you about the plight of the Swedish filmmakers who created Bananas!*, a powerful documentary which chronicles a courageous fight against the Dole Fruit Company by 12 Nicaraguan plantation workers. Now WG Film, Fredrik Gertten and Margarete Jangård have made a new movie: Big Boys Gone Bananas!*, which recounts their victorious struggle against the giant fruit company. This important movie is about billionaire corporations futilely attempting to suppress free speech.

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Rachel Maddow’s New Book Tackles the Military Industrial Complex

Rhodes Scholar and former AIDS activist Dr. Rachel Maddow’s greatly anticipated first book deals with how the bloated expanding military budget has highjacked our nation. “Drift” will be released by Random House on March 27th of this year. The publication analyzes the unsustainability of the distorted over-militarization of our culture, and what we must do to change course.

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Jerry Brown Closes California’s Child Prisons

This week Governor Jerry Brown announced that all youth prisons in the state will be permanently closed. These historic child jail closures are being partially driven by budget crisis concerns, and partly as one component of larger progressive prison reforms that will be implemented throughout California.

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Trickle Down Economics is a Vicious Fraud

The highly esteemed economist, Robert Reich, clearly explains what some of our country’s largest financial system problems are, offers a clear plan with well defined policy solutions, and presents this concise message to President Obama:

“We’ll give you a mandate in your second term to raise taxes on the rich, including capital gains taxes, and put a tax on financial transactions, also, resurrect the Glass-Steagall Act, limit the size of big banks, and force them to modify the loans of millions of Americans who are now underwater; and invest in public schools and other infrastructure so that all Americans can prosper in this new economy.”

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