New research by the European Central Bank and the London School of Economics shows that the super wealthy are now so obscenely rich and adept at hiding money, that their assets can not even be accurately measured.
Our global wealth inequality gap is now so extreme that what half of our world’s population, 3.55 billion people, owns is equal to the wealth of the 85 richest humans.
In our nation the myth continues to be perpetuated that if you work hard, anyone can get rich; which inherently implies that if you are not rich, clearly you just have not worked hard enough. Comedian Jon Stewart highlights just how ludicrous this flawed ethos truly is.
Former President and civil rights activist Jimmy Carter has is once again calling for an end to the death penalty in the United States. Carter will also be part of the National Symposium on the Modern Death Penalty in America on Tuesday, November 12 in Atlanta, Georgia.
This week House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi stated that the historic profits recently made by Wall Street demand that our nation increase the minimum wage to at least $10.10 an hour. The California Democrat explained that these enormous corporate financial gains have not translated into higher wages for most workers, and millions of working families are facing severe hardships as they continue to struggle.
It seems like every month the number of people who are unemployed, or in need of food stamps soars to record new levels, while corporate profits continue to skyrocket. Attempting to describe the gargantuan disparity in wealth that exists in the United States is increasingly difficult. Currently 1% of our population now possess 40% of our nation’s wealth, while the bottom 80% of us own just a scant 7%.
Sister Simone Campbell, the Executive Director of the social justice lobby NETWORK, was one of many inspiring women who addressed the Democratic National Convention. The exuberant Catholic nun told the packed auditorium how dangerous the proposed Romney/Ryan budget would be for millions of poor and disenfranchised families across our nation who are barely getting by. Sister Simone gave a dynamic speech which reinforced the strong christian belief that everyone has a shared responsibility to all of our fellow humans.
Last year at the Slow Money Gathering in San Francisco, I was really impressed with a presentation that I heard from one of the founders of Stockbox Neighborhood Grocery in Washington. Her idea was simple and innovative — retrofit shipping containers to sell healthy food and produce in underserved neighborhoods. The easily portable container could be placed in industrial areas and regions where food deserts now prevail, instantly providing better access to fresh groceries.
Many citizens will be disenfranchised from voting in November’s election, due to new unnecessary voter ID fraud laws enacted in several states. Minorities, the poor, elderly and students are some of the populations that are hit hardest by these restrictions. In a hilarious satirical skit, the Daily Show helps us determine who will be eligible to cast a ballot. Adopting her best “You Might be a Redneck” persona, correspondent Jessica Williams walks us through the new voter guidebook “You Might Be Eligible to Vote IF…”:
One of the most significant books published this year is Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, a gripping graphic novel reportage mix which skillfully exposes the extreme exploitation and poverty that flourishes on the disenfranchised burned out edges of our nation. This brutal compelling work is a collaboration between Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Chris Hedges, and the revolutionary cartoonist and foreign correspondent, Joe Sacco.
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.”
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.
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.
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.