Over the past decades, globalization, or the continued deregulation of trade and finance, has created a world dominated by giant banks and corporations. Because governments almost everywhere have catered to their demands, we are now faced not only with global warming, extinction of species and dramatic increases in pollution, but also with financial instability, endemic unemployment, increased conflict, and epidemics of ill health and depression. We need to move in exactly the opposite direction – away from economic globalization and towards the local. This doesn’t mean eliminating all trade or adopting an isolationist attitude – it simply means shortening the distances between consumers and producers wherever possible.
This growing divergence between CEO pay and that of the typical American worker isn’t just wildly unfair. It’s also bad for the economy. It means most workers these days lack the purchasing power to buy what the economy is capable of producing — contributing to the slowest recovery on record. Meanwhile, CEOs and other top executives use their fortunes to fuel speculative booms followed by busts.
The growing inequality problem is not just about our weekly pay. Average Americans have lost wealth from home values, pensions, savings, and total assets, and our broken economy prevents them from making up any ground. Meanwhile, the wealthy elite have seen larger and larger income gains, and they’ve stashed billions away in property, savings, and various types of low-or-no-tax investments.
Senator Bernie Sanders discusses wealth inequality and how America has become an oligarchy during a Senate floor speech.
With the job participation rate in America at all-time lows, nearly 92 million able-aged adults are not working but are still able to contribute a service, even if that’s merely baking a pie. After all, people still have to eat and get services. Timebanking networks are evolving to support those needs.
Beef and pork prices are skyrocketing due to lower than normal populations of cows and pigs. The recent draught in the western US made it more difficult for ranchers to sustain herds of cattle, while a virus killed off as many as six million piglets over the past year. Prices for beef have hit an all-time high, while the cost of bacon has risen 13 percent in one year. RT’s Lindsay France looks into the causes of these price increases in more detail.
James Rickards, the acclaimed author of Currency Wars, talks about his new book titled The Death of Money, in which shows why another collapse is rapidly approaching—and why this time, nothing less than the institution of money itself is at risk. Says Rickards: “The next financial collapse will resemble nothing in history.
Although a notorious recipient of “corporate welfare,” Walmart has now admitted that their massive profits also depend on the funding of food stamps and other public assistance programs.
Sharing has always been essential to human life, but “What’s new,” says Neal Gorenflo, founder of Shareable Magazine, “is our blindness to it.” Through our individualized pursuit of happiness—a lifestyle ushered in during the Industrial Revolution—many of us have forgotten that for centuries the most promising source of security came from our ability to build and maintain strong social connections and respect the commons.
The U.S. stock market is rigged, with elite traders buying access to a high-speed network that allows them to figure out what you’ve just ordered, order it first, then raise the price before your order is complete. And according to Michael Lewis, author of a new book about high-frequency trading called “Flash Boys,” this form of “front running” is completely legal.
Mike Maloney: “We don’t have free markets, and we haven’t had since 1913. You cannot have free markets if you don’t have free market money. The currency is 50% of every transaction there is in society, and if you have a small group of men at the central bank having a meeting each month (in the United States it’s the FOMC) deciding how much currency there is going to be in the system, and what the cost of that currency is (the interest rate) – that’s a manipulated market by definition. There is no transaction in society that is not manipulated. When people say that the free markets are failing – we do not have free markets. When people say that capitalism isn’t working – we don’t have capitalism, we’ve got cronyism. We’ve got special favors being granted by Congress to the people that lobby them. It skews the economy, and creates all of these artificial bubbles that end up popping, and everybody loves living in a bubble – so they just want the Fed to create the next one.”
Michigan is developing a pay it forward system for its students with the intention of allowing students to attend college for free, and then pay for younger students once they start making money down the road. The program would essentially allow students to reap the benefits of college before they pay for it and not the other way around. Lissette Padilla and Elliot Hill discuss how Michigan’s program could change college tuition forever, in this clip from the Lip News.
James G Rickards has a massive amount of experience in both the private and public sectors. Watch the video to learn why he thinks that we shouldn’t be surprised that at some point gold is quickly valued at $5000 per ounce.
The University of Baltimore’s Peter Toran discusses his school’s plan to offer students a free final semester of tuition and UC-Santa Barbara graduate student Samir Sonti * agrees that federal intervention is needed to address the structural causes of high student debt and low graduation rates
One click and I’m in: a universe where wishes are cast, and granted, as if by magic. It’s an online world where you can ask for whatever you need and strangers, people who live in your own neighborhood, will provide it. But that’s impossible, right? Actually, it’s very possible, in the form of Impossible.com – a social network based on a culture of giving and receiving freely. The sharing economy is growing; an antidote to rampant consumerism and undoubtedly a reflection of our growing hunger for a society based on kinder, more trusting and nurturing forms of interaction.