Posts Tagged ‘money’

Canadian Pharma-biz Novartis Bullies UK Rivals

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

If you are a frequent visitor to my blog, you’ll have noted that I’m quick to hop on the soapbox to decry corporatism whenever I can. Your probably like… ‘there goes Rick again, lambasting the very institutions our modern societies depend upon to survive. Doesn’t he know we’d die off without them?’

Well, yes, dear reader, I know that corporations are not without their merit, and I am aware that competition and innovation in the business world are great things. So, just to be clear, know that I am not anti-capitalism nor am I anti-business. Instead, understand that I am anti-corporatism, and therein lies the distinction. (more…)

Canada to Ditch Troubled F-35s?

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Canadian’s are facing austerity cuts across the board – wage freezes, slashed funding, and major reforms to pensions – yet the Conservatives seem hellbent on acquiring some fancy new planes for $9 billion. Or is it $10 billion now, or more?

Where are their priorities? With the pressing needs of Canadians, or with getting their kickbacks from the Defense Industry?

As CBC revealed yesterday, these jets don’t even meet the necessary requirements for jets in the Great White North. Way to drop the ball, Tories. (more…)

Not All One Percenters Fear the Uprising

Sunday, December 11th, 2011

It can be easy to label every rich person as a tyrannical scrooge type pinching every penny, but it’s simply not true. Most multi-millionaires and billionaires don’t fear the Occupy movement or the impending redistribution of wealth. A lot of them, when asked, said they’d be willing to pay more in taxes. Some, like Warren Buffet, even go so far as to deliver eloquent speeches pleading for us to do so.

But there are a select few of the super-rich who tow the line for the rest of the financially fortunate. These individuals (and their cronies and paid-for politicians) are the ones responsible for a system-wide shift which has incrementally stripped entire populations of wealth and power.

It is this minority of the 1% – those with an insatiable greed – who must be reigned in. Not only do they need to be held accountable, steps must be taken to prevent others from doing the same. Whether it’s through public awareness or regulation, the processes by which today’s oligarchs have amassed their dangerous concentrations of power needs to be disrupted.

This won’t happen without a fight, which is why we have to rise up. But in the end, the majority of the super-rich will capitulate and cooperate without too much of a fight, so long as they get to remain amongst the wealthiest people on earth.

Post-Capitalism Currency

Sunday, September 4th, 2011

(Surprising how little has changed in the past century.)

Over the coming few years, humankind will keep growing more and more interconnected. Eventually, we will harness our planetary solidarity, rising against today’s global system of division and exploitation, disrupting the established economic system to enact a major redistribution of wealth and power.

Once this great social movement transpires, we’ll still need a way to buy and sell things. For an idea of what a more just economy may look like, there’s a few places we can look to.

Open Money

The open money project aims to “create the global infrastructure, tools, governance mechanisms and platforms that will give communities the capacity to create their own currencies with just a few clicks and thereby liberate their wealth potential.” It’s like an open-source platform for commerce, free from the tyranny of fluctuating global markets.

The Venus Project

The Venus Project is an organization that advocates improving society by moving towards a global sustainable social design that they call a “resource-based economy”. Such a system incorporates sustainable cities and values, energy efficiency, collective farms, natural resource management and advanced automation.

A resource based economy relies on the principle of ‘post scarcity’, meaning our technology has progressed to the point of readily meeting the basic needs of every human on earth – something which is fast becoming possible.


Bitcoins are digital currency which runs on an open-source, peer-to-peer network, allowing users to exchange wealth without the need for a centralized payment processor. While these coins only exist in the virtual realm, they already hold real world value.


So what will we end up using? Maybe a combination of all three, or something entirely different. Who knows.

But one thing is reasonably certain – a world full of united and empowered individuals will never tolerate an economic system that caters solely to the fortunate few sitting atop.

Buffett: Tax the Super-rich

Monday, August 15th, 2011

(Awww yea, Omaha’s Oracle makin’ it rain all up in heyah!)

The world’s 3rd richest man put out an op-ed piece in the New York Times saying it is time to stop coddling the super-rich.

It’s not the first time Warren Buffett has played the paragon for other uber-wealthy to follow – last year he urged other billionaires to follow him in pledging most of their fortunes to humanitarian causes.

Buffett starts off his diatribe by highlighting the hypocrisy of the struggling US economy:

OUR leaders have asked for “shared sacrifice.” But when they did the asking, they spared me. I checked with my mega-rich friends to learn what pain they were expecting. They, too, were left untouched.

[Preferential tax breaks] and other blessings are showered upon us by legislators in Washington who feel compelled to protect us, much as if we were spotted owls or some other endangered species. It’s nice to have friends in high places.

Buffett goes on to note how, despite the what the republican noise chamber may echo, higher taxes don’t necessarily scare away investment:

I have worked with investors for 60 years and I have yet to see anyone — not even when capital gains rates were 39.9 percent in 1976-77 — shy away from a sensible investment because of the tax rate on the potential gain.

People invest to make money, and potential taxes have never scared them off. And to those who argue that higher rates hurt job creation, I would note that a net of nearly 40 million jobs were added between 1980 and 2000. You know what’s happened since then: lower tax rates and far lower job creation.

To finish off his thesis, the billionaire Buffett laid out his plan:

[F]or those making more than $1 million — there were 236,883 such households in 2009 — I would raise rates immediately on taxable income in excess of $1 million, including, of course, dividends and capital gains. And for those who make $10 million or more — there were 8,274 in 2009 — I would suggest an additional increase in rate.

My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It’s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice.

Wow! How stunningly refreshing. If more people ended up like Bill Gates or Warren Buffett after amassing such huge fortunes, our world would likely be a more peaceful, prosperous and just place to live.

A Liter of Light

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

A simple innovation – plastic bottles filled with chlorinated water – has been shedding light some of Earth’s poorest people.

Securely placed into a hole in the roof, Liters of Light can mimic a 50 watt bulb during the day time for the majority of the year, helping illuminate homes where electricity is not affordable.

Much like the SODIS water purification technique, or the MoneyMakerPlus manual irrigation pump,  the Liters of Light project exemplifies how effectively low cost innovations can dramatically improve quality of life.

Everyday in the struggle to eradicate extreme poverty, breakthroughs are being made and simple solutions are being found.

Within a decade or two, we’ll find that humankind’s rising tide has lifted all of earth’s ships, making it so every single human has access to at least the very basic necessities.

And with every step we take towards this admiral and ambitious goal, we also move closer to cementing a lasting peace around the planet.