Posts Tagged ‘wealth’

The Internet: Ending War and Poverty One Mind at a Time

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Wars and wealth inequality are both social constructs.  They exist and persist because we are used to them. We accept them as normal, and can even believe them to be everlasting – an extension of the animal nature of humanity’s greed and violence.

But every single human on earth would be better off if they didn’t have to worry about war or have to contribute to the billions spent every year on armed conflict. And almost every single person on this planet would be experience a higher quality of life if humankind’s wealth were distributed more equitably.

So it’s not a matter of peace and prosperity being an impossibility – because once we have those things we will only wonder why we waited so long to make them happen. Instead, it’s a matter of getting from our old world and our old-world mindset into the new future that awaits.

We will see that wars are being manufactured by for-profit entities and we can stop them as soon as we choose to. We will see that wealth disparity persists because we haven’t yet done anything about it. We will see that we’ve had the power to fix our world all along, and that all it took is for enough of us to coordinate and mobilize on a global scale.

And there is no better tool for this than the Internet. Our glorious Internet, as long as it remains free from censorship and government overreach, will keep connecting and informing us. Within the coming few years, enough of us see and believe that change is not only possible, it is inevitable. And as we speak out in unison with the power of billions of people, our dreams of peace and ending poverty will be real.

Rewarding the Wealthy at the Expense of the Poor and Middle Class:

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

Bad Economics, Bad Citizenship

By Guest Contributor Debbie Jordan

It’s time to face the facts: We live, work, plan, rule, and most importantly, are ruled by one major principle: Economic success in a capitalistic society is measured by how well the highest earners are doing. There’s a vital corollary to that theorem: Poverty doesn’t matter to those who are working. 

Nothing could be farther from the truth!

The basic planks in this platform are:

  • Capitalism depends entirely on investment money from the wealthy class.
  • Since rich people spend more than lesser earners, especially on luxury items, their capital input is worth more to the economy than anything we lower-class schlubs can ever do to feed the economic machine. 


This attitude ignores two vital sources of capitalistic funding:

  • All the money from people in the middle and lower classes pooled into mutual and retirement funds, including 401Ks and IRAs; bank and credit union accounts; interest collections from loans; and much more.
  • The combined spending of people in the lower classes who pay for goods and services they need and even more.

When you compare what one member of the upper crust is able to throw around compared to that from any one of the rest of us, the rich have the edge. But when you consider the small number of people who earn a million dollars or more with the combined economic power of the rest of us, we’ll always be the overwhelming majority. That’s why our economic value should always be respected in financial decisions, whether they’re made on Main Street, Wall Street, or Pennsylvania Avenue.

Regardless of the cumulative investing and spending power of the lower classes compared with that of the rich, conservatives insist the country’s economic health depends on protecting the wealthy by cutting basic services for the neediest among us. As a result, they’re destroying the economic life of not only the U.S. but the entire world.

It’s time to turn this ship around. Let’s consider some of the worst problems:

Conservatives want to direct more money toward construction and management of prisons than schools. However, studies show that every dollar invested in education is returned many times over in productivity and taxes and much less is needed for law-enforcement and prisons, which actually have a negative impact on the economy.

Conservatives don’t want to spend any public money on health care for low earners, people with disabilities, and senior citizens. But investment in promoting healthy lifestyles and nutrition, preventive care, and timely care for people with illnesses or injuries is much cheaper than denying adequate and necessary care. Besides, healthier people are more productive, which is good for the economic health of the country.

Finally, conservatives claim global warming is a myth and cleaning up pollution and dirty industries is too expensive. But the rising cost of pollution-related health problems prove that eliminating and preventing pollution and building green industries ace the most logical investments for a prosperous future.

The upshot is that investment in quality education, health care, and environmental cleanup and protection pay off in the long run. Those investments provide well-paying jobs for people, many of whom are unemployed because of financial shenanigans of the rich and their conservative political allies. That strategy will strengthen the impact of the real economic machine, all the rest of us.

Even if it takes a temporary rise in the taxes of the highest-earning citizens–which would actually just be a return to the tax levels of the last time the economy was doing well–it’ll pay off in the long run even for those “put-upon” rich people. So much for the argument that raising taxes on the rich is too much of a sacrifice for conservatives to allow.

So, when politicians and big spenders think about where to put their money, they should consider investing in America and Americans–the real Americans who work for a living and whose money keeps the doors of businesses open for the long haul.


Debbie Jordan is the author of The World I Imagine: A creative manual for ending poverty and building peace, a collection of 47 essays originating in the column she writes for the Arizona City Independent Edition. Jordan writes about her solutions to some of the world’s most detrimental social issues. Jordan is committed to inspiring others to improve the world through community involvement and volunteerism. Debbie can be found online at


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.

Corporatist Network Exposed – How the 1% Rule

Monday, October 24th, 2011

The 99% of the world who’ve been getting the shaft by today’s system now have a definitive target on which to set their sights, thanks to a team of Swiss mathematicians.

An analysis of the relationships between 43,000 transnational corporations has revealed that a relatively small group of companies, mainly banks, control a disproportionate power over the global economy.

The team found that a core of 737 companies (mostly financial services companies) control almost 80% of the global economy. See #occupy haters? The world is controlled by just a few corporations!

To get a better understanding of what this corporatist network can look like, check out the excellent visualization tools available at There you can delve into the US’s ruling class and explore the inner workings of the American oligarchy.

One of the criticisms of the Occupy movement is that most of the protesters who are speaking out against corporations are clearly consumers of corporate products themselves.

But the issue shouldn’t be about whether or not we need corporations. Instead, the discussion should be what kind of relationship with corporations do we want to have?

In the not so distant future, we won’t be so dependent on corporations like we are today. We’ll have the means to produce our own energy with residential renewable solutions. We’ll be able to grow our own food in automated greenhouses. And we’ll manufacture whatever products we need with our very own 3D printers.

Yet, until this day arrives, we will need corporations around to provide us with the stuff we need to live. We can’t simply get rid of them without devastating consequences. But that doesn’t mean we have to endure the tyranny of corporatism.

Instead, we can hold these international businesses accountable to the people. Treat corporations like part of the public commons. Make these big businesses a shared resource, necessary for our world to function, but kept on a very tight leash for our security.

Now that the face of our foe has been exposed, there’s nothing left to do but declare all out war. It’s time to take the power back and usher in a more just civilization for everyone, not just the lucky ones.

Reasons to be Upset

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

If you aren’t outraged at the current state of the world today, it’s probably because you aren’t paying attention.

Check out this graph, showing how everybody has been losing wealth, except the extremely rich who’ve been making record earnings.

If everyone were growing richer, there wouldn’t be such an outpouring of discontent. But that is clearly not what’s been happening. Instead, the 1% have been gaining their wealth by systematically stripping it off everyone else.

There’s a whole host of infographics supporting this notion, in case you need to see more. But, simply put, mega-banks, corporations and CEOs are looting the public coffers with the help of their hired politicians and lawmakers. This is what has been allowing the world’s wealthiest to run away with all the chips.

But that’s not all, we have a trillion dollar military industrial complex, harvesting wars to secure corporate interests and rob entire populations of desperately needed infrastructure, all the while murdering millions of innocent lives.

As well, nearly a fifth of the human race is starving to death. Humankind already has the means to alleviate much of this suffering, but the powers that be seem more concerned with cementing their positions rather than improving the world in which we live.

Such pressing issues are not just going to simply go away. And neither is the discontent they provoke. In fact, these are the very woes which are fueling the great social awakening.

We’ve been discussing the problems, and we’ve discovered practical solutions. Now, finally, we are coming together to really do something about it.

How the .01% rule us and what can be done about it

Saturday, October 8th, 2011

70,000 ultra-high net worth individuals – the richest 1% of the richest 1% – control the media, government and big business. This gives them tremendous influence over the lives of every single human.

The only way regular people have a chance is through unity. The more communities come together, the stronger they become. Thanks to the Internet and social media, humans everywhere can embrace solidarity like never before.

Evidence of this can be seen in the uprisings taking place all over the world. The Occupy movement, the protests across Europe, the Arab Spring – in every single case, it’s regular people simply wanting a more just civilization.

These localized movements are culminating in something greater, something global. Recognizing a common struggle, people everywhere are coming together as a world community, and by doing so, will eventually form a group with enough power to rival that wielded by the wealthiest 70,000.

Wealth will be redistributed more equally. Wars will no longer be tolerated. Humankind will be set free to limitless potential.

Pres. of Europe’s Central Bank Alludes to Impending Global Uprising

Monday, August 29th, 2011

A great uprising approaches. The world’s poor and middle class are set to gang up and overthrow the wealthiest in a sort of peasant revolution that spans the globe.

The income gap between the rich and the poor is now the widest ever in modern history, meaning the cause for dissent is greater than it has ever been before.

This notion was echoed by the president of the European Central Bank, Jean-Claude Trichet, who says an unjust distribution of wealth is a threat to the stability of societies.

“Extremes of income inequality and restricted opportunity challenge our values and strain the fabric of our societies,” Mr. Trichet said at a Central Bankers Conference in Wyoming, “Growth skewed towards the few (or absent for a large minority) risks social tensions, undermines institutions and encourages policy failures of one kind or another.”

So as long as the income gap keeps growing, earth’s societies will continue to destabilize. As people everywhere continue to smarten up about the world’s horribly distorted economic system, eventually the dam will burst and something will be done. United behind common goals, humankind will rise up together, making the necessary changes to ensure these injustices can no longer persist.

An amazing side effect from this great upheaval will be the dismantling of any entities responsible for dividing the human race, namely, the military industrial complex. That’s right – war is going to be phased out as we systematically recognize how the real enemies aren’t people from other countries or religious groups, but rather, those who seek to exploit billions of people to generate billions in net worth for themselves.

Sweet! Peace and prosperity. What are we waiting for?

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.

Keep Wealth and Power in Check

Monday, July 25th, 2011

The notion that the rich keep getting richer has gained new gravitas, thanks to a recent peer-reviewed publication. The study shows that wealth accumulation, if left unchecked, “can lead to unlimited concentration of wealth, such that the percentage of all wealth owned by a few entrepreneur eventually approaches 100%.”

In the US, the wealthy have been growing wealthier while the rest of the population has not. This trend has been happening for over 40 years, as per this diagram (click for a bigger version):

The wider the income gap grows, the greater the risk of democracy being comprimised. If left unchecked, a handful of people and entities might completely take over as the United States succumbs to tyranny.

But it’s not too late. If middle class Americans rise up soon and reclaim their lost voice, which they seem poised to do, then their economic system will not run away on them.

The clock is ticking, and what comes of it will impact the entire planet. Come on, people of America! Show the world what humans are capable of!

Squeaky Wheels Get More Grease

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

“We are tired of the Wall Street oligarchs and corporate elites having such a disproportionate amount of influence and power, and the only way we can deal with organized greed at the top is with organized people power below.”Cornell West

Just like esteemed Professor West says, the best way to shift the balance of power back into the hands of the people is with cooperation and coordination from millions of engaged individuals.

This is why it is so important that we collectively demand more from the establishment. We may not get everything we ask for, but the mere act of asking makes it likely that we’ll get more than if we don’t say anything at all.

Just look what has been happening with all the uprisings across the Middle East. Fearful of revolutions spreading to their own countries, several Arab leaders have pledged huge sums to help appease their populations.

How effective these payoffs will be remains to be seen. But one thing is certain – if there were no revolutions and uprisings, these billion dollar kick-backs would have never even been on the table.

The louder our voice, the more the system should reflect the will of the people. When populations are empowered, mega-institutions, like corporations and banks, will no longer be free to steal trillions from the public.

This is precisely what happened in the Netherlands this week. Upset with the big bonuses the financial sector gave themselves after being bailed out by the public, Dutch citizens took to Twitter and Facebook and mobilized a successful uprising. Now, politicians have voted to implement a 100% retrospective tax, effectively eliminating all the banker’s bonuses. Booyah!

When humans work together, there is nothing we cannot do. We can reclaim our systems from the corruption caused by a few powerful interests. We can ensure democracy throughout all levels of government. We can make our world everthing we know it can be.

All it takes is for you to take action. Speak out, tweet, Facebook. Get involved in the movement. Join up with millions of like-minded individuals and embrace people power to get everything you want from the establishment.