Tag: economy

Shaky Assumptions About Military Spending

BETSY CRITES – Fear can be a great motivator – and a great manipulator. Those who oppose cuts to military funding play on our fears to convince us that any reduction in the defense budget would be a dangerous threat to our national security and to our economy. But is this level of panic justified? An examination of the assumptions that underlie the fears will expose just how shaky those assumptions are.

How to Divest from Armageddon

PATRICK HILLER – In 1951 the U.S. gs partovernment’s Civil Defense Branch produced the film Duck and Cover. … Even at that time the usefulness of the proposed duck-and-cover maneuver in the face of the utter annihilation arising from a nuclear blast was questioned.

Comparing the Social Security Shortfall and the Cost of the Bush Tax Cuts

KATHY RUFFING – Social Security’s trustees recently reported that — over the next 75 years — Social Security will have a shortfall of 2.67 percent of taxable payroll, or 1 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). That is, raising taxes by an average of 1 percent of GDP could put Social Security on a sound footing over 75 years. How does that compare with the stakes involved with extending President Bush’s tax cuts?

Carbon Tax Needed to Protect Us from Coal

TAMATA STATON, LAURA CARVER & PHILIP CARVER -An economically efficient policy would place a price-adder (tax) on fossil fuels based on their carbon-content. Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) has introduced legislation to price carbon emissions — the Save Our Climate Act of 2011, H.R. 3242. Revenue is collected at the point of first sale or import. In the first ten years, the IRS would return 80 percent of the revenue to the public on an equal, per-person basis. The other 20 percent would go toward deficit reduction.

99% Spring Disrupts Verizon Shareholder Meeting Six Times

DAVE JOHNSON- The highly-profitable company Verizon — the 16th largest corporation in America — is asking its workers for givebacks amounting to as much as $20,000 each, while tripling the compensation of CEO Lowell McAdam from $7.2 million to $23.1 million. The company made $22.5 billion in profits over the past four years while paying its top five executives $283 million over that period. Because of this the company has earned the nickname “Verigreedy.”

Tea Party and Occupy Share Some Similarities

JOHN DARLING – Tea Party and Occupy supporters found that they have many similarities at a forum in Southern Oregon. In their first public outing together, Tea Party and Occupy backers — and an audience of 200 — found a lot of common ground. They agreed that corporations, lobbyists, the military and the federal government have a huge amount of power, are “bought,” and aren’t very responsive to the needs of the average person.

The Tyranny of Freedom

WILLIAM DERESIEWICZ – Freedom has become the be-all and the end-all of our political expectation, the full meaning of the American experiment. Justice is gone, and even more conspicuously banished is that term of terms for movements from abolitionism to feminism, for Lincoln and King: equality.

Bloomberg Personifies What the Occupation Opposes

GLEN FORD – It was never in the cards for a plutocrat mayor to long tolerate a movement whose essential logic is the dissolution of his class. “If the Occupy Wall Street movement has been about anything, it is the absolute necessity to rid the nation – and the world – of the collective tyranny of the Bloombergs, the dictatorship of the moneyed classes.” The next phase of the movement must more self-consciously “have, at least, the goal of shutting down the infernal machines of capital.”

Does ‘Political Disobedience’ Describe the Occupy Movement?

BERNARD E. HARCOURT – Our language has not yet caught up with the political phenomenon that is emerging in Zuccotti Park and spreading across the nation, though it is clear that a political paradigm shift is taking place before our very eyes. It’s time to begin to name and in naming, to better understand this moment. So let me propose some words: “political disobedience.”

Occupy Wall Street: The Most Important Thing in the World Now

NAOMI KLEIN – I was honored to be invited to speak at Occupy Wall Street on Thursday night. Since amplification is (disgracefully) banned, and everything I say will have to be repeated by hundreds of people so others can hear (a k a “the human microphone”), what I actually say at Liberty Plaza will have to be very short. With that in mind, here is the longer, uncut version of the speech.

What Needs Changing?

JONATHAN WILLIAMS – How do we win? How do we get our demands met? We need power. But what is power? How do we get it? Simply put, power is the ability to act; the ability to end the wars, the ability to convert our economy, the ability to change the world. But how do we get that kind of power?

10 Myths That Keep Us From Creating The World We Want

FRANCES MOORE LAPPE – From Diet for a Small Planet exactly 40 years ago, it dawned on me that humans are actively creating the scarcity we say we are trying to escape. Whoa! Why would our bright species do such a thing? Researching my new book, EcoMind, Changing the Way We Think to Create the World We Want (Nation Books), I discovered that it is the power of ideas.

Do We Have Our Priorities Straight?

BETSY CRITES – What do Durham and Afghanistan have in common? We are worlds apart, but we both have people who need jobs, health care, schools, transportation and sewers, and help for our homeless, elderly and hungry. Neither of us is getting our critical needs met in part because a war neither of us really wants is draining our economies, killing and injuring our young people, and depleting our spirits.

Our Future Is Not Being Televised

PETER BERGEL – On Tuesday night a reported 100,000 Americans joined Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz for a national conversation about breaking the partisan gridlock in Washington DC. It was another great example of the growing willingness of ordinary people to reclaim their power from those to whom they have delegated it, only to see it abused.

Debt Deal Will Increase Economic Inequality, Devastate American Workers, Communities

BRIAN J. TRAUTMAN – The debt deal cuts roughly $2.4 trillion in federal spending over the next decade without any new revenue streams. It slashes social services like education and health, and threatens to weaken the vital entitlement programs of our frayed social safety net. It is far from representing the shared sacrifice that an overwhelming majority of the American people had demanded of their elected officials in the days and weeks leading up to the debate and negotiation.

University Offers Leadership for Sustainable Change Certificate

VERNICE SOLIMAR, PHD – Over the years, students and faculty at John F. Kennedy University have expressed a desire to apply principles of psychology, human development and human potential to social action, diversity and systems approaches to planetary issues…a major need for the 21st century was a new paradigm of leadership that would solve problems, shift systems and create opportunities that engendered respect and care of the community, ecological integrity, social and economic justice and world peace.

PeaceWorker Comments on Social Security Article

PETER BERGEL — For decades, beginning during the Vietnam War, our elected leaders have tried to mask the size of the national debt they have permitted to accumulate by “borrowing” the surplus from the Social Security Trust Fund. This was done without consulting the public in any way, and largely without public knowledge, even though this money was set aside from all workers’ paychecks in an insurance program guaranteed to provide funds for them in their old age. To be precise, the government purchased U.S. T-bonds with our insurance money.

Recovering to Death

TOM H. HASTINGS: If stimulus packages for corporate sinkholes are good enough for the American taxpayer, why can’t we find $5.4 billion to create minimum wage jobs, with full health care benefits, for the 216,000 Americans who lost their jobs in August? Coincidentally, $5.4 billion is the amount the Pentagon will spend next year on unmanned vehicles, such as the Predator, which is killing so many civilians in Pakistan and turning our friends into our sworn enemies.

Brief-ings

Brief insights: 1) No Longer Home of the WOPR; 2) What’s Happening to the Economy? and 3) George Carlin’s thoughts about the “American Dream”.