NPR news has deteriorated to the point that I can barely stand them anymore but do occasionally listen when I am driving somewhere. Yesterday (MLK Day) I listened to NPR’s replay of the BBC’s World Service, which had some commentary on the Oxfam study on concentration of wealth. It was a masterful work of propaganda for controlling the boundaries of debate.
Link to NPR
Link to BBC
Link to Local KUT station
I updated the links in response to criticism in comments.....didn't realize the link wasn't done correctly. (Haven't done a diary in ages.)
Also, the NPR report must have been some hybrid of the BBC and their own report. The BBC report on the web is much better. Sorry but I can't find the exact transcript that was broadcast.
Please follow below the orange swirly for the Geonomist's take.....
The End of Poverty? A movie produced by the Schalkenbach Foundation Premiers in New York today at the Village East Cinema and will be in many more American cities in the coming weeks.
The End of Poverty?, A movie produced by the Schalkenbach Foundation Premiers in New York today and the Village East Cinema and will be in many more American cities in the coming weeks.
Philippe Diaz, the director, takes apart the global capitalistic system, as you have probably never seen done before. The sheer matter-of-fact criminality of the whole enterprise could not be made plainer than in this movie. Comparisons to Michael Moore’s Capitalism come to mind but with more concrete statements of changes we need to make both personally and collectively.
The neo-liberal, so-called "free market " philosophy utterly permeates, and dominates, the U.S. political-economic discourse. To listen to almost any U.S. news or current events show, particularly dealing with economic issues is to engage with a specially created language designed to force the listener to reach certain conclusions. In this corrupted language (and accompanying world-view) several stock truths just always present themselves as obvious.
- Government in service to ordinary people is evil and incompetent.
- "Lower taxes", or lower wages, or possibly both can solve all economic problems.
- "Investment" is a magic elixir and must always have first priority for public policy.
- The poor are to blame for systematic poverty and nothing can really be done about poverty.
- Everything would be fine if government would just leave "industry" alone.
- "Private Property" is so obviously sacred that even asking for a definition makes the asker deeply suspect.
- People who don’t accept 1-6 might be well intended, but they are really just stupid and making things worse.
Most of what the Repugs are saying is simply trying to stampede people into accepting that there is a crisis and that their "privitization" is the answer. If there is any respectable core to their arguments it is that similar funds placed in the stock market have had a long term rate of return that is greater than treasury bonds.
It is not entirely clear that the superior stock growth assumption would be true if large quantities of funds had been diverted into stocks over the last 25 years, but grant for a moment that it might be the case.
This entry is in response to Stillman's call for people to help blog a site to promote Henry George's ideas. "Progress and Poverty" is a long read, though one of the most beautiful works in the English language. It's very length will make it unaccessible to everyone. The following post is a modern and brief version of Henry George's philosophy. When progressives decide to get serious about gathering effective ideas they will return to their roots: Henry George.
Let's shift the basis of taxation to government created and defended privileges. If you enjoy special protection and advantages from the state then expect to make an annual, market-value payment for them regardless of how you use the privilege. Prime examples of privilege are license to the broadcast spectrum, mineral rights, pollution rights, land values, and corporate immunity.
Although enjoying DKOS postings for some time, this is my first post.
Several others have remarked on the need for progressives to adopt a new and positive agenda. The Republicans offer an agenda that they are pleased to call economic freedom but is really economic slavery for most people. The Progressive challenge is to develop an economic and moral framework that offers a real alternative. The following is a proposal for a new progressive conversational frame.