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In Fiery Speeches, Francis Excoriates Global Capitalism. Photo.

In Fiery Speeches, Francis Excoriates Global Capitalism

Why a Meaningful Boost for Those at the Bottom Requires Help From the Top. Just about every high-profile politician in the country today says income inequality is a problem.

Why a Meaningful Boost for Those at the Bottom Requires Help From the Top

And while those from the center-left to the far right differ on how they would reduce inequality, they tend to agree on one thing: We can do it without affecting the rich. Review: ‘The Quartet,’ by Joseph Ellis, Details the Constitution’s Gang of Four. More than two centuries after the ratification of the Constitution, the historian Joseph J.

Review: ‘The Quartet,’ by Joseph Ellis, Details the Constitution’s Gang of Four

Ellis writes in his absorbing new book, “The Quartet,” “a mystic haze has formed” around that document. Much as he captured the human beings behind the marble masks of the founders in earlier books, so he examines here the contingent roles that fortune, visionary ideals and pragmatic politics all played in forging a framework for the fledgling nation, a set of ideas and institutions that would become a model of representative government.

Although several delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia of 1787 would later recall that “the hand of Providence” was at work, Mr. Ellis reports, George Washington, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison “all left town thinking they had failed to transform a confederation” of 13 quarreling colonies — which had come together to win independence from Britain — “into a full-blooded nation.” The American people are clueless: Why income inequality is so much worse than we realize. In a candid conversation with Frank Rich last fall, Chris Rock said, “Oh, people don’t even know.

The American people are clueless: Why income inequality is so much worse than we realize

If poor people knew how rich rich people are, there would be riots in the streets.” The findings of three studies, published over the last several years inPerspectives on Psychological Science, suggest that Rock is right. We have no idea how unequal our society has become. In their 2011 paper, Michael Norton and Dan Ariely analyzed beliefs about wealth inequality. 7 of the Biggest Reasons America Is Screwed. Our current political situation is unprecedented.

7 of the Biggest Reasons America Is Screwed

The vast majority of Americans keep falling behind economically because of changes in society's ground rules, while the rich get even richer -- yet this situation doesn't translate into a winning politics. If anything, the right keeps gaining and the wealthy keep pulling away. How can this possibly be? Let me suggest seven reasons: Reason One. Instead of the voters punishing Republicans, the result is cynicism and passivity, so the Republican strategy is vindicated and rewarded. 2016 Hopefuls and Wealthy Are Aligned on Inequality. McConnell Urges States to Help Thwart Obama’s ‘War on Coal’

Photo WASHINGTON — Senator of Kentucky has begun an aggressive campaign to block ’s climate change agenda in statehouses and courtrooms across the country, arenas far beyond Mr.

McConnell Urges States to Help Thwart Obama’s ‘War on Coal’

McConnell’s official reach and authority. The campaign of Mr. McConnell, the Senate majority leader, is aimed at stopping a set of regulations requiring states to reduce carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants, the nation’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. Once enacted, the rules could shutter hundreds of coal-fired plants in what Mr. Let's find ways past corporate AND CONSUMER personhood. Corporate personhood is part of the problem, part of the way plutocracy unjustly dominates society in the interest of the few.

Let's find ways past corporate AND CONSUMER personhood

Another big part of the problem is CONSUMER PERSONHOOD. Corporations got personhood and then proceeded to transform human persons (that is, PEOPLE) into "consumers. " Consumers are persons whose needs, desires, everyday lives, and self-identities are constructed to produce profit within the money-makes-money, power-concentrating logic of capital accumulation. In other words, our "personhood" is commodified in the interest of plutocracy, an overclass-run system of concentrating power and increasing inequality. Notably, like a shark, capitalism needs to keep moving (growing, producing profit) to survive -- keeping the system going depends on constant expansion, the continuous creation and colonization of new psychosocial territory. Independent public power can re-energize Klamath - Herald and News: Members. As the Herald and News Forum editor recently noted, Klamath seems stuck in a one-step-forward, one-step-back pattern.

Independent public power can re-energize Klamath - Herald and News: Members

We need some kind of jolt to break the pattern and start moving forward. The answer we’re looking for can be found in our Oregon Constitution (Art. XI, sec. 12) — independent public power. An online service is needed to view this article in its entirety. You need an online service to view this article in its entirety. Let’s Reject the ‘Inevitable’ - This Sunday’s “People’s Climate March” in New York City could be the biggest demonstration yet for action on climate change.

Let’s Reject the ‘Inevitable’ -

California dreaming - un album sur Flickr. Why Obama and Romney really do see the world differently. For some viewers, it was no surprise Mitt Romney toned down his bellicosity last night and chose to minimize his differences with Barack Obama’s on a number of foreign policy issues.

Why Obama and Romney really do see the world differently

But Romney’s largely tactical decision obscured the real “choice” on foreign policy that his election presents. That choice doesn’t concern a specific issue but rather a broad philosophical view about America’s role in the world. For all their seeming consensus, the two candidates represent two distinct political and intellectual traditions that were carved out during our post-World War II past. Obama’s foreign policy touchstone is the work of the Cold War liberal Reinhold Niebuhr. Greetings From the New Economy. “Are you ready for a new economy? Are you ready for a new politics?” The challenge at the podium came from Gus Speth, the courtly co-founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council, now a professor at Vermont Law School, who is on the board of the newly created New Economics Institute (NEI). The occasion was the founding conference of NEI, held at Bard College in early June, and Speth was making a call for “an economy whose very purpose is not to grow profit…but sustain people and the planet.”

NEI is the remade E.F. Guide for the Perplexed. You look at the Obama-Biden ticket. You like them personally. But you’re not sure what they want to achieve over the next four years. The country needs big changes, and they don’t seem to be offering many. Where’s the leadership? In this disaffected frame of mind, you ask yourself: What really matters in this election? The biggest threat to national dynamism is spending money on the wrong things.

'Buffett Rule' unfair and ineffective. On Monday, the US Senate will vote on Senator Sheldon Whitehouse’s “Buffett Rule” bill. According to Whitehouse, wealthy Americans should not pay a lower tax rate than those who earn less than they do. I happen to agree. Unfortunately, the Buffett Rule is more of a political stunt than a vehicle to reach this goal. This bill will not ease the tax burden on even a single middle-class family. Icelandic Anger Brings Debt Forgiveness in Best Recovery Story. Icelanders who pelted parliament with rocks in 2009 demanding their leaders and bankers answer for the country’s economic and financial collapse are reaping the benefits of their anger. Since the end of 2008, the island’s banks have forgiven loans equivalent to 13 percent of gross domestic product, easing the debt burdens of more than a quarter of the population, according to a report published this month by the Icelandic Financial Services Association.

“You could safely say that Iceland holds the world record in household debt relief,” said Lars Christensen, chief emerging markets economist at Danske Bank A/S in Copenhagen. “Iceland followed the textbook example of what is required in a crisis. Any economist would agree with that.” The island’s steps to resurrect itself since 2008, when its banks defaulted on $85 billion, are proving effective. Crisis Lessons. No, Romney Didn’t Leave Bain in 1999. A central element of the 2012 campaign cycle has become just when Mitt Romney left Bain Capital. The Romney campaign says he left in early 1999 -- in time to get him off the hook for some controversial investments. backs up Mitt while David Corn and the Obama campaign have brought forward numerous pieces of documentary evidence indicating he didn't leave until a couple years later. Now here's even more evidence that he didn't leave in 1999 as he now claims. America's Billionaires: Are They Crazy Enough?

America's Billionaires: Are They Crazy Enough? Jon Ronson just wrote a long article for GQ for which he interviewed people at five different levels of income, starting at $10,000 and going up to B. Wayne Hughes, a self-storage magnate worth $1.9 billion. Hughes apparently has strong political views, and has given $3.25 million to Karl Rove's American Crossroads. Klamath Free School. A Simple Fix for Farming. Acxiom, the Quiet Giant of Consumer Database Marketing. "Private property" is inseparable from plutocracy. Here's something to think about: pretty much every human ever in the history of humans has had personal belongings, things that belonged to that person and/or their immediate family – cooking utensils, gardening tools, weapons, clothing, jewelry – the stuff of everyday life. The New Political Correctness. Mexican Farmers Block Monsanto Law to Privatize Plants and Seeds. It's time to #OccupyMedia!! Meet the 6 companies that control 90% of the media in the U.S.

Art: To the #Haymarket! Interna... What happened to the Occupy movement? The Road Out of Serfdom. The United States has always been a plutocracy – a society governed by and for the wealthiest few. Introduction to THE POPULIST MOMENT, A Short History of the Agrarian Revolt in America, by Lawrence Goodwyn, 1978. Barbara Ehrenreich, Looting the Lives of the Poor. Obama the Pioneer. Earlier this week, The New Yorker‘s Steve Coll wrote an excellent column on President Obama’s kill list and assassination powers.