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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. Since 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. 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. 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’ -

The march is scheduled to coincide with the United Nations Climate Summit, which begins two days later. Despite the advance billing and the official nature of the summit, the march is what matters. The U.N. 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?

Greetings From the 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. Schumacher Society, the group based in Massachusetts’ Berkshire mountains that promoted the wisdom of the author of Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered for over 30 years. Beyond Growth and Finance The “New Economy” moniker is bubbling around lately, with a meaning recast far from President Bill Clinton’s neoliberal usage 20 years ago. Guide for the Perplexed. You look at the Obama-Biden ticket.

Guide for the Perplexed

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. '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. 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.

Icelandic Anger Brings Debt Forgiveness in Best Recovery Story

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 People Vs Markets Activists say the banks should go even further in their debt relief. 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. The gist of the disagreement comes down to this: There's no question that numerous public filings and some contemporaneous press references say Romney was still running things at Bain after 1999. But his campaign insists that whatever securities filings may have said, in practice, he was so busy running the 2002 Winter Olympics that he actually had no role at Bain after early 1999. 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. As is traditional with America's billionaires, he's also filled with bizarre fury toward all non-billionaire Americans: 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. And here's what the plutocrats can't comprehend – people generally don't need a concept of "private property" to have some basic respect for other people's personal effects.

Just being a member of a community of people who know each other is good enough almost all the time! But when you hear plutocrats and their toadies talk sanctimoniously about "private property," they are not really talking about things like your phone, or your car, or the stuff in your house, or even your house. The New Political Correctness. Remember the furor over liberal political correctness? Mexican Farmers Block Monsanto Law to Privatize Plants and Seeds. Progressive small farmer organizations in Mexico scored a victory over transnational corporations that seek to monopolize seed and food patents.

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.