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Ultra-rich man's letter: "To My Fellow Filthy Rich Americans: The Pitchforks Are Coming"

Ultra-rich man's letter: "To My Fellow Filthy Rich Americans: The Pitchforks Are Coming"
You probably don’t know me, but like you I am one of those .01%ers, a proud and unapologetic capitalist. I have founded, co-founded and funded more than 30 companies across a range of industries—from itsy-bitsy ones like the night club I started in my 20s to giant ones like Amazon.com, for which I was the first nonfamily investor. Then I founded aQuantive, an Internet advertising company that was sold to Microsoft in 2007 for $6.4 billion. In cash. My friends and I own a bank. I tell you all this to demonstrate that in many ways I’m no different from you. Realizing that, seeing over the horizon a little faster than the next guy, was the strategic part of my success. But let’s speak frankly to each other. I see pitchforks. At the same time that people like you and me are thriving beyond the dreams of any plutocrats in history, the rest of the country—the 99.99 percent—is lagging far behind. But the problem isn’t that we have inequality. What a great idea. Because here’s an odd thing. Related:  New Economic system/trends and new paradigmsInternationalthe bigger picture & alternatives

The Future Is Now: Zapatista Memories of the Future Zapatistas (Photo: aeneastudio / Flickr)The question as to how we can imagine a future that isn't "disposable," where the violence of neoliberal market forces does not reduce life to a mere object in service to the greed of a select few and where violence (both psychic and actual) is no longer the principle force driving how we understand ourselves, has become the principle concern of the left from Slavoj Zizek, Alan Badiou, Peter Hallward and Jodi Dean (among others) looking to new forms of communism in order to (paraphrasing Frederick Jameson) escape from the situation where it is easier to imagine the end of the world than it is to imagine the end of capitalism to the #Accelerationism's attempts to push through capitalism and win back the future. The EZLN seized several towns in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, including the state's capital, San Cristóbal de las Casas. Reading memory into history gives the Zapatista narration of time a topological character.

Stephen Hawking's boycott hits Israel where it hurts: science | Hilary Rose and Steven Rose | Science Stephen Hawking's decision to boycott the Israeli president's conference has gone viral. Over 100,000 Facebook shares of the Guardian report at last count. Whatever the subsequent fuss, Hawking's letter is unequivocal. His refusal was made because of requests from Palestinian academics. Witness the speed with which the pro-Israel lobby seized on Cambridge University's initial false claim that he had withdrawn on health grounds to denounce the boycott movement, and their embarrassment when within a few hours the university shamefacedly corrected itself. While journalists named him "the poster boy of the academic boycott" and supporters of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement celebrated, Ha'aretz, the most progressive of the Israeli press, drew attention to the inflammatory language used by the conference organisers, who described themselves as "outraged" rather than that they "regretted" Hawking's decision.

mashable America has gone through a rapid social experiment over the last 20 years. We have created a system, in large part through public disinvestment, where our young people take on large amounts of student debt in order to achieve a college degree. The sea change has been so quick it’s been difficult to gather even basic, solid numbers on it, making the consequences of such massive student debt subject to intense debate. A new report from Beth Akers and Matthew M. Chingos of the Brookings Institution has further fueled that debate, arguing that the conventional story of escalating debt burdens due to student loans are overstated. Even though the number of young households with debt has increased from 14 percent to 36 percent between 1989 and 2010, the percentage of monthly income those people put toward their student debt payments is largely the same. But this study, like many arguments along these lines, suffers from a major problem: It focuses on a month-to-month comparison.

Bubble Finance At Work: How The Share Repurchase Mania Is Gutting Growth And Leaving Financial Wrecks Like Radio Shack | David Stockman's Contra Corner Janet Yellen is a chatterbox of numbers, but most of them are “noise”. And that’s her term. Yet here is a profoundly important set of numbers that you haven’t heard boo about from Yellen and her mad money printers. Self-evidently, the corporate form of business organization is designed such that some considerable portion of net earnings should be returned to their owners each year. Needless to say, that is the opposite of the “growth” and “escape velocity” story that currently excites stock market punters, and is wildly inconsistent with present capitalization rates in the stock market. So the $3.8 trillion of dividends and buybacks since Q1 2008 reflects not the natural economics of the market at work, but the artificial regime of monetary central planning and the tax-advantaged treatment of corporate debt. By now this syndrome has become so completely entrenched that the big cap corporate universe functions as an integral component of the Fed’s serial bubble finance cycle.

The most important chart about the American economy you'll see this year Pavlina Tcherneva's chart showing the distribution of income gains during periods of economic expansion is burning up the economics internet over the past 24 hours and for good reason. The trend it depicts is shocking: (Pavlina Tcherneva) For a long time, most of the gains from economic growth went to the bottom 90 percent of the income distribution. And, after all, the bottom 90 percent includes the vast majority of people. Since 1980, that hasn't been the case. The data series ends in 2012 and we don't know how long the expansion will last, so that negative income trend may evaporate before all is said and done. Pavlina Tcherneva's chart showing the distribution of income gains during periods of economic expansion is burning up the economics internet over the past 24 hours and for good reason. (Pavlina Tcherneva) For a long time, most of the gains from economic growth went to the bottom 90 percent of the income distribution. (Pavlina Tcherneva)

Brigid Schulte’s Overwhelmed and our epidemic of busyness. Photo by Thinkstock Are you too busy? You should be, and you should let people know in a proud but exasperated tone. Like this, from an old colleague I recently asked for advice: “I would like to help but I can not. I am desperately trying to finish a screenplay and a talk I need to give in Milan. Hanna Rosin is the founder of DoubleX and a writer for the Atlantic. Desperate and need to give a talk in Milan. To be deep in the overwhelm requires not just doing too many things in one 24-hour period but doing so many different kinds of things that they all blend into each other and a day has no sense of distinct phases. So if the time squeeze is so miserable, why do people brag about it? Do people really have a choice? Robinson doesn’t ask us to meditate, or take more vacations, or breathe, or walk in nature, or do anything that will invariably feel like just another item on the to-do list. As it happens, the day I had to write this review had all the ingredients for contaminated time.

Inclusive capitalism: searching for a purpose beyond profit | Guardian Sustainable Business It is hard to say if capitalism has ever been less popular than it is this decade. Banker-bashing remains fashionable and politicians vie to decry big business as a way of scoring points. One might be tempted to think that capitalism was hopeless. And maybe the predatory, profit maximising capitalism that was evident in some financial institutions in the mid-2000s is hopeless. But this is not, and has never been, the heart of capitalism – and thinking of it as such is to take a reductive view of capitalism's rich and varied history. These various approaches fall loosely under the banner of inclusive capitalism, which is the idea that those with the power and the means have a responsibility to help make society stronger and more inclusive for those who don't. The City's involvement in philanthropy has a long history stretching all the way back to Dick Whittington and beyond. However, a focus on CSR is not enough in itself. The finance hub is funded by EY.

It’s official: America is now No. 2 Reuters Hang on to your hats, America. And throw away that big, fat styrofoam finger while you’re about it. There’s no easy way to say this, so I’ll just say it: We’re no longer No. 1. Today, we’re No. 2. It just happened — and almost nobody noticed. The International Monetary Fund recently released the latest numbers for the world economy. As recently as 2000, we produced nearly three times as much as the Chinese. To put the numbers slightly differently, China now accounts for 16.5% of the global economy when measured in real purchasing-power terms, compared with 16.3% for the U.S. This latest economic earthquake follows the development last year when China surpassed the U.S. for the first time in terms of global trade. I reported on this looming development over two years ago, but the moment came sooner than I or anyone else had predicted. Digits: Making Millions Using China's Twitter Make no mistake. PPP is the real way of comparing economies.

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