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As Europe's One Percent Flourishes, Millions Sink into Poverty


#1

As Europe's One Percent Flourishes, Millions Sink into Poverty

Deirdre Fulton, staff writer

On a continent that is home to some of the world's richest people, most profitable businesses, and most valuable assets—including 342 billionaires—more than 120 million people are at risk of poverty, exemplifying the "unacceptable" levels of inequality sweeping Europe in 2015.


#2

None other than the father of capitalism, Adam Smith said: "Wherever there is a great property, there is great inequality. For one very rich man, there must be at least five hundred poor, and the affluence of the few supposes the indigence of the many." (Wealth of Nations)

Excessive wealth requires poverty, a fact that can be grasped by most, unless you've got an Economics Ph.D. If you give a few people most of the pie, then there's little left over for the rest of us.

The problem of poverty is, precisely, the problem of excessive wealth. Until we PROHIBIT anyone from being too wealthy, a whole raft of social problems (including poverty and dysfunctional "democracy") will never be solved.


#3

One of the reason Europeans fled and came to what now is United States of America and religious freedom and to escape debtor prison among a few other things.

Is that still being taught in schools? Labor Day weekend just passed and was any history of labor discussed? How our ancestors fought and died for the workers rights we had for decades which are/have been lost to the 1%.


#4

Oligarchy is unnatural.


#5

Nope! Nor anything alluding to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, or the Declaration of Independence.
;-})


#6

Actually many of those that went to the Americas went as indentured servants. They were little more than slaves to their masters. They than labored a lifetime in the Americas to escape from servitude.

Those Colonies were land grants to very powerful and wealthy individuals who were given control over the new territories on grants from the King.

The 1 percent brought those people over here.The system was merely transplanted. What the Revolution did was divorce that one percent in the 13 colonies from the dictates of the King in England. It did not free the peoples in the Americas from the 1 percent.


#7

Outstanding post fairley7.

We need a cap on personal wealth: say one million dollars per individual. Billionaires and Millionaires are an unacceptable burden on society with their war profiteering and corporate monopolization of public resources.

And what is the number one mechanism whereby Billionaires use to leech wealth out of everyone else? Usury. Central banks that charge the people interest for the printing of their own money. Get rid of the IMF and the World Bank, the Bank of England, and especially The Federal Reserve Bank, all private corporate scams, and let local public banks and credit unions take their place, and you have Nirvana.


#8

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#9

Oligarchy is the norm. Has been so through history. Whenever you have a political system where people run for public office, those with the most money behind them usually win. Europe at least has not bought into the Social Darwinism of America's Republicans. They still believe in "safety nets" even if a bit "frayed" today. Whereas the US is regressing back to the Gilded Age of the 19th Century. Nor can we blame this upon lack of regulation. The problem is the opposite. Government regulation is what the 1% want because restricting people's "choices" and "opportunities" is the best way for a privileged few to gain the "top of the ladder" while cutting off the rungs below themselves. Along with dumping their American labor force and replacing it with the much lower cost Chinese who will gladly work for a tenth of what an American worker might get. Then "buy" a monopoly for yourself through intellectual property laws, patent and copyright so no one can legally compete with you. Like the medical drug industry that pays the generic drug makers not to produce lower cost medical drugs. Nor are the wealthy subject to the same laws as the rest of us. Or suffer the same consequences if they are caught. Here in the USA, the rich truly do rule...


#10

Please! why does everyone refuse to see the wood in the trees?
There is one, and only one, cause of all our economic woes. During the early 1900's our stupid/corrupt politicians signed away our Sovereign "rights" , that allowed us to print and issue our own interest free, debt free money; and since then we have all become "debt slaves". Our rights to print and issue our own money out of thin air were ceded to private banking Corporations, thus now, we borrow all our money from them, and they simply print it out of thin air, and charge us interest for the privilege. Given the nature of our economic cycles, the booms and busts, it is virtually impossible for us ever to repay all such debts, especially since, when they print our borrowings, they do not also print the money to cover the interest repayments. This particular economic consequence was recorded centuries ago in the well known fable about the boy who possessed a goose that laid "golden" eggs; he sold the goose for a paltry sum and forever thereafter he was destitute.

The remedy for our problems is simple; we abrogate any agreement previously made, reclaim our Sovereign "rights" to print and issue our own debt free interest free money.

This will enable us to stop income-taxing of individuals; we may pay everyone that needs it a social wage, based on a break even computation, this will eliminate poverty and deprivation; those in receipt of the Social wage will be encouraged into employment, without loss of this Social wage, and to work for any employer for additional income, mutually agreed between them. this gives control of work and income to the "workman". Employers will gain a workforce of people willing to accept much lower wages than previously paid, thus making the employer production cost significantly lower; plus, the employer no longer collects taxes for the Government. The employer Corporation/business will pay tax annually as usual. The collection of V.A.T. or G.S.T., consumer taxes will cease.

All Government expenditures will be provided by the planned issue of our own debt free interest free money using legislation approved by Parliament. Health, Education, University courses, Infrastructure of all kinds, etc. etc.

Provided that all of these expenditures are actually "spent" into circulation they will not create inflation; inflation will occur, for instance, when too much money chases too few "goods". The Government must own and run it's own Bank, just like the original Commonwealth Bank. No Private Bank or Corporation will be permitted to create money, under any guise; our financial system will revert to one of "sound " money. Sound money is that which turns around sound borrowing and lending, controlled by being liquid cash, backed by the ownership of assets, and strict criteria keeping them in balance; borrowing and lending outside of these criteria, characterised as "high risk", will be permitted between parties willing to accept such risk, and then, only when it involves their own wholly owned assets.

Interest rates in the private sector will be set by the private sector. The floating exchange rate will be converted into "fixed" rates decided by Government, and as decided between Sovereign Nations and embodied in trade agreements. Our currency will not be traded on "Exchanges", our Nation will be immunised against the manipulated predations of the "Market".

The foregoing explains the broad brush strokes involved, but in summary we would have a Nation with little or no foreign debt, a Nation whose domestic economy sits on a solid unshakeable base, a Nation better able to compete in the wider World, a Nation without poverty whose peoples are empowered to think and work for themselves, a Nation rescued from the avarice of the "Money Lenders", and above all, a Government able to be free and Independent, instead of being owned by Corporate money and influence. This is named "The Universal Economy" because it will operate anywhere.

For those who doubt the efficacy of this proposal, I suggest they study the United States example. The clever banking Corporations engineered the U.S. dollar to be the Worlds reserve currency. Ever since the U.S. has been printing money out of thin air, the only Nation to do so, now they have military bases in more than one hundred and seven Nations, they have engineered regime change and wars in countless Nations, and recently have printed trillions of dollars, called quantitative easing, and poured it into foreign banks and financial Institutions trying to prevent the next meltdown; but it is not working because their printed money was not spent into circulation, instead it inflated the prices of shares and real estate, the bust cometh.


#11

In the human animal, money can make oligarchy the norm. In moneyless nature, no organism can hoard more resources than it can defend. Money lets oligarchs buy lawyers, politicians and armies to defend their growing stash and steal more.


#12

The United States of America, prior to that creation of the current Fderal reserve banking system was no paradise. There were people in debt. Most did not live in their own homes. Most lived in Company housing and had to do all shopping in Company stores. The work week was 6 days and usually 12 hours a day. Children as young as 5 were sent to work. There was little in the way of protection for workers from injuries and exposure to chemicals on the job.

The one percent owned everything just as they do today.

The problem is Capitalism itself and the way wealth distributed in such a system. The creation of the Federal reserve bank was a sympton. Capitalism is the disease.


#13

When the very wealthy own the government including the judiciary, as is quite apparent here at present,
we must recapture "our" government and judiciary on all levels, by discarding the old and electing the
new. We can also convince the "elite" to change venue, by making life here very uncomfortable for them.
We put honest people into office, tax and fine the rich, and remove all ridiculous perks. This is actually
our country, not their country. I'd send them all to Buxtehude, where they can argue among themselves.
We can no longer afford the luxury of these leaches. Start soon.


#14

I completely agree. There's only so much money in the world. So, for a few to be rich, the rest have to be poor. I don't see any wealthy employers handing out raises when they can afford to. Instead, wages continue to be "competitive." Hhmpf... Competitive wages just means a nickle or dime above minimum wage. Unless, they started creating more money out of thin air.....


#15

I don't watch tv but I doubt that the struggles, gains, and the causes of those struggles of the Labor Movement was mentioned. I'm sure though that there were plenty of military history and forensic shows to watch. Probably a police reality show or five to watch too. No, tv couldn't possibly be being used as a tool to brainwash people into supporting a fascist state, nah.....


#16

You are very accurate. Its not the whole story b/c natives but yes the colonial revolution merely divorced the 1% here from having to answer to their former masters in England. The revolution was nothing more than a profit margin booster for the colonial 1%.


#17

If what u say is true, then the level of corruption already in place is terrifying, I have not reviewed the curricula of any schools in the land of my birth for many yrs, but can u or anyone pls explain how parents allowed this to happen at all?


#18

My guess is that:
1. People tend to take our rights for granted. It is usually not in the forefront of their minds. Also, the young parents of today have grown up in the same system that their kids are now being taught by.
2. In this century, for all but the 0.001%, life has become a struggle just to survive. Both parents holding sometimes two or more ill paying jobs each, just to keep a roof over their heads and a little food on the table. Kids have become latchkey kids, raised largely by television, computer games and IPhones.
3. When you are trying to put some oatmeal on the table and make sure the kids are dressed before you head off for your first job of the day, you don't think much about whether you kids are learning Constitutional values. You are more concerned about whether you have enough gas to get to work.
* Fits right in with the Oilagarchy's plans for the serfs.
;-})


#19

A true free market where the effects of pollution are included in prices would go far in leveling the income gap. A return to progressive taxation would also help. Removing advertising expense from tax deduction to free speech would also cut into artificial want stimulation and promote a healing planet.

There are may steps to be taken before we can determine what a free society looks like. After that, if there are still problems, we can decide how much money sports stars and popular mucisians should be limited to.