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'Spiraling Out of Control' Global Inequality Crisis Demands People-Powered Pushback: Alliance


#1

'Spiraling Out of Control' Global Inequality Crisis Demands People-Powered Pushback: Alliance

Andrea Germanos, staff writer

The goal? A total revamp of the economic system that sidelines the interests of the majority. The time? Now.

And the stakes couldn't be higher.

At issue is the global inequality crisis that is "spiraling out of control," an alliance of nine groups including Amnesty International, Association for Women's Rights in Development, Greenpeace, International Trade Union Confederation, and Oxfam says, as they issue a joint call for a "better world than this."


#2

A key problem is that money begets money and power begets power. It's a positive feedback system that tends to concentrate wealth and power in a few hands. Not to let capitalism off the hook, but it seems a feature of pretty much all systems historically, whether the leaders are kings, priests, plutocrats, or even communists.

What's clear to everyone who's not an economist is that wealth and compensation is a function of power. Unionized workers make more because they're organized and can wield more power collectively than individually. The way corporations and corporate executive compensation are set up, CEOs have almost carte blanche to set their own salaries. At the other extreme are occupations employing undocumented workers, like many farm workers, who don't even have the rights of citizens.

I passed a billboard today that said 1 in 5 American children goes hungry. It was an ad for a food bank, but it made me angry. It's obscene that we have a society that lets kids go hungry! We've got plenty of food. We shouldn't be satisfied with food banks, which only ameliorate an problem that's intolerable.

We need a system where power is decentralized as possible and concentrated the minimum amount necessary. And we need a system where compensation is set logically and humanely, one that fairly shares the wealth and productivity of our society.


#3

The amount of taxpayers' money that the government spends on corporate welfare, including Wall Street bailouts and military industrial complex (MIC) expenditures beyond what is needed for defending the US is more than enough money to provide basic food, shelter and health care for all Americans.


#4

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#5

...speaking of the compensation that corporate "persons" can extract using their power with our elected "representatives."

Any 7-year-old can tell you that if I get a bigger slice of the pie, then less is left for everyone else, a simple fact that only a trained economist can't understand.


#7

Not sure how you plan to do that. As I see it there is only one way: revise the Constitution. I don't mean just an amendment to overturn Citizen's United, but a complete reworking of the electoral system that does away with the two party system, ruinously expensive campaigns, lobbyists and career politicians.


#8

Over a period of time on Common Dreams, we see many reports, statistics and articles published by Oxfam. Do you really know what Oxfam is all about? You an learn more about the global mission of Oxfam at.....

www.oxfamamerica.org./

Oxfam America is a global organization working to right the wrongs of poverty, hunger, and injustice. As one of 17 members of the international Oxfam confederation, we work with people in more than 90 countries to create lasting solutions. Oxfam saves lives, develops long-term solutions to poverty, and campaigns for social change.


#9

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#10

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#11

trillions of dollars have been and continue to be siphoned off by a transnational, covert, rogue agency (ies) for black projects/unacknowledged special projects that are specifically designed by and for the cabal--or whatever word one wants to use. these few people run the show and their motivation is an incomprehensible obsession with control and power. most presidents, members of congress, senators, high-ranking military personnel aren't even in the loop; they are window dressing. a significant wave of insiders who are in the know would need to come forward, out of the lion's den and shine a light on this dark energy/agenda, if we ever hope to dismantle it; but it will take a lot of courage on the part of those who are in the know, and it's understandable why they would hesitate. fear runs very deep and for good reason.
no president has this kind of power or leverage to turn this twisted machine inside out. how can they if they don't even know? some will no doubt label me as a conspiracy theorist. (shrug) there is credible information and people out there who have risked their livelihood and safety to speak out about this perverse deception. it's a lot more fu*ked up than most of us would/could believe. the rabbit hole is quite deep and these folks have no regard for humanity. none.


#12

...global inequality... the roots of the crisis, including land reform, workers' rights to collective bargaining, the right to health and education, corporate power, and violence against and discriminatory pay for women.

Not to take away from the importance of any of these issues, they are all relatively important to some extent. Gender equality in particular is at the core of the inequality crisis. To describe the others as "the roots of the crisis," however, seems incredibly naive at the least, and potentially dangerous and even sinister. Education? Land reform? Collective bargaining?? If these issues are the roots of the crisis, where in the anatomy of this 'crisis plant' would one find the government borrowing from private banks at interest? The inflation this creates? How about usury or the fiat money systems of the world in general... are these merely leaves on this 'crisis plant?' Globalized predatory crony corporate capitalism may then be the 'stem' or 'trunk,' and perhaps greed is the soil in which it grows and blood the fertilizer. It's a poor analogy so it's hard to be sure.

One thing we can be sure of, however, is that the 'Oxfam 62' mentioned at the end of the article are not likely to be losing any sleep over this 'coalition of the willing' taking aim at them. It's no sweat to them if Joe Consumer and the boys down at the shop win their right to collective bargaining and (against all odds) secure a 3% raise over the next seven years. This won't even cover their union dues. And if Maria's school gets that funding for those new computers... great! The 'Oxfam 62' own majority shares in all the big computer companies so that's just dandy. They deal in history books as well, to be sure, and are happy to offer these on sale if the computers are purchased. They can weather these 'social progress' storms, and their multi-billion/trillion dollar multi-generational banking/mercantile family cartels will remain quite intact, in most cases bolstered for having tossed a few crumbs to the starving masses.

I'm all for tackling this unconscionable inequality... does it require "a total revamp of the economic system?" Obviously! "People-powered pushback"... I don't see it happening any other way. I get leery, however, when the battle call comes up from an 'alliance' of bloated, well-funded NGOs who's numerous ranks seem to be doing quite well with the status quo. The would-be 'Rebel Alliance' of the Star Wars fluff. Who's making the most substantial donations to these groups? Who knows? I certainly haven't donated hundreds of millions to Greenpeace lately, and I suspect nobody here in the commons has either. Then the Beatles gave us:

"You say you've got a real solution, well, you know... we'd all love to see the plan. You ask me for a contribution, well, you know... we're all doing what we can."

You can bet your bottom dollar (sic) that the 'Oxfam 62' are doing all they can too. It's entirely possible that the seeming good intentions here are being steered by the same people who've led us into this situation. It has been put forth by others in this space that while many members of these NGOs have the best intentions, the further up that pyramid one goes the murkier those waters become. Think BMGF, for example. The seemingly philanthropic Rockefeller initiatives in Mexico also come to mind, encouraging corn farmers there to abandon their traditional ways and heirloom varieties in favor of bigAg mono-cropping, pesticides and fertilizers... and eventually GMOs. How's that worked out for Mexicans, especially now with the ethanol scam going full tilt? What's a pound of corn flour going for these days? Holding that thought, when the article states, "a people powered movement [that] can build a breakthrough that unites governments, trade unions, civil society and companies who share a commitment to the common good," I shudder as I picture enthusiastic crowds in black and white films from the twenties and thirties. A common good defined by whom?** !!!** Maybe we should phase out governments and trade unions instead (the big, bloated NGO-like trade unions, anyway). In conclusion, I'd advise taking grand pronouncements like this from these NGOs with a grain of salt. Indeed, salt and pepper to taste. Some turmeric too, I understand it's quite good for you.

"...the transformation of the economic system must happen 'on a scale never seen before.'"

How about this coalition reveal their biggest donors first. Then maybe we'll have it.

"Spiraling out of control..."

No doubt. This article really creeped me out. Cheers.


#13

Even revolution is no longer going to work. The military will take over. it happened in Egypt. A financial collapse across the globe is the first step for people power to emerge. Right now every good strong movement for betterment of the people has been dismantled in the US, Europe, Egypt and otehr places.


#14

Please, folks, let's not forget the planet: HOME.


#16

I read an article yesterday that said the narcissistic hoarding dregs were growing increasingly afraid that it's just a matter of time b4 the peons bring out the guillotines -- boy am I up for that! If they fail to voluntarily give up some of their ill-gotten gain it is quite probable they will be forced to, and that means they just might lose more than their money!

Pwr 2 the JUSTIFIED peons!
GUILLOTINE THE NARCISSISTIC HOARDING DREGS!


#17

It is my belief that the five major overwhelming problems we face in the U.S. and globally are:

  • Global warming/climate change,
  • Never-ending military conflict and interventions,
  • Poverty,
  • Income and wealth inequality, and the
  • Loss of democracy to the elite/oligarchy ruling class.

What is the root cause of all of these major problems? Capitalism.

Until the majority of us face the fact that the applied and inherent principles of capitalism are the undeniable cause of these problems, no effective and sustainable progress can or will be made to change the course the people of the world and Mother Earth are on.

We are witnessing Capitalism in its mature, final stage. Capitalism, by its inherent nature, eventually consumes and destroys everything within its reach. As such, Capitalism must be replaced globally by (democratic) socialism that promotes cooperation and harmony (versus competition and conflict) and a sustainable economic society based on the needs of all people ... not profit to a few.


#18

The only inequality that America has been addressing is the gap between the employed and the rich, ignoring our poverty crisis. It's impossible to solve an equation when you leave a key part of it out. Ignoring just how severe and hopeless US poverty has actually become has only served the interests of the richest few. Ignoring real poverty (not the same as min. wage incomes) enables us to convince ourselves that things aren't nearly as bad as they are. We need people who have the courage to talk about what happens to those who are effectively pushed out of the job market, in a country that has a job shortage.


#19

What you're suggesting is called communism (or at least socialism), words that terrify the American public after half a century of political brain-washing. Maybe Bernie Sanders can legitimize the word socialism at least. Still, leaders motivated by desire for power and wealth will continue to corrupt any system, no matter how altruistic its initial intentions. As Thomas Jefferson said, we probably need a revolution every quarter century. The next one will have been a long time coming. Or was the Civil War the last one? Maybe the New Deal.
Probably we need more women in power – they are more likely to be social reformers.