Noted commentator, author and reporter Chris Hedges weighs in on the exploitative tenets of unregulated capitalism, the pushback from the titans of wealth from the New Deal through today, and the deterioration of the media, labor rights and an empowered citizenry. Speaking here from Portland, Maine, in June of 2014.
“…the Liberal class was never designed to be the Left. The Liberal class was designed to be a safety valve; [for] when capitalism breaks down…”
Bring up the historic levels of wealth disparity in this country and all of the sudden you’re accused by the ‘psychophants’ and water-carriers of waging class warfare.
How about that people are finally making commonsense observations about how democracy and rule “of, by and for the people” has been subverted by an oligarchic rule. Just by starting a discussion, you rub up against their indoctrinated misbeliefs, set off their shriek monkey alarms and are accused of starting a war.
A war that they themselves have been unwittingly fighting on behalf of people who disdain them. A war that has been going on for over thirty years in broad daylight, but one which they themselves refuse to acknowledge even exists. The real outrage should be directed at the widening wealth disparity, not at the people who are finally noticing it.
Just because there’s no tanks and bombs, no news coverage and no formal declarations, don’t think it isn’t war. It is. It’s unbridled class warfare; and you, your neighbors, your co-workers and your fellow citizens, along with the planet itself, is under attack. Remaining silent, claiming ignorance or simply not wishing to ‘rock the boat’ is simply acquiescing.
Here’s Thom Hartmann on “Billionaires vs “We the People.”
Wages have been flat since Saint Ronnie took office in 1981, despite worker productivity increasing all the while and corporate profits reaching record levels over the last ten years. For the decades prior to that, wages were tied much more closely to increases in both productivity and profit. If you take the inordinate amount of extra profit that the oligarchs have filched and squeezed for themselves from the average worker’s labor over the last thirty years, and combine that with the lowest tax rates on the upper income bracket in generations, you start to get the picture.
The income gap in America has been widening, on purpose, and now it’s snowballing. The bottom 40% of Americans don’t even own one half of 1% of the country’s wealth. The bottom 60% don’t even own 5% of it.
Less messy than guillotines and worldwide collapse, and more fun and participatory than actually letting things get that far out of hand, the Billionaire’s Cap is a game of strategy and skill for the whole family to enjoy. The objective is simple: work your way through life until you’ve earned $1 billion dollars, and bingo! You’re declared a winner and allowed to merrily spend that repatriated and federally taxed hard-earned cash however you see fit. But the perks of winning don’t just end there!
A Contest, A Hat and A Novel Approach to Disparate Economic Inequality
Get your Thurston Howell lll on!
At some point in the very near future, we’re going to have to address the dangers that unfettered wealth accumulation and concentration pose to our world’s various economic systems, governments, people and yes, even to the planet itself. The Billionaire’s Cap is a novel approach to normalizing the grotesque economic inequality in our present day societies. It celebrates the success of the mega-earners and then frees them from the obligations of further compensation. This then allows others to take their own turn at the helm (or the trough, as it may be) and increases economic mobility for everyone else.
The LIBOR scandal isn’t going anywhere. In the literal sense, it isn’t going anywhere because it’s so wide-reaching and involves hundreds of trillions of dollars all over the world. LIBOR, the London Interbank Offered Rate, was purposely manipulated both upward and downward, resulting in obscene ill-gotten profits for many of the banks involved, while many cities and municipalities across the globe were adversely affected. The question of course is whether we will pay attention to it.
The city of Baltimore became one of the first to actually file a lawsuit against the banks earlier this summer, and now a growing number of towns and organizations are also getting in on the act as the implications of what has been happening begin to sink in:
Baltimore is lead plaintiff in a class action lawsuit that alleges that banks including Barclays, Bank of America, HSBC, JP Morgan and UBS conspired to fix a set of key interest rates – the London Interbank Offered Rate, or Libor – costing the city millions in the process. So far, the Libor scandal has played out mostly under the radar in the US. But now it is gaining traction in Washington, and Baltimore’s suit is putting a human face on a scandal legal experts predict could end up being the most costly of the credit crisis.
“It’s an enormous scandal; it eclipses anything we’ve seen since 2008,” said Matt Taibbi, appearing on Democracy Now in July. He calls it “the mother of all regulatory dilemmas….pretty much all of the banks have to be in on it to move the needle [the bank exchange rate] in any one direction.”