Category: Capitalism

Robert Reich: America’s Economy Is Unsustainable

The system is rigged to be Unsustainable. Why the necessity and the welcome of rep AOC (ODT)

You can also be a leader by uncovering critical information, fighting lies, spreading the truth. Core responsibilities of leadership are revealing the facts about widening inequalities of income, wealth, and political power – and uncovering their consequences.

A century ago they were called “muckrakers.” More recently, investigative reporters. I’m talking about courageous journalists who speak truth to power.

But this form of leadership isn’t limited to reporters. It includes whistleblowers, who alert the public to abuses of power. And here courage is also required because when you blow the whistle on the powerful, the powerful sometimes strike back.

This form of leadership also includes researchers, who dig up new sources of data and analyze them in ways that enlighten and motivate.

In other words, there isn’t just one path to leadership. Whether you seek formal authority by running and gaining public office, or you organize and mobilize people into being effective advocates, or you discover and spread the truth – you are creating and developing countervailing power to spread the gains of the economy and strengthen our democracy.

These are worthy and noble objectives. They are worth your time. They can be worth a lifetime.

Robert Reich: America’s Economy Is Unsustainable

Nestlé CEO Thinks Water Should NOT Be A Human Right (VIDEO)

Nestle is one of the most hated corporations on the planet for a very good reason.

They have a long history of unethical behavior, and have been connected to human trafficking and child labor — babies deaths in third world countries due to deceptive marketing and propaganda — price fixing, and environmental misconduct, amongst other things.

But that’s not all, the company also seems to think that water — something provided for us by this amazing planet absolutely free — should not be a human right, but a private commodity for profit.

via Nestlé CEO Thinks Water Should NOT Be A Human Right (VIDEO)

Coalition suppressed auditor’s finding that $1.3bn Thales arms deal could have cost half with US | Australia news | The Guardian

A Hawkei vehicle

Thales wanted the six-paragraph cost-comparison between its Hawkei vehicle and the JLTV stripped from the report because it would impact its “marketability”.
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“The vehicle cost-comparison in the impugned paragraphs purports to benchmark the cost and capability of the Hawkei and JLTV, in a way that implies that the JLTV is comparable and commensurable to the Hawkei, but approximately half the price,” Thales argued in court documents.

“This would prejudice Thales, the Commonwealth of Australia and Australian entities in the supply chain for the production of the Hawkei because it would detrimentally impact the marketability, and therefore the export prospects, of the Hawkei.”

via Coalition suppressed auditor’s finding that $1.3bn Thales arms deal could have cost half with US | Australia news | The Guardian

How the Trump Era Lays Bare the Tension in the Marriage Between Conservatism and Capitalism

An attendee wearing an America flag shirt stands for the Pledge of Allegiance at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. The list of speakers at CPAC includes two European nativists who are addressing the gathering between panels and events on the dangers of immigration, Sharia law and lawless government agencies. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Reflecting on the period of the Great Depression, the conservative writer Peter Viereck once wrote that the United States at that time had been “a revolutionary powder keg, needing only a spark.” That the spark never came was a testament to American society’s ability to pull back from the brink and implement policies that extended both wealth and opportunity beyond a small elite. As the global economy staggers from one crisis to the next, the future direction of politics in the West may end up depending on whether a new consensus can be reached on how to ameliorate the harms inflicted by a rampaging free market — and from there, build a vision of the future that more people find worth defending.

“There is a real potential now for a change in the conservative position on whether to regulate the harsher aspects of the market. If you look at the politics of young people today, they tend to widely share a more critical perspective on the question of what capitalism has delivered for society,” said Kolozi. “I don’t think conservatives will become socialists, ever. But a much more regulated capitalism is something that they are going to have to seriously think about accepting in the foreseeable future.”

via How the Trump Era Lays Bare the Tension in the Marriage Between Conservatism and Capitalism

Mortgage rates are going up as house prices are falling and that’s unusual … and a worry – Analysis & Opinion – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

The cyclical curse of boom and bust in a capitalist society where the banks are government guaranteed or not who is left carrying the can for irresponsible lending? The American GFC proved we all are but not those that created the debt in the first place. Maybe Islamic banking is in fact ethical banking and not just usary (ODT)

Mortgage rates are going up as house prices are falling and that’s unusual … and a worry – Analysis & Opinion – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Fossil Fuel Industry Evokes Fury for Seeking Taxpayer Funds for Protection Against Climate Crisis It Created

An oil refinery is seen before the arrival of Hurricane Harvey on August 25, 2017 in Corpus Christi, Texas. As Hurricane Harvey comes ashore many of the countries oil refineries are in its path and have had to shut down. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The me before we in the crazy Capitalist structure.  Free market  unregulated competition forces me to oversupply, cause a major problem that then we have to pay and fix. Ergo I can’t lose in that never ending denier’s cycle.(ODT)

“Big Oil is asking tax payers to pay for protecting their refineries from sea level rise that they caused by keeping us addicted to oil? Yeah…no.”
by
Jon Queally, staff writer

via Fossil Fuel Industry Evokes Fury for Seeking Taxpayer Funds for Protection Against Climate Crisis It Created

Woolworths (ASX: WOW) workers claim alleged $1 billion in underpayments

A Woolworths worker has applied to terminate a national agreement on wages and conditions and claim back an alleged $1 billion in underpayments for up to 100,000 employees.

via Woolworths (ASX: WOW) workers claim alleged $1 billion in underpayments

CEO pay can be linked to slow wage growth, but does that make it theft? – Analysis & Opinion – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

In this context, paying CEOs massive bonuses when the average Australian worker is doing it tough is disappointing and out of step with the community expectations of business.

via CEO pay can be linked to slow wage growth, but does that make it theft? – Analysis & Opinion – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Crown Casino’s pokies deal ‘turbo-charged’ 1000 of its machines

The footage begins showing the machine spinning at its ordinary speed, which appears to be the legislated maximum rate of one spin every 2.14 seconds that applies elsewhere in Victoria.

But by inserting a Crown Rewards loyalty card — a card able to be obtained by anyone over the age of 18 — the machine can spin more than twice every second and enable what is effectively non-stop play.

The card requires punters to set a time and a loss limit, although critics say these limits can be set extremely high and are not enforced.

“Poker machines, already dangerous products, are being turbo-charged with the knowledge and consent of this government,” said Charles Livingstone, a gambling researcher with Monash University’s school of public health.

via Crown Casino’s pokies deal ‘turbo-charged’ 1000 of its machines

Lenders eye pay day through automatic loan machines

In a multimillion-dollar windfall for pay-day lenders, automatic loan machines are popping up in suburban shopping centres, allowing some of Australia’s most disadvantaged communities to take out loans worth thousands of dollars with their bank cards.

Many short-term credit contracts can have an annual interest rate of 60 per cent, compared with up to 25 per cent for credit card cash advance. CashNgo charges a 20 per cent fee and 4 per cent monthly interest.

via Lenders eye pay day through automatic loan machines

Multimillion-dollar wage theft group actions to be filed in Federal Court

The law seems in recent times  to have found an alternate economic niche in the market. What would appear to be  working class or left wing law once ignored by legal business models. To be labelled a left wing lawyer was to be  seen as a legal aid advocate or poor. It seems that that’s not so much any more since the finacial structure behind legal cases has changed.It seems to have become an area of investment wagering on contingent cases in which the lawyers no longer put up the bulk of the money and clients forward pay by guaranteeing a substantial portion should they win. Investors do the rest. It Sounds like LAWBET to me where investors can take part for a share. Capitalism is surely an inventive system in taking workers surplus even when disguised as aid (ODT)

Two multimillion-dollar wage theft group actions will be filed in the Federal Court on Monday on behalf of hundreds of Australian door-to-door and direct sales workers.

The young workers were allegedly paid well below the legal minimum wage for sales and charity fundraising for international direct marketing companies AIDA and Credico.

via Multimillion-dollar wage theft group actions to be filed in Federal Court

Fears grow as rightwing billionaires battle to erode US union rights | US news | The Guardian

Donors including the Koch brothers have been preparing for this moment, as part of a larger campaign to way of tiltingtilt the democratic process to the right.

A 20-year campaign by rightwing billionaire donors to undermine trade unions and strike a blow at the progressive movement in Americacomes to a climax on Monday, in a hearing at the US supreme court.

via Fears grow as rightwing billionaires battle to erode US union rights | US news | The Guardian

‘Robot jobs’ and gig economy point to need for universal basic income

 Uber has spread around the world, disrupting the taxi establishment.

“Political and economic conditions now are less favourable to workers than at any time since the 19th century.”

He cited the introduction of anti-union laws since the 1970s as an important factor in this loss of worker power.

Professor Quiggin said the rise of the “gig economy” was the “predictable outcome of enhanced employer power” and had no “necessary link” to advanced technology.

“Technological disruption simply acts as a catalyst, breaking down existing patterns of work and facilitating a shift towards arrangements more favourable to employers.”

He called for a form of a universal basic income that initially could be paid to the unemployed and would remove existing onerous conditions tied to the payment of benefits.

“Political and economic conditions now are less favourable to workers than at any time since the 19th century.”

He cited the introduction of anti-union laws since the 1970s as an important factor in this loss of worker power.

Professor Quiggin said the rise of the “gig economy” was the “predictable outcome of enhanced employer power” and had no “necessary link” to advanced technology.

“Technological disruption simply acts as a catalyst, breaking down existing patterns of work and facilitating a shift towards arrangements more favourable to employers.”

He called for a form of a universal basic income that initially could be paid to the unemployed and would remove existing onerous conditions tied to the payment of benefits.

via ‘Robot jobs’ and gig economy point to need for universal basic income

Amazon Go concept store opens to public, ditching registers for smartphone app and cameras – Business – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

A customer looks overhead in an Amazon Go store, in front of rows of desserts and yoghurts.

via Amazon Go concept store opens to public, ditching registers for smartphone app and cameras – Business – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Australia’s shopping centre king, Frank Lowy, hangs up in his crown

For more than 50 years, Lowy was the innovator in retail property.

Around 2009, the legendary investment adage went something along the lines of: if you invested $1000 dollars when Sir Frank floated Westfield in 1960, you would be worth about $148 million.

For more than 50 years, Lowy was the innovator in retail property.
For more than 50 years, Lowy was the innovator in retail property. Photo: Louie Douvis

But if you invested in Westfield 18 months ago, you would have lost money even if you accepted the $10-a-share offer now on the table.

Australia’s shopping centre king, Frank Lowy, hangs up in his crown

End of an era: Westfield accepts $32.8b offer

Frank Lowy, pictured with son Steven, and then business partner John Saunders built up their Westfield shopping centre ...

“Who would have thought that 57 years later I’d be sitting in snowy London talking to you in Sydney like this, certainly not me.

“I was just 29 years old and I did not know much believe me, and not sure I know much more now

End of an era: Westfield accepts $32.8b offer

Capitalism: The Nightmare

The neoliberal, arch-capitalist era we inhabit is chock-full of statistics and stories that ought to send chills down the spines of any caring, morally sentient human. Nearly three-fourths (71 percent) of the world’s population is poor, living on $10 a day or less, and 11 percent (767 million people, including 385 million children) live in what the World Bank calls “extreme poverty” (less than a $1.90 a day). Meanwhile, Oxfam reliably reports that, surreal as it sounds, the world’s eight richest people possess among themselves as much wealth as the poorest half of the entire human race.

Source: Capitalism: The Nightmare

What Country is This?

With every court ruling that allows the government to operate above the rule of law, every piece of legislation that limits our freedoms, and every act of government wrongdoing that goes unpunished, we’re slowly being conditioned to a society in which we have little real control over our bodies or our lives.

Source: What Country is This?

Disaster capitalism in action: Corporate greed made Harvey worse — now comes the cash grab – Salon.com

Neoliberal capitalism helped make the devastation in Houston possible, and now it will profit from the aftermath

Source: Disaster capitalism in action: Corporate greed made Harvey worse — now comes the cash grab – Salon.com

GOP Rep. Francis Rooney Slams Medicaid Patients: ‘These People Don’t Understand How Capitalism Works’ | Crooks and Liars

“Sometimes these people don’t understand how capitalism works,” the Florida Republican opined about people on Medicaid. “You incentivize investment, people deploy capital, create jobs, build companies and put more people to work so they can afford all these things and not have to be on Medicaid.”

Source: GOP Rep. Francis Rooney Slams Medicaid Patients: ‘These People Don’t Understand How Capitalism Works’ | Crooks and Liars

5 Little Known Facts About Africa’s Diamonds the World Should Know – Atlanta Black Star

De Beers Diamond Cartel Was Founded by a White Supremacist De Beers, the company that single-handedly made the diamond industry what it is today, was found

Source: 5 Little Known Facts About Africa’s Diamonds the World Should Know – Atlanta Black Star

Inequality Has Gotten So Bad That We’re Offshoring Our Grandparents | The Nation

In the early evening, as the sun starts to sink over the coffee farms and flower plantations, Robert Lawrence likes to stroll along the river that bisects the town of Boquete.

Source: Inequality Has Gotten So Bad That We’re Offshoring Our Grandparents | The Nation

Has anyone noticed the increased advertsing in Australia? It asks if our income is shrinking we too can retire away from family and grandkids and  by doing so support them by  Retire in Belize – Everything You Need to Know

Imagine how much you won’t save on Health Insurance at 70

Did we blame the wrong villain for the 2008 financial crisis? Perhaps the real culprit is capitalism itself – Salon.com

Experts obviously point fingers at Wall Street for the collapse, but some things just don’t add up

Source: Did we blame the wrong villain for the 2008 financial crisis? Perhaps the real culprit is capitalism itself – Salon.com

BHS into administration: Former owner Sir Philip Green branded ‘unacceptable face of capitalism’ | Business News | News | The Independent

sir-philip-green-rex.jpg

 

Former BHS owner Sir Philip Green has been branded the “unacceptable face of capitalism” and accused of taking hundreds of millions of pounds from the high street chain before running off to “his favourite tax haven” by MPs after the company collapsed into administration. The 88-year-old department store went bust on Monday, putting 11,000 jobs at risk and threatening the closure of up to 164 stores in the biggest retail failure since Woolworths went under in 2008.

Source: BHS into administration: Former owner Sir Philip Green branded ‘unacceptable face of capitalism’ | Business News | News | The Independent

EU advisors advocate use of military to protect the rich from the poor – 4bitNEWS

Experts at a European Union think-tank are demanding that the EU prepare to put down strikes and protests with military force. Due to the deepening social inequality in a globalised economy and growing military conflicts within the EU’s borders, such outbursts will inevitably increase. [CLICK]In the study by the European Union Institute for Security Studies, the authors bluntly state that in the face of these developments, the army will have to be used increasingly for policing duties to protect the rich from the anger of the poor.The book appeared a year after the near-collapse of the global financial system in 2008, entitled “Perspectives for European Defence 2020.” It makes clear that academics and politicians are very aware of the revolutionary implications of the crisis. They are working through scenarios that would allow the opposition of the vast majority of the population to social attacks to be suppressed.Under article 222 of the Lisbon treaty, a legal basis has been created for the deployment of military and paramilitary units within EU states in times of crisis such as mass protests as seen in Greece. [CLICK]

Source: EU advisors advocate use of military to protect the rich from the poor – 4bitNEWS

Time to heed warnings of Syriza’s ex-finance minister Yanis Varoufakis — RT Op-Edge

The former finance minister of Greece says people must work to save democracy from capitalism, otherwise the voracious economic system will completely devour the fragile political philosophy, he warned in a recent talk.

Source: Time to heed warnings of Syriza’s ex-finance minister Yanis Varoufakis — RT Op-Edge

Making the World Safe for Predatory Capitalism

You can’t live in the United States without hearing celebrations of capitalism and the wonders of entrepreneurship. People such as Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are lauded for making it possible to buy…

Source: Making the World Safe for Predatory Capitalism

Islam and the birth of Capitalism and Social Responsibility

Early Islam and the Birth of Capitalism proposes a strikingly original thesis—that capitalism first emerged in Arabia, not in late medieval Italian city states as is commonly assumed.
Early Islam made a seminal but largely unrecognized contribution to the history of economic thought; it is the only religion founded by an entrepreneur. Descending from an elite dynasty of religious, civil, and commercial leaders, Muhammad was a successful businessman before founding Islam. As such, the new religion had much to say on trade, consumer protection, business ethics,

White and Trashed: The collapse of American capitalism — RT Op-Edge

News headlines this week of epidemic drug abuse and mortality among Americans confirm what many observers have already noted – America is in bad, bad shape.

Source: White and Trashed: The collapse of American capitalism — RT Op-Edge

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Time to imagine: From ‘Disaster Capitalism’ to a system of our own — RT Op-Edge

Since the founding of the United States, generations have been inculcated with the belief that capitalism is the only acceptable method of economic organization. Isn’t it time for a radical change of thinking?

Source: Time to imagine: From ‘Disaster Capitalism’ to a system of our own — RT Op-Edge

Martin Shkreli on his “altruistic” motives: “I’m a capitalist — I want to create a big drug company” – Salon.com

“There’re a lot of altruistic properties” to raising cost of treating toxoplasmosis from $1,350 to $63,000, he said VIDEO

Source: Martin Shkreli on his “altruistic” motives: “I’m a capitalist — I want to create a big drug company” – Salon.com

Is “White Skin Privilege” the Key to Understanding Racism?

Source: Is “White Skin Privilege” the Key to Understanding Racism?

We are up against a powerful class of people that we do not stand a chance against if we allow “the narcissism of small differences” (Freud) to continue dividing us. In our own interests, to protect ourselves from further suffering, we must recognize people who are basically in the same boat as we are, but who have endured even greater exploitation and injustice. Given this latter fact, people of color can also offer the most experienced leadership in fighting back against our corporate rulers. It will not be easy, but we need to work towards forging a multi-racial working class unity that can confront the power of big business. It’s an uphill fight but I believe we have to begin by being clear about what is and what is not going to be a workable strategy against racism.