WE DON’T HAVE DEMOCRACY ANY LONGER.
Rising inequality has been particularly acute in the global center of world capitalism, the United States, and a quick examination of trends there are useful as capitalists elsewhere seek to emulate the new U.S. gilded age. Those at the top of the pyramid are grabbing ever more. The Economist reports:
“Including capital gains, the share of national income going to the richest 1% of Americans has doubled since 1980, from 10% to 20%, roughly where it was a century ago. Even more striking, the share going to the top 0.01%—some 16,000 families with an average income of $24m—has quadrupled, from just over 1% to almost 5%. That is a bigger slice of the national pie than the top 0.01% received 100 years ago.”
A flurry of new reports have provided yet more data demonstrating that inequality is getting worse. All right, this does not qualify as a shock. But it really isn’t your imagination.
The economic crisis, nearly a decade on now, has been global in scope — working people most everywhere continue to suffer while the one percent are doing just fine. One measure of this is wages. A newly released report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development finds that median wages in the OECD’s 35 member countries are still below where they were in 2007. For the bottom 10 percent of wage earners, the news is worse; wages for this bottom decile have declined 3.6 percent since 2007. But wages have risen for the top 10 percent.
Graphic via the Institute for Policy Studies
The report on wage inequality by the OECD, the club of the world’s advanced capitalist…
I’m trying not to call names at this point, on all Social Media.. .does no good….in the long run… i have a split family, half or more of whom supported and /or voted for Mr. Trump…and just understanding that without considering half of my family ‘deplorables’ or some such…to think that some people who agreed with Mr Trump..when he called them ‘uneducated’…a joke to him? would defeat my purpose to just reply and call him, a ‘joke’.. he may well be,… what he is definitely, (supported by psychiatrists and my own psychologist) is a NARCISISIST, WITH PATHOLOGICAL TENDENCIES… others have added more to that.. but firstly, we must deal with this. Have we possibly had other Presidents, Vice Presidents, with similar traits? yes. But, I just heard Bernie Sanders again on Democracy Now, for an hour.. the One person I believe could have won this past election, had he been the Democratic Nominee.. There are many things i would say, we need to do and i only have ‘hopes’ at this point, having working hard this past year for the Sanders campaign and other progressives in my area… We need to follow, along with other things, as much as we agree with, the Bernie Sanders, ‘Our Revolution’ principles, other progressive groups, e.g. Citizen Action (of the Hudson Valley and others), MOveOn.org , Working Families party, and yes, the Green party for those who lean that way… But, we must work to include ALL valid candidates for the Presidency, and local progressives and progressive causes…
Two things upon my mind and the most important to me… One which I believe even Bernie Sanders (who took it seriously), is the possible ‘Near term Human Extinction’. due to Climate change, and possible extinction of many millions of species and ourselves? (I don’t trust any of the signatories of COP/Paris this past year)..and , Two, secondly, as far as we can enforce, is to fight, for the current, moment, our Constitutional, and Civil rights, in the Bill of Rights.. we have already lost SO many Rights, and are losing, seriously, our Free
dom of Speech, personally and in our so called Media.
The temporality of corporate social media is based on a business model of dispossessing data. Platforms like Facebook are no substitute for the work of sustainable, long-term organizing. When I reached over to switch off my alarm on the morning of 9 November, I wished I had stayed asleep. In the few seconds that I searched for the snooze button, my phone’s notifications had revealed that Trump would almost certainly be the president-elect of the US. I was paralysed. Today, I still feel helpless and unable to respond to this threat to the values I believe in. I should have known better, I shouldn’t be depressed, but agitated, ready to protest and mobilize. But I am not. I am still trying to hope that Žižek and other pundits turn out to be right and that this is a deeply disruptive moment that shakes the grounds of representative democracy and helps change it for the better. Trump’s victory feels like a threat to the idea of democracy, but we need to realize that, as Gary Younge has put it, Trump is but one “product of democracy already in crisis”.
Interesting thoughts and concepts..”“We need to use eminent domain for development purposes much as we use the legislative rights to tax and spend, zone for economic purposes, and regulate for consumer and environmental protections. … When workers occupy factories and enterprises they are not really taking something. They are trying to keep something that is already theirs, through their work, through their production of important goods and services, through allowing capital to be invested, and supplying the community with their taxes, their consumption expenditures and their everyday involvement in the civic life of their community.” [page 109]
As capitalism lurches from crisis to crisis, and a world beyond capitalism becomes a possibility contemplated by increasing numbers of people, finding a path forward becomes an ever more urgent task.
That path is likely to contain a multitude of possibilities and experiments, not all of which will prove viable. Psychological barriers will surely be a major inhibition to overcome; possibly the biggest roadblock given the still ubiquitous idea of “there is no alternative” that has survived despite growing despair at the mounting inequality and precarious futures offered by capitalism. In short, a viable alternative to the capitalist structure of enterprises and society is urgently necessary.
Cooperatives represent a “counter-narrative” to the idea, inculcated in us from our youngest ages, that a small group of bosses are naturally entitled to exert leadership and thus are the only people with the capabilities of running an enterprise, argues Peter Ranis in his…
what is Obama’s legacy… not exactly what any Progressive and many regular Democrats would have hoped in 2008.
To my friends, critics, and those who agree/disagree…well, this is my opinion, mostly. But , if we ignore the failures of his Presidency and don’t honestly look at what went wrong with ‘hope and change’, .. how can we learn? How can we forge ahead with real Progressivism?
I’m a ‘Progressive’ first, and not a ‘party’ person.. i left the Democrats years ago. for awhile, I ‘ll work locally with the DC Democrats in my county in the Hudson Valley, of New York, and we’ll see what we can change.. we have to look honestly and ask, about both HIM and HER, Hillary.. what went wrong? well, it s the ‘Republican lite’, ‘Neo Liberal’ world of the Corporate Democratic party of the last 30 years… WAR WAR WAR…..Obama’ s biggest mess for me was the continuation of the Middle Eastern wars (how many countries is it now ?6 or 7)…Drones, Killing of American citizens on foreign soil with No trial, no nothing? just do what Bush and Cheney did, carry it on? NO…. I scream NO! We need as Bernie said, REVOLUTION.,but what kind? I have a BA in HIstory, taught for a few months in FL before becoming a librarian….I read a lot. I question EVERYTHING… if we stop questioning. we will (as you can see now) become an ‘Idiocrisy’…(see the movie or watch tv right now)….
– was Guantanamo closed as he promised in 2008,
– did he not RENEW , or let be renewed, the horrible PATRIOT ACT?
– Immediately filling his Cabinet with BANKSTERS/WALL STREET HEDGEFUNDERS?
– The ongoing Afghanistan/IRaq wars etc…?
– still not DECRMINIALIZING MARIJUANA which has been shown to help so many patients,… (myself included here) with many conditions.
OK, some good social acts, Acting on at least, the delay of children of Illegal (rather Unpapered immigrants), ‘Obama care’ (Affordable Care Act) – not so affordable.. because HE LEFT THE BIG PHARMACEUTICALS IN CHARGE ESSENTIALLY.. why do you think the costs are going up? He could have stuck with ‘single payer’…plan, as he PROMISED. (broken again).
ONE OF HIS BIGGEST CRITICS —–
Prof. Cornel West, one of Obama’s biggest critics says…”CORNEL WEST ”
” You can’t talk about wealth and inequality, you can’t talk about education, you can’t talk about massive unemployment and under employment and you can’t talk about drones being dropped on people in other parts of the world without talking about white supremacy and its ways in which it operates. It doesn’t have to be overt. The president is right about that. – But too many black people are niggerized. I would say the first black president has become the first niggerized black president.” (http://www.realclearpolitics.com/…/cornel_west_on_obama…?) —-
or read the 52 Historians (the goods and bads of Obama), He could have been so much more… “http://nymag.com/…/01/53-historians-on-obamas-legacy.html“l