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Forum Post: "America's Prosperity Requires a Level Playing Field", by Nobel Laureate, Joseph E. Stiglitz.

Posted 1 year ago on Aug. 1, 2012, 7:08 p.m. EST by shadz66 (17898)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

"America's Prosperity Requires a Level Playing Field"

To fix the economy, we must boost demand. To do that, we have to address inequality.

By Joseph E. Stiglitz.

Despite what the debt and deficit hawks would have you believe, we can't cut our way back to prosperity. No large economy has ever recovered from serious recession through austerity. But there is another factor holding our economy back: inequality.

Any solution to today's problems requires addressing the economy's underlying weakness: a deficiency in aggregate demand. Firms won't invest if there is no demand for their products. And one of the key reasons for lack of demand is America's level of inequality — the highest in the advanced countries.

Because those at the top spend a much smaller portion of their income than those in the bottom and middle, when money moves from the bottom and middle to the top (as has been happening in America in the last dozen years), demand drops. The best way to promote employment today and sustained economic growth for the future, therefore, is to focus on the underlying problem of inequality. And this better economic performance in turn will generate more tax revenue, improving the country's fiscal position.

Even supply-side economists, who emphasize the importance of increasing productivity, should understand the benefits of attacking inequality. America's inequality does not come solely from market forces; those are at play in all advanced countries. Rather, much of the growth of income and wealth at the top in recent decades has come from what economists call rent-seeking — activities directed more at increasing the share of the pie they get rather than increasing the size of the pie itself.

Some examples: Corporate executives in the U.S. take advantage of deficiencies in our corporate governance laws to seize an increasing share of corporate revenue, enriching themselves at the expense of other stakeholders. Pharmaceutical companies successfully lobbied to prohibit the federal government — the largest buyer of drugs — from bargaining over drug prices, resulting in taxpayers overpaying by an estimated half a trillion dollars in about a decade. Mineral companies get resources at below competitive prices. Oil companies and other corporations get "gifts" in the hundreds of billions of dollars a year in corporate welfare, through special benefits hidden in the tax code. Some of this rent-seeking is very subtle — our bankruptcy laws give derivatives (such as those risky products that led to the $150-billion AIG bailout) priority but say that student debt can't be discharged, even in bankruptcy.

Rent-seeking distorts the economy and makes it less efficient. When, for instance, speculation gains get taxed at a lower rate than true innovation, resources that could support productivity-enhancing activities get diverted to gambling in the stock market and other financial markets. So too, much of the income in the financial sector, including that derived from predatory lending and abusive credit card practices, derives not from making our economy more efficient but from rent-seeking.

If we curbed these abuses by the financial sector, more resources (especially the scarce talent of some of our brightest young people) might be devoted to making a stronger economy rather than to exploiting the financially unsophisticated. And the banks might actually go back to the boring business of lending rather than high-risk and often opaque speculation.

Curbing rent-seeking is not that complicated (aside from the politics). It would take better financial regulations, fairer and better-designed bankruptcy laws, stronger and better-enforced antitrust laws, corporate governance laws that limit the power of CEOs to effectively set their own pay, and, in all of these areas, more transparency. Because so much of the income at the top is from rent-seeking, more progressive taxation (and in particular, taxation of capital gains) is necessary to discourage it. And if the additional revenue is used by the government for high-return public investments, there are double benefits.

~

veritas vos liberabit ...

~

Joseph Eugene Stiglitz, is an American economist and a professor at Columbia University. He is a recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (2001) and the John Bates Clark Medal (1979). He is also the former Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank.

[Article copied under "Fair Use" from : http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jul/22/opinion/la-oe-stiglitz-inequality-20120722 ]

51 Comments

51 Comments


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[-] 2 points by NCNY (2) 1 year ago

A clearly well written article that points directly to today's issues. New age capitalism is just plain greedy and short sighted and although immoral, legally allowed to break down our middle class. The biggest problem is our government isn't superintending it. Historically speaking, our country has experienced a healthy economic policy that could be used to prove this article's point. Henry Ford was not a economist or politician but his common sense approach to economics is brilliant and should used as a role model for our nation. "In 1914, Henry Ford started an industrial revolution by more than doubling wages to $5 a day—a move that helped build the U.S. middle class and the modern economy." Henry Ford had reasoned that since it was now possible to build inexpensive cars in volume, more of them could be sold if employees could afford to buy them. The $5 day helped better the lot of all American workers and contributed to the emergence of the American middle class. In the process, Henry Ford had changed manufacturing forever.
Our technological computer revolution, the exploitation of outsourced labor pools and our immoral politicians who justify wiping out the middle class with unsupported economic rationale provide a perfect storm for a falling empire. I fear for my children! http://corporate.ford.com/news-center/press-releases-detail/677-5-dollar-a-day

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (17898) 1 year ago

The Rampant Financialisation of practically all aspects of the US economy is proving to be a slowly unfolding disaster and there's Nothing 'Trickle Down' about 'Capitalism' these days as we are all clearly living in the age of 'Hoover-Up Kaputalism'.

A Mitt Rmoney and Paul Ryan presidency would most likely increase the pace of deregulation even further and destroy what is left of the country’s safety nets. It would ultimately devastate the middle class, greatly increase the ranks of the poor and unemployed, do away with what union rights remain and reserve prosperity for the upper class alone. All of this will be done in the name of "liberty" and it'll be guided by an ideological paradigm that has already been historically proven to be disastrous.

"Each crisis is getting bigger by an order of magnitude." Meaning the next financial meltdown is assured to be much greater that the last.

Professor William Black is a former bank regulator and professor of law and economics, he says, "Outright fraud caused the great recession and they are able to do it now with impunity."

Thanx for your insightful comment and highly relevant link, 'NCNY'.

radix omnium malorum est cupiditas ...

[-] 2 points by drmonroe (3) 1 year ago

we can no longer trust our politicians to serve for the greater good for all--we can no longer trust the media for the truth--the extreme wealthy have organized into the biggest crime families of all time--they have fixed the election process in their favor--they have bought our politicians and their families--they have corrupted our courts to the highest levels-and every judge in the system--they control policies--they own our generals----------they have over thrown all governments with-in-----------------AND THE MEDIA HAS HELPED ALL OF THIS TO HAPPEN THROUGHT HISTORY---MEDIA HAS SUPPORTED THE LIES AND THE EXTREME WEALTHY ----------the media owners and the board of directors and top level ceos-have willfully failed to well inform the people of the truth--the media has willfully suppressed the truth--the media has willfully worked with government politicians and government enities to brain wash the people to think a certain way--the media has willfully worked with government enities to divide the people--to confuse the people----------the media has helped all the worst things in history to happen by suppressing the truth from the people of the world----------the media has become a tool for governments and the extreme wealthy to control the people of the world for their own greed of money and power-----------if we the people could do one thing to make the biggest difference--it would be to tear down all media and i mean tear all media down to the ground---i dont mean with voilence--NO VIOLENCE !--THERE ARE WAYS TO SHUT DOWN BIG CORPORATE MEDIA------and rebuild a no profit media to serve the truth--well inform the people--and to hold everyone accountable-----AWELL INFORMED PEOPLE WILL MAKE THE BIGGEST CHANGE----CHANGE THE MEDIA TO SERVE THE TRUTH-----CHANGE THE WORLD------CHANGE THE MEDIA CHANGE THE WORLD !!!!!

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (17898) 1 year ago

Thank you for your heartfelt comment and 'cris de coeur'. Having read your profile I think that you are a forward looking person of integrity, honour and real compassion.

Our individual and collective well-being depends on acting with concern for the well-being of others. We all do better when we look out for one another.

Money is not wealth. It is just numbers. Sacrificing the health and happiness of billions of people to grow numbers on computer hard drives to improve one’s score on the 'Forbes Magazine' list of the world’s richest people is immoral. Managing a society’s economy to facilitate this immoral competition at the expense of the mass of the people and nature itself, is an act of deep collective insanity.

The proper purpose of the economy and the enterprises that comprise it, is to provide good jobs and quality goods and services beneficial to the health and happiness of people, community and nature. A modest financial profit is essential to a firm’s viability, but is not its only proper purpose.

pax, amor et lux ...

[-] 2 points by alterorabolish1 (569) 1 year ago

Great post shadz. Using sophistication to foster inequality for personal gain and consider that being good business needs to end.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (17898) 1 year ago

"With Romney-Ryan, GOP Becomes Grand Old Private-Equity Party" :

by John Nichols.

fiat lux ...

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

Corps R resp to community too

[-] 2 points by ThomasKent (110) 1 year ago

Is feudalism the natural order of things? Somtime during the 20th century capitalism was captured by banking feudalism.

Max Keiser on Too Big to Fail http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiaax9GHFL0&list=PL57A38F2F2E292781&feature=view_all

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (17898) 1 year ago

Thanx for the excellent link & I append for you and others :

Despite the occasional hysterics, Max Keiser's analysis re. "Banking Feudalism" is second to none, 'imo'. His co-presenter & fiance, financial journalist Stacey Herbert is excellent and incisive & the quality and insights of some of the guests in the second half of the half hour show, are really very good indeed.

fiat lux ...

[Removed]

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (20562) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

I really like this guy.

Assuming we can get the reforms he specifically enumerates and any others he may have alluded to - we must do something else -

and that is to ensure that within Academia, his school of thought becomes the dominant focus of discussion. This takes place by hiring those genuinely of that philosophy to positions of stature, influence, and tenure.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 1 year ago

Articles like these just keep people focused on the circus and distracts them from seeing the real problem. Increasing taxes is not going fix the inequality.

The real problem is capitalism and so long as you have capitalism, you will have widespread poverty, financial struggle and all the misery that comes with it, just like capitalism has done ever since its inception.

The idea that capitalism works and all we need is a higher tax rate to fix all its problems is a joke.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (17898) 1 year ago

Hmmm. LOTS of food for thought there 'DTGL.com'. Gorra website ? Wanna share ? It'd be nice if u did.

I concur and append : "The Crisis Of Capitalism" : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOP2V_np2c0 , where renowned academic David Harvey asks if it is time to look beyond capitalism towards a new social order that would allow us to live within a system that really could be responsible, just & humane ?

There may be some arguments re. 'Transitional Demands', which are well worth real reflection & debate.

pax et lux ...

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 1 year ago

Yes, I am familiar with Harvey's lectures. Good stuff.

As you know, I think we should replace capitalism with what has been historically called democratic market socialism. If I am talking to an American, I call it democratic capitalism.

You can read how that works here:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/1-replace-capitalism-with-democracy/

The idea in a nutshell is that since workers are responsible for 100% of the production, they should get 100% of the income. And the only way to fairly allocate that income is based on how hard you work. The way you do that is by limiting differences in income by law to only what is necessary to get people to do hard work and give their maximum effort.

And since you will not be able to find any credible scientific study that shows we need to pay people much more than 4 times more income in order for income to be an effective incentive, that would enable us to pay every worker from $115,000 to $460,000 per year for working 20 hours per week.

The way you sell this idea to the public is we simply start a grassroots campaign where you, me and everyone else who is interested in this idea just approach your friends, family and co-workers and ask them to join a worker union.

This union will guarantee you a job so you are never unemployed, get them a minimum income of at least $115k or $230k per year, depending on their job, reduce their work week to 20 hours, guarantee them a 100% mortgage with 0% interest, pay them a pension at retirement and pay them and their kids an actual income to go to school.

When asked how this is possible. You will simply say by demanding that workers get paid fairly: based on how hard they work.

Nearly everyone you talk to wants a higher income and this will give them a significantly higher income. And everyone believes in fairness and that paying people based on how hard they work is fair.

If enough people join this union, we can simply demand that these changes be made and go on a general strike if the demands are not met. The economic system will have no choice but to change.

I think capitalism is just institutionalized theft and exploitation. It is amazing that the people who benefit from it have been able to convince everyone else that it is perfectly fair. I explain that in this post I made a couple of days ago:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/simple-explanation-of-why-capitalism-is-unfair/

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (17898) 1 year ago

"Socialism" ? Trust me, I have NO Problem Whatsoever with that word & indeed, the implications of the 'word play' re anti-socialism are really worthy of quite reflection and urgent consideration !

Though I agree with much of what you say above in your thoughtful comment, somewhat reactively - I'm put out by your numbers. Who care's where the 'decimal point goes', provided we The 99% can reclaim the real power to control the issuance of money from 'The Infernal Bankster Parasites' !!

'High Finance Crapitalism & Monopolistic Corporatism' are the root of our woes I feel and tactically - we should divide and separate these clear and present dangers from mere "capitalism" !!!

ad iudicium ...

[-] 0 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

90% tax on the 1% plutocrat criminals.

That'll do it.

[-] 2 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 1 year ago

Explain to me how that will actually solve anything.

I contend that capitalism does not work and never has worked. How does a 90% tax on the 1% make capitalism work?

How will that fix the 18% underemployment, the 50% who live in or close to poverty, and the 97% of workers who are making a below average wage?

Since capitalism relies on private investment, a 90% tax will make the economy significantly worse because there will be significantly less investment.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

I believe capitalism will end through evolution, not through revolution.

We should lay ground work to encourage that change now but we cannot hit a switch to end capitalism.. The powers that be/MIC/plutocrats have too much control/power. No one gives up power easily!

So my simple tax reform is not meant to solve all these problems or initiate the end of capitalism.

What I think it can improve (along with a few other actions) is the paying down of the national debt, eliminate the deficit, contribute to economic growth, which should increase hiring, lift people out of poverty, and so forth.

Much would need to be done to end capitalism. Do you have a plan for this? I'd love to hear it?

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 1 year ago

I do have a plan. I wrote a post that describes it here:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/a-simple-feasible-plan-to-abolish-capitalism/

Let me know what you think.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

Well that's pretty deep. I certainly like the idea of getting away from this damaging, exploitive vulture capitalism. It does seem your plan can be implemented in an evolutionary way but I can't say I understand it entirely.

What should be the 1st step to implement it?

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 1 year ago

What part don't you understand?

Although I created a plan, I did not create a system for carrying out the plan. But all we need to really do is tell people they will make at least $115k for 20 hours in a socialist system and get them to commit to either participate in a strike to get those benefits or vote in candidates who will enact the 2 policies we need to transition to a socialist economy.

To carry out that plan we would only need to create a website that explains how everything works, that asks people to pledge their support and teaches them how to get others to pledge their support (how to pitch others, marketing material you can produce, how to hold meetings in your home, how to address common objections, etc.).

Credibility will be key so it will need the endorsement and active promotion of credible people (economists, academics, celebrities, etc.). And the materials we use to sell the public on the idea need to be polished.

Perhaps we can do some fundraising in order to fund marketing and pr campaigns.

.

Here is a comment I used to post when people asked about a plan. Perhaps it is clearer than the post I made:

.

We should replace capitalism with Democratic Market Socialism (DMS).

DMS is an economic system where 100% of the economy's income is paid to workers (instead of half going to workers and half going to investors) and workers are paid based on how hard they work (instead of based on how much bargaining power you have).

Allocating income this way will enable us to pay every worker from $115k to $460k per year for working just 20 hours per week.

The way to change the economic system to DMS is to organize workers into a single union by simply starting a grassroots campaign where you, me and everyone else who is interested in this idea just approaches your friends, family and co-workers and asks them to join a worker union that will guarantee them a job so they are never unemployed, get them a minimum income of at least $115k or $230k per year, depending on their job, reduce their work week to 20 hours, guarantee them a 100% mortgage with 0% interest, pay them a pension at retirement and pay them and their kids an actual income to go to school.

Since that is a significantly better deal than what the vast majority of workers are currently getting, this union will have a lot of appeal.

And since nearly everyone thinks that an economic system that pays workers 100% of the income, being that they do 100% of the work, is fair and that allocates that income based on how hard you work is fair, this will also add to the union's appeal.

Once this union is large enough, we can do 1 of 2 things.

We can simply carry out the original socialist plan and demand, through a general strike if necessary, that we change economic systems. If a super majority of workers went on strike and refused to work for capitalist companies, the economy will have no choice but to change.

Or, instead of changing the economy overnight, we can gradually change the economy to socialist. Instead of going on strike, this union of workers would elect politicians to enact two policies: raise the tax rate on investment income and make the government the employer of last resort.

Raising the tax rate on investment income will result in less private investing since investing will now be less profitable. The less private investing we have in private capitalist companies, the more public investing the govt can then make in public socialist companies.

Making the govt the employer of last resort will give it the authority to start making those investments in new companies in order to meet its new legal obligation to fully employ everyone who is unemployed (or who does not want to work for a capitalist company).

These companies would be run like socialist companies which pay 100% of its revenue to its workers without paying anyone a profit and allocating that income based on how hard you work.

These companies would create a socialist sector within our economy. As these companies grow and as the government launches more businesses, the socialist sector grows.

At first, the socialist sector will be small. So it will have no choice but to trade with capitalist companies. That will prevent the socialist sector from having full control over how income is allocated. Obviously the capitalist companies it is spending money with will continue to allocate its revenue the way it is currently by paying unearned income like rent, profit, interest, dividends, capital gains, etc.

So at first, the socialist sector will not be able to provide the full benefits to workers that a full socialist economy can.

But as the sector grows larger, it will have to do less and less business with capitalist companies which means it will get closer and closer to the point where it becomes a completely independent economy where everything everyone needs is produced within the socialist sector and you do not have to buy anything from any capitalist company.

Once the socialist sector becomes fully independent (which it can likely do by growing to less than 30% of the total economy), it will have full control over the allocation of all income. That is when it can offer the full worker benefits listed above.

Once the socialist sector gets large enough, so that it can offer benefits closer to the minimum wage of $115k, work week of 20 hours, and 100% mortgage at 0% interest, that a full Democratic Market Socialist economy would deliver, it is the end of capitalism. Nobody will want to work for a capitalist company anymore.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

Sounds great! I think you are in the right place to get support. Any interest from the site users? Have you presented to the GA/or economic teams @ OWS? They might have resources to create the website and/or marketing material. They might even have lists of supporters who might be tapped as supporters of the plan.

Good luck

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 1 year ago

Yes, I have received a lot of support from people on this forum.

However, I have not presented to any GA or economic team of OWS.

I can build the website myself. That wouldn't be a problem. But I wonder how much support the GA can generate for anything. I'm obviously ignorant in this since I never spoke with them, but my guess is not much.

OWS prides itself on being leaderless and decentralized. That makes it impossible to organize anything (outside of protesting).

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

Well be positive. Search out like minded groups. Certainly OWS is a believer in non capitalist ideas. You may find an openminded ear. And replacing capitalism is so difficult you're gonna need all the support you can get. Take a chance. It can't hurt.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 1 year ago

You are right!

[Removed]

[-] 0 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

if money come from the bottom , the consumers would control the market

pull money from the pools were it collects and give it to the base

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 1 year ago

If we taxed people with a high enough rate and then paid that money directly to everyone else in the form of a dividend check to even out the inequality, then that would certainly have a positive effect.

But that is not what he is suggesting. He wants to increase taxes slightly and to have the relatively few dollars it raises be spent by government. Perhaps that might help the few people lucky enough to get one of the government jobs that money created, but it isn't solving any systemic problem in the economy.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

It's a 1st step.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

there's a belief that everyone should be working 40 hours a week

when in actuality, we have to invent work to all be working that much

,

the government could create a vast number of jobs to follow that program

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 1 year ago

I explain in this comment that 55% of the work we do is work that existing machines can do. If we automated all those jobs, we could cut our week down to 20 hours and still produce the same amount.

But I would disagree that we need to make up jobs to keep everyone working 40 hours. We will never run out of work to do. We will always think of more ideas and goals to pursue than we will actually have the time to do.

[-] -2 points by SteveKJR (-497) 1 year ago

If capitalism was so bad and create widespread poverty, financial struggle and all the misery that comes with it why then is the United States the best and most prosperous country in the world?

If you disagree with that then provide information on any other country in the world that has what the United States has - that means highways, highrise buildings, roads, bridges, thousands of new gas guzzling cars on the roads, air conditioning, electricity, drinking water - the list goes on and on.

Show me wher all the people in China or any other country in this world that have the same standard of living as the people in the United States does

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

We can still work to improve it. Surely you aren't blind to the weaknesses that the 99% are suffering with.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (17898) 1 year ago

WTF are you talking about ?!!!

D'you know what 'hubris' means ?!!

Have you ever been outside The U$A ?!

ad iudicium ...

[-] 1 points by SteveKJR (-497) 1 year ago

As a matter of fact I have - Been to the far east and the Med. So your point?

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (17898) 1 year ago

My point is that you are full of "hubris" !!!

temet nosce ...

[-] -2 points by SteveKJR (-497) 1 year ago

As a matter of fact you are right - I am very confident, can be arrogant and self sufficient when the needs arises.

Anything wrong with that?

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (17898) 1 year ago

Are you constructing your own roads, schools and hospitals ? Are you generating your own electricity ? Are you refining your own fuel? Are you smelting your own ore? Are you forging your own tools & guns ?

Are you growing your own food crops ? Are you raising and rearing your own life stock ? Are you in a position to treat yourself in case of serious illness or accident ? Are you alone ?

Are you such a 'rugged individual' as to be 'an island in the sea of humanity' ?

nosce te ipsum ...

[-] -3 points by SteveKJR (-497) 1 year ago

Never made that statement - you have been listning to the Obimination again.

What I did say was I have enough confidence in myself that I know what it takes to survive and that includes "living off the land" if necessary.

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (17898) 1 year ago

Never said that you did & u asked a question.

I chose to respond with some other questions.

"Anything wrong with that" ?!

ad iudicium ...

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

we all live off the land

[-] -3 points by SteveKJR (-497) 1 year ago

Not true - lots of people shop at grocery stores and pay for the products they need - living off the land you don't do that.

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

all food grows by using the sunlight, it is harvested and taken to market

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (17898) 1 year ago

"Food Speculation : 'People Die from Hunger While Banks Make a Killing on Food'",

by John Vidal (The Guardian) :

"It's not just bad harvests and climate change – it's also speculators that are behind record prices. And it's the planet's poorest who pay."

radix malorum est cupiditas ...

[-] 3 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 1 year ago

This should be it's own thread. Very needed argument.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (17898) 1 year ago

I was considering that but as it the article is a touch historic, some of the figures and minutiae may need updating & that would be quite a huge task for me right now. However, I appreciate your sentiments.

As an important aside, The Mistress of Derivatives, Blyth Masters herself is now JP Morgan's 'Head of Commodities'. This woman's role behind the events of The Fall of 2008 (pun totally intended & = 'Financial Coup d'Etat', imho) is massively under-researched & now she is one of The Biggest Players in Global Food & Commodities Markets. Un-fkn-believable !!! You could not imagine it to make it up !!

Furthermore, on the same matter, from just a month ago :

"Almost a Billion People Go Hungry Worldwide", by Sarah Morrison

"As global starvation spreads, charities warn that the total number of severely malnourished children is also rising."

fiat justitia rua caelum ...

[-] 0 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 1 year ago

There is absolutely no evidence to support the statement the US is the greatest country in the world:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zabb3fxGTPk

The reason why the US and western Europe have greater total wealth than the rest of the world is because they have been industrializing longer.

China has only been developing for a couple of decades. In 150 years (which is at least as long as the US has been industrializing), I guarantee China will have far, far, far more than what the US has today, despite their authoritarianism and state directed economy.

That's because wealth comes from science, not capitalism. Capitalism is just a system that allocates that wealth unevenly and unfairly.

Ask any of the 1800 kids who are living in cars in just one Florida county because of our capitalist system if they feel like they have the highest standard living in the world.

Or ask any of the 50% of Americans who capitalism forced to live in or near poverty if they feel like they have the highest standard living in the world.

Or ask any of the 18% who capitalism is preventing from getting a full time job if they feel like they have the highest standard living in the world.

[-] -3 points by SteveKJR (-497) 1 year ago

Well lets see - how many millions of people living on this planet are without electricity, running water or a house built according to code requirements.

How many millions upon millions of people living in other countries have the opportunity to go to a "air conditioned shopping mall.

How many millions upon millions of people living in other countries have the opportunity to grocery shop in air conditioned comfort.

You may put up some stats on people in this country who are having financial problems but it's not like the rest of the world.

So, there you have the evidence listing just a few things that is an indicator of how capitalism made our country one of the best countries in the world to live in.

[-] 2 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 1 year ago

Those are some pretty impressive mental gymnastics you just went through!

You just listed a number of horrific conditions billions of people are subjected to, all of whom are living in capitalist systems, and then followed up with the claim that capitalism is the greatest system in the world.

If we didn't have capitalism, where a few at the top take most of the wealth everyone else produces and leaves all of those people broke, there wouldn't be people without electricity, running water, dilapidated housing or luxurious shopping venues.

[-] -2 points by SteveKJR (-497) 1 year ago

Look you can bash "capitalism" all you want but in the end it works.

The reason it isn't working now the way people think it should be is because the people of this country let it happen.

They let the government control them by allowing bills to be passed favoring businesses - they let the government pass the NAFTA agreement which in turn shipped thousands of jobs out of this country.

There are people in this country who are capitalists and there are people in this country who are working for capitalists and both are doing just fine.

It's just the ones who screwed up and thought that they should be making big bucks when they graduated from college are the ones who think capitalism sucks.

Well, it doesn't - it has done and continues to do the vast majority of the people in this country very well when it comes to being wealthy.

If it didn't there would be millions of people marching instead of thousands if not millions like there are in other countries.

Straighten out the government and you will solve the problem. Plain and simple.

Then you yourself can go out and start your own business.

[-] 2 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 1 year ago

"Look you can bash "capitalism" all you want but in the end it works."

Oh, there is absolutely no question about it. It works for the few at the top. For everyone else, for the vast, overwhelming majority in this world who are struggling in the misery of poverty and financial struggle, it doesn't work at all.

The vast majority of this world is capitalist and the vast majority are broke, despite the fact that there is more than enough resources to provide a very high standard of living to everyone.

Let's look at just the US - the greatest country in the world as you put it. 50% of all Americans are living in or near poverty, 97% of all workers are earning a below average income, the govt just released data on wage earners for the first time ever which shockingly shows 50% are making less than $26k, 18% of all available workers cannot even find a full-time job, and 55% of all the people who do work are wasting the majority of their lives doing pointless jobs that machines can already do.

That sounds a lot more like failure than success.

.

"If it didn't there would be millions of people marching instead of thousands "

People are a product of their culture. Every single media outlet is owned by the very few people who benefit from capitalism. That is why you hear nothing but how great it is and that all we need are just a few minor tweaks.

But if every media outlet reported nonstop how corrupt, barbaric and unfair capitalism really is and reported nonstop on how much better society would be if we had a truly fair system, there would be millions in the street.

[-] -2 points by SteveKJR (-497) 1 year ago

You didn't even bother to address the issue regarding "changing the government" - why is that so hard to understand.

If you want change - change the damm atitude of the government towards big business and stop giving me links about what's wrong with this country.

Fix it if you and others don't like it - march on Washington DC instead of California and New York.

Get involved with representatives and demand them to make change.

If you can't do that then stop whining about the "evil rich and wealthy".

[-] 2 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 1 year ago

If you actually read the "links about what's wrong with this country" that I gave you, you would see that it also contains a plan for how to fix those problems (you fix the problems by replacing capitalism with democratic market socialism but if you are an American reading this you fix the problems by replacing tyrannical capitalism with democratic capitalism) and how to get those fixes implemented (you get them implemented by organizing workers into a union and demanding the changes).