Rest in Peace.
Nearly 800 million people suffer from hunger in the world, mainly in the so-called “developing” countries. Now, in these countries, every year at least 250 billion euros in tax revenues disappear to tax havens – that’s 6 times the amount needed annually to fight and conquer hunger by 2025 (1).
“It is estimated that 85% to 90% of these assets [private funds invested in tax havens] belong to less than 10 million people – or 0.014% of the world population – and at least a third of those assets belong to the 100,000 richest families in the world, with each having at least 30 million dollars” writes US economist James S. Henry. It’s the wealthy who profit most from the reduction of tax revenues to fraud, which perpetuates and exacerbates inequalities.
A new book draws from thousands of years of history to show that innovation flourishes in egalitarian settings and is stifled by cut-throat by competition.
In The Bleeding Edge: Why Technology Turns Toxic in an Unequal World, European academic and activist Bob Hughes exposes how inequality significantly diminishes our technological options and turns successful inventions into their evil counterparts.
A new study outlines the negative impact of contracting public services to private companies.
I am one of those tiresome academics who has repeatedly criticized so-called privatization of government functions. I say “so-called” because what Americans call privatization is no such thing. Actual privatization would require government to sell off or otherwise abandon a particular activity, and let the private sector handle it, much like Margaret Thatcher selling England’s steel mills to private-sector interests.
What we call privatization is more accurately described as contracting out: Government retains both responsibility for a service and the obligation to fund it, but delivers the service through a third-party surrogate, either for-profit or not-for-profit.
Let’s flip the question: Is it fair that supermodel Giselle Bündchen earns more than her male counterparts?
Novak Djokovic, the world’s top tennis player in the ATP ranking, spurred controversy a few months ago when he claimed that male players should earn more than their female counterparts.
To this, Serena Williams, No. 1 in the ranking of the Women’s Tennis Association responded:
If I have a daughter who plays tennis and also have a son that plays tennis, I wouldn’t say that my son deserves more because he is a man. If they both started at three years old I would say they both deserve the same amount of money.”
Climate disruption is inextricably linked to economic inequality. Serious climate solutions must be, too.
This year’s Democratic platform has the fingerprints of progressive movements all over it. A $15 minimum wage, a pathway to cannabis legalization, improvements to Social Security, police accountability, and financial reforms — including a tax on speculation — all make an appearance.
The platform also highlights the critical link between climate and the economy. In particular, it argues that “carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases should be priced to reflect their negative externalities.”
Would you recognize this man if you passed him on the street? Maybe, but probably not. He’s made international TV news, but you won’t probably won’t find him on American news stations unless it’s in the background of a report on the activities of other people of his status. For the last three years running, the media has covered a meeting of his ilk in DC. Almost none of the participants were named in the reports.
He wakes up and checks his cell phone before he rolls out of bed. He pays particular attention to events in the Middle East and how they impact the political situation in the US. He readily admits making his living off what Americans don’t know. He puts his shoes on. For 1.3 billion of the world’s population, it would take six months of earnings to purchase them. He climbs into an SUV and drives to get breakfast. The custom SUV costs more than the net worth of 85% of the world’s population. His breakfast costs 4 times the daily wage of about half of the world. His dogs are waiting by the door when he returns home. The dogs have a better diet than about 800 million humans. Of course, the dogs are pure bred. The pair are worth more than 39% of the population makes in a year. Today, he’s having a hard time getting his day started. He was up all of last night talking to a team of other elites scattered around the world. He admits to using that team to influence the news you read.