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The Price of Inequality

Society & Culture  (tags: americans, children, culture, dishonesty, education, environment, ethics, family, freedoms, government, law, police, politics, rights, safety, society )

- 2142 days ago -
"America can no longer regard itself as the land of opportunity that it once was. But it does not have to be this way: it is not too late for the American dream to be restored." -- Joseph Stiglitz

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Carlton Ward (55)
Tuesday June 5, 2012, 2:37 pm
Thank you Kit. This will reach further into Europe if they do gain greater control as we have here in the US. Greece has the right idea but it could destroy them in the short term. We must wrestle control back from the Banks & Corporations. If any of you have not watched the free online movie "Thrive" - it is worth a look as it connects the dots that control our lives... -

Kit B (276)
Tuesday June 5, 2012, 2:47 pm

Ecologically ignorant policies are largely responsible for the interlinked crises that are unraveling the planet's life support system.

The unintended consequences of such policies are climate change, desertification, biodiversity decline, ocean pollution and the destruction of forests, according to the policy advocacy organisation World Future Council.

The solution is to eliminate “bad” policies and implement policies that ensure a healthy planet for future generations. On world environment Day, Jun. 5, the World Future Council will present an emergency policy agenda consisting of 24 tipping-point policies that need to be implemented globally to preserve a habitable planet.

“We are in an Earth Emergency. It's an unbelievable crisis. Policies are the most important tool we have to change this,” Jakob von Uexkull, founder and chair of the World Future Council (WFC).

The five-year old WFC is based in Hamburg, Germany and comprised of 50 eminent individual from around the globe who have already successfully promoted change.

“Policy may be seen as dull and boring but they are the things that shape our societies,” von Uexkull told IPS.

In 2000, the German government created the now famous feed-in tariff policy launching a renewable energy revolution. That policy has enabled Germany to generate 22 percent of its electricity from renewables today and created a new business sector employing more people than its automotive industry.

“With the best laws and right policy incentives we can mobilise human inventiveness and entrepreneurship to safeguard a healthy planet for future generations,” he said.

On the other hand bad government policies allow 3,000 of the world's biggest corporations to escape more than 2.2 trillion dollars in annual costs through their impacts on the natural environment, according to the U.N. Environment Programme.

(A trillion is one thousand billion. A trillion seconds is nearly 32,000 years).

The impacts of pollution and destruction of ecosystems are now undermining the very life support system humanity relies on, threatening the well-being of current and future generations.

by Stephen Leahy for Nation of Change

Please read full article at Visit Site.

Kit B (276)
Tuesday June 5, 2012, 2:53 pm

Wrong story, sorry folks. I guess when you have to wait for 2 hours for a story to show up ya just kinda get confused.

America likes to think of itself as a land of opportunity, and others view it in much the same light. But, while we can all think of examples of Americans who rose to the top on their own, what really matters are the statistics: to what extent do an individual’s life chances depend on the income and education of his or her parents?

Nowadays, these numbers show that the American dream is a myth. There is less equality of opportunity in the United States today than there is in Europe – or, indeed, in any advanced industrial country for which there are data.

This is one of the reasons that America has the highest level of inequality of any of the advanced countries – and its gap with the rest has been widening. In the “recovery” of 2009-2010, the top 1% of US income earners captured 93% of the income growth. Other inequality indicators – like wealth, health, and life expectancy – are as bad or even worse. The clear trend is one of concentration of income and wealth at the top, the hollowing out of the middle, and increasing poverty at the bottom.

By Joesph Stiglitz for Nation of Change

pam w (139)
Tuesday June 5, 2012, 3:10 pm
Defenders of America’s inequality argue that the poor and those in the middle shouldn’t complain. While they may be getting a smaller share of the pie than they did in the past, the pie is growing so much, thanks to the contributions of the rich and superrich, that the size of their slice is actually larger. The evidence, again, flatly contradicts this.

++++++++++++++ Right. And don't forget the inequality involved in the tax laws. Why should a wealthy man pay fewer tax dollars than his secretary?

Kit B (276)
Tuesday June 5, 2012, 3:48 pm

Arthur Laffer an economist from the Reagan days, claims the "pie" has infinite slices. Paul Krugman was on the same Real Time with Bill Maher show, and carefully explained just why that is not true. Loved it!

Carlton Ward (55)
Tuesday June 5, 2012, 4:53 pm
I saw a photo of Reagan, Bush, Rumsfeld & a couple of others who were laughing their a$$e$ off and the photo had a caption stating "We told them it would trickle down". Yes, the joke has been on us but we need to turn the tables and unite together. Their divide & conquer tactics of (Republican vs Democrat) and the media that fans those flames work to keep us separated.

Jean M (143)
Tuesday June 5, 2012, 7:47 pm
Land of opportunity my a$$$$. We have the opportunity to lose our homes, our life savings, and our 401K. Politicians and corporate giants have incredible insurance, big payouts and just about anything else they can take care of behind closed doors. I read this week where a CEO who had only been with a company for a few years got a 35 million dollar bonus as he walked out the door. It is time for everyone to wake up while we still have our dignity as I am sure eventually they will even try to take that away from everyone.

"Evil triumphs when good men do nothing"

Gabriel R (111)
Wednesday June 6, 2012, 8:43 am
Noted. Thanks.


paul m (93)
Wednesday June 6, 2012, 9:57 am

Land of opportunity.....If you have money....

Rosie Lopez (73)
Wednesday June 6, 2012, 12:33 pm
thank u

l L (1)
Wednesday June 6, 2012, 1:46 pm
Thank you kit.... America suppose to be...... a good ole boy network...with emphasis on good ole boy.....Everyone else stay in your place...... or else.
America was founded on lies and continued that way... america sacrifices it's own.. Once in history they delivered on the promises briefly. Now we are in transition from whatever to whatever. And it is hurtful, that to other politicians you are not worthy to be counted.

We pay the government taxes in many ways... Not just payroll... but everything they want to tax us on.
I hated it when they made it mandatory to give the electric company hundreds of dollars for nothing a few years back.. Thats what threw this country in massive debt. Thats what put states in debt. Utilities de-regulations. That's what happened to california. They have not recovered from it... I agree Paul... having helps...

Nancy M (197)
Wednesday June 6, 2012, 2:10 pm
Great article Kit and great comment Pam W.

Yes indeed, that trickling economy seems to trickle up, doesn't it.

Janelle Wong (71)
Wednesday June 6, 2012, 4:39 pm
Sure, sure and this supposed inequality is why Obama doesn't want to extend the tax cuts even as we sink like the Titanic. At lease Clinton has it right -

ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE -- The White House is insisting President Barack Obama will not extend the Bush-era tax cuts for wealthier Americans – even temporarily.

Obama spokesman Jay Carney said the president has been clear in his opposition to extending tax cuts for households with annual incomes above $250,000.

Tax cuts for people of all incomes are due to expire at year's end.

Carney's stand came after former President Bill Clinton caused a political headache for the White House by suggesting in an interview that tax cuts for people of all incomes – including the rich – should be extended into 2013 to avoid economic harm and allow time for a broader fiscal deal.

Pressed directly on whether Obama would support a temporary extension, Carney said: "He will not. Could I be more clear?"

Also on HuffPost:

Kit B (276)
Wednesday June 6, 2012, 6:56 pm

Paul - Janelle, whatever...try reading the actual article. Come out from your lotus and pretend you can be a part of a discussion. Ranting republicanism is what got us into the mess. Everyone in this country needs to pay a higher tax only a fool or an idiot can not see the hand writing on the wall.

Janelle Wong (71)
Wednesday June 6, 2012, 8:02 pm
Kit B, Miss Kitty,or whatever - heed the words of President William Jefferson Clinton (whom I admre) - "tax cuts for people of all incomes – including the rich – should be extended into 2013 to avoid economic harm and allow time for a broader fiscal deal" Obama doesn't know squat about how to run the world's largest economy, Clinton does. This isn't Republican versus Democrat. This is about thinking past one's personal prejudices and self hurt and thinking what is best for this nation.

Kerrie G (116)
Wednesday June 6, 2012, 9:04 pm
Noted, thanks.

Arielle S (313)
Thursday June 7, 2012, 3:17 pm
"personal prejudice"? As Sarah would say, "you betcha!" CEO salaries have skyrocketed - is any human being worth $12 million a year? Unless he can walk on water, not in my book - not while people are losing their jobs, their homes, their health - not while services are cut, libraries are closed, and so many go to bed hungry. It's not about running the economy any more - it's about doing what is right. Those who are fortunate enough to make a lot of money should also be willing to pay more taxes. "No man has the right to monopolize more than he can enjoy".

Lin Penrose (92)
Thursday June 7, 2012, 3:56 pm
Thanks Kit. Another rousing article. My stance, as always, is too many fingers and mouths over a finite pie.

Thursday June 7, 2012, 4:01 pm
The American people are financial sacrificial lambs, caught up in a whirlwind of deceit by the corporate high priests which will promise them everything, and deliver to them absolutely nothing!

Michael Barth (43)
Thursday June 7, 2012, 8:51 pm
Thanks for posting

Nancy M (197)
Friday June 8, 2012, 7:45 am
Funny thing too-

Look at the stock market. From a low of 6626 on march 2 of 2009, we are now in the 12,000 range and had a high not long ago of 13,229.

If we had a Republican President, they'd be using those numbers to say what a marvelous economy we had. Anyone remember the early 1990s?

At least Obama isn't going there.

Kit B (276)
Friday June 8, 2012, 8:59 am

This was the topic of Bill Maher's rant on last week's show. When analyzed, just what has Obama done that so upsets the republicans? Well, he is black and that is probably enough. Consider his massive socialist agenda, as the most extreme president in US history; he gave Medicare for all and shut down health care for profit, he ended the war in Afghanistan, he shut down the war on drugs, increased taxes and spending, closed all oil and gas drilling....Oh wait, those are things he did not do, he basically has followed a moderate republican agenda, albeit not the T-party agenda, but most certainly not the ideal of the progressives.

About the rant:

Bill Maher: What Exactly Has Obama Done That Has Made Conservatives So Angry?
videoby Josh Feldman | 11:36 pm, May 25th, 2012

Bill Maher finally got around to Ted Nugent in his final New Rule of the night, but used the rocker’s recent tirade against President Obama to ask the larger question about conservative outrage over the president. He argued that the country has really not changed that much from the George W. Bush era and, in fact, Obama has been making concessions that have not exactly pleased liberals. So what, Maher asked, are conservatives so angry about?

Maher Distinguishes Between His Bush Insults And Conservative ‘Disrespect’ Towards Obama

Much has been made of comments made in some corners that Obama is the most radical president in this nation’s history. Maher observed, “How can the same guy… make these people think that America’s changed so completely, and yet make me think like it’s barely changed at all?” He said he’s noticed no real significant change in our nation’s freedoms since Obama was sworn in.

Maher shot down claims that Obama has been racking up the government spending with statistics showing that of every president since Ronald Reagan, Obama has had the smallest annualized growth of federal spending. Or, in Maher’s words, “the black man’s is the shortest.” He pointed to Obama’s concessions and moderate actions on the financial crisis, oil drilling, and other big issues. Once again, Maher asked conservatives exactly what they mean when they claim Obama is the most radical president of all time.

Bill Maher:

“How can you guys be so unhappy with Obama when I’m so unhappy with Obama? You think you got coal in your stocking? I wanted single-payer health care, a carbon emissions bill, gun control, and legalized pot. If you get to carry around all this outrage over me getting that shit, shouldn’t I have gotten it?”

See the video here:


Suzanne L (98)
Friday June 8, 2012, 10:55 am
Noted. Very astute article.

Florence Eaise (132)
Friday June 8, 2012, 2:14 pm
great article Kit couldnt agree more! I guess the old saying is true the rich get richer while the poor get poorer! Thanks for posting

Mary D (47)
Friday June 8, 2012, 5:38 pm
Thanks Kit.

greenplanet e (155)
Friday June 8, 2012, 8:53 pm
" “We are in an Earth Emergency. It's an unbelievable crisis. Policies are the most important tool we have to change this,” Jakob von Uexkull, founder and chair of the World Future Council (WFC). "

Interesting, too.

Phil P (94)
Saturday June 9, 2012, 5:45 am
Thank you.

Lindsay K (6)
Saturday June 9, 2012, 8:32 am
Interesting - thanks you.

Carmen S (611)
Saturday June 9, 2012, 8:54 am
thanks Kit for this interesting article

Robert Hardy (68)
Saturday June 9, 2012, 8:32 pm

Florence Eaise (132)
Sunday June 10, 2012, 12:54 pm
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