The Richest 62 People Own as Much as Half the World’s Population

A new Oxfam study shows that the 62 richest people own as much as the bottom half of the world’s population, some 3.6 billion people.  It also shows that the top 1% own more wealth than the rest of the world combined.  I take a look at the report and what’s causing this obscene level of inequality.

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TPP and Corporate Control

No thanks to the Obama administration who wanted to keep the agreement a secret, the New Zealand government released the full text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).  This “free trade” agreement currently includes 12 member countries encompassing 40% of world GDP (Singapore, Brunei, New Zealand, Chile, United States, Australia, Peru, Vietnam, Malaysia, Mexico, Canada and Japan).  President Obama tried to assure the public that it need not know what is in the trade deal because he and the corporate lobbyists who shaped the deal had the public’s best interests in mind.  With the release of the full text, we now know that it is worse than even its harshest critics feared. Continue reading

Recovery For Whom?

As the first Democratic primary debate is tomorrow, expect to hear at least one presidential candidate extol the greatness of the Obama recovery.  This is a common message among Democrats eager to defend the entirely lackluster record of Obama’s economic policies.  Comedian and political commentator Bill Maher defends the economic “recovery” with the same misleading statistics repeated ad nauseam by uncritical liberals. Continue reading

Financialization: Myth and Reality

Capitalism fails the vast majority of people.  The Global Financial Crisis of 2007 made this clear and the increasingly predatory and parasitic explosion of finance reaffirms this fact.  We see this played out not just in Greece where the savagery of German finance capital crushes what little is left of the Greek social state, but also in the United States where President Obama’s “economic recovery” translates to wealth gains for the top 1% and increased economic precariousness for the rest.  Average working class Americans see with unusual clarity the injustice in the current system.  Continue reading

Working Harder Makes Your Boss Richer

Recently, Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush remarked that in order for the economy to grow, “people should work longer hours.” Bush’s comment was intended to describe how the sluggish growth in the U.S. economy could be fixed. If people simply worked harder, the economy would be in better shape. This is the sort of bootstrapping myth that the right-wing usually applies to poor individuals generalized to the economy as a whole. As can be expected, taking an economic myth on the individual scale and generalizing it the national economy doesn’t magically make it true. Let’s take a look at the facts.  Continue reading