Special coverage in the Trump Era

From Public Citizen's Corporate Presidency site: "44 Trump administration officials have close ties to the Koch brothers and their network of political groups, particularly Vice President Mike Pence, White House Legislative Affairs Director Marc Short, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and White House budget director Mick Mulvaney."

Dark Money author Jane Mayer on The Dangers of President Pence, New Yorker, Oct. 23 issue on-line

Can Time Inc. Survive the Kochs? November 28, 2017 By
..."This year, among the Kochs’ aims is to spend a projected four hundred million dollars in contributions from themselves and a small group of allied conservative donors they have assembled, to insure Republican victories in the 2018 midterm elections. Ordinarily, political reporters for Time magazine would chronicle this blatant attempt by the Kochs and their allies to buy political influence in the coming election cycle. Will they feel as free to do so now?"...

"Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America" see: our site, and George Monbiot's essay on this key book by historian Nancy MacLean.

Full interview with The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer March 29, 2017, Democracy Now! about her article, "The Reclusive Hedge-Fund Tycoon Behind the Trump Presidency: How Robert Mercer Exploited America’s Populist Insurgency."

Democracy Now! Special Broadcast from the Women's March on Washington

The Economics of Happiness -- new version

Local Futures offers a free, shortened version of its award-winning documentary film The Economics of Happiness. This 19-minute abridged version "brings us voices of hope of in a time of crisis." www.localfutures.org.

What's New?

December 24, 2018

Groomed to Consume

"With Christmas ... household consumption will soon hit its yearly peak in many countries."

From Local Futures: The Economics of Happiness

December 18, 2018 by

Excerpt:
..."Most of us are aware that excessive consumption is a prime feature of modern life, and that it is the cause of multiple social and environmental problems. We are living in a so-called “consumer culture” – a rather fancy title for something that has more in common with an abusive affliction, like bulimia or alcoholism, than it does with real living culture.

Rampant consumerism doesn’t happen by itself: it is encouraged by an economic system that requires perpetual economic growth. When national economies show signs of slowing down, citizens are invariably called upon to increase their consumption, which in a country like the US represents 70 percent of GDP. Curiously, when talk turns to the downside of consumerism – resource depletion, pollution, or shoppers trampled at Wal-Mart – it is the greed supposedly inherent in human nature that gets the blame. Rather than look at the role of corporate media, advertising, and other systemic causes of overconsumption, we are encouraged to keep shopping – but to do so “responsibly”, perhaps by engaging in “green consumerism”, a galling oxymoron.

I have no doubt that consumerism is linked with greed – greed for the latest model of computer, smartphone, clothes or car – but this has nothing to do with human nature. This sort of greed is an artificially induced condition. From early childhood our eyes, ears and minds have been flooded with images and messages that undermine our identity and self-esteem, create false needs, and teach us to seek satisfaction and approval through the consumer choices we make.

And the pressure to consume is rising, along with the amount of money spent on advertising. It is forecast that global advertising expenditure will hit $568 billion for 2018, a 7.4 percent increase over 2017.[1] According to UN figures, that amount of money would be sufficient to both eradicate extreme poverty and foot the bill for measures to mitigate the effects of climate change worldwide. [2] ..."

Read article here


Back