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 -- shorter version

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

What's New?

January 21, 2020

"Time to Care" -- Oxfam Report 2020

"The 22 richest men in the world have more wealth than all the women in Africa.
Women and girls put in 12.5 billion hours of unpaid care work each and every day —a contribution to the global economy of at least $10.8 trillion a year, more than three times the size of the global tech industry.
Getting the richest one percent to pay just 0.5 percent extra tax on their wealth over the next 10 years would equal the investment needed to create 117 million jobs in sectors such as elderly and childcare, education and health."

Truthdig, Jan. 20, 2020

by Ilana Novick

..."just as the World Economic Forum—the annual gathering of political and economic elites—gets underway in Davos, Switzerland, Oxfam, the global charity, has released its annual report on global wealth inequality. Its title could double as a demand to the likes of Biden and Zuckerberg: “Time to Care.”

“Extreme wealth,” the authors say, “is a sign of a failing economic system.”

Using data from Credit Suisse Research Institute’s “Global Wealth Databook (2019)” and the 2019 Forbes billionaire list, Oxfam found that just 2,153 billionaires have more wealth than 4.6 billion people combined. The report also focuses on how sexism and other forms of discrimination exacerbate inequality. For example, the 22 richest men in the world have more wealth than all the women in Africa.

The authors also calculate that women and girls perform 12.5 billion hours of unpaid care work, including caring for their families, “a contribution to the global economy of at least $10.8 trillion a year, more than three times the size of the global tech industry.”

As Oxfam India CEO Amitabh Behar said in a statement ahead of the report’s release, “Our broken economies are lining the pockets of billionaires and big business at the expense of ordinary men and women. No wonder people are starting to question whether billionaires should even exist.”

Behar will represent Oxfam this week at the World Economic Forum, whose guest list is wide enough to encompass both environmental activist Greta Thunberg and Donald Trump. It’s the kind of place where attendees theoretically discuss the world’s greatest economic problems, but in practice, they often come by private jet to make deals that only enhance their exorbitant wealth.

As Dutch journalist and historian Rutger Bregman said, regarding a 2019 panel discussion he moderated at Davos, “I hear people talk in the language of participation and justice and equality and transparency, but then … almost no one raises the real issue of tax avoidance, right? And of the rich just not paying their fair share. I mean, it feels like I’m at a firefighters conference and no one is allowed to speak about water.”

Behar’s job will be to speak about the metaphorical water, to demand that attendees talk openly about inequality, and to advocate for Oxfam’s recommendation that governments worldwide raise taxes on the richest 1% of their citizens by 0.5% over the next decade. According to the report, it would be enough to create 117 million jobs, in fields such as education and health care.

The authors make additional recommendations, including investing in a national care system with set wages for caregivers of all kinds, plus health care and paid time off, all of which would require extensive government support and intervention. Oxfam believes that’s the only way to make change: “The gap between rich and poor can’t be resolved without deliberate inequality-busting policies,” Behar says, “and too few governments are committed to these.”

Read the full “Time to Care” report here.