wealth inequality

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Taxes on wealth for all, not just the middle class

my submission to http://change.gov open for questions (their round 2 which seems in part an attempt to keep questions about ending marijuana and other drug prohibition out of the top 5).

Influences

For the new-forming Radical Research Collective, we asked ourselves to share our influences (and the project we want to work on). Here's my attempt.

Influences

Number one largest influence on my understanding of the economy and some other aspects of society:

Jane Jacobs.
I read her in books, though some essays are online (some bad links) http://www.preservenet.com/theory/Jacobs.html
Most usefully http://www.preservenet.com/theory/Jacobsbiox.html

How the rich screwed the world without even trying this time: comment on NPR's "Global Pool of Money" piece

As NPR's "global pool of money" explanation made pretty clear (without them ever actually saying so) the driver for the problem, the reason there was so much money looking for an outlet that got turned into the subprime loans, is the inequality– lots of wealth in few hands and it's too much trouble to get that wealth into productive uses, that is, available to those who aren't filthy rich and so have useful things to do with money (and furthermore cannot, generally, promise a 10 to 20 percent "return on investment").

most people want trade only with working condition protections

popular opinion regarding World Trade organization free trade over time
opinion polls free trade 1999

http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/articles/btglobalizationtradera/8...

Two decades in a powerful appointed position? a sign democracy ain't working

Alan Greenspan, Federal Reserve chairman from 1987 to 2006 (fearless defender of wealth inequality and chief architect of the global finance meltdown of the late 2000s), is a symbol of plutocracy (rule by the rich).

Presidents are limited to serve eight years, and are (theoretically) elected every four. If chief lackey to billionaires, and economic overlord to the rest of us, can serve for nearly twenty, while the presidency shifts three times between the two (allegedly oppositional) parties, there's a problem with our democracy.

Less hierarchy better for companies creating wealth?

two people in the next slot over where I'm working at Harvard, one arguing that flatter, less hierarchical companies create most of the wealth, the growth

and that Google's 20% of your time on whatever you want concept is a hierarchy flattener. Maybe I'll buy that.

Economic Crisis: You finally noticed?

I will admit that there's a frightening part of me enjoying the officially agreed upon international economic crisis, for two reasons.

The real economy need not suffer in the downfall of the speculative economy

Douglas Rushkoff tells it like it is in the economy:

the money is itself crap. It’s based on a centralized lending scheme and has no intrinsic value. The Fed no longer even releases the metric telling us how much money is out there.

All this means is that you can’t count on capitalism anymore. Your wealth is not how many paper assets you have. It’s not even how much land you have (or think you have). It’s what you can do. It’s your value to other people.

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