Showing posts from January 17, 2017

The Real “Takers” in America: The Unproductive, Rent-Extracting Rich

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[Productive Americans of center, left and right, unite! Originally published as a three-part series here at *RON*]
Michael Lind, Evonomics, 29 December 2016

You don’t have to be a Tea Party conservative to believe that the economy is threatened when there are too many “takers” and not enough “makers.” The “takers” who threaten the dynamism and fairness of industrial capitalism the most in the 21st century are not the welfare-dependent poor — the villains of Tea Party propaganda — but the rent-extracting, unproductive rich.

The term “rent” in this context refers to more than payments to your landlords. As Mike Konczal and many others have argued, profits should be distinguished from rents. “Profits” from the sale of goods or services in a free market are different from “rents” extracted from the public by monopolists in various kinds. Unlike profits, rents tend to be based on recurrent fees rather than sales to ever-changing consumers. …

As Robots take jobs, Europeans mull free money for all

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[Notice how opponents only think free money encourages laziness among the poor. *RON*]

John Leicester, Associated Press, 16 January 2017

PARIS (AP) -- I am, therefore I'm paid.

The radical notion that governments should hand out free money to everyone - rich and poor, those who work and those who don't - is slowly but surely gaining ground in Europe. Yes, you read that right: a guaranteed monthly living allowance, no strings attached.

In France, two of the seven candidates vying to represent the ruling Socialist Party in this year's presidential election are promising modest but regular stipends to all French adults. A limited test is already underway in Finland, with other experiments planned elsewhere, including in the United States.

Oxfam: Eight men are as rich as half the world

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["Obscene" for so much wealth to be in hands of so few, says charity director Winnie Byanyima. I've seen complaints about the methodology, but so what if 8 men are actually as rich as 46.37% of the world's population, not half? *RON*]

Source: AP news agency, Al Jazeera, 16 January 2017
The gap between the super-rich and the poorest half of the world's population is starker than previously thought, with just eight men, including Bill Gates and Michael Bloomberg, owning as much wealth as 3.6 billion people, according to an analysis by Oxfam released Monday.

RCMP investigation into alleged leaks prompts Canadian Forces vice-chief’s removal

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[I wonder if we'll ever hear the full details about this? Why specify a 'temporary' removal? I would say that Canada is, generally, more secretive about this kind of thing than the US. *RON*]

Robert Fife & Steven Chase, The Globe and Mail, 17 January 2017
An RCMP investigation into the leak of top-secret defence information led to the removal on Monday of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman from his duties as the Canadian military’s second-highest-ranking officer, sources have told The Globe and Mail.
A source said General Jonathan Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff, ordered the temporary relief of Vice-Adm. Norman’s command after an investigation of allegations that “pretty high-level secret documents” were leaked.

Abbotsford Police Investigate Racist KKK Flyers Sent To Coincide With Martin Luther King Jr. Day

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[Nothing new, sadly. We all remember the recent anti-Chinese flyers in Richmond. I remember KKK material being confiscated and burned at the border in the 1970s. And, of course, BC has a storied history of race riots, the Chinese head tax, the Komagata Maru incident, and on and on. *RON*]

Canadian Press / Huffington Post, 16 January 2017

ABBOTSFORD, B.C. — Police in Abbotsford, B.C., aren't sure if they're dealing with a growing white supremacist problem or if a few "small-minded'' people are behind the distribution of a pamphlet disparaging a holiday for Martin Luther King Jr. in the United States.

Here's how expensive British Columbia's cost of living has gotten under Christy Clark

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[BC ELECTION 2017!! "Society is like a stew. If you don't stir it up every once in a while then a layer of scum floats to the top." ― Edward Abbey. *RON*]

By Press Progress, 16 January 2017
This is what one of Canada's wealthiest provinces is supposed to look like?

According to a new report published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, wages are low and costs of living are high in Premier Christy Clark's British Columbia.

Although Clark's BC Liberal government tries to present a rosy picture, the picture painted by the report shows Clark balancing the books by slashing social services as working families struggle and poverty increases.