VOTE YOUR INCUMBENT OUT OF OFFICE AND RUN AND VOTE FOR LABOR AND JUSTICE!!!!
Getting back to Zeitgeist the Global Movement sponsored by DAVOS and the 1%, I wanted to look more closely at a few of these organizations I support in principle but have no trust as regards capture by Wall Street. They have taken good projects and they will make the outcome negative in the long-run. The Baltimore Time Bank is an old program from the 1960s that is co-op and grassroots. There is no problem with time-sharing work in exchange for credits towards future work done for you. Go grocery shopping for the elderly and later have someone help you till a small garden all with no money. This is what poor societies all around the world do to survive and it is why DAVOS wants to model it here in the US.....it's that wealth inequity you know that they expect to be ever larger in a few decades. In the 1960s we thought this idea was great as a system for people wanting to leave the capitalist machine. What we never thought is that the entire economy should be based on this alternate economy. People had the choice of career vs co-op. WHAT DAVOS INTENDS IS NOT CHOICE BUT NECESSITY AS THE LOW-INCOME PEOPLE EXIST OUTSIDE THE ECONOMY FOR THE AFFLUENT. Who will be included in this system? Remember, in developing countries doctors, lawyers, teachers all live at subsistence and see those meager wages come and go at will so they would be living within this co-op system. What we call the shareholder/Administrative class of the 5% would be apart of the regular economy. THIS IS REAL-TIME THIRD WORLD LIVING IN THE USA.
I did want to say that I really believe Baltimore Time Bank intends on addressing many of these larger concerns. The gentleman behind the movement seems to still have the 1960s mindset of justice behind this project and indeed it can offer justice. What we will be watching and shouting against is the systematic marginalization of the working-class into having no choice but to live in this system that will assure they remain in poverty.
You can look at the changes they are instating now to see the structural changes. Suspension of Rule of Law is a must as all rights are being curtailed and the movement of money to the top by massive fraud created the wealth vacuum that allows these politicians to do as they please. So, health care as health clinic and education as vocational training systems attached to businesses fits that model. Trade agreements that eliminate quality of life issues surrounding work and environment do that as well. If Microsoft and Apple are bringing their manufacturing back to the US because working in China is too hostile, where will all that toxic waste generated by computer building go? How would they have employees working with this toxic material with current workplace protections? The answer is .....they simply get rid of the protections and make people work with it just as they did Chinese labor earning not much more than those peasant workers. You already see these labor conditions in the South with Right To Work states. THE ZEITGEIST MOVEMENT IS TAKING WHAT WOULD BE ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATIVE LIFESTYLES AND MAKING THESE THE ONLY CHOICE FOR MOST AMERICANS. Impoverishment means no ownership and that means Tool Sharing Libraries, Car Sharing programs, and even work-sharing for needed assistance. All of this is being built because social services/social safety nets will disappear and policing and prisons will make access to help from 'the system' impossible. SOUND LIKE THE DREAM REPUBLICAN SOCIETY? YOU BETCHA. WHY ARE DEMOCRATS DOING IT? THEY AREN'T DEMOCRATS THEY ARE THIRD WAY CORPORATE POLITICIANS THAT ARE REAGAN REPUBLICANS RUNNING AS DEMOCRATS.
THEY WORK FOR WEALTH AND PROFIT!!
Why can we no longer have a system of strong wages and benefits that allow people to live a middle-class lifestyle and strong social safety nets that keep the poor and elderly with a first world quality of life? THE LOSS OF CORPORATE TAX AND TAX ON THE RICH MEANS NO TAX REVENUE TO SUPPORT THESE SOCIETAL MODELS. Without retrieving that tens of trillions in corporate fraud and the wealth at the top.....no tax base will be generated. This is the same society as with the middle-ages where the lower-class paid taxes to profit the rich......WHICH IS WHAT IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW!!!!
DO YOU WANT YOUR GRANDCHILDREN LIVING A MEDIEVAL LIFE? JUST RUN AND VOTE FOR LABOR AND JUSTICE CANDIDATES NEXT ELECTIONS AND WE WILL REVERSE ALL OF THIS. MAKE THESE KINDS OF LIFESTYLES ABOUT CHOICE AND NOT NECESSITY!!
Below you see a charismatic speaker and I agreed with just about everything he said. Here's the problem the GetMoneyOut Movement....it places a lot of activism on something that is a lesser issue than the elephant in the room.....THESE POLS ARE IGNORING THE CONSTITUTION ALREADY....WHAT DOES AMENDING THE CONSTITUTION DO WITH A CROWD THAT IGNORES IT?
They are right to say that having this in place will be a good thing. My problem is that the first priority needs to be getting politicians with integrity in office, especially as State Attorney General is VITAL.....IT IS VITAL FOR ANY OF THIS TO WORK.
Yet none of that was spoken of until I broached the question. You know who started GetMoneyOut Movement? Third Way corporate politicians like Cummings, Cardin, and Sarbanes .....the very pols that broke the Glass-Steagall Wall creating these mega-corporations and knowing they would rule.
Is it good activism to tie people to this issue as opposed to the one that will make real change.....VOTING YOUR INCUMBENT OUT OF OFFICE???? Although he failed to include the Pacific Rim Trade Agreement that completely nullifies anything GetMoneyOut will do, he was very vocal about the dangers of this trade agreement when I brought it forward. Most organizations that are captured will not address it at all!!!
ANY ACTIVISM IS WELCOME AT THIS POINT AND DAVID IS A PASSIONATE SPEAKER!
Tuesday March 12th, 2013, 6:30 - 8:30 pm
‘Creating Democracy &
Challenging Corporate Rule’
Nationally known orator David Cobb brings his ‘Barnstormers Tour’ to Baltimore for the first time: a history lesson and inspiring call to action. A leader and spokesperson of Move To Amend, a national coalition calling for a constitutional amendment to abolish “Corporate Personhood,” he explains how to use ‘ALL the tools in the toolbox’ to effect systemic change.
Tuesday, March 12th, 6:30 – 8:30 pm. First Unitarian Church of Baltimore, 12 W. Franklin St., on the corner of Franklin & Charles Streets, Free of Charge, free street parking, or $4 parking lot across the street.
A graduate of the University of Houston Law School, David Cobb has sued corporate polluters, has been arrested for civil disobedience, and ran for Texas Attorney General pledging to revoke charters of law-breaking corporations. He ran for President of the United States in 2004 on the Green Party ticket, and now serves as the National Projects Director of Democracy Unlimited. Sponsored by www.GetMoneyOutMD.org and the Baltimore MoveOn.org Council. View the flier.
WHEN I MENTIONED THE BALTIMORE PRIVATE NON-PROFIT INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX AND ASKED IF THEY WOULD BE APART OF THIS COMMUNITY CAPTURE I WAS TOLD THEY KNEW OF THE CAPTURE AND THEY WOULD NOT ORGANIZE IN THAT WAY.........WE WILL WATCH TO SEE. IT'S HARD TO DO IN AN ENVIRONMENT WHERE THE POWERS MAKE CAPTURE A MUST!!
WE WILL LOOK AT THE COLLECTIVE STRUCTURE TO SEE IF INDEED IT IS INCLUSIVE AND NOT TOP-HEAVY WITH COLLEGE VISTAS, NOT COMMUNITY MEMBERS!!
The motto below is tied to Baltimore Time Bank. I like this idea of a non-profit without cash. Remember before the professional non-profits these organizations had maybe a paid, elected Director and the community volunteered at all levels. The professional non-profits have an appointed head with a layer of college-VISTAs that are taxpayer/grant supported whose only duty is the leadership rolls. No community people at the top. THIS IS DONE SO COMMUNITIES CANNOT BUILD LEADERSHIP AND ORGANIZE....IT IS DELIBERATE!!!
Nonprofits Helping organizations to meet their needs... without cash!
The Baltimore Time Bank is a creative resource-sharing model for the Baltimore area.
We are a local organization committed to provide a well-crafted alternative currency system for the Baltimore Area. Here you will find all the necessary information about Time Banking as an “off-the-grid” resource sharing model, what the Baltimore Time Bank is doing for the local community, and how to become a partner. We look forward to your creative input.
Video courtesy of the Columbia Association
Who Can Join:
Anyone and everyone is encouraged to join; from individuals and families, to small businesses and companies. The larger the pool of partners and resources, the more possibilities we have as a community. One of the greatest aspects of Time Banking is the opportunity to provide or receive services that are normally difficult to market in a formal monetary system. Everything from mothering advice to a simple ride to the airport becomes a potential service you can purchase with your Time Credits.
What Are the Benefits:
The Baltimore Time Bank is a community resource. The philosophy behind time banking is based on the notion of community sharing and human interaction. An elderly person, who knows how to bake wonderful cakes, can easily connect with a college student who is willing to do some housework. We will get you started with 5 FREE HOURS of time debt that you can use for any services.
Apart from fostering community development Time Banking allows neighborhoods to become less and less dependent on national and world economies. Time credits are not affected by inflation rates or world markets, and are always backed by a group of people whom you know and trust. Self-sufficiency is the best assurance of stability.
Where Time Banking Can Take Us:
Our unlimited imagination is the limit. As numerous individuals, agencies and organizations join the local Time Bank the opportunities available to them and their communities will multiply. The Baltimore Time Bank is a collective project and everyone is encouraged to share their ideas, skills and time.
Now, if you notice the timing of the founding of this movement at 2008......right at the time of the financial collapse and the peaking of wealth inequity you can see it isn't the spontaneous global organization it wants you to think it is, it is DAVOS....the 1%. Is it bad to rethink societal structure? NO. Is it bad to steal tens of trillions of dollars from the world's economy to create massive wealth inequity and then introduce a societal structural change to handle the resulting massive impoverishment of formerly first world country citizens? YES!!!
That is what is happening here folks and it is creepy. Choices are different than necessities caused by fascism!!
Founded in 2008, The Zeitgeist Movement is a Sustainability Advocacy Organization which conducts community based activism and awareness actions through a network of Global/Regional Chapters, Project Teams, Annual Events, Media and Charity Work.
The Movement's principle focus includes the recognition that the majority of the social problems which plague the human species at this time are not the sole result of some institutional corruption, scarcity, a political policy, a flaw of "human nature" or other commonly held assumptions of causality.
Rather, The Movement recognizes that issues such as poverty, corruption, collapse, homelessness, war, starvation and the like appear to be "Symptoms" born out of an outdated social structure. While intermediate Reform steps and temporal Community Support are of interest to The Movement, the defining goal here is the installation of a new socioeconomic model based upon technically responsible Resource Management, Allocation and Distribution through what would be considered The Scientific Method of reasoning problems and finding optimized solutions.
This "Natural Law/Resource-Based Economy" is about taking a direct technical approach to social management as opposed to a Monetary or even Political one. It is about updating the workings of society to the most advanced and proven methods Science has to offer, leaving behind the damaging consequences and limiting inhibitions which are generated by our current system of monetary exchange, profits, corporations and other structural and motivational components.
The Movement is loyal to a train of thought, not figures or institutions. In other words, the view held is that through the use of socially targeted research and tested understandings in Science and Technology, we are now able to logically arrive at societal applications which could be profoundly more effective in meeting the needs of the human population. In fact, so much so, that there is little reason to assume war, poverty, most crimes and many other money-based scarcity effects common in our current model cannot be resolved over time.
The range of The Movement's Activism & Awareness Campaigns extend from short to long term, with the model based explicitly on Non-Violent methods of communication. The long term view, which is the transition into a new social system, is a constant pursuit and expression, as stated before. However, in the path to get there, The Movement also recognizes the need for transitional Reform techniques, along with direct Community Support.
For instance, while "Monetary Reform" itself is not an end solution proposed by The Movement, the merit of such legislative approaches are still considered valid in the context of transition and temporal integrity. Likewise, while food and clothes drives and other supportive projects to help those in need today are also not considered a long term solution, it is still considered valid in the context of helping others in a time of need, while also drawing awareness to the principle goal.
The Zeitgeist Movement also has no allegiance to a country or traditional political platforms. It views the world as a single system and the human species as a single family and recognizes that all countries must disarm and learn to share resources and ideas if we expect to survive in the long run. Hence, the solutions arrived at and promoted are in the interest to help everyone on the planet Earth.
Let's be clear......what this Zeitgeist Movement does is prepare people to live sustainably for what the 1% predict will be third world poverty for most. What the people want is a return to first world quality of life with individuals choosing how they can contribute to environmental sustainability. Remember, it is more the person than the corporation who can adapt to sustainable living. These programs are an extension of US development strategy implemented for years in developing worlds.
What a first world democracy knows is that the people and the economy functions best when the wealth inequity is addressed and less when society is modeled for institutionalized inequity. The American people want to return to that domestic economy that places consumption in the hands of Americans and not overseas.
THESE GUYS ARE NOT ENVISIONING COHESIVENESS, THEY ARE ENVISIONING HOW PEOPLE WILL LIVE WITHOUT.
All Will Benefit If More Are Secure
Jacob S. Hacker is a professor of political science at Yale University and co-author of "Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer—And Turned Its Back on the Middle Class." Nathaniel Loewentheil is a third-year student at Yale Law School and a founder of the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network.
Updated October 19, 2012, 10:20 AM
In the wake of the financial crisis, an increasing number of thoughtful analysts are arguing that inequality threatens growth. Yet the biggest effects of rising inequality are probably not on growth itself, but on the ability of growth to translate into rising living standards, opportunity and security for the broad middle class.
And the most likely reason for these negative effects is that rising inequality distorts our politics — leading to weaker representation for the middle class and increased gridlock — so that sensible policy choices are more difficult.
Economic inequality creates political inequality, making it harder to increase middle-class living standards, security, opportunity and, yes, growth.
Let’s start with the facts. Over the last generation, less equal countries like the U.S. do not seem to have grown consistently faster. If rising inequality doesn’t lead to higher growth, then, by definition, it lowers middle-class income gains. In the United States, overall productivity has grown relatively strongly. The rewards of this growth, however, have gone mostly to the top.
Yet even this understates the problem. In addition to income growth, Americans also care about opportunity and security. And both have stalled or declined despite growing productivity. Long-term upward mobility has stagnated as inequality has grown. Intergenerational mobility — how kids do relative to their parents — is lower in the United States than in almost any other rich nation.
At the same time, economic security has eroded. Private health insurance is less common, income instability has risen, people’s private safety net of wealth has been decimated, and Americans are less well prepared for retirement.
These are not insoluble problems, and recent research and historical experience strongly indicate that tackling them would accelerate, not hinder, overall growth. As we have argued in a recent report titled, “Prosperity Economics,” such win-win policies include immediate investments in productive physical capital like infrastructure (which would put people back to work and increase future growth) as well long-term investment in pre-K and college education.
They would also include measures to tackle health costs and give workers (particularly in low-wage sectors) greater bargaining power and more professionalized career paths. And they would require a serious assault on special deals for industries like the financial and energy sectors that impose risks and costs onto our society for which they don’t have to pay.
The problem of course is the politics, and here we come to most fundamental means by which rising inequality has affected the economic lives of most Americans — for the worse.
As growing inequality has translated into rising political inequality, it has been harder and harder to act on sensible prescriptions that would increase middle-class living standards, security and opportunity, as well as overall economic growth. Ensuring that today’s economic winners don’t dominate our political process may be the most important way to improve the quality of economic life for all Americans.
THESE PEOPLE ARE NOT WORKING FOR A GOOD CAUSE....THEY ARE NOT LOOKING FOR SUSTAINABILITY IN THE ENVIRONMENTAL SENSE. DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH DAMAGE TO THE ENVIRONMENT BUSINESSES DO THAT RUN COMPLETELY BY PROFIT-DRIVEN MODELS? ENVIRONMENTAL LAW HAS ALL BUT DISAPPEARED. SO SUSTAINABLE IN REGARDS TO THE ECONOMY IS THE SAME AS AFFORDABLE IS TO HEALTH CARE......WHAT ALLOWS THE MOST PROFIT FROM THE LEAST COST......
American Kleptocracy How fears of socialism and fascism hide naked theft.—By William Astore
| Tue Apr. 20, 2010 1:47 PM PDT5
This story first appeared on the TomDispatch website.
Kleptocracy— now, there's a word I was taught to associate with corrupt and exploitative governments that steal ruthlessly and relentlessly from the people. It's a word, in fact, that's usually applied to flawed or failed governments in Africa, Latin America, or the nether regions of Asia. Such governments are typically led by autocratic strong men who shower themselves and their cronies with all the fruits of extracted wealth, whether stolen from the people or squeezed from their country's natural resources. It's not a word you're likely to see associated with a mature republic like the United States led by disinterested public servants and regulated by more-or-less transparent principles and processes.
In fact, when Americans today wish to critique or condemn their government, the typical epithets used are "socialism" or "fascism." When my conservative friends are upset, they send me emails with links to material about "ObamaCare" and the like. These generally warn of a future socialist takeover of the private realm by an intrusive, power-hungry government. When my progressive friends are upset, they send me emails with links pointing to an incipient fascist takeover of our public and private realms, led by that same intrusive, power-hungry government (and, I admit it, I'm hardly innocent when it comes to such "what if" scenarios).
What if, however, instead of looking at where our government might be headed, we took a closer look at where we are -- at the power-brokers who run or influence our government, at those who are profiting and prospering from it? These are, after all, the "winners" in our American world in terms of the power they wield and the wealth they acquire. And shouldn't we be looking as well at those Americans who are losing—their jobs, their money, their homes, their healthcare, their access to a better way of life—and asking why?
If we were to take an honest look at America's blasted landscape of "losers" and the far shinier, spiffier world of "winners," we'd have to admit that it wasn't signs of onrushing socialism or fascism that stood out, but of staggeringly self-aggrandizing greed and theft right in the here and now. We'd notice our public coffers being emptied to benefit major corporations and financial institutions working in close alliance with, and passing on remarkable sums of money to, the representatives of "the people." We'd see, in a word, kleptocracy on a scale to dazzle. We would suddenly see an almost magical disappearing act being performed, largely without comment, right before our eyes.
Of Red Herrings and Missing Pallets of Money
Think of socialism and fascism as the red herrings of this moment or, if you're an old time movie fan, as Hitchcockian MacGuffins—in other words, riveting distractions. Conservatives and tea partiers fear invasive government regulation and excessive taxation, while railing against government takeovers—even as corporate lobbyists write our public healthcare bills to favor private interests. Similarly, progressives rail against an emergent proto-fascist corps of private guns-for-hire, warrantless wiretapping, and the potential government-approved assassination of U.S. citizens, all sanctioned by a perpetual, and apparently open-ended, state of war.
Yet, if this is socialism, why are private health insurers the government's go-to guys for healthcare coverage? If this is fascism, why haven't the secret police rounded up tea partiers and progressive critics as well and sent them to the lager or the gulag?
Consider this: America is not now, nor has it often been, a hotbed of political radicalism. We have no substantial socialist or workers' party. (Unless you're deluded, please don't count the corporate-friendly "Democrat" party here.) We have no substantial fascist party. (Unless you're deluded, please don't count the cartoonish "tea partiers" here; these predominantly white, graying, and fairly affluent Americans seem most worried that the jackbooted thugs will be coming for them.)
What drives America today is, in fact, business—just as was true in the days of Calvin Coolidge. But it's not the fair-minded "free enterprise" system touted in those freshly revised Texas guidelines for American history textbooks; rather, it's a rigged system of crony capitalism that increasingly ends in what, if we were looking at some other country, we would recognize as an unabashed kleptocracy.
Recall, if you care to, those pallets stacked with hundreds of millions of dollars that the Bush administration sent to Iraq and which, Houdini-like, simply disappeared. Think of the ever-rising cost of our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, now in excess of a trillion dollars, and just whose pockets are full, thanks to them.
If you want to know the true state of our government and where it's heading, follow the money (if you can) and remain vigilant: our kleptocratic Houdinis are hard at work, seeking to make yet more money vanish from your pockets—and reappear in theirs.
From Each According to His Gullibility—To Each According to His Greed
Never has the old adage my father used to repeat to me—"the rich get richer and the poor poorer"—seemed fresher or truer. If you want confirmation of just where we are today, for instance, consider this passage from a recent piece by Tony Judt:
In 2005, 21.2 percent of U.S. national income accrued to just 1 percent of earners. Contrast 1968, when the CEO of General Motors took home, in pay and benefits, about sixty-six times the amount paid to a typical GM worker. Today the CEO of Wal-Mart earns nine hundred times the wages of his average employee. Indeed, the wealth of the Wal-Mart founder's family in 2005 was estimated at about the same ($90 billion) as that of the bottom 40 percent of the U.S. population: 120 million people.
Wealth concentration is only one aspect of our increasingly kleptocratic system. War profiteering by corporations (however well disguised as heartfelt support for our heroic warfighters) is another. Meanwhile, retired senior military officers typically line up to cash in on the kleptocratic equivalent of welfare, peddling their "expertise" in return for impressive corporate and Pentagon payouts that supplement their six-figure pensions. Even that putative champion of the Carhartt-wearing common folk, Sarah Palin, pocketed a cool $12 million last year without putting the slightest dent in her populist bona fides.
Based on such stories, now legion, perhaps we should rewrite George Orwell's famous tagline from Animal Farm as: All animals are equal, but a few are so much more equal than others.
And who are those "more equal" citizens? Certainly, major corporations, which now enjoy a kind of political citizenship and the largesse of a federal government eager to rescue them from their financial mistakes, especially when they're judged "too big to fail." In raiding the U.S. Treasury, big banks and investment firms, shamelessly ready to jack up executive pay and bonuses even after accepting billions in taxpayer-funded bailouts, arguably outgun militarized multinationals in the conquest of the public realm and the extraction of our wealth for their benefit.
Such kleptocratic outfits are, of course, abetted by thousands of lobbyists and by politicians who thrive off corporate campaign contributions. Indeed, many of our more prominent public servants have proved expert at spinning through the revolving door into the private sector. Even ex-politicians who prefer to be seen as sympathetic to the little guy like former House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt eagerly cash in.
I'm Shocked, Shocked, to Find Profiteering Going on Here
An old Roman maxim enjoins us to "let justice be done, though the heavens fall." Within our kleptocracy, the prevailing attitude is an insouciant "We'll get ours, though the heavens fall." This mindset marks the decline of our polity. A spirit of shared sacrifice, dismissed as hopelessly naïve, has been replaced by a form of tribalized privatization in which insiders find ways to profit no matter what.
Is it any surprise then that, in seeking to export our form of government to Iraq and Afghanistan, we've produced not two model democracies, but two emerging kleptocracies, fueled respectively by oil and opium?
When we confront corruption in Iraq or Afghanistan, are we not like the police chief in the classic movie Casablanca who is shocked, shocked to find gambling going on at Rick's Café, even as he accepts his winnings?
Why then do we bother to feign shock when Iraqi and Afghan elites, a tiny minority, seek to enrich themselves at the expense of the majority?
Shouldn't we be flattered? Imitation, after all, is the sincerest form of flattery. Isn't it?
William J. Astore is a TomDispatch regular; he teaches History at the Pennsylvania College of Technology and served in the Air Force for 20 years, retiring as a lieutenant colonel. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.