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Global Inequality

Rutger Bregman: Wealth isn’t created at the top; it’s only devoured there

Now, we may disagree about the extent to which success deserves to be rewarded–but virtually all agree that wealth is created primarily at the top. In reality, it is precisely the other way around. This is one of the biggest taboos of our times– the truth that we are living in an inverse welfare state.

Herman Daly: Thoughts on Pope Francis’ Laudato Si

The pioneering American economist who helped found the discipline of Ecological Economics, and presently a leading theorist of ‘steady-state economics’, muses on Pope Francis’ ground-breaking encyclical on environment and justice. “At a minimum, he’s given us a more truthful, informed, and courageous analysis of the environmental and moral crisis than have our secular political leaders.”

Amitav Ghosh: What nutmeg can tell us about globalisation

From The New York Times: …It is impossible to imagine a world without global connections: They have always existed, and no place has escaped their formative influence. But this does not mean that there is any inherent merit in interconnectedness, which has always been accompanied by violence, deepening inequalities and the large-scale destruction of communities.

Stephen Hawking: This is the most dangerous time for our planet

We face awesome global environmental challenges. Climate change, food production, overpopulation, the decimation of other species, epidemic disease, acidification of the oceans. Together, they are a reminder that we are at the most dangerous moment in the development of humanity… Now, more than at any time in our history, our species needs to work together.

The richest 1% of Indians now own 58.4% of the country’s wealth

Live Mint reports: The richest 1% of Indians now own 58.4% of the country’s wealth, according to the latest data on global wealth from Switzerland based Credit Suisse Group AG. In the last two years, the share of the top 1% has increased at a cracking pace, from 49% in 2014 to 58.4% in 2016.

A Banquet of Consequences: A compelling critique of all that is wrong with the world economy

The essential argument of Satyajit Das’ new book is: “The 2008 crisis showed that perpetual growth is an illusion. It exposed the high debt levels, credit-driven consumption, global imbalances and excessive financialisation that underpinned an unsustainable economic model, coinciding with an emerging scarcity of energy, food and water, and increasing evidence of climate change impact.”

Satyajit Das: Eight triggers for a new financial crisis

Investment banker turned author Satyajit Das writes: There are a number of potential triggers to a new crisis, but it will not be a single factor but an unexpected concatenation of events that result in a financial crisis. With existing political elites seen as captured by the wealthy elite, electorates are turning to political extremes.

Reform is not enough to stem the rising tide of inequality worldwide

William Robinson writes: The celebrated economist Thomas Piketty has argued for a global tax on capital and redistribution through tax reform. This reformist approach to global inequality is entirely inadequate because it bypasses the questions of power and of corporate control over the planet’s productive resources that are at the very heart of global capitalism and its crisis.

Study: Climate change takes from the poor, gives to the rich

A new study finds that climate change is triggering a massive reallocation of resources to the world’s wealthiest countries. Fish and other important resources are moving toward the Earth’s poles as the climate warms, and wealth is moving with them, according to a new paper by scientists at Rutgers, Princeton, Yale, and Arizona State universities.

The Panama Papers: Consequences of centralised money and power

Charles Hugh Smith writes: If we don’t change the way money is created and distributed, we will never change anything. The Panama Papers offer damning proof of this: increasing concentrations of wealth and power free of constraint (like taxes) is not just the consequence of centralized money and state power, but its only possible output.

Global capitalism is facing three tipping points

In this article, Sagar Dhara examines Capitalism’s crucial tipping points: The first, the impending energy and natural resource crisis, related to the sourcing of raw materials. The second, inequality, related to the production of goods and services. The third, global warming, which is related to greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) in excess of the earth’s sink capacity.

Bookshelf: Failed – What the “experts” got wrong about the global economy

Author Mark Weisbrot says: “Behind almost every prolonged economic malfeasance there is some combination of outworn bad ideas, incompetence and the malign influence of powerful special interests”. Unfortunately, such nightmares are repeated in other places because even if the lessons are learned, they are not taken to heart, by “the people who call the shots”.

New Book: Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus

Douglas Rushkoff writes: We’ve to stop looking at our economy as a broken system, but one that’s working absolutely true to its original design. We are not witnessing capitalism gone wrong — an egalitarian currency system corrupted by greedy bankers — but, rather, capitalism doing exactly what it was programmed to do from the beginning.

The world’s wealthiest few can fund an energy revolution

The personal fortunes of just 782 of the world’s wealthiest people could power half the world—Africa, Latin America, and “most of Asia”—with 100 percent renewable energy within 15 years, according to a new Friends of the Earth report. Broken down by continent, it would take the wealth of just 53 rich people to power Africa.

World’s richest 10% produce half of global carbon emissions

The richest 10% of people produce half of Earth’s climate-harming fossil-fuel emissions, while the poorest half contribute a mere 10%, British charity Oxfam said in a report released Wednesday. “Rich, high emitters should be held accountable for their emissions, no matter where they live,” Oxfam climate policy head, Tim Gore, said in a recent statement.

Book: The Secure and the Dispossessed

(Note: This new book asks, and attempts to answer, the crucial question: What if government and corporate elites have given up on stopping climate change and prefer to try to manage its consequences instead?) The Secure and the Dispossessed: How the Military and Corporations Are Shaping a Climate-Changed World  Edited by Nick Buxton and Ben

Pope Francis’ Encyclical on Climate Change – Selected Excerpts

The Encyclical by Pope Francis is being hailed by environmentalists as the second coming. It’s hardly that, in my view. Nonetheless, I was struck within minutes of starting it, by the incisive and accurate commentary it offers on our true predicament. Here are some passages that resonated with me and that I found highly insightful. Manu

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