Tag Archives: Democracy

Democracy is Bad for Business

Democracy is Bad for Business
A story that has gotten weirdly little play in the US (I can’t speak for the UK press or the press in other countries) is the pushback by the ‘Big Four’ accountancy firms against the democracy movement in Hong Kong. On July 1, over 100,000 people marched in protest against Chinese plans to curtail democracy in Hong Kong. But the Big Four had not only made it clear that they didn’t like the protests – they had threatened that business would ... Read more

How capital captured politics

How capital captured politics
In June, WikiLeaks made public the secret draft text of the agreement. It covers 50 countries and most of the world's trade in services. It sets rules that would assist the expansion of financial multinationals into other nations by preventing regulatory barriers. It prohibits more regulation of financial services, despite the fact that the 2007-08 financial meltdown is generally perceived as resulting from a lack of regulation. Furthermore, ... Read more

They Can’t Represent Us: a riveting defense of democracy

They Can’t Represent Us: a riveting defense of democracy
A lot of ink has already been spilled on last month’s European elections. Most commentators lament the rise of the far-right; some celebrate the rise of the radical left — but almost everyone has focused their attention on the rearrangement of the deck chairs, missing the grumbling sounds of discontent emanating from below, deep down in the bowels of the ship. As it turns out, only 43% of eligible Europeans actually showed up to vote; the ... Read more

Toward the Total Paralysis of an Unequal Society

Toward the Total Paralysis of an Unequal Society
The severing of our society into a plutocracy and a peasantry is so far along that statistics almost cease to have meaning. But the facts have to be told, to help explain the sickening sense that we're becoming a nation without a middle class, paralyzed by the inequality deniers and excuse makers who refuse to admit there's something wrong with their free-market capitalist system. The extremes are becoming almost intolerable. Read more

The Merits of Participatory Budgeting

The Merits of Participatory Budgeting
For many Americans, government just isn’t working. In 2013, government dysfunction surpassed the economy as the top identified U.S. problem. A recent survey found that nearly 6 out of 10 Americans rate the health of our democracy as weak — and unlikely to get better anytime soon. But in small corners throughout the United States, democratic innovations are creating new opportunities for citizens to be a part of governance. Collectively known ... Read more

Economics is too important to leave to the experts

Economics is too important to leave to the experts
Indeed, willingness to challenge professional economists and other experts is a foundation stone of democracy. If all we have to do is to listen to the experts, what is the point of having democracy? What this means is that, as citizens in a democracy, all of us have the duty to learn at least some economics and engage in economic debates. This is not as difficult as it may seem. Read more

Government Is Now a Protection Racket for the 1%

Government Is Now a Protection Racket for the 1%
A new report shows that top CEOs were paid 331 times more than the average US worker in 2013. At the same time, the poorest fifth of Americans paid an average tax rate of 11 percent while the richest one percent contributed half that rate at state and local levels. In this essay, Bill Moyers reflects on the forces that are causing inequality to skyrocket, why it matters and where we’re headed in the future. Read more

New study finds US to be ruled by oligarchic elite

New study finds US to be ruled by oligarchic elite
The way we perceive business power and define the capitalist state will inevitably have serious implications for our political strategies. The danger with empirical studies that narrowly emphasize the role of elites at the expense of the deeper structural sources of capitalist power is that they will end up reinforcing the illusion that simply replacing the elites and “taking money out of politics” would be sufficient to restore democracy to ... Read more

McCutcheon, and the Vicious Cycle of Concentrated Wealth and Political Power

McCutcheon, and the Vicious Cycle of Concentrated Wealth and Political Power
If wealth and income weren’t already so concentrated in the hands of a few, the shameful “McCutcheon” decision by the five Republican appointees to the Supreme Court wouldn’t be as dangerous. But by taking “Citizen’s United” one step further and effectively eviscerating campaign finance laws, the Court has issued an invitation to oligarchy. Almost limitless political donations coupled with America’s dramatically widening inequality ... Read more

The Supreme Court Just Struck Down Democracy. What Now?

The Supreme Court Just Struck Down Democracy. What Now?
"Maybe we should come back tomorrow and try this," I thought. Sitting in the inner sanctum of America's highest court, in a chamber never before made visible to the world in video or even color photographs, I struggled to summon the courage to do what I had come to: stand and interrupt the supreme court. Read more