Tag Archives | Economy

Five Corporation-Crushing Disruptive Technologies That Will Empower the Masses

disruptive tech headerEveryone knows we are at the mercy of huge corporations in multitude of ways.  Just look at Big Oil.  We are wildly dependent on them as not only individuals, but as a nation and a world.  Though Exxon stands atop the global economic podium, the technology sector isn’t far behind.  Apple made nearly as much in profits in 2012’s fourth quarter as Exxon (a ridiculous $8.2 billion).  Let’s bring that number down to Earth a bit.  Americans are spending an average of $444 per household per year on Apple products alone.  For further evidence, just look around your living room, or better yet, consider the origin of the screen you’re currently staring at.  Chances are, one swollen oligopoly or another made all the pieces of technology you’ve surveyed in the last few seconds.

However, chinks in the armor of these untouchable behemoths are beginning to take shape, leading some, like MIT’s Neil Gershenfeld to question the sustainability of today’s techno giants.… Read the rest

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Fake Store Fronts in Belfast to Boost Economy?


WeAreChange goes to Belfast see for themselves the way Northern Ireland has decided to handle the economic hardships in their neighborhoods. Through various cities, the Northern Irish government has spent around £2 million on plastering up photos of fake storefronts where businesses once operates. These have been here for over a year but governments in multiple other cities have decided to do the same to put up a false sense of a thriving economy for the G8. This is another example of governments attempting to mask the problems of recession since the bank bailouts instead of actually doing something about it.

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Why Stocks Have Risen: Stimulus, Stimulus, and Indefinite-Stimulus, i.e., Transfer of Wealth from Main Street to Wall Street

via chycho
wealth_distribution

Since bottoming out at an intra-day low of 6,467 on March 6, 2009, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DOW) has risen to 15,295 as of May 23, 2013 – a gain of approximately 130% in just over 4 years. The S&P 500 has shown similar results, advancing from an intra-day low of 666 to 1,650 for the same period, a gain of approximately 125%. Stellar returns.

As to why the markets have risen at historic rates during times of austerity economics? The answer is simple, it’s due to quantitative easing (QE) began by centralized banks after the market crash of 2008 – “fundamentally a regressive redistribution program that has been boosting wealth for those already engaged in the financial sector or those who already own homes, but passing little along to the rest of the economy.”

The amount of stimulus used varies depending on your definition of stimulus, so we won’t bother keeping tabs on the trillions that have been dumped into the markets in the last 4 years.

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How Capitalism Creates the Welfare State

Andrew Sullivan writes:

The two concepts are usually seen in complete opposition in our political discourse. The more capitalism and wealth, the familiar argument goes, the better able we are to do without a safety net for the poor, elderly, sick and young. And that’s true so far as it goes. What it doesn’t get at is that the forces that free market capitalism unleashes are precisely the forces that undermine traditional forms of community and family that once served as a traditional safety net, free from government control. In the West, it happened slowly – with the welfare state emerging in 19th century Germany and spreading elsewhere, as individuals uprooted themselves from their home towns and forged new careers, lives and families in the big cities, with all the broken homes, deserted villages, and bewildered families they left behind. But in South Korea, the shift has been so sudden and so incomplete that you see just how powerfully anti-family capitalism can be:

[The] nation’s runaway economic success … has worn away at the Confucian social contract that formed the bedrock of Korean culture for centuries.

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Context For the Ongoing Apocalypse

P.s. I <3 Ü

As the world feverishly decodes clues the Illuminated Ones left us on Superbowl Sunday, one cannot help but think there is a bit of context missing from the conversation. Certainly duality was a major theme. And when you think of duality in the context of one of the WORLD’S most indulgent capitalist pageants you can’t help but think of porn! Clearly the Illuminati are sexual creatures as evident in pop culture and their rituals. But what is their end game? World domination cannot sustain itself—too many variables to contend with. If the Illuminati are half as smart as they’re made out to be they would already know this.

Clearly a major paradigm shift is coming where the roles of society are turned inside out, “flipped”, as it were. We look behind the curtain and find not an old white guy but a mirror. Some would rather smash the mirror than go inside, but like a liquid metal terminator, the mirror i always reverts back to its original form and we are faced with only ourselves when we confront authority.… Read the rest

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Homeowners Foreclose On Negligent Banks

Via CNN, in areas of the United States hit hardest by foreclosure, turning the tables on banks who turn deadbeat after repossessing homes:

Since the housing bubble burst in Florida five years ago, more than 400,000 borrowers have had their homes foreclosed on by their lenders. But for some, it’s payback time.

Hundreds of homeowners and condo associations are foreclosing on banks that have failed to pay dues and other expenses on the properties they’ve repossessed. When banks foreclose on a home they become responsible for paying fees to the homeowners association — both any unpaid fees going back as far as 12 months and all expenses going forward. In many cases, however, banks are failing to pay, leaving these associations short on cash, according to Miami-based attorney Ben Solomon. Now, homeowners groups are putting liens on the properties until banks pay up and foreclosing on them if they don’t.

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Want Less Inequality? Tax It

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British economist Arthur C. Pigou, friend and contemporary of beloved John Maynard Keynes, eventually not only came around to the Keynesian logic, but also expanded on the common-sense philosophy to promote social balance and checks with the gentle, invisible hand of the Public. By incentivizing what benefits the downtrodden (perhaps with subsidies) and disincentivizing poor practices (by taxing rampant, unregulated profits), a more reasonable parity between the classes could be reached, stimulating economic growth and benefiting everyone.

This doesn’t have to be a ‘redistributive’ scheme that pits neoconservatives against progressives. Indeed, such a rational, gradated, and bracketed system makes sense to anyone who believes in the American traditions of pragmatism, equality, openness, innovation and opportunity.

Via the American Prospect by Liam C. Malloy and John Case

But the conventional strategy for fighting inequality—far higher taxes on the rich—usually rests on a foundation of fairness, and the question of what’s fair and what’s unfair turns out to cut different ways, depending on your point of view.

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Precedent Set: $5 a Gallon Gasoline Leads to Easing of Environmental Regulations for Refineries in California

via chycho

Gasoline closing in on a record $5 a gallon prompted Governor Jerry Brown to direct California regulators to relax smog controls so oil refineries could increase supplies of cheaper fuel… [granting] refineries permission to make an early shift to winter-blend gasoline, typically not sold until after Oct. 31.”

Some have cited problems at refineries for the spike in fuel costs, some have put the blame on a short squeeze, some have suggested that policies and regulations that “insist refiners produce a specific blend of gas to meet tough state air quality standards” are the culprit, while others have been warning us for years of pending higher fuel costs due to peak oil.

Speculation, however, as to the causes of the price spike are a moot point. What matters is the admission by our representatives in government that our current economic system cannot support high oil prices, and that the environment and our health will be sacrificed to keep the machine churning.

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