Tag Archives | Money
A group that could easily fit on a single subway car. Via the Guardian:
The extent to which so much global wealth has become corralled by a virtual handful of the so-called ‘global elite’ is exposed in a new report from Oxfam on Monday. It warned that those richest 85 people across the globe share a combined wealth of £1tn, as much as the poorest 3.5 billion of the world’s population.
The development charity fears this concentration of economic resources is threatening political stability and driving up social tensions.
The report found that over the past few decades, the rich have successfully wielded political influence to skew policies in their favor on issues ranging from financial deregulation, tax havens, to lower tax rates on high incomes and cuts in public services for the majority. Since the late 1970s, tax rates for the richest have fallen in 29 out of 30 countries for which data are available, said the report.
Are we on our way to a point at which being a millionaire will become virtually a prerequisite for pursuing any important political position? Via CNN:
For the first time ever, more than half of current members of Congress are millionaires, according to a new report from the non-profit Center for Responsive Politics.
Among the 534 current members of Congress, at least 268 had an average net worth of $1 million or more for 2012, the CRP said, citing disclosure forms filed last year.
CRP executive director Sheila Krumholz said the data reflect the reality that “in our electoral system, candidates need access to wealth to run financially viable campaigns, and the most successful fundraisers are politicians who swim in those circles to begin with.”
Yanis Varoufakis on Bitcoin and the fruitless dream of a de-politicised currency:
The Crash of 2008 has infused our societies with enormous scepticism on the role of the authorities, both government and Central Banks. It is quite natural that many dream of a currency that politicians, bankers and central bankers cannot manipulate; a currency of the people by the people for the people. While it is true that local communities have, in the past, generated successful communitarian currencies (that enabled them to improve welfare in their midst, especially at a time of acute economic crises), there can be no de-politicised currency capable of ‘powering’ an advanced, industrial society.
Since the second industrial revolution made possible the emergence of large, networked oligopolistic companies (the Edisons and Fords of the 1900s, and the Googles or Apples of today), capitalism became dependent on large credit spurts for the purposes of financing these capital corporations’ needs.
Alex Payne lays out the Bitcoin agenda:
Bitcoin has become synonymous with everything wrong with Silicon Valley: a marriage of dubious technology and questionable economics wrapped up in a crypto-libertarian political agenda that smacks of nerds-do-it-better paternalism. With its influx of finance mercenaries, the Bitcoin community is a grim illustration of greed running roughshod over meaningful progress.
A person’s sincere interest in Bitcoin is evidence that they are disconnected from the financial problems most people face while lacking a fundamental understanding of the role and function of central banking. The only thing “profound” about Bitcoin is its community’s near-total obliviousness to reality.
If Bitcoin’s strength comes from decentralization, why pour millions into a single company? Ah, because Coinbase provides an “accessible interface to the Bitcoin protocol”, we’re told. We must centralize to decentralize, you see; such is the perverse logic of capital co-opting power. In order for Bitcoin to grow a thriving ecosystem, it apparently needs a US-based, VC-backed company that has “worked closely with banks and regulators to ensure that the service is safe and compliant”.
If you think working for a bank is a good idea, because a bank is a lucrative business, a business which is responsible for handing out the currency that keeps the economy running, the people working, and the masses fed, then why are bank tellers in the same boat as fast food workers and Wal-Mart employees?
VIA CBS Money Watch
Taxpayers spend $899 million annually in state and federal benefits to support bank tellers and their families, according to a new report from The Committee for Better Banks.
One-third of bank tellers receive some sort of public assistance, ranging from Medicaid to food stamps, the financial industry employee advocacy group found, citing research from the University of California-Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education. In New York state, almost 40 percent of bank tellers and their family members are enrolled in public assistance programs, costing the state and federal governments $112 million in benefits.
For everyone who thinks voting doesn’t matter I’ve got two words for you: legal weed. Okay, shut the fuck up now. Thank you. My state is currently not arresting people for up to an ounce of marijuana and it will soon be sold in stores, which is the greatest victory of the people thusfar in the drug war. Guess how that happened? One, some determined folks got it on the ballot and two, we voted for it. For the record, it wasn’t even close. Why am I bringing this up? For the most part I try and avoid politics in my writing (outside of the drug war) because I tend to think it takes away from a spiritual message that should be applicable to anyone regardless of political affiliation (man are people divided on politics in this country). But I just voted the other day and once again, had to endure a bunch of commentary from idiots on the internets about how “it doesn’t matter who you vote for man”.… Read the rest
Could this be the stepping stone to the exchange of completely electronic currency?
VIA NBC NEWS
VANCOUVER (Reuters) – A silver and blue ATM, perched up next to the espresso bar in a trendy Vancouver coffee shop, could launch a new era for
the digital currency bitcoin, offering an almost instant way to exchange the world’s leading virtual money for cash.
The value of a bitcoin soared from $13 in January to a high of $266 in April as more businesses and consumers used them to buy and sell online. Some investors are also treating bitcoins like gold, using them to hedge against currency fluctuations and speculating on their rise.
The kiosk, which looks like the average ATM but with hand and barcode scanners, opened for business on Tuesday and by mid-morning people were lined up to swap their bitcoins for cash, or to deposit cash to buy more bitcoins.
Most likely with fists clenched and all the blood drained from its face, the Wall Street Journal reports:
Switzerland is expected to vote later this year on a proposal to place further limits on executive pay, the latest effort to govern corporate compensation in a country that recently approved some of the world’s strictest say-on-pay rules.
The Young Socialists have collected more than 100,000 signatures—the threshold needed to call a vote—in support of a referendum to limit executive salaries to 12 times those of a company’s lowest-paid employee.
The campaign, dubbed the 1:12 Initiative for Fair Pay, is named for the organizers’ belief that no one in a company should earn more in one month than the lowest-paid employee makes in a year.
The Swiss Federal Council, the country’s cabinet, has advised the parliament to recommend that voters reject the proposal. However a poll earlier this month showed 49.5% of respondents were in favor of the 1:12 Initiative, 40.5% against and 10% undecided.
“A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the … of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude.” – Aldous Huxley
“By this means the government may secretly and unobserved, confiscate the wealth of the people, and not one man in a million will detect the theft.” – John Maynard Keynes
Just a short examination of the inner workings of the insidious horror that is the “Federal” Reserve system.
*$5.00 in fiat currency to the first con$umer cannibal, who can reveal the dominant stock holders of Molech Inc, aka The Federal Reserve.