01.16.14

Economic Disparity Watch: January 2014

Posted in Finance at 6:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: News about the further degradation of decent working conditions, fair salaries, benefits, and housing

  • Wall Street, Give Your Bonuses To The People You Made Homeless

    “Wall Street is about to give themselves $91.44 Billion – with a B – in holiday bonuses, even as they continue to dodge jail time for their ongoing crime spree!”1

  • Anonymous fights homelessness worldwide

    So said the administrator of @OpSafeWinter, the Twitter account heading up public relations for Anonymous’ most ambitious project for 2013 and 2014. We spoke to the Anonymous member via Twitter direct message for an exclusive interview on the umbrella project dubbed #OpSafeWinter. The goal is to get Anons and “civilians” out into the streets all over the world to save lives by giving the homeless and the critically poor the tools they need to survive at least one more season.

    Because it is an international operation, including operatives on both sides of the Equator, the “winter” of the title continues all year long, switching hemispheres at the equinox. They will, essentially, never run out of winter. As New England faces the wrath of Hercules, Anonymous lines up to fight back with sleeping bags, mittens, and hot meals.

  • Why we should give free money to everyone

    That spring, a local charity takes a radical decision. The street veterans are to become the beneficiaries of an innovative social experiment. No more food stamps, food kitchen dinners or sporadic shelter stays for them. The men will get a drastic bailout, financed by taxpayers. They’ll each receive 3,000 pounds, cash, with no strings attached. The men are free to decide what to spend it on; counseling services are completely optional. No requirements, no hard questions. The only question they have to answer is:

  • Ideological austerity: London fire service cuts vs huge bonuses at publicly owned banks

    On Thursday the 8th of January hardened London firefighters wept as their fire stations were shut down. Ten stations were closed down simultaneously in a desperate Tory attempt to save £45 million.

    To put this figure of £45 million into better perspective it is useful to look at the bonuses that were paid out at the taxpayer backed banks RBS and Lloyds.

  • Susan George: austerity means socialising losses and privatising profits – video

    Political scientist and veteran global justice activist Susan George talks about her new book, How to Win the Class War, a satire on the wealthiest 1%. She discusses how austerity policies in Europe mirror the structural adjustment programmes adopted by developing countries in the 1970s and 1980s, and argues that satire and black humour have more chance of engaging people in debates about complex economic issues

  • Music4Freedom’s response to Amazon’s holiday season abuse of temporary workers

    The holiday season true to the dominant paradigm within our global economy where corporate interests and downsizing prevail, relying on cheap labor in order to sustain transnational empires. Labor arrangements of mass production ensuring corporate profit and consumer satisfaction, are navigated upon the bodies of low wage workers. In effect entire systems rely on the creation of over worked, low wage workers. Recent labor abuse and subsequent protests at Amazon Germany capture and illuminate the nature of such egregious transnational markets.

  • Hundreds expected to pack City Hall for Seattle’s biggest inauguration
  • Statement from Socialist Alternative Councilmember Kshama Sawant – Mayor Murray’s $15/Hour Executive Order for City Employees
  • Bitcoin Commodity Exchange

    Turns out you can buy and trade Bitcoin mining capacity as well as Bitcoin. As I’m gradually learning more about the Bitcoin world, I’m finding a rapidly maturing technology space. I just stumbled across a commodity exchange, for example. Akin to an exchange trading gold or oil, this one trades the capacity to mine Bitcoin — processing power measured in GHash/sec.

  • Bitcoin crosses $1,000 on Zynga move

    The value of Bitcoin has topped $1,000 (£610) again after social gaming firm Zynga said it would start accepting the virtual currency as a payment option.

  • Overstock.com CEO attacks Krugman: “Hopefully Bitcoin will destroy central banking”

    Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne discusses Bitcoin and the fears of central planning economist Paul Krugman who claims Bitcoin is evil.

  • Spirit of MLK and Worldwide Wave, Hints of a Global Spring

    Here we are more than 50 years later and this truth remains at the root of many contemporary movements including Occupy, Idle No More, One Billion Rising, Unify, as well as various other environmental and social justice movements. That sense of solidarity with people everywhere, along with the principles of non-violence (thanks to inspiration borrowed from Gandhi) have become a template for much needed social change and evolution. Since ideas are like seeds, that are shared, planted and harvested year after year, Dr. King’s dream has blossomed sweeter and more colorful with each turn of the wheel. His invitation to stand up and take action is possibly even more important now than it was while he was alive. In the spirit of Martin Luther King, a worldwide wave of action is brewing and a Global Spring is on the horizon.

  • Now, most members of Congress are millionaires

    It’s official — Congress is a millionaires’ club. For the first time ever, most members of Congress are worth at least a cool million.

  • Marco Rubio’s “Anti-Poverty” Agenda Would Create Two Americas

    On Tuesday, the 50th anniversary of the launch of President Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) gave a widely anticipated speech laying out his vision for breaking poverty’s grip on nearly 50 million Americans.

    [...]

    First, Rubio would replace the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) – which supplements the incomes of the working poor, especially those who have kids — with a “federal wage enhancement.” Rubio said his enhancement would differ from the EITC in that single people would be eligible for the same kind of subsidies families with children enjoy today, and it would be added to workers’ paychecks instead of being paid out in a lump sum at tax time.

  • How Close to Poverty Are You?

    In many of our more prosperous cities, poverty is concentrated away from downtown. In New York, it’s clustered in pockets in northern Manhattan and throughout the outer boroughs — most notably the Bronx and Central Brooklyn. In San Francisco, another famously unequal city, the poor are scattered in pockets south of the city center and across the bay, in nearby Oakland.

  • European Union drives Portugal into Third World
  • Hedge Fund Slams Portuguese Bonds With 64 Page Slideshow

    Traditionally, hedge fund managers that go public with multi-page slideshows bashing this or that asset, usually end up in tears (see Bill Ackman) as long as said asset is not some microcap, illiquid stock. That, however, has not stopped David Salanic of Tortus Capital Management to not only mass distribute a presentation highlighting his latest and greatest short idea but to create a website that implicitly highlights his investment thesis. The site in question is called http://rehabilitatingportugal.com/, and the asset that Salanic is bearish to quite bearish on, are Portuguese bonds.

  • How The U.S. Employs Overseas Sweatshops To Produce Government Uniforms

    The following article from the New York Times is extraordinarily important as it perfectly highlights the incredible hypocrisy of the U.S. government when it comes to overseas slave labor and human rights. While the Obama Administration (and the ones that came before it) publicly espouse self-important platitudes about our dedication to humanitarianism, when it comes down to practicing what we preach, our government fails miserably and is directly responsible for immense human suffering.

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