Posts tagged inequality
9:45 am - Wed, Dec 21, 2011
109 notes

cognitivedissonance:

John Walsh gets political on America’s Most Wanted on Dec. 17th, 2011. He begins by talking about how we’re balancing severe cuts on the backs on teachers, firefighters, police officers, and others who contribute greatly to society and asking nothing of those who’ve benefited.

And then shit gets real. An excerpt from Walsh’s statement, courtesy of Crooks and Liars:

Wow. America’s Most Wanted host John Walsh has an earful about cutting the government to spark economic growth this week. He notes letting police and firefighters go is bad for our communities. Flint, MI which laid off two-thirds of its police force, according to Walsh has become a “small city murder capital of the U.S.”

But then, Walsh goes full Occupy.

“Who’s going to pay for the economic meltdown - the huge debt?” He says, “How about companies? Companies that have made more money than in the whole history of the world and they’ve done it with less people. Some of the Fortune 500 companies pay no state taxes at all. We all know about GE not paying federal taxes.”

And he continues to rail on this conservative cure-all for our economic woes: “It’s a quick fix but it’s not a good fix. We got to make the corporations pay more money and we can’t let these people [police] go. You got to speak up.”

America’s Most Wanted now airs at 9 p.m. on Friday on the Lifetime channel. Is it just me, or does John Walsh lay out a fantastic defense for those who are against cutting vital services so others can have an even more obscene amount of wealth?

To detractors: I’ll stop supporting movements like Occupy Wall Street when corporations stop occupying Congress. It’s not that I don’t think people should be rich. I just don’t think they should be able to buy themselves a pet Congress. 

4:37 pm - Mon, Nov 21, 2011
23 notes

youthiswasted:

PETITION: Insist that if members of Congress voted against Medicare/Medicaid, then they shouldn’t have taxpayer-funded health insurance.

Congress: If you voted against Medicare/Medicaid you shouldn’t accept taxpayer-funded health insurance

By Michael Morrill (Contact)

To be delivered to: The United States House of Representatives

If you voted to cut Medicare and Medicaid, you must stop accepting taxpayer-funded healthcare for yourself and your family.

In April, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives has voted to cut Medicare and Medicaid. And now even Democrats on the so-called Super Committee are talking about cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.

Essentially Congress is telling senior citizens and the poor that tax cuts for billionaires and millionaires are more important that providing a health care safety net for our most vulnerable.

But did you know that members of Congress get great taxpayer funded healthcare? In fact, they get one of the best health care plans in the world.

It strikes us as the height of hypocrisy to be accepting government-provided, taxpayer-subsidized health insurance while denying seniors, the disabled and the poor the basic coverage that Medicare and Medicaid provide.

That’s why we’re circulating this petition demanding that members of Congress who voted to cut Medicare and Medicaid stop accepting taxpayer-subsidized health insurance for themselves. If they believe our most vulnerable citizens should buy insurance on the corporate, for-profit market, shouldn’t they do the same?

Sign the petition. Tell Congress: If you don’t believe in publicly-funded health coverage, don’t accept it.

6:52 pm - Fri, Nov 18, 2011
13 notes
brosephstalin:

Want to talk about inequality? Well this shows income and population distribution. 

brosephstalin:

Want to talk about inequality? Well this shows income and population distribution. 

(via brosephstalin-deactivated201212)

4:14 pm - Mon, Nov 14, 2011
68 notes
There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part; you can’t even passively take part, and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all

Mario Savio on civil disobedience. Savio was a free speech crusader, activist, and teacher of mathematics and physics. As the NYPD brutally abuses protesters on Wall Street, I implore those standing strong to remember Savio’s words.

(via cognitivedissonance)

Reposting this for Dan Siegel today. He’s an inspiration. 

(via cognitivedissonance)

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3:15 pm - Sun, Oct 30, 2011
205 notes
kateoplis:

America’s Exploding Pipe Dream

 
We sold ourselves a pipe dream that everyone could get rich and no one would get hurt — a pipe dream that exploded like a pipe bomb when the already-rich grabbed for all the gold; when they used their fortunes to influence government and gain favors and protection; when everyone else was left to scrounge around their ankles in hopes that a few coins would fall.
We have not taken care of the least among us. We have allowed a revolting level of income inequality to develop. We have watched as millions of our fellow countrymen have fallen into poverty. And we have done a poor job of educating our children and now threaten to leave them a country that is a shell of its former self. We should be ashamed.

Chart: Social Justice in the OECD — How Do the Member States Compare? US is in the bottom 5. 

kateoplis:

America’s Exploding Pipe Dream

We sold ourselves a pipe dream that everyone could get rich and no one would get hurt — a pipe dream that exploded like a pipe bomb when the already-rich grabbed for all the gold; when they used their fortunes to influence government and gain favors and protection; when everyone else was left to scrounge around their ankles in hopes that a few coins would fall.

We have not taken care of the least among us. We have allowed a revolting level of income inequality to develop. We have watched as millions of our fellow countrymen have fallen into poverty. And we have done a poor job of educating our children and now threaten to leave them a country that is a shell of its former self. We should be ashamed.

Chart: Social Justice in the OECD — How Do the Member States Compare? US is in the bottom 5. 

(via randomactsofchaos)

10:27 am - Sun, Oct 23, 2011
151 notes
These people down there, they’re not the counter-culture. They’re the culture. They don’t want free love. They want paid employment. They don’t hate capitalism. They hate what’s been done to it.

And they resent the Republican mantra that the market perfectly rewards the hard-working and punishes the lazy, and the poor are just jealous moochers who want a handout. Yeah, because if there’s one group of people who hate handouts, it’s Wall Street.

Bill Maher’s take on the Occupy Wall Street protesters. Well done.

(via cognitivedissonance)

(via cognitivedissonance)

9:17 am - Sun, Oct 16, 2011
49 notes
Living under Communism in China made me a fervent enthusiast of capitalism. I believe that over the last couple of centuries banks have enormously raised living standards in the West by allocating capital to more efficient uses. But anyone who believes in markets should be outraged that banks rig the system so that they enjoy profits in good years and bailouts in bad years.

The banks have gotten away with privatizing profits and socializing risks, and that’s just another form of bank robbery.

Nicholas Kristof, “America’s Primal Scream”

Kristof hits the mark in this column. In light of the mass arrests across the nation, let’s remember how this has grown since its beginning on September 17th. The Occupy movement has gone global in about a month.

September 17th was the beginning. October 15th is not an ending. It marks the commencement of occupying everywhere.

(via cognitivedissonance)

(via cognitivedissonance)

12:30 pm - Sat, Oct 15, 2011
366 notes
cognitivedissonance:

Occupy together, occupy everywhere

cognitivedissonance:

Occupy together, occupy everywhere

(via randomactsofchaos)

8:49 pm - Fri, Oct 14, 2011
546 notes

cognitivedissonance:

'Occupy Wall Street' — It's Not What They're for, But What They're Against

I’m posting this in full, because I am literally stunned this was posted on Fox News. Emphasis mine:

Critics of the growing Occupy Street movement complain that the protesters don’t have a policy agenda and, therefore, don’t stand for anything. They’re wrong. The key isn’t what protesters are for but rather what they’re against — the gaping inequality that has poisoned our economy, our politics and our nation.

In America today, 400 people have more wealth than the bottom 150 million combined. That’s not because 150 million Americans are pathetically lazy or even unlucky. In fact, Americans have been working harder than ever - productivity has risen in the last several decades. Big business profits and CEO bonuses have also gone up. Worker salaries, however, have declined.Most of the Occupy Wall Street protesters aren’t opposed to free market capitalism. In fact, what they want is an end to the crony capitalist system now in place, that makes it easier for the rich and powerful to get even more rich and powerful while making it increasingly hard for the rest of us to get by.

The protesters are not anti-American radicals. They are the defenders of the American Dream, the decision from the birth of our nation that success should be determined by hard work, not royal bloodlines.

Sure, bank executives may work a lot harder than you and me or a mother of three doing checkout at a grocery store. Maybe the bankers work ten times harder. Maybe even a hundred times harder. But they’re compensated a thousand times more.

The question is not how Occupy Wall Street protesters can find that gross discrepancy immoral. The question is why every one of us isn’t protesting with them.

According to polls, most Americans support the 99% movement, even if they’re not taking to the streets. In fact, support for the Occupy Wall Street protests is not only higher than for either political party in Washington but greater than support for the Tea Party. And unlike the Tea Party which was fueled by national conservative donors and institutions, the Occupy Wall Street Movement is spreading organically from Idaho to Indiana. Institutions on the left, including unions, have been relatively late to the game.

Ironically, the original Boston Tea Party activists would likely support Occupy Wall Street more as well. Note that the original Tea Party didn’t protest taxes, merely the idea of taxation without representation - and they were actually protesting the crown-backed monopoly of the East India Company, the main big business of the day.

Americans today also support taxes. In fact, two-thirds of voters - including a majority of Republicans - support increasing taxes on the rich, something the Occupy Wall Street protests implicitly support. That’s not just anarchist lefty kids. Soccer moms and construction workers and, yes, even some bankers want to see our economy work for the 99%, not just the 1%, and are flocking to Occupy protests in droves.

I’ve even met a number of Libertarians and Tea Party conservatives at these protests. So the critics are right, the Occupy Wall Street movement isn’t the Tea Party. Occupy Wall Street is much, much broader.

Maybe it’s hard to see your best interests reflected in a sometimes rag-tag, inarticulate, imperfect group of protesters. But make no mistake about it: While horrendous inequality is not an American tradition, protest is. And if you’re part of the 99% of underpaid or unemployed Americans crushed in the current economy, the Occupy Wall Street protests are your best chance at fixing the broken economy that is breaking your back.

This is one of the most articulate defenses of Occupy Wall Street I’ve seen, and let me repeat - this is on Fox News. So if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go pick my jaw up off the floor.

2:11 am - Wed, Sep 21, 2011
49 notes
cognitivedissonance:


NYPD Uses Law From 1845 To Arrest Masked Protestors In Financial District
As the protests against corporate greed and the “occupation” of the Financial District continues for a third day, at least seven demonstrators have been arrested. According to Bloomberg News, two were arrested for trying to enter a Bank of America building, another for jumping a police barrier, and four more for “wearing masks in violation of a law that bars two or more participants from doing so.” This law dates back to 1845 in the Anti-Rent era—a time when a wealthy few owned feudal-esque leases to maintain control of tenants. Absolutely nothinglike today!
According to a Time’s Up! volunteer, one of the four arrested on mask charges was actually nabbed for “writing with chalk on the sidewalk,” and we’re told a police captain actually “leaped forward” over the barricade to arrest that demonstrator, who explains that he was arrested because he “placed his hand” on a barricade and didn’t have time to move away after a verbal warning. CityRoom confirms that their photographer did not witness the man attempting to jump the barricade. The NYPD maintains he did.
The anti-mask statute was passed as a response to the actions of rabble-rousing renters, seeking to prevent “distress sales” of their property by their landlords, dressing up as “Indians” to protect their rights and property. N.Y. Penal Law § 240.35(4) cropped back up in the news 11 years ago, when the KKK petitioned to wear masks protesting in the city. They were prohibited from doing so because of the statute, and sued. The USDC for the Southern District of New York sided with the KKK, and ruled the law unconstitutional, but not before protesters were arrested in 2002 for the same offense.
However, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, which included current Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, reversed that ruling in 2004, noting that because the KKK was already wearing a hood and robe, “the expressive force of the mask is, therefore, redundant.” The judges also noted that the “individual’s right to speech must always be balanced against the state’s interest in safety, and its right to regulate conduct that it legitimately considers potentially dangerous.”
Around 70 signs were reportedly stolen overnight by the NYPD as they maintained 24-hour surveillance of the area, which is being occupied by demonstrators in tents and sleeping bags.

I hope those arrested challenge their arrests on First Amendment grounds. This law seems to be constitutionally specious at best. If you’re arrested, attempt to document and/or remember everything. Then, call 212-679-6018 for the National Lawyer’s Guild, or 212-607-3300 for the ACLU. Write these numbers on your arm in sharpie.
I stand in solidarity with those occupying Wall Street. Stay strong. Estoy en solidaridad con las personas que ocupan Wall Street. Por favor mantenga fuerte en la actualidad.

cognitivedissonance:

NYPD Uses Law From 1845 To Arrest Masked Protestors In Financial District

As the protests against corporate greed and the “occupation” of the Financial District continues for a third day, at least seven demonstrators have been arrested. According to Bloomberg News, two were arrested for trying to enter a Bank of America building, another for jumping a police barrier, and four more for “wearing masks in violation of a law that bars two or more participants from doing so.” This law dates back to 1845 in the Anti-Rent era—a time when a wealthy few owned feudal-esque leases to maintain control of tenants. Absolutely nothinglike today!

According to a Time’s Up! volunteer, one of the four arrested on mask charges was actually nabbed for “writing with chalk on the sidewalk,” and we’re told a police captain actually “leaped forward” over the barricade to arrest that demonstrator, who explains that he was arrested because he “placed his hand” on a barricade and didn’t have time to move away after a verbal warning. CityRoom confirms that their photographer did not witness the man attempting to jump the barricade. The NYPD maintains he did.

The anti-mask statute was passed as a response to the actions of rabble-rousing renters, seeking to prevent “distress sales” of their property by their landlords, dressing up as “Indians” to protect their rights and property. N.Y. Penal Law § 240.35(4) cropped back up in the news 11 years ago, when the KKK petitioned to wear masks protesting in the city. They were prohibited from doing so because of the statute, and sued. The USDC for the Southern District of New York sided with the KKK, and ruled the law unconstitutional, but not before protesters were arrested in 2002 for the same offense.

However, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, which included current Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, reversed that ruling in 2004, noting that because the KKK was already wearing a hood and robe, “the expressive force of the mask is, therefore, redundant.” The judges also noted that the “individual’s right to speech must always be balanced against the state’s interest in safety, and its right to regulate conduct that it legitimately considers potentially dangerous.”

Around 70 signs were reportedly stolen overnight by the NYPD as they maintained 24-hour surveillance of the area, which is being occupied by demonstrators in tents and sleeping bags.

I hope those arrested challenge their arrests on First Amendment grounds. This law seems to be constitutionally specious at best. If you’re arrested, attempt to document and/or remember everything. Then, call 212-679-6018 for the National Lawyer’s Guild, or 212-607-3300 for the ACLU. Write these numbers on your arm in sharpie.

I stand in solidarity with those occupying Wall Street. Stay strong.
Estoy en solidaridad con las personas que ocupan Wall Street. Por favor mantenga fuerte en la actualidad.

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