imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Oxfam Study: Six Reasons to be Outraged

by Alexandra Endres Monday, Jan. 25, 2016 at 12:03 PM
marc1seed@yahoo.com

Whether inequality harms or benefits was disputed for a long while. It could motivate individuals to more effort and stimulate growth, one side believed. It takes the chances for education and development from those who are poorer, the other said... Money buys power.

OXFAM STUDY: SIX REASONS TO BE OUTRAGED



The chasm between poor and rich is scandalously great. This is a very practical problem, not a moral problem. Why inequality harms everyone. A commentary by Alexandra Endres



[This article published on January 18, 2016 is translated from the German on the Internet, http://www.zeit.de.]



These numbers describe an obscenity. The richest 62 persons on the planet altogether have a wealth of .76 trillion – as much as the poorer half of humanity, around 3.5 billion persons. And the inequality is growing very quickly. A report released by the development organization Oxfam shows this.



Such a distribution of wealth is a scandal. Being indignant about this has nothing to do with envy. The great concentration of riches is harmful for all of us. Here are six reasons.



1. FREEDOM, EQUALITY AND BROTHERLINESS



Striving for human rights may be full of pathos. Still we must remember: “All persons are born free and equal in dignity and rights,” the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaims, Article One, Paragraph One. Western societies appeal to these central values.



But no one can be free with an empty stomach. In its recent study, Oxfam estimates more people could escape extreme poverty if the inequality were not so great. Equality obviously does not mean the state has to guarantee the same living conditions to everyone. However everyone must have the chance of developing and taking his or her life in hand. Something is very wrong when the economic system and the hierarchy of power in politics prevent this and the accumulation of tremendous wealth is possible for a tiny part of the world.



2. EXCESSIVE INEQUALITY BRAKES GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT



The functional economic perspective is for everyone who is helpless with pathos. For a long while, whether inequality damages or benefits was disputed. Inequality could motivate individuals to more effort and stimulate growth, one side believed. It takes chances for education and development from those who are poorer, the other said. Perhaps the truth in the theory lies somewhere in between. Then inequality would be motivating as long as the difference was not insurmountably great.



But that seems to be happening in practice. One-and-a-half years ago Janet Yellen, the chairperson of the US Federal Reserve, warned of an inequality that destroys promotion prospects. The OECD organization of industrial countries sees economic growth and social peace in danger. The International Monetary Fund comes to a similar conclusion. These institutions are not suspected of any socialist machines. Their expertise must be taken seriously.



3. HARD WORK DOESN’T MAKE PEOPLE RICH



Big achievers earn their wealth. Is that true? That is the meritocratic defense of inequality. But it does not function any more because the chasm between the incomes has become so excessive. According to Oxfam, the head of India’s largest IT-firm receives 416-times as much as one of his typical employees. In the US, the salaries of corporate CEOs rose 90-times faster than their average co-workers since the end of the 1970s. Presumably this has much more to do with the development of stock prices in the past decades than with their achievements.



A glance at the latest Forbes list shows: many super-rich made their money with technology (Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg), in the financial branch (Warren Buffet, George Soros) or with consumer goods or cheap fashions (Amancio Ortega von Zara, Stefan Persson from H & M). Many of them probably worked hard. But they simply had the happiness or stroke of good luck to be in a lucrative branch. Many workers slaved away to exhaustion and received a pittance. The seamstresses in Myammar cited by Oxfam are only one example. If you ask the migrant workers in German slaughterhouses (abattours), they would agree: hard work doesn’t automatically make people rich.



4. MONEY IS MISSING ELSEWHERE



According to Oxfam, the wealthy of the world have parked .6 trillion in tax havens like Switzerland, Luxemburg or Singapore. The richest businesses and private persons employ a huge crown of investment advisors and lawyers to secure their wealth from tax authorities. The taxes that they do not pay are then missing in the public treasuries: for education, investments, health insurance and income support.



Money Buys Power



This is not only true for the industrial states. The rich elite from threshold countries also use tax loopholes. The economist Gabriel Zucman calculated that 0 billion in tax revenue is missing every year from the governments of the world. That is more than the whole global aid to developing countries.



There were other reasons than tax optimization for the extreme riches of the 62. Some of the causes lie in the national policies of their countries of origin and can hardly be influenced by international initiatives. But should the struggle against tax havens be abandoned?



Certainly, the additional tax money would not automatically be used sensibly. Corruption and waste or extravagance would not disappear only through better tax laws. But with them governments would at least have a chance of forming a better politics – and in the ideal case would be controlled by their citizens.



5. INEQUALITY HARMS DEMOCRACY



Democratic control is a good keyword. The philanthropic foundations of Bill Gates and others do much good. But they set their priorities without the input and influence of citizens for whose well-being they are engaged. How would it be if businesses paid their due taxes instead of shifting wealth abroad?



Much more dangerously, money buys power in the US for example. Nearly half of the 62 super-rich from the Forbes list – used as a basis for Oxfam’s report – come from the US. The well-to-do between New England and California finance the candidates of both parties in the election campaigns and obviously expect a return favor – for example in the form of tax loopholes as the New York Times recently reported in detail.



In many other countries, the political and economic elite are warmly connected. The closer their relations, the harder it is for outsiders to climb to their circle (see 2nd point). In some states where the inequality is very great, the rich feel closer to their class compatriots abroad than to the poor at home. They have their place of residence in the North and send their children to school there. Their life-perspectives are elsewhere. Why should they be anxious about better conditions at home? So democracy erodes through the enormous inequality.



6. WE CANNOT SCREEN OURSELVES



Europe has long lived like a gated community. But that works less and less in a globalized world, as the refugee crisis shows. Seen globally, the inhabitants of industrial countries are the rich. When the growing inequality leads the poor at home to see every fewer perspectives for themselves, then they will come to us.



That alone should be enough reason to strive for more equal conditions. Whether the elite meeting place Davos is the right place, as Oxfam claims, can be left undcecided. Little will change without public pressure.



RELATED LINKS

Alexandra Endres, Arbitration Courts: A Dirty Gold Rush, January 2016 https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2016/01/19/18782020.php



Thomas Palley and Gustav Horn, Restoring Shared Prosperity, December 2013, 211 pp

http://www.thomaspalley.com/docs/research/restoring_shared_prosperity.pdf

Report this post as:

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A13 12:39AM

lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Finance Capitalism and the Digital Economy S21 4:45PM

Muselières syndicales, muselières patronales S21 7:19AM

Jeff Bezos, Amazon, The Washington Post, Whole Foods, Etc S21 2:50AM

Why Choose Nut Milk Over Cows' Milk S21 1:01AM

Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement S19 9:53AM

Creative Destruction Hack Diamonds Windows/iOS/Android - Creative Destruction Generator S19 12:51AM

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Creative Destruction Hack Mod Generator S15 3:49AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Propagande de virus, virus de propagande S10 7:34AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

Sweatshop Lodge Ceremony Continues in US Fed Prisons Led by Inmates S08 6:17PM

Paraphysique de l'origami S08 7:11AM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Du réussissement putréfié S06 10:55AM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Log S06 4:25AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

Paraphysique de contextualité S05 8:29AM

Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism S03 3:39PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy