Friends of GEO

California Leads The Way In Resistance To The Rule Of Bankers

It's Our Economy - July 14, 2018 - 2:00pm
When former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher set her nation on the path of wholesale privatization and austerity in the 1980s, she declared that “resistance is futile.” “There is no alternative,” she decreed, to the rule of “markets,” not just in Great Britain, but for all of humanity and for all time. Thatcher found a soul mate in President Ronald Reagan, whose assault on the public sector in the U.S. — packaged for a racist American electorate as a campaign to purge “welfare queens,” and accompanied by a fierce anti-drugs and crime crusade — was soon joined by the most shamelessly corporatist wing of the Democratic Party. President Bill Clinton completed Reagan’s welfare and crime agenda and, as a final gift to Wall Street, deregulated the banks.
Categories: Friends of GEO, SE News

How To Level The Playing Field For Workers — Even With Unions Hurting

It's Our Economy - July 13, 2018 - 12:00pm
The Supreme Court’s decision in Janus vs. AFSCME dealt organized labor, already on its heels, a crushing blow. Public employees who choose not to join unions now cannot be required to pay so-called “fair share” fees to compensate unions for the cost of representing them in wage and benefit negotiations. With only 6.5 percent of private sector workers unionized, teachers, firefighters, and other public employee unions have been the bulwark of organized labor in recent years. Over a third of government workers are unionized, but that will likely head south in the wake of Janus. Absent a union, an individual employee negotiating against a large employer is powerless. If the employer and worker don’t agree to terms, the employer loses one worker out of many, while the employee’s children go hungry. Guess who wins?
Categories: Friends of GEO, SE News

The Bank of North Dakota: Reliable financing for the common good

Shareable - Commons - July 11, 2018 - 2:09pm

Most banking and credit is controlled by private banks that prioritize profit over community needs. Unfortunately, this sometimes leads private banks to fund unethical projects, defraud customers, seek bailouts when risky investments fail, or simply offer unattractive fees and interest rates. Most private banks profits flow out of local communities instead of stimulating the local economy. And, as in the subprime crisis, their mistakes can lead to economy-stifling credit shortages and other negative impacts to cities and their residents.

Categories: Friends of GEO

Commons-based legal institutions for affordable housing

Shareable - Commons - July 10, 2018 - 12:40pm

For the next few posts in the new Shareable series on "Law: The Invisible Architecture of the Commons," I will focus on concrete examples of how citizens are building commons-based legal institutions that improve access to affordable housing. In this piece, I'll compare the structures of three central types of commons legal institutions:

Categories: Friends of GEO

Ignore What The Gini Coefficient Says: Real Inequality Is Growing And People Are Suffering As A Result

It's Our Economy - July 10, 2018 - 11:00am
The right-wing love to say inequality does not matter. They also love to say that the Gini coefficient that measures inequality is improving. They trumpet as a result that in their opinion all is right in the world because people are now getting no worse off. But, as many familiar with such data know, it is not revealing of the truth. Inequality is seriously understated because its measurement is based on survey data and the wealthy don’t do surveys any more than they pay taxes. And the wealthy also hide their income and assets more effectively than do the rest of society precisely because they have so much of it that tucking it out of sight is much easier.
Categories: Friends of GEO, SE News

Trade: It’s About Class, Not Country

It's Our Economy - July 10, 2018 - 10:00am
There is a fundamental flaw in the way that both Donald Trump and his critics generally talk about trade. They make it an issue of country versus country, raising the question of whether China, Canada and other trading partners are treating the United States fairly as a country. Trump of course does this more explicitly with his “America First” rhetoric and complaints about other countries cheating us because they run trade surpluses, but his critics also often use similar language. After all, it is common for the adults in the room to make assertions about China’s theft of “our” intellectual property. Have you had any intellectual property stolen by China? The economist and policy types who have been pushing the trade agenda of the last four decades often make assertions like “everyone gains from trade.” This is what is known in the economics profession as a “lie.”  
Categories: Friends of GEO, SE News

UK Co-operative Party releases report outlining plans to double the size of co-op sector

Shareable - Commons - July 9, 2018 - 11:06am

On July 3, the Co-operative Party in the U.K. launched a report at parliament outlining a strategy to double the size of the U.K.'s cooperative sector by 2030. The report, written by the think tank New Economics Foundation (NEF), was commissioned by the Co-operative Party and comprises a vision of the party's goals.

Categories: Friends of GEO
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