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News Why World Change is Necessary

The Public Professor: Dissent in Commodified Higher Education

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Universities have become increasingly commodified: universities in the UK charge students tuition fees, and we in Sweden have begun to charge international students tuition fees, things that have been done in my own country, the United States, for a number of years. Commodification was, for a long period, seen as anathema to higher education in Europe, but, as time as gone by, we have seen the increasing commodification of university life. In the same way, departments that are considered to be “unprofitable” – in other words, they do not have large numbers of students, or do not produce “cutting edge” research that attracts the interest of outside financers – simply begin to disappear. Language departments, and niche intellectual areas of inquiry struggle financially, and are therefore not “of value” to universities.

Pope Francis Understands Economics Better Than Most Politicians

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The pope's screed on "the economy of exclusion and inequality" will disappoint those who considers themselves free-market capitalists, but they would do well to listen to the message. Francis gives form to the emotion and injustice of post-financial-crisis outrage in a way that has been rare since Occupy Wall Street disbanded. There has been a growing chorus of financial insiders – from the late Merrill Lynch executive Herb Allison to organizations like Better Markets – it's time for a change in how we approach capitalism. It's not about discarding capitalism, or hating money or profit; it's about pursuing profits ethically, and rejecting the premise that exploitation is at the center of profit. When 53% of financial executives say they can't get ahead without some cheating, even though they want to work for ethical organizations, there's a real problem.

Food Stamps Cut Just in Time for Thanksgiving

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Food pantries around the country are reporting a precipitous rise in the number of new visitors as people who were previously able to make do on food stamps get hit with cuts they can’t afford. It will be a long time before the effect of the cuts can be accurately quantified, but the raw numbers currently being reported are suggestive. Previously, many food stamp recipients were able to stretch their benefits until the third week of the month. Since November 1, they have been visiting pantries earlier, and in greater numbers.

Economics by Other Means: War, Poverty, and Conflict Minerals in Africa

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But with remarkable clarity, David Keen, in the book Greed & Grievance: Economic Agendas in Civil Wars, makes the point that labels such as “ethnic hatred,” “mindless violence,” and “chaos” are applied chiefly by people who assume that the goal of any war should be victory. However, as Keen notes, sometimes the image of war serves as a smokescreen for the emergence of a wartime political economy from which rebels and even governments may be benefitting. Small wonder the warring factions may show little interest in negotiating a settlement. War for them is not just a continuation of politics by other means; it may be a continuation of economics by other means.

We’re Not Broke — We’ve Been Robbed

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'During the past two years we’ve reduced the deficit by half, close to 2008 levels. That may sound like it’s a good thing, but it’s really the biggest reason the economy is so lackluster for the vast majority of Americans with a near-record-high in unemployment, stagnant wages, and a smaller proportion of Americans working than any time in the past 30 years. We’ve also cut all the wrong things: spending that puts money in people’s pockets today and investments in our economic future. We’ve cut spending on education, unemployment insurance, environmental protection, and scientific research. Our public investment, which includes annual government programs and spending on roads, bridges, transit, research, and development is actually the lowest it’s been as a share of the economy in 60 years.'

Politicians fiddled their expenses because they were bored by increasingly 'irrelevant' Parliament, says John Bercow

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Politicians abused the expenses system as a ‘displacement activity’ because they were bored by an increasingly irrelevant Parliament, John Bercow has claimed. The Commons Speaker prompted criticism when he blamed the expenses scandal on Westminster becoming less ‘meaningful’ rather than on collective ‘malice or corruption’. The scandal has resulted in four MPs and two members of the Lords being jailed. In a speech in London, Mr Bercow played down the greed of politicians, suggesting they were simply being ‘imaginative’. ‘The blunt truth is that the expenses debacle was a particularly embarrassing layer of icing on an especially unappetising cake,’ he told political charity the Hansard Society.

Cancer costs families around £7,000 a year in lost income and travel costs - the same as the average mortgage

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Being struck down with cancer costs families the same as an average mortgage, according to a new report. Research shows the financial burden for sufferers average £570 a month - almost £7,000 a year. The think tank Demos said this is equal to the average annual cost of a mortgage in the UK. A third of those diagnosed with cancer experience a drop in income, while one in four say they cannot afford to adequately heat their own home - leading to ‘heat or heal’ dilemmas across the country.

Bill Moyers | Henry Giroux: Zombie Politics and Casino Capitalism

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HENRY GIROUX: I have in mind a society in which the wealth is shared, in which there is a mesh of organizations that are grounded in the social contract, that takes seriously the mutual obligations that people have to each other. But more than anything else-- I'm sorry, but I want to echo something that FDR once said, When he said that, you know, you not only have to have personal freedoms and political freedoms, the right to vote the right to speak, you have to have social freedom. You have to have the freedom from want, the freedom from poverty, the freedom from-- that comes with a lack of health care. Getting ahead cannot be the only motive that motivates people. You have to imagine what a good life is. But agency, the ability to do that, to have the capacity to basically be able to make decisions and learn how to govern and not just be governed--

Understanding Warsaw: Capitalism, Climate Change and Neocolonialism

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To compound the legal, political and moral case, as of 2000, over the previous 30 years, the poorest countries have paid $550 billion in principal and interest to Western financial institutions, on a total debt of $540 billion - yet they still manage to owe $523 billion. For every dollar received in grants, the developing world commits $13 to debt repayment. Developing nations are therefore fattening the coffers of institutions such as the IMF, World Bank and other Western financial houses by draining funds from desperately needed projects to address poverty, the lack of infrastructure development, agricultural facilities and their ability to adapt to climate change. What should be happening is the immediate cancellation of all "Third World" debt.

Fact Check: Social Security Does Not Increase the Deficit

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The American people love Social Security, and with good reason. It protects seniors and the disabled from poverty, and it is the most important life and disability safeguard available to the nation's 75 million children. The program is a bargain: Its administrative costs are lower than privately managed retirement plans. Social Security returns in benefits more than 99 cents of every dollar collected, whereas a typical 401(k) could easily eat up 20 cents of that dollar in fees. The program is fiscally sound and prudently managed — a policy triumph.

Land to be Usurped and Votes to be Bought: The Pre-Election Honduran Landscape

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Just recently The Los Micos Golf Resort opened up in the nearby Tela Bay, with 750 acres of beach houses and a hotel, despite countless protests by local Garífuna organizations. The project has been financed by Randy Jorgensen, a Canadian businessman who struck it rich in the porn industry and told Kaelyn Forde of the Real News Network that "We want to bring back life to the banana booms," referencing the Banana Republic that Central America was once considered. Jorgensen denied usurping communal Garífuna land and stated that which borders delineate the community and individual land is "a debate that they need to have amongst themselves." Members of the Garífuna community are not opposed to tourism and in fact are in favor of development it as long as guarantees dignified work with fair wages for local residents, coupled with the protection of the collective land, crops and ocean.

On Social Security: “It’s Values, Not Math” by Elizabeth Warren

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The call to cut Social Security has an uglier side to it, too. The Washington Post framed the choice as more children in poverty versus more seniors in poverty. The suggestion that we have become a country where those living in poverty fight each other for a handful of crumbs tossed off the tables of the very wealthy is fundamentally wrong. This is about our values, and our values tell us that we don’t build a future by first deciding who among our most vulnerable will be left to starve.

Capitalism and Unemployment

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Capitalists defend their "right" to hire and fire as an "entitlement" that cannot be questioned. Yet it surely should be challenged on grounds of its undemocratic nature and its perverse social results. Employing people in socially useful work (however a democratic society might define that) is more humane to the individuals, families and communities involved, and more productive and less costly than rendering them unemployed. Yet a private profit-driven capitalist system yields the endless unemployment, spiking repeatedly, that society does not want. Except, of course, capitalists want it because it keeps them at the top of capitalist society.

Everyone's Talking About This Simple Solution To Ending Poverty By Just Giving People Free Money

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Economists have long shuddered at the thought of a basic income, because it strongly disincentives work. However, a basic income is just that: basic. Most adults would continue to work to earn extra money. The employment effects would not be non-existent and there may be an increase in part-time work. As Lowrey points out, different studies have found the disincentive effects on work are not as strong as economists feared.

Undercover in North Korea: Starving children on the streets ignored by a Mercedes-driving elite

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In an indication of the shameful imbalance in the distribution of wealth, homeless children are seen starving in the streets, while the elite in the capital Pyongyang drive the latest Mercedes. Recent reports reveal more than a quarter of North Korean children under five are stunted by extreme malnutrition, while rural poverty remains endemic. According to the Independent, one eight-year-old boy called Min is filmed looking unsteady on his feet from hunger as he explains that his mother found it too hard to look after him so 'she told me I have to go.' 'So I left and now I live outside,' he adds.

Soldiers hold back desperate Filipinos trying to escape their typhoon-ravaged region as 3,000 people try to board two aircraft that can only take a few hundred

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About 3,000 Tacloban residents walked for miles to queue for help at the airport but just two planes arrived to take survivors to Manila, the capital of Philippines. There were scenes of chaos and devastation as families, many of whom contained young children or elderly people, were held back by soldiers. When the two Philippine Air Force C-130s arrived, people surged forward past a broken iron fence as they tried to secure a seat. But only a few hundred made it aboard and the rest were left to wait in the rain, with few supplies.

The Stealthy Killer That Is Capitalism

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The process is gradual, insidious, lethal. It starts with financial stress in various forms, and then, according to growing evidence, leads to health problems and shorter lives. Financial stress is brought upon us by the profit motive of capitalism, which offers little incentive to feed hungry children, to treat the sick, to secure us in retirement, to provide job opportunities for middle-class Americans. Some of the steps in the process are becoming more and more familiar to us. 1. Giving Half of Your 401(k) to the Banks 2. Watching 24,000,000 Children Go Hungry to Avoid Inconveniencing 20 Rich Individuals 3. Listening to the "Job Creators" Mock the Truth 4. Feeling the Debilitating Stress In addition to its effects on our physical health, financial stress threatens our mental well-being. Stunningly, one out of every five American adults had mental illness in 2011, as reported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Another recent study found that unemployment, whether voluntary or involuntary, can significantly impact a person's mental health. But only one of two Americans needing mental health care can afford treatment. Grimmer still is the growing suicide rate, also linked to unemployment and declining wealth. The rate has accelerated since the 2008 recession. The facts show that we were a relatively healthy people until unregulated free-market capitalism began to disrupt our lives. Now, because of its winner-take-all profit motive, we're literally fighting for our lives.

Blogs Education and Solutions

Why are Higher Wages a Win-Win Solution?

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Everyone knows that having money enables us to cover our needs and live in a comfortable manner, however the less we earn, the higher prices go up, the more taxes we pay and the more wealth is accumulated in the hands of a few means that the less opportunities exist to change the way the economic model works now. But, we have to learn this has not always been ‘the way the world works.’

Military Budget to Finance a Living Income: World Peace and Win-Win Solutions

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If the money spent currently in the ongoing Afghan war and Iraq occupation that has been going on for over a decade now, would be instead given back to the Americans in the form of a Living Income and Higher Wages for those that work, then there would be no such high poverty rates in America, no such grave unemployment rates or cuts in food stamps and/or unemployment benefits: because people would have money to live in dignity, would support the stability and continuous genuine growth of the economy – with the increase of each one’s power of acquisition – as well as ensuring that every bit of taxpayer’s money stays ‘at home.’ This is the real way to empower a country

EU’S Basic Income Petition: What NOW?

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285,041 people signed for the Universal Basic Income Petition in Europe but why didn't it reach the million? Time to refine the petition to a political proposal that is backed by political parties in Europe and around the globe – let’s make of the notion of basic income a comprehensive economic and political model that can be implemented in any nation around the globe and present it as the genuine win-win solution it can be – and for this, research the Living Income Guaranteed Proposal..

Yearly Salary “Raise”

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There is a need to start the process of bringing this awareness back into the minds of people by explaining through past examples about the benefits of having resources nationalized and how this can work for all people. What changes need to be done within governments in order to avoid any abuse and how to best allocate this huge increase in available resources that could really accomplish great things in bettering lives of all human beings of let’s say that specific country.

Living Income Practicality

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The foundation of LIG is to provide the necessary access to the living necessities as a human right, therefore if jobs are replaced by machines as an on-going trend, people will receive the LIG as a means to have their living needs covered. Therefore we don't directly endorse the idea of replacing human labor with machines as that is at this stage decided by each corporation's capacity to implement it in their business. However, also to consider that with LIG, due to financial security, many will feel more confident to start new business ventures, which will again create more jobs.

Day 253: Living Income Guaranteed and Means Testing

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One must remember that information sharing is generally resisted by individuals when it comes to income tax collection. The tendency exists to hide information in order to not be charged a higher tax rate. With LIG, we suggest no personal income tax be charged and information sharing would be done from the perspective of receiving benefits in the form of Living Income.

Less than 1 Euro a Day to save a Child

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Charities capitalize on this time of the year, they ‘prey’ on those that are getting close to the day when everyone wows to be good, they know we are looking for good things to do to build up our Good Christmas Character.

Reversing the Stupification of Mankind

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Its actually quite strange because on the one hand we wouldn’t dare wish to be in some situations in this world that others are actually quite commonly placed in, yet, on the other hand, we do absolutely nothing about it. With a few clicks of a mouse we are scrolling through our facebook page or checking our e-mail, or watching youtube. And the news article we just saw on the atrocities of war, poverty, ect… quickly fade into nothingness where now all we see is the latest Miley Cyrus update or gadget app that will make our lives even more convenient then they already are. Distraction! Our world has become the ultimate distraction.

Why Nationalization Makes sense – and we Don’t.

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This world is not designed to guarantee an Equal share of everything to All, crazy if you really think about it because no one was born -in theory- with more or less rights to benefiting from what the planet provides.

We are the slaves of our Brain

So within the context of seeing the importance of a global change that would give each and everyone of us the basic human right to live and within that, seeing the reward within having such system in place, when we think about what we on a personal level have to do to establish such change, the Insula activates in our brain where we unconsciously feel pain that restrain us from taking the responsibility of standing up for a change. Practically, it is when we step back and admire others walking towards a cause/change but we would decide to do nothing to help.

The Living Income Guaranteed Proposal

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The Living Income Guaranteed is a Proposal that addresses the immediate and pressing problem of massive world inequality. Current economic and political policies implemented to promote prosperity and the well-being of the world’s disenfranchised may have, to a degree, been able to facilitate economic growth, but the bounties of this growth have yet to reach those who most need it

Canada’s Minimum Wage Disgrace

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Would you trade places with one of the slaves slugging away at your local Tim Horton’s, MacDonald’s, Foodland? If you are one of the lucky, living comfortably, the answer is NO you would not trade places. So, let’s look at this problem within it’s simplicity, using the fact/truth that numbers can provide:

Hide It or Jail It – How we Deal with World Problems

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If we didn’t disassociate with the world to the level we manage to do daily, we would have to question why some are homeless, why are there poor people in a world that has proved to produce more than enough for all but is just given and kept for some. Poverty is not an accident, we can decide to eradicate it with a Living Income Guaranteed.

What is the Living Income Guaranteed?

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Living Income Guaranteed is an economic and political mechanism to ensure the establishment of Fundamental Human Birth Rights of the public through allocating a budget on a monthly basis to every eligible individual that is currently in a position of being unable to sustain themselves – and/or people in their custody – financially to a satisfactorily level that Human Dignity deserves and that currently lack such support due to reasons beyond their immediate control including – but not limited to – unemployment, lacking access to food, lacking access to housing, lacking access to healthcare, lacking access to education, physical disability, being retired or not old enough to have a job.

LIG will Change the Unconvenient Truth about Our Lives

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Now imagine if we said STOP, imagine if in one moment we all came to the same realization about this world and its abusive nature and stopped believing that this is the way things are, imagine if we refused to pray on one another for a living but instead granted to each other the unconditional right to life.

Only in a Broken System does Misery equal Profit

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Why are 'feel-good' projects such as voluntourism not a solution to the problems in this world? How are these projects in fact perpetuating those problems we are wishing to alleviate? If this is not the solution - then what is? Find out in this blog.

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