Economic Justice

Unchecked global capitalism produces massive poverty locally, worldwide

June 25, 2012

By any measure, from the observational to the documented, corporate governance  and the global economy have spawned an epidemic of poverty, from Bloomington to Bakersfield to Baltimore and beyond.

The streets and alleys of downtown Bloomington are homes and hangouts to growing numbers of the economically displaced. The latest U.S. Census Bureau data suggest the number of Hoosiers living below the poverty line grew by 65,000-plus between 2009 and 2010. A November 2011 analysis of that census data by the Brookings Institution said the first decade of the 21st century drove the number of impoverished Americans to a record high 46.2 million.

Jessie Jackson Jr., Ralph Nader push minimum wage hike into the debate

June 16, 2012

Preliminary echoes from the 2012 presidential campaign don't bode well for social, environmental and economic justice in America, yet again. President Barack Obama is, with cynical predictability, adopting populist rhetoric on justice issues like student debt, gay marriage and immigration. But after four years of his pursuing moderate Republican policies, progressive voters find it impossible to take him seriously. Mitt Romney is the quintessential 1 percent candidate who instinctively parrots plutocratic doctrine, no matter how contradictory on its face.

On the alternative party front, Dr. Jill Stein, who once opposed Romney in a race for Massachusetts governor, garnered enough delegates in California's June 5 Green Party Primary to clinch its nomination at the Green's July convention in Baltimore. But what little media coverage there was of Stein's achievement focused on Roseanne Barr, who lost to Stein in California and then announced she will continue her candidacy and form a new party called the Green Tea Party.

June 16, 2012

Peace & Justice News is a collection of news items collected by Bloomington Alternative contributor Linda Greene. Today's edition includes:

  • Chinese labor leader Li Wangyang: suicide or murder?
  • Antiwar feelings high among vets of recent wars
  • Victory for reproductive justice in the House of Representatives
  • U.S. military patrolling American streets
  • A win for Brooklyn Bridge arrestees filing a class action suit
  • Drones used over U.S. to be weaponized
  • TIAA-CREF’s role in the Israeli occupation
  • Working Families Party victorious in Oregon primary
  • Lawsuit against State of California for use of solitary confinement
  • Arson at Miami travel agency that arranges trips to Cuba

How do 'conservatives' justify authoritarian business models?

June 14, 2012

It is doubtful that schemes to refine synthetic gas and liquids from coal will ever be economical. Indeed, only two countries have used such technology, because they were desperate for transportation fuels. And they were expelled from trading with other countries.

The first was Nazi Germany. The second was apartheid-controlled South Africa.

But that fact seems to escape those who seek giant profits by forcing unwilling consumers to buy their fuels and assume tremendous risks. That is the case in tiny Rockport, a town of a little over 2,000 people on the Ohio River in southwest Indiana. There, a Wall Street-based hedge fund called Leucadia National has developed a business.

June 1, 2012

Peace & Justice News is a collection of news items collected by Bloomington Alternative contributor Linda Greene. Today's edition includes:

  • Policing U.S. Schools and Criminalizing Childhood
  • Thai workers in near-slavery supplying Walmart with food
  • Women’s benefits from the Affordable Care Act
  • Abuse of youth in for-profit prisons
  • National Nurses United wins Florida contract
  • Female immigrant farm workers facing sexual violence and harassment
  • Support grows for Wilmington 10 pardons
  • Traveler forced to miss her flight because of her t-shirt
  • Secret Services attempts to hide prostitution-related expenses
  • Attack on women’s health organization in New Orleans

May 19, 2012

Peace & Justice News is a collection of news items collected by Bloomington Alternative contributor Linda Greene. Today's edition includes:

  • Sham Violence Against Women Act guts protections
  • U.S. trade representative receives Corporate Power Tool Award
  • Voter sues Pennsylvania over voter ID law
  • Counting and naming all drone strike victims
  • Lockout at Sotheby’s enters its 10th month
  • House votes to slash food aid but fund the Pentagon more
  • Former Citigroup executive receives honorary doctorate
  • Feds designate “martial law red zone” around Chicago’s Loop
  • Lawsuit targets NYPD stop-and-frisk practices
  • Florida’s color- and gender-coded justice system

The Powell Memo: A roadmap for the 1 percent revolution, Part 1

May 1, 2012

Lewis F. Powell's 1971 memorandum to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce --- "Attack on American Free Enterprise System" -- may or may not have been the first shot fired in the nation's late-20th-century right-wing revolution. But from the document's title to its ominous conclusion -- "Business and the enterprise system are in deep trouble, and the hour is late" -- it was a literal call to the political arms that have subsequently driven the nation's devolution from democracy to oligarchy.

While the then-Richmond, Va., lawyer couched his message in noble-sounding calls for openness, balance, truth and fairness, his overall tone was doomsday and militant. Referring to the enemies that Powell said were arrayed against the Chamber -- largely on campuses, in the media and in the courts -- he used the term attack 18 times; revolt/revolution/revolutionaries five; war/warfare four; assault four; hostility two; destruction two; and shotgun attack and rifle shot one each. The stakes, he said, were tantamount to life and death.

"The overriding first need is for businessmen to recognize that the ultimate issue may be survival -- survival of what we call the free enterprise system, and all that this means for the strength and prosperity of America and the freedom of our people," he wrote just two months before being nominated to the Supreme Court by President Richard M. Nixon.

April 22, 2012

Peace & Justice News is a collection of news items collected by Bloomington Alternative contributor Linda Greene. Today's edition includes:

  • Living well without God
  • Animal rights activist plaintiff in First Amendment case
  • Military spending, taxes unending
  • Help end 21 years of solitary confinement for prisoner
  • Single-payer health care can save $570 billion
  • Mali union activist Tiecoura Traore visits the U.S.
  • If you have a large student loan debt, it’s your fault
  • 43rd Venceremos Brigade to leave for Cuba
  • Corporations profiteering on women’s health
  • Rio Tinto supports Olympic Summer Games, locks out workers

  • April 9, 2012

    Occupy Wall Street groups across the nation are joining forces for a Spring of Discontent despite skeptics’ expectations that the cold winter months would diminish the movement’s passion and momentum. Occupy Chicago organized a day of action on April 7, the official kickoff of Chicago Spring, including rallies, marches and other events intended to educate, inspire, unite and mobilize the 99 percent.

    Despite persistent pressure from the city and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s efforts to impose tighter fines and restrictions to scatter Occupy Chicago protesters from the downtown area, the movement has only grown stronger, Calumet College of St. Joseph Assistant Professor of English Mark Cassello wrote in an April 5 Huffington Post article. In fact, he said the mayor’s actions have “helped forge a highly organized and nimble agent of social protest.”

    "It's important to let the 1 percent know we have gone nowhere and gotten stronger (since) the winter," Occupy Chicago protester Mike Ehenreich said in a April 7 ABC7 article.

    March 31, 2012

    Evidence that Occupy Wall Street (OWS) has reshaped the discourse in the national financial sector is ample, as working groups continue to organize events to recreate a new kind of banking system.

    Most executive directors at major financial services firms say that OWS has made a mark on their businesses, according to a study conducted by a financial services research firm Echo Research and Makovsky.

    "Banks and financial services firms have now shifted their focus from liquidity and financial performance to customer satisfaction and their own employees," Makovsky executive Scott Tangney said in a March 27 Huffington Post article. "The Occupy Wall Street Movement has indicated to firms where they need to be focusing."

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