... seeing every action as part of a pattern of plunder, especially the attacks on communities of color that have been facing immediate dangers to their safety and dignity over the past year.

Maj. Danny Sjursen ties right wing attacks on minorities to "the great heist that is underway" and to resurgent Confederate power within our military.

The Confederacy Endures

The Grand Unified Theory of politics is that there is a small group of wealthy, corporate elites who have taken political power by means of the massive wealth they have amassed, and their goal is to amass even more wealth. Through a corporate profit-making lens, there is no profit value in addressing racial and gender justice. There is no value in universal health care, quality education, higher wages or pristine air, water and land, because funding such goals leaves less money for the wealthy elites.

Charles Derber, a sociology professor at Boston College … said that the idea of "intersectionality is very important":

All of the various crises that we're facing---climate change, predatory capitalism, militarism, extreme sexism and racism, anti-immigration and so forth---these issues are largely viewed in the media and for quite a few years on the left as relatively autonomous from each other. And the understanding that these issues are systemically intertwined, like DNA all wrapped up with each other, has been lost to a large degree.

… we need to adopt a universal approach, or a Grand Unified Theory of political resistance and organizing.

It is the only path to feeling powerful in the face of relentless assaults, as opposed to the powerlessness that is leaving many of us feeling paralyzed. [emphasis mine]

image sources: puzzle pieces, Koch brothers, racism, wildfire [text and gradient mine]

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Income inequality makes environment degredation worse, apart from issues of climate justice for minority communities.

To solve climate change, solve income inequality

A new report says that the wider the gap between rich and poor, the more the environment suffers.

“What’s missing from the conversation is what our inequality crisis is doing to our planet,” said Susan Holmberg, a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute and author of a new report that shows how unequal societies inflict more environmental damage than more economically even societies. “One key topic that is still overlooked is how environmental degradation and climate change are themselves the toxic byproducts of our inequality problem,”...

“People assume that raising incomes will increase personal consumption and, as a result, also increase carbon emissions, which would do little to alleviate climate change,” Holmberg said. “But there are so many more mechanisms at play, including how power disparities hobble communities from protecting, for example, their air or their water.”

"... the left has been hobbled by a supposed environment versus jobs/economy dichotomy,” Holmberg added.

... economist James Boyce ... changed the question to: ‘How are we treating each other, and what are the environmental effects from these dynamics?’”

... in the United States and in other countries, the number of species threatened increases with income inequality.

Holmberg ... said that “public companies that only prioritize next-quarter share prices — and pump up those share prices through stock buybacks — are an enormous driver of inequality.” She added that “corporate short-termism, by its very definition, is bad for the environment because the same shareholder incentives that skew companies away from investing in workers, capital, and innovation discourage them from investing in, for example, green retrofitting of existing buildings, sustainable production practices, and even compliance with environmental regulations.”

... many environmental justice advocates have been saying for years, that financial regulation, progressive tax policy and social insurance programs should be regarded as integral to climate change policy.

“They will not directly pull carbon out of the atmosphere, which we need to do so urgently, but these kinds of progressive economic policies may be a necessary foundation for a sustainable society,” said Holmberg, who believes inequality belongs at the center of our national conversation about climate change.[emphasis mine]

image source [text mine]

Fran Hdez's art captures some of the intertwined crises theme.

Overpopulation is a root cause, or at least an underlying "enzymatic effect" exacerbating the systemic problems issued here, another disastrous situation brought to us mainly by religion.

Good point, Bertold.

No-longer-rational memes and cultural values such as "be fruitful and multiply" don't have to be based on religion... but religions aren't helping, in bringing the weight of "GodSaidSo" to patterns that were useful for maintaining and strengthening a tribe or a nation when human population was low and the earth's resources seemed limitless.

Trickle up economic theory?

Milton Friedman?

Racism?

President Obama received a Nobel peace prize for what? Because he wasn't G.W.B.? It had nothing to do with Peace.

Obama continued to practice Milton Friedmans economic policies, who also received the Nobel prize for The Origin Of 'The World's Dumbest Idea': Milton Friedman

"

No popular idea ever has a single origin. But the idea that the sole purpose of a firm is to make money for its shareholders got going in a major way with an article by Milton Friedman in the New York Times on September 13, 1970.

As the leader of the Chicago school of economics, and the winner of Nobel Prize in Economics in 1976, Friedman has been described by The Economist as "the most influential economist of the second half of the 20th century...possibly of all of it". The impact of the NYT article contributed to George Will calling him “the most consequential public intellectual of the 20th century.”

Friedman’s article was ferocious. Any business executives who pursued a goal other than making money were, he said, “unwitting pup­pets of the intellectual forces that have been undermining the basis of a free society these past decades.” They were guilty of “analytical looseness and lack of rigor.” They had even turned themselves into “unelected government officials” who were illegally taxing employers and customers.

How did the Nobel-prize winner arrive at these conclusions? It’s curious that a paper which accuses others of “analytical looseness and lack of rigor” assumes its conclusion before it begins. “In a free-enterprise, private-property sys­tem,” the article states flatly at the outset as an obvious truth requiring no justification or proof, “a corporate executive is an employee of the owners of the business,” namely the shareholders.

Come again?

If anyone familiar with even the rudiments of the law were to be asked whether a corporate executive is an employee of the shareholders, the answer would be: clearly not. The executive is an employee of the corporation.

An organization is a mere legal fiction

But in the magical world conjured up in this article, an organization is a mere “legal fiction”, which the article simply ignores in order to prove the pre-determined conclusion. The executive “has direct re­sponsibility to his employers.” i.e. the shareholders. “That responsi­bility is to conduct the business in accordance with their desires, which generally will be to make as much money as possible while con­forming to the basic rules of the society, both those embodied in law and those embodied in ethical custom.“

What’s interesting is that while the article jettisons one legal reality—the corporation—as a mere legal fiction, it rests its entire argument on another legal reality—the law of agency—as the foundation for the conclusions. The article thus picks and chooses which parts of legal reality are mere “legal fictions” to be ignored and which parts are “rock-solid foundations” for public policy. The choice depends on the predetermined conclusion that is sought to be proved.

A corporate exec­utive who devotes any money for any general social interest would, the article argues, “be spending someone else's money… Insofar as his actions in accord with his ‘social responsi­bility’ reduce returns to stockholders, he is spending their money.”

How did the corporation’s money somehow become the shareholder’s money? Simple. That is the article’s starting assumption. By assuming away the existence of the corporation as a mere “legal fiction”, hey presto! the corporation’s money magically becomes the stockholders' money.

But the conceptual sleight of hand doesn’t stop there. The article goes on: “Insofar as his actions raise the price to customers, he is spending the customers' money.” One moment ago, the organization’s money was the stockholder’s money. But suddenly in this phantasmagorical world, the organization’s money has become the customer’s money. With another wave of Professor Friedman’s conceptual wand, the customers have acquired a notional “right” to a product at a certain price and any money over and above that price has magically become “theirs”.

But even then the intellectual fantasy isn’t finished. The article continued: “Insofar as [the executives’] actions lower the wages of some employees, he is spending their money.” Now suddenly, the organization’s money has become, not the stockholder’s money or the customers’ money, but the employees' money.

Is the money the stockholders’, the customers' or the employees’? Apparently, it can be any of those possibilities, depending on which argument the article is trying to make. In Professor Friedman’s wondrous world, the money is anyone’s except that of the real legal owner of the money: the organization.

One might think that intellectual nonsense of this sort would have been quickly spotted and denounced as absurd. And perhaps if the article had been written by someone other than the leader of the Chicago school of economics and a front-runner for the Nobel Prize in Economics that was to come in 1976, that would have been the article’s fate. But instead this wild fantasy obtained widespread support as the new gospel of business.

People just wanted to believe…

The success of the article was not because the arguments were sound or powerful, but rather because people desperately wanted to believe. At the time, private sector firms were starting to feel the first pressures of global competition and executives were looking around for ways to increase their returns. The idea of focusing totally on making money, and forgetting about any concerns for employees, customers or society seemed like a promising avenue worth exploring, regardless of the argumentation.

In fact, the argument was so attractive that, six years later, it was dressed up in fancy mathematics to become one of the most famous and widely cited academic business articles of all time. In 1976, Finance professor Michael Jensen and Dean William Meckling of the Simon School of Business at the University of Rochester published their paper in the Journal of Financial Economics entitled “Theory of the Firm: Managerial Behavior, Agency Costs and Ownership Structure.”

Underneath impenetrable jargon and abstruse mathematics is the reality that whole intellectual edifice of the famous article rests on the same false assumption as Professor Friedman’s article, namely, that an organization is a legal fiction which doesn’t exist and that the organization’s money is owned by the stockholders.

Even better for executives, the article proposed that, to ensure that the firms would focus solely on making money for the shareholders, firms should turn the executives into major shareholders, by affording them generous compensation in the form of stock. In this way, the alleged tendency of executives to feather their own nests would be mobilized in the interests of the shareholders.

The money took over…

Sadly, as often happens with bad ideas that make some people a lot of money, shareholder value caught on and became the conventional wisdom. Not surprisingly, executives were only too happy to accept the generous stock compensation being offered. In due course, they even came to view it as an entitlement, independent of performance.

Politics also lent support. Ronald Reagan was elected in the US in 1980 with his message that government is “the problem”. In the UK, Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister in 1979. These leaders preached “economic freedom” and urged a focus on making money as “the solution”. As the Michael Douglas character in the 1987 movie, Wall Street, pithily summarized the philosophy, greed was now good.

Moreover an apparent exemplar of the shareholder value theory emerged: Jack Welch. During his tenure as CEO of General Electric from 1981 to 2001, Jack Welch came to be seen–rightly or wrongly–as the outstanding implementer of the theory, as a result of his capacity to grow shareholder value and hit his numbers almost exactly. When Jack Welch retired, the company had gone from a market value of $14 billion to $484 billion at the time of his retirement, making it, according to the stock market, the most valuable and largest company in the world. In 1999 he was named “Manager of the Century” by Fortune magazine."

...More Here...

 

Racism - I don't understand the underpinnings of the affliction. I call it an affliction because it resembles a sickness in how it spreads. Hate is related and I just read an article (click Here) of how hate is spread by county in these United States of America and why it is so prevalent.

Scarcity and money is at the root of all of our problems. Money is at least 10,000 years old. It's time to get rid of that old technology. Scarcity has ALWAYS been part of human life so much so that many people cannot imagine ever living without scarcity. RBE can do it. It can give a life of plenty to every person on the planet fairly. What do you think? Why? Why not?

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