My regular Sunday piece of interesting, longer, deeper stories I found during the week. It’s also a chance for you to share what you found this week too. Those stimulating links you wanted to share, but just didn’t fit in anywhere (no linkwhoring). This week: plutocrats, the New World Order, benefits and solving slavery and extinction.
First up: why do the plutocrats hate Obama so much? He gave them a $700 billion bail-out and most wealth since then has funnelled to the 0.01%, but -
Evident throughout the letter is a sense of victimization prevalent among so many of America’s wealthiest people. In an extreme version of this, the rich feel that they have become the new, vilified underclass. T. J. Rodgers, a libertarian and a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, has taken to comparing Barack Obama’s treatment of the rich to the oppression of ethnic minorities…
And with the Supreme Court’s “Citizens United” decision, the super rich are now free to put unlimited amounts into attack advertising against Obama – and they are. In a more fun take on it, Nick Hanauer (a plutocrat living very, very comfortably in a place you cannot afford) says:
A bard once said that plutocrats hate regulation for the same reason that robbers hate cops. That’s a cheap shot, and underappreciates the sophistication of our argument.
Meanwhile Seumas Milne sees the end of the New World Order. As the first decade of the 21st century exposed the limits of US power – militarily and economically, and the failures of neo-liberal capitalism, he discusses in his new book the growing call for a social alternative.
In the UK the BBC’s lead political correspondent and the opposition’s Shadow Chief Secretary of the Treasury discuss Why We Don’t Trust Politicians.
Also over there they are looking at simplifying their benefits system (as National are here). There system is even more complex, and their desired overhaul is to an even greater level of simplicity (leaving just 1 benefit type…). The BBC wonders if the benefit system is too baffling to be solved?
But trying to simplify something so complex is a headache in itself, and the question is whether Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith’s audacious reforms will make the system any simpler.
A pessimist might echo the words of Kafka, who once said: “Every revolution evaporates and leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy.”
And on some bigger issues:
- The cost to prevent all future extinctions is $US11.42 per year (each).
- and we may have more slaves than ever, but could it be eradicated in 30 years?