News May 2015

From the week of May 24 to May 30, 2015

  1. Alternative Banking at the Left Forum
    1. What is Occupy Up To? Saturday, May 30 3:15 – 5 pm
    2. Open Discussion on the Financial System’s Dysfunction and Alternatives Sunday, May 31 10 am -12 noon

At the last meeting, we agreed that at the Left Forum we would discuss what we mean by “Alternatives”.
There have been reform proposals such as:

Robert Reich / MoveOn “Ten Ideas to Save the Economy
Roosevelt Institute / Joseph Stiglitz “Rewriting the Rules

These suggest things like “Breaking up the Banks”, “End Corporate Welfare”, “Make Full Employment the Goal” that basically are trying to make the current economic system work the way it is supposed to.

Then there are proposals to change the system more fundamentally:

DeGrowth including Naomi Klein
Open Source Society
Worker Cooperatives
Henry George School
The Next System Project
Basic Income Guarantee
Martin Luther King, Jr.’s vision

Let’s Discuss

From the week of May 17 to May 23, 2015

  1. Fossil fuels subsidized by $10m a minute, says IMF That is $5.300,000,000,000 a year
    1. Who says we can’t afford to address climate change? If we just stop digging a bigger hole, it would be a big step forward.
  2. McDonald’s workers fight for $15 wage
    1. McDonald’s bans media from shareholder meeting amid protest threat
    2. McDonald’s pay rise was a PR stunt, not a solution for workers
  3. Judge finds banks enormously deceitful during mortgage crisis. Sounds like fraud. Will our new AG prosecute?
  4. Rigging of Foreign Exchange Market Makes Felons of Top Banks
    1. Mathbabe comment
    2. Avid readers of this site heard about this 15 months ago
    3. Some SEC commissioners think there should be real accountability (and get outvoted by our wonderful SEC Chair Mary Jo White) is this just a charade?
  5. Integrity Is Still Lost on Wall Street, Survey Finds
  6. Robert Reich’s Ideas to Save the Economy #4: Bust Up Wall Street
  7. Let’s put alternative in Alternative Banking
    2. The Next System Project
  8. Matt Taibbi, interviewed on Democracy Now, discusses the recent banking fines and guilty pleas (but nobody going to jail anyway), ‘Broken Windows’ policing (many people going to jail), and how the ‘Broken Windows’ theory and ‘Stop and Frisk’ police tactic led to Baltimore resistance following murder of Freddie Gray. Plus support for Bernie Sanders as honest presidential candidate and active opponent of Wall Street ‘Broken System’ crime. Video and complete transcript. Part Two of the discussion and transcript.
  9. Kansas redistributes money from the poor to the banks
    1. Kansas has found the ultimate way to punish the poor
    2. Kansas lawmakers want the poor to pay for tax cuts for the rich
    3. 3 ways making the poor prove they’re worthy of benefits is problematic

From the week of May 10 to May 16, 2015

  1. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo ordered emergency measures on Sunday to combat the wage theft and health hazards faced by the thousands of people who work in New York State’s nail salon industry.
  2. Joseph Stiglitz and the Roosevelt Institute have just published a report analyzing the currently broken U.S. economy and presenting detailed policies and rules to fix it. Hour-long video, (with link to report) includes statements by Elizabeth Warren, Simon Johnson and de Blasio.
  3. What UberX Drivers Actually Earn. Emily Guendelsberger, in a thorough and thoroughly entertaining first-person story for Philadelphia City Paper. Eye-opening figures on what drivers actually earn. Brutal.
  4. Big Banks Expected to Plead Guilty to Felony Charges, but Punishments May Be Tempered “May be” means “will be”. Unfortunately, this hardly even qualifies as “news”
    1. One SEC Commissioner registers a public complaint (but gets outvoted)
  5. For 76 New Jobs, New York State Has Spent Tens of Millions The businesses getting the subsidies are happy.
  6. Art and inequality
    1. Activists New and Old Jab Art World
    2. The $179 Million Picasso That Explains Global Inequality
  7. De Blasio’s Housing Push Spurs Anxiety Among Those It’s Meant to Help

From the week of May 3 to May 9, 2015

  1. We are excited to announce we will be teaching Occupy Summer School
  2. Inequality is a choice
  3. Sunday’s speaker, Scott Hutchins, discussed the homeless shelter system.
    1. Scott’s essay
    2. Picture the Homeless
  4. “‘Our Demand Is Simple:  Stop Killing Us.’  How a group of black social-media activists built the nation’s first 21st-century civil rights movement.”  NYTimes article by Jay Caspian Kang (May 4, 2015)
  5. MasterCard doubles card numbers in Middle East, Africa
  6. The Price of Nice Nails (NYTimes 5/7/15); Part Two of report is now available here.
  7. NY City responds to activist pressure, bans credit checks for employment
  8. Real Estate tax abatements
    1. City’s residential construction boom insanely skewed toward super-rich
    2. NY State Senate speaker and son arrested in scandal about real estate tax abatments
    3. Real Estate lobby fights against community activists and  labor to keep tax breaks
  9. Wells Fargo commits outright fraud
    1. Wells Fargo advice on how to detect and report fraud
    2. but what if Wells Fargo is committing the fraud
  10. Appeals court rules unanimously that NSA data collection — which went on for years before Edward Snowden revealed it (and continued for years after) — is plainly illegal.
  11. Trans-Pacific Partnership will lead to a global race to the bottom
  12. Federal Election Commission chief says we can’t enforce the law, rampant disrespect for rules that are on the book

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