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7/15/2010  The Middle Class in America Is Radically Shrinking. Here Are the Stats to Prove it
The 22 statistics detailed here prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the middle class is being systematically wiped out of existence in America. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer at a staggering rate. Once upon a time, the United States had the largest and most prosperous middle class in the history of the world, but now that is changing at a blinding pace. So why are we witnessing such fundamental changes? Well, the globalism and "free trade" that our politicians and business leaders insisted would be so good for us have had some rather nasty side effects. It turns out that they didn't tell us that the "global economy" would mean that middle class American workers would eventually have to directly compete for jobs with people on the other side of the world where there is no minimum wage and very few regulations. The big global corporations have greatly benefited by exploiting third world labor pools over the last several decades, but middle class American workers have increasingly found things to be very tough. Here are the statistics to prove it...
(Business Insider)
posted: 8/18/10                   0       5

2/22/2005  Protest as Harassment: The new crime bill permits the police to stop almost any demonstration.
It was the greatest legal victory against corporate power in living memory. Last week, two penniless activists, Dave Morris and Helen Steel, persuaded the European Court of Human Rights that Britain’s libel laws, under which they had been sued by McDonald’s, had denied them their right of free speech. The law will probably have to be changed, depriving the rich and powerful of their most effective means of stifling public protest. So why aren’t they hopping mad about it? The company which sued Dave and Helen will say only that “the world has moved on … and so has McDonald’s.”(1) The Confederation of British Industry, so quick to denounce the legal rulings it doesn’t like, hasn’t uttered a word. They don’t care, and they don’t need to. You can see why by reading the Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill, which has now passed through the Commons for the third time. What civil law once gave them, criminal law now offers instead. There has been a great deal of disquiet about this bill, but not because of its effects on protest. The public complaints have concentrated on the clause banning “hatred against persons on religious grounds”.(2) This is important, but not nearly as important as the parts almost everyone has missed. Once this bill becomes law, it could be used to ban people from handing out leaflets to customers entering McDonald’s, whether their contents are defamatory or not.
(London Guardian)
posted: 5/7/09                   2       15
keywords: Animal Rights, Big Pharma, Caroline Flint, Confederation Of British Industry, Dave Morris, European Court Of Human Rights, European Union, Free Speech, George Monbiot, Helen Steel, Huntingdon Life Sciences, Mcdonalds, Police, Terrorists, UK Home Office, UK Parliament, UK Secretary Of State, United Kingdom Add New Keyword To Link

7/12/2001  Reinventing Collectivism: The New Social Democracy
On every front, collectivism is in retreat. With the fall of the Berlin Wall, the idea of state socialism is dead. For many people, the triumph of the market economy has legitimised the ideals of economic self-interest. Throughout the Western world, the traditional role of government is under question: the large, centralised bureaucracies of the welfare state appear to be out-of-step with an increasingly self-reliant electorate. The public’s faith in the public sector is at an all-time low. So too, we have entered an era of political disengagement. The hierarchies of organised politics have generated enormous public distrust and dissatisfaction. Indeed, it is difficult to think of a government policy that still fosters a strong sense of collective interest and collective responsibility. We are losing the battle for public mutuality. Not surprisingly, the foundations of community life are also weak. Society is experiencing exclusion at the top as well as the bottom. The trend towards walled housing estates and gated communities erodes social capital, no less than the exclusion of poor neighbourhoods. There is a thing called society but unhappily, we are losing it. This is the crisis of Left-of-Centre politics: the widespread decline in collective institutions and collective ideals. Unless this crisis is addressed, our hopes for social democracy will hollow out. We will become a cause for power, rather than a cause for a good society. While from time to time we will still win elections, we will not know what to do with our electoral success. - One of the characteristics of Information Age politics is a growing sense of self-reliance. With the spread of mass information and education, the public wants to make more of its own judgements, to take greater control of the decision making process. Across society, institutions that tell people what to do are losing support. This is true of all forms of hierarchy, whether expressed through government agencies, political parties, trade unions or churches. We have entered an era of institutional rebellion. Left-wing politics is the most prominent victim of this process. Each of our major institutions is in crisis. Trade union membership in Australia , for instance, has fallen to below 25 per cent of the workforce. The union movement has been crippled by an organisational contradiction: while economic activity has become more decentralised, it has gone down the path of amalgamations and centralised super-unions. This is one of the most ill-advised strategies in the history of Australian labour. Likewise, the old politics of statism is in decline. Contrary to the promise of the welfare state, there is not a government program for every social problem. Indeed, it is difficult to find a section of society that remains enthusiastic about the work of government. At one level, these shortcomings are entirely predictable. The state has adopted the organisational principles of the Industrial Age: hierarchies, mass production and standardisation. It is out of step with the demands of an increasingly diverse and self-reliant electorate.
(University of New South Wales)
posted: 7/25/10                   0       7
keywords: Amitai Etzioni, Australia, Barry Jones, Bill Clinton, Centrelink, Charlie Leadbeater, European Union, Globalization, Hegelian Dialectic, Institute For Public Policy Research And Demos, Internet, Louisiana, Mark Latham, Mcdonalds, Paul Keating, Progressive Policy Institute, Robert Putnam, Russell Long, Tom Bentley, Tony Blair, Tony Giddens, University Of New South Wales, World Bank, World Trade Organization, World War II Add New Keyword To Link

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