money in politics

The Self-Destruction of the 1 Percent | New York Times

By Chrystia Feeland

Ms. Freeland writes, “The history of the United States can be read as one such virtuous circle. But as the story of Venice shows, virtuous circles can be broken. Elites that have prospered from inclusive systems can be tempted to pull up the ladder they climbed to the top. Eventually, their societies become extractive and their economies languish.

“That was the future predicted by Karl Marx, who wrote that capitalism contained the seeds of its own destruction. And it is the danger America faces today, as the 1 percent pulls away from everyone else and pursues an economic, political and social agenda that will increase that gap even further — ultimately destroying the open system that made America rich and allowed its 1 percent to thrive in the first place.

“You can see America’s creeping Serrata in the growing social and, especially, educational chasm between those at the top and everyone else. At the bottom and in the middle, American society is fraying, and the children of these struggling families are lagging the rest of the world at school.” (more…)

Corporations As People Or People-Owned Corporations?

The two most compelling emerging innovations to grace the “enlightened local living economy” movement are the growing awareness and adoption of “shared community ownership” models coupled with an evolving financial community dedicated to “responsible investing.” Shared community ownership refers to local stakeholders as the majority shareholders of privately held market-based corporations in various formats (cooperatives, credit unions, ESOPS, other employee-owned company models, and the newly emerging union-coop model launched last March 26th by the United Steelworkers Union, Mondragon and the Ohio Employee Ownership Center).

This is a growing, bipartisan, main street American “take back our sidewalks and our streets” movement right before our eyes, under our noses and in our capitalist hearts. (more…)

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