Community Articles from 2015
How To Sell Off a City
By Rick Perlstein
Posted February 25, 2015
For over a decade now, Chicago has been the epicenter of the fashionable trend of “privatization”—the transfer of the ownership or operation of resources that belong to all of us, like schools, roads and government services, to companies that use them to turn a profit. Chicago’s privatization mania began during Mayor Richard M. Daley’s administration, which ran from 1989 to 2011. Under his successor, Rahm Emanuel, the trend has continued apace. For Rahm’s investment banker buddies, the trend has been a boon. For citizens? Not so much.
And as mayor, Emanuel has proven himself practically an addict when it comes to brokering deals with his former investment banker comrades and the other business interests he keeps on speed dial. As the Chicago Reader’s Ben Joravsky and Mick Dumke discovered when they filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the mayor’s private schedule, Emanuel almost never met with community leaders during his first year in office, but he met constantly with rich bankers like Rauner, BMO CEO William Downe and Larry Fink, chairman and CEO of BlackRock, the world’s biggest money management firm. These are his people. More…
Release the Ego—Transform the World
by Nanice Ellis
Posted January 26, 2015
There is enough for everyone. Our magnificent earth provides an abundance of food, energy, natural medicine, and building supplies that could easily meet the needs of everyone on this planet. Mother Earth does not charge money for any of these things, but our artificial economic system creates lack, scarcity and a slave civilization. We are killing our world and ourselves with poison food, toxic water, and polluted air, not to mention depression, anxiety, poverty and a host of other socio-economic issues – all caused or related to the global economic system.
It appears very easy to blame corrupt world leaders, governments, corporations and a host of other problematic sources — but the system continues because we agree to it. Perhaps, our agreement is complacent, but nonetheless, our lack of non-agreement perpetuates the dysfunction. So the question is, “What is it about each of us that makes us comply and go along – enabling the corrupt and moral-less?” More…
The Only Road Out Of Davos
by Raúl Ilargi Meijer
Posted January 23, 2015
The Davos crowd are not the important people, it’s just propaganda that makes you see them in that light. There’s no glory in wealth. The important people are your neighbors, your families, and most of all your children. And the answer to their insidious schemes is really simple; its that very simplicity which may well be the reason you never saw it.
You see, a dollar spent on locally made products goes much further than one spent on products that are shipped in. About 4 times further. Because if you buy local products, you support local jobs, which in turn support the community you live in through taxes that pay for strengthening the community, and so forth. Ergo: if something produced locally costs twice as much as what’s available from 1000 miles away, you’d still be better off. Even if it’s three times more expensive, you’ll still end up richer. More…
1700 PRIVATE jets ferrying the billionaire class decended on the Davos Economic Forum. So many that it caused air traffic control problems. You just know these people have the best interests of working people and the planet in their hearts.
Deep Questions Arise Over Portland’s Corporate Water Takeover
By Victoria Collier
Posted January 9, 2015
A simmering water war is about to come to a boil over the fate of historic, well-loved public reservoirs in Portland, Oregon. At the heart of the controversy is a breakdown in public trust that reflects the dangers of corporate-led water privatization schemes in the United States and around the world.
In an emotionally charged public meeting on November 18, 2014, Portland residents bombarded two of their city commissioners with questions about what they believe is a cronyism-driven plan to kill the elegant, gravity-fed, open water reservoir system that has reliably served their city safe, clean drinking water for more than 100 years.
Most troubling are charges of decades of revolving-door cronyism surrounding Joe Glicker, a vice president of CH2M Hill, the company awarded the contracts to build the new covered reservoirs for Portland. Not only was Glicker a former chief engineer of the Portland Water Bureau (PWB), he also worked as a core consultant with the EPA to write the very LT2 rules that now require these massive “emergency” water infrastructure projects. It’s a conflict of interest that has local water rights advocates’ heads spinning and steaming all at once. More…
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