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Rising debt service costs: Public banks for tax relief

Rising debt service costs: Public banks for tax relief
By Mike Krauss
Posted December 11, 2015

interest payments strangling our citiesAcross the United States, states and municipal governments struggle to provide essential public services, such as schools, public safety, courts and prisons, public health, transportation infrastructure and parks, while also trying to keep taxes down for a middle class burdened with taxes of every kind.

Some of those taxes are easily identified, like those on income, wages, property, sales and gas. Some are almost invisible. One of these is the tax on the money raised by the bonds that governments issue to pay for capital projects.It’s called interest, and this tax shows up in our public budgets and financial reports as “debt service,” which adds to the burden on taxpayers.

In California for example, construction of the new Bay Bridge in San Francisco was projected to cost $6 billion. But California taxpayers are also on the hook for more than $6 billion more in interest, which will be paid to investors who purchased the bonds used to raise the first $6 billion. More…

Time to Stop Worshipping Economic Growth

Time to Stop Worshipping Economic Growth
by Brent Blackwelder
Posted December 7, 2015

there is no economy on a dead planetThere are physical limits to growth on a finite planet. In 1972, the Club of Rome issued their groundbreaking report—Limits to Growth (twelve million copies in thirty-seven languages). The authors predicted that by about 2030, our planet would feel a serious squeeze on natural resources, and they were right on target.

In 2009, the Stockholm Resilience Center introduced the concept of planetary boundaries to help the public envision the nature of the challenges posed by limits to growth and physical/biological boundaries. They defined nine boundaries critical to human existence that, if crossed, could generate abrupt or irreversible environmental changes. The global economy must be viewed from a macro-perspective to realize that infringement of the planetary boundaries puts many life support ecosystems in jeopardy. Without functional ecosystems, the very survival of life forms, as well as human institutions, is put in doubt, including any economy. There is no economy on a dead planet! More…

New Economy 2.0

New Economy 2.0
by David Korten
Posted December 2, 2015

dying Earth, dying economyThe old economy of greed and dominion is dying. A new economy of life and partnership is struggling to be born. The outcome is ours to choose. Imagine an economy in which life is valued more than money and power resides with ordinary people who care about one another, their community, and their natural environment. It is possible. It is happening. Millions of people are living it into being. Our common future hangs in the balance.

There is broad agreement about the need for a New Economy, but strikingly different versions of what that means. The New Economy 1.0 version envisions a magical high-tech fantasy world of limitless growth in mindless consumption.

New Economy 1.0 leaves unchallenged the implicit assumption of the old economy that life exists to serve the economy. It poses no challenge to a money-driven economic system designed and managed by Wall Street corporations to maximize financial returns to their major players. It leaves in place indicators that count the conversion of the real living-wealth of the many to the phantom financial-wealth of the few as a net gain for society. It has no plan for dealing with the internal dynamics of a system that by its design drives toward financial instability, wealth concentration, environmental stress, and political corruption. More…

What Makes Finland’s Teachers So Much Better Than Everyone Else’s?

What Makes Finland’s Teachers So Much Better Than Everyone Else’s?
by Vic Bishop
Posted November 30, 2015

Finland gets education rightFinland’s school system is swiftly becoming the envy of the world, primarily because of their willingness to experiment with alternatives to formal education to discover if different methods and approaches work better than the strict government controlled academic model. Teaching is a highly valued profession in this Northern European nation, and all over the world teachers come to Finland to tour Finnish schools in order to improve their work at home.

Simply put, Finland’s teachers are better than everyone else’s because the government and the people of the nation have developed a strong revere for this most important of professions and consider teacher training to be of utmost importance.

Can you imagine a world where teachers and educators are more influential and important to society than investment bankers and politicians? More…

What If We Owned the Internet Together? It’s Time to Bring the Co-op Revolution to the Web

What If We Owned the Internet Together? It’s Time to Bring the Co-op Revolution to the Web
by Nathan Schneider and Trebor Scholz
Posted November 23, 2015

Internet is a community resourceOver and over, this is what happens with the most promising new technologies. From the telegraph to radio and television, early adopters imagine a coming reign of freedom and democracy. But then investors buy in and monopolies rise up, extracting profits above all and suppressing the next generations of innovators, at least until the next “disruption.”

A different online economy is possible. Especially since the onset of the Great Recession, we’re living through a renaissance of solidarity economies in the United States and around the world. The flourishing of farmers markets, benefit corporations, credit unions, and fair trade demonstrates the longing for enterprise that serves the common good, rather than merely rolling in profits for the few. A bedrock of any solidarity economy is the old idea of cooperativism—sharing ownership among those affected by an enterprise and governing it democratically. More…

Fracking Goes on Trial for Human Rights Violations

Fracking Goes on Trial for Human Rights Violations
By Kathleen Dean Moore
Posted November 15, 2015

poisoning our water and lying about itWhen industry and governments persist in longstanding practices of silence and deception, it is important to uncover the factual and moral truths about their crimes. Kathleen Dean Moore asserts that the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal on the human rights impact of fracking intends to do just that, and also explains why it matters.

As convoys of heavy trucks carry fracking equipment into new oil fields in neighborhoods and wildlands around the world, an alliance of human rights organizations is making plans to put the entire practice of hydraulic fracturing on trial. The court is the Permanent People’s Tribunal, a descendant of the Vietnam War-era International War Crimes Tribunal. The Peoples’ Tribunal is a branch of no government on Earth. It has no power of enforcement. It has no army, no prison, no sheriff. So what’s the point? More…

The Post-Wall Street Era Will be Local

The Post-Wall Street Era Will be Local
by Raphaël Souchier
Posted November 11, 2015

local is the futureChanging our actions requires understanding what generates them. “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root,” observed Thoreau. It is indeed at the root where wisdom wishes we would intervene. That is where we are acted upon, manipulated by our own fears. We fear being isolated, threatened by others and by a natural environment that we imagine to be inert, strange and hostile.

However, there is at least one other way to see things, just as realistic but more fecund: We are part of an ecosystem to which we are profoundly related and that permanently generates life. Instead of destroying it through ignorance and arrogance, it would be reasonable to honor it while observing it, respecting it and allowing it to inspire our action. David Korten mentioned this when we met: “This system is extraordinary in its ability to organize itself to capture and use local nutrients, water and energy in each area of the planet. It is extremely local. Seize the resources, use them, and trade them to preserve life through cooperative sharing. All these microsystems are interconnected, and in the end they constitute a global interdependent biosphere.” More…

10 Things Business Schools Must Teach About Sustainable Development

10 Things Business Schools Must Teach About Sustainable Development
by Terry F. Yosie
Posted November 3, 2015

sustainable communitiesThe acceleration of sustainable development initiatives across the global marketplace has stimulated a variety of responses from both global companies and business schools as they race to adapt to increasingly powerful demographic, economic and technological changes.

Yet the direct relationship between companies and business schools remains uneven, both in actions and in results. This is reflected in the often ad hoc nature of their collaboration, the differing approaches to teaching sustainable development, and the burgeoning need for new skill sets among graduates. More…

TPP signed: the ‘biggest global threat to the internet’ agreed, as campaigners warn that secret pact could bring huge new restrictions to the Internet

TPP signed: the ‘biggest global threat to the internet’ agreed, as campaigners warn that secret pact could bring huge new restrictions to the Internet
by Andrew Griffin
Posted October 22, 2015

TPP is NAFTA on steroidsAn agreement that some campaigners have called the “biggest global threat to the internet” has just been signed, potentially bringing huge new restrictions on what people can do with their computers.

One particularly controversial part of the provisions make it a crime to reveal corporate wrongdoing “through a computer system”. Experts have pointed out that the wording is very vague, and could lead to whistleblowers being penalised for sharing important information, and lead to journalists stopping reporting on them. More…

The Elephant in the Room: Capitalism and Sustainable Development

The Elephant in the Room: Capitalism and Sustainable Development
by Garry Leech
Posted October 19, 2015

we must cut our consumptionThe term “sustainable” has been used by so many people in so many different contexts that it has lost much of its meaning. It has become a buzzword in political, economic and development circles. But it is not the excessive use of the word that has ultimately rendered it largely meaningless but the fact that too many efforts to achieve sustainable development do not seriously attempt to actually achieve sustainable development.

It is too often suggested that we can simply incorporate more environmentally-friendly practices into our daily lives while only tinkering with our consumption habits in order to achieve sustainability. But this simply is not true. Each of us living in wealthy nations must massively, and I mean MASSIVELY, reduce our levels of material consumption if we are to achieve a sustainable ecological footprint. And this reality is the elephant that is too often ignored in discussions about sustainable development. More…

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Quotable Sayings

nothing can stop a determined soulThere is no chance, no destiny, no fate that can circumvent or hinder or control the firm resolve of a determined soul.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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billionaires don't EARN money, they MAKE money

You do not become a billionaire through labor. You become a billionaire through inheritance, corruption or economic rents – or, in most cases, some mixture of all three.

Grace Blakeley

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same puppet master pulling strings on both sides

Mainstream American liberals think they’re clear-eyed because they can see the propaganda strings being pulled by Fox and Donald Trump, and mainstream American conservatives think they’re clear-eyed because they can see the propaganda strings being pulled by MSNBC and the Democrats, but the propaganda strings on both trace back to the same puppet master. And seeing that is just the beginning.

Caitlin Johnstone

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discover your infinite worth

You alone are the judge of your worth and your goal is to discover infinite worth in yourself, no matter what anyone else thinks.

Deepak Chopra

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main stream media propaganda

It is obvious that the US government is destroying Assange to signal to journalists the consequences of publishing information. It is therefore also obvious that any journalist who fails to use whatever platform they have to speak out against Assange’s persecution has no intention of ever publishing anything that the US government doesn’t want published. Their silence on or support for what is being done to this man can and should be taken as an admission that they are nothing other than state propagandists.

Caitlin Johnstone

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Britian's Orwellian tactics against Julian Assange

It’s quite fitting that the – imperially pre-determined – judicial fate of Julian Assange is being played out in Britain, the home of George Orwell.

Pepe Escobar

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The Shocking Truth about Our Money System and How We Can Break Free!

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Great story on why we need to remove ALL of our elected government representatives
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