Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘EcoWatch’

incomeq
The economic and political game is clearly rigged in favor of wealthy, and its getting worse. This is a recipe for economic disaster, and which has been closely followed by major Wall Street politicians, such as Ron Wyden, Barack Obama, Mitch McConnell, Orrin Hatch, and George W. Bush.

The richest are getting richer, and their doing so quickly, and at the expense of the rest of us. For the most part, control of the levers of political power is how they have gained their money. It’s that simple. The rich control the Republican and Democratic parties, and with them, they control all three branches of the federal government, as well as most state and local governments. And that’s just in the USA.

In early 2016 Oxfam reported that just 62 individuals had the same wealth as the bottom half of humanity. About a year later Oxfam reported that just eight men had the same wealth as the world’s bottom half. Based on the same methodology and data sources used by Oxfam, that number is now down to six.

inequality-cartoon

There is a reason why the rich, and in particular the super rich, continue to get richer. The politicians of both major political parties work as agents on behalf of their billionaire benefactors, whether its Republicans such as Mitch McConnell, or Democrats like Ron Wyden.

This is why the poorest half (and more) of the world has continued to lose wealth; and the very richest individuals—especially the top thousand or so—continue to add billions of dollars to their massive fortunes. Inequality deniers and apologists say the Oxfam methodology is flawed, but they’re missing the big picture. Whether it’s six individuals or 62 or 1,000 doesn’t really matter. The data from the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Databook (GWD) and the Forbes Billionaire List provide the best available tools to make it clear that inequality is extreme and pathological and getting worse every year.

cent8

As of Feb. 17 of 2017, the world’s six richest individuals (all men) had $412 billion. Just a year ago, on March 1, 2016, the world’s six richest men had $343 billion. They’re the same men today, although slightly rearranged as they play “king of the hill”: Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos, Amancio Ortega, Mark Zuckerberg, Carlos Slim Helu (with Larry Ellison jockeying for position). The wealth of these six men increased by $69 billion in just one year.

According to a new report, which can be accessed below, the poorest 50 percent of the population has seen their share of wealth decline. And the richest 500 people own more wealth that the bottom 70 percent.

Six Men Own More Wealth Than the Bottom 50 Percent of the World’s Population–EcoWatch.org

Read Full Post »

img_5548

False news is a product of big business. False news is used to keep doubt in our minds about things. Democratic leaning media publish false news. Republican leaning media publish false news.

Now the courts have begun to rule to some degree that defamation can occur when the news media plant false stories. While this won’t end false news, it will make it financially hazardous to write stories smearing people.

According to EcoWatch.com,

“Leading climate scientist Michael Mann will see his defamation lawsuit against writers who called him the “Jerry Sandusky of climate science,” among other accusations, move forward thanks to an appeals court ruling on Thursday.

Mann is the director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University and is well-known for his iconic “hockey stick” graph of modern global temperature rise.

He is routinely criticized and even threatened for his research linking climate change to human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels.

On Thursday, a three-judge panel for the DC Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s refusal to dismiss the suit and unanimously ruled that a “reasonable jury” would have “sufficient evidence” that the authors and the entities they worked for published false and defamatory claims about Mann and his work “with actual malice.”

“Tarnishing the personal integrity and reputation of a scientist important to one side may be a tactic to gain advantage in a no-holds-barred debate over global warming,” Senior Judge Vanessa Ruiz wrote in the court’s opinion.

Rand Simberg wrote a 2012 blog post for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, comparing Mann to the Penn State football coach accused of molestation.

“Mann could be said to be the Jerry Sandusky of climate science, except for instead of molesting children, he has molested and tortured data in service of politicized science that could have dire consequences for the nation and planet,” Simberg wrote. The institute later removed that part, calling it “inappropriate.”

In his own post for the National Review, Mark Steyn cited Simberg’s article and added that he “has a point” and called Mann’s hockey stick graph “fraudulent.”

Simberg and Steyn argued that their comments were protected as free speech under the First Amendment, The Hill reported.

But in the ruling, the court said that while statements made during a “no-holds-barred debate over global warming” are protected under the First Amendment, “if the statements assert or imply false facts that defame the individual, they do not find shelter under the First Amendment simply because they are embedded in a larger policy debate.”

Read Full Post »