Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%

2 de Agosto de 2011 § Deixe um comentário

Americans have been watching protests against oppressive regimes that concentrate massive wealth in the hands of an elite few. Yet in our own democracy, 1 percent of the people take nearly a quarter of the nation’s income—an inequality even the wealthy will come to regret.


The top 1 percent have the best houses, the best educations, the best doctors, and the best lifestyles, but there is one thing that money doesn’t seem to have bought: an understanding that their fate is bound up with how the other 99 percent live. Throughout history, this is something that the top 1 percent eventually do learn. Too late.

Joseph E. Stiglitz – Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%


The Ideological Crisis of Western Capitalism

14 de Julho de 2011 § Deixe um comentário

Just a few years ago, a powerful ideology – the belief in free and unfettered markets – brought the world to the brink of ruin. Even in its hey-day, from the early 1980’s until 2007, American-style deregulated capitalism brought greater material well-being only to the very richest in the richest country of the world. Indeed, over the course of this ideology’s 30-year ascendance, most Americans saw their incomes decline or stagnate year after year.

Moreover, output growth in the United States was not economically sustainable. With so much of US national income going to so few, growth could continue only through consumption financed by a mounting pile of debt.

I was among those who hoped that, somehow, the financial crisis would teach Americans (and others) a lesson about the need for greater equality, stronger regulation, and a better balance between the market and government. Alas, that has not been the case. On the contrary, a resurgence of right-wing economics, driven, as always, by ideology and special interests, once again threatens the global economy – or at least the economies of Europe and America, where these ideas continue to flourish.

Joseph E. Stiglitz – The Ideological Crisis of Western Capitalism

Pour sauver l’euro il faudra le refonder

5 de Julho de 2011 § Deixe um comentário

Concurrence fiscale et salariale, liberté absolue de circulation (et de spéculation) des capitaux : voilà les vraies racines de la crise actuelle. Elles découlent directement du traité de Maastricht et de la logique des institutions fondatrices de l’euro. Peut-on espérer sortir de la crise en aggravant ses causes ?

Thomas Coutrot, Michel Husson, Pierre Khalfa – Pour sauver l’euro il faudra le refonder

The ultra-rich could solve this financial crisis

28 de Junho de 2011 § Deixe um comentário

Politics is about choices. The government can choose to punish millions of people for the recession that they did not cause, or inconvenience a few rich people. These rich people have gained the most in the boom years. The richest 1% of the population owns 21% of marketable wealth and the bottom 50% own just 7% of the wealth; and if the value of the dwellings is taken out then that figure stands at around 1%. The proportion of gross domestic product going to employees in the shape of wages and salaries has declined from 65.1% in 1976 and now stands at around 55%. Ordinary people just don’t have the capacity to take economic hits.

Prem Sikka – The ultra-rich could solve this financial crisis

Economic power begets political power

22 de Junho de 2011 § Deixe um comentário

Economic power tends to beget political power even in democratic and pluralistic societies. In the United States, this tends to work through campaign contributions and access to politicians that wealth and money tend to buy. This political channel implies another, potentially more powerful and distortionary link between inequality and a non-level playing field. It may also create pathways from inequality to instability, because both the economic and political implications of inequality can create various backlashes.

Daron Acemoglu – Economic power begets political power

The world is drowning in corporate fraud

15 de Junho de 2011 § Deixe um comentário

The world is drowning in corporate fraud, and the problems are probably greatest in rich countries — those with supposedly “good governance.” Poor-country governments probably accept more bribes and commit more offenses, but it is rich countries that host the global companies that carry out the largest offenses. Money talks, and it is corrupting politics and markets all over the world.

Jeffrey D. Sachs – The Global Economy’s Corporate Crime Wave

Alemães no seu próprio país

11 de Junho de 2011 § Deixe um comentário

Estamos a assistir ao desenvolvimento do subdesenvolvimento do nosso país e aparentemente assistimos passivamente. Como se isso nos abalasse tanto quanto o recente maremoto do Japão. Como se o país fosse um lugar distante, habitado por gente que conhecemos mal, por quem não temos especial estima e que certamente merece o fardo que lhe cabe carregar. Ouvindo ou lendo alguns comentadores, dá a impressão de que são alemães no seu próprio país. Dissecam a realidade nacional como se fossem médicos legistas, esquartejando o cadáver, como se não fossem parte dele. Outros, os super-ricos, a quem o dinheiro dá direito à sabedoria encartada, declaram-se revoltados com a pobreza e as pensões de miséria, como se a pobraza fosse um pecado de que a sua riqueza está inocente. E quase todos flagelam o país, como se as causas de nossa crise financeira não fossem sistémicas e, portanto, em parte, estranha à nossa acção, por mais desastrada que tenha sido.

Boaventura de Sousa Santos
in Santos, Boaventura de Sousa (2011), Portugal – Ensaio contra a autoflagelação, Almedina, p. 8.