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People Before Profits • Stop Foreclosures • Break Up Big Finance • End the Wars
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Food, Coops, Capitalism

June 20, 2018 - 9:00am
Last week, I travelled to Portland, Oregon to give a keynote presentation to the Consumer Coop Management Association—CCMA. My first experience with cooperatives had been in 1983 when I worked as a manager for the Stockton Farmers’ Market Coop. Long before the rise of the food movement, we used to sell fresh produce to the Berkeley Coop’s supermarkets. This allowed a small group of struggling farmers to sell a lot of good food to a big group of affluent consumers. But that was long ago. I needed to study up to face 500 experts in coop management. When I did background research, I was struck by the obvious: Capitalism and food coops emerged together. The first known food cooperative, the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers, was formed in 1844 by a small group of craftspeople who had been de-skilled by England’s great textile factories in the thick of the Industrial Revolution.
Categories: Friends of GEO, SE News

As The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights Turns 70, It’s Time To Resurrect Its Vision Of Global Sharing And Justice

June 19, 2018 - 1:00pm
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is one of the most translated and celebrated documents in the world, marking its 70th anniversary this year. But relatively few people are aware of the significance of its 25th Article, which proclaims the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living—including food, housing, healthcare, social services and basic financial security.[1] As our campaign group Share The World’s Resources (STWR) has long proposed, it is high time that activists for global justice reclaim the vision that is spelled out in those few simple sentences. For in order to implement Article 25 into a set of binding, enforceable obligations through domestic and international laws, the implications are potentially revolutionary.
Categories: Friends of GEO, SE News

Paris Is Building The Eco-Community Of The Future Right Now. Here’s How.

June 18, 2018 - 10:00am
May 23, 2018 — Every so often an environmentally friendly building gives us a glimpse of the low-carbon future so many climate plans envision. With the development of Clichy-Batignolles, the city of Paris has created a groundbreaking eco-village filled with such buildings. Begun in 2002, the massive redevelopment project is about 30 percent complete and is slated to be finished in 2020. In 2007, Paris became one of the first municipalities in the world to adopt a climate action plan, setting goals for greenhouse gas emission reductions above and beyond those outlined by the European Union. Employing virtually all the tools in the green builders’ toolkit, Clichy-Batignolles aims to be tangible evidence of the city’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint as well as an experimental laboratory for testing what’s possible in climate-sensitive redevelopment.
Categories: Friends of GEO, SE News

How Much America’s Biggest Corporations Have Stolen From Their Own Workers

June 17, 2018 - 1:01pm
How do the biggest corporations earn such massive profits? They’d like you to think it’s the result of delivering a superior product or service. But one part of that story is years of wage theft from their employees. Good Jobs First, a policy resource center focused on government and corporate accountability, recently carried out a year-long investigation into wage theft by large employers, compiling information from collective action lawsuits brought by groups of ripped-off workers, as well as actions brought by the department of labor and state-specific regulatory agencies. The results, brought together in a report released this week titled Grand Theft Paycheck: the Large Corporations Shortchanging their Workers’ Wages, are eye-opening: 4,220 cases since the turn of the millennium with penalties totaling $9.2 billion.
Categories: Friends of GEO, SE News

Poverty American Style

June 17, 2018 - 12:00pm
The US by saying that “in practice, the United States is alone among developed countries in insisting that while human rights are of fundamental importance, they do not include rights that guard against dying of hunger, dying from a lack of access to affordable healthcare, or growing up in a context of total deprivation. . . at the end of the day, particularly in a rich country like the USA, the persistence of extreme poverty is a political choice made by those in power. With political will, it could readily be eliminated”.
Categories: Friends of GEO, SE News

People Earning Minimum Wage Cannot Afford To Rent Anywhere In The US

June 16, 2018 - 10:00am
The figures are from the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s annual Out Of Reach report, which documents the affordability of rental housing to low-income families across the U.S. NLIHC arrived at its bleak findings by taking the cost of a modest two-bed rental home at fair market rent, as calculated by the Department for Housing and Urban Development (HUD) based on an estimate of what a family moving today would expect to pay. It then calculated the amount workers need to earn for these homes to be “affordable” – meaning they spend no more than 30 percent of their income on rent and utilities. The most expensive state is Hawaii, where the fair market rent for a two-bed rental is $1,879 a month, meaning workers need to bring in $36.13 an hour for rent to be affordable.
Categories: Friends of GEO, SE News

How Rich Are The Ultra Rich?

June 15, 2018 - 10:00pm
Nearly seven years ago — I know, wow — the Occupy Wall Street movement began highlighting the divide between the top 1 percent and the bottom 99 percent. Since then, it’s become common knowledge that income inequality in the United States is high. But there’s more to the story than just numbers. Income inequality isn’t the defining social issue of our time because your neighbor bought a slightly bigger house or nicer car than you did. It’s because multi-millionaires and billionaires are competing for slightly bigger mega-yachts while our friends set up GoFundMe accounts to plead for help with basic medical expenses.
Categories: Friends of GEO, SE News

Welfare Beats Jobs When It Comes to Poverty Reduction

June 14, 2018 - 9:00pm
When it comes to poverty reduction, increasing employment and increasing social spending can both help. But which is the more effective of the two approaches? In this piece, I use data from the OECD to attempt to answer this question. What I find is that social spending is far more effective at reducing poverty than jobs are. Before we get into the numbers, let’s define our terms here. Poverty refers to the percent of people with incomes below 50 percent of a country’s median income. For this analysis, I use both market poverty, which refers to how many people are in poverty when only counting income from market sources such as wages and dividends, and final poverty…
Categories: Friends of GEO, SE News