- Government Affairs
All the major preconditions for revolution – set out in his 1976 graduate thesis – were now present in the United States and Britain.
Over the course of the last centuries, the commons was fenced, and everything from agriculture to water was commoditised without regard to the true cost in non-renewable resources.
There are two ‘stops’ on greed to the nth degree: the first is the carrying capacity of Earth, and the second is human sensibility. We are now at a point where both stops are activating.
The west has pursued an industrialisation path that allows for the privatisation of wealth from the commons, along with the criminalisation of commons rights of the public, as well as the externalisation of all true costs.
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POGO estimates the government pays billions more annually in taxpayer dollars to hire contractors than it would to hire federal employees to perform comparable services.
For decades there have been increasing political pressures to reduce the size of the federal government. In response the government has awarded service contracts, resulting in an expanding “shadow government” that costs hundreds of billions of dollars annually.
For election integrity, the U.S. ranked 26th out of 66 countries analyzed.
Compared to economic elites, average voters have a low to nonexistent influence on public policies. “Not only do ordinary citizens not have uniquely substantial power over policy decisions, they have little or no independent influence on policy at all,”
Economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence
ISDS is basically binding arbitration on a global scale, designed to settle disputes between countries and foreign companies that do business within their borders.
ISDS has morphed from a rarely used last resort, designed for egregious cases of state theft or blatant discrimination, into a powerful tool that corporations brandish ever more frequently, often against broad public policies that they claim crimp profits.
Driving this expansion are the lawyers themselves. They have devised new and creative ways to deploy ISDS, and in the process bill millions to both the businesses and the governments they represent.
The system’s usefulness as a shield for the criminal and the corrupt has remained virtually unknown.
The more economic suffering people endure, the angrier and more bitter they get, the easier it is to direct their anger to scapegoats. Economic suffering often fuels ugly bigotry.
When a political party is demolished, the principal responsibility belongs to one entity: the party that got crushed. It’s the job of the party and the candidate, and nobody else, to persuade the citizenry to support them and find ways to do that.
As the primary season wound down, it struck me that the campaign’s broad-based engagement via the internet could evolve into a powerful tool to shape progressive politics at the national, state, and local levels,
As we now know, that grand vision for a postcampaign movement never came to fruition. Instead of mobilizing his unprecedented grassroots machine to pressure obstructionist lawmakers, support state and local candidates who shared his vision, and counter the Tea Party, Obama mothballed his campaign operation, bottling it up inside the Democratic National Committee.
Hildebrand came to like the idea; creating a movement free from the DNC, he believed, would put more pressure on Congress to implement Obama’s agenda. But where others had seen great possibility, Tewes saw potential disaster.