Nick Hanauer - Inequality and Job Creators (Rejected TED Talk)

well and simply put

Noam Chomsky - Is the World Too Big to Fail?
While wealth and power have narrowly concentrated, for most of the population real incomes have stagnated and people have been getting by with increased work hours, debt, and asset inflation, regularly destroyed by the financial crises that began as the regulatory apparatus was dismantled starting in the 1980s.None of this is problematic for the very wealthy, who benefit from a government insurance policy called “too big to fail.” The banks and investment firms can make risky transactions, with rich rewards, and when the system inevitably crashes, they can run to the nanny state for a taxpayer bailout, clutching their copies of Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman.That has been the regular process since the Reagan years, each crisis more extreme than the last — for the public population, that is. Right now, real unemployment is at Depression levels for much of the population, while Goldman Sachs, one of the main architects of the current crisis, is richer than ever. It has just quietly announced $17.5 billion in compensation for last year, with CEO Lloyd Blankfein receiving a $12.6 million bonus while his base salary more than triples.It wouldn’t do to focus attention on such facts as these. Accordingly, propaganda must seek to blame others, in the past few months, public sector workers, their fat salaries, exorbitant pensions, and so on: all fantasy, on the model of Reaganite imagery of black mothers being driven in their limousines to pick up welfare checks — and other models that need not be mentioned. We all must tighten our belts; almost all, that is.Teachers are a particularly good target, as part of the deliberate effort to destroy the public education system from kindergarten through the universities by privatization — again, good for the wealthy, but a disaster for the population, as well as the long-term health of the economy, but that is one of the externalities that is put to the side insofar as market principles prevail.
Joel Bakan - Constitutional and international law at risk under Bill 22

The B.C. Liberal government is poised, once again, to violate the legal rights of workers, this time with Bill 22, which, if it becomes law, will prohibit teachers from striking and limit their collective bargaining rights.
In 2007, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the government had violated the Canadian Charter by imposing legislative restrictions on the rights of health workers to bargain collectively. In April 2011, the British Columbia Supreme Court followed that decision to rule that legislation concerning teachers was unconstitutional, and thereby invalid, because it prohibited bargaining on class size, class composition and the ratios of teachers to students.
It is those very same restrictions that the government now seeks to reinstate with Bill 22, a disturbing disregard for such a recent judicial declaration that they are constitutionally invalid.
Bill 22 also flies in the face of Canada’s international treaty obligations. On no fewer than 10 occasions — half of which concerned teachers — the Freedom of Association Committee of the United Nations International Labour Organization has found the B.C. Liberal government to be in breach of labour treaties. In a recent report, concerning legislation similar to Bill 22, the committee noted as particularly problematic the tendency of this government to legislatively prohibit strikes, impose rates and working conditions, circumscribe the scope of collective bargaining, and restructure the bargaining process.
The proposed Bill 22 does all of those things and more. As such, it almost certainly violates international law as well as constitutional law.
Governments are obliged to govern according to law. That is what distinguishes democracies from tyrannies. As a fundamental democratic principle, the rule of law is seriously jeopardized when governments play fast and loose with constitutional and international laws, as this government is now doing with Bill 22.

Noam Chomsky - Is the World Too Big to Fail?

While wealth and power have narrowly concentrated, for most of the population real incomes have stagnated and people have been getting by with increased work hours, debt, and asset inflation, regularly destroyed by the financial crises that began as the regulatory apparatus was dismantled starting in the 1980s.

None of this is problematic for the very wealthy, who benefit from a government insurance policy called “too big to fail.” The banks and investment firms can make risky transactions, with rich rewards, and when the system inevitably crashes, they can run to the nanny state for a taxpayer bailout, clutching their copies of Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman.

That has been the regular process since the Reagan years, each crisis more extreme than the last — for the public population, that is. Right now, real unemployment is at Depression levels for much of the population, while Goldman Sachs, one of the main architects of the current crisis, is richer than ever. It has just quietly announced $17.5 billion in compensation for last year, with CEO Lloyd Blankfein receiving a $12.6 million bonus while his base salary more than triples.

It wouldn’t do to focus attention on such facts as these. Accordingly, propaganda must seek to blame others, in the past few months, public sector workers, their fat salaries, exorbitant pensions, and so on: all fantasy, on the model of Reaganite imagery of black mothers being driven in their limousines to pick up welfare checks — and other models that need not be mentioned. We all must tighten our belts; almost all, that is.

Teachers are a particularly good target, as part of the deliberate effort to destroy the public education system from kindergarten through the universities by privatization — again, good for the wealthy, but a disaster for the population, as well as the long-term health of the economy, but that is one of the externalities that is put to the side insofar as market principles prevail.

Joel Bakan - Constitutional and international law at risk under Bill 22

The B.C. Liberal government is poised, once again, to violate the legal rights of workers, this time with Bill 22, which, if it becomes law, will prohibit teachers from striking and limit their collective bargaining rights.

In 2007, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the government had violated the Canadian Charter by imposing legislative restrictions on the rights of health workers to bargain collectively. In April 2011, the British Columbia Supreme Court followed that decision to rule that legislation concerning teachers was unconstitutional, and thereby invalid, because it prohibited bargaining on class size, class composition and the ratios of teachers to students.

It is those very same restrictions that the government now seeks to reinstate with Bill 22, a disturbing disregard for such a recent judicial declaration that they are constitutionally invalid.

Bill 22 also flies in the face of Canada’s international treaty obligations. On no fewer than 10 occasions — half of which concerned teachers — the Freedom of Association Committee of the United Nations International Labour Organization has found the B.C. Liberal government to be in breach of labour treaties. In a recent report, concerning legislation similar to Bill 22, the committee noted as particularly problematic the tendency of this government to legislatively prohibit strikes, impose rates and working conditions, circumscribe the scope of collective bargaining, and restructure the bargaining process.

The proposed Bill 22 does all of those things and more. As such, it almost certainly violates international law as well as constitutional law.

Governments are obliged to govern according to law. That is what distinguishes democracies from tyrannies. As a fundamental democratic principle, the rule of law is seriously jeopardized when governments play fast and loose with constitutional and international laws, as this government is now doing with Bill 22.

Fred Magdoff & Michael D. Yates - The ABCs of the Economic Crisis

It is impossible for ever-higher levels of consumption to make us happy. The logic of the system is that we must be perpetually unsatisfied, always wanting more. In a system that guarantees considerable inequality, we are bound to be envious of the consumption of those richer than we are. But every time we think we have caught up, we see that there are still many richer people above us. And if those below catch up with us, we have to consumer more to stay ahead. It could be argued that a consumption-based society would be more acceptable if there were a rough equality of spending power. But this is—and cannot help but be—the case; capital accumulation will not allow it. We are not and cannot be “slouching toward utopia,” to use the inapt phrase of economist J. Bradford DeLong, a utopia of a worldwide majority middle class of happy consumers, all buying big-screen televisions and nice automobiles. And does DeLong imagine that the world could ecologically support several billion human beings consuming at a pace on par with middle-class U.S. households? It is estimated that it would take the resources of four worlds like our to provide the equivalent of a U.S. middle-class consumption pattern for all of the world 6.5 billion people. Now, we are certainly not arguing that everyone should be poor or that those now at the bottom don’t need a healthy dose of consumption, especially food, clothing, and shelter. But we are saying that the so-called consumer culture that characterizes that United States and a few other rich countries is not a model worth fighting for, nor is it ecologically sustainable.
What is worth fighting for? Perhaps this severe recession offers us an opportunity to ask this question. This crisis has revealed the rotten foundation of our economy and called into question the neoliberal policies and ideology that have deepened the rot. We cannot sustain ourselves with ever-larger doses of debt relative to the underlying economy. We cannot be happy in a world of rising insecurity: How will we pay the debts? Where will we find decent and secure employment? How will we cope with health problems? How will we survive old age? Will our air, water, and food supply be poisoned? We cannot be happy in a world in which the fruits of human labor are distributed in an obscenely unequal manner. Inequality itself causes a host of problems, from lower life expectancies of those further down the ladder to more people in prison, and it raises the level of insecurity. The rage of the poor and the fear of the rich are the legacies of the growing gap between them. Finally, and of the greatest importance, we cannot be happy with the nature of the work most of us are compelled to do. Millions of us are unemployed, and this is a bad thing. But for those working, the stress is rising, as fewer people are being forced to do more work and employment becomes more precarious. Employers use periods this like to discover ways to permanently reduce the size of their workforces. They continue the strategy of lean production, using as little skilled labor as possible, constantly stressing the system so that work can be sped up, and then cutting benefits as much as possible. There is no way that the majority of people can do meaningful work in a system like this. Labor is simply a cost of production, to be minimized and on a par with a piece of equipment or fuel. What does it mean when there is a joke that says, “The only thing worse than being employed is being unemployed”?
It seems to us that there are many things worth fighting for. Here is a list for starters. Readers will no doubt think of others.
 - Adequate food for everyone. - Decent housing. - Universal health care. - Full employment/good jobs.  - Quality education for all. - Adequate income in old age. - Enhanced public transportation. - A commitment to a sustainable environment.  - Progressive taxation. - A non-imperialist government. - Labor- and environment-friendly trade.

G

Fred Magdoff & Michael D. Yates - The ABCs of the Economic Crisis

It is impossible for ever-higher levels of consumption to make us happy. The logic of the system is that we must be perpetually unsatisfied, always wanting more. In a system that guarantees considerable inequality, we are bound to be envious of the consumption of those richer than we are. But every time we think we have caught up, we see that there are still many richer people above us. And if those below catch up with us, we have to consumer more to stay ahead. It could be argued that a consumption-based society would be more acceptable if there were a rough equality of spending power. But this is—and cannot help but be—the case; capital accumulation will not allow it. We are not and cannot be “slouching toward utopia,” to use the inapt phrase of economist J. Bradford DeLong, a utopia of a worldwide majority middle class of happy consumers, all buying big-screen televisions and nice automobiles. And does DeLong imagine that the world could ecologically support several billion human beings consuming at a pace on par with middle-class U.S. households? It is estimated that it would take the resources of four worlds like our to provide the equivalent of a U.S. middle-class consumption pattern for all of the world 6.5 billion people. Now, we are certainly not arguing that everyone should be poor or that those now at the bottom don’t need a healthy dose of consumption, especially food, clothing, and shelter. But we are saying that the so-called consumer culture that characterizes that United States and a few other rich countries is not a model worth fighting for, nor is it ecologically sustainable.

What is worth fighting for? Perhaps this severe recession offers us an opportunity to ask this question. This crisis has revealed the rotten foundation of our economy and called into question the neoliberal policies and ideology that have deepened the rot. We cannot sustain ourselves with ever-larger doses of debt relative to the underlying economy. We cannot be happy in a world of rising insecurity: How will we pay the debts? Where will we find decent and secure employment? How will we cope with health problems? How will we survive old age? Will our air, water, and food supply be poisoned? We cannot be happy in a world in which the fruits of human labor are distributed in an obscenely unequal manner. Inequality itself causes a host of problems, from lower life expectancies of those further down the ladder to more people in prison, and it raises the level of insecurity. The rage of the poor and the fear of the rich are the legacies of the growing gap between them. Finally, and of the greatest importance, we cannot be happy with the nature of the work most of us are compelled to do. Millions of us are unemployed, and this is a bad thing. But for those working, the stress is rising, as fewer people are being forced to do more work and employment becomes more precarious. Employers use periods this like to discover ways to permanently reduce the size of their workforces. They continue the strategy of lean production, using as little skilled labor as possible, constantly stressing the system so that work can be sped up, and then cutting benefits as much as possible. There is no way that the majority of people can do meaningful work in a system like this. Labor is simply a cost of production, to be minimized and on a par with a piece of equipment or fuel. What does it mean when there is a joke that says, “The only thing worse than being employed is being unemployed”?

It seems to us that there are many things worth fighting for. Here is a list for starters. Readers will no doubt think of others.

- Adequate food for everyone.
- Decent housing.
- Universal health care.
- Full employment/good jobs. 
- Quality education for all.
- Adequate income in old age.
- Enhanced public transportation.
- A commitment to a sustainable environment. 
- Progressive taxation.
- A non-imperialist government.
- Labor- and environment-friendly trade.

G