Some inequality is intrinsic to any high-functioning capitalist economy. The problem is that inequality is at historically high levels and getting worse every day. Our country is rapidly becoming less a capitalist society and more a feudal society. Unless our policies change dramatically, the middle class will disappear, and we will be back to late 18th-century France. Before the revolution.Now go. Read.
And so I have a message for my fellow filthy rich, for all of us who live in our gated bubble worlds: Wake up, people. It won’t last.
If we don’t do something to fix the glaring inequities in this economy, the pitchforks are going to come for us. No society can sustain this kind of rising inequality. In fact, there is no example in human history where wealth accumulated like this and the pitchforks didn’t eventually come out. You show me a highly unequal society, and I will show you a police state. Or an uprising. There are no counterexamples. None. It’s not if, it’s when.
Sunday, 29 June 2014
This "memo" from Nick Hanauer to his fellow billionaires is an absolute must-read. Couched in straight forward language, he's basically saying to his class that not enough people have a stake in the system any more and this will pose them an existential threat unless inequality is sorted out. Here's a snippet:
Saturday, 28 June 2014
Number of candidates
* There were five by-elections in Scotland.
** There were three by-elections in Wales.
*** There were seven independent clashes this quarter.
**** 'Other' this quarter consisted of Scottish Christian (63), Inds for Bristol (354), NF (80), Respect (141), and Lincolnshire Independents (269).
262,725 votes were cast over 121 individual local authority (tier one and tier two) contests. Fractions are rounded to one decimal place for percentages, and the nearest whole number for averages. You can compare these with Quarter One 2014's results here.
There's not a lot to be said, really. The close result between the two main parties mirrors their proximity in the "proper" set of local elections taking place simultaneously. The onyl story, if you can call it that, is how very little things have moved. Nearly everyone's average vote is up, and note how close the LibDems came to getting overtaken by the Greens - in this quarter the latter two months saw the Greens lead the yellows on the mean scores. It's also worth noting this quarter is the first time they have outpolled the Independents. A flash in the pan or an indicator of a coming trend?
Number of candidates
* There was one by-election in Scotland.
** There were no by-elections in Wales.
*** There were two independent clashes in June.
**** No 'Other' this month!
Overall, 19,530 votes were cast over 10 local (tier one and tier two) authority contests. All percentages are rounded to the nearest single decimal place. For comparison see May's results here.
What a difference a month and the absence of a national election taking place at the same time makes. The biggest story, at first glance, is Labour out-polling the Tories by two-to-one, I think the first time this has happened since I've been keeping an eye on local by-elections. Sadly, it's all down to the distorting effect of a three-way by-election in Barnet where Labour piled up safe seat votes. Strip out that result and it was nearly even-Stevens, with the Tories a few hundred votes in front.
Labour's "triumph" is down to geographic variation, so any watching Tories can console themselves with that explanation. But look at the LibDems. By some distance this is their worst monthly total ever. Less than two per cent is far left territory, and in so doing suffer a double humiliation. For the second month running their votes-per-candidate average is below the Greens. If that wasn't awful enough, they polled fewer absolute votes too - despite standing an additional candidate! To be fair, geography might have played against the LibDems, that all this month's by-elections landed in places where their vote and, maybe, party organisation has collapsed.