To recognize the World Day of Social Justice which was on 20 February, I watched this great documentary produced by Robert Reich, renowned US economist who has advised several US presidents and governments. Though this documentary is focusing on USA, it brings into light the danger of inequality anywhere; danger to people, to living standards, to democracy. In the film Mr Reich suggests to address the challenges of inequality through:
- middle-out economy (opposed to trickle-down economy which is a pure myth),
- investment in education (if anything, education can be a Troyan horse to reduce inequality);
- putting the people first;
- strict policy on tax justice and stopping tax breaks to ensure fair contribution by the rich to the society (higher concentration of money in fewer hands creates power and ability to influence politics and democratic processes).
He is calling for bigger social change which should should be triggered by society. Complacency won’t work. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NdDupITDv8
I rarely post on my blog long quotes but i could not resist posting this one. It’s too important. An it’s self-explanatory.
“The vast wealth that has accumulated at the top of the economy is not itself the problem. The problem is that political power tends to rise to where the money is. America isn’t yet an oligarchy, but that’s where the Koch’s and a few other billionaires are taking us. When billionaires supplant political parties, candidates are beholden directly to the billionaires. And if and when those candidates win election, the billionaires will be completely in charge.
At this very moment, casino magnate Sheldon Adelson (worth an estimated $37.9 billion) is privately interviewing potential Republican candidates, in what’s being called the Sheldon Primary. “The ‘Sheldon Primary’ is an important primary for any Republican running for president,” says Ari Fleischer, George W. Bush’s former press secretary. “Anybody running for the Republican nomination would want to have Sheldon at his side.” Adelson spent $100 million on the 2012 election but denies he’s doing it for personal gain. He just wants the federal government to ban online gambling (and judging from legislation now being pushed on Capitol Hill, his investment seems to be paying off).
It’s more urgent than ever that we establish strict campaign finance and disclosure laws, and stop the wholesale takeover of America by the new billionaire political bosses.”
Robert Reich, American political economist, professor, member of Clinton’s government, chair of the citizen’s group Common Cause.