By Lee Camp for Redacted Tonight. During a CNN Town Hall, Democratic House Rep Nancy Pelosi was caught off guard when a young man told her that more than half of Millennials aren’t exactly fans of capitalism. He had the stats to back it up: A Spring 2016 Harvard Institute of Politics poll of 3,000 Millennials found that 51 percent of them held this view. It’s no surprise this many Millennials shun capitalism given their massive student loan debts and difficulty in finding high paying jobs and affordable housing, among other struggles. But when he asked her if Dems could go farther left of right-wing views on capitalism, Pelosi’s reply only proves that her party needs to acknowledge how capitalism is destroying the world and its future if they want any hope of appealing to what could become one of the largest voting blocs in America. Lee Camp digs into Pelosi’s faux pas and more on the latest episode of Redacted Tonight.
By Staff of ABC – New figures put North America’s legal marijuana “green rush” above the dot-com boom of the early 2000s in terms of industry growth, according to Forbes. North America’s legal marijuana market posted $US9.3 billion ($12 billion) in revenue in 2016 — a 30 per cent increase on 2015 — according to a report by ArcView Market Research, a leading cannabis research publisher. The report said the industry could post sales topping $US20.2 billion ($27.9 billion) by 2021, assuming a compound annual growth rate of 25 per cent. The magazine reported GDP grew at 22 per cent during the dot-com boom, which saw dial-up internet replaced by broadband.
By Arnie Saiki for Imipono. As we move out of 2016, let us at least acknowledge that we have become estranged from the roots of democracy. Perhaps 2017 will reveal that our participation in social media and our willingness to provide streams of data driven information to the corporate plutocracy inhabits a different space in the world with people who are on the outside. Even if social media has been a tremendous tool for digging deeper and casting wider nets, it is not a replacement for our democratic institutions or practices. For as long as the U.S has capitalized from being an anti-communist, then unipolar hegemon, we’ve never been able to really live up to the fulfillment of equitable and democratic institutions. Now, much of the world seems to be moving in that direction, whereas the largest of the advanced economies seem to be moving in the opposite: towards greater nationalism, xenophobia and isolationism. How we reflect upon 2016 and what we carry into 2017 can make all the difference in the world.
By Staff of Tele Sur – The Venezuelan government announced it has proof the U.S. Treasury Department has been responsible for delaying the arrival of the new notes. Venezuelan officials announced Sunday the arrival of 13.5 million units of the new 500-bolivar bill, which the government has introduced as a way to combat the “financial mafias” wreaking havoc on the country’s economy. Jose Khan, vice president of the Central Bank of Venezuela, said that a plane had arrived at the Maiquetía (Simón Bolívar Internacional) Airport on Sunday from Sweden with 272 boxes of currency. He added that more than 60 million bills are set to arrive by Dec. 27.
By Eric Dirnbach for Public Seminar. Participatory Budgeting was first used for the municipal budget in Porto Alegre, Brazil in 1989, and since then the PB movement has grown to over 3,000 cities around the world. Portugal recently announcedthat it will use it for the national budget. PB is being used in more than 40 communities in the U.S. New York City is in the midst of its 6th cycle of PB and the program has grown to 31 out of 51 City Council districts. Each district has been allocated at least $1 million for proposed projects. The requirements are that each project cost at least $35,000, last 5 years, be located on city property, and be brick-and-mortar type infrastructure projects such as fixing up a playground or library. I voted in the final PB project selection last year. My district had been presented with 21 options, and chose five projects from among them: a senior center renovation, planting street trees, school science lab improvements, school technology upgrades, and a library renovation. When my City Council Member Mark Levine announced the beginning of this current PB round, I decided to follow the entire process.
By Peter Dreier for The American Prospect – Throughout his presidential campaign, Donald Trump criticized Wall Street bankers for their excessive political influence and attacked hedge-fund managers for getting away with “murder” under the current tax code. “The hedge-fund guys didn’t build this country,” Trump said on Face the Nation. “These are guys that shift paper around and they get lucky.” Now, however, Trump has tapped Steve Mnuchin, a 53-year-old Wall Street hedge-fund and banking mogul—and, since May, his campaign-finance chair—to be the nation’s secretary of the Treasury. Trump’s earlier rhetoric aside, it’s actually a good match.
By Aaron Pressman for Fortune – President-elect Donald Trump formally named two staunch opponents of net neutrality to oversee his policies for the agency that created the rules to prevent discrimination against Internet sites and online services. Jeff Eisenach, an economist who has been on Verizon’s payroll, and Mark Jamison, who formerly worked on Sprint’s lobbying team and now heads the University of Florida’s Public Utility Research Center, on Monday were named to Trump’s “agency landing team” for the Federal Communications Commission.
By Intercontinental Cry Magazine. Despite making up a tiny fraction of the world’s population, Indigenous Peoples hold ancestral rights to some 65 percent of the planet. This poignant fact speaks well to the enormous role that Indigenous Peoples play not only as environmental stewards, but as political actors on the global stage. We’re seeing that role play out right now on the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota; but there are hundreds of other indigenous struggles just like that almost never make headlines. All over the world today, Indigenous Peoples are confronting the destructive practices of industry—leading the charge against climate change while defending the lakes, forests and food systems that all of us depend on. At the same time, they are blocking governments from weakening basic rights and freedoms and turning to the courts of the world to correct over 500 years of historical wrongs.
By Alexa Clay for Nation of Change. If markets and industrial production have become separated from society and community, the task now seems to be figuring out how to envelop production within community. Localizing production in community might lead to a certain sacrifice of market efficiency, but would also offer greater flexibility and enhanced quality of life, and would strengthen social ties and community resilience. Ultimately, to reimagine production, we have a variety of models to choose from. Culture is no longer contingent on particular ethnographic contexts. Rather, practices from indigenous peoples, protest movements, entrepreneurial startup hubs, intentional communities, and even religious traditions require remixing by emergent forms of community around the world. While this remixing might feel like a consumerist “pick and choose” approach, it’s also one of the quickest pathways I’ve identified for accelerating social change and building more resilient local economies and communities. Designing community around cultural hybridity gives us a much broader diversity from which to organize ourselves and foster a greater sense of belonging for very different types of people.
By Mike Krauss for Truth Dig – So far, neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton has offered a credible plan to restart the long-stalled U.S. economy. Trump favors lowering taxes to spur demand, a reduction in the supply of illegal foreign labor to boost wages, and modifying trade policy to encourage investment in U.S. manufacturing and create better-paying jobs. He also touts an unspecified infrastructure investment. Some argue that this approach will not provide jobs in the magnitude required, and will likely increase the federal deficit.
By Blake Smith for Aeon. For nearly four centuries, the Atlantic slave trade brought millions of people into bondage. Scholars estimate that around 1.5 million people perished in the brutal middle passage across the Atlantic. The slave trade linked Africa, Europe and the Americas in a horrific enterprise of death and torture and profit. Yet, in the middle of the 18th century, as the slave trade boomed like never before, some notable European observers saw it as a model of free enterprise and indeed of ‘liberty’ itself. They were not slave traders or slave-ship captains but economic thinkers, and very influential ones. They were a pioneering group of economic thinkers committed to the principle oflaissez-faire: a term they themselves coined. United around the French official Vincent de Gournay (1712-1759), they were among the first European intellectuals to argue for limitations on government intervention in the economy. They organised campaigns for the deregulation of domestic and international trade, and they made the slave trade a key piece of evidence in their arguments.
By Andrea Seabrook of Market Place – Welcome to the post-Brexit world – a global economic outlook more uncertain than ever. Before we all go raising alarms though, remember: many of the economic fundamentals in the American economy are strong. Still, there have been signs of economic uncertainty. The Fed’s being cautious on interest rates. The May unemployment report showed poor job growth. And on the campaign trail, the talk is about economic fairness and jobs lost to trade deals.