First Ever Global Health Study Finds Massive Inequity

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By Dean R. Owen and Rachel Fortunati in HealthData.org. SEATTLE – A first-ever global study finds massive inequity of access to and quality of health care among and within countries, and concludes people are dying from causes with well-known treatments. “What we have found about health care access and quality is disturbing,” said Dr. Christopher Murray, senior author of the study and Director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. “Having a strong economy does not guarantee good health care. Having great medical technology doesn’t either. We know this because people are not getting the care that should be expected for diseases with established treatments.” For example, on a scale of 0 to 100 for health care access and quality, Norway and Australia each scored 90 overall, among the highest in the world.

Inequality Is The Real Backstory To Sweden’s Riots

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By George Lakey for Waging Nonviolence – Mohandas Gandhi famously said that the root of violence is inequality. His view helps us understand what’s behind the headlines about recent rioting in immigrant neighborhoods in Sweden. No one was killed, although one police officer did actually shoot at a rioter — an exception to Swedish police policy. Over the four nights of rioting in the vicinity of Stockholm, a restaurant was burned down, more than 30 cars were set on fire and police were attacked. Rioters damaged stores, schools, and even an arts and crafts center. According to the Guardian, the immediate trigger for the riots seems to have been the police killing of a 69-year-old man wielding a machete in the suburb of Husby…

Newsletter: Being Prepared To Turn Crisis To Our Advantage

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By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. With the Trump administration floundering and the movement opposed to him expanding, we need to be prepared for a possible shock doctrine moment, whether intentional or not, that could be used to unify the country around an unpopular president and shut down political dissent. If a crisis occurs, we need to use it, not to unify behind the President, but to rapidly explain how the crisis is part of the failed government policies of both parties, that it is a systemic problem of which Trump is a symptom and that the crisis means the movement must expand. If we succeed we will advance our cause even in a crisis whether it is self-created, provoked or blow back. We will not only blunt the potential of a Reichstag moment but turn it to our advantage to serve transformation of the nation. If we are to succeed, we must start preparing now. Those who are prepared for crisis, do best when it occurs.

Newsletter: The Problem Isn’t Trump, It’s Bigger

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By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. The awakening of mass protests against Donald Trump’s executive orders and appointments could become a real movement, but it must realize a critically important point: Trump is not the problem, the system is. Illusion of Democracy hides oligarchyTrump is a symptom of a long-term trend of a failing democracy that is too closely tied to Wall Street and the war machine. Both the Republican and Democratic parties are part of this failed system that does not represent the people of the United States. We are all working to build a mass movement for economic, racial and environmental justice that is bigger than Donald Trump. As the extremist actions of the Trump administration are put in place we need to remember that extremism for the wealthy, for war and ignoring of environmental catastrophe is consistent with the actions of all recent presidents and the leadership of both corporate parties.

Retirement Divide: 100 CEOs v. The Rest Of Us

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By Sarah Anderson for IPS-DC – A new report calculates the gap in retirement assets between the top 100 CEOs and all African-American, Latino, female-headed, and white working class households. (Washington, D.C. ) – The presidential election put a spotlight on the economic insecurity millions of voters are feeling as the result of the loss of millions of unionized factory jobs that were once a major source of both decent pay and retirement benefits. While white working class families have been the focus of much of this attention, a new Institute for Policy Studies report shows that the real retirement security divide lies between those at the top of corporate America and nearly all the rest of us.

How American Life Continued To Deteriorate In 2016

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Paul Buchheit for Nation of Change – The reality of the disposable American has been building up in recent years, and new evidence keeps pouring in. Now the potential exists for greater suffering under the rule of a billionaire Cabinet that is far, far removed from average workers and renters and homeowners. First the “upside” – 5% of us are millionaires. Depending on the source, America has anywhere from 7 million to 13.5 million millionaires – about 5% of U.S. adults, and about a 40% increase in just six years. At the other end, 90% of us have gained NOTHING since 1997, and at least half of us NOTHING since 1980.

A Global Week Of Action On Inequality

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By Soren Ambrose for Inequality.org – Countries the world over are facing an inequality emergency, and it’s time for global elites to listen to the rest of us, especially the most marginalized people. In 2015, my organization, ActionAid, joined with several other groups to form the Fight Inequality Alliance to campaign against inequality in all its forms. This Alliance includes other global organizations like Greenpeace, Oxfam, the International Trade Union Confederation, the ACT Alliance, and Civicus, as well as regional members like Focus on the Global South, Femnet, and the Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development. Starting on January 14, our Alliance is sponsoring a Fight Inequality Week of Action, an effort timed to coincide with the World Economic Forum in Davos…

Stark Inequality: Oxfam Says 8 Men As Rich As Half The World

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By Pan Pylas for Associated Press – DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — The gap between the super-rich and the poorest half of the global population is starker than previously thought, with just eight men, from Bill Gates to Michael Bloomberg, owning as much wealth as 3.6 billion people, according to an analysis by Oxfam released Monday. Presenting its findings on the dawn of the annual gathering of the global political and business elites in the Swiss ski resort of Davos, anti-poverty organization Oxfam says the gap between the very rich and poor is far greater than just a year ago. It’s urging leaders to do more than pay lip-service to the problem. If not, it warns, public anger against this kind of inequality will continue to grow and lead to more seismic political changes akin to last year’s election of Donald Trump…

Racial Segregation Still At Heart Of Chicago’s Ills…And America’s Too

30 November 1991: Barack Obama, then a young social activist, speaks to local youths in the South Side of Chicago about ‘Project Vote’. Photograph: Polaris / eyevine

By Natalie Y Moore for The Guardian – In a couple of days, President Barack Obama will give a farewell speech in his adopted hometown of Chicago. This is the city to which he moved as a young man in the 1980s, to work asacommunityorganiser, inspired by Harold Washington, the city’s first black mayor. Chicago is also where Obama met his wife, Michelle, a native of the city, had two daughters and launched a dazzling political career. Obama’s swan song will take place a touch north of Bronzeville, the South Side neighbourhood historically known as the “Black Belt”. When African Americans left the south in droves a century ago as part of the great migration, this is where they landed if Chicago was the final destination.

Walter Rodney And Racial Underpinnings Of Global Inequality

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By Tianna Paschel for SSRC – The concentration of wealth in fewer and fewer hands has been at the center of increased political contestation and media attention in recent years. In this period, massive protests have erupted in the global North and South against neoliberal reforms, the solidification of flexible labor regimes, and austerity policies. The current moment, in the global North and South, is also one where these new forms and sentiments of precariousness in economic life have come alongside a reconfiguration of the relationship between the state and the economy…

Are We Stuck With Inequality?

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By Robert Kuttner for Boston Globe – THE LATEST study of deepening inequality by three of the most careful scholars of the subject, Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saens, and Gabriel Zucman, has prompted another round of shrugs from economists that inequality is just in the nature of the advanced economy. Supposedly, these inexorable trends reflect technology, globalization, and increasing rewards to more advanced skills. The poor are paid in correct proportion to their contribution to the national product, which, alas, isn’t much. A close look at political history suggests that this widespread inference is convenient nonsense — convenient to economic elites.

Portland, OR Enacts Tax On Corporations With CEO-Worker Income Divide

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By Jessica Floum for Oregon Live. Portland City Council approved the controversial plan 3-1 Wednesday, making a statement about growing income disparity in the United States while giving Commissioner Steve Novick a legacy piece in his final weeks in City Hall. The tax targets publicly traded companies whose chief executives report salaries at least 100 times higher than the salary of a median worker. Officials expect to raise $2.5 million a year starting in January 2018, with Novick hoping the money will help pay for homeless services. “This is as close as I’ve ever (come) to a tax on inequality itself,” said Novick, the first incumbent tossed from city council in 24 years after an upset loss to housing activist Chloe Eudaly last month. Novick said he also hopes the tax might discourage companies — well beyond Portland — from paying disproportionate salaries to their CEOs. He cited French economist Thomas Piketty, who calls escalating pay for top executives a major cause of the consolidation of wealth among the world’s top 1 percent of earners.

A New Take On Unrigging Our Taxes

British tax officials have come up with a new approach to monitoring the tax affairs of the super rich that could pay big dividends in the United States.

By Sam Pizzigati for Inequality – We don’t know exactly how much Donald Trump paid in taxes last year. He hasn’t released his 2015 federal income tax return yet. He most likely never will. But let’s keep in mind that we don’t actually know how much any individual American billionaire paid in taxes last year, with just one exception. Investor Warren Buffett last month released his own basic tax info as a protest of sorts against candidate Trump.

Newsletter: Turn Widespread Discontent Into Mass Movement

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By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. With the election of Donald Trump as president the struggle continues for economic, racial and environmental justice. We knew we would be in struggle no matter who was elected and have been calling for #NoHoneymoon protests for months. We also support calls made for protests in the days before the inauguration and after them. We expect to see a growing presidency of protest under Trump as the movement will grow and continue to demand justice, human rights and a people-based democracy. We need to build now, provide a vision and have conversations at the local level so when the attacks on our communities occur and false promises of Donald Trump are made obvious people know where they can turn. We can turn widespread discontent into a mass movement with the power to transform the nation.

Women In Iceland Protest Country’s 14% Pay Gap

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By Staff of WITW – Even in Iceland, the country many experts consider the world’s leader in gender equity, the gender pay gap persists. Women employees make 14 to 18 percent less than men in Iceland — a discrepancy that unions and women’s organizations say means women effectively work for free after 2:38 pm. On Monday, in protest of the pay gap, thousands of Icelandic women decided to work the hours their pay merited — by leaving their workplaces promptly when the clock struck 2:38.