portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reposts global

economic justice | legacies

Income Distribution is Perverse

A redistribution of income is central. Another economic order is necessary in which people are more important than profit percentages. A shareholder value philosophy ruthlessly downsizes and closes plants in pursuit of the maximum profit.
"INCOME DISTRIBUTION IS PERVERSE"

In the Whirlwind of the US Economic Crisis

Interview with Sahra Wagenknecht

[Stock prices fall and banks collapse. The US is indebted over eleven trillion euros. This is also a chance for a new beginning under socialist perspectives, says Sahra Wagenknecht from the German Left party. In this www.stern.de interview published 9/25/2008, she urges a more human economic system - and wants to involve the rich.]

Ms. Wagenknecht, stock prices are falling in New York, Frankfurt and elsewhere. Do you feel a secret joy?

Joy is blocked because taxpayers at the end will take the rap for the crisis. Buying up junk securities from the banks is not the solution. This is also true for Germany where the private IKB bank was saved from bankruptcy with ten billion euro of taxes.

Isn't this also a crisis of capitalism?

This is more than a financial market crisis. A basic model has broken down. For years the US forced down wages just as brutally as now happens in Germany. Obviously this could have smashed the domestic market. The US maintains consumption while replacing wages with debts. As long as nothing is changed in this perverse income distribution, the problem is only postponed. The current intervention of the US government will cost $700 billion. This is mainly financed with new debts. The credit bubble becomes larger and larger.

In Germany, people reduce debts by saving.

Reducing debts can also happen by raising taxes on those who hoard money. The profit- and speculation-mania of the last years had profiteers. A millionaires' tax could be levied on private assets over 1 million euro at 5 percent. This could bring 150 billion euro annually to the state budget in Germany. Only the top ten thousand would pay.

In his government statement, Peter Steinbruck (SPD) spoke of a failure of the US government. Haven't all governments of the big industrial nations failed?

Obviously all have failed. It is a rather low blow when Peter Steinbruck now assigns sole culpability to the US. With its legislation, the German government has also pushed financial market liberalization, legalized hedge funds and supported trade with guaranteed credits. The red carpet was rolled out for the financial gamblers.

What must happen now?

We must re-regulate the financial market. All dubious derivatives and guaranteed credit risks and hedge funds should be prohibited. Their wild financial bets are dangers to the public. Capital transactions must be controlled again. A redistribution of income is also central. Another economic order is necessary in which people are more important than profit percentages.

How should this redistribution occur?

Redistribution requires reorganization of the social net. Ending Hartz IV [radical German welfare "reform" that combined income support and unemployment benefits and drastically reduced the duration of benefits] is the first imperative. The whole privatization mania must be cancelled. We need public property or public ownership at least in core areas of the economy.

If capitalism is in crisis, why is no one calling for alternative social models?

More and more people want alternatives. The majority rejects privatizations today. Take the VW-law. Thousands of workers protest because they know the last remnant of public influence falls away with this law and they are handed over defenselessly to shareholder value philosophy that ruthlessly downsizes and closes plants in pursuit of maximum profit.

homepage: homepage: http://www.mbtranslations.com
address: address: http://www.stern.de


The Financial tribulations have always been engineered 27.Oct.2008 11:09

Exile portlander_in_exile@yahoo.com

It's common knowledge that this isn't a failure of capitalism. This is an amazing success, at fortifying the positions of the wealthy elite, around the world. Yes, their stocks have fallen some, but it secured them a virtually unlimited access to the power of government, to further secure their power. Remember, these people are so very wealthy, that it's no longer just about money, it's about securing their power, in perpetuity. As long as you remember that, you'll see why they don't want the system "fixed" for the common man.

Remember, You are a tool to their ends. You are an object, they can use to maintain power. As long as you remember that, all of this crisis plays into their hands perfectly. Through fear, envy and manipulation, you can be herded like cattle.

There are things that you can do, to pull the pillars out of their scheme:

Think. Observe with a critical mind, and figure out what their plan is for you.

pull all support from multi-national corporations.

Support local small companies, individuals, and organizations

Do not trust the multi-national media conglomerates, they serve the elite.

Pay off your debt, any way that you can. Do not acquire any new debt. Debt is one way they can control you.

Learn to do with less, and live secure, knowing that the jones' are fucked with debt.

Learn new skills, such as small scale farming, building with local materials.

Learn to regain your humanity, and treat others with humanity. It's all of us, against a handful of very wealthy, powerful people, and they want us to turn on eachother.

Educate others, about the dangers of multi-national companies, and the power they hold.

Demand that elected officials follow policies that lower the influence of multi-national companies. If they don't, ask them why, and vote them out.

Demand true election reform. Only blood citizens may donate to a candidate, and only in a fixed quantity, end the influence of corporations in elections.

Pass this information around, to all that you know, as the more of us that work together, we can build a better community.

One graphic way to visualize this obscenity 27.Oct.2008 11:43

Jody Paulson

is to visit this website:  http://www.lcurve.org/ At the highest end of the scale of income distribution, the richest person gets an income, if represented in a stack of $100 bills, that would reach well past the top of Mt. Everest!