Recently, with the WEF spending the last few years acknowledging global income inequality is a problem, I’ve declared a kind of victory for the Occupy Movement: getting the lexicon on the 1% and inequality on the tongues of the sly gazillionaires who rule the world, and into mass consumption.
Now we see that the CEO of Goldman Sachs, one of the biggest cancers of neoliberal capitalism and a prime mover of the 2008 crash, has admitted that income inequality is a problem and a destabilizer. Sadly, though not surprisingly, in this interview he also trotted out typical neoliberal “realities” of globalization, making the economic pie grow [but growth and decline lead to unequal distribution], outsourcing and winner-take-all-capitalism. And repugnantly, he lamented [sniff] how “if there was a lever to pull and a button to push…” then he continued with a babble of phrases and jargon, but what he was implying is that we’d just pull that lever and fix it all. But he also implied there is no lever/button.
But guess what, Lloyd Blankfein, there is. Wait for it…just redistribute income.
He even said in the interview that economies need to grow [not so, say the Steady Staters, including me] and they need to distribute the income properly. But how does one make a market/economy distribute income properly? It’s NEVER been from the voluntary goodness of the 1% or their compradors.
We’ve had to fight for it, either through social movements, unionization or government regulation. We’ve had to take it from the rich.
Here’s the lever, Mr. Blankfein: raise taxes. Raise them on the rich, on the corporations, on the $1.5 trillion, yes TRILLION, in cash that US corporations are just sitting on. Raise them to generate some income to create some public goods: a robust public education system, a public healthcare system, subsidies for green energy and transit development, a stronger welfare and unemployment insurance system so people can live in dignity. Arts, culture, solar roadways, home retrofitting, organic food development, funding a gap year for volunteerism, providing amnesty and language/job training for illegal immigrants. How about that, for a start?
Then increase the minimum wage to a living wage.
How’s that for addressing income inequality, Mr. Goldman Sachs apologist spin doctor?
Well, he’s a smart guy, but instead of suggesting all these OBVIOUS undergraduate economics solutions, he said there is no lever or button.
What a liar.
Now that we’ve got these liars talking about income inequality, but trying to spin us into believing there’s nothing we/they can do about it, let’s get busy.
If you scroll back up to the top right corner of this webpage, you’ll see that 85/116 people voting [albeit, a self-selecting non-random sample], felt we should reboot Occupy Vancouver. But it’s really 84 because I voted twice, each on a different browser. Sorry.
And if 10% of those 84 people joined us in rebooting Occupy Vancouver, along with building our affinity network starting with Occupy Ottawa, we can move to the next phase of the Occupy Movement highlighted by the 3 month Wave of Action: actually DOING something about income inequality. And if you wonder what we CAN do, see my list, above. But there’s so much more!
So if you’d like to catch up on the Occupy Vancouver reboot, and [as a bonus] if you’ve already dumped Facebook, we’re looking at the Wave of Action platform to do our organizing. And you’re free/encouraged to join us!
The platform feels a bit like Facebook, but it’s owned by everyone and we have control over our privacy. Once you get in, search for Vancouver and connect up so we can see where to go next with the agenda of doing something that the lying spinning 1% want to convince us we can’t do: fix income inequality and get more economic, social, political and environmental justice in the world.