A few years ago I watched Nick Hanauer (an unapologetic capitalist), as he presented a TED Talk on the coming pitchforks. He’s a billionaire himself and is spreading the word for why the system that allows billionaire is a flawed economics system. Especially when the system creates poverty. That is a pitch fork economics system. Along with several data points that identify where the issues with capitalism need to be corrected he uses his money today to spread knowledge. The narrative is the issue and he’s making the effort to spread a new narrative. Since 1980, Reagan era dismantling of the best political system in the history of man the USA has steadily lead the world in establishing the most wealth. In every other category and the categories that matter, the USA continues to fall behind every country. Healthcare, education, standard of living, infrastructure, income, human rights, human freedoms, child mortality, life expectancy, and more are all categories the Regan era (Neoliberalism) destroyed and the republicans continue to erode daily. Now and then perhaps it’s time to stop the tug-of-war between republicans and democrats and just settle on where everyone is together. It’s better for everyone to join together in agreement than to separate individually by disagreements.
Here’s where we all agree, even those Fox News watchers and AON advocates all agree with the rest of us on these key issues.
- The influence from the wealthy on the government needs to end.
- The income inequality is out of control.
- Democracy needs to be reestablished and protected.
- Equal pay, workers rights, and CEO pay are no brainers. Fix this now.
- Everyone living in the wealthiest country in the world should have a living wage, the best education and an amazing healthcare for all.
- Politicians should not be allowed to own stocks, businesses, or board of directors.
- Lobiast should be unconstitutional.
- Voting should be electronic.
The magic all happens in Seattle Washington and is shared online at https://www.pitchforkeconomics.com Even though the word economics reminds me of school, college courses in micro and macro economics were as exciting as watching a goldfish in a bowl. Fun for a few minutes but 4 semesters of material… really? The content of the website is all in podcast so it’s just stuff to listen to, and it’s pretty cool people to listen to. I would list the names of the speakers but I doubt most people reading this would know them. Governors, politicians, entrepreneurs, sports team owners, billionaires, poor people, etc.
If you call yourself a republican then this website isn’t for you. If you call yourself a democrat this website is not for you either. Actually if you think of politics with the same stubborn enthusiasm most people have for their favorite football or baseball team (politics is like a sport) this site isn’t for you, at all. Here’s an example of why you need to embrace the sunrise now and then.
Seattle raised the minimum wage to $15 an hour three years ago. OMG! Right? Before the legislation passed Nick and team surveyed several hundred business owners across seattle. In every case the business owners said the $15 an hour would destroy businesses, increase unemployment, ruin the city’s economy. One year after the increase Seattle was the fastest growing city in the USA. More new businesses were opening, employment was higher, crime rates were dropping, and a surprising 75% drop in time lost at work for sick time. When Nick and team researched and interviewed business owners the facts revealed a very different truth. It turns out that when you nearly double the income of waiters, cashiers, factory workers, healthcare workers, and about 25% of the general workforce that those people now become consumers. Those people could now afford to eat in restaurants and so rather than restaurant owners having to layoff staff and close down business, they had to hire more help and open more restaurants to keep up with the increased demand. More new and used cars were getting purchased, more televisions, more cell phones, tablets, and clothes. People could get their own apartments rather than sharing and so the city has faced a boom in new apartment building construction. The narrative from the neoliberals that taxing the rich, increasing wages, helping those less fortunate, providing free medical, free education and increasing funds to the retired is a doomsday recipe are forced down our throats and spouted as if they were scientific facts and laws of nature but they are not correct nor scientific fact. They are absolutely wrong. And so, trying to develop India, Africa, and still vastly third world China so that the UK/USA businesses can generate more money is the pursuit even while the standard of living, mortality rates, and education of the citizens of her majesty’s kingdom continue to plummet is a crime against humanity. To increase wealth in the UK’s colonies including Canada, is simple. Give money to the people. Establish a strong middle class. Trickle up economics.
One last fun fact from Pitchfork Economics. The neoliberals have used the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as the standard for measuring economic success since the 1950’s. It too is wrong in the same way that taxing the rich is bad for everyone kind of wrong. The wealthiest country in the world should lead the way in establishing a living wage. We should begin by removing GDP and replacing the measure of economic growth with measures that truly reflect the economy. Four such measures are suggested by the economic experts.
- How many times a day do you worry about losing your job? When it’s zero we have a living wage stage 1.
- How many times a day do you worry about not being able to pay rent/mortgage? When it’s zero we have a living wage stage 2.
- How many times a day do you worry about not being able to financially take care of your family? When it’s zero we have a living wage stage 3.
- How many times a day do you worry that you won’t be able financially afford to retire? When it’s zero we have a living wage stage 4.
Simple and truly those measures above are the real indicators of economic growth and prosperity. We will always get what we measure.
Nick Hanauer’s newer Ted Talk on income inequality.
“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it–always.”
The Great Soul
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi