A Revolution Opposing the Economy of Exclusion

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A Revolution Opposing the Economy of Exclusion

Postby WalkerARCHITECTS » Wed Jan 01, 2014 10:19 pm


Trusting congress is not in vogue. Change is in the air. Studies indicate that congress is held in poor esteem. Congress Retains Low Honesty Ratings according to GALLUP and it appears only Automobile salespeople, the lowest honesty rating, are only fractionally less honest. We need a political revolution, an intellectual transformation; the old ways of governing are simply not working because those elected are not representing the interests of the working class. Progress for the working class is no longer even discussed in the congress.

This reality is measured by the Gallup polls, and clearly government is out of touch and fading from credibility as trust erodes. Nurses have the highest honesty rating. Obviously we should elect nurses to fill seats in the Congress. Never has anybody needed healing more.

As Congress remains involved in protracted negotiations over the pending "fiscal cliff" that could disrupt the nation's economy if not addressed by Jan. 1, only one in 10 Americans rate the honesty and ethical standards of its members as high. This puts the lawmaking body second lowest on a list of 22 professions measured -- higher only than car salespeople, by a narrow margin. The honorable members of our congress are not so honorable. They choose to cut food stamps needed by the poor while electing to empower the wealthy to get wealthier as they themselves also get wealthier.


Christmas & the New Year is resolution as well as charity time, and not just because the holiday season reminds us to be charitable. As the tax year draws to a close, the charitable tax deduction beckons. Charitable acts are a good thing. There are several non-profit organizations making substantial progress.

Unfortunately the reality is that America’s wealthy are the largest beneficiaries of charitable deductions. According to the Congressional Budget Office, $33 billion of last year’s $39 billion in total charitable deductions went to the richest 20 percent of Americans, of whom the richest 1 percent reaped the lion’s share. Tax breaks that add benefit to Amercan,s in need, are of course included in this number, however, way too much of it is actually abuse.


The generosity of the super-rich is sometimes proffered as evidence they’re contributing as much to the nation’s well-being as they did decades ago when they paid a much larger share of their earnings in taxes. Unfortunately this good thing is not the thing needed. Think again.

The massive wealth inequality that too many Americans have to deal with is not getting better, in reality the inequality is getting much worse. Correcting this is imperative.


The reason why is transparent. Wealth inequality as a trend is widening at an unprecedented rate. A good percentage of Americans are increasingly deprived. The problem is that the distribution of wealth is blatantly unfair. It is not possible that this distribution of wealth has come to exist by accident. The wealthy get a more favorable opportunity than the working class. Yet, no politician wants to mention “redistribution”. One imagines images of hardworking capitalists as the worthy “makers” being forced to hand over hard-earned income to undeserving “takers.” The politics is obviously designed to serve a purpose.


The problem is that politics is not representative of cogent facts. These “takers” are in fact underpaid, low-wage work expands and proliferates in America, and these so-called takers are now the working class as often as not, and working as hard if not harder than anyone else, and often at more than one job.

This is a fact sheltered by obfuscation and the consequence is a Design Intelligence failure of great significance. Journalists have not covered the story nor have they been fair in reporting on the Market. The part they leave out as the market is rising is how few are actually the benefactors of that market place success. Most Americans are dealing with shrinking incomes. The Market is doing well at the expense of those whose labor creates the profits. This wrong must be corrected.



Reality tells us that the trend to shrink the middle class down to a size that can be drowned in a bath tub, is not an accident, rather it is a deliberate program driven by a capitalist society that has abandoned the fundamental idea of paying a fair wage for the value created. Consequently Americans have a sense of the problem and popularity among Journalists, Business executives, Governors and Lawyers are all at an all time low.

Journalists: Percentage of Americans that rate their honesty highly: 24 percent
Business Executives: Percentage of Americans that rate their honesty highly: 21 percent
State Governors: Percentage of Americans that rate their honesty highly: 20 percent
Lawyers: Percentage of Americans that rate their honesty highly: 19 percent

Insurance Salesmen have never received rave reviews but their popularity is in decline.
Insurance Salespeople: Percentage of Americans that rate their honesty highly: 15 percent.

Remarkably those often the most respected are now at an all time low, as Senators in the Congress of the United States rank lower in the ratings than Insurance Salesmen. Obviously there is a reason why.

Senators: Percentage of Americans that rate their honesty highly: 14 percent. To a large extent the distribution of wealth is now so ridiculously skewed to favor those already wealthy, that the working class has little or no opportunity for upward mobility. This deliberate outcome produced intentionally by those who control the Congress and the markets in the United States, has all but destroyed the American dream.

As Healthcare is currently a subject of interest to Americans we need to point out that the Healthcare hero’s of old have faded from previous high levels of respect to another devastating all time low sinking to 12%, but still more popular than Stockbrokers who enjoy an expanding market while their honesty rating falls at an accelerated pace and placing below HMO managers.

HMO Managers: Percentage of Americans that rate their honesty highly: 12 percent
Stockbrokers: Percentage of Americans that rate their honesty highly: 11 percent

Naturally advertising executives are in the business of stretching the truth and we do not expect them to get high honesty ratings.
Advertising Practitioners: Percentage of Americans that rate their honesty highly: 11 percent.

Members of the House of Representatives however are typically among those with high honesty ratings are now placing below the Advertising Executives and now also in the business of distorting the facts and stretching the truth.

Members Of the House in Congress: Percentage of Americans that rate their honesty highly: 10 percent

Car salesmen managed to close the gap on the House of Representatives obtaining an eight percent honesty rating.
Car Salespeople: Percentage of Americans that rate their honesty highly: 8 percent.

Widening inequality and Climate change are related. In many ways both are shaping our economy and both are the domain of liars.


Undoubtedly, super-rich family foundations, such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, are doing a lot of good. We are astounded at what they have accomplished. Wealthy philanthropic giving is on the rise, paralleling the rise in super-rich giving that characterized the late nineteenth century, when magnates (some called them “robber barons”) like Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller established philanthropic institutions that survive today. This is as good as it gets.


But a large portion of the charitable deductions now claimed by America’s wealthy are for donations to culture palaces – operas, art museums, symphonies, and theaters – where they spend their leisure time hobnobbing with other wealthy benefactors. This self-serving brand of generosity, is not what philanthropy is supposed to accomplish. This is moral corruption.

This self serving philanthropy is not adding value to those in need. This is failed Design Intelligence and an abuse of the tax codes intent, even if it is somehow held under law to be in compliance with the tax code. Dishonesty, is not necessarily unlawful conduct, tax deductions that do not add benefit to those in need, that do not add up to the positive philanthropy we all expect should not be allowed.

One of the most unfair is dollars provided for contributions to the elite prep schools and universities that the wealthy once attended or want their children to attend. The problem is that such institutions typically give preference in admissions, a kind of affirmative action, to applicants and “legacies” whose parents have been notably generous. I applaud the generosity but would deny the deductions. I would rather see scholarships to students with limited resources and high academic achievement receive scholarships to attend these same institutions. That would be better for America.

Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and the rest of the Ivy League are worthy institutions, to be sure, but they’re not known for educating large numbers of poor young people. These institutions are less likely to graduate aspiring social workers and legal defense attorneys than aspiring investment bankers and corporate lawyers. We need to make certain regardless of wealth that the best students get into the best universities, and that a full ride means a scholarship that takes them as far as they are capable of going.

I’m all in favor of supporting fancy museums and elite schools. I want those most capable of creating the future of our nation to have access to them. Unfortunately, those with the best potential, can’t afford to stay and study in these schools and routinely get “priced” out of these institutions. These aren’t really charities as most people understand the term, when only the children of the elite can get an education there. They’re often investments in the life-styles the wealthy already enjoy and want their children to have as well. Increasingly, being rich in America means not having to come across anyone who’s not rich. We need to rethink education. The children of the wealthy need real competition. We need to be smarter about this. We must have our best students in our best Universities, scholorships that fully empower the best future for America, is good Design Intelligence.

They’re also is something to the idea that the wealthy are making investments in prestige – especially if they result in the family name engraved on a new wing of an art museum, symphony hall, or ivied dorm. But that is a shallow achievement that does not deliver the best possible future for America. It is not that it isn’t desired by the Institution or the students who attend it, having the family name on a scholarship fund, is just simply more prestigious and more logical. Creating the best possible future for America requires that opportunity be real for those who actually are the best and the brightest.

Where people send their children is a decision that families own, as is how and where they donate their money. But it is not entirely accurate to suggest that this is the best use of a tax deduction. As with all tax deductions, the government has to match the charitable deduction with additional tax revenues or spending cuts; otherwise, the budget deficit widens. We need to rethink the outcome we want donations to America’s private institutions to achieve.

In economic terms, a tax deduction is exactly the same as government spending. Which means the government will, in effect, hand out $40 billion this year for “charity” that’s going largely to wealthy people who use much of it to enhance their lifestyles.

We see this as a problem.

To put this in perspective, $40 billion is more than the federal government will spend this year on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (what’s left of welfare), school lunches for poor kids, and Head Start, put together. The numbers are relevant and real. Which raises the question of what the adjective “charitable” should mean. I can see why a taxpayer’s contribution to, say, the Salvation Army should be eligible for a charitable tax deduction. But why, exactly, should a contribution to the Guggenheim Museum or to Harvard Business School?

There is a moral imperative being ignored.

What is happening is worth noting. It is a form of corruption. The intent of “charity” has been twisted. New York’s Lincoln Center held a fund-raising gala supported by the charitable contributions of hedge fund industry leaders, some of whom take home $1 billion a year. (not a typo.) I may be missing something but this doesn’t strike me as charity, either. Poor New Yorkers rarely attend concerts at Lincoln Center. How does this qualify as a charity in a meaningful way?

What portion of charitable giving actually goes to the poor? The Washington Post’s Dylan Matthews looked into this, and the best he could come up with was a 2005 analysis by Google and Indiana University’s Center for Philanthropy showing that even under the most generous assumptions only about a third of “charitable” donations were targeted to helping the poor.


I visualize Paul Ryan washing clean dishes as a campaign stunt gone wrong, it was a “photo opportunity”. It was corrupt, because it was a lie.


At a time in our nation’s history when the number of poor Americans continues to rise, when government doesn’t have the money to do what’s needed, and when America’s very rich are richer than ever, this doesn’t seem right.

If Congress ever gets around to revising the tax code, it might consider limiting the charitable deduction to real charities. Design Intelligence requires honesty, legitimate facts and the simple truth. Better government comes to form when reality is acknowledged and liars are exposed!


Congress is actively engaged in this good old boy mutual back scratching life style, while the working class endures relentless never ending life style erosion. The reality of this conduct is constantly in motion. Building wealth for those already wealthy is what many members of congress, to a large extent of their time and effort, are all about. These congressmen always leave congress with more wealth than they arrived with. All, of this type of conduct must be stopped. Congress is not supposed to be a wealth building opportunity.

The moral compass is now indicating that a serious corruption of our basic values is under way. Never has greed been more influential nor freedom so threatened. Wages in the United States have been falling every year for more than 30 years. The law of supply and demand has been reinvented to empower a small minority to wield unprecedented control over our government.


Pope Francis called for renewal of the Roman Catholic Church and attacked unfettered capitalism as "a new tyranny", urging global leaders to fight poverty and growing inequality in the first major work he has authored alone as pontiff. This is a long overdue chastisement as the moral compass has been out of whack for quite some time.

The 84-page document, known as an apostolic exhortation, amounted to an official platform for his papacy, building on views he has aired in sermons and remarks since he became the first non-European pontiff in 1,300 years in March.

This statement is a statement that asserts a moral imperative. It also speaks to the necessity of a Design Intelligence imperative as well. In it, Francis went further than previous comments criticizing the global economic system, attacking the "idolatry of money" and beseeching politicians to guarantee all citizens "dignified work, education and healthcare".


The pope said renewal of the Church could not be put off and said the Vatican and its entrenched hierarchy "also need to hear the call to pastoral conversion".

"I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security," he wrote.

In July, Francis finished an encyclical begun by Pope Benedict but he made clear that it was largely the work of his predecessor, who resigned in February.

Called "Evangelii Gaudium" (The Joy of the Gospel), the exhortation is presented in Francis' simple and warm preaching style, distinct from the more academic writings of former popes, and stresses the Church's central mission of preaching "the beauty of the saving love of God made manifest in Jesus Christ".

In it, he reiterated earlier statements that the Church cannot ordain women or accept abortion. The male-only priesthood, he said, "is not a question open to discussion" but women must have more influence in Church leadership.

He also called on rich people to share their wealth. "Just as the commandment 'Thou shalt not kill' sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say 'thou shalt not' to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills," Francis wrote in the document issued on Tuesday.

“It is an ugly thing,” he said, according to Vatican Radio, “when you see a Christian who doesn’t want to humble himself, who doesn’t want to serve, a Christian who struts about everywhere: it’s ugly, eh? That is not a Christian: that’s a pagan!”

He warned Christians against placing themselves above others and called on the faithful to be in solidarity with the poor.

"How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses 2 points?"

Evil is easy to spot.


Life without emotions is like an engine without fuel.

It's has been said that the honest man has nothing to hide. Not true. The honest man has to hide himself, because honest men are the prime targets of those who lie. Politicians have learned best the art of the liar. They deal in the power of that half of the truth that serves their interests. To protect yourself from the liars you must acknowledge the depth of your own ignorance. Read both sides of the issue. Comprehend what the impacts of change will be. The working class is shrinking so those who promised a trickle down were the liars! They have delivered an economy of exclusion.

Stand up and say NO to an economy of exclusion! Here are some quotes from the Pope's recent message:

“Just as the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say “thou shalt not” to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills. How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly home¬less person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points? This is a case of exclusion. Can we continue to stand by when food is thrown away while people are starving? This is a case of inequality. Today everything comes under the laws of competition and the sur¬vival of the fittest, where the powerful feed upon the powerless. As a consequence, masses of peo¬ple find themselves excluded and marginalized: without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape.”

“Human beings are themselves considered consumer goods to be used and then discarded. We have created a “throw away” culture which is now spreading. It is no longer simply about exploitation and oppression, but something new. Exclusion ultimately has to do with what it means to be a part of the society in which we live; those excluded are no longer society’s underside or its fringes or its disenfranchised – they are no longer even a part of it. The excluded are not the “ex¬ploited” but the outcast, the “leftovers”.”

“In this context, some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting. To sustain a lifestyle which excludes others, or to sustain enthusiasm for that selfish ideal, a globalization of indifference has developed. Almost without being aware of it, we end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people's pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else's responsibility, and not our own. The culture of prosperity deadens us; we are thrilled if the market offers us something new to purchase. In the meantime all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us.”

No to the new idolatry of money

“One cause of this situation is found in our relationship with money, since we calmly accept its dominion over ourselves and our societies. The current financial crisis can make us overlook the fact that it originated in a profound human crisis: the denial of the primacy of the human person! We have created new idols. The worship of the ancient golden calf (cf. Exodus 32:1-35) has returned in a new and ruthless guise, in the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose. The worldwide crisis affecting finance and the economy lays bare their imbalances and, above all, their lack of real concern for human beings; man is reduced to one of his needs alone: consumption.”

“While the earnings of a minority are growing exponentially, so too is the gap separating the majority from the prosperity enjoyed by those happy few. This imbalance is the result of ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation. Consequently, they reject the right of states, charged with vigilance for the common good, to exercise any form of control. A new tyranny is thus born, invisible and often virtual, which unilaterally and relentlessly imposes its own laws and rules. Debt and the accumulation of interest also make it difficult for countries to realize the potential of their own economies, and keep citizens from enjoying their real purchasing power. To all this we can add widespread corruption and self-serving tax evasion, which have taken on worldwide dimensions. The thirst for power and possessions knows no limits. In this system, which tends to devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenseless before the interests of a deified market, which become the only rule.”

The worship of money is a big part of the problem.

No to a financial system which rules rather than serves

Behind this attitude lurks a rejection of ethics and a rejection of God. Ethics has come to be viewed with a certain scornful derision. It is seen as counterproductive, too human, because it makes money and power relative. It is felt to be a threat, since it condemns the manipulation and debasement of the person. In effect, ethics leads to a God who calls for a committed response which is outside the categories of the marketplace. When these latter are absolutized, God can only be seen as uncontrollable, unmanageable, even dangerous, since he calls human beings to their full realization and to freedom from all forms of enslavement. Ethics - a non-ideological ethics - would make it possible to bring about balance and a more humane social order. With this in mind, I encourage financial experts and political leaders to ponder the words of one of the sages of antiquity: "Not to share one's wealth with the poor is to steal from them and to take away their livelihood. It is not our own goods which we hold, but theirs". [Saint John Chrysostom, De Lazaro Concio, II, 6: PG 48, 992D.]

A financial reform open to such ethical considerations would require a vigorous change of approach on the part of political leaders. I urge them to face this challenge with determination and an eye to the future, while not ignoring, of course, the specifics of each case. Money must serve, not rule! The Pope loves everyone, rich and poor alike, but he is obliged in the name of Christ to remind all that the rich must help, respect and promote the poor. I exhort you to generous solidarity and to the return of economics and finance to an ethical approach which favors human beings.

No to the inequality which spawns violence . . . .

Today's economic mechanisms promote inordinate consumption, yet it is evident that unbridled consumerism combined with inequality proves doubly damaging to the social fabric. Inequality eventually engenders a violence which recourse to arms cannot and never will be able to resolve. It serves only to offer false hopes to those clamoring for heightened security, even though nowadays we know that weapons and violence, rather than providing solutions, create new and more serious conflicts. Some simply content themselves with blaming the poor and the poorer countries themselves for their troubles; indulging in unwarranted generalizations, they claim that the solution is an "education" that would tranquilize them, making them tame and harmless. All this becomes even more exasperating for the marginalized in the light of the widespread and deeply rooted corruption found in many countries - in their governments, businesses and institutions - whatever the political ideology of their leaders.

To which I simply wish to add:




A meditation on how to revitalize a Church suffering from encroaching secularization in Western countries, the exhortation echoed the missionary zeal more often heard from the evangelical Protestants who have won over many disaffected Catholics in the pope's native Latin America.

In it, economic inequality features as one of the issues Francis is most concerned about, and the 76-year-old pontiff calls for an overhaul of the financial system and warns that unequal distribution of wealth inevitably leads to violence.

"As long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world's problems or, for that matter, to any problems," he wrote.

Denying this was simple populism, he called for action "beyond a simple welfare mentality" and added: "I beg the Lord to grant us more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the state of society, the people, the lives of the poor."

Since his election, Francis has set an example for austerity in the Church, living in a Vatican guest house rather than the ornate Apostolic Palace, travelling in a Ford Focus, and last month suspending a bishop who spent millions of euros on his luxurious residence.

He chose to be called "Francis" after the medieval Italian saint of the same name famed for choosing a life of poverty.

Stressing cooperation among religions, Francis quoted the late Pope John Paul II's idea that the papacy might be reshaped to promote closer ties with other Christian churches and noted lessons Rome could learn from the Orthodox such as "synodality" or decentralized leadership.

He praised cooperation with Jews and Muslims and urged Islamic countries to guarantee their Christian minorities the same religious freedom as Muslims enjoy in the West.

In all nations the same struggle exists, the economics of exclusion holds civilization within fixed limits. If the law of supply and demand produces this outcome then this law needs to be repealed.

The world has changed dramatically. Not all of it is good. In the USA wages are under attack by companies that once were revered as the foundation of our worlds technology. Last month, we heard about the family of Momina Bibi, a 68-year-old Pakistani grandmother killed by an American drone that struck her down as she picked okra in a field. One of her grandchildren explained how the death of Grandma would forever change their view of the sky. "We used to pray for blue skies," the child said, "because they are so beautiful." Now, however, the children of Pakistan pray for grey skies -- because drones cannot see them, and kill them, through the clouds.

Even as war has become impersonal and increasingly immoral by all combatants, as life has become cheaper and has been made less significant, as the cold hearted expand their domination, even those who labor to deliver the corporate profits are now routinely striped of their dignity and opportunity. This is a crisis. A crisis that undermines not only the right to survive but also the right to dignity and any brand of security and freedom. It is a crisis at a global scale. It is a crisis empowered by an evil dogma. Greed has greater purchase on our future than reason.

It is my opinion that the greatest crisis facing the United States today is the obscene level of wealth and income economic inequality we now see. This is a moral issue, an economic issue, and a political issue. This is a crisis. It threatens every Americans freedom.

While the very rich get richer, the middle class continues to disappear and we now have more people living in poverty than ever before. This is deliberate. This is not a market place phenomenon. Despite huge increases in technology and productivity, tens of millions of workers are finding it harder to feed their families, pay for health care, send their kids to college or put aside savings for retirement. We kill our enemies abroad with robots that roam the skies, while we destroy our own with relentless wage cuts. There is no fairness to consider when the morality of the elite is reduced to big profits are good and wages are best when they are small.

While large corporations are earning record-breaking profits, real unemployment is close to 14%, and youth unemployment is at 20%. An entire generation of young people are now struggling to find a place in the economy. They are face to face with this nightmare and unable to repay their college loans.

It has actually been proposed that we patrol our own skies with drones, to manage the masses, here in America. Freedom has never been more at risk.

In recent years, with 95% of all new income going to the top 1%, we have seen a huge increase in the number of millionaires and billionaires. One family, the Walton family of WalMart, now owns more wealth than the bottom 40% of Americans. That is just one family! Meanwhile, we continue to have, by far, the highest rate of childhood poverty in the industrialized world. Largely this is the consequence of greed. Profits are good but good family supporting jobs, according to the Boeing Companies management must now become a thing of the past.

While the average American is increasingly alienated from the political process, billionaire families like the Koch brothers are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to elect candidates who support their extreme right-wing views. Many of whom are wealthy, ivy league educated, corporate big shots, who believe that profits are good and good family supporting jobs are bad.

During the last week a new and important ally has arisen in the struggle against unfettered capitalism and wealth and income inequality. In his recently published Exhortation, Pope Francis warns the world against the idolatry of money and the false promise of trickle-down economics. We send our prayers to heaven, but that is not enough we must also send our letters to those corporate masters who have decided to destroy the American way of life, by destroying the wages of the work force, who’s labor creates the profits they enjoy. Something evil is emerging, here in the United States. The trend includes the “BIG BROTHER” legislation we call the “Patriot Act”.

Clearly, not everyone shares Francis’ religion, and many of us have deep differences with a number of positions taken by the Catholic Church. Nonetheless, we can all, I think, share his commitment to economic justice and learn from his wise assessment of how modern civilization, in its relentless pursuit of profit and its dependence on “the market” to make final valuations of what is good, has lost touch with the ethical imperatives that should guide our society. This is the face of evil, summoned by failed Design Intelligence.

I appeal to all religious leaders to focus on matters of economic justice and to speak out from the context of their own respective traditions. Unlike previous economic disasters those at the top did not share this one with the common people. These are tough times for our country. Let’s go forward together. Let us bring an end to special privilege and denounce greed.



Lies are too common but the exclusion of relevant truth is worse. Both corporate and right-wing press are getting much worse, increasingly distorted and actively supporting the economy of exclusion. There are dozens of examples of journalistic failure every week. The right-wing media is often insane as we see report by AlterNet, Dzily KO, and others, many focus on the Right-wing wackos. But, increasingly, mainstream media is about protecting the 2% and the media owner’s financial interests. They too often miss the real story or mislead the reader. This must stop.

We need top flight, tenacious, fearless, progressive media to push back every day. Change is delivered by the truth or lies, this current trend of lies is characterized by and in part drives the economy of exclusion. Propaganda includes not only lies but truth that is concealed.

It is no accident that the world's richest man -- Mexico's Carlos Slim, worth $73 billion -- is the second largest stockholder of the New York Times. Or that The Washington Post is now owned totally by one super rich person -- Jeff Bezos, the emperor of Amazon. Bezos recently landed a $600 million contract with the CIA. But, the Post’s articles about the CIA are not disclosing that the newspaper’s sole owner is the main owner of CIA business partner Amazon.

Too often the media's performance is a disgrace to journalism:
• The New York Times, in an astonishing bit of big bank propaganda, had the audacity to publish, “It is not a crime to make stupid mistakes, and much of what happened in the years before the financial crisis was more foolish than venal.” This is an astonishingly brazen lie, as AlterNet's writer explains, ‎ "…our biggest banks were found to have committed -- or have confessed to committing -- thousands of real and deliberate crimes, some of which rank among the largest financial crimes in history (such as LIBOR falsification, phony mortgage scams, and the $800 billion worth of drug money laundered by HSBC, to give just three examples)."
• It also was the New York Times that first called the bumpy rollout of healthcare.gov “Obama’s Katrina" in a front-page story. Soon, this over-the-top message was puppeted all over the media. If ever there was a flawed, destructive analogy, this is it. Hurricane Katrina amounted to an abdication of government responsibility, resulting in the deaths and displacements of many thousands? How can anyone in their right mind compare this disaster with the slow web-site role out of the ACA?
• Another media shocker was the shameful and distorted editorial in The Washington Post, which downplayed the retirement crisis and stoked generational tensions by suggesting that Social Security is a burden on young people instead of a vital safeguard. The editorial actually mocked a sensible bill introduced by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) that would boost Social Security benefits by increasing taxes on the wealthy. The Washington Post's nonsense was blasted by Senator Elizabeth Warren, who spoke out strongly against cuts of any kind, including Obama's "chained CPI" cut which would prevent Social Security from keeping up with seniors' increasing costs.
• Recently, The Washington Post so-called "liberal columnist" Richard Cohen wrote, "People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York—a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children.” Enough said on that one. The Post also employs notable rabidly Islamaphobic blogger Jennifer Rubin.
• Chuck Todd, NBC News Political Director, actually asserted during an appearance on Morning Joe, “It’s not our job to inform viewers when Republicans lie.” This is what journalism has come to -- in the context of one of the most intense disinformation campaigns in history attacking the Affordable Care Act. What do Chuck Todd and NBC think journalists should do?

There are many more egregious examples... but far too many for this communiqué. Put simply, we cannot trust corporate media to protect us. They too often protect the needs of the billionaire class, not all the classes. Help us provide the alternative 24/7. We have your interests at heart. An end of the year, your tax-deductible contribution will mean a lot.







During this season it is the obligation of all, to show concern for the less fortunate among us. It is also appropriate to be concerned about the widening gap between the most fortunate and everyone else.

You and I are being structurally deprived by a depraved few. Although it's still possible to win the lottery (your chance of winning $636 million in the recent Mega Millions sweepstakes was one in 259 million), in reality the biggest lottery of all is what family we're born into. Our life chances are now determined to an unprecedented degree by the wealth of our parents. The capacity to acquire wealth by hard work is no longer significant. The winners have already been chosen.

That has not always been the case. The faith that anyone could move from rags to riches -- with enough guts and gumption, hard work and nose to the grindstone -- was once at the core of the American Dream. That dream is dead, because the existing wealthy have killed off that dream and have made that dream impossible for the Working Class.

When equal opportunity was the heart of the American creed, even if it was imperfectly achieved, that ideal eventually propelled us to overcome legalized segregation by race, and to guarantee civil rights. The idea that all boats would rise together was embraced. It fueled efforts to improve all our schools and widen access to higher education. This resulted in a stronger nation. It pushed the nation to help the unemployed, raise the minimum wage, and provide pathways to good jobs. Much of this was financed by taxes on the most fortunate. It worked. We remember the way we were.

But for more than three decades we've been going backwards. This was not something that the working class got to decide. It's far more difficult today for a child from a poor family to become a middle-class or wealthy adult. Or even for a middle-class child to become wealthy. It is more than merely difficult, it requires an uncommon capacity or a miraculous stroke of luck or both.

The major reason is widening inequality. The longer the ladder, the harder the climb. America is now more unequal that it's been for eighty or more years, with the most unequal distribution of income and wealth of all developed nations. Equal opportunity has become a pipe dream. The top Ten percent of Americans have deliberately destroyed opportunity for the rest of us.

Rather than respond with policies to reverse the trend and get us back on the road to equal opportunity and widely-shared prosperity, we've spent much of the last three decades doing the opposite.

Taxes have been cut on the rich, consequently public schools have deteriorated, higher education has become unaffordable for too many, even the best students as safety nets have been shredded, and the minimum wage has been allowed to drop 30 percent below where it was in 1968, adjusted for inflation. This is an uncommon crime, committed by smooth criminals who broke no laws.

Congress has just passed a tiny bipartisan budget agreement, and the Federal Reserve has decided to wean the economy off artificially low interest rates. Both decisions reflect Washington's (and Wall Street's) assumption that the economy is almost back on track. For the wealthy it is back on track, for you and me even the tracks will soon be hard to find. The story about how this happened is being rewritten every day, the ambition is to create a new normal and a permanent class of workers who will increasingly be familiar with poverty.

We know it's not at all back on the track, because it was on more than three decades ago that it began. It's certainly not on track for the record 4 million Americans now unemployed for more than six months, or for the unprecedented 20 million American children in poverty (we now have the highest rate of child poverty of all developed nations other than Romania), or for the third of all working Americans whose jobs are now part-time or temporary, or for the majority of Americans whose real wages continue to drop.

The inequality we have was created deliberately!

How can the economy be back on track when 95 percent of the economic gains since the recovery began in 2009 have gone to the richest 1 percent? The underlying issue is a moral one: What do we owe one another as members of the same society?


Conservatives answer that question by saying it's a matter of personal choice -- of charitable works, philanthropy, and individual acts of kindness joined in "a thousand points of light."

But that leaves out what we could and should seek to accomplish together as a society. It neglects the organization of our economy, and its social consequences. It minimizes the potential role of democracy in determining the rules of the game, as well as the corruption of democracy by big money. It overlooks our strivings for social justice. It defuses the capacity to sustain opportunity for Americans.

In short, it ducks the meaning of a decent society. It fails because it is devoid of Design Intelligence. It embodies no plan for the future of the American people. It creates a future where all innovation will be owned by those already wealthy.

Last month Pope Francis wondered aloud whether "trickle-down theories, which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness," Rush Limbaugh accused the pope of being a Marxist for merely raising the issue. It is not a mystery, that in America today you can’t do anything without money. The amount of money required to start a business of any size, or to create a new technology, is way beyond the working class realm of opportunity. This is by design, it is deliberate.

But the question of how to bring about greater justice and inclusiveness is as American as apple pie. It has animated our efforts for more than a century -- during the Progressive Era, the New Deal, the Great Society, and beyond -- to make capitalism work for the betterment of all rather merely than the enrichment of a few. This approach is one we remember, it empowered competition and it created a dynamic market place.

The supply-side, trickle-down, market-fundamentalist views that took root in America in the early 1980s got us fundamentally off track. It destroyed America. It created have’s and have not’s, obliterating the middle class. The statistics clearly define the forced shrinkage of the middle class.

To get back to the kind of shared prosperity and upward mobility we once considered normal will require another era of fundamental reform, of both our economy and our democracy. Design Intelligence is the core capacity of that movement.

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