Tahrir Square erupted in revolution in January, but America actually suffers greater inequality than Egypt. Instead of an American dream, we have an American nightmare: a government, as Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz has written, of the top 1 percent, by the top 1 percent and for the top 1 percent.
This is not an accident; it is a defeat. It is the casualty of class warfare, waged and won, as Warren Buffett has noted, by the wealthiest few. Economists evoke globalization, technology and education as causal factors in our era’s extreme inequality. In fact, it results from policies that have weakened workers, liberated CEOs, starved social protections and savaged the middle class.
On Friday, two public interest groups asked the attorney general of Delaware to revoke the charter of Massey Energy, a company they call a criminal enterprise.
“Massey Energy operates outside the law,” says Lorelei Scarbro, who lives a few miles from the West Virginia’s Upper Big Branch mine, which is owned and operated by Massey Energy. Scarbro traveled to Delaware to speak in support of revoking the Massey charter. “The people of Appalachia are collateral damage; they believe it’s okay to wipe out a whole culture.”
I told him that I run a company with about $100 million in revenue, and that it isn’t just kids who think that Wall Street bankers got away with a crime. There are a set of people who constructed a set of financial products with intent to defraud. They took our country to the brink of ruin, then got off scott free, even with multi-million dollar bonuses. I’ll be interested to see if Fox runs my comments anywhere.
It seems so odd to me that the Tea Party isn’t out in force at this protest. It seems so odd that government largesse aimed at rich corporations seems to be OK with them, while government largesse aimed at the disadvantaged ought to be cut. I would have loved to see blue collar Americans out in force at this protest, not just college students.
The new Economic Freedom of the World report, coauthored with Josh Hall and Jim Gwartney, is released today. The big news is the continuing decline of the United States. Since 2000, the overall rating (out of 10) has fallen from 8.45 to 7.58 in 2009. This decline is among the largest in the world during the period putting us in the company of countries like Venezuela and Argentina. The overall decline is accounted for by changes in three areas: Spending, Property Rights, and Regulations.
H/t Tyler Cowan.
Renewable sources will be the fastest-increasing energy category in the next 25 years, said the report, which was prepared by the information agency. Renewable energy demand will climb 2.8 percent a year over the period and will make up 15 percent of the total in 2035, up from 10 percent in 2008.
The worries in Texas bear out what an increasingly vocal group of researchers has been warning in recent years: that planners must pay more attention to how much water is needed in energy production.
“Water and energy are really linked,” said Henrik Larsen, a water policy expert with the DHI Group, a research and consulting firm based in Denmark. “If you save water, you save energy, and vice-versa.”
Experts call this the “water-energy nexus.” It takes huge quantities of water to produce electricity from a plant powered by nuclear energy or fossil fuels, and it also takes lots of energy to pump and process the water that irrigates fields and supplies cities.