What cities and the executive branch should be doing to get to good, fair internet access for everyone. Book review: Fiber: The Coming Tech Revolution — And Why America Might Miss It.

What cities should be doing? We celebrate Chattanooga and Lafayette and Wilson…so many of these cities that are heroes now have depended on their existing municipal electric utilities as a first step towards breeding fiber, but there are only a few thousand cities in the United States that have a municipal electric facility available, so there has to be a broader …

Socio-politico-economic genesis of climate breakdown is Late Capitalism, defined by Ernest Mandel as “Increasing commodification and industrialization of more, and more, sectors of human life” as the social fabric splits apart, delineating “haves” versus “have-nots.”

“We’ve had 28 years of abject failure on climate change. It’s not that we haven’t brought emissions down. It’s just that we’ve watched them go up. In fact, since 2000, the rate at which they’ve gone up is even faster than the 1990s, as Dr. Kevin Anderson recently said.  For starters: (1) The top 10% carbon polluters in the world …

Practical and cost-effective ways to reach renewable energy goals in Colorado

From EnergyFreedomCO.org Many Colorado cities have ambitious energy goals but no practical and cost-effective way to reach them. Over one million Coloradans live in cities with the goal of obtaining 100% of their electricity from renewable energy sources. Many large companies also have aggressive renewable energy goals. This paper reviews six possible solutions that would allow cities and large companies …

Simply saying ‘no’ to its headquarters isn’t enough – Amazon should be investigated for abusing monopoly power

Amazon deserves more than rejection from New York. It should be punished Matt Stoller, The Guardian, 16 Feb 2019 This week, Amazon abandoned a plan to open a second “headquarters” in New York City, after citizens rebelled against the idea of paying almost $3bn in subsidies and tax incentives to one of the world’s biggest corporations. But simply saying “no” to Amazon’s coercive terms …

The Need for Anti-trust Action to Check Amazon’s Power

Amazon is Becoming More Powerful Than You Realize, Karl Bode, Medium, Jan 10, 2019 Amazon trades on convenience: Prime shipping means avoiding lines at the store; your Echo tells you in seconds how many cups are in 3.5 quarts. The company has combined retail and technology in an irresistible package, weaving its services throughout millions of lives. The efforts have turned Amazon …

“Taming this beast called capitalism”

‘This is about saving capitalism’: the Dutch historian who savaged Davos elite:  Rutger Bregman never intended to take billionaires to task over tax at World Economic Forum,  Larry Elliott Economics editor, The Guardian, Fri 1 Feb 2019  What innovation remains in a rentier economy is mostly just concerned with further bolstering that very same economy…Yet it doesn’t have to be this way. Tollgates can …

City platform example from Vancover

“We’ll never get what we need, unless we ask for it.” — Jean Swanson https://www.votecope2018.ca/platform_summary Tax the Mega Rich to Help the Rest of Us “Mansion Tax”: add an extra tax on properties worth over $5 million to generate about $1 billion over four years to end homelessness, fund public housing, and start restoring indigenous land “Big business” tax: lower commercial …

Amazon gets huge subsidies to provide good jobs—but it’s a top employer of SNAP recipients in at least five states; One-third of Amazon employees in Arizona need food stamps to feed themselves.

By H. Claire Brown, New Food Economy and The Intercept, April 19th, 2018 The Intercept.  We wrote a supplemental story about food stamps in the food industry here.  Later this year, Amazon will begin accepting grocery orders from customers using the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the federal anti-poverty program formerly known as food stamps. As the nation’s largest e-commerce grocer, Amazon stands to …

How Big Corporations Game Our Democracy into Their Plutocracy. Also, Highlights from “The Rich Don’t Always Win: The Forgotten Triumph over Plutocracy that Created the American Middle Class” by Sam Pizzigati

When public institutions are governed by private interests. By Ralph Nader, 4 Oct 2017 on Common Dreams A major chapter in American history – rarely taught in our schools – is how ever larger corporations have moved to game, neutralize and undermine the people’s continual efforts to protect our touted democratic society. It is a fascinating story of the relentless exercise …

To Address Inequality, Let’s Take on Monopolies: When a few firms dominate the market, they have the power to charge consumers more and pay workers less.

By Barry Lynn and Kevin Carty, Sept 2017 from Open Markets Most Americans know that our country has become extremely unequal. They may not know that the richest 0.1% of Americans own as much wealth as the bottom 90%, or that the richest one percent took more than half of all income growth since 1979. But they know that the rich benefit more and …