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Home country: USA
Current location: Georgia
Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
Number of posts: 31,437

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Environmental Scientist

Journal Archives

The Doom Loop of Oligarchy

by Ezra Klein

1) In the year's scariest economics book, Thomas Piketty argues that capitalism, left unchecked, subverts democracy by always and everywhere concentrating wealth at the tippy-top. That creates a class with so much economic power that they begin wielding tremendous political power, too. And then they use that political power to further increase their wealth, and then they use that wealth to further increase their political power, and so on.

2) You might call this the Doom Loop of Oligarchy: wealth buys power, which buys more wealth. You can see it playing out over the last two weeks in American politics.

3) Let's begin with the economics. A new study by economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman shows that the richest one percent of US households have almost doubled their share of the nation's wealth since the 1960s. One percent of the country owns more than 40 percent of the wealth and that share is rising.

4) In contrast, the bottom 90 percent of the country owns less than 30 percent of the nation's wealth.

5) If you look closely, the rise of the one percent is actually the rise of the 0.1 percent. In the 1960s, this group owned about 10 percent of the nation's wealth. By 2012, they owned more than 20 percent.



Friday TOON Roundup 5 - The Rest







Friday TOON Roundup 4 - The Painter

Friday TOON Roundup 3 -Repubs

Friday TOON Roundup 2 - Pay Gaps

Friday TOON Roundup 1 - Knife

Los Angeles teacher suspended for science projects

LOS ANGELES (AP) Students and parents are calling for the return of a popular Los Angeles high school science teacher who was suspended from the classroom after students turned in projects that appeared dangerous to administrators.

Supporters rallied outside the downtown Cortines School of Visual & Performing Arts Thursday morning and have gathered hundreds of signatures on a petition that calls for the return of teacher Greg Schiller.

The Los Angeles Times reports (http://lat.ms/1gPLkZk ) that Schiller was suspended in February after two students turned in science-fair projects designed to shoot small projectiles. Schiller was suspended, with pay, pending an investigation.

One project used compressed air to shoot an object but wasn't connected to an air pressure source. Another project used power from a AA battery to charge a tube surrounded by a coil.

A school employee saw the air-pressure project and reported that it looked like a weapon. Schiller said he never saw the completed projects except in photos.



Luckovich Toon: To Prevent Voter Fraud...

Spy-happy Condoleezza Rice joins Dropbox board as privacy adviser

Dropbox has been hit with a firestorm of criticism after announcing that Iraq war architect Condoleezza Rice has joined its board.

The cloud-based file-sharing service said it was "honored to be adding someone as brilliant and accomplished as Dr. Rice to our team".

However, the internet has lit up with anger over the decision, with many Dropbox users threatening to stop using its services "Drop Dropbox" in other words.

Condi is a well-known supporter of wiretapping, surveillance and waterboarding, so it was slightly surprising to see her claim she intended to beef up the privacy credentials of Dropbox.

more (with some great user responses)


Fungal disease fatal to bats spreads to half of USA

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) A fungal disease that has killed millions of North American bats is spreading and now has been detected in half of the United States.

Officials in Michigan and Wisconsin said Thursday they've confirmed that bats in their states have been diagnosed with white-nose syndrome, which first showed up in the U.S. in upstate New York in 2006.

The disease is named for the white fuzz it creates on the animals' noses, wings and tails. It causes hibernating bats to wake frequently, which saps their energy reserves and can cause them to starve or dehydrate before spring arrives.

In some caves where the disease has been spotted, more than 90 percent of bats have died.

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