INTEGRATIONALISM

"all things in existence are physiologically connected"

Archive for November, 2011

Video – U.S. Job Market — People Staying in Jobs Longer

Video – U.S. Job Market — People Staying in Jobs Longer – WSJ.com.

http://s.wsj.net/media/swf/VideoPlayerMain.swf

The Cleveland Fed shows research that people staying in jobs for longer periods of time is requiring adding the economic shock of any crisis where lay-offs or retraction is involved. The problem with this is that research also shows that people out of work are less likely ever re-enter the work force.

While economists (per the this interview) wouldn’t look at this as a “structure problem” because of the forecasted potential for worker volume to return, it is likely that their opinions are a bit too faithful in the existing model of compensating laborers for a honest days work. The enduring jobs crisis can and should of course be looked at as an economic issue and even a political issue, but it would likely be better pursued as a socio-cultural and a legal issue.

The ideal of honesty and the preferred compensation for ones good work is perhaps too subjective; having stated that, the ability for an individual to own so greatly in lieu of the potentially many other individuals that cater to the discovery, development, and distribution of goods/services is (in my opinion) the root cause of our (nation, states, humans) wealth distribution and compensation problems.

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Gabe Zichermann: How games make kids smarter

#OWS #OCCUPY TOGETHER set to “LOVE THAT’S AMERICA” by Melvin Van Peebles

Seeing all of the cities that this movement has swept by in the US alone is tragic and compelling. I finding my household falling somewhere at the tip of the economic 1% percent and yet I’m driving to post images and video of this on going protest and the efforts to hush it, because of my fear that the ideal of a democratic nation vanish in my short lived lifetime. Anyone would know from my writings on arbitrage that if the wealth is n;t distributed across a relatively (per the population) wide audience that influence is impossible.

Richard Dawkins: ‘Somebody as intelligent as Jesus would have been an atheist’ – video interview | Science | guardian.co.uk

Dawkins said: “you and I are too intelligent to believe in religion, but common people need it…you don’t need religion to be moral”

Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins claims that given today’s knowledge of science, even Jesus would have questioned the existence of God if he were living today.

Richard Dawkins: ‘Somebody as intelligent as Jesus would have been an atheist’ – video interview | Science | guardian.co.uk.

 

Oligarchy, American Style By PAUL KRUGMAN

I just had to repost this….it got to me.

Inequality is back in the news, largely thanks to Occupy Wall Street, but with an assist from the Congressional Budget Office. And you know what that means: It’s time to roll out the obfuscators!

Anyone who has tracked this issue over time knows what I mean. Whenever growing income disparities threaten to come into focus, a reliable set of defenders tries to bring back the blur. Think tanks put out reports claiming that inequality isn’t really rising, or that it doesn’t matter. Pundits try to put a more benign face on the phenomenon, claiming that it’s not really the wealthy few versus the rest, it’s the educated versus the less educated.

So what you need to know is that all of these claims are basically attempts to obscure the stark reality: We have a society in which money is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few people, and in which that concentration of income and wealth threatens to make us a democracy in name only.

The budget office laid out some of that stark reality in a recent report, which documented a sharp decline in the share of total income going to lower- and middle-income Americans. We still like to think of ourselves as a middle-class country. But with the bottom 80 percent of households now receiving less than half of total income, that’s a vision increasingly at odds with reality.

In response, the usual suspects have rolled out some familiar arguments: the data are flawed (they aren’t); the rich are an ever-changing group (not so); and so on. The most popular argument right now seems, however, to be the claim that we may not be a middle-class society, but we’re still an upper-middle-class society, in which a broad class of highly educated workers, who have the skills to compete in the modern world, is doing very well.

It’s a nice story, and a lot less disturbing than the picture of a nation in which a much smaller group of rich people is becoming increasingly dominant. But it’s not true.

Workers with college degrees have indeed, on average, done better than workers without, and the gap has generally widened over time. But highly educated Americans have by no means been immune to income stagnation and growing economic insecurity. Wage gains for most college-educated workers have been unimpressive (and nonexistent since 2000), while even the well-educated can no longer count on getting jobs with good benefits. In particular, these days workers with a college degree but no further degrees are less likely to get workplace health coverage than workers with only a high school degree were in 1979.

So who is getting the big gains? A very small, wealthy minority.

The budget office report tells us that essentially all of the upward redistribution of income away from the bottom 80 percent has gone to the highest-income 1 percent of Americans. That is, the protesters who portray themselves as representing the interests of the 99 percent have it basically right, and the pundits solemnly assuring them that it’s really about education, not the gains of a small elite, have it completely wrong.

If anything, the protesters are setting the cutoff too low. The recent budget office report doesn’t look inside the top 1 percent, but an earlier report, which only went up to 2005, found that almost two-thirds of the rising share of the top percentile in income actually went to the top 0.1 percent — the richest thousandth of Americans, who saw their real incomes rise more than 400 percent over the period from 1979 to 2005.

Who’s in that top 0.1 percent? Are they heroic entrepreneurs creating jobs? No, for the most part, they’re corporate executives. Recent research shows that around 60 percent of the top 0.1 percent either are executives in nonfinancial companies or make their money in finance, i.e., Wall Street broadly defined. Add in lawyers and people in real estate, and we’re talking about more than 70 percent of the lucky one-thousandth.

But why does this growing concentration of income and wealth in a few hands matter? Part of the answer is that rising inequality has meant a nation in which most families don’t share fully in economic growth. Another part of the answer is that once you realize just how much richer the rich have become, the argument that higher taxes on high incomes should be part of any long-run budget deal becomes a lot more compelling.

The larger answer, however, is that extreme concentration of income is incompatible with real democracy. Can anyone seriously deny that our political system is being warped by the influence of big money, and that the warping is getting worse as the wealth of a few grows ever larger?

Some pundits are still trying to dismiss concerns about rising inequality as somehow foolish. But the truth is that the whole nature of our society is at stake.

Conference: THE MORAL BRAIN

 

Is it possible to make the brain more moral?

The NYU Center for Bioethics, the Duke Kenan Institute for Ethics, the

Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics,

and the

Institute for Ethics & Emerging
Technologies

Present

 2012 BIOETHICS CONFERENCE:
THE MORAL BRAIN

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