4 May 2017   Leave a comment

Today is the 47th anniversary of the shootings at the anti-Vietnam War protests at Kent State in Ohio and, 10 days later, at Jackson State in Mississippi.  For those of us who lived through that experience, it was truly a defining moment. When the state brings military force to bear against its own citizens, there is a genuine question about the legitimacy of the state.  The shootings brought the Vietnam War home.  We knew the war had been lost in the Tet offensive;  the shootings on 4 and 14 May showed us what else we had lost.

Kent State, 4 May 1970






Oxfam has issued a new report on global economic inequality.  In the report summarizing the study, Oxfam points out that

“The richest 1% now have more wealth than the rest of the world combined. Power and privilege is being used to skew the economic system to increase the gap between the richest and the rest. A global network of tax havens further enables the richest individuals to hide $7.6 trillion.”

The trend of growing inequality continues to accelerate:

An Economy for the 1%, shows that the wealth of the poorest half of the world’s population – that’s 3.6 billion people – has fallen by a trillion dollars since 2010. This 38 per cent drop has occurred despite the global population increasing by around 400 million people during that period. Meanwhile the wealth of the richest 62 has increased by more than half a trillion dollars to $1.76tr. Just nine of the ’62’ are women.

This concentration of wealth affects poor people in all regions of the world.  The situation in Africa, for example, is dire.  According to The Guardian:

“The charity said as much as 30% of all African financial wealth was thought to be held offshore. The estimated loss of $14bn in tax revenues would be enough to pay for healthcare for mothers and children that could save 4 million children’s lives a year and employ enough teachers to get every African child into school.


As the US cuts the budget for the Environmental Protection Agency and ponders whether to leave the Paris Agreement on climate Change, the evidence continues to mount that environmental degradation is occurring at a rate which jeopardizes the future.  The Global Footprint Network is a non-profit organization that analyzes the relationship between resource consumption and resource availability across the planet. Its most recent study concludes that “As of 2013, the world’s population would need 1.7 Earths to support its demands on renewable natural resources”.  The countries with the largest ecological deficit are China, the US, India, Japan, and Germany.



Posted May 4, 2017 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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