There are 1.6 billion people in the world without a single light bulb. Four out of five people lacking access to electricity live in rural areas. 70% are women and girls who spend up to 40% of their family income on inefficient and dangerous fuels like kerosene. And according to IFC report, fuel based lighting is responsible for carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to those from 30 million cars annually. Every day, women and children inhale smoke equivalent to two packs of cigarettes due to indoor air pollution. How can we create a bright future if women and girls around the world continue to live a life of darkness, and not one of possibilities? Neha Misra at Indian Country TodayJourneys of Light: When Women Power Meets Green Power (via protoslacker)
Most American retirement savings is invested in the public stock market. Most Americans can’t invest in private companies and most Americans can’t invest in venture capital and private equity funds. They’re actually prohibited from doing so by the SEC. If you both prohibit them from investing in private growth and wire the market so they can’t get into public growth, then you can’t be invested in growth. That raises the societal question of how are we going to pay for retirements. That’s the question that needs to be asked that nobody asks because it’s too scary. — Marc Andreessen interviewed by Timothy B. Lee for Vox (x)
But didn’t Hayek advocate for a Base Income or Dividend?

But didn’t Hayek advocate for a Base Income or Dividend?

"We’re not against contracting, but it needs to be done right," said the group’s executive director, a former AFL-CIO official named Donald Cohen. "It needs to be accountable, transparent, and held to high standards for quality of work and quality of service." Cohen’s organization, a national clearinghouse exclusively devoted to privatization issues, is the first advocacy group of its kind.

Doing it right, according to Cohen, means ensuring that contractors are subject to standards of transparency and accountability. Private companies doing government work and their contracts should be subject to open-records laws: In 2011, the city of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, hired a contractor to videotape city meetings, then claimed the tapes weren’t public records. (A state appeals court eventually ruled otherwise.) Companies should be held responsible for cost overruns, and governments should be making sure they’re actually saving money: Many private prisons cost more to operate than public ones, the group claims.

— Molly Ball writing for The Atlantic (x)
Using Census data, Business Insider figured out that half of the United States population is clustered in just the 146 biggest counties out of over 3000. Link includes county names. h/t @shitchartssay

Using Census data, Business Insider figured out that half of the United States population is clustered in just the 146 biggest counties out of over 3000. Link includes county names. h/t @shitchartssay

But even if the two sides were equal, billionaires squaring off against each other isn’t remotely a democracy. When billionaires supplant political parties, candidates are beholden directly to the billionaires. And if and when those candidates win election, the billionaires will be completely in charge.

Robert Reich at The Baltimore Sun. Slouching toward oligarchy [Commentary]

The country’s billionaires are even more in charge today now that candidates look directly to them for funding




(via protoslacker)

Maybe the Working America initiative can put somebody in office.