Category Archives: Obtaining income through harm

This is the point of the harmful part of a productive + harmul economic system: obtaining income not through productive means, but by unproductive means–taking it away from others.   The central idea of this website is that one group uses resources to restructure the alternatives of the second group in such a way that the first group benefits.  Slavery would be an example.  This is discussed in the following sections: Harm through the market, Obtaining income through the government – rent seeking – corruption, Discrimination: race – gender – ethnic – religious – class Slavery, Forced Labor Crime, Control of land and natural resources This section gives some examples of how this is done in today’s world, but other  categories provide a fuller story.

Cover of The Hidden Wealth of Nations Credit: University of Chicago Press

The Hidden Wealth of Nations: The scourge of tax havens by Gabriel Zucman

Trillions of dollars have sloshed into offshore tax havens. Here’s how to get it back David Scharfenberg Boston Globe January 20, 2018

See this page The Hidden Wealth of Nations for further book reviews and informative slide presentations by Zucman.

Cover of The Hidden Wealth of Nations Credit: University of Chicago Press

Oppression and Exploitation News March 19 – 25

Control of land and natural resources 2020

Conflicts over indigenous land grow more violent in Central America Alexander Villegas and Frances Robles New York Times March 9, 2020
Faced with government inaction, some activists try to reclaim ancestral lands on their own. Often, they pay a high price.

Conflict 2020

USA and France dramatically increase major arms exports; Saudi Arabia is largest arms importer SIPRI March 9, 2020

Opposing oppression and injustice 2020

Darius Swann, lead plaintiff in Supreme Court busing case, dies at 95 Harrison Smith Washington Post March 23, 2020
He and his wife sued the Charlotte-Mecklenberg school district in 1965 to send their son to an integrated N.C. school.

Betty Williams, Nobel laureate and leader of peace movement in Northern Ireland, dies at 76 Emily Langer Washington Post March 23, 2020
After witnessing the deaths of three children during the Troubles, she co-founded a campaign that drew thousands of protesters to the cause of peace.

Catherine Hamlin, OB/GYN who healed injured and ostracized mothers, dies at 96 Harrison Smith Washington Post March 22, 2020
She and her husband perfected surgical techniques to treat obstetric fistulas, a debilitating childbirth injury common in Ethiopia.

Charles Trimble, advocate for Native American rights, dies at 84 Katharine Q. Seelye New York Times March 20, 2020
He dedicated his life to advancing the tribal causes of self-determination, sovereignty and human rights.

Tex’ Harris, U.S. diplomat who exposed human rights abuses in Argentina, dies at 81 Matt Schudel Washington Post February 29, 2020
Sending reports through a special ‘dissent channel,’ he brought worldwide attention to the military junta’s ‘dirty war.’

José Zalaquett, champion of human rights in Pinochet’s Chile and around the world, dies at 77 Emily Langer Washington Post February 20, 2020
A Chilean lawyer, he was jailed and ultimately expelled from his country for his efforts on behalf of political prisoners and “disappeared” people.



Oppression and Exploitation News March 12 – 18

Harm through the market 2020

Airlines are now asking for a giant bailout from the government due to the coronavirus pandemic shrinking air traffic.  This oped describes how American Airlines did not put money aside for a rainy day. Despite earning billions of dollars (for example, $7.6 billion in 2015) in large part gathered from higher fares and checked bag charges allowed by the oligopolistic structure of the airline industry, It spent $15 billion dollars on stock buybacks, accumulated a debt of $30 billion (nearly 5 times the company’s current market value),  and actually decreased its cash reserves.

Don’t feel sorry for the airlines Tim Wu New York Times March 16, 2020
Before providing them any assistance, we must demand that they change how they treat their customers and employees.

How working class life is killing Americans, in charts David Leonhardt and Stuart A. Thompson Washington Post March 4, 2020

Harming people – Keeping people oppressed 2020

Coronavirus outrage spurs China’s internet police to action Paul Mozur New York Times March 16, 2020
Online enforcers are dragging in hundreds for questioning as an assault on online speech continues. They are a sign of how Beijing has given censors a more punitive role.

Chinese tycoon who criticized Xi’s response to coronavirus has vanished Javier C. Hernández New York Times March 14, 2020
Ren Zhiqiang appears to be the latest government critic silenced by the Communist Party as it cracks down on dissent over the epidemic.

Discrimination 2020

How Delhi’s police turned against Muslims Jeffrey Gettleman, Sameer Yasir, Suhasini Raj and Hari Kumar New York Times March 12, 2020
More evidence has emerged that the Indian police took part in violence against Muslims or stood aside during fighting in the capital last month

Discrimination against women 2020

Rashmi Hamal is a local heroine who helped to save her friend from an early marriage. She campaigns actively against child marriages in the Far Western Region of Nepal. Credit: Naresh Newar/IPS

UN Report: World remains a ‘violent, highly discriminatory place’ for girls InterPress Service March 4, 2020
Twenty-five years after the historic Beijing women’s conference in China – a milestone in advancing equal rights – violence against women and girls is not only common, but widely accepted, a new UN report revealed. (Access full report.)

Protesting femicide in Mexico Brent McDonald and Miguel Tovar New York Times March 10, 2020
Mexico: Thousands stay in to protest violence against women Peter Orsi AP/Washington Post March 9, 2020

Women’s unpaid labor is worth $10,900,000,000,000 Gus Wezerek and Kristen R. Ghodsee New York Times March 5, 2020
Imagine you had a bucket big enough to hold all the money made in 2018 by the 50 biggest companies in the world. The $10.9 trillion that women didn’t earn would more than fill it.

Image: The U.S. has fallen below its traditional democratic peers.

Freedom in the World 2020 finds established democracies are in decline

Freedom House March 4, 2020. Despite mass protests in every region, world suffers 14th consecutive year of deterioration in political rights and civil liberties.

Democracy is under assault around the globe, and the effects are evident not just in authoritarian states like China, Russia, and Iran, but also in countries with a long track record of upholding basic rights and freedoms. While protest movements in every region have illustrated widespread popular demand for better governance, they have yet to reverse the overall pattern of declining freedom, according to Freedom in the World 2020, the latest edition of the annual country-by-country assessment of political rights and civil liberties, released today by Freedom House.

Countries that suffered setbacks in 2019 outnumbered those making gains by nearly two to one, marking the 14th consecutive year of deterioration in global freedom. During this period, 25 of the world’s 41 established democracies experienced net losses.

The report also found an alarming global erosion in governments’ commitment to pluralism, a defining feature of liberal democracy. Ethnic, religious, and other minority groups have borne the brunt of recent state abuses in both democracies and authoritarian countries. Left unchecked, such violations threaten the freedom of entire societies.

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