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Tag: Inequality

A Brief Primer On Texas’ F*CKED Up Politics & Why It Matters To You

Posted in Act Out!, Austin, Creative Commons, Journalism, and Video

Whenever you talk about terrible things happening in Texas, people start to tune out. You’re thinking, of course it’s fucking awful, it’s Texas. Why don’t we let them secede already?

It’s true, Texas politics seem like what happens when you apply dystopian novel “The Handmaid’s Tale” as an instruction manual BUT everything that happens there is a test balloon. The University of Texas at Austin motto is “what starts here changes the world.” And with most states and the U.S. Congress united behind that shit stain Trump, you can bet we’ll all be eating the same shit-filled Texas chili soon enough.

Now, the Texas government is full of low-life scum, but due to the peculiar whims of Texas politics, the Lt. Governor is a scumbag who stands above all the rest. The Lt. Governor is not just president of the state senate, but also sets the agenda for the entire legislative session. The senators and reps have a lot of politics to get through in a short amount of time, because the Texas State legislature only meets for 140 days every other year. Lemme say that again but slower: A hundred and 40 days EVERY OTHER year. The rest of the time, that massive building is just a big pink tourist trap.

What Is Gonzo Journalism? Interview By ProMosaik’s Dr. Milena Rampoldi

Posted in Journalism

Milena Rampoldi, ProMosaik: What is gonzo journalism and what does it mean to you personally?

Kit O’Connell: Hunter S. Thompson, author of “Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas,” and many other books, coined the term “gonzo journalism,” but the practice goes back much further. A great example of an early gonzo journalist is Nelly Bly, who had herself committed to a mental hospital in 1887 to expose the horrific treatment of patients. Ken Kesey is another famous practitioner, though what he practiced was a variation called “New Journalism.”

Gonzo journalism is journalism which rejects the idea of neutrality and objectivity. I consider myself an activist first and a journalist second, even though it’s the journalism that pays my bills and lets me continue my activism. For me, journalism is a way to reveal important truths and try to share the knowledge that we need to build a better, more humane world.

As Income Inequality Grows, Experts Consider Guaranteed Universal Income

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

Swiss voters overwhelmingly rejected the idea of a universal income, under which every resident would receive a monthly stipend, regardless of their employment status.

Under the plan, every adult over 18 would have earned a monthly income of 2,500 Swiss francs (about $2,563). Children would have also received a monthly stipend. The funds to support the plan would have come from the profits of the lucrative Swiss banking industry.

Despite about 77 percent opposition to the plan in the wealthy nation, some experts on global capitalism maintain that it could someday become a reality in Switzerland and elsewhere.

“I believe that every child that gets born should have a minimum trust fund that allows that child to live in freedom, in dignity, and then to do what they can with their talents if they want more,” Greek economist Yanis Varoufakis said during an April discussion of basic income and the future of work at Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute, a German economic research think tank. His remarks are excerpted in a June 3 video from acTVism Munich, an independent media outlet.

‘Starving The Beast’: Documentary Reveals How Wall Street ‘Disrupted’ Public Education

Posted in Journalism, MintPress News, and SXSW

Is education a right and a public good, or is it a commodity from which corporations can profit?

“Starving The Beast,” a documentary which premiered March 13 at the SXSW Film festival, reveals the struggle between these two paradigms for higher education taking place across the country at publicly funded universities.

From the University of Texas at Austin to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, decades of budget cuts have resulted in skyrocketing tuition alongside a simultaneous decline in the quality of education. Now Wall Street is moving into the gaps created by a largely Republican-created budget crisis, from the increasing reliance on private student loans as public funding falls to schemes to allow the accreditation of more for-profit universities, a move championed by Sen. Marco Rubio during his 2016 electoral campaign.

Israel Receives $3.1B In US Aid While The Middle East’s Poor Struggle To Survive

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

Every year, Israel receives billions of dollars in U.S. aid, despite the fact that its citizens enjoy a standard of living well above that of neighboring countries. And while the Middle East struggles through a historic refugee crisis, Israel is using U.S. taxpayer money to fuel its war crimes against Palestine and oppression of refugees.

The average income of Israel’s citizens is $34,990, based on 2014 data provided by the World Bank. For neighboring countries, that figure is far lower: Residents of Lebanon earn an average of $9,800 annually, followed by other Israeli neighbors including Jordan ($5,160), Egypt ($3,050), and Syria, where the average resident survived on just $1,860 in 2014, according to the World Bank’s data. For occupied Palestine, the World Bank offers a data sheet on the West Bank and Gaza, which estimates that the average resident makes $3,060 annually.

Against this backdrop of relative financial comfort for its residents, Israel received over $3.1 billion in foreign aid from the United States in 2015, the same amount received in 2014. The money goes directly to its military budget, where it fuels Israel’s war crimes against the Palestinian population, as well as its defense of its illegal occupation of the Golan Heights.

Almost One-Third Of Children Live In Poverty In ‘The Richest Nation In The World’

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

The financial collapse of 2008 and the absence of true economic recovery in the years since has left millions more children in poverty than before the recession. About 22 percent of American children live in poverty, and even that figure may not fully account for all those who are struggling.

According to the annual Kids Count Data Report, which ranks states based on the well-being of children living there, about 3 million more children were impoverished in 2013 than in 2008, an increase of 3 percent that brings the total number of children in poverty to 16,087,000. Following the report’s release, Al-Jazeera America and The Associated Press noted: