[p2p-research] Capitalism's Self-Inflicted Apocalypse by Michael Parenti

Paul D. Fernhout pdfernhout at kurtz-fernhout.com
Sun Aug 16 09:09:27 CEST 2009

Maybe he means stuff like this?
"An overall decrease in poverty incidence is indicated over a wide range of 
poverty lines and measures. However the change is small, and numbers of poor 
increased at roughly the rate of population growth"

Oops, that is from the 1980s. :-(

Or this?
"World poverty is on the increase as a result of the global financial crisis 
and the free market “structural adjustment” measures dictated by the 
International Monetary Fund. This is the inescapable conclusion of the 
latest report on global poverty issued by the World Bank last week."

Oops, that is from 1999. :-(

Ah, here's something current (2008):
"The Least Developed Countries Report, 2008"
"Least developed countries are achieving record rates of economic expansion, 
but growth is failing to trickle down into significantly improved well-being 
for the majority of their population. ... In many of them the domestic price 
of some food staples has doubled. This is compressing the budget of poor 
families, which spend 50 - 80 per cent of their income on food. Therefore, 
the food crisis is likely to slow down - or even reverse - the limited 
progress achieved so far towards reducing poverty and malnutrition in LDCs."

Well, looks like capitalism for the past few decades does not seem to be 
working out well for the poor without capital. What a surprise. :-(

At least they can look forward to private water.

Oops, that is "privatized" water, isn't it? :-(
"Privatization proposals in key public service sectors such as water and 
electricity are often strongly opposed. Opponents may include political 
parties, civil society groups, and wide groups of citizenry. Opposition to 
privatization includes fear that giving multinational corporations control 
over the necessities of life would be disadvantageous; that as a result 
profits would be valued over service, and expensive centralized projects 
will be undertaken to the exclusion (or even outlawing) of small wells or 
rain water collection. Past and current water privatization regimes and 
proposals have denied peoples rights to collect rain water."

--Paul Fernhout

Michel Bauwens wrote:
> thanks, but parenti implies that was the case even before the meltdown and
> I'd like to see that confirmed ...
> On Sun, Aug 16, 2009 at 12:01 PM, Paul D. Fernhout <
> pdfernhout at kurtz-fernhout.com> wrote:
>> Michel Bauwens wrote:
>>> does anyone have any data on this:
>>> the number of billionaires is increasing faster than ever while the number
>>> of people living in poverty is growing at a faster rate than the world's
>>> population
>>> On Sun, Aug 16, 2009 at 2:38 AM, Paul D. Fernhout <
>>> pdfernhout at kurtz-fernhout.com> wrote:
>>> Someone just sent me this link; some people here might like it.
>>>> "Capitalism's Self-Inflicted Apocalypse" by Michael Parenti
>>>> http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Parenti/Capitalism%27s_Apocalypse.html
>> Try:
>> "Global Financial Crisis Pushing Millions into Poverty in 2009"
>> http://www.stwr.org/poverty-inequality/global-financial-crisis-pushing-millions-into-poverty-in-2009.html
>> "As news of the global economic slump becomes more dire by the day, the
>> latest World Bank statistics suggest that 53 million more people could fall
>> into $2 a day poverty in 2009 as a direct result of the financial crisis -
>> or up to 100 million more people according to the UN Millennium Campaign. "
>> Or also on that page: "More than 140 million people could be plunged into
>> poverty and 23 million lose their jobs in Asia this year as the global
>> financial crisis batters the region, according to a study released
>> Wednesday. ... ILO regional director Sachiko Yamamoto noted the situation
>> was quickly evolving "into an employment and social crisis." "
>> Word population increase in 2009:
>>  http://www.iiasa.ac.at/Research/LUC/Papers/gkh1/chap1.htm
>> "The current annual population increase of about 80 million will remain
>> constant until 2015."
>> So, sounds about right for this year, sadly, as far as increasing poverty.
>> :-(
>> But this suggests the billionaires number slipped some too:
>> http://www.forbes.com/2009/03/11/worlds-richest-people-billionaires-2009-billionaires_land.html
>> "The richest people in the world have gotten poorer, just like the rest of
>> us. This year the world's billionaires have an average net worth of $3
>> billion, down 23% in 12 months. The world now has 793 billionaires, down
>> from 1,125 a year ago. "
>> It was certainly true up to last year or so that the number was increasing.
>> So, one might take that to read, there was a vast number of new billionaires
>> minted in the years leading up to an economic disaster. But, still, that's
>> not what they said. However, as the article was published in January, 2009,
>> and the Forbes list came out in march, it may have been more-or-less true
>> when they wrote it based on available facts.
>> Anyway, 300 or so people going from billionaire status to multi-millionaire
>> status does not seem quite as big an issue as one hundred million or more
>> people plunging back into poverty.
>> --Paul Fernhout
>> http://www.pdfernhout.net/
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