Category Archives: Economics

Report: More than 80% of 2017 Wealth All Goes to the 1%

Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam.

Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam.

By Free Radical

A new report released by development charity Oxfam has shown that in 2017 the wealth gap has dramatically widened rather than grown smaller. In fact, last year 82% of the wealth generated throughout the world went to the top 1%.

The report also showed that just 42 people in the world own as much as the 3.7 billion people who make up the poorest half of the world’s population.

According to Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam, “The billionaire boom is not a sign of a thriving economy but a symptom of a failing economic system.”

Using data from the bank Credit Suisse, Oxfam’s report revealed that the wealth of billionaires increased 13% a year from 2006 to 2015.

The organization argued that this extreme inequality could be tackled by raising living wages, supporting workers’ rights, and ending gender discrimination as 90% of the world’s billionaires are men. Perhaps a serious campaign to end white supremacy would also be helpful as the lion’s share of members of the 1% are not only men, but they are also White.

The study has been released this week to coincide with the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland which attracts some of the world’s richest people.

NFL Viewership Dramatically Reduced

Eric Reid, who plays for the San Francisco 49ers has refused to stand for the national anthem for the entire regular season.

Eric Reid, who plays for the San Francisco 49ers has refused to stand for the national anthem for the entire regular season.

By Free Radical

According to Nielsen, NFL ratings dropped by 9.7% during the regular season which ended on New Years Eve. On average, 14.9 million people watched a typical NFL game. While this may seem like a lot, during the 2016 season, the average was 16.5 million. And to make matters worse for the struggling league, viewership was already down by 8% during the 2016 season.

While most analysts accounted the 2016 decline to the presidential campaign, this year’s drop was blamed on controversy over the national anthem. Though former San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick started the trend of not standing for the flag, dozens of other players staged their own symbolic protests. This included refusing to stand, raising a fist in the air, and refusing to enter the field while the anthem played, among other actions.

Many self-avowed patriots were offended by the protests and thus refused to watch. Yet there was also a substantial boycott by African-Americans who were incensed by how league owners blackballed Kaepernick.

Though Kaepernick remains unsigned, the protests led to a reported historic deal where the league has agreed to contribute roughly $89 million to social justice causes. Yet even this has also caused controversy. Whereas conservatives have seen the move as an unwarranted capitulation, many progressives have seen it as hush money to stop the protests and reverse the decline in viewership.

Investigation Finds Killing of DC Motorcyclist “Unjustified”

By Malcolm Speaks

Terrence Sterling, a DC motorcyclist was unjustly murdered by policemen.

Terrence Sterling, a DC motorcyclist was unjustly murdered by policemen.

An internal police investigation concluded that a Washington D.C. police officer who shot and killed an unarmed motorcyclist had no reason to pull his gun and was not in danger when he fired. The investigation contradicted the officer’s account.

The review showed that Officer Brian Trainer and his partner, Officer Jordan Palmer, violated department policies early on Sept. 11, 2016, as they pursued, shot and killed 31-year-old motorcyclist Terrence Sterling, according to the Washington Post.

After the officers spotted Sterling, who according to police was speeding and running red lights, they tracked him as he traveled through the city and then parked their cruiser in an intersection ahead of the biker. Trainer, the passenger, was getting out as Sterling rode forward and the motorcycle struck the car door. He then discharged his firearm twice, striking Sterling in the neck and back.

Trainer, 28, told police he had heard the bike revving before it came “violently” toward him and pinned his leg between the door and the car, according to the internal police report. Additionally, he said that he discharged his firearm because he feared for the safety of Palmer and himself.

However, after re-creating the incident and examining Trainer’s injuries, which the report described as superficial, police revealed that they determined the officer’s leg to have been struck by the car door but never pinned.

The 34-page report also concluded that Sterling was trying to maneuver around the cruiser, not ram it. Investigators noted that Trainer himself told them that, other than Sterling’s reckless driving, he did not have any reason to believe that the motorcyclist would have been “armed and dangerous.” Therefore, Trainer’s decision to shoot “was not in defense of his life, nor was it in defense of the lives of others,” according to the report.

The investigation also noted that video of Trainer giving Sterling medical attention showed the officer kneeling “with all of his weight bearing down on both of his knees,” thus demonstrating that his injuries were not significant.

“These facts refute Officer Trainer’s assertion that his leg was pinned between the door and rocker panel of the scout-car, which was the premise as to why he discharged his service pistol at Mr. Sterling,” the review found.

Also, according to the report, officers are not allowed to fire their weapons at moving vehicles unless deadly force is being used against them or someone else. It also said officers should avoid tactics that put them in a position where a vehicle could be used against them.

Authorities revealed that the officer’s body camera was not turned on at the time of the shooting.

The internal review reported numerous lapses, therefore the shooting was determined to be “unjustified.” Police officials recommended that Trainer be fired.

Federal prosecutors who investigated the shooting, however, stated that there was not enough evidence to file criminal charges against Trainer this past August. Sterling’s family filed a $50 million lawsuit against the officers and the city.

Nursing Home Threatens to Fire Workers

By Free Radical

Workers at have been on strike since December 4.

Workers at Christian Care Home have been on strike since December 4.

In the latest development of the ensuing struggle between the Christian Care Home of Ferguson and striking employees, the Ferguson nursing home has announced it will replace the aggrieved workers. According to St. Louis Public Radio, Christian Care’s administrator informed workers of their termination in a December 19 letter.

Workers say the announcement, made in the midst of the holiday season, is emblematic of the lack of integrity and fairness that led to worker unrest in the first place.

The employees, who are represented by SEIU Healthcare Missouri and Kansas, have complained about being short staffed, mandatory overtime, and unfair compensation.

Workers have offered to return to work since first striking on December 4 and receive a delayed raise. Yet management, confident they can replace the largely unskilled workers, have remained obstinate.