Wakeful Video Weekend 2020-01-05 (27 videos) – Main Theme: Our Inequality

Understanding better our unequal society. And coming to realize that we need to create a nurturing environment that meets basic needs for everybody, rather than continuing to support a system that leeches everything away from almost everyone and places all that stolen prosperity into the vaults of a handful of king-like super-rich — plus their rich and upper-“middle-class” guards. A need to build strong, healthy communities as a basement for and part of revolutionary change before the catastrophic point of no return completely ends our future (the latter only a little discussed).

Since this holiday week produced less vital videos than usual, I dove through older ones that draw a comprehensive picture from which to grow our awareness and build plans.

Channels: Moyers & Company, hearus1, PBS NewsHour, Ubiquity, TEDx Talks, Bernie Sanders Campaign, PRIMO NUTMEG, Democracy Now!, CODEPINK, NonCompete, and more.

Topics (Categories):

  1. Living in our Times (Rich or Struggling) II
  2. Education: Our Toxic Culture of Education
  3. Socialism = Common Ownership (& Liberty from Lords)
  4. Neoliberalism fuels Right-Wing Populism
  5. Billionaires: Are thieves legitimate “winners”?
  6. Iran (esp. the Recent U.S. Terror Strike)
  7. The Past & Future (and What to Do)


1. Living in our Times (Rich or Struggling) II

This second episode of Living in our Times (Rich or Struggling) is divided in sub-sections (it also makes for a good contrast to the popular Vapid Lives of Destruction series):


(1) Inequality by Design

American Inequality Fortified and Racing Ahead (2011) **

Life gets worse or stays in an inexcusable rot while it keeps getting better for a few at the top who run the whole show:

Many Americans Feel ‘Stuck in a Rut’ as Economy Improves, But Inequality Grows ~ PBS NewsHour

Inequality by Design: Financial Capitalism (2011) **

Americans Facing More Inequality, More Debt and Now More Trouble? ~ PBS NewsHour

The Struggle inside Inequality (2011) **

Inequality Hurts: The Unhealthy Side Effects of Economic Disparity ~ PBS NewsHour

The Sick Mentality behind Inequality (2013) ***

I believe to have shared this before from another channel. Still, it makes sense to share it again to help us dig into the roots of our inequality trouble:

Pernicious’ Effects of Economic Inequality ~ PBS NewsHour

This confirms my life’s experience conclusion that we must repair our mentality having become warped in civilized society (under the yoke of military empires, slavery, feudalism, and heir modern version: capitalism).

Ignoring Inequality Always Led to More (2011) ***

Land of the Free, Home of the Poor ~ PBS NewsHour

Overworking as Part of Designed Inequality (2010) *

So, you are a business owner or CEO wanting to increase your profits? Fire part of your workforce and make the remaining workers pick up the slack without extra pay for all the extra work. Bingo! Laugh on your way to the bank and celebrate capitalism!

Stress, Burnout Taking Toll on Many U.S. Workers ~ PBS NewsHour

This goes hand-in-hand with firing experienced workers and replace them with unexperienced ones at entry level salaries. Maul the lives of uncountable workers, raise your profits, drive the company you control and the whole economy into the ground, and make a glorious luxury life from it…

And, of course, you never need to accept responsibility for your evil deeds. After all, capitalism forces such measures because of competition in the ‘free market’. (that’s where protective government regulations would come in and at least to some extent used to until the neocons/neoliberals removed them)

Financial Gouging of Working People (2014)

Spent: Looking For Change (Full Documentary) | American Express

Tax Cuts for the Rich, Food Cuts for the Poor (Aug 1, 2019)

Our billionaires-bought government plays its role in designing huge inequality, too, of course. Here is another brief glimpse at that (by Robert Reich):

How Trump Plans to Kick 3 Million People Off Food Stamps | Opinions | NowThis

A viewer comment (apparently originating from the Occupy Wall Street movement): “When the rich rob the poor, it’s called business. When the poor fight back, it’s called violence.”

Shared before but good to share here again:

Moyers & Company on our Inequality (2014)

… its enormous size and its poisonous effect on democracy and good lives, the cultural harshness bred at the top, comparison with Europe, the need for a wealth tax, and a wealth tax actually being 100% American in nature:

What the 1% Don’t Want You to Know ~ Moyers & Company

The next video belongs into this topic section, but to make it stand out more it got its own section:


(2) The Upper Middle Class’s Collusion with Inequality **

How the upper middle class keeps everyone else out ~ PBS NewsHour


(3) The Rotten Lives

Good Short Intro on the Crumbling American Lives (2011) **

CBS Evening News – Family faces the growing edge of poverty

Long-Term Joblessness (2010)

Long-Term Joblessness Takes Emotional, Spiritual Toll on ‘99ers’

Living as a Working Poor (and our Welfare Reform) (2014) **

(… our welfare-downgrading reform from our wealthy, greedy, treacherous corrupticians)

The Fate of Families After Welfare ~ PBS NewsHour

Degrading Welfare (Part of the Degrading New Deal) (2015)

This is the problem with limited-eligibility help programs. They can be reduced and have ever more hurdles and barriers installed while the evil rich rule and drool over their growing wealth and profits taken from the rest of us, and when bureaucracies serve these rich harming the rest of us. That’s a major reason why I favor a citizen’s dividend (a UBI funded by taxing the rich) to put a safety floor under everyone’s feet with no ifs or buts. (sure, other measures like federal, state, or communal job programs would also help SOME (but not ALL!!!) people, especially those (that I am not part of) who need externally made arrangements to find something useful to do in order to feel useful. (that kind of people often idolize job programs and want other measures like a UBI to be kicked into the ditch at the same time; in my opinion their comprehension of reality is narrow-minded)

Why it’s so hard to get off welfare ~ PBS NewsHour

Homeless Lives Like Leaves in the Wind (2017)

Nowhere to Go Family Homelessness in America (mobile) ~ hearus1

Invisible People (American Homelessness Documentary, 2018)

… and people’s movements to end this nightmare:

@Home (Homelessness Documentary) | Real Stories


(4) Working Like Leaves in the Wind

2014 Report:

As benefits expire, long-term unemployed make do with less ~ PBS NewsHour

2016 Report:

Jobs: End of the Line – We the People


(5) Retirement (gone for many of us)

Retired in Comfort after only 35 Years of Work?!? (2017)

So… this guy being a teenager when I was born, was able to work without higher education and retire in his early fifties(!) in comfort – based on an employer-paid pension for sure (something pretty much unknown by now) –, while people like me are struggling forever to make ends meet, looking for ever-lower-pay and less-or-no benefits jobs until we die, and the rich gangsters with the help of their politician puppets keep pushing for increasing our full retirement benefits age of measly Social Security pay-outs up and up beyond the original age 65!!!

It’s a slow, painful recovery for this former manufacturing town ~ PBS NewsHour

Retirement Gone

The video starts out pretty good but over time deteriorates by not digging deep enough into what’s going on and not at all into how to really solve it:

Broken Eggs: The Looming Retirement Crisis in America ~ Ubiquity

We have long been told that Social Security may flounder because the age pyramid has grown less steep in the last generation or two. But what is always left out is that automation has doubled our work productivity and will keep rapidly increasing it. So, then, why is the funding disappearing for retirement? Because of the groping rich, as usual. Pension funds have been either canceled or sold to the rich as Wall Street gambling chips (by turning them into 401K plans and such), and Social Security funds increasingly, too (examples: Ronald Reagan shifted half of the FICA tax burden away from the rich onto the working people, then wages were getting cut and healthcare costs increased thus reducing how much FICA tax could then be extracted from the working people; this was further reduced by long unemployment periods that once again benefit the rich (not having to pay wages during low business phases by simply laying off workers), and direct raids onto the Social Security funds by Congress). It’s all part of the capitalist base principle: move all the worlds resources from everyone to a handful of rich lords and then let the chips fall where they may.


2. Education: Our Toxic Culture of Education

Toxic culture of education: Joshua Katz at TEDxUniversityofAkron ~ TEDx Talks


3. Socialism = Common Ownership (& Liberty from Lords)

… instead of a few kings or billionaires owning everything (and our lives):

Hear the Bern Episode 37 | People Over Profits (w/ Nathan J. Robinson) ~ Bernie Sanders

Highlight spots:

  • Socialism variations and legitimacy: https://youtu.be/hHBXL2YlQ68?t=674 (socialism ranges from authoritarianism to anarchy and calling a country socialist doesn’t necessarily make it socialist)
  • Merging right after the above comes a definition of socialism and capitalism, not necessarily aligning markets with only one of them, but rather looking at the power structure: https://youtu.be/hHBXL2YlQ68?t=886
  • Note: All “ism” labels easily mess up rational conversations because everybody carries adifferent definition of each ism. One thought of this guy that should spread is that we are really talking about real issues, real problems, and solutions spread across a spectrum rather than two black and white opposites.
  • Human sharing mentality versus the myth that we all are selfish jerks (a myth spread by the few selfish jerks to serve them): https://youtu.be/hHBXL2YlQ68?t=3015 Note: Quite frankly, billionaires and libertarians who insist that they ought to have everything and everybody else nothing are just like two-year olds.

Quote: “You can have large concentrations of money among very few people, or you can have democracy. But you can’t have both.”

A good take-away message: Don’t rationalize injustice, not even wen you were told excuses as a child considered stupid and credulous.


4. Neoliberalism fuels Right-Wing Populism

The Fake (Neoliberal) Left Boosts the (fascist) Right-Wing Populism because working people desperately need and want to be represented. So, when the major party who at least to some degree represented them betrays them, then the other major party who betrayed them even longer can pretend to switch over to representing them (the old trick of fascism), and – bingo – wins elections, both in the UK and the U.S. and elsewhere:

George Galloway: Neoliberalism fuels Right-Wing Populism ~ PRIMO NUTMEG

And, yes. Socialism is all about the working people needing to liberate themselves from the money-aristocracy of the capitalist version of feudalism, not about pitting artificially created sub-divisions of the people against each other.


5. Billionaires: Are thieves legitimate “winners”?

Anand Giridharadas: Winners Take All | Town Hall Seattle

Unfortunately, Anand Giridharadas has apparently bought into the Russiahhh-Gate fairy tale (around ~35min in) which made me hesitant to share the otherwise good video. How can someone with his intelligence fall for that? *sigh* I guess, that’s why he – unlike you or me – get to sit on that stage and be broadcasted.

Good quotes:

  • “We need to move from a bad apple paradigm to a bad orchard paradigm.”
  • Referring to Jeff Bezos’ meddling financially with a city council election to prevent the city from solving the homelessness problem in order to prevent a slight tax increase for him, the richest man in the world who has way more wealth than anyone can ever need: “Did your mama not raise you right? What went wrong in our culture that that is a socially acceptable way of being?”
  • “I actually think we all have way more power in a way over our culture then we do over some of these harder structures, although we do have power over the hard structures; but we have to own the fact that we all participate in a culture that valorizes money-making, that valorizes billionaires, that puts them on the covers of things, that treats them as thinkers even though they’re not, and we can all stop participating in that culture.”
  • On one of the rich folk’s philanthropic meetings: “Why it is that the culprits of this age of inequality, of plutocracy, of so much abuse of power, were in the leadership of discussing how to fix what they had broken? The house was burning and the fire brigade turned out to be the arsonists.”
  • Saying to billionaires & multi millionaires: “You know you all think you’re changing the world, but what if you are what needs changing? What if you’re the problem you’re trying to solve? And what if you can’t solve it because the problem is you?”
  • “It’s actually incredibly powerful the way in which these plutocrats invented a phony religion that made them ‘good’ and made government ‘bad’, made philanthropy by people who just finished defrauding society or are not even finished defrauding society ‘good’, and Social Security ‘evil’. This was a religion that was invented and that many of us fell for. Some all the way, some just passively. And to me it’s an incredibly empowering thing to say we can stop believing the phony religion.”
  • On the billionaires/plutocrats/oligarchs: “These people can’t rule alone. There are very very few of them. They require our passivity. They require our acceptance.” [and cooperation, our playing along, our working for them and making no attempts to side-step the rigged system and heal our suffering communities]


6. Iran (esp. the Recent U.S. Terror Strike)

News on the Recent U.S. Forces Terrorism Act of War and Precedings

U.S. Killing of Soleimani Is Major Escalation, Could Spark “Another Round of Civil War” in Iraq ~ Democracy Now!

A Need to Act

The World says Global Peace Now! ~ CODEPINK


7. The Past & Future (and What to Do) **

We cannot afford to stay ignorant and passive:

Are we gonna frickin do something or what ~ NonCompete


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