WBEZ | 99% http://www.wbez.org/tags/99 Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Alfredo Sfeir Younis visits 'Occupy' movement and calls for societal change http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-12-20/alfredo-sfeir-younis-visits-occupy-movement-and-calls-societal-change-95 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2011-December/2011-12-19/alfredo.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chilean economist <a href="http://silentpeacemeditation.com/about-alfredo/">Alfredo Sfeir Younis</a> spent more than 30 years at the World Bank. There he focused on the rights of indigenous peoples, poverty eradication and international trade. &nbsp;</p><p>Along the way he’s also became a Mayan priest.</p><p>These days Alfredo uses his &nbsp;<a href="http://silentpeacemeditation.com/">Zambuling Institute for Human Transformation</a> to combine spirituality and public policy issues.</p><p>Currently he’s on a tour of the U.S. After talking with a range of the “Occupy” movement protestors, Alfredo thinks we must challenge some fundamental values.</p><p>There's no doubt that after our current global economic strife, movements like <a href="http://occupywallst.org/">Occupy Wall Street</a>, the anti-austerity protests in Europe and the Arab Spring present a form of a pushback.</p><p>On this edition of Worldview, we spend the hour with Alfredo to talk about our changing times.</p></p> Tue, 20 Dec 2011 18:01:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-12-20/alfredo-sfeir-younis-visits-occupy-movement-and-calls-societal-change-95 Worldview 12.20.11 http://www.wbez.org/episode/worldview-122011 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//episode/images/2011-december/2011-12-16/alfredo1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chilean economist Alfredo Sfeir Younis spent more than 30 years at the World Bank tackling the rights of indigenous peoples, poverty eradication and international trade. Today, Alfredo leads a slightly different life: He's a Mayan priest and president of the <a href="http://silentpeacemeditation.com/" target="_blank">Zambuling Institute for Human Transformation</a>, an organization that works on the connections between spirituality and public policy. On his current tour of the U.S., he's meeting with "Occupy" protesters. Alfredo argues, in order for humanity to thrive, the world must challenge some fundamental ideas of how we order, value and measure our society.</p></p> Tue, 20 Dec 2011 15:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode/worldview-122011 'Oligarchy': History of how the super-rich defend their wealth http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-10-28/oligarchy-history-how-super-rich-defend-their-wealth-93577 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2011-October/2011-10-28/oligarch 2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The "Occupy" protests make a big point about income disparity in this country. They also say the very rich have too much influence on public and economic policy. But not a lot of Americans think of our very rich as oligarchs. They may believe that oligarchy is something that happens in Russia or the Roman Empire. Today, we spend the hour wrestling with the idea of American oligarchs.</p><p><a href="http://www.polisci.northwestern.edu/people/winters.html">Jeffrey Winters</a> is a professor of political economy at Northwestern University. In his new book <a href="http://www.the-american-interest.com/article.cfm?piece=1048"><em>Oligarchy</em></a>, he makes the case that we do indeed have a class of super-rich that defends its wealth as vigorously as princes in the Middle Ages.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Some highlights from the interview:</strong></p><p>"[In America], wealth is two times as concentrated as imperial Rome, which was a slave and farmer society. That's how huge the gap is." (<em>12:09</em>)</p><p>"There have been no [income] gains for the average American household since 1970." (<em>20:55</em>)</p><p>"The U.S. Senate ... estimates that the losses to the U.S. Treasury each year just from off-shore placement of resources ... [are] roughly $70 billion ..." (<em>27:21</em>)</p><p>"...the wealth gap within the top one percent is actually much bigger than the wealth gap between the one percent and the bottom 99 percent." (<em>9:29</em>)</p><p>"The Bush Administration treated the top 400 tax returns to the IRS as a state secret." (<em>10:07</em>)</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Further reading:</strong></p><p>To learn more about the issue of wealth disparity, you can check out Jeffrey's article in <em>The American Interest</em>, <a href="http://www.bcics.northwestern.edu/news/2011/11-Winters-Oligarchy-Democracy.pdf" target="_blank">"Oligarchy and Democracy"</a> and his piece in the <em>Huffington Post</em>, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeffrey-winters/americas-income-defense-i_b_772723.html" target="_blank">"America's Income Defense Industry."</a></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>More</strong></p><p>Two weeks after this segment aired, Jeffrey returned to <em>Worldview</em> to answer listeners' questions about American oligarchy and discuss policy solutions. You can listen to that show <a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-09/income-disparity-and-us-political-economy-93898" target="_blank">here</a>.</p></p> Fri, 28 Oct 2011 17:17:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-10-28/oligarchy-history-how-super-rich-defend-their-wealth-93577 Worldview 10.28.11 http://www.wbez.org/episode/worldview-102811 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//episode/images/2011-october/2011-10-28/ap111006073055.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The new book <a href="http://www.the-american-interest.com/article.cfm?piece=1048" target="_blank"><em>Oligarchy</em></a> by Northwestern political economy professor Jeffrey Winters explores how society's rich, from ancient Rome to Indonesia, fought to preserve and increase their wealth. Although many Americans may balk at his terminology, Winters argues that the wealthiest Americans are not only oligarchic, but more powerful than their counterparts from any other period in U.S. history. He and Jerome McDonnell talk about how we got here and to what extent social movements like the “Occupy” protests can stop the concentration of wealth.</p></p> Fri, 28 Oct 2011 14:41:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode/worldview-102811