Category Archives: Economy

WCC chief presents ‘Ten Commandments’ of food at Davos


A 21 January World Economic Forum session on how food choices can become a catalyst for positive change became an opportunity for World Council of Churches General Secretary the Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit to present “Ten Commandments” of food to the gathered business and political leaders.

“If we view food through the lens of justice, every plate of food reminds us of certain challenges and opportunities. It is important that we acknowledge the efforts, investments and very lives of living plants and creatures sacrificed to provide food on our tables,” reflected Tveit after the event.

Tveit’s ten commandments of food are:
1. You shall give thanks for the food you eat.
2. You shall provide food for those who have no food.
3. You shall eat mindfully and in moderation. Continue reading WCC chief presents ‘Ten Commandments’ of food at Davos

‘Crafted By and For Big Business’: TTIP Under Fire Across Europe

Common Dreams

‘TTIP is a bonanza for big business, but a nightmare for everyone else,’ says War on Want

Deirdre Fulton, staff writer

Since TTIP negotiations began in 2013, Europe has seen several mass mobilizations against the so-called “free trade” deal. (Photo: campact/flickr/cc)

A new UK coalition is sounding the alarm over how the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), currently under negotiation between the U.S. and EU, would force European small businesses into unfair competition with U.S. firms with lower standards and lower costs.

“Together with thousands of our counterparts in other European countries, we are concerned that many European businesses risk being wiped out by unfair competition from U.S. corporations if TTIP is allowed to go through,” reads the statement from Business Against TTIP, launched over the weekend. Continue reading ‘Crafted By and For Big Business’: TTIP Under Fire Across Europe

Ultra-Rich ‘Philanthrocapitalist’ Class Undermining Global Democracy: Report

Common Dreams

As foundations and wealthy individuals funnel money into global development, what “solutions” are they pursuing?

Download the report by Miserior, Global Policy Forum and Brot für die Welt

Sarah Lazare, staff writer


From Warren Buffett to Bill Gates, it is no secret that the ultra-rich philanthropist class has an over-sized influence in shaping global politics and policies.

And a study (pdf) just out from the Global Policy Forum, an international watchdog group, makes the case that powerful philanthropic foundations—under the control of wealthy individuals—are actively undermining governments and inappropriately setting the agenda for international bodies like the United Nations.

The top 27 largest foundations together possess assets of over $360 billion, notes the study, authored by Jens Martens and Karolin Seitz. Nineteen of those foundations are based in the United States and, across the board, they are expanding their influence over the global south. And in so doing, they are undermining democracy and local sovereignty. Continue reading Ultra-Rich ‘Philanthrocapitalist’ Class Undermining Global Democracy: Report

How ruthless coffee mafia enslaves Kenya

Daily Nation

British charity Oxfam says the price of raw coffee exported from producer countries accounts for less than seven per cent of the eventual cost of coffee to Western consumers. When Nyeri Governor Nderitu Gachagua tried to organise the industry in Nyeri and bypass the cartels at NCE in the hope of selling coffee through direct sales, the cartels fought back viciously. They have no negotiating power, no knowledge and no responsibility over their crop.

By John Kamau ]
After 57 years of growing the world’s most sought after Arabica coffee, 73-year-old Boniface Njogu Wainaina has something to show for it — poverty.

Caught between profit-seeking international coffee houses and their local networks’ search for cheap beans, Mr Wainaina is one of the few remaining prisoners of faith: He still believes that one day the government will end the international cartel that strangles the local coffee industry.

Kenya, through the blessings of soil, climate and passionate peasant farmers, produces one of the most valuable crops in the world.

Continue reading How ruthless coffee mafia enslaves Kenya

Trade: Update on TPP

Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
econOn July 31, another Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement deadline passed. Supporters and detractors both thought the pact would have been solidified during negotiations held in Maui the last week of July, but many issues linger, including access to medicines, privacy concerns regarding technology, and intellectual property patents.

The environment chapter was recently finalized; it addresses wildlife trafficking, illegal logging and illegal fishing but does not require signatory nations to endorse relatively weak standards. Additionally, the chapter says nothing about climate change or incentives for TPP countries to move towards more sustainable, low-emission energy sources or business practices; it’s expected that the investment chapter will continue to allow foreign corporations to sue governments when enforcement of domestic environmental laws negatively affect the corporations’ profits. Continue reading Trade: Update on TPP

People and Planet First 2

For Registration (Spaces are filling fast)

Date: Saturday, September 19, 2015
Time: 1:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Location: University of Baltimore
21 W Mt Royal Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21201
United States

planetJoin us for a day of celebration and exploration of the new economy. There will be interactive workshops that will explore core elements of the New Economy movement. Each session will connect local, national, and global issues. We will learn together about the compelling conceptual framework that unites all of these various pieces and get ideas for creative constructive action.

The evening event, People and Planet First: A Multi-­generational dialogue on Maryland’s Future, will feature Greenpeace USA Director and Story of Stuff founder Annie Leonard, in a multi-­generational dialogue on Maryland’s Future. Also featured will be the Democracy Collaboration’s Gar Alperovitz, Progressive Maryland’s Larry Stafford, and Climate Change MD Coordinator Larissa Johnson, moderated by Institute for Policy Studies Director John Cavanagh. Through dialogue among these leaders and with the audience, the panel will chart futures for Maryland that are good for workers, climate, and democracy. Continue reading People and Planet First 2

We All Should Be Repenting for the Suffering of the Refugees

Huffington Post

Rabbi Michael Lerner
Our global economic and political system is the root cause of the problem, so instead of blaming Europe, let’s fix the problem

As we watch millions of refugees struggling to survive, hundreds of thousands of them seeking refuge in a Europe which has by and large shut its doors to them, it is all too easy for those in the U.S. to piously implore the Europeans to do more. Or for the U.S. government to take in a few thousand of them.

Most Americans seem completely blind to the way that we have played a major role in creating the problem, and have a major responsibility to fix it. Instead, many Americans are rallying behind Donald Trump and other Republican politicians who are competing with each other on who can be more ruthless toward our own domestic refugees who came to the U.S. without official government sanction.

Few Americans realize that there was no major refugee problem until the 1990s. Here’s what happened since then to change the world: Continue reading We All Should Be Repenting for the Suffering of the Refugees