Book Review: Revolution in World Missions (Author: K.P. Yohannan)

Introductory Notes

Saint Philip- Brancoveanu Monastery
Saint Philip- Brancoveanu Monastery (Photo credit: Fergal of Claddagh)

I’ve been a fan of Compassion with its program of child sponsorship for as long as I can remember…so when I heard about the indigenous missions movement being spearheaded by K.P. Yohannan through Gospel for Asia (GFA), I was (of course) excited. In the past I’d read through significant portions of his debut book, Revolution in World Missions, and more recently I read it again. I’d like to take a few minutes to share what I am sure will be somewhat controversial thoughts on the book.

I do so with some fear and trepidation for several reasons:

  1. I like what GFA and Yohannan are doing and I want to see their ministry flourish and multiply.
  2. The book has been highly recommended by highly respected Christian leaders such as Patrick Johnstone (Operation World), George Verwer (Operation Mobilization), Erwin Lutzer (Moody Church), and the late Dr. John Walvoord (Dallas Theological Seminary).
  3. Many of my respected friends are fans of Gospel for Asia.
  4. I don’t want to recoil against harsh words simply b/c they are harsh, but ensure that my objections are legitimate.

I should also note that my thoughts herein are from the 2003 28th printing of the book, which is my copy and note from the latest printing which was updated in 2004. I did review the PDF of the book (which is available free from GFA) in its most recent iteration and it appears to be substantively the same content with some small but positive improvements.

The Good

Lets start off on a positive note. There is much to be commended about Yohannan’s book:

  • His personal biography is shared in the book and is both encouraging and challenging as he shares the many dramatic ways in which God has worked in his life personally.
  • The concept of indigenous missionaries is exciting and revolutionary, something which I think the Christian church should support.
  • Yohannan brings deep personal commitment and integrity to the ministry and I have heard of no valid complaints against him on a personal level – he lives what he preaches (and writes).
  • The book challenges us to step out and recognize just how “rich” we as American Christians – even “poor” American Christians are and the opportunity we have to use our resources for God’s Kingdom.

Problem 1: Is This What We Need to Hear?

There is money in America and mobilizing that money for good and for the gospel is important – but is the way in which Yohannan communicates the message the most effective? Overall, I found the book to be rather guilt inducing rather than change producing. At least in the church circles I frequent it seems we have been beat over the head with the knowledge of our affluence, but not necessarily given the tools to change anything about it. Most Americans I know are struggling to get by in many senses and while the sentiment that we should give more is nice, the question is, “How are we to give more?”

This is not necessarily a question I expect Yohannan to answer – rather it is something the church should work to answer in America. For example, financial literacy among the working classes could provide significant relief of financial troubles and free up resources for missions work. Similarly, helping folks cope with overwhelming stresses of postmodern American life in more healthy ways than constant TV consumption, etc. could help reduce the amount spent on mindless recreation. Making folks aware of the opportunities to give to specific needs as opposed to general giving (e.g. the way Compassion and GFA allow for specific sponsorship rather than dumping money into a general bucket) is another way to foster giving.

I am always concerned when I hear the message “do x” but there is not a “by doing a, b, c you can successfully move to point x.” For me, greater financial literacy has been an important tool in my ongoing battle against debt and towards the wise stewardship of my finances – and it has and will make a big difference in my giving…but without this tool, I’m just left feeling guilty for not doing better and giving more.

Problem 2: Is This What We Want to Encourage?

Throughout the book Yohannan recounts the “sacrifices” made by indigenous missionaries in order to share the gospel – many of these at the expense of their families and their health. I recognize the need for sacrifice within the Christian walk but I am concerned by the systematic portrayal of “ministry at any cost.” I think we have seen in America the results of this mentality on the Christian family. How many successful pastors, missionaries, and businessmen – committed to the Christian cause have sacrificed their families in order to do “ministry at any cost?” In the process – how many generations have abandoned the faith due to being abandoned by parents for the ministry? Paul tells us that the man who has a wife has to think of her, and his focus is divided – so he encourages us, if able, to be celibate as he is and focus entirely on the ministry of the kingdom…but he does not suggest that if we are married that we should ignore our wife (or children) for the sake of the gospel…and yet Yohannan’s stories sometimes seem to encourage this sort of thinking…and in the process of winning the world this mindset loses one’s Jerusalem and Judea.

I see also in some of these stories recipes for burnout and I ponder how long the indigenous missionaries will continue to thrive and minister in the conditions Yohannan sets forth. I think of the many individuals I know who have spent time fervently working for the Lord for a short period of time, but then have left the ministry and now are burnt out and wandering. What happened? They used up all their intensity in a span of years rather than a lifetime. I want to follow Christ and minister each day for a lifetime – but I fear this sort of burnout fueling mentality will result in many who do not.

Concluding Thoughts

I’m still a fan of GFA. I have two more books of Yohannan’s on my shelves and I am working through one of them now. Reading this book raised some major concerns for me, but it hasn’t made me move away from GFA – just made me want to know more about where the ministry is now and what is happening within it.

I would encourage Yohannan to reconsider his tact in his writings. Does he really want to encourage guilt and burnout? I don’t think so…but that is the “feel” I received from his book. I’d encourage GFA to consider ways in which it can partner with local churches to help them facilitate better stewardship of individual (and church) finances and thus spur change rather than simply demanding it without explaining how.

Further Reading

For those who are interested in learning more about GFA or reading more about Revolution in World Missions, here are some great resources:

H.W. Brands’ The Money Men (A Book Tasting, Part II).

Jackson slays the many-headed monster
Image via Wikipedia

A week ago I published a book tasting including quotations and commentaries from H.W. Brands’ fascinating book The Money Men. If you do not already own this book – I highly recommend acquiring a copy. It is a fascinating, well-written read. For some time now I have been attempting to understand our financial system, the recent
recession, OWS, political policy, and other similar topics – and I am still far from understanding it…but this book has been exceptionally insightful.

I include below some of my quotations, notes, and commentary from the second chapter in the book entitled, “The Bank War” but must admit that I was able to include even less of what I considered important in the section below than I did in the last tasting. If one where to open my copy of this small volume you’d find the pages heavily marked – the quality and quantity of the info. being so extensive.

  • “The fight over the Bank of the United States marked the beginning of the end of the fondest dream of the Founders: that the country they created might be spared the rancor of partisan politics. Parties, they believed, were artifacts of monarchy, where competing interests vied for the king’s favor. In a republic, based on civic virtue, parties need never emerge, for all good citizens would seek the common weal. What the Founders failed to appreciate was that good citizens might have distinctly different visions of the common weal.” – 57.
  • “Heading the camp of capitalism was Hamilton; of democracy, Jefferson.” – 57.
  • “Federalists responded by ramming through Congress the Alien and Sedition Acts, outlawing most dissent. Jefferson, Adams’s vice president…secretly penned a protest asserting the right of states to nullify laws they deemed unconstitutional.” – 59.
    • I have always heard this was a dark time in  American history, but have never studied it…it is on my list…somewhere.
  • “There are great and intrinsic defects in his character which make him unfit for the office of Chief Magistrate.” – Alexander Hamilton on John Adams, pg. 60.
    • Lest we think that political name-calling is only for today, it has been going on for a long time.
  • Hamilton’s eldest son had died in a duel, and so would Hamilton. – 61.
  • Aaron Burr.
    • When you see names like this it simply means the individuals were mentioned in the text and I would like to study them further at some juncture. In this manner a single book provides dozens or hundreds of leaping off points for further learning.
    • Nicholas Biddle.
    • “The violence of party…disgraces our country.” – Nicholas Biddle, 61.
      • This commentary would become ironic in light of Biddle’s later endeavors to maintain the existence of the national bank at great cost to the government.
    • “…as the fighting persisted [War of 1812] [President James] Madison succumbed to the temptation Hamilton had warned of and began printing unsupported paper money. Interest rates soared, investor confidence plunged, and the national accounts spun into confusion…about the time the British burned the Capitol and the White House, Madison concluded that Hamilton had been right regarding the need for a national bank, at least in time of crisis. Conveniently forgotten were the earlier Republican assertions, most notably by Madison himself, that a national bank contravened the Constitution.” – 63.
    • “…in 1816 the second Bank of the United States was chartered.” – 64.
    • “That it [the national bank] has been perverted to selfish purposes cannot be doubted. That it may, and must be renovated is equally certain.” – Nicholas Biddle, 64-65.
    • “In 1819 the United States suffered its first full-blown financial panic.” – 65.
    • “…the…struggle against the Indians of the West culminated in the destruction of nearly all aboriginal resistance to white settlement east of the Mississippi. The sudden availability of vast new reaches of territory, combined with the loose money left over from the war, fueled wild speculation in land. Prices rose and rose, becoming unsustainable…” – 66.
    • “Solid figures on the overall shrinkage of the money supply are impossible to reconstruct, but the contraction of the liabilities of the Bank of the United States–from $22 million in the autumn of 1818 to $10 million at the beginning of 1820–is indicative.” – 66.
    • “The depression that followed the panic prostrated large parts of the country. Banks folded; merchants liquidated; sailing ships sat idle; commercial buildings stood empty; farmers lost their land and homes. Tens of thousands of Americans took to the roads in vague hope of finding something better than the disaster they fled.” – 66.
    • Chief Justice John Marshall.
    • “For nearly two decades Marshall had defended and elaborated the Federalist vision of a strong central government.” – 67.
    • “Many Republicans disputed Marshall’s interpretation, and decades would pass before the Supreme Court was generally accepted as the final arbiter of the Constitution.” – 68.
      • The struggle revolving around a strong central government versus a loose association of states was an ongoing battle throughout the history of the country – resolved in some sense by the American Civil War, though the debate continues to this day.
    • John Jacob Astor.
    • “One measure of his [Nicholas Biddle] success was the reduction and eventual elimination of the monetary exchange rate between the different regions of the country.” – 70.
      • IMHO, this is a pretty impressive achievement.
    • “By the 1820s nearly all the old property qualifications for voting had disappeared, as new states entered the Union with constitutions based on the egalitarian rhetoric of the Declaration of Independence, and shamed the existing states into changing their rules. At the same time for similarly democratic reasons, state legislatures conferred the selection of presidential electors upon the people. The result was that presidential campaigns in the 1820s became popularity contests, with the victor the candidate most appealing to the largest number of adult white males.” – 70.
      • I’d like to study further the differences between a democratic and republic government and the advantages/disadvantages of each.
    • “[Andrew] Jackson adopted the position pioneered by that other general-turned-politician, George Washington, that a candidate’s actions should speak for themselves…As a result, when he assumed the presidency in 1829…he did so unburdened by promises or commitments to anything more specific than the national welfare, however he chose to define it.” – 72.
      • I like this manner of achieving one’s ends…might our character speak louder than our words…and, oh that it could be true in our politics.
    • “A strict constructionist, Jackson believed that Congress legitimately might charter a bank for the federal District of Columbia, but not for the rest of the country. That John Marshall had ruled otherwise didn’t impress him.” – 72.
    • Henry Clay.
    • “Presidential vetoes were rare in those early days but not unheard of…” – 73.
    • Martin Van Buren.
    • “We must endeavor to reach the understandings of our fellow citizens by the diffusion of correct views of a subject which is much misunderstood.” – Nicholas Biddle, concerning the bank, 75.
    • Biddle paid newspapers thousands to publish articles written by the bank to promote the bank and also made payments to politicians. – 75.
    • “I believe my retainer has not been renewed, or refreshed, as usual. If it be wished that my relation to the Bank should be continued, it may be well to send me the usual retainers.” – Daniel Webster, pp. 75-76.
    • “…by way of a warning to the enemies of the Bank to keep hands off, Biddle arranged a contraction of credit in the West. It was there that antipathy for the Bank ran broadest and support for Jackson deepest. Biddle concealed his intentions in the matter, citing financial uncertainty as cause for calling in the loans. The effect wasn’t dramatic but it was unmistakable, as was Biddle’s point: that the Bank would defend itself, by harming its enemies if necessary.” – 76.
    • Daniel Webster was oftentimes called by contemporaries the “God-like Daniel.” – 78.
    • “[Thomas Hart] Benton’s alliance with Jackson [against the national bank] couldn’t have been predicted a decade earlier, when he and Jackson took opposite sides in a shooting brawl in Nashville. Jackson’s shoulder caught a bullet that spent years in his flesh before finally popping out…” – 79.
      • From other reading I have done it appears Jackson was in a number of duels and shootouts and had several bullets jangling around in his body.
    • “They lead to the abduction of its gold and silver. If notes are issued, they are payable at the branch bank and an adequate supply of gold and silver must be kept on hand to redeem them; but these orders being drawn on Philadelphia, the gold and silver of the state must be sent there to meet them.” – Thomas Hart Benton, 79.
    • “When the renewed charter [for the national bank] is brought in for us to vote upon, I shall consider myself as voting upon a bill for the establishment of lords and commons in this America, and for the eventual establishment of a King!” – Thomas Hart Benton, 80.
    • “I do not mean to say that he was directly bribed to give this vote. From the character he sustained and from what I knew of him, I think he would have resented any thing that he regarded as an attempt to corrupt him. But he wanted the money, and felt grateful for the favor. And perhaps he thought that an institution which was so useful to him, and had behaved with so much kindness, could not be injurious or dangerous to the public, and that it would be as well to continue it.” – Roger Taney, Attorney General for Jackson, pg. 80.
      • Brands points out that Jackson on the other hand had a much stronger view – that some supporters of the bank in the political realm had been outright bribed.
    • “Each public officer who takes an oath to support the Constitution swears that he will support it as he understands it, and not as it is understood by others. It is as much the duty of the House of Representatives, of the Senate, and of the President to decide upon the constitutionality of any bill or resolution which may be presented to them for passage or approval as it is of the supreme judges.” – Andrew Jackson, 81.
    • “Jackson’s view of the Constitution and its interpretation was hardly unique at the time; the doctrine of judicial supremacy remained a conceit of John Marshall and a minority in America.” – 82.
    • “…Jackson believed the Bank undermined democracy by creating a monopoly of money. Of the Bank’s twenty-five directors, only five were answerable to the people. The rest served the interests of capital.” – 82.
    • “It is easy to conceive that great evils to our country and its institutions might flow from such a concentration of power in the hands of a few men irresponsible to the people.” – Andrew Jackson, 82.
    • “Nor were the monopolists all Americans; almost a third of the stock of the Bank was owned by foreigners.” – 82.
    • “Distinctions in society will always exist under every just government. Equality of talents, of education, or of wealth can not be produced by human institutions….But when the laws undertake to add to these natural and just advantages artificial distinctions, to grant title, gratuities, and exclusive privileges, to make the rich richer and the potent more powerful, the humble members of society–the farmers, mechanics, and laborers–who have neither the time nor the means of securing like favors to themselves, have a right to complain of the injustice of their Government. There are no necessary evils in government. Its evils exist only in its abuses. If it would confine itself to equal protection and, as Heaven does its rains, shower its favors alike on the high and the low, the rich and the poor, it would be an unqualified blessing.” – Andrew Jackson, pp. 82-83.
    • “[Nicholas Biddle] paid to distribute [Henry] Clay’s speeches and provided other financial and logistical support.” – 84.
      • See pg. 85ff for information on how Nicholas Biddle and the bank fought tooth and nail against Jackson by attempting to undermine the economy when Jackson attempted to close the bank and was in the end successful.
      • This section is especially interesting and illuminative, but I’d have to copy entire pages if I were to do it justice…so you’ll have to get a copy of the book, sorry. 😛
    • “The mass of the people have more to fear from combinations of the wealthy and professional classes–from an aristocracy which through the influence of riches and talents, insidiously employed, sometimes succeeds in preventing political institutions, however well adjusted, from securing the freedom of the citizen.” – Andrew Jackson, speaking of the national bank, 87.
      • This sounds a bit like what Occupy Wall Street’ers are saying today…
    • “Biddle’s Bank had gained ‘almost entire dominion over the circulating medium, and with it, power to increase or diminish the price of property and to levy taxes on the people in the shape of premiums and interest.’ The Founders had fought to free Americans from such arbitrary rule. To continue the fight was the current generation’s ‘sacred duty.’” – 87.
    • “The worthy President thinks that because he has scalped Indians…he is to have his way with the Bank. He is mistaken….He may as well send at once and engage lodgings in Arabia.” – Nicholas Biddle, 90.
    • “Biddle’s willingness and ability to ravage the economy confirmed Jackson’s judgment of the malignant irresponsibility of the moneyed class. It was precisely this power of the Bank that had determined Jackson to destroy it. And he remained determined to do so, regardless of the pain the destruction produced.” – 90.
    • “Were all the worshipers of the golden calf to memorialise me and request a restoration of the deposits I would cut my right hand from my body before I would do such an act. The golden calf may be worshiped by others, but as for myself I will serve the Lord…My conscience told me it was right to stop the career of this destroying monster. I took the step fearlessly, believing it a duty I owed to my God and my country.” – Andrew Jackson, 90.
      • I’d like to study more about Jackson’s spiritual life…what was his religion? How did he reconcile his dangerous dueling habits with Christianity?
    • “Relief, sir! Come not to me, sir! Go to the monster!…Go to Nicholas Biddle. We have no money here….Biddle has all the money. He has millions of specie in his vaults at this moment, lying idle, and yet you come to me to save you from breaking….It is folly, sir, to talk to Andrew Jackson. The government will not bow to the monster.” – Andrew Jackson, to a spokesman for an assembly of “six thousand bankers, brokers, and merchants requesting relief”, 91.
    • “The Bank, Mr. Van Buren, is trying to kill me but I will kill it!” – Andrew Jackson, pg. 91.
    • “The congressional campaign of 1834 was the stormiest in memory. In Philadelphia mobs rioted against the Bank and against Biddle, forcing the Bank chief to barricade himself in his home, surrounded by armed guards. He and his family survived, but the Whigs–as the party of capital now called itself–almost did not.” – 91.
    • “Jackson’s defeat of Biddle and the Bank restored what the Jacksonians hoped would be democratic control of the money supply, but in fact it left the money supply even more at the mercy of the capitalists than before. The hundreds of state banks, now freed of the oversight of the Bank of the United States, issued bank notes profligately, producing speculative bubbles in all manner of commodities and property. Jackson could do nothing about most of the speculation, but he could curb that in land, and he did so by issues a ‘specie circular’ in July 1836 directing federal officers to accept only gold and silver in exchange for public lands….The measure dampened the speculation in land, but it simultaneously disordered the money system.” – 92-93.
      • I like how Brands seems even-handed. He points out the bad points of both sides – where the hopeful endeavors of each side fail miserably – and in this I think he provides us with significant insight into current discussions.
    • “The crusade against banks and the discrimination at the Land Offices between specie and bank paper has not been without its effect on the less intelligent part of our population,” Biddle declared. He couldn’t help gloating at the Democrats’ discomfiture, even though it devastate the economy and threatened to swamp his own bank.” – 94.
    • “Biddle retired in 1839, claiming ill health but secretly planning a candidacy for president.” – 94.
    • William Henry Harrison.
    • “He [Nicholas Biddle] suffered another blow when his old bank collapsed amid scandal in 1841.” – 95.

Occupy Wall Street?

Wall Street Sign. Author: Ramy Majouji
Image via Wikipedia

Introduction

I’ve been following the Occupy Wall Street (#OWS) news for quite some time now – and am fascinated by it. I also followed the news on the bailout and so on. I have felt entirely incapable of commenting on it for lack of knowledge – even though I have followed it much more closely than many others. I’m trying to rectify that a bit. Here I’ve attempted to outline some of the major points of the current unrest and provide links to various resources on the topic that were helpful to me.

I found most of these articles relating to #OWS via StumbleUpon. Interestingly, the articles that have floated to the top of StumbleUpon appear to be overwhelmingly pro-#OWS. It’d be cool if StumbleUpon released some statistics on how folks are rating #OWS related sites in aggregate, and based upon perspective. I’m wondering if the StumbleUpon user base is more pro-OWS than the general population?

The Apparent Issues:

  • Income for the majority of individuals has plateaued or is declining, while income is significantly increasing for the wealthy.
  • Attempts to lessen the deficit are being proposed or made in what many consider core services – e.g. education, research, infrastructure, and social services.
  • The financial rewards from focusing in non-innovative sectors (such as finance) are significantly greater than those in “more beneficial” sectors such as technology, science, and education.
  • The financial industry’s reception of a tremendous sum in financial bailouts at almost-no-interest, with very little oversight and in which the “trickle-down” effect to the middle class was insignificant.
  • Income inequality encourages those outside of the wealthy to expend finances beyond their financial abilities.

The Apparent Contributors:

  • Technology has reduced the needs for unskilled and skilled labor in many areas.
  • Globalization has provided access to low-cost workers around the world to corporations.
  • Provision of rights to corporations to supply unlimited support to politicians in campaign funds while minimal abilities to legally hold culpable organizations and individuals culpable for unethical actions.

The Apparent Excuses:

  • Those who have wealth are those who have worked hardest – the wealth is the reward of their endeavors.
  • Those who desire change are attempting to undermine capitalism and move us to a socialistic or communistic government.

Bibliography:

Best Quotes:

  • The top 1 percent have the best houses, the best educations, the best doctors, and the best lifestyles, but there is one thing that money doesn’t seem to have bought: an understanding that their fate is bound up with how the other 99 percent live. Throughout history, this is something that the top 1 percent eventually do learn. Too late.” – Joseph E. Stiglitz, Vanity Fair.
  • “According to the latest estimate from the Congressional Budget office, the bailout created nearly 1.5 million jobs. Even if we accept the administration’s claim of four million, the bailout was extremely wasteful and enormously enriched the rich. Dividing 800 billion by four million yields 200,000. In other words, the government spent $200,000 to create one job. When the average wage is less than $50,000 per year, where did the other $150,000 go? This suggests that companies that hired those four million people received $150,000 for each job they created…It is clear that the bailouts, Bush’s and Obama’s, were extremely wasteful and hugely enriched the opulent.” – Ravi Batra, Truthout.
  • “When the government bails out mega banks and Wall Street firms, it amounts to shooting the economy in the foot. Our president seeks to bring about change, which was his campaign slogan. But once elected, he got sidetracked by thinking that change is possible through compromise. This has never happened before. Never in history have the exploited prospered by cooperating with the exploiter.” – Ravi Batra, Truthout.
  • “During my trip to Zuccotti Park last week, I learned that OWS is first and foremost about restoring democracy in America.  That’s a bipartisan ideal I can get behind…OWS as I understand it today, is building a civil disobedience movement of everyday people who are fed up with Wall Street’s corrupting influence on our Democracy.” – John Fullerton, Capital Institute.
  • “I support the non-violent movement “OWS” to restore true democracy in America.  While we must speak truth to power on Wall Street (more on this to come, and change is coming), this is not, in my judgment, first about the bankers—there are many good and hard-working people on Wall Street.  Nor, I hope, is this about the divisive message “We are the 99 percent.”  It’s about the idea of what Wall Street has become, and the corrosive effect it has had on the Republic.” – John Fullerton, Capital Institute.
  • ” One obvious and clear message of the protests, of course, is that the bankers and finance industries in no way represent us: What is good for Wall Street is certainly not good for the country (or the world). A more significant failure of representation, though, must be attributed to the politicians and political parties charged with representing the people’s interests but in fact more clearly represent the banks and the creditors.” – Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Foreign Affairs.
  • “If together these different protest encampments — from Cairo and Tel Aviv to Athens, Madison, Madrid, and now New York — express a dissatisfaction with the existing structures of political representation, then what do they offer as an alternative? What is the “real democracy” they propose?…The clearest clues lie in the internal organization of the movements themselves — specifically, the way the encampments experiment with new democratic practices. These movements have all developed according to what we call a “multitude form” and are characterized by frequent assemblies and participatory decision-making structures. (And it is worth recognizing in this regard that Occupy Wall Street and many of these other demonstrations also have deep roots in the globalization protest movements that stretched at least from Seattle in 1999 to Genoa in 2001.)” – Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Foreign Affairs.
  • “Do not wait for the encampments, then, to develop leaders or political representatives. No Martin Luther King, Jr. will emerge from the occupations of Wall Street and beyond. For better or worse — and we are certainly among those who find this a promising development — this emerging cycle of movements will express itself through horizontal participatory structures, without representatives.” – Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Foreign Affairs.
  • “Occupy does not speak the language of party or ideology, and this has not boded well for a system that relies on polls, predictability and reductive thought. Social movements are, by their very nature, complex, organic and indeterminate. They operate at the deepest levels of how we view each other and the world we live in.” – Heather Gautney, Washington Post.
  • “But at the end of the day, Romney, Obama and Cain are only symptoms of a much deeper problem. Corporate-sector experience has become a golden gateway to political power, and this inner circle is essentially closed to average citizens, regardless of their knowledge and experience.” – Heather Gautney, Washington Post.
  • “Occupy Wall Street is an otherwise unaffiliated group of concerned citizens who have come together with the general purpose of holding Wall Street (as the drivers of an increasingly undemocratic power structure) accountable for their fiscal recklessness and criminal perversion of the democratic process. We are a bunch of people like you and me who came together and said ‘enough’! We will not remain passive as formerly democratic institutions become the means of enforcing the will of only 1-2% of the population who control the magnitude of American wealth.” – Flyer quoted by John Horgan, Scientific American.
  • “Compensation for CEOs, which in 1970 was 40 times the average pay of workers, was 1,000 times greater by 2000. The gap between rich and poor is greater than at any time since the late 1920s, just before the Depression. Meanwhile, the IRS allows powerful corporations to “hide their profits in offshore tax havens.” Even Google, which is supposedly so hip and progressive, engages in a “tax dodge.” According to Sachs, Google funnels billions in profits into off-shore subsidiaries, which pay lower tax rates than the U.S. corporation does. Sachs points out that Sergey Brin​’s “ingenious work in creating Google’s search engine” was supported by the National Science Foundation​, which means that our tax dollars helped Brin get his start.” – John Horgan, Scientific American, quoting Jeffrey D. Sachs.

Possible Solutions?

Unfortunately this article was getting far too lengthy…so I’m keeping this for a separate (soon-to-come) article.

Interesting News…