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Ashwagandha

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Biochavan - Antioxidant Jam (Chyawanprash)

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Books

Creating Sacred Space with Feng Shui

Creating Sacred Space with Feng Shui
ABOUT THE BOOK: Feng Shui is the ancient oriental art of enhancing and harmonizing the flow of energy in your surroundings.  Over the last twenty years, Karen Kingston has pioneered the study...

Joyful Wisdom

Joyful Wisdom
ABOUT THEBOOK: Yongey Mingyur is one of the most celebrated among the new generation of Tibetan meditation masters, whose teachings have touched people of all faiths around the world. His first...

GOD: A Story of Revelation (Hardcover)

GOD: A Story of Revelation (Hardcover)
“God is an empty term except through the revelations of all the saints, prophets, and mystics of history. They exist to plant the seeds of spirituality as a direct experience rather than a...

Ten Poems to Change Your Life

Ten Poems to Change Your Life
ABOUT THE BOOK: This is a dangerous book. Great poetry calls into question not less than everything. It dares us to break free from the safe strategies of the cautious mind. It opens us to pain...

Soul of Leadership (Hardcover)

Soul of Leadership (Hardcover)
ABOUT THIS BOOK Leadership is the most crucial choice one can make—it is the decision to step out of darkness into the light.      Bestselling author and spiritual guide Deepak Chopra invites...

Book Of Secrets

Book Of Secrets
2005 Nautilus Book Award Grand Prize Winner! New York Times Best Seller! Every life is a book of secrets, ready to be opened. The secret of perfect love is found there, along with the secrets...

NEW Spiritual Solutions by Deepak Chopra(Hardcover)

NEW Spiritual Solutions by Deepak Chopra(Hardcover)
Spiritual Solutions: Answers to Life's Greatest Challenges ( AUDIOBOOK Available )  "Great advice directly from the master on virtually any subject, it just doesn't get any better...

Super Brain by Deepak Chopra, MD & Rudy Tanzi, MD (Hardcover)

Super Brain by Deepak Chopra, MD & Rudy Tanzi, MD (Hardcover)
Learn about Deepak Chopra and the Chopra Center's Super Brain dietary supplement - Ayurvedic Brain Support NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Super Brain by Deepak Chopra, MD & Rudy...

Brotherhood - by Deepak & Sanjiv Chopra (Hardcover)

Brotherhood - by Deepak & Sanjiv Chopra (Hardcover)
BROTHERHOOD Dharma, Destiny, and the American Dream DEEPAK & SANJIV CHOPRA   “BROTHERHOOD is an uplifting account of sibling affection and success, and of the promise and infinite...

Events

 
 
 
June 24 2012

Just Capital: What the 99 Percent Really Need (Part 1)

Category:  SF Gate

What the majority of people need in this country is a financial system that incorporates social justice. In calling it "just capital," I'm aware that the phrase plays into the hands of free-market true believers. They want just capitalism - meaning nothing but - without a conscience. In prosperous times a rich society pays a much lower price for doing business without a conscience. That time has passed, however. For America to regain its footing, three aspects of social justice must be addressed:

1. Income inequality - Capitalism has been described as the best system for building wealth and the worst for distributing it. The right wing uses "redistribution of wealth" as a curse leveled at the Obama administration. Yet their howls of protest mask sheer greed and moral callousness. The upper 0.1% of income earners, who largely live off dividends, should do their part in keeping society fair. Wealth carries moral responsibility. Arguments against this principle, although couched as conservatism, are pure injustice of the kind that leads to a society unraveling at the seams.

2. Cronyism, corruption, influence peddling and power mongering - Washington has always looked corrupt from outside its borders, but the rise of influence peddling and cronyism under Tom Delay's tenure as majority leader has become institutionalized. Government posts are simply the gateway to riches earned as a lobbyist and consultant. The fact that a Newt Gingrich can brazenly thrive through influence peddling is a sign that an immoral, unjust system has reached the breaking point.

3. Anti-democracy - In some countries like Japan and Russia, the ruling elite is unchallenged in their role as managers of corporate, government, and military life. America isn't supposed to be one of those societies. Our democratic ideals demand a more open system, in which every person has the opportunity to rise through merit and success. The Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court allowed micro-elites in the billionaire class to openly sway our elections. But democracy was bought and sold long before that.

I've picked these three issues because they broadly affect all of us. Clearly they reach beyond Wall Street, but financiers are deeply implicated in influence peddling, micro elitism, and of course income inequality. The received opinion is that nothing can be done about the present state of affairs, which is the same as conceding that American society is fated to be unfair, paying lip service to ideals that are betrayed by Congress, K Street, and both political parties. The public doesn't play an innocent role in this decline from justice. By allowing itself to be manipulated through deception, fear, war-mongering, and reactionary "family values," the 99% has conspired in its own downfall. As the richest become richer by huge margins, the middle-class has remained stagnant, at best, and recently saw the most discouraging data: household wealth has fallen to levels not seen in twenty years (largely due to a drop in housing prices as well as the inroads of recession-era unemployment).


So what to do? The first step is to shed light on the current state of affairs. That is being done with a vengeance, but the ruling elite protects its own, which is why Wall Street hasn't been held accountable for bringing down the global economy. Regulation has been stone-walled, and the bitterest irony is that the public disapproves of the very consumer protection that is aimed at bringing more justice to the system. All of which leads to a discouraging conclusion: Telling the truth has set no one free, not yet at least. The Occupy Wall Street movement finds itself in a position rather like the reform movement in Egypt, where the Facebook generation fomented change but failed to elect any of its members to high office, leaving a gap for the far left and the reactionary right to duke it out.

Here we have stasis. Having folded its highly visible tents over the winter, the Occupy movement has become as dormant as the marginal anti-war movement that tried to bring sanity to Bush's disastrous incursion into Iraq. The right wing smirks at this; the various elites no doubt breathe a sigh of relief. But it wasn't the job of the Occupy movement to bring about reform, only to cry out for justice. The role of the elites is to insure justice. That's their responsibility once money, power, and privilege are in their hands. Otherwise, we revert to a winner-take-all system that betrays the whole idea of a fair working democracy. Our only hope is that collective consciousness shifts. We need an American spring as much as the Middle East needed an Arab spring. Will a shift toward just capitalism occur? I can't predict the future, but I hope there are many more blogs and posts focused on this vital subject.
(To be cont.)

Top comments

  • This is the way you could earn so much money in the U.S. Deepak. If you had lived in a country like the Netherlands, you would have paid 70% of your income to taxes in the sixties and seventies and 52% in the eighties up till now. My husband and me paid our fair share, so now we can easily enjoy a moderate happy life without having to pay back to help others who live on a dollar a day. We did this already our whole life......... And now, pensioned, still doing this. We pay an extra amound for healthcare, an extra amount for developing countries, etc. To me this is what real democracy stands for. Stronger shoulders carry stronger burdens.....

    YourSoul // 2012-06-28 10:03:56 // //
  • I have followed you extensively for 10 years. You are a conscious and brave man for speaking up in this way. I pray for just a few of our leaders to stand up now for equal justice and equity for us all. I also do not believe that justice is about imprisoning people. Restoration and treatment of the "bad" guys and the people done wrong by them is the long term solution. God Bless you.

    spiritualpatriot // 2012-06-25 18:20:46 // //

 

 

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  • You don`t find the biggest givers to the poor and under served in San Francisco.. no you find them in the heartland of America where being a neighbor means something. Your "Just Capital" is a nice way for a poor person to point at a rich person and say "YOU did something wrong". This is the thinking behind Obama`s "You didn`t build that" moniker. It is disgusting to think that to acquire wealth you have to take it from someone else.

    Dave // 2012-08-23 18:28:16 // //
  • I agree with the need for social justice to be part of the business process.

    Richlyn McArthur // 2012-07-03 19:00:28 // //
  • I agree totally, and there are new businesses that are starting to create just that! Tom's Shoes is one that I admire completely. When you purchase a pair of their shoes your purchase also pays for a pair of shoes for a child who has none!. I want to have my hat business to teach young people how to crochet happy hats that they will then donate to kids who are going through chemo-therapy. That is a win-win-win.

    Richlyn McArthur // 2012-07-03 18:59:14 // //
  • Hi everyone, Interesting post, though not my strongest subject, money LOL. I don`t know a great deal about the financial situation in the USA. Here in the UK, there is a great need for change. We live in a `democracy` that exists merely in metaphorical respects, for we have very little influence on anything pertaining to government. There is no true `justice` here. The government and the law itself appear to be pillars of ignorance and greed. If individuals cannot trust the governments to implement positive change which is beneficial to all aspects of society without prejudice, then there is a great need for individuals to come together and make their voices heard, but not in discord, but in a great harmonic overtone, a song for harmony and justice, without prejudice. I do feel, over here, that the benefit system is disempowering. It does not encourage people to develop self-sufficiency and a healthy attitude towards work. It is a sort of prison, really, hard to break out of if it has become your reality. I am fortunate to receive pensions from my previous work and my late husband`s work and also a government pension too. Funny being a pensioner at 42!!! LOL

    Sarah D // 2012-07-02 18:48:50 // //
  • I totally agree that we need a financial system that incorporates social justice!! I believe we need to shift away from the "profit motive" and if greed was treated as a felony crime, we could prosecute the offenders and hopefully rehabitate their way of thinking. "People over Profit" is the motto of the credit union that I do my finances with. Let`s expand on that philosophical wonder!

    Spunkyhot1 // 2012-07-01 18:59:01 // //
  • To me, social justice is about groups respecting the rights of other groups in a society. It seems to me many wealthy people(all over the world) disrespect other people right to evolve and grow. Just because someone is poor now it doesn´t mean that person can´t evolve and grow. I watched "The pursuit of happiness the other day"(with Will Smith) and it reminded of everything I find good in the US. It contrast, the far left often disrespect the rights of the well-off to own whats legitimately theirs. And we have the economic results of communism that everyone knows about. The solution is for the wealthy to accept that people can evolve and grow, and for the left to accept what legitimately belongs to others. And this can only be achieved through a rise in consciousness.

    Rafael // 2012-07-01 14:07:47 // //
  • Government exists for those times when the market fails to meet the needs of the majority: LBJ School of Public Affairs, UT Austin class of 1999

    Amy Aldrete // 2012-07-01 11:45:14 // //
  • Love your comment Jason I agree with you

    Shayna Safarian // 2012-06-30 11:14:27 // //
  • Spirituality and morality intertwine. Financial immorality produces social injustice. Deepak is the perfect person to speak on the subject.

    Shannon O'Neill // 2012-06-30 00:02:25 // //
  • Thank you, Deepak, for suggesting that we discuss and blog about this further, in order to bring greater awareness and collective consciousness to bear. As you have said it only takes 1% of us to agree to to creat a SHIFT . . .

    Robin Sinclair // 2012-06-29 23:50:11 // //
  • Thought provoking article. Thank you Deepak. Point 2 in your article offers a strong argument that out of control government can pervert pure capitalism and unfair income inequality may be one of the unintended consequences. I am just looking for the truth, and your very thought provoking article will help us.

    zensage // 2012-06-29 23:36:57 // //
  • "social justice" is the LAST thing an economy needs. social justice does nothing but encourage a competition level of victimhood in order to recieve what others are forced to work for. Why work for something when all i have to do is say im opressed. Social justice encourages and enforces racism, sexim, agism and every other 'ism' that liberals want to say is bad by definition, while claiming to be combatting it. its a sad state when people are not fighting for independence and liberty but fighting to be the opressed 'pet' of the month. sorry folks charity is a good thing, but "social justice" is nothing more than slavery. a way for the power hungry to control the weak minded and inferior who willingly and happily enslave themselves for the false feeling of 'fair'

    Jason Zeidler // 2012-06-29 23:33:10 // //
  • if you truly believe what you wrote, you need to start giving your stuff away...im sure you are in the one percent...im losing my house, i have a beatup truck that breaks down every other week, no insurance...i might be tempted to live off of the government but it is wrong...the problem is there are too many people...someday the universe will balance that out...no other solution...start giving YOUR wealth away!!!

    burneyv // 2012-06-29 22:10:25 // //
  • i thought you where above politic but i guess i was wrong....

    burneyv // 2012-06-29 22:00:50 // //
  • everyone has a chance at success...its a chance...not a definite...if i was wealthy, i would help people, but not those who just want handouts...ive seen this too much....redistribution of wealth is socialism....im not giving my wealth to the drug pusher down the street who doesnt work and collects a check from the government (the people)....anyway, he probably makes more than i do anyway...do you support supporting the people that wont work because they know the government will take care of them?...whats wrong with that picture!

    burneyv // 2012-06-29 21:58:27 // //
  • WTF is social justice, now we're just making up shit

    Kevin C Shoemaker // 2012-06-29 21:58:11 // //
  • what exactly is social justice?

    Greg Mortensen // 2012-06-29 21:56:27 // //
  • justice only justice for all people

    Rigel Andres // 2012-06-29 21:53:55 // //
  • <3

    Heather Wallace // 2012-06-29 21:49:54 // //
  • Wise and true!

    Lori Matiella Murray // 2012-06-29 21:49:48 // //
  • I feel the power of your words without the force that is too often displayed in writings from the extreme sides of issues. This is an excellent article about what is happening in this country, about how the economic slide hasn`t slowed much and how justice is destroyed at the highest level of our system.

    dival // 2012-06-28 20:14:33 // //
  • But at this crossroads (especially in Europe) one wonders what is justice. No wonder Angela Merkel doesn`t want to be responsible for the economic mismanagement of governements of several European countries. As everything is interwoven, it will take a huge quantumleap towards a totally different society throughout the world. Let the visionaries of such a world come forward.........

    YourSoul // 2012-06-28 10:17:28 // //
  • This is the way you could earn so much money in the U.S. Deepak. If you had lived in a country like the Netherlands, you would have paid 70% of your income to taxes in the sixties and seventies and 52% in the eighties up till now. My husband and me paid our fair share, so now we can easily enjoy a moderate happy life without having to pay back to help others who live on a dollar a day. We did this already our whole life......... And now, pensioned, still doing this. We pay an extra amound for healthcare, an extra amount for developing countries, etc. To me this is what real democracy stands for. Stronger shoulders carry stronger burdens.....

    YourSoul // 2012-06-28 10:03:56 // //
  • How about this...once your expressions about society and human beings is commonplace would entrusting the collective with anything make sense. The benchmark for this day is when you are not able to make money from your (what should be obvious to us but is not) insights. Until then it will just be scary. Remaining hopeful and present.

    BeforeK // 2012-06-26 15:31:16 // //
  • Couldn`t argue with that truthful theory if I tried. However, the only problem(but it is a big one) is we humans, who are by definition psychotic as a collective, would be in charge of your administering this new collective system. At least then you can tweet and blog what needs to change in the current government then to change the government itself. But remember you are still talking to the loony masses so please please be careful. I would rather fight for myself in the current Capitalism hell then live in that and forced to dwell with those humans that only take. Not the ideal way to exist together but to trust that the collective will up and decide to start doing the right thing now is ignorant. At least that is how I feel.

    BeforeK // 2012-06-26 15:27:02 // //
  • I have followed you extensively for 10 years. You are a conscious and brave man for speaking up in this way. I pray for just a few of our leaders to stand up now for equal justice and equity for us all. I also do not believe that justice is about imprisoning people. Restoration and treatment of the "bad" guys and the people done wrong by them is the long term solution. God Bless you.

    spiritualpatriot // 2012-06-25 18:20:46 // //