These are the most current newsletters. For past newsletters please see the “Archived Newsletters” page.
By John Perkins
November is a month for reflection on giving thanks. As people around the world are waking to the consciousness revolution, we are also owning up to our power and strengths, and we are committing to making positive impacts in the world. Below I reflect on just a few of the many recent and pivotal accomplishments of the consciousness revolution.
Sustainability and Food:
The green movement picked up speed and supporters. Its strength grows exponentially as more and more consumers become aware of the impact that sustainable living and good business practices have on the economy, the environment and public health. We’ve seen a huge shift towards local goods, organic produce and businesses that support this movement.
I’ve written before in blogs and newsletters about two large movements: The March Against Monsanto and fast food workers striking to demand higher wages in order to survive without public assistance. Both of these movements have generated a great deal of press coverage and captured the attention of activists and politicians.
Corporate Social Responsibility:
This movement scored a major success this year when the Securities and Exchange Commission proposed a rule on the disclosure of executive compensation. Under Section 953(b) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, companies will be required to publish the median of the annual total compensation to all employees except the CEO, the annual total compensation of its CEO, and the ratio of the two amounts. This kind of information is critical for shareholders and the public. It will help support responsible corporate governance.
On June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court declared the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional. This has enabled same-sex couples who are legally married to participate in federal programs like Social Security, veterans’ benefits, health insurance and retirement funds.
The legalization of marijuana has made major strides, particularly in Colorado and Washington. For the most part, the corporatocracy opposes this. Many, including pharmaceutical, alcohol and tobacco, and petrochemical companies, see its legalization as a threat to their profits.
The gridlock in Washington has shown our politicians for what they truly are: corporatocracy pons. The status quo, big-business campaign financiers do not want change. The current laws favor them, granting huge subsidies and tax breaks. The corporatocracy pays the Democrats to vote for a bill, and the Republicans to vote against it. Gridlock. Nothing changes. They win. But the recent “off-year” elections demonstrated that increasing numbers of voters aren’t falling for it any more. The Tea Party tumbled. It was not a total victory, but the signs of reawakening progressive movements were written on the election booths.
The above are just a few of many examples. The point to emphasize is that while it is easy to be cynical, negativity gains nothing. And there are many reasons to be thankful for the accomplishments and trend changes we are experiencing.
I ask you to make a list of events of the past year that give you hope, and then email that list to at least ten friends. Use it as inspiration for continuing this dance into a better world– the transformation from a Death Economy to a Life Economy.
Please join me at one or both of the below.
November 12, 2013: EVOLVER LEARNING LAB- SHAPESHIFTING IN ACTION- ONLINE COURSE, First of Four
Date: Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Time: 8:00 pm ET/5:00 pm PT
Topic: Shapeshifting in Action: Applying Spiritual Insight and Expanded Consciousness to your Everyday Life- “Reconnecting with the Divine Self”
Details: This will be the first of four online courses I am offering for the “Shapeshifting in Action” course hosted by Evolver Learning Lab. Each course is 90 minutes of a live video seminar with question & answer time.
Location: ONLINE- 4 Course Seminar
Tickets available online: https://evolver.refersion.com/c/d58/1577
December 13-22, 2013: BIRTHING THE NEW ERA- TRIP TO MAYA LANDS, GUATEMALA
Theme: Realizing the Prophecies in the Lands of the Maya- Shapeshifting into Higher Consciousness
Details: Limited space is available in this select group of travelers who will explore, study, and celebrate together the true birth of a “new” time on our planet. I greatly encourage you to join me for my adventure into the Land of the Maya.
Indigenous elders and shamans around the world have taught me that all life is energy and that personal and global transformation occurs by altering energy. The Maya are known as the Masters of Subtle Energy. On this journey you will learn about prophecies around the world, participate in fire ceremonies with local shamans on sacred sites, learn shapeshifting approaches, visit jungles, stay in beautiful colonial haciendas, enjoy the delicious local foods, and connect with like-minded people.
Registration: To sign up, visit the Trips page on my website (http://www.johnperkins.org/trips/) for more information and email Linda Leyerle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
That Cheap Burger Isn’t So Cheap After All
By John Perkins
One of the biggest and most passionate political issues the U.S. has faced since before the American Revolution is taxes. We work hard for our money so what we pay in taxes and where our taxes go matter. Most of us would agree that funding education, infrastructure and other sectors that grow the economy are wise investments.
But subsidizing billionaires?
At best, stupid. At worst, criminal.
As I said in my last blog, Big Oil receives more than $4 billion each year in subsidies from the U.S. taxpayer– Food for our cars. What about food for the people?
According to recent research by the University of California, Berkeley, low wages in the fast-food industry cost American taxpayers nearly $7 billion every year! A complementary analysis by the National Employment Law Project concluded that McDonald’s alone costs us $1.2 billion annually. Because workers are not paid enough to support themselves, taxpayers make up the difference.
While the employees of these fast-food chains are struggling to make end’s meet at an average wage of $8.69 an hour, the CEOs of the seven largest publicly traded fast-food companies earned a combined total of $53 million last year. In August, fast-food workers protested by going on strike in 60 U.S. cities. Their goal? A $15 hourly “living wage.” Although more than twice the federal minimum of $7.25, even this is barely enough to meet the basic needs of a family of four.
With more than half the low-wage workers at fast-food restaurants relying on public assistance to survive, it is evident that this model isn’t working for the workers or for the rest of us. In addition to placing the burden of monetary assistance on taxpayers instead of the corporations that wallow in huge profits, this model is crippling our country’s economic growth.
That cheap burger just isn’t so cheap after all!
This raises a serious question about the long-term viability of our economy. Since 1999, the median of the middle-class household income has declined by over 9%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. You would think that even those greedy executives who are swimming in their penthouse pools of burger bun dough could understand that if this continues, there will be fewer and fewer consumers. Low wages are just plain bad business. Higher incomes mean more purchases.
If you are reading this, you are probably one of the more than 80% of U.S. adults with Internet access. It’s likely that you also know at least 10 other people with Internet access. That means you’ve got the power to change the fast-food industry (and the oil, GMO, and so many other industries). The marketplace is a democratic voting booth, and every time you and those 10 friends make a purchase or don’t (and send an email to let the companies know why), you cast an important ballot.
I urge you: start a campaign. Send an email to those 10 friends and ask each of them to contact 10 of their friends. And so on and so forth. Let McDonalds, Burger King and the others know that you will not buy another morsel of food from them until they pay their workers a fair living wage.
It’s time to stand firm. Time to come together to help our sisters and brothers in the fast food business get what they deserve. And when you do this you will feel energized. We all will. We’ll feel the burst of euphoria that comes from our individual actions, and we will experience the power of joining together for a good cause. After we convince the fast food industry to do the right thing, we’ll be energized and empowered; we’ll know that we can transform the energy, agriculture, banking, pharmaceutical, communications and other industries. We will create a better world.
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