In the first half, Peter Phillips, sociology professor and recent past director of Project Censored, joined John B. Wells to discuss wealth inequality, the power elite, threats to the democratic process and independent journalism. “The richest 85 people control the same amount of wealth as the bottom 3.5 billion people,” Phillips reported, noting that worldwide the top 10% made gains during the same time the bottom 90% lost income. A handful of banks and investment companies, with board members totaling only 161 people, control $24 trillion of world’s wealth, he added.

The wealth of the richest 1% (those with assets in excess of $600,000) is artificially maintained by permanent war and quantitative easing, Phillips continued. He warned that such a concentration of wealth leads to stagnation and global economic turmoil. “There will be an eventual collapse and there will be massive civil unrest around the world,” he predicted. Phillips compared the current system to a neo-feudal society where the corporate elite are kings and everyone else the peasants.

“There’s no democratic process from the bottom up anymore,” he lamented, pointing out that a voter in the United States only gets to choose between elites every four years. Governments and militaries exist for and are controlled by the transnational corporate class, he revealed. This elite class is afraid of popular unrest which is why citizen communications are monitored by the government and local police departments have been militarized, he said. Phillips suggested people be open and transparent about the changes they want. He also recommended independent news sources as the only way to get information on important stories not covered by the corporate media.

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