Depending on is spreading the urban myth the people who really control the world are the UN, The Trilateral Commission, the military ( in some countries this is obviously true), Christian Scientists, Jews, the Vatican and the Masons. There are plenty more, but these have been very popular. One of the more popular is the generalized corporate elite. By posting about this study that does not mean I believe there is a conspiracy in the traditional sense. Rather that a lot of financial, thus political power is concentrated into a relatively small group. The network of global corporate control, from the abstract,
The structure of the control network of transnational corporations affects global market competition and financial stability. So far, only small national samples were studied and there was no appropriate methodology to assess control globally. We present the first investigation of the architecture of the international ownership network, along with the computation of the control held by each global player. We find that transnational corporations form a giant bow-tie structure and that a large portion of control flows to a small tightly-knit core of financial institutions. This core can be seen as an economic “super-entity” that raises new important issues both for researchers and policy makers. ( There is a full pdf of the complete study at the link)
A popular summary from here states,
Diagramming the relationships between more than 43,000 corporations reveals a tightly connected core of top economic actors. In 2007, a mere 147 companies controlled nearly 40 percent of the monetary value of all transnational corporations, researchers report in a paper published online July 28 at arXiv.org.
What could be wrong with such a small group with common goals, strengths and vulnerabilities owning so much of the world’s monetary value?
This remarkable finding raises at least two questions that are fundamental to the understanding of the functioning of the global economy. Firstly, what are the implication for global financial stability? It is known that financial institutions establish financial contracts, such as lending or credit derivatives, with several other institutions. This allows them to diversify risk, but, at the same time, it also exposes them to contagion . Unfortunately, information on these contracts is usually not disclosed due to strategic reasons. However, in various countries, the existence of such financial ties is correlated with the existence of ownership relations . Thus, in the hypothesis that the structure of the ownership network is a good proxy for that of the financial network, this implies that the global financial network is also very intricate. Recent works have shown that when a financial network is very densely connected it is prone to systemic risk [24, 16]. Indeed, while in good times the network is seemingly robust, in bad times firms go into distress simultaneously. This knife-edge property [25, 26] was witnessed during the recent financial turmoil.
Secondly, what are the implications for market competition? Since many TNCs(Transnational Corporations) in the core have overlapping domains of activity, the fact that they are connected by ownership relations could facilitate the formation of blocs, which would hamper market competition .
Governments still have a large influence themselves by way of regulation and monetary policy. Even so, that did not stop the recent world-wide financial crisis. In the US previous to the crisis there were 12 ‘too big to fail’ financial institutions. Now there are seven. One of the nearly extinct moderate conservatives has acknowledged the dangers of systematic risk, yet the conservatives in Congress have fought the modest financial reform package passed in 2010. The reasons for the fight are not based on studies. The Right refuses to believe the people at the top, which they call the producers in society, could be responsible for crashing the economy. They choose to ignore the whole concept of systematic risk and blame those lazy leeches in the bottom 50% of the economy. Even if some people do not act in their own rational self-interest – a phenomenon that can be difficult to comprehend – wouldn’t those same people correct their behavior after a catastrophe largely brought about by not acting in their rational interests in the first place. Or one would think even the most hardheaded would learn from their mistakes.
Cool Cappuccino Foam Art – There is a video on how to make a foam designs toward the bottom of the page. Some art is very temporary.
Texas women who hold concealed handgun licenses (CHLs) are motivated to do so by feelings of empowerment and a need for self-defense, according to new research to be presented at the 106th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association.
“A mixture of motivations made the women feel empowered—the thrill of being good shooters, self-defense, and being different from ‘other kinds of women’—and propelled them to want a license,” said Angela Stroud, a graduate student in the Department of Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin.
In the United States, 47 percent of men but only 13 percent of women own a gun. According to gender scholars, the disproportion is due to the association of guns, aggression, and violence with masculinity. Nonetheless, the number of female gun owners is rising.
In Texas, women obtained 190,000 out of the 800,000 CHLs issued between 1995 and 2009. Stroud interviewed 15 Texas women who hold CHLs to discover their motivations for becoming licensed. She found that gender played a central role, with guns reducing the significance of size and strength differences between men and women and decreasing women’s feelings of helplessness.
“They were thrilled by their shooting competency because guns were marked as men’s things,” Stroud said. “They developed a sense of confidence in their ability to defend themselves because they were personally rejecting the link between femininity and vulnerability.”
Up until that part of the article it’s all good. Who would blame a woman living alone or and a couple of roommates for evening up things with a gun. Invasions into the home are one of the few relatively easy calls to make when using deciding to reach for a firearm and use it for protection. Though guns are not magic and their use can go sideways in so many ways it is best not to make them into fetish objects.
For some women—including those who began carrying guns after being victims of a crime—obtaining a CHL leads to an increased fear of crime and sense of vulnerability when unarmed. This may be a result of the CHL licensing process, in which instructors teach their students to be constantly aware of potential threats. According to Stroud, women immersed in CHL culture begin to see carrying a gun as the only way to feel safe. This is a significant drawback to guns as a form of self-defense.
“Some of these women locate their strength and empowerment in their firearm,” Stroud said. “When they are unarmed, this has the consequence of increasing their feelings of vulnerability. It is as though their sense of empowerment resides in their gun, not in themselves, limiting the extent to which CHL use ultimately empowers those women who use this form of self-defense.”
These feelings of being weak yet empowered by firearms is much of the problem with gun rights organizations like the National Rifle Association. A lot of extremely insecure men, despite all their tough talk, whose feelings on empowerment enter through their guns then enter their ego.