War & Militarism
The annual meeting in January 2014 addressed the consequences of war in the countries where the wars are fought. The board chose to focus, in 2014 and beyond, on the economic, human and environmental impact of war. Discussions and resources include the impact of the industrial military/corporate complex on the environment and the common good in the U.S. and around the world. This initiative revisits the famous quote of President Eisenhower:
“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.”
We suggest that, in this case, education and knowledge about history and politics and the ways in which the U.S. chooses to engage in military action are the best ways to create a new approach.
Afghanistan & Iraq- Ongoing Effects
This initiative, finding reasonable approaches to gun legislation, grew out of concern about the growing number of mass shootings (defined as a shooting where there are four or more victims) and the random gun violence in and around Lancaster County and the nation.
The address of Mayor Rick Gray, in a September 2013 LIPW Forum, highlighted the severity of the problem.
Statements of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns and the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) were adopted by LIPW, April 20, 2013.
What can I do Locally?
“The explosion in inequality is holding back the fight against global poverty at a time when 1 in 9 people do not have enough to eat and more than a billion people still live on less than $1.25 per day.” Oxfam International
In Dec. 2011, LIPW adopted a brief statement about “the growing disparity in wealth between the few and the many.” Here is a brief excerpt from that statement. “We commit ourselves to highlighting the enormous social price which is paid to perpetuate inequality, and correlating “the expanding military budget with decline in domestic security….”
On June 18, 2015, the LIPW board, supported including the Oxfam International Inequality statement, presented at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 19, 2015, with our inequality statement. The Board commends the statement to our network as a resource for discussion and study. The statement explains that inequality is increasing global poverty and hunger for a billion people.
“Extreme inequality isn’t just a moral wrong. We know that it hampers economic growth and it threatens the private sector’s bottom line,” said Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director, Oxfam International.
The report begins: “Richest 1% will own more than all the rest by 2016.” The combined wealth of the richest 1 percent will overtake that of the other 99 percent of people next year unless the current trend of rising inequality is checked.
Oxfam made headlines at Davos last year with the revelation that the 85 richest people on the planet have the same wealth as the poorest 50 percent (3.5 billion people). That figure is now 80 – a dramatic fall from 388 people in 2010. The wealth of the richest 80 doubled in cash terms between 2009-14.
The international agency is calling on government to adopt a seven point plan to tackle inequality:
- Clamp down on tax dodging by corporations and rich individuals
- Invest in universal, free public services such as health and education
- Share the tax burden fairly, shifting taxation from labour and consumption towards capital and wealth
- Introduce minimum wages and move towards a living wage for all workers
- Introduce equal pay legislation and promote economic policies to give women a fair deal
- Ensure adequate safety-nets for the poorest, including a minimum income guarantee
- Agree a global goal to tackle inequality.