Liberty Square

“It’s unbelievable: As of today, just 62 people own as much as the poorest half of the world’s population. Income inequality is getting worse, a result of rigged systems that allow wealth to continue to concentrate at the top while the poor get left behind.And the biggest corporations aren’t paying their fair share. Tax dodging by multinational companies costs the world’s poorest countries an estimated $100 billion every year. That’s money that should be going to sending children to school, treating disease, and building lasting solutions to hunger…Extreme inequality is not inevitable – it is the consequence of political choices. Globally, as well as here in the US, we need urgent action to tackle the extreme inequality crisis that threatens to undermine the progress we’ve made together in helping families fight against poverty” ~ Gina Cummings, Campaigns Director, Oxfam America Advocacy Fund, January 18, 2016

“The costs to society of rising inequality go further. To my mind, the greatest costs are the erosion of the republican ideal of shared citizenship. As the US Supreme Court seeks to bend the constitution to the will of plutocrats, the peril is to the politically egalitarian premises of the republic. Enormous divergences in wealth and power have hollowed out republics before now. They could well do so in our age. Yet even for those who do not share such concerns, the economic costs should matter…A debt-addicted economy with stagnant levels of education is likely to fare ill in future” ~ Martin Wolf, Financial Times September 30th, 2014

Liberty Square tartan

Liberty Square symbolises the golden rule of contemporary capitalism: ‘Those with the Gold make the Rules’. In a throwback to the gilded age, the spoils go to a very few (represented by the gold stripes), while the ordinary citizen (centre) is gradually disempowered. In the US, real wages for average workers are slightly below their 1970 level, whereas the top 0.1 per cent has increased its share nearly fourfold, with the 400 richest people now having assets equal to the poorest 140 million.  Writing in the Financial Times, Jeremy Grantham, head of asset manager GMO, admitted the system is “designed to prolong, protect and intensify the wealth and influence of those who already have the wealth and influence”. This tartan honours the Occupy protesters around the world who have recognised the danger and stepped up to demand transparency, reform and equality of opportunity.

Scottish Tartan Register No. 10621; UK Patent Office No. 4022094

Special thanks to Dana Balicki at occupywallst.org for suggesting the name Liberty Square, Occupy’s nickname for Zuccotti Park NYC, where the movement began on September 17, 2011. The tartan was designed in a cabin on Cape Cod a few weeks earlier. These events have no causal relationship, yet seem meaningfully related — a case of what Carl Jung would call “synchronicity”.