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Economics

A Wealthy Capitalist on Why Money Doesn’t Trickle Down

  • Nick Hanauer, venture capitalist and self-described "plutocrat," says a healthy economy and an effective democracy depend on a thriving middle class of workers.
  • Next Time Someone Argues For 'Trickle-Down' Economics, Show Them This

Nick Hanauer, YES! Magazine

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September 09, 2014 | The fundamental law of capitalism is: When workers have more money, businesses have more customers. Which makes middle-class consumers — not rich businesspeople — the true job creators. A thriving middle class isn’t a consequence of growth — which is what the trickle-down advocates would tell you. A thriving middle class is the source of growth and prosperity in capitalist economies.

Our economy has changed, lest you think that the minimum wage is for teenagers. The average age of a fast-food worker is 28. And minimum wage jobs aren’t confined to a small corner of the economy. By 2040, it is estimated that 48 percent of all American jobs will be low-wage service jobs. We need to reckon with this. What will our economy be like when it’s dominated by low paying service jobs? What proportion of the population do we want to live on food stamps? 50 percent? Does this matter? Should we care?

Nick Hanauer: venture capitalist and self-described "plutocrat"

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Related:

Next Time Someone Argues For 'Trickle-Down' Economics, Show Them This, Kathleen Miles, Huffington Post

  • The highest-earning 20 percent of Americans have been making more and more over the past 40 years. Yet no other boats have risen; in fact, they're sinking. Over the same 40 years, the lowest-earning 60 percent of Americans have been making less and less.
  • Obama’s low-wage “recovery”

 

Paul Ryan Declares War Against Math

The deficit has in fact fallen very fast. Ryan’s response is to deny that any of this has happened, to castigate Obama for failing to reduce the deficit, and to propose new measures that would increase it. And he wants everybody to ignore the budget forecasters because their numbers won’t bear out his claims.

Paul Ryan is a con man.

Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine

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22-paul-ryan.w529.h352.2x.jpgFive plus five equals twenty-seven. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

September 23, 2014 | Paul Ryan has emerged from his long post-election period of repositioning, soul-searching, and secretly but not secretly visiting the poor. He had been caricatured as an Ayn Rand miser and attacked as a social Darwinist, merely for proposing the largest upward transfer of wealth in American history. Ryan has identified the root cause of his difficulties, and it is fiscal arithmetic.

The new Ryan, now fully formed, emerges in an interview with Philip Klein that is revealing precisely for its evasiveness. The overview of Ryan’s new strategy must be pieced together from several elements.

Jonathan Chait: writer for New York Magazine.

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Why Some Americans Are More Equal Than Others

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  • If we don’t overcome that inhibition (Margaret Thatcher’s famous line, “There is no alternative” to the way we live now, so complaining is useless.) and find ways of imagining a fairer economy—as a democratic problem—the internal contradictions  of our oh-so-equal and oh-so-unequal society will keep proliferating.  
  • Poverty Is Not Inevitable: What We Can Do Now to Turn Things Around

Jedediah Purdy, The Daily Beast 

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09.02.14 | Americans pride themselves on an egalitarian society open to all. But some equality and inequality exist uneasily side by side. And the U.S. has never resolved this contradiction.

If the world is lucky enough to produce historians of the early 21st century, one question seems certain to grab their attention. How did so much equality coexist with so much inequality?

Economic inequality—the difference between the richest and the poorest, or between the rich and everyone else —has reached some of its highest levels ever, both in the U.S. and at around the world. Yet our time is also marked by a historically unique conviction that everyone matters equally.

 Jedediah Purdy is Robinson O. Everett Professor of Law at the Duke University School of Law.

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Related: 

 

Poverty Is Not Inevitable: What We Can Do Now to Turn Things Around, Dean Paton, Yes! Magazine

Having poor people in the richest country in the world is a choice. We have the money to solve this. But do we have the will?

 
 

Special Project | The Fight for the American Dream, Week of September 7, 2014

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  • "The top 1-percent have the best houses, the best educations, the best doctors, and the best lifestyles," Nobel Prize winner Joseph E. Stiglitz concludes, "but there is one thing that money doesn't seem to have bought: an understanding that their fate is bound up with how the other 99-percent live. Throughout history, this is something that the top 1-percent eventually do learn. Too late."
  • 10 New Items including:
    • America Keeps People Poor On Purpose
    • McDonald’s workers block streets during nationwide wage protests
    • Unemployment up in 30 states, still no extended unemployment benefits
    • The Carnage of Capitalism
    • Nearly one quarter of US children in poverty
    • Virtual Economy’s Phantom Job Gains Are Based on Statistical Fraud
    • New Analysis Debunks Claim That A Higher Minimum Wage Kills Job Growth
    • Six Signs Your Boss Is a Coward
    • Why the American Worker Is Miserable
    • Harris v Quinn: US supreme court deals blow to unions in fees ruling

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

Pat Bagley

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America Keeps People Poor On Purpose, Yes! Magazine   

  • How four decades of lobbying and legislation gave corporations dominion over our economy—and eroded the American middle class.
  • A Timeline of Choices We've Made to Increase Inequality
  • Special Report | Homelessness and Poverty in America, Week Ending August 31, 2014

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McDonald’s workers block streets during nationwide wage protests, John Wojcik, Peoples World 

  • "I had to raise my kids on $8 an hour," said Cecelia Carella, 47, as she rolled up her left sleeve to show an arm covered with burns and scars she said she got from working with the fryers. "Only recently," she said, "when all the protests started, they raised us up to $9.25."
  • Nearly one quarter of US children in poverty

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Unemployment up in 30 states, still no extended unemployment benefits, Staff, Fight Back! News

  • Extended Unemployment Compensation (EUC) stalled in Congress
  • The Struggle for Survival of the Long-term Unemployed

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The Carnage of Capitalism, Paul Buchheit, Common Dreams

  • Lives are being ravaged by unregulated, free-market capitalism, in the U.S. and around the world. According to the Global Forum for Health Research, less than 10 percent of the global health research budget is spent on the conditions responsible for 90 percent of human disease.
  • Global Greed

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Nearly one quarter of US children in poverty, Andre Damon, World Socialist Web Site

  • The Kids Count survey follows the publication in April of Feeding America’s annual report, which showed that one in five children live in households that do not regularly get enough to eat. 
  • Chris Hedges | Pity the Children

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J.D. Crowe 

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Virtual Economy’s Phantom Job Gains Are Based on Statistical Fraud, Paul Craig Roberts, Institute for Political Economy 

  • And More Fraud Is in the Work
  • America has left us. We now have the tyranny of the Orwellian state that rules, not by the ballot box and Constitution, but by force and propaganda.

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New Analysis Debunks Claim That A Higher Minimum Wage Kills Job Growth, Emily Cohn, Huffington Post

  • Center for Economic Policy Research's (CEPR) study is the latest to debunk the common argument that raising the minimum wage is an economy killer
  • The chart below shows the data, which builds on research first done by Goldman Sachs.
  • 40% Of US Workers Now Earn Less Than 1968 Minimum Wage

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Six Signs Your Boss Is a Coward, Rob Wyse, LinkedIn

  • You can see (the cowards') fear and the way they go about trying to hide their insecurities a mile away.
  • Now, the question is: Do you have the strength to leave that cowardly boss and find a new one who is a true brave leader?
  • Why the American Worker Is Miserable

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Why the American Worker Is Miserable, Jason Notte, TheStreet

  • A survey by Gallup finds that since the economic crisis peaked in 2009, there's been no better time to exploit the U.S. workforce for longer hours and less pay.
  • The Henry Ford Matrix And The Twilight of Disparity

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Harris v Quinn: US supreme court deals blow to unions in fees ruling, Ed Pilkington, Guardian (US)

Court ruled that unions could only extract fees to cover costs of collective bargaining from fully-fledged state employees.

America Keeps People Poor On Purpose

  • How four decades of lobbying and legislation gave corporations dominion over our economy—and eroded the American middle class.
  • A Timeline of Choices We've Made to Increase Inequality
  • Special Report | Homelessness and Poverty in America, Week Ending August 31, 2014

Yes! Magazine 

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Related:

Special Report | Homelessness and Poverty in America, Week Ending August 31, 2014, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • /Money%20Pie.jpgThe people are fighting back and the elites recognize it. There is fear in the investor class as they see people organizing and mobilizing. Corporations are now investing more time and money in preparation to protect themselves from investor actions and legal challenges. The actions of corporations and governments against the people are a sign of their fear, and a sign of our unrealized strength.
  • 10 New Items including:
    • Our Economy Wants You to Be In Debt—5 Things You Can Do to Take Charge
    • Poverty Is Not Inevitable: What We Can Do Now to Turn Things Around
    • Unemployment up in 30 states, still no extended unemployment benefits
    • The Carnage of Capitalism
    • Nearly one quarter of US children in poverty
    • What to Watch This Weekend: Two American Families
    • Betrayed By the Democrats – Again
    • My personal Wal-Mart nightmare: You won’t believe what life is like working there
    • Dehumanizing the Poor for Fun and Profit
    • 40% Of US Workers Now Earn Less Than 1968 Minimum Wage

 

Section(s): 

Poverty Is Not Inevitable: What We Can Do Now to Turn Things Around

Having poor people in the richest country in the world is a choice. We have the money to solve this. But do we have the will?

Dean Paton, Yes! Magazine

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3922730610_06438fdbe7_b.gif/imagePearl Street, New York City. "This little girl and this man (I assume homeless) were talking, and they were laughing, smiling, and loving every minute of it," writes photographer Eric Magnuson. "The little girl couldn't care less what the man looked like or what situation he was in. She just saw him as another person." Photo by Eric Magnuson.

Aug 21, 2014 | Inequality and poverty are suddenly hot topics, not only in the United States but also across the globe. Since the early 1980s, there has been a growing underclass in America. At the same time a much smaller class, now called the superrich, built its wealth to levels of opulence not seen since France’s Louis XVI. Despite this, the resulting inequality went mostly unnoticed. When the Great Recession of 2008 hit, and the division between the very wealthy and the rest of us came starkly into focus, various people and groups, including the Occupy movement, began insisting more publicly that we tax wealth. But still, helping the poor has been mostly a discussion on the fringes. At last, the terms of public debate have changed, because inequality and poverty now are debated regularly in the mainstream media and across the political spectrum, not solely by labor, by the left, and by others imagining a new economy.

Inserting such a controversial topic into mainstream discourse is French economist Thomas Piketty. His 700-page tome, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, shocked everyone this year when it made The New York Times bestseller list and bookstores found themselves backordering an economics book for legions of eager readers. Piketty did exhaustive searches of tax records from Great Britain, France, and the United States, going as far back as the late 18th century

why-poverty-is-not-inevitable/image_preview.gifAmerica Keeps People Poor on Purpose: A Timeline of Choices We've Made to Increase Inequality

in France. Using sophisticated computer modeling and analyses, the professor from the Paris School of Economics debunks a long-held assumption—that income from wages will tend to grow at roughly the same rate as wealth—and instead makes a compelling case that, over time, the apparatus of capitalism grows wealth faster than wages. Result: Inequality between the wealthy and everyone else will widen faster and faster; and, without progressive taxation, his data show we’ll return to levels of inequality not seen since America’s Gilded Age.

Dean Paton wrote this article for The End of Poverty, the Fall 2014 issue of YES! Magazine. Dean is executive editor of YES!

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Section(s): 

Kochonomics: Koch Goes Local

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  • The Koch Brothers Are Rigging The System At The Local Level No Matter Who It Hurts
  • The Kochs’ Fig Leaf

Center for American Progress (CAP) Action Fund 

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Jeff%20Danziger%20%7C%20Koch%20Brothers-%20Spewing%20Their%20Garbage%20Against%20Us.jpgAugust 19, 2014 | Much has been written about the efforts of billionaires Charles and David Koch to exert influence at the highest reaches of government through shadow groups, lobbying, political action committees, think tanks, and more.

In recent years, the Koch brothers have expanded their efforts to another area as well: local elections and local government. Through their front groups, most notably Americans For Prosperity (AFP), the Koch network has waded into county tax debates, city transportation decisions, and even school board elections. As Eli Miller, director of the Ohio chapter of AFP, put it: “There is no issue we won’t get involved in.”

The Center for American Progress Action Fund is an independent nonpartisan education and advocacy organization dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through ideas and action.

Full story … 

Related:

The Kochs’ Fig Leaf, Think Progress

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  • Americans For Prosperity Fesses Up To Their Dirty Agenda
  • The Koch’s goal is to keep the economic deck stacked in their favor and that means a government that only work for the wealthiest. And they will spend whatever it takes to protect their bottom line.
  • Series | Class War for Idiots, Part 1: The Roots of Stalin in the Koch Brothers and the Tea Party Movement

 

 

The Carnage of Capitalism

  • Lives are being ravaged by unregulated, free-market capitalism, in the U.S. and around the world. According to the Global Forum for Health Research, less than 10 percent of the global health research budget is spent on the conditions responsible for 90 percent of human disease.
  • Global Greed

Paul Buchheit, Common Dreams

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green_capitalism.jpg?itok=WnvBSqoT(Photo: flickr / cc / 401(K) 2012)

Monday, August 18, 2014 | Capitalism is expanding like a tumor in the body of American society, spreading further into vital areas of human need like health and education.

Milton Friedman said in 1980: "The free market system distributes the fruits of economic progress among all people." The father of the modern neoliberal movement couldn't have been more wrong. Inequality has been growing for 35 years, worsening since the 2008 recession, as a few well-positioned Americans have
made millions while the rest of us have gained almost nothing. Now, our college students and medicine-dependent seniors have become the source of new riches for the profitseeking free-marketers.

Paul Buchheit is a college teacher, an active member of US Uncut Chicago, founder and developer of social justice and educational websites (UsAgainstGreed.org, PayUpNow.org, RappingHistory.org), and the editor and main author of "American Wars: Illusions and Realities" (Clarity Press).

263fe7d0f0e40c0321b799a4dbd97ae1.portrait.jpgFull story … 

Related:

The rich want us to believe their wealth is good for us all, George Monbiot , The Guardian

  • As the justifications for gross inequality collapse, only the Green party is brave enough to take on the billionaires’ boot boys.
  • The U.S. Is Even More Unequal Than You Realized.

 

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