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Paresh Nath | Economic Growth 2016 / media.cagle.com

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Special Report | American Capitalism Has Failed Us

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  • We're Overworked, Underemployed and More Powerless Than Ever Before
  • Denmark, Norway and Sweden are all thriving under democratic socialism.
  • Why is it so difficult for us to embrace?

Ann Jones, Tom Dispatch / AlterNet

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February 7, 2016 | Some years ago, I faced up to the futility of reporting true things about America’s disastrous wars and so I left Afghanistan for another remote mountainous country far away. It was the polar opposite of Afghanistan: a peaceful, prosperous land where nearly everybody seemed to enjoy a good life, on the job and in the family.

It’s true that they didn’t work much, not by American standards anyway. In the U.S., full-time salaried workers supposedly laboring 40 hours a week actually average 49, with almost 20% clocking more than 60. These people, on the other hand, workedonly about 37 hours a week, when they weren’t away on long paid vacations. At the end of the work day, about four in the afternoon (perhaps three in the summer), they had time to enjoy a hike in the forest or a swim with the kids or a beer with friends — which helps explain why, unlike so many Americans, they are pleased with their jobs.

Ann Jones is a journalist, photographer (Getty Images), and the author of eight books of nonfiction, most recently, They Were Soldiers: How the Wounded Return from America's Wars—The Untold Story. She writes regularly for the Nation and TomDispatch.com.

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Money%20Pie.jpgThe game is completely rigged; The 1 percent has more than ever, Simon Reid-Henry, Salon

 

 

Section(s): 

Special Report | What Do Our Wealthiest Deserve?

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Our world’s billionaires don’t merit either their billions, the economist Didier Jacobs suggests, or the right to claim we’re all living in a ‘meritocracy.’

Sam Pizzigati, Too Much 

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Jim Fuller

http://toomuchonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Didier-Jacobs-2015c1.png?47c430 Debunk the meritocracy defense of extreme inequality on its own terms, says Oxfam economist Didier Jacobs, and the flacks for grand fortune will have nothing left that the American public finds appealing.

January 30, 2016 | Defenders of our deeply unequal global economic order had to put in a bit of overtime last month. They had to explain away the latest evidence — from the global charity Oxfam — on how concentrated our world’s wealth has become. A challenging task.

Back in 2010, Oxfam’s new stats show, the world’s 62 richest billionaires collectively held $1.1 trillion in wealth, far less than the $2.6 trillion that then belonged to humanity’s least affluent half.

Sam Pizzigati, editor, Too Much, a commentary on excess and inequality.

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Bernie Sanders Voted For The Act That Helped Crash The Economy, Shaun Mullen, Crooks and Liars

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  • There it is in black and white, or rather red and blue: Sanders’ vote in the House on the very legislation that greased the skids for banks and other financial institutions to run roughshod without any messy government oversight.
  • Special Project | I'm Not Ready for Bernie Sanders: Week Ending October 24, 2015

 

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Bernie Sanders Voted For The Act That Helped Crash The Economy.

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  • There it is in black and white, or rather red and blue: Sanders’ vote in the House on the very legislation that greased the skids for banks and other financial institutions to run roughshod without any messy government oversight.
  • Special Project | I'm Not Ready for Bernie Sanders: Week Ending October 24, 2015

Shaun Mullen, Crooks and Liars

Thanks to Evergreene Digest reader/contributor Dorothy Reilly  for this contribution. 

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12/16/15 | Now we know why Bernie Sanders is so anxious to change the subject to Glass-Steagall when the Wall Street Crash of 2008 comes up. It turn out Mr. Independent Progressive (or is it Progressive Independent?) voted for the 2000 legislation that deregulated derivatives, credit default swaps and other exotic financial instruments that tanked the economy eight years later.

Let’s assume that Sanders never read the background report on the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000. (Yeah, like Hillary Clinton never read the background report on the resolution in support of Dubya’s invasion of Iraq, something that Sanders has repeatedly pounded her on.)

Shaun Mullen writes for Crooks and Liars, a politically left blog focusing on political events and the news coverage of them.

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Special Project | I'm Not Ready for Bernie Sanders: Week Ending October 24, 2015, Compiled by David Culver , Ed., Evergreene Digest.

 

  • Bernie Sanders exposed! A shocking look at his views on issues other than class struggle!
  • 9 New items including:
    • Bernie Blew It: He Sold Out Instead of Confronting Clinton
    • Bernie Sanders' Elephant in the Room
    • A socialist FAQ on Bernie Sanders and the left
    • The problem with Bernie Sanders
    • Bernie Sanders, Gun Nut
    • Bernie Sanders must show he takes race as seriously as class struggle
    • Chris Hedges | Bernie Sanders 'Cut A Faustian Bargain' with Democrats
    • The Sanders Trap
    • Bernie Sanders exposed! A shocking look at his views on rape and violence against women

 

 

 

Obama’s Original Sin

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The president’s failure to demand a reckoning from the moneyed interests who brought the economy down has cursed his first term, and could prevent a second.

Frank Rich, New York Magazine

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Jul 3, 2011 | fter 9/11, Rudy Giuliani went on Saturday Night Live to give New Yorkers permission to laugh again. But Mayor Bloomberg never did tell us when we could resume conspicuous consumption after the crash of 2008. And so, as we stumble through the second year of the official “recovery,” it’s been an improvisational return to high-end carousing in Manhattan.

A case in point was the late-May celebration of the centennial rededication of the New York Public Library. Surely no civic institution could be a more unimpeachable beard for a blowout. The dress code—no black tie—was egalitarian. The Abyssinian Baptist Church Gospel Choir, the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus, and that cute chorus from P.S. 22 in Staten Island—Glee diversity on steroids—were in the house along with some 900 invited guests, marquee names included (Toni Morrison, Jonathan Franzen). Bloomberg delivered a pre-dinner benediction from an altarlike perch on the main reading room’s balcony. “Free and open access to information may be the single most important component of any democratic society,” he said.

Frank Rich <http://nymag.com/frank-rich> joined New York magazine in June 2011 as Writer-at-Large, covering politics and culture. He is also a commentator on nymag.com, engaging in regular dialogues on the news of the week.

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Why Organized Labor is More Important Than Ever In An Era of Vast Economic Inequality

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  • Where unions remain, wages and benefits are better.
  • Workers, Unions Face Big Loss in Top Labor Case at Supreme Court

Harold Meyerson, The American Prospect / AlterNet

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January 18, 2016 | Imagine America without unions. This shouldn’t be hard. In much of America unions have already disappeared. In the rest of America they’re battling for their lives.

Unions have been declining for decades. In the early 1950s, one out of three American workers belonged to them, four out of ten in the private sector. Today, only 11.8 percent of American workers are union members; in the private sector, just 6.9 percent. The vanishing act varies by region—in the South, it’s almost total—but proceeds relentlessly everywhere. Since 1983, the number of states in which at least 10 percent of private-sector workers have union contracts has shrunk from 42 to 8.

Harold Meyerson is editor-at-large for the American Prospect and a columnist for the Washington Post.

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Workers, Unions Face Big Loss in Top Labor Case at Supreme Court, Compiled by David Culver , Ed., Evergreene Digest 

  • The real issue … is whether public worker unions can survive a big loss of revenue as not just present “free riders” refuse to pay, but everyone else does, too – and can get away with it. Justice Elena Kagan estimated that thousands of union contracts and 10 million workers could be affected.
  • Part 1: Workers, Unions May Face Big Loss At Supreme CourtPart 2: Title
  • Part 2: Attorney: high court ruling could hurt all workers, union and non-union

 

 

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The game is completely rigged; The 1 percent has more than ever.

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Simon Reid-Henry, Salon

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http://www.nationofchange.org/sites/default/files/imagecache/article_main_image/americanliving122311.jpg  Sunday, Dec 27, 2015 | We have reached a crossroads in our history. For all the achievements and riches of our time, the world has never been so unequal or more unjust. A century ago, at the time of the First World War, the richest 20% of the world’s population earned eleven times more than the poorest 20%. By the end of the twentieth century they earned seventy-four times as much. Today, despite seven decades of international development, three decades of the Washington Consensus, and a decade and a half of Millennium Development Goals, our world is even more divided among the haves, the have-nots, and—as President George W. Bush once quipped in an after-dinner speech—the have-mores.

When it comes to wealth, rather than income, the picture is more extreme. Globally, the richest 1% now own nearly half of all the world’s wealth. The poorest 50% of the world, by contrast—fully 3 billion people—own less than 1% of its wealth. Anyone with assets of more than $10,000 a year is an exception to the global norm and is better off than 70% of everyone else alive. Yet most of us are so preoccupied by the relative few with more that we rarely stop to notice this. There is growing awareness today of the consequences in rich countries of rising income inequality: we know what it means to talk of the 1% there. But when it comes to the much greater gaps between rich and poor the world over, we confine ourselves still to talk of “global poverty.”

Simon Reid-Henry is a lecturer in the School of Geography at Queen Mary, University of London and a senior fellow at the Peace Research Institute, Oslo.

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Section(s): 

'You Cannot Build a Strong Economy on a Falling Wage Floor'

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  • Small businesses understand very well that workers are also consumers. If there’s not enough money in the wage base of the economy of the people they are hoping will come in and buy their goods and services, they feel that every day. 
  • So they believe very strongly that the workers should earn enough so that they can focus on the business, on the customer, and not be constantly worried about just how are they going to make ends meet, how are they going to make the rent and so on.

Janine Jackson, CounterSpin / FAIR 

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http://fair.org/new/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/HollySklar.jpgHolly Sklar: “Small businesses understand very well that workers are also consumers.” (image: BillMoyers.com)

Janine Jackson: Whether the federal minimum wage should be raised was the first question of the recent Republican presidential candidates’ debate. Unsurprisingly, the responses ranged from no to hell no, but given a media environment in which some pundits claim that there is no wage too low to pay someone, it’s significant that the question even came up.

When you think of the fight to raise the minimum wage, you might think of fast food workers who’ve been at the forefront of the Fight for $15 movement that’s put a higher wage on the agenda in places like Seattle and Los Angeles and here in New York. You don’t, most likely, think of business owners, as media’s standard presentation often pits business owners, with their eyes supposedly on profits, against workers looking to earn enough to live on.

Janine Jackson is FAIR’s program director and and producer/host of FAIR’s syndicated radio show CounterSpin. She contributes frequently to FAIR’s newsletter Extra!, and co-edited The FAIR Reader: An Extra! Review of Press and Politics in the ’90s (Westview Press). 

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