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Special Report | New Economic Perspectives: Economic Policy That Doesn't Confront the Rise in Inequality Head-On Will Do Nothing to Help the Vast Majority of American Families

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Using policy to shift economic power and make U.S. incomes grow fairer and faster. Boosting income growth for the bottom 90 percent requires a policy agenda that explicitly aims to halt or reverse the rise in inequality. Finding no relationship between rising inequality and faster growth means raising living standards for the bottom 90 percent can likely be better for overall growth.

Related: 35 soul-crushing facts about American income inequality

Josh Bivens, Economic Policy Institute

https://portside.org/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/field/image/inequality_cartoon.jpg?itok=KeWke_gvCartoon: John Darkow, Cagle Cartoons, Columbia (MO) Daily Tribune

June 9, 2016 | In Progressive redistribution without guilt, EPI Research and Policy Director Josh Bivens explains why income growth for the bottom 90 percent will continue to disappoint unless policymakers put fighting the rise of inequality at the top of their agenda. Bivens argues that the rise in inequality in recent decades has been essentially zero-sum, with gains at the top of the distribution coming almost directly from gains at the bottom and middle. The zero-sum character of the rise in inequality means that policies aimed at progressively redistributing income can benefit the vast majority of working people without harming overall economic growth.

The rise of inequality over recent decades has been largely driven by a host of discrete policy changes that have regressively redistributed income to those at the very top. Many of these policy changes were championed by claims that they would boost overall growth rates, but Bivens argues that they have clearly failed on that front. The outcome of these policy changes have been a steadily rising “inequality tax” that has stunted income growth for the bottom 90 percent of households relative to what the economy had to the potential to deliver.

Josh Bivens joined the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) in 2002 and is currently the director of research and policy. He has authored or co-authored three books (including The State of Working America, 12th Edition) while working at EPI, edited another, and has written numerous research papers, including for academic journals.

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35 soul-crushing facts about American income inequality, Larry SchwartzAlterNet  / Salon

The money given out in Wall Street bonuses last year was twice the amount all minimum-wage workers earned combined

Section(s): 

The Globalization of Poverty: Inside the New World Order

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  • In these unprecedented economic times, the world is experiencing as a whole what most of the non-industrialized world has experienced over the past several decades. For a nuanced examination of the intricacies of the global political-economic landscape and the power players within it, read: The Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order ~ Michel Chossudovsky
  • Related: The Real Meaning of Brexit: Cry of Pain by the World's Working People
  • Related: Profiting Off The Poor and Disabled in The Poverty Industry

Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research

http://www.globalresearch.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/129554.jpg June 29, 2016 | Michel Chossudovsky takes the reader through an examination of how the World Bank and IMF have been the greatest purveyors of poverty around the world, despite their rhetorical claims to the opposite. These institutions, representing the powerful Western nations and the financial interests that dominate them, spread social apartheid around the world, exploiting both the people and the resources of the vast majority of the world’s population.

As Chossudovsky examines in this updated edition, often the programs of these international financial institutions go hand-in-hand with covert military and intelligence operations undertaken by powerful Western nations with an objective to destabilize, control, destroy and dominate nations and people, such as in the cases of Rwanda and Yugoslavia.

Michel Chossudovsky is an award-winning author, Professor of Economics (emeritus) at the University of Ottawa, Founder and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Montreal and Editor of the Global Research <globalresearch.ca> website. 

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The Real Meaning of Brexit: Cry of Pain by the World's Working People, Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor, Tikkun magazine & Chair, the (interfaith and secular-humanist-and-atheist-welcoming) NSP: Network of Spiritual Progressives

 http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/wosu2/files/styles/x_large/public/201606/homeless_man.jpg Matthew Woitunski / Wikimedia Commons  

Tikkun Editor’s Introductory Note:  The vote by a majority in the UK to exit from the European Union  (Britain exiting, now called Brexit) is actually a cry of pain by the working people of Britain, and a reflection of the growing pain that will shape the social and political lives of our world in the coming decades till that pain is fully addressed.

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Profiting Off The Poor and Disabled in The Poverty Industry, All Sides Staff, Radio WUSU

  • This hour, we'll discuss the rise of the poverty industry and how it plays out across the U.S. 
  • Related: Here are 7 things people who say they’re ‘fiscally conservative but socially liberal’ don’t understand

Section(s): 

10 things everyone should know about what it’s really like to live on the streets.

  • Since the recession, San Francisco's wealth gap has become a yawning chasm. The city's homeless tell their stories. 
  • Related: America Keeps People Poor On Purpose

Evelyn Nieves, AlterNet / Salon

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Editor%20Comment%20graphic_0.jpg Salon Editor's. note: The San Francisco Chronicle has spearheaded an effort to cover the city’s most intractable humanitarian crisis, homelessness. More than 70 local and national media organizations are participating by examining the issue from all possible angles. As part of this effort, AlterNet has interviewed homeless people in San Francisco to get their take on how and why they have lost their shelter and what life is like for them in the nation’s capital of inequality.

Thursday, Jun 30, 2016 | On Monday afternoon, as Patty L., a 33-year-old native San Franciscan currently living in a tent, began describing the casual hate tossed her way every day, a 30-ish, chubby white man in an Izod polo and khaki shorts walked by.

“Um,” he said scornfully. “Can I get through?”

Patty was leaning against a building, visiting two friends who live in a tent on a corner across the street from a trendy rock climbing gym. At least five feet of pavement separated Patty and the tent, which sits in the Mission District, a Latino/working-class/artists’ enclave transforming into the fastest-gentrifying neighborhood in the country.

Evelyn Nieves is an independent journalist who focuses on covering under-covered communities and social issues, especially poverty in the United States.

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Related:

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

Section(s): 

The Real Meaning of Brexit: Cry of Pain by the World's Working People

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  • Tikkun Editor’s Introductory Note:  The vote by a majority in the UK to exit from the European Union  (Britain exiting, now called Brexit) is actually a cry of pain by the working people of Britain, and a reflection of the growing pain that will shape the social and political lives of our world in the coming decades till that pain is fully addressed.

Michael Lerner, Tikkun magazine

Submitted by Evergreen Digest Contributing Editor Jim Fuller.

https://www.project-syndicate.org/default/library/b71da4aa7fcc049ed6f3f525bb4acda6.landscapeLarge.jpgJune 26, 2016 |  Unfortunately, the media and the ruling elites refuse to take responsibility for the global mess they’ve been making. Instead they seek to put the  blame on a sudden surge of ultra nationalism and hatred of immigrants. But this is a distorted picture that seeks to blame working people’s fears on their own reactionary ideologies, and misses the way the ruling elites of the society, the !% of richest people and their millions of allies in the upper levels of banks and corporations, media, academia, law, government and politics, who have developed a neo-liberal economic strategy that has resulted in massive loss of jobs and a triumph of the values of materialism and selfishness in daily life, are actually now trying to blame everyone else for the global mess they have made. Don’t get taken in by the media and the politicians and their superficial explanations–read the two articles below please! The first is from a European activist and visionary, the second from an American economist. Together they give us the information to challenge the media and our political misleaders. We at Tikkun do not fully endorse every part of these two different analyses, particularly not Jeffrey Sachs’ proposal about how to solve the Syrian refugee problem, but we do believe that each of these articles, when read together, contain important elements of a fuller analysis of the psycho-spiritual and rational foundations of the growing upset at the way the world is structured, and the to-date irrational forms that upset has taken. --Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor, Tikkun magazine & Chair, the (interfaith and secular-humanist-and-atheist-welcoming) NSP: Network of Spiritual Progressives

Part 1: Post-Brexit: Imagine a New European Community

Part 2: The Meaning of Brexit


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Part 1: Post-Brexit: Imagine a New European Community 

Martin Winiecki, Tikkun magazine

June 26th 2016 | The news of Brexit triggered shock waves around the globe, with many people wondering how could the Brits make such a foolish choice. But actually there is good reason why many people in Europe hold the EU in low esteem.

The European Union has alienated countless millions of workers and ordinary people all over the continent; for many “EU” has become the very synonym of a hostile “establishment.” While it began as a progressive project for freedom and solidarity among the peoples of Europe, committed to never again repeat the terrible wars of the 20th century and authentically humane initiatives, the EU has developed into an anti-democratic, neoliberal technocracy with ever decreasing legitimacy and benefit for the people. Preaching noble values of human rights, social democracy and peace, the rulers of the EU have led a scrupulous austerity regime, gradually expanding precarious work conditions for millions. The wide gap between its social rhetoric on the one hand and the implementation of free market policies on the other, gave many people the feeling of being constantly betrayed by an anonymous superstructure, which they cannot participate in or reach out to.

Martin Winiecki: born in Dresden, Germany in 1990, is a writer, speaker, and coordinator of the Institute for Global Peace Work at Tamera, Portugal.

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Part 2: The Meaning of Brexit

Jeffrey D. Sachs, Project Syndicate / Tikkun

June 25, 2016 | The Brexit vote was a triple protest: against surging immigration, City of London bankers, and European Union institutions, in that order. It will have major consequences. Donald Trump’s campaign for the US presidency will receive a huge boost, as will other anti-immigrant populist politicians. Moreover, leaving the EU will wound the British economy, and could well push Scotland to leave the United Kingdom – to say nothing of Brexit’s ramifications for the future of European integration.

Brexit is thus a watershed event that signals the need for a new kind of globalization, one that could be far superior to the status quo that was rejected at the British polls.

Jeffrey D. Sachs, Professor of Sustainable Development, Professor of Health Policy and Management, and Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, is also Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. His books include The End of Poverty, Common Wealth, and, most recently, The Age of Sustainable Development.

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Section(s): 

Profiting Off The Poor and Disabled in The Poverty Industry

  • This hour, we'll discuss the rise of the poverty industry and how it plays out across the U.S. 
  • Related: Here are 7 things people who say they’re ‘fiscally conservative but socially liberal’ don’t understand

All Sides Staff, Radio WUSU

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http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/wosu2/files/styles/x_large/public/201606/homeless_man.jpg Matthew Woitunski / Wikimedia Commons 

June 7, 2016 | The poverty industry is made possible when social service funds don't end up where they are suppose to and instead, the government and private industry profits off of the poor and disabled. This hour, we'll discuss the rise of the poverty industry and how it plays out across the U.S. and in Ohio. 

Guests:

• Daniel Hatcher, Author, The Poverty Industry: the Exploitation of America’s Most Vulnerable Citizens

Jack Frech, Anti-Poverty Advocate and Retired Director, Athens County Job and Family Services Department

Full story … http://radio.wosu.org/post/profiting-poor-and-disabled-poverty-industy

 

Related:

 

Here are 7 things people who say they’re ‘fiscally conservative but socially liberal’ don’t understand, Greta Christina, Raw Story <http://www.rawstory.com>

 

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If you care about marginalized people — if you care about the oppression of women, LGBT people, disabled people, African Americans and Hispanics and other people of color — you need to do more than go to same-sex weddings and listen to hip-hop. You need to support economic policies that make marginalized people’s lives better. You need to oppose economic policies that perpetuate human rights abuses and make marginalized people’s lives suck.

And that means not being a fiscal conservative.

Noam Chomsky: America Hates Its Poor

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Section(s): 

Special Report | The Verizon Strike

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  • Verizon strikers are fighting against the oppression and indignity of the American workplace.
  • A labor strategy of workplace action and bold political vision is more necessary than ever.
  • Part 1: Chronicle of a Strike
  • Part 2: The Verizon Strike Is a Reminder That Improving Workers’ Lives Will Always Require Workplace Action

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Part 1: Chronicle of a Strike

 

Verizon strikers are fighting against the oppression and indignity of the American workplace.

Alex Gourevitch, Jacobin Magazine

https://images.jacobinmag.com/2016/05/Screen-Shot-2016-05-18-at-9.13.28-AM.png A Verizon technician in New York City. Stefan Georgi / Flickr 

5.18.16 | Bruce has worked construction for Verizon for nearly thirty years and he is on strike. Walking a picket outside a Verizon Wireless store, he explains why: “I love this job. It’s outdoors, you get dirty, you get to do things. You see that island over there, I can tell you where each of the manholes are. I’ve been in every one of these buildings here,” he says, pointing to a café, then some office buildings, a travel agency, and a few restaurants. “I don’t like not working, just standing around here. But we gotta do this. I mean, I love this job but I don’t want it for my children.”

Only a few Verizon workers are picketing this Massachusetts location, standing calmly in the signature red shirts of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) holding placards emblazoned “On Strike!”

Alex Gourevitch is an assistant professor of political science at Brown University and the author of From Slavery To the Cooperative Commonwealth: Labor and Republican Liberty in the Nineteenth Century.

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Part 2: The Verizon Strike Is a Reminder That Improving Workers’ Lives Will Always Require Workplace Action

A labor strategy of workplace action and bold political vision is more necessary than ever.

Elizabeth Mahony, Jacobin / In These Times 

http://inthesetimes.com/images/made/images/working/cwastrike_850_593.jpg A Verizon picket line on May 19, 2016 in Washington, DC.   (Stand up to Verizon / Flickr)

Monday, May 23, 2016 | On Tuesday, news broke that Verizon would return to the bargaining table with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). The renewed negotiations could bring to a close the largest US strike in five years, which has seen nearly forty thousand workers—mostly landline technicians but also some call-center and retail employees—walk out for more than a month.

At stake are the potential outsourcing of call-center jobs to the Philippines and Mexico, the implementation of forced overtime, the assignment of employees to other cities for months at a time, and the increased use of non-union contractors.

Elizabeth Mahony is an assistant editor at Jacobin.

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Section(s): 

UAW endorses Clinton, “Wall Street’s presidential darling”

The UAW endorsement of Hillary Clinton is a marriage made in heaven, or better yet Wall Street. They both share the fear that the UAW will not be able to survive another upheaval by autoworkers who, like tens of millions of other workers, are being radicalized by unprecedented social inequality, unending wars and the turn by the corporate and financial oligarchy in the US and around the world to ever more authoritarian forms of rule.

Jerry White, World Socialist Website

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor John Stoltenberg.

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https://gallery.mailchimp.com/380cabff931cd452085b8d4a5/images/83ca8cd7-c3b9-470e-bc74-5f943712cd34.jpg27 May, 2016 | On Wednesday the United Auto Workers formally endorsed Hillary Clinton for president of the United States. While the UAW’s endorsement of the Democratic frontrunner was no surprise, its embrace of the candidate with the closest ties to Wall Street and the American military intelligence apparatus is nevertheless significant. It underscores the gaping chasm between this corporatist organization and the workers it fraudulently claims to speak for.

UAW President Dennis Williams made the announcement on MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” saying the UAW executive board had unanimously endorsed Clinton and “all our members will be with us.” Williams claimed the decision had come after polling members and holding “focus groups” that showed “very close” numbers for Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Republican Donald Trump got the support of 28 percent of those polled, Williams said.

Jerry White is an American politician and journalist, and is the Labor Editor reporting for the World Socialist Website.

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