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Americans Vastly Underestimate Wealth Inequality, Support 'More Equal Distribution Of Wealth'

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  • Americans vastly underestimate the degree of wealth inequality in America, and we believe that the distribution should be far more equitable than it actually is, according to a new study.
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  • Class Warfare from the Top Down
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  • Third world America
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William AldenHuffington Post

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Americans vastly underestimate the degree of wealth inequality in America, and we believe that the distribution should be far more equitable than it actually is, according to a new study.
Or, as the study's authors put it: "All demographic groups -- even those not usually associated with wealth redistribution such as Republicans and the wealthy -- desired a more equal distribution of wealth than the status quo."

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The report  "Building a Better America -- One Wealth Quintile At A Time" by Dan Ariely of Duke University and Michael I. Norton of Harvard Business School (hat tip to Paul Kedrosky), shows that across ideological, economic and gender groups, Americans thought the richest 20 percent of our society controlled about 59 percent of the wealth, while the real number is closer to 84 percent.

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Class Warfare from the Top Down, Katrina vanden Heuvel, The Nation on Grit TV

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  • While the economy stagnates and our infrastructure crumbles, Bush's breaks for the wealthiest Americans are doing far more harm than good.
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  • "The spine of this White House," says vanden Heuvel, "is wobbly."
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  • Why Obama Is Proposing Whopping Corporate Tax Cuts, and Why He’s Wrong
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Third world America, Luiza Ch. Savage, MacLeans

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  • Collapsing bridges, street lights turned off, cuts to basic services: the decline of a superpower
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  • Poverty Rate In U.S. Saw Record Increase In 2009: 1 In 7 Americans Are Poor
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  • The United States of Fear
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  • Empire of Illusion
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Section(s): 

The Angry Rich

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  • Self-pity among the privileged has become acceptable, even fashionable.
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  • Third world America
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Paul Krugman, New York Times | NY

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Thomas Sklarski

Signe Wilkinson

Anger is sweeping America. True, this white-hot rage is a minority phenomenon, not something that characterizes most of our fellow citizens. But the angry minority is angry indeed, consisting of people who feel that things to which they are entitled are being taken away. And they’re out for revenge.

No, I’m not talking about the Tea Partiers. I’m talking about the rich.

These are terrible times for many people in this country. Poverty, especially acute poverty, has soared in the economic slump; millions of people have lost their homes. Young people can’t find jobs; laid-off 50-somethings fear that they’ll never work again.

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Third world America, Luiza Ch. Savage, MacLeans

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  • Collapsing bridges, street lights turned off, cuts to basic services: the decline of a superpower
  • \r\n

  • Poverty Rate In U.S. Saw Record Increase In 2009: 1 In 7 Americans Are Poor
  • \r\n

  • The United States of Fear
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  • Empire of Illusion
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Section(s): 

Third world America

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  • Collapsing bridges, street lights turned off, cuts to basic services: the decline of a superpower
  • \r\n

  • Poverty Rate In U.S. Saw Record Increase In 2009: 1 In 7 Americans Are Poor
  • \r\n

  • The United States of Fear
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  • Empire of Illusion
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Luiza Ch. Savage, MacLeans

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Ken Mitchell

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Danny Wilcox Frazier/Redux/ Robert Galbraith/Reuters/ Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

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In February, the board of commissioners of Ohio’s Ashtabula County faced a scene familiar to local governments across America: a budget shortfall. They began to cut spending and reduced the sheriff’s budget by 20 per cent. A law enforcement agency staff that only a few years ago numbered 112, and had subsequently been pared down to 70, was cut again to 49 people and just one squad car for a county of 1,900 sq. km along the shore of Lake Erie. The sheriff’s department adapted. “We have no patrol units. There is no one on the streets. We respond to only crimes in progress. We don’t respond to property crimes,” deputy sheriff Ron Fenton told Maclean’s. The county once had a “very proactive” detective division in narcotics. Now, there is no detective division. “We are down to one evidence officer and he just runs the evidence room in case someone wants to claim property,” said Fenton. “People are getting property stolen, their houses broken into, and there is no one investigating. We are basically just writing up a report for the insurance company.”

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If a county without police seems like a weird throwback to an earlier, frontier-like moment in American history, it is not the only one. “Back to the Stone Age” is the name of a seminar organized in March by civil engineers at Indiana’s Purdue University for local county supervisors interested in saving money by breaking up paved roads and turning them back to gravel. While only some paved roads in the state have been broken up, “There are a substantial number of conversations going on,” John Habermann, who manages a program at Purdue that helps local governments take care of infrastructure, told Maclean’s. “We presented a lot of talking points so that the county supervisors can talk logically back to elected officials when the question is posed,” he said. The state of Michigan had similar conversations. It has converted at least 50 miles of paved road to gravel in the last few years.

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Poverty Rate In U.S. Saw Record Increase In 2009: 1 In 7 Americans Are Poor, Hope Yen and Liz Sidoti, Huffington Post

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  • Experts say a jump in the poverty rate could mean that the liberal viewpoint – social constraints prevent the poor from working – will gain steam over the conservative position that the poor have opportunities to work but choose not to because they get too much help.
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  • Special Report | American Labor in 2010
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  • The jobs emergency
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The United States of Fear, Bill Quigley, Common Dreams
You tell me what happened to the land of the free and the home of the brave since September 11, 2001.

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Empire of Illusion, Jeff Dietrich, The Catholic Agitator

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  • It's all about spectacle and debauchery. People are so disconnected from reality that they don't know how to read what is happening--they cannot grasp that the walls are tumbling down--and so they retreat into absurdities. This is the disease gripping American society today.
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  • Building a Nation of Know-Nothings
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  • Lady Gaga: Pop Star for a Country and an Empire in Decline
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Summary: America's Financial Crisis | Week of September 19

7 New Items including:

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  • Save the Banks and Kill the Economy
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  • Corporate kings grab our tax subsidies but create no new job
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Signe Wilkinson

How the Rich Conduct Class Warfare, Cenk Uygur, Huffington Post

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  • This isn't about some ridiculous stereotypes or populist demagoguery. This is about stone cold facts.
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  • Class Warfare from the Top Down
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Poverty Rate In U.S. Saw Record Increase In 2009: 1 In 7 Americans Are Poor, Hope Yen and Liz Sidoti, Huffington Post

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  • Experts say a jump in the poverty rate could mean that the liberal viewpoint – social constraints prevent the poor from working – will gain steam over the conservative position that the poor have opportunities to work but choose not to because they get too much help.
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  • Special Report | American Labor in 2010
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  • The jobs emergency
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Save the Banks and Kill the Economy, Prof Rodrigue Tremblay, Global Research<>
"The problems we face today cannot be solved by the minds that created them." Albert Einstein (1879-1955), Physicist and Professor, Nobel Prize 1921

Corporate kings grab our tax subsidies but create no new jobs, Jim Hightower, Hightower Lowdown

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  • In the past two years 55 percent of workers have lost a job or taken a cut
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  • Obama fiddles
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Policy Lessons from Canada’s Deficit Slashing Days Are Limited,  Jordan Eizenga, Center for American Progress

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  • Country’s Experience Shows Austerity Measures Didn’t Generate Growth
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  • Nobel LaureateKrugman: The Myths of Austerity
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  • Nobel Laureate Stiglitz: EU Austerity Is Wrong Bet
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What If More Education Fails to Fix the Jobs Crisis? Derek Thompson, The Atlantic

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  • So we need more education to respond to a world with more technology. Smarter phones and smarter grids require smarter workers. It's a parallelism, it must be true!
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  • Less college? First, define your terms
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Someone's raking it in, and it isn't you! Kansas City Star | KS

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  • Unless, that is, you're a CEO big on layoffs. That doesn't play well, does it?
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  • Widening pay disparities can undermine the economic system by causing many to question its basic fairness.
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  • Corporate kings grab our tax subsidies but create no new jobs.
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Section(s): 

Reducing Student Poverty in the Classroom

School-Based Antipoverty Strategies the Federal Government Can Learn From and Act On

Schools are ideal locations for social programs because they have unparalleled access to poor students and their families—they are located in the neighborhoods in which families live, are recognized and familiar community institutions, and have established relationships with low-income students and their families. Source: AP/Eric Gay

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Saba Bireda , Joy Moses, Center for American Progress

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Since the time when the most pressing problem facing educators was pigtails being dunked in inkwells, the American school house has maintained a tradition of delivering the 3 Rs—reading, ‘riting, and ’rithmatic. Those halcyon days, if they ever existed, are long past. Today’s educators face a myriad of concerns including the high concentrations of poverty that limit opportunities for young Americans to succeed in too many of our schools. That’s why the American school house must play a critical role in addressing at least one more R—reducing the negative consequences of poverty by becoming a central component of federal, state and local antipoverty strategies.

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Schools that are educating high numbers of disadvantaged students must employ innovative strategies to promote academic achievement. Many of these strategies are what we believe have a direct impact on student learning, such as offering incentives to recruit and retain highly effective teachers, implementing challenging yet accessible curriculum, and providing additional learning opportunities beyond the traditional school day. Yet it is just as important to address outside-school influences, specifically poverty that can also significantly impact student achievement and success.

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Read the full report (pdf)

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Download the executive summary (pdf)

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Download to mobile devices and e-readers from Scribd

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