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Obama’s Original Sin

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 Now you can follow Evergreene Digest on Twitter <>. Illustration by Eddie Guy 

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 <> joined New York magazine in June 2011 as Writer-at-Large, covering politics and culture. He is also a commentator on, 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

  • 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 Now you can follow Evergreene Digest on Twitter. Photo Credit: Image by Shutterstock, Copyright (c) A. Katz 

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



from Bread & Roses FB group


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

Simon Reid-Henry, Salon If you like reading this article, consider joining the crew of all reader-supported Evergreene Digest by contributing the equivalent of a cafe latte a month--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it.  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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'You Cannot Build a Strong Economy on a Falling Wage Floor'

  • 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 Now you can follow Evergreene Digest on Twitter. Sklar: “Small businesses understand very well that workers are also consumers.” (image:

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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Social inequality and the disintegration of the American middle class

  • The great majority of the population has experienced an unrelenting deterioration in income, benefits and conditions of life.
  • What Scott Walker’s Elimination Of Wisconsin’s Living Wage Law Means For Workers

David Walsh, World Socialist Website Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor John Stoltenberg


If you like reading this article, consider joining the crew of all reader-supported Evergreene Digest by contributing the equivalent of a cafe latte a month--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it. 12 December 2015 | The implications of the changes in American social life indicated by the findings recently published by the Pew Research Center on the sharp decline in the number of middle-income households are enormous. The data revealed that, by Pew’s definition, middle-income households for the first time no longer constituted the majority of American society.

The figures are remarkable. The share of the national wealth accruing to middle-income households, the study reported, was 43 percent in 2014, down from 62 percent in 1970. The median wealth of middle-income households has fallen by 28 percent over the past decade and a half. The share of income going to upper-income households has risen from 29 percent to 49 percent over the same period.

David Walsh: A full-time socialist journalist for 18 years, arts editor of the World Socialist Web Site since its launch in January 1998. A writer about film, the arts, as well as politics and history.

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What Scott Walker’s Elimination Of Wisconsin’s Living Wage Law Means For Workers, Bryce Covert, Think Progress


  • “Prices have gone up, everything has gone up including rent, except the minimum wage,” Lisa Lucas, communications director for Wisconsin Jobs Now, said. And an analysis by her organization found that nearly 47 percent of the state’s workers make less than $15 an hour.
  • The Basic Income Movement




Phishing for Phools: The Economics of Manipulation and Deception ~ George A. Akerlof & Robert J. Shiller

Phishing for Phools explores the central role of manipulation and deception in fascinating detail in each of these areas and many more. It thereby explains a paradox: why, at a time when we are better off than ever before in history, all too many of us are leading lives of quiet desperation. At the same time, the book tells stories of individuals who have stood against economic trickery—and how it can be reduced through greater knowledge, reform, and regulation.

Download Phishing for Phools