Courtesy » YouTube
Courtesy » YouTube
So perhaps it’s not a surprise that Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders would not think well of the Gipper. But when Sanders took to the Senate floor Thursday evening to offer a broad vision for how to do something to help the declining middle class, he offered a stunning chart that showed just how poorly most Americans have fared during economic recoveries since the advent of Reaganomics.
The chart starts by showing that in the decades after World War II, the bottom 90 percent of the country captured most of the growth in income during rebounds from tough times. But then came the Reagan era, and what George H. W. Bush once dubbed “voodoo economics.” After Reagan implemented his policies, the top 10 percent grabbed nearly 80 percent of the growth in incomes coming out of the oil crises of the late ’70s.
Whoa! What happens in 1982?” Sanders said, noting the dramatic reversal in his diagram. “Well, Ronald Reagan is president, and the good news is we are into trickle-down economics.”
The socialist Democrat is certainly aware that other factors such as technology, the waning of the union movement and globalization all played their roles, but his data makes for an awfully stark portrait.
“Frankly, this is a metaphor,” Sanders said. “This is an example of exactly what trickle-down economics is all about.”
Read more ⇒ Huffngton Post
Learn more » http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/30/ronald-reagan-middle-class_n_6578130.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000013
The wealthiest 1% will soon own more than the rest of the world’s population, according to a study by anti-poverty charity Oxfam.
The charity’s research shows that the share of the world’s wealth owned by the richest 1% increased from 44% in 2009 to 48% last year.
On current trends, Oxfam says it expects the wealthiest 1% to own more than 50% of the world’s wealth by 2016.
The research coincides with the start of the World Economic Forum in Davos.
The annual gathering attracts top political and business leaders from around the world.
Oxfam’s executive director Winnie Byanyima, who will co-chair the Davos event, said she would use the charity’s high-profile role at the forum to demand urgent action to narrow the gap between rich and poor.
In a statement ahead of the gathering, Ms Byanyima said the scale of global inequality was “simply staggering”.
“It is time our leaders took on the powerful vested interests that stand in the way of a fairer and more prosperous world.
“Business as usual for the elite isn’t a cost-free option – failure to tackle inequality will set the fight against poverty back decades. The poor are hurt twice by rising inequality – they get a smaller share of the economic pie and because extreme inequality hurts growth, there is less pie to be shared around,” she added.
Read more » BBC
Learn more » http://www.bbc.com/news/business-30875633
Institutional racism. Rampant income inequality. A broken justice system. America may never be a great society
This article originally appeared on AlterNet.
It seems police can get away with anything: choking men who have surrendered; shooting unarmed teens; knocking pregnant women to the ground. While the issues involving race, civil rights and the relationship between law enforcement and communities are essential for examination and correction, few are talking about how all of this fits into the larger pattern of America’s cultural decline and decay. America has become a society addicted to violence and indifferent to the suffering of people without power. Whenever there is a combination of a culture of violence and an ethic of heartlessness, fatal abuse of authority will escalate, and the legal system will fail to address it.
Critics are right to condemn the criminal justice system for its embedded inequities and injustices, but they are hesitant to condemn the actual jurors giving killer cops get-out-of-jail-free cards. These jurors are representational of America: ignorant and cold. They hear testimony from eyewitnesses claiming Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown while he had his hands in the air, and set Wilson free without trial. They listen to reports of three officers choking Robert Saylor, an unarmed man with Down syndrome who wanted to see a movie without a ticket, and they send the police back to work. They watch video footage of police choking Eric Garner in New York, and of two police officers brutally beating Keyarika Diggles, a woman in Texas, and they decline to make them pay for it.
Have they been programmed into cruelty and apathy by American schools, churches, families, politics, and pop culture?
There are practical demands that the sane minority of Americans can make as they march the streets of Ferguson, New York and Chicago. Body cameras on police officers is a technological aid to the people who live under military occupation from the blue army. Tougher requirements for entering the police force, and better training methods for those in the academy are essential, as is a sweeping and radical review, best led by the White House, of a racist and predatory criminal justice system.
Read more » SALON
Learn more » http://www.salon.com/2014/12/29/no_civilization_would_tolerate_what_america_has_done_partner/
OECD report rejects trickle-down economics, noting ‘sizeable and statistically negative impact’ of income inequality
The west’s leading economic thinktank on Tuesday dismissed the concept of trickle-down economics as it found that the UK economy would have been more than 20% bigger had the gap between rich and poor not widened since the 1980s.
Publishing its first clear evidence of the strong link between inequality and growth, the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development proposed higher taxes on the rich and policies aimed at improving the lot of the bottom 40% of the population, identified by Ed Miliband as the “squeezed middle”.
Trickle-down economics was a central policy for Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan in the 1980s, with the Conservatives in the UK and the Republicans in the US confident that all groups would benefit from policies designed to weaken trade unions and encourage wealth creation.
The OECD said that the richest 10% of the population now earned 9.5 times the income of the poorest 10%, up from seven times in the 1980s. However, the result had been slower, not faster, growth.
It concluded that “income inequality has a sizeable and statistically negative impact on growth, and that redistributive policies achieving greater equality in disposable income has no adverse growth consequences.
“Moreover, it [the data collected from the thinktank’s 34 rich country members] suggests it is inequality at the bottom of the distribution that hampers growth.”
According to the OECD, rising inequality in the two decades after 1985 shaved nine percentage points off UK growth between 1990 and 2000. The economy expanded by 40% during the 1990s and 2000s but would have grown by almost 50% had inequality not risen. Reducing income inequality in Britain to the level of France would increase growth by nearly 0.3 percentage points over a 25-year period, with a cumulated gain in GDP at the end of the period in excess of 7%.
“These findings have relevant implications for policymakers concerned about slow growth and rising inequality,” the paper said.
Read more ⇒ the guardian
See more ⇒ http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/dec/09/revealed-wealth-gap-oecd-report
Courtesy: Noam Chomsky
The Corporate Coup d’Etat is Nearly Complete
The Republicans now control the major media, the Supreme Court, the Congress and soon the presidency.
Think Jeb Bush in 2016.
All throughout America, right down to the local level, buried in a tsunami of cash and corruption, our public servants are being morphed into corporate operatives.
Our electoral apparatus is thoroughly compromised by oceans of dirty money, Jim Crow registration traps, rigged electronic voting machines, gerrymandering, corrupt secretaries of state.
The internet may be next. Above all, if there is one thing that could save us a shred of democracy, it’s preserving net neutrality. This fight could in fact outweigh all the others, and may be decided soon. Whatever depression you may now feel, shake it off to wage this battle. If we now lose the ability to freely communicate, we are in the deepest hole of all.
The roots of this corporate coup reach where they always do when empires collapse—useless, cancerous, debilitating, endless imperial war.
Read more ⇒ Common Dream
Learn more ⇒ http://www.commondreams.org/views/2014/11/05/corporate-coup-detat-nearly-complete
The cost of our massive military and endless wars is almost beyond comprehension, and non stop.
The money should stagger you. Journalist James Risen, author of Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War, a revelatory new book about the scammers, counterterrorism grifters, careerist bureaucrats, torture con artists, and on-the-make privatizers of our post-9/11 national security state, suggests that the best figure for money spent on Washington’s war on terror, including the Iraq and Afghan wars, is four trillion dollars. If you add in the bills still to come for the care of American soldiers damaged in that global war, the figure is undoubtedly significantly higher. In the process, an array of warrior corporations were mobilized to go into battle alongside the Pentagon and the country’s intelligence and homeland security outfits. This, in turn, transformed the global struggle into a highly privatized affair and resulted, as Risen vividly documents, in “one of the largest transfers of wealth from public to private hands in American history.” Halliburton offshoot KBR, for instance, took remarkable advantage of the opportunity and became “the largest single Pentagon contractor of the entire war,” more or less monopolizing the Iraq war zone from 2003 to 2011 and “receiving a combined total of $39.5 billion in contracts.”
Read more ⇒ Alternet
Learn more ⇒ http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/one-largest-transfers-public-wealth-private-hands-our-staggering-war-economy
Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz has sparked controversy by suggesting young people ought to consider unpaid work as a way to gain job experience.
“When I bump into youths, they ask me, you know, ‘What am I supposed to do in a situation?’ I say, look, having something unpaid on your CV is very worth it because that’s the one thing you can do to counteract this scarring effect. Get some real-life experience even though you’re discouraged, even if it’s for free,” Mr. Poloz told reporters Monday in Ottawa.
Read more ⇒ The Globe and Mail
Learn more ⇒ /