Economic Injustice

Rutger Bregman : ‘Utopia for Realists’ And The Convincing Case For A Universal Basic Income

  Amazon Review After working all day at jobs we often dislike, we buy things we don’t need. Rutger Bregman, a Dutch historian, reminds us it needn’t be this way-and in some places it isn’t. Rutger Bregman’s TED Talk about universal basic income seemed impossibly radical when he delivered it in 2014. His April 2017 talk continues to make the provocative case, detailing the idea’s 500-year history and even its brief success in a forgotten trial in Manitoba in the 1970s. Nearly a million views later, guaranteed basic income is being seriously considered by leading economists and government leaders the…

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Exposes Cynical Lobbyist Tricks

  The Young Turks (2/14/19) There’s nothing these people won’t do to influence politicians. Cenk Uygur, host of The Young Turks, breaks it down. Read more here: https://www.motherjones.com/politics/… “On Wednesday morning, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) tweeted a picture of a line of people outside a House committee hearing on marijuana banking.* According to Ocasio-Cortez, the people in the photo are homeless and were paid by lobbyists to hold their places in line. The practice of lobbyists paying people to stand in line for committee meetings is, according to previous reporting, a longtime practice in Washington, DC. In 2009, CNN wrote…


Trump & Republicans Provide Comfy Socialism For The Rich & Brutish Capitalism For The Rest Of Us

    By Robert Reich RoberReich.com (2/11/19) “America will never be a socialist country,” Donald Trump declared in his State of the Union address. Someone should alert Trump that America is now a hotbed of socialism. But it is socialism for the rich. Everyone else is treated to harsh capitalism. In the conservative mind, socialism means getting something for doing nothing. That pretty much describes the $21bn saved by the nation’s largest banks last year thanks to Trump’s tax cuts, some of which went into massive bonuses for bank executives. On the other hand, more than 4,000 lower-level bank employees got a…


Cry Me A River: While The Top 1% Cash In, Trump Voters Lose It Over Dramatic Hike In Taxes

“People are going to be very, very happy. They’re going to get tremendous, tremendous tax cuts and tax relief and that’s what this country needs.” — Donald Trump (12/2/17) The Young Turks (2/5/19) “Multiple supporters of President Donald Trump over the past couple of weeks have taken to Twitter to air their grievances about the president’s signature tax cut plan. Even though the 2017 GOP tax cut is leading to spiking federal deficits thanks to its generous benefits to corporations, many middle-class Americans are winding up having to pay more because the bill eliminated multiple deductions used by middle-class families…


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Exposes The Corruption Of DC In 5 Incredible Minutes

  By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (2/11/19) And to think some people — some democrats even — have been saying AOC needs to shut up, sit down and learn from the wise  ‘experienced’ hands in congress. I mean WTH, she’s only 29, what does she know about how congress works? Well, she knows exactly how congress works and nailed those ‘experienced’ hands exposing the rigged game congress has become. And she did it in only 5 minutes of congressional hearings. It’s the old farts in congress — too any of them democrats — who need to shut up,…


Just 400 Individuals Now Own More Wealth Than Bottom 150 Million Americans

“Raising taxes on the wealthy isn’t just good policy. It’s also good politics.” By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (2/10/19) As survey data continues to show that raising taxes on the wealthy is extremely popular among the U.S. public, new research by inequality expert and University of California, Berkeley economist Gabriel Zucman found that the richest 0.00025 percent of the American population now owns more wealth than the 150 million adults in the bottom 60 percent. Zucman, who helped Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) develop her “Ultra-Millionaire Tax” proposal, observed in a working paper (pdf) that “U.S. wealth concentration seems to have returned to levels last seen…


Robert Reich: Grotesque Imbalance Is Undermining American Democracy

Let’s Be Clear Who The Real Enemy Is “Over the last four decades, the median wage has barely budged. But the incomes of the richest 0.1% have soared by more than 300% and the incomes of the top 0.001% (the 2,300 richest Americans), by more than 600%. The net worth of the wealthiest 0.1% of Americans almost equals that of the bottom 90% combined.”   — Robert Reich “State Of Disunion: Democrats Must Not Give In To Trump’s Hateful Speech” (2/4/19)  


Not ‘Left-Wing Fantasy’ But ‘Mainstream & Really Popular’: Poll Shows Enormous Public Support For Higher Taxes On Rich

Billionaire breakdown ***** “Raising taxes on the wealthy isn’t just good policy. It’s also good politics.” By Jake Jonson Common Dreams (2/4/19) Likely 2020 contenders and progressive members of Congress have proposed a variety of plans in recent days to make the rich pay more in taxes and begin reversing soaring inequality—from a wealth tax to a 70 percent top marginal rate to a higher estate taxon the richest families—and a survey published on Monday found that such ideas are extremely popular among the American public. According to a new Politico/Morning Consult poll, 76 percent of registered voters believe that the wealthiest Americans should pay more…


Joke’s On You, Suckers! Inside The Bizarre Bipartisan Pro-Corporate ‘Alfalfa’ Political Club

“The marriage of our law makers and corporate interest.” [Editor’s Note: This is both a Republican and Democratic corruption scene. The embodiment of all that is corrupt in American politics. Democrat John Kerry is the president of this rotten little cabal of thieves. Alfalfa Club? Talk about a bad seed! — Mark L. Taylor] The Young Turks (1/28/19) “It’s that time of year again: when the biggest of bigwigs don black tie garb and descend upon the Capital Hilton ballroom to bask in the collective glow of their stunning accomplishments — and consume lots of booze. It’s the 106th annual…


GOP Greed Has ‘No Limit’ — As Millions Go Without Health Care, McConnell Estate Tax Repeal Would Siphon Off Billions To Walton & Koch Families

  “This legislation is insulting to those millions of Americans who are struggling, it is harmful to the fabric of our democracy, and it is blatantly bad policy that is intended only to please ultra-wealthy Republican donors.” By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (1/29/19) Just over a year after the GOP rammed through its $1.5 trillion tax plan—which has predictably rewarded the ultra-rich while doing virtually nothing for workers—Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and his Republican colleagues were condemned for pushing yet another “blatant giveaway to their wealthy donors” by introducing a bill on Monday that would permanently repeal the estate tax. “Greed has no…


Are Corporate Dems Quietly Sticking A Shiv In Medicare For All Behind Closed Doors?

Here’s A Simple Question To Ask Your Congress Critter: Why don’t ALL citizens have health care at least as good as that enjoyed by you members of congress and your families on our tax money? Really, next time you get a chance — be it a democrat or republican — ask them that question and let us know what they tell you. ***** Rep. Ron Kind studiously avoiding the issue of Medicare4All and HR 676 at the 2018 Third Congressional District Convention, despite the signs and bright red “Medicare 4 All” buttons dotting the convention all. He said not a…


At Cushy Oligarch Gala With Ex-Bush Official, Obama Brags Up Oil Production & Implores Wall Street To Thank Him For Making Them So Much Money

  By Ben Norton Gray Zone (11/30/19) Barack Obama urged bankers to thank him for helping make them so much money during his tenure as president. He also boasted of turning the US into the world’s largest oil producer, while surrounded by wealthy Republicans in tuxedos. Obama made these appeals for elite adulation at a lavish gala hosted by former Secretary of State James Baker. His comments came just a few hours after he met with former Republican President George H. W. Bush at his home in Texas. If there was any single event that captured Obama’s centrist, neoliberal capitalist…


SIN: 26 Billionaires Own as Much Wealth As The World’s Poorest 3.8 Billion People Combined

“Inequality is not inevitable, it’s a political choice.”  By Laura Paddison HuffPost (1/21/19) The gap between rich and poor is fracturing society, poisoning politics and fueling public anger, according to a new report from anti-poverty nonprofit Oxfam, which found that last year just 26 people owned the same amount of wealth as the poorest 3.8 billion people. This figure is down from 43 the year before. The Public Good or Private Wealth? report, published Sunday, found that the wealth of billionaires has increased by $900 billion in the last year, or $2.5 billion a day. This bonanza has not been felt by…


The Ruling Class Phoney Crusade To Save The World – Without Changing A Thing That Leads To Injustice

  By Anand Giridharadas The Guardian (1/22/19) A successful society is a progress machine. It takes in the raw material of innovations and produces broad human advancement. America’s machine is broken. The same could be said of others around the world. And now many of the people who broke the progress machine are trying to sell us their services as repairmen. When the fruits of change have fallen on the US in recent decades, the very fortunate have basketed almost all of them. For instance, the average pretax income of the top 10th of Americans has doubled since 1980, that of…


Trapping Students & Society In A System Of Debt & The Corporate ‘Discipline Culture’

“Students who acquire large debts putting themselves through school are unlikely to think about changing society. When you trap people in a system of debt, the can’t afford time to think. Tuition fee increases are a ‘disciplinary technique,’ and, by the time students graduate, they are not only loaded with debt, but have also internalized the “discipline culture. This makes them efficient components of the consumer economy.” — Quote from a 2011 news report in the Ottawa Citizen, which paraphrased statements Chomsky made during a lecture at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. ***** The Crushing Burden Of Long-Term Student Debt…


A Sociologist Spent 8 Years Asking Rural Americans Why They’re So Pissed Off

    By Sean Illing Vox (6/30/18) Robert Wuthnow, a sociologist at Princeton University, spent eight years interviewing Americans in small towns across the country. He had one goal: to understand why rural America is so angry with Washington. Wuthnow’s work resulted in a new book, The Left Behind: Decline and Rage in Rural America. He argues that rural Americans are less concerned about economic issues and more concerned about Washington threatening the social fabric of small towns and causing a “moral decline” in the country as a whole. The problem, though, is that it’s never quite clear what that means or…


Humiliation, Homoeroticism, Sexism, Violence & Animal Cruelty: Inside The Frathouse Training Ground Of America’s Leaders

“Aggression and humiliation are the norms here, the one driving the other.” By Sean O’Hagan The Guardian (12/10/18) Last year in the US, four freshman students died as a direct result of hazing rituals during college fraternity initiation ceremonies. All the deaths occurred during or just after drinking bouts in which the victims consumed vast amounts of spirits in a short space of time while older students egged them on. One of the deceased, Maxwell Gruver, 19, a student at Louisiana State University, was found to have had a blood-alcohol level over .49 g/dl at the time of his death – just .31 is considered life-threatening….



Wealthy Hedge Fund Exec Jeffrey Epstein Sexually Abused Underage Girls And Got Off With A Light Sentence

  Morning Edition / NPR (12/2/18) Miami Herald reporter Julie Brown discusses her investigative report on hedge fund manager Jeffrey Epstein, who sexually abused dozens of teenage girls but served only 13 months in a county jail. Link to Story and 5+-Minute Audio ***** Bombshell Investigation Reveals How Trump’s Secretary Of Labor Helped Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein Hide His Many Sex Crimes By Travis Getty The Raw Story (11/28/18) President Donald Trump’s secretary of labor struck a highly unusual deal when he was Miami’s top federal prosecutor to go easy on the well-connected multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein — and keep his sex crimes…


‘Corporate Greed At Its Worst’: After Reaping $514 Million From GOP Tax Scam & Billions In Public Subsidies, GM To Fire Nearly 15,000 Workers

  Sweet Deal! By Julia Conley Common Dreams (11/26/18) Tax justice and labor advocates were among those who expressed outrage Monday at the news that General Motors—one of the corporate giants that benefited immensely from the Republican tax plan last year—would cut 15 percent of its workforce, shuttering production facilities in three states as well as Canada to trim costs. The auto maker is closing five plants in Ohio, Michigan, Maryland, and Ontario, with plans to cut thousands of office jobs in January—slashing a total of 14,700 jobs. The move comes less than a year after the Republican Party pushed through its…


Deadly Disparity: Who Controls The World’s Wealth?

While 30,000 people a day die of starvation. Ralph Nader Radio Hour (11/24/18) Peter Philips, author of the recently published book “Giant: The Global Power Elite”, reveals the handful of people who control the world’s wealth and maintain the yawning and deadly disparity of opportunity and resources crippling billions around the globe. This important book has garnered no coverage or interviews in the mainstream press. — even public broadcasting. Please forward on to your contacts. Interview begins at the 40-minute mark. Link to Audio


Shameless Barack von Obamenburg, Herr Donald & Bipartisan Capitalist Hypocrisy: On How Fascism Happens

“One of the first things we must get rid of is the idea that democracy is tantamount to capitalism.”  — Eleanor Roosevelt By Paul Street CounterPunch (11/16/18) Caravan of Lies Never underestimate the disingenuousness of top U.S.-American politicos.   They truly have no shame. Notice how little the fascistic president Donald Trump has to say any more about the big bad Central American Caravan that was supposedly menacing the United States with a great criminal “invasion”? The U.S. military “heroes” sent down at great taxpayer expense to “defend our border” will be missing Thanksgiving with their families thanks to this fake…


Chris Hedges: Late Stage Capitalism Is Killing America

“We have to overthrow this system. We have to begin to think in revolutionary terms. These people have to go because we can’t afford to endure much more of their destruction; not only what they are doing to human beings but the ecocide they are carrying out.” Link to 35-Minute Video   ***** Chris Hedges On The Rise Of The Corporate Class & The Call To Resistance Link to 27-Minute Video ***** “The capitalist who does no useful work has the economic power to take from a thousand or ten thousand workingmen all they produce, over and above what is…


Crass Criminals, Chislers, Cheats & Scammers: The American Ruling Class Give Each Other Awards

George W. Bush Started An Immoral War And Is Receiving The Now Besmirched ‘Liberty Medal’ By Will Bunch Philly.com (11/8/18) At least the timing is exquisite. Former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, are coming to Philadelphia on Sunday night to receive the National Constitution Center’s much-ballyhooed Liberty Medal, which is supposed to be earmarked for leaders “who have strived to secure the blessings of liberty to people around the globe.” This Veterans Day also marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I — the massive and utterly pointless global conflagration that killed tens of millions and alienated an…


Modern Day Slavery Survivors: The High Price Of Bargain Prices

  It’s our addiction to cheap goods and services that is, indirectly, putting these men into slavery. Assignment / BBC (11/17/18) Modern slaves are all around us and many of them are men. They work in factories and private homes, unseen and unheard. Zita Adamson tells the stories of some of these men as they arrive at the UK’s first safe house for male victims of modern slavery. She spent a year recording at the safe house, talking to men like Mo who ran away from a refugee camp in Bangladesh, only to be trafficked to London as a domestic…


“Dark Money” Blows The Cover Off The Money Poisoning American Politics

This year, dark money spending on TV ads has increased 86% compared to the comparable point in the 2014 midterm elections. By David Moore Sludge (10/1/18) Shadowy election spending was hit with a spotlight as the “Dark Money” film held its nationwide premiere on PBS last night. In the documentary, sketching out the money flows between front groups earns the tension and narrative of a political thriller. Filmmaker Kimberly Reed follows journalist John S. Adams as he tracks dark money in Montana over three election cycles, from 2012 through 2016. “Dark Money” offers a detailed view of the dedicated work of…


Does Money Make You Mean?

    TED Talk (12/20/13) It’s amazing what a rigged game of Monopoly can reveal. In this entertaining but sobering talk, social psychologist Paul Piff shares his research into how people behave when they feel wealthy. (Hint: badly.) But while the problem of inequality is a complex and daunting challenge, there’s good news too. Link to 16-Minute Video


Share Our Nation’s Collective Wealth With All Citizens? Hell, Yeah! Let’s Start Now – Here’s How

  By Sam Pizzigati OurFuture.org (10/2/18) By In the United States, back during the Great Depression, three simple words animated a grassroots upsurge that would help make this nation the world’s first mass middle-class society: Share the wealth! And the nation did. By the end of the 1960s, the top one percent’s share of America’s national income had dropped by more than half. The bottom 90 percent share, meanwhile, had jumped from half the nation’s total income to over two-thirds. Redistribution — via the tax code — drove this dramatic egalitarian shift, as high incomes faced high tax rates throughout the middle decades of…


A Commoner Writes: Blue Collar Guy Explains Trump’s Appeal To Many Workers

I was visited by a plumber repairing my heat registers. A typical blue collar guy with a full Boston accent. Intelligent, lucid and angry as hell. He brought up Trump I did not. It began by his explaining the crap pipes he has had to work with since NAFTA. In some detail he told a set of stories about how the pipes and boilers from China have ruined his business. He talked about how just removing a bolt or nut from a pipe ends up in broken pipe, destroyed threads and how boilers now give out so quickly. He talked…


The Case For Giving Every American A Share Of A Public Wealth Fund

  By Jim Pugh In These Times (9/28/18) In late August, the People’s Policy Project, a left-wing think tank run by economist and writer Matt Bruenig, released a proposal for the creation of a social wealth fund in the United States. Dubbed the American Solidarity Fund, the idea behind the proposal is to establish a pool of shared, public wealth that would be invested in the same way that private wealth is. Under this plan, every American adult would own a single “share” of the fund, and while no single person would be able to withdraw their share, they would receive…


Kavanaugh’s Confirmation Isn’t Democracy. It’s A Judicial Coup

  By Richard Wolffe The Guardian (10/6/18) Brett Kavanaugh is the symptom, not the cause, of our sickness. He is the nasal congestion snorted out by the politics that have plagued us for the best part of three decades. If we’re ever going to recover our health and sanity, we need to start with the correct diagnosis. For all the justified outrage about sexual assault, involving allegations that Kavanaugh denied, the new supreme court justice represents an even bigger lie than his mindless fabrications about “ralphing” and “boofing”. He can blame his weak stomach if he likes; the rest of us are…


American Mythology: Trump & Kavanaugh Claim We Live In A Meritocracy. Don’t Believe A Word Of It

  By Arwa Mahdawi The Guardian (10/5/18) If you are very clever and work very hard, you can achieve anything. We know this because successful people are always telling us so. They got where they are because of their work ethic: rich parents, the right connections and random chance had little to do with it. See, as exhibit one, man of the moment Brett Kavanaugh. You know, the judge who really likes beer and seems to hate women having autonomy over their reproductive systems. When Kavanaugh appeared before a committee to defend himself against accusations of sexual assault, in between sniffles he…


While Trump Prattles On About The Economy, Staggering Number Of Americans Can’t Meet Basic Needs

  By Libby Watson Splinter News (8/27/18) A new study by the Urban Institute published Tuesday found that 40 percent of Americans can’t meet at least one basic need—food, healthcare, housing, or utilities—even as the economy approaches nearly full employment with only a 4.4 percent unemployment rate. Remember this as the president boasts about the stock market, as he does frequently, without realizing it’s an indictment of his policies: The people the president cares about are making obscene amounts of cash while the rest of America is falling behind. The findings in the study reveal how widespread the struggle to meet basic needs is among Americans. Sixty…


Brett Kavanaugh Reveals The Smug Banality Of The Bipartisan Ruling Gang

  By Meagin Day Jacobin (10/2/18) The masters of the universe, it turns out, are losers. The Brett Kavanaugh hearing was a kaleidoscope of family and God and prestigious clerkships spliced with boofing and ralphing and brewskis. It was a thorough dressing-down. In the end, one was left with the impression of an unremarkable guy who was born on a conveyor belt to power, without much obligation to distinguish himself from his peers. On the contrary, his success was relatively guaranteed on the condition that he didn’t distinguish himself from them, that he simply play nice with the fellas — and not…


How To Recognize Plutocracy: The Dead Giveaway

  By Sam Pizzigati OurFuture.org (9/5/18) How can we tell when a democracy, or rule by the people, evolves into a plutocracy, the reign of the rich? Easy. We have a democracy when a political system can and does make a good-faith effort to address the problems average people face. In a plutocracy, on the other hand, the political system pays no more than lip service to average people’s problems and works diligently instead at protecting — and growing — the wealth of the already wealthy. By this simple standard, we Americans today unquestionably live in a plutocracy. Our latest slam-dunk…


‘Fresh Air’ Review: Smart, Unsentimental ‘Heartland’ Pays Tribute To America’s Working Class & Exposes The Class Warfare That Exploits Their Lives

  “It’s a hell of a thing to grow the food, serve the drinks, hammer the houses and assemble the airplane that bodies with more money eat and drink and occupy and board while your own body can’t go to the doctor.” By Maureen Corrigan Fresh Air (10/3/18) Sarah Smarsh is a daughter of the white working class. Born in rural Kansas, Smarsh traces her lineage back through five generations of family farmers. She also traces herself back through generations of teenage pregnancies; Smarsh’s mother was just 17 when she had her. During the 1980s, when Smarsh was growing up,…


Authority & Trust: After The Crash, Episode 1 of 5

Ten years ago the world financial system had a heart attack and the political reverberations of that crisis continue today. The Compass / BBC (9/30/18) In 2008 the world financial system had a heart attack. Gripped by panic, banks stopped lending, cash ran out and the world came to the edge of a financial precipice. As millions of people lost their jobs and asthe shock that started in Wall Street reverberated around the world, the crisis led to a collapse of the Greek, Spanish, Icelandic and other economies. Professor Ian Goldin looks at the origins of the crash and he…


Chris Hedges: The Absurdity & Tragic Sacrifices Of American Empire

  Laura Flanders Show (9/11/12) What happens when you force communities, families and entire ecosystems to kneel before the dictates of the marketplace? You get what Chris Hedges, co-author with Joe Sacco of Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, calls “sacrifice zones.” From Appalachia to North Dakota to Camden, New Jersey, these zones, ravaged by the excesses of capitalism, prefigure our collective future. Link to 18-Minute Video


History Democrats Need To Remember: FDR’s Message 78 Years Ago To Corporate Quislings In The Democratic Party Applies Today

  By Alfonso KC ExtraNewsFeed (3/30/17) The 32nd president of the United States, the one that brought us Social Security and The New Deal, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, wanted us to criticize corporate Democrats from the very beginning. I’m not kidding. In 1940, when he was running for his third term, he decided to drop his former Vice President, John Garner. He did this mostly because Garner was not progressive enough; Garner was opposed to a majority of The New Deal, and was opposed to FDR running for a third term. Ouch. After FDR replaced him with former Secretary of Agriculture,…


Taking Down Trump Is Not Enough. Corporate Owned Neoliberal Democrats Need To Be Booted As Well

  By David Sirota The Guardian (9/10/18) After a scorching summer of discontent, Donald Trump’s endless tweets and scandals have given Democrats their best chance to retake Congress since George W Bush’s second term. And yet, insurgent progressives are not limiting themselves to dethroning Republicans: they are taking aim at corporate-friendly Democrats within their own party, too. Amid an upsurge of populist energy that has alarmed the Democratic establishment, a new wave of left-leaning insurgents have been using Democratic primaries to wage a fierce war on the party’s corporate wing. And, as in past presidential primary battles, many Democratic consultants, politicians and pundits…