Economic Injustice

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…

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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…


The Great Betrayal: Neoliberal Policies Sold Out Workers & Divided Democrats From Their Voters

Democrats’ Embrace Of Neoliberalism Dlievered The Nation Into Trump’s Paws A good chunk of Trump’s support could be peeled away if there were a genuine redistributive agenda on the table. An agenda to take on the billionaire class with more than rhetoric, and use the money for a green new deal.  By Naomi Klein The Guardian (11/9/16) They will blame James Comey and the FBI. They will blame voter suppression and racism. They will blame Bernie or bust and misogyny. They will blame third parties and independent candidates. They will blame the corporate media for giving him the platform, social media for being a bullhorn, and…


Author Chris Hedges: Both political parties have betrayed working class

Labor union leadership has also betrayed workers. The Hill (8/23/18) Former New York Times correspondent Chris Hedges said Thursday that Republicans and Democrats have both betrayed working-class voters. Link to 5-Minute Video ***** Here’s A Longer Address By Hedges: “America: The Farewell Tour” “All of the warning signs that  have brought down empires in history are flashing red within the American empire.” [Editor’s Note: The last half of this video includes some pretty forthright discussion about how to mount resistance to what is happening across the nation. What is needed is what has been done by the people … “We have…


Top Student Loan Watchdog Resigns Over Trump Admin Doing Bidding Of Predatory Lenders

  Democracy Now! (8/29/18) As the school year begins this week across the United States, the top student loan watchdog has resigned in protest, accusing the Trump administration of siding with powerful predatory lenders over student loan borrowers. Seth Frotman worked as student loan ombudsman under the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director, Mick Mulvaney. He wrote that under Mulvaney’s leadership, “the Bureau has abandoned the very consumers it is tasked by Congress with protecting.” This comes as Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has proposed new rules that would cut an estimated $13 billion in federal student loan relief for people defrauded…


As Multi-Billionaire Bezos Forces Thousands To Rely On Food Stamps For Survival, Bernie Invites Exploited Amazon Workers To Share Their Stories

By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (8/28/18) If you are one of the thousands of Amazon employees who has been forced to rely on federal assistance programs like food stamps and Medicaid to survive because CEO Jeff Bezos—the richest man in the world—refuses to pay a living wage or provide adequate benefits, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) wants to hear your story. Just days after announcing his plan to introduce legislation that would force Amazon and other large American corporations to “get off welfare” and pay a 100 percent tax on the public assistance their low-paid workers receive, Sanders put out a call on Monday for current or former…


IMPORTANT INTERVIEW: Ralph Nader Interviews Chris Hedges On His New Book “America: The Farewell Tour”

Ralph Nader Radio Hour (8/18/18) Ralph spends the whole hour with Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author, Chris Hedges, discussing his book “America: The Farewell Tour.” Link to 63-Minute Audio ***** Resistance Radio With Chris Hedges Deep Green Resistance (8/26/18) Chris Hedges is a New York Times Pulitzer-prize winning war correspondent who for two decades covered conflicts in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He returned to the United States to become a powerful social critic and critic of capitalism, and is the author of a dozen books, including War is a Force that Gives us Meaning;…


Ralph Nader On Apple’s CEO Tim Cook— Serf Labor, Overpriced iPhones & Wasted, Burned Up Profits

  Apple’s business model rests on low wage-labor in China and gouging iPhone consumers in the U.S.  By Ralph Nader RalphNaderBlog (8/7/18) The New York Times screamed its Headline— “In 1997, Apple was 90 Days from Going Broke. On Thursday [Aug. 2, 2018], It Became the first publicly traded American company to be valued at…$1,000,000,000,000.” The first trillion dollar company! The boosters and commentators cheered, adding, “How High Could it Go?” In CEO’s Tim Cook’s announcement, we learned that there were $20 billion more of the shareholders money spent on wasteful stock buybacks. Stock buybacks enable fatter compensation metrics for Apple’s bosses (see Steven…


Russpublican Tax Scam: With Workers’ Wages Falling, CEOs Enjoy ‘Eye-Popping’ Payouts From GOP Tax Scam

‘This Was the Plan All Along.” — First Congressional District candidate Randy “Ironstache” Bryce By Jessica Corbett Common Dreams (7/30/18) While workers’ wages have steadily declined since congressional Republicans and President Donald Trump pushed through massive tax cuts for corporations and wealthy Americans in December, a new Politico analysis finds that rather than using their savings to raise employee pay or create jobs, companies are generating “eye-popping payouts” for executives with a record-breaking stock buyback “bonanza.” When a public company buys back stock, the value of shares spikes, enabling corporate executives “who often receive most of their compensation in stock” to sell their shares at higher…


Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Files Request To Hire Poorly Paid Foreign Workers Instead Of Americans — Again

  By Mary Papenfuss The HuffPost (7/7/18) Just over a year after Donald Trump signed his  “Buy American and Hire American” executive order, his Mar-a-Lago golf resort has filed for permission to hire 61 foreign workers. Trump’s Palm Beach business filed requests with the U.S. Labor Department for additional visas for foreign servers and cooks, according to records submitted Thursday and Friday. The employees would work October through the following May. Servers would earn $12.68 an hour and cooks would be paid $13.31 an hour. Since late 2015, Mar-a-Lago has filed 10 separate requests for multiple temporary work visas for foreign employees. The…


UN Report On Extreme Poverty & Human Rights Abuses In U.S. Ignored By Mainstream Media

  By John M. Repp Common Dreams (6/15/18) Philip Alston is the UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights. He traveled to the United States last December to some of our most destitute communities such as Skid Row in LA, poor African American areas in the Alabama, impoverished coal communities in West Virginia and to Puerto Rico. He issued his report on June 1, 2018. It should be front page news. The report is a terrible indictment of our country and of the Trump Administration. Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel prize winning economist told The Guardian“This administration inherited a bad situation with…


Scott Walker’s Big-Dollar Donors Cash In On $3+ Billion In Tax Giveaways (On Your Tab)

  Wisconsin Democracy Campaign (6/13/18) Owners and employees from about two dozen companies that received corporate welfare from the state in 2017 have contributed more than $800,000 to Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign. These companies were among the 59 businesses that were awarded nearly $3 billion in economic development tax credits and loans last year by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. The giveaways were made so the companies would either locate or expand their operations in the state. Most of the recipients, 50 of 59 (or 85 percent), were businesses already located in Wisconsin. Owners and employees of 25 companies, which…


Naomi Klein: 4,645 Deaths In Puerto Rico From Hurricane Maria Were “State-Sponsored Mass Killing”

  Democracy Now! (6/6/18) We look at Puerto Rico as it continues to recover from Hurricane Maria, which devastated the island last September. Researchers at Harvard recently revealed the death toll from Hurricane Maria may be a staggering 70 times higher than the official count. The official death toll still stands at 64, but the new study estimates a death toll of at least 4,645, with some projections topping 5,700. The Harvard study found that “interruption of medical care was the primary cause of sustained high mortality rates in the months after the hurricane, a finding consistent with the widely…


First Thing To Understand About Our Opioid Crisis: The Problem Is NOT The Drug

Inflict enough institutionalized pain and degradation on society and the escape provided by drugs has a certain short-term logic. By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (6/7/18) The linked National Public Radio report below on the entrenched and growing plague of opioid and methamphetamine addiction in Vinton County, Ohio is a perfect example of the fundamental and stubborn resistance of the nation to truly consider what the deepening national tragedy of dangerous substance abuse is really about. As a mental health and substance abuse counselor for 24 years one thing I know is that the drug is never the problem….


A Refreshingly Honest Government Ad — Enjoy The Benefits Of Trickledown Economics

“When we let the rich piss on you and we tell you it’s raining.” The Australien Government has made an ad about the budget and Trickledown Economics – and its surprisingly honest and informative. Link to 2-Minute Video (Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2018. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )


Meet The Radical Economist Behind The One Percent’s Quiet Takeover Of America

 Stealth and deliberate deception. By Lynn Parramore Institute For Economic Thinking (5/30/18) Ask people to name the key minds that have shaped America’s burst of radical right-wing attacks on working conditions, consumer rights and public services, and they will typically mention figures like free market-champion Milton Friedman, libertarian guru Ayn Rand, and laissez-faire economists Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises. James McGill Buchanan is a name you will rarely hear unless you’ve taken several classes in economics. And if the Tennessee-born Nobel laureate were alive today, it would suit him just fine that most well-informed journalists, liberal politicians, and even many…


Along With The Rest Of Corporate America, Harley-Davidson Happily SCREWS Their Workers

Proves the lies of Paul Ryan. The Young Turks (5/22/18) Trump and his fellow republicans believe that giving massive corporations tax cuts will turn into more jobs for the American people. Turns out that’s not how it works! Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian, host of The Young Turks, break it down. “In September 2017, House Speaker Paul Ryan traveled to a Harley-Davidson plant in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, to tout the Republican tax bill, which President Trump would sign later that year. “Tax reform can put American manufacturers and American companies like Harley-Davidson on a much better footing to compete in…


Sanders Slams US Inequality As Report Finds Nearly Half Of Americans Can’t Afford Basic Necessities

  By Jessica Corbett Common Dreams (5/18/18) “Is that really the kind of society we want to be living in?” That’s how Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) responded to a new study from United Way’s ALICE Project, which found that 43 percent of U.S. households—nearly 51 million families—cannot afford “a bare-bones household budget of housing, child care, food, transportation, and healthcare.” Bernie Sanders ✔@SenSanders The three wealthiest people in America own more wealth than the bottom 50 percent — over 160 million people. Meanwhile, almost half of families in America can’t afford basic necessities. Is that really the kind of society we want to be…


Hey, Progressive Candidates, Here’s A Campaign Issue: Harley Davidson Banks Tax Scam, Closes Factory & Sends Jobs To Bangkok

(Editor’s Note: Hey, progressive candidates, check out the links in this story and start campaigning on this travesty. Every cynical hypocrisy and lie of republican policy is embodied in this story. Tie it in with Scotty Walker’s Foxconn-scam and present a positive progressive alternative plan for jobs and community and economic development. It’s a winning combination there for the taking. — Mark L. Taylor) By Tom Boggioni The Raw Story (5/22/18) Despite President Donald Trump’s claim that massive tax cuts will boost U.S. employment numbers,  motorcycle manufacturer Harley Davidson instead announced a plant closing, followed by a massive stock buy-back…


‘Democracy In Chains’ Author Warns: “Trump is the tumor, not the cancer.”

  “We’ve made more progress in the last five years than I had in the last 50.” — Charles Koch [Editor’s Note: Nancy MacClean’s book “Democracy In Chains” provides the necessary historical background to understand the how and why of the radical right’s capture of the government. It truly is an essential guide to corporate America’s Trumpland. — Mark L. Taylor] Wisconsin Democracy Campaign (5/4/18) Our democracy is at a “historic turning point,” said Nancy MacLean, the author of “Democracy in Chains,” last night [5/3] in Madison, where she was the keynote speaker at the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign’s annual celebration….


Thanks To Trump & Russpublicans, Major Corporations Set To Hand Over ‘Obscene’ $1 Trillion To Wealthy Investors Instead Of Workers

  By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (5/2/18) As even one member of the Republican Party was forced to admit earlier this week, President Donald Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax cut has done virtually nothing for the vast majority of American workers—but evidence continues to roll in that it has been a massive boon for the largest corporations. According to new data compiled by S&P Dow Jones Indices, America’s biggest and most profitable companies are on track to hand “a record $1 trillion to investors through dividend increases and stock buybacks.” A major example of companies using their tax savings to buy their own stock…


Big Banks Cash In On Their Congressional Buyout (And Your Family Will Pay For It All)

By Libby Watson Splinter News (4/20/18) The Associated Press reported this morning that the nation’s six biggest Wall Street banks got a honking great $3.6 billion tax cut from the Republican tax bill, which will raise taxes on Americans earning less than $75,000 by 2027. The tax plan, as has already been well established, is a big scam. Many activist groups worked tirelessly to try and defeat it; average Americans called their congressional offices, wrote letters, made demands on social media. It was for naught. The six biggest Wall Street banks spent a total of $19 million on lobbying in 2017 and received a…


Author Corey Robin: Striking Teachers Are “Real Resistance” To “Incoherent” Republicans And “Gutted” Dems

  Democracy Now! (4/12/18) In the continuing teachers’ rebellion sweeping the U.S., dozens of Oklahoma teachers have completed a 7-day, 110-mile march from Tulsa to the state capital Oklahoma City. Public schools across Tulsa and Oklahoma City remain closed as thousands of teachers continue their strike for education funding into a ninth day. The strike comes as the Supreme Court is considering Janus v. AFSCME, a case that could deal a massive blow to public unions nationwide—and as President Trump is successfully appointing right-wing judges to federal courts, reshaping the judiciary for decades to come. We continue our conversation with Corey…


SURPRISE! New Analysis Of The Paul Ryan / GOP Tax Scam Shows “Corporate Cheapskates” Hoarding The Windfall From Workers

By Jessica Corbett Common Dreams (4/10/18) Bolstering poll results and expert analysis indicating that the tax plan Republicans forced through Congress last year is primarily benefiting big businesses and wealthy Americans, a new report finds very few corporations are raising workers’ wages or giving them bonuses, despite receiving billions of dollars in tax cuts. As President Donald Trump signed the tax plan into law just before the New Year, he proclaimed, “Corporations are literally going wild over this, I think even beyond my expectations,” just moments after touting the legislation as “a bill for the middle class.” But while corporations are getting about $60.8 billion in tax cuts,…


French Economist Thomas Piketty Has Counterintuitive Idea For How Democrats Can Retake America

By Martin Cizmar The Raw Story (3/27/18) Would Bernie Sanders have won? French economist Thomas Piketty seems to think so. The author of Capital in the Twenty-First Century, a New York Times best-seller and the most-bought book in the history of Harvard University Press, has published a paper that uses exit polling data to argue that embracing economic populism would power the left toward huge electoral wins. The paper is called “Brahmin Left vs. Merchant Right: Rising Inequality & the Changing Structure of Political Conflict” and it’s a book-length 174 pages with references and charts. Piketty says that both parties now appeal to elites in…


Welcome To America: UN Special Rapporteur’s Journey Through A Brutal Landscape Of Extreme Poverty

  By Ed Pilkington The Guardian (12/15/17) Los Angeles, California, 5 December “You got a choice to make, man. You could go straight on to heaven. Or you could turn right, into that.” We are in Los Angeles, in the heart of one of America’s wealthiest cities, and General Dogon, dressed in black, is our tour guide. Alongside him strolls another tall man, grey-haired and sprucely decked out in jeans and suit jacket. Professor Philip Alston is an Australian academic with a formal title: UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights. General Dogon, himself a veteran of these Skid…


This American Life: Destiny Is All About What Class You Belong To

  This American Life (3/8/17) There’s a program that brings together kids from two schools. One school is public and in the country’s poorest congressional district. The other is private and costs $43,000/year. They are three miles apart. The hope is that kids connect, but some of the public school kids just can’t get over the divide. We hear what happens when you get to see the other side and it looks a lot better. Link to Story, Transcript and 60-Minute Audio ***** Low-Income Students Hit Hardest In Public Schools By Tracy Lee Newsweek (1/11/18) Poverty and segregation drive the gap…


Do You Have The Stomach To Watch This Video? It’s Called ‘Pagpag’. How Meat Is Recycled From The Dump & Sold To The Poor In Manilla

  Editor’s Note Advisory: Some in the west may find this challenging video unsettling and gross, but before problems can be addressed they must first be seen and understood. The kind of grotesque, criminal concentration of capitalist wealth in which eight men own as much wealth as the bottom 3.6 billion people on the planet makes this kind of daily injustice and degradation inevitable. (In the U.S. three men — Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet own as much wealth as the bottom half of the American population.) — Mark L. Taylor By Video journalist: Howard Johnson / Producer: Virma…


‘Such A Fortunate Coincidence’: Trump Ally Carl Icahn Ditched Steel Stocks Before Tariffs Made Public

“Hmmm, is this a coincidence or did Trump confidant Carl Icahn have insider information?” By Jessica Corbett Common Dreams (3/2/18) Carl Icahn, a former special adviser to President Donald Trump, is facing allegations of possible insider trading after a federal filing revealed the billionaire investor started selling off millions of dollars in stock for a company that significantly depends on steel just a few days before the Trump administration started publicly considering a steel tariff, which the president officially announced Thursday. As Common Dreams reported Thursday, Trump flouted warnings of a trade war from several members of his cabinet and announced that he will impose…


No Republican Love For Poor & Middle Class This Valentine’s Day

  By Josh Hoxie Other Words (2/7/18) Love is in the air. Or so the marketers want us to believe, as Valentine’s Day ads sweep the nation into a frenzy of buying flowers, greeting cards, and confections to communicate our affection. Washington is less forthcoming with the adoration, especially for working people. You’re probably tired of hearing about the tax plan passed by Congress late last year. If not, just wait for the media barrage coming your way from the Republican donor class, which is guaranteed to make the Super Bowl Tide ads look like child’s play. In case you…


Death By Gig Economy Is A Warning To All American Workers

New York City professional ‘black car’ driver was pushed to suicide by grinding economic pressures of unfair competition from Uber and Lyft services.   “It is too late for me so who is next? Maybe you and yours? Everyone needs to fix this now.” (Editor’s Note: This is the final (2/5) Facebook post by New York City ‘black car’ driver Douglas Schfiter, who within hours of posting the commentary committed suicide in front of New York City Hall. The challenges of corporate abuse and political corruption he describes is not just true for taxi and livery drivers in the age…