Agenda For a Shared Prosperity (Download a PDF copy of the entire book)
A Note on Economic Growth (11/20/2013)
Inequality is a choice: Stiglitz (10/13/2013)
The United States of Inequality (Bill Moyers
The Price of Inequality: Joseph Stiglitz (6/20/2012) See his Video (about an hour)
Economy can't get out of first gear: The Rich have sucked it
dry : Reich (6/13/2012)
The American Dream is a myth: Stiglitz (6/5/2012)
Concentration of wealth is a major cause of our difficulties and
as it increased, which it undoubtedly has, we become less able to
deal with our problems: Demand weakens, social mobility disappears, volatility
increases, large amounts of money game the system, government
becomes dysfunctional because it is hooked on campaign money.
Democracy withers away. Plutocracy
Large disparities in income are bad for democracy, bad for the general welfare, bad for the economy. They lead to social pathologies, inequity in the Courts, destroy domestic tranquility, suppress economic activity, and because we have ignored it, we are experiencing yet another economic collapse.
The US is now run by oligarchs. Media
moguls control pretty much everything broadcast. Bankers get
unlimited amounts of taxpayer money without strings. The Congress often gets it wrong because it is money
driven. Democracy withers when income
disparities are extreme. We have a strong-man Presidency, but, thanks to the Supreme Court, Corporations rule, not the people.
Republicans ignore this problem because they are on the wealthy side of the class struggle. The end result of relentless concentration is extreme inequality followed by financial collapse, in which everyone is a loser.
Republicans brought on the financial crisis with deregulation that allowed markets to go out of control, privatization that removed the public from the process, tax cuts that in effect directed massive public debt into deep private pockets (banana republic), civil service destruction and cronyism placed incompetents in public office; regressive, anti-labor policies led to a general decline in consumption; a determination to build an empire for world domination requires unlimited budget for the military; a contempt for international law covered up illegal activities including torture, renditions, secret prisons; Congress did no oversight during the Bush years; regulatory agencies were captives of the industries they were supposed to regulate; industry migrated to low wage countries and not much was done to mitigate the damage; but there was war enough for everyone. War is profitable, and in its chaos pallet loads of shrink wrapped money just disappeared. Civil liberties here in the good old US of A were cut down to size by chicken hawks who built the profitable national security state. PayGo left.
There is a relatively simple way damp down obscene compensation,
to pay our bills (which we are not), to reduce inequality and to
keep up our infrastructure, and that is to re-implement a stiff
graduated income tax. Continue the estate
tax to be sure that we do not create an aristocracy, and to break up extreme
concentrations of wealth with a renewal of anti-trust oversight.
Anti-trust should preserve competition.
The Constitution has an inherent warning about concentrated power, but it has little to say about private power. Anti-trust efforts faded away. We are seeing media that is too concentrated, banks that should be broken up, insurance companies that can kill health care reforms, oil companies that successfully deny climate change. We have allowed the military to become too large and it now threatens our civil liberties. You no longer have fourth or sixth amendment rights. When corporations run government, that is the very definition of fascism. Do we not have that ?
In 1929 inequality reached new heights, the market crashed, and there was widespread misery. It has happened again and we have not yet recovered. Worse, those banks that were too big to fail got bailed out by taxpayers. As Larry Lessig pointed out, this is the stupidest form of socialism ever invented.
Wide income inequality leads to market volatility, lack of demand, little competition among big corporations, widespread misery, anti-social behavior, environment devastating, corporate behavior.
Concentrated wealth becomes aristocracy when there is low social mobility. Wages go down, necessities become more expensive, education out of reach for most, and wealthy build gated communities to protect themselves from growing chaos. Republican policy is hastening the process.
Many of the social pathologies are identified in
The Spirit Level, Why Greater Equality Makes Societies
Wilkinson and Kate Pickett.
In history, every empire collapses.
Residential Income Segregation in America (11/16/2011)
Ten Reasons to Care About Economic Inequality
New Study of
Income Inequality (10/2011)
Look Out, Are You About to Join the White Underclass?
“The American oligarchy spares no pains in promoting the belief that it does not exist, but the success of its disappearing act depends on equally strenuous efforts on the part of an American public anxious to believe in egalitarian fictions and unwilling to see what is hidden in plain sight.” — Michael Lind, To Have and to Have Not
Economic Recovery for the Few (8/1/2010)
From Too Much: Most Popular Articles
December 21, 2009
November 2, 2009
November 30, 2009
December 14, 2009
November 23, 2009
November 16, 2009
We are not in this together (4/11/2009)
This Is What the Class War Looks Like (3/24/2009)
Distributing Our Technological Inheritance: Gar
UN: Financial Inequality Rapidly Grows in US
A United Nations report has revealed major US cities, including New York, Washington, Atlanta and New Orleans, have levels of economic inequality that rival cities in Africa. The report found that the United States had the highest inequality and poverty after Mexico and Turkey, and the gap has increased rapidly since 2000. The life expectancy of African Americans in the United States is about the same as that of people living in China and some states of India. http://www.democracynow.org/2008/10/27/headlines#16
The End of Poverty ? 2008. 105 minutes narrated by Martin Sheen. View it on-line.
"There are many other ways in which the government structures the market to redistribute income upward. Read my non-copyright protected book, The Conservative Nanny State: How the Wealthy Use the Government to Stay Rich and Get Richer to get more of the picture." Dean Baker (read it on line.)
The Spirit Level, Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger: Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett
With Liberty and Justice for Some: Glenn Greenwald
Winner Take All Politics: Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson
Pinched: Don Peck
Ill Fares the Land: Tony Judt
A People's History of the United States: Howard Zinn
Unjust Deserts: Gar Alperovitz and Lew Daly
Retirement Insecurity: Edward N. Wolff
Politics of Rich and Poor: Kevin Phillips
Winner Take All Society: Robert Frank and Philip Cook
Boiling Point, Democrats, Republicans and the Decline of Middle Class Prosperity: Kevin Phillips
Obamanomics, How Bottom-Up Economic Prosperity Will Replace Trickle-Down Economics: John R. Talbott