Tag: inequality

Links 12/22/16

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau:

The CFPB has recently become “one of Washington’s most powerful and pugnacious regulators,” as The New York Times reported last month:

The bureau has overhauled mortgage lending rules, reined in abusive debt collectors, prosecuted hundreds of companies and extracted nearly $12 billion from businesses in the form of canceled debts and consumer refunds. In September, it exposed the extent of Wells Fargo’s creation of two million fraudulent customer accounts, igniting a scandal that provoked widespread outrage and toppled the company’s chief executive.

Minimum Wage:

Childhood Poverty:

Inequality:

The wealthy didn’t always take such a big share of the proverbial “pie.” In the 1970s, a decade generally seen as fairly prosperous, the top 1% of Americans earned just over 10% of all U.S. income (i.e. the “pie”).
Over time, the rich became more lucky — or more greedy. Today the top 1% take home more than 20% of all U.S. income.
As the wealthy earned more, someone else in America had to get less. The bottom 50% went from capturing over 20% of national income for much of the 1970s to earning barely 12% today.
The turning point started around 1980, as seen in the graph below. By the mid-1990s, the fortunes of the top 1% were clearly on the rise and those of the bottom half were declining rapidly.

It’s time for the bottom 50% to take back their fair share.

White Collar Crime:

Trade:

Labor:

Policy:

Healthcare:

Links 12/18/16

White Collar Crime:

Jobs from Unlikely Industries:

  • Marijuana Industry a Homegrown Source of Job Growth Legalize it in every state. It’s significantly less dangerous than alcohol. The alcohol industry contributes billions to the economy, pays billions in wages, and employs millions. Imagine what a marijuana industry could do.

    The potential growth behind marijuana is incredible. Investment firm Cowen & Co. believes that legal marijuana sales could soar from $6 billion today to $50 billion by 2026. That’s a compound annual growth rate of nearly 24 percent over the next decade. But, the most phenomenal growth can be seen in pot industry employment.

    According to CNBC, the marijuana industry currently employs about 150,000 people nationwide. This figure is, by itself, outstanding. Back in 1994, Dale Gieringer, a doctor working with California NORML, extrapolated the job-creating capacity of the weed industry and settled on a figure of 100,000 jobs if the drug were legalized nationally. We’ve only seen recreational pot legalized in a handful of states, and medical cannabis was only legal in half of all U.S. states heading into the November elections, yet we’re already 50 percent above Gieringer’s forecast with full legalization from a little over two decades ago.

Energy:

Labor Violations:

  • Apple Owes $2 Million for Not Giving Meal Breaks I used to work at a company in CT where they would give you a paid half hour “break” during an eight hour shift where you weren’t allowed to eat or leave your desk. When I asked if this was legal since CT requires a 30 minute meal period for any shift over 7 1/2 hours, it turns out it technically was. If an employer provided a paid 30 minute “break,” they didn’t need to provide a meal period. I’m assuming whoever drafted this exception didn’t think you would be forbidden from eating on a “break.” The company was “generous” enough to waive this policy for a diabetic coworker. The rest of us were just required to not eat for eight hours.

Poverty:

Affordable Housing:

Misinformed Citizens:

Inequality:

Quality of Life:

Worker Cooperatives:

Better Manufacturing Jobs in the US:

  • CNN Host’s Attempt to Explain the U.S. Economy Was So Bad that I Started Yelling at the TV Germany would be a great example to look to for manufacturing jobs.

    Ever Hear of Germany?

    Instead of regurgitating meaningless economic platitudes, newscasters and pundits should confront some facts about Germany’s extensive manufacturing sector.

    Fact #1: Germany uses the most advanced technologies in the world.

    Fact #2: Manufacturing workers in Germany earn much more than their U.S. counterparts: 44.7% more in textiles, 44.6% more in chemicals, 34.2% more in machine tools, and 66.9% more in the automobile industry.

    Fact #3: Manufacturing jobs make up 22% of the German workforce and account for 21% of the GDP. U.S. manufacturing jobs make up only 11% of our workforce and only 13% of our GDP.

    Fact #4: The economic gods either speak German or the Germans are doing things differently from their U.S counterparts.

    Rather than divine intervention, German manufacturing depends on producing high-quality products that are so good people the world over are willing to pay a premium for them. The most sought-after, high-end motor vehicles (Mercedes, BMW, Audi) and kitchen appliances (Bosch, Miele) are produced by German companies using highly trained, well-paid workers and the most advanced technologies.

    The German manufacturing juggernaut depends on vast investments in innovation (by their government), in research and development (by their firms), and in worker education and training (by both the government and the firms).

Jobs:

Universal Basic Income:

Helping the Homeless:

Debtors’ Prisons:

Links 12/11/16

White Collar Crime:

Many of the customers, who often had Hispanic last names, didn’t know what they had purchased and there were “a large number of similarities” between the way Wells Fargo employees opened bogus bank accounts without customers’ knowledge and the way Prudential’s “MyTerm” policies were sold by the bank, three of the insurer’s former employees said in a lawsuit filed in New Jersey state court.

Inequality:

But America isn’t nearly as comfortable with redistributing wealth as most other Western democracies — and we’re particularly averse to social spending targeted at the neediest among us.

Maybe Americans would be more comfortable if they realized how much wealth the U.S. government redistributes to the rich.

Wealth Redistribution for the Rich:

Employee Welfare:

Class System in the United States:

Income and Job Guarantees

Social Security:

2016 Election:

Links 12/10/16

Economic Mobility:

  • The Next Generation of Americans is Going to be in a Lot of Trouble “Children’s prospects of achieving the ‘American Dream’ of earning more than their parents have fallen from 90 percent to 50 percent over the past half century,” said Stanford economist Raj Chetty, co-author of the [Equality of Opportunity Project] study. “This decline has occurred throughout the parental income distribution, for children from both low and high income families.” But there’s hope:

“The fading of the American Dream is not immutable,” the [Equality of Opportunity Project] concludes. “There are cities throughout America — such as Salt Lake City and Minneapolis — where children’s chances of moving up out of poverty remain high. Cities with high levels of upward mobility tend to have five characteristics: lower levels of residential segregation, a larger middle class, stronger families, greater social capital, and higher quality public schools.

Income Inequality:

Unjustified CEO Compensation:

Poverty:

Wages:

Links 12/8/16

White Collar Crime:

Inequality and Mobility:

Wages:

Trump’s Promises to America’s Workers:

Labor:

Jobs:

Wealth Gap and Savings:

Trade:

Links 12/2/16

Inequality:

Worker’s Wages:

White Collar Crime:

America’s Future:

Populist Revolution:

Neoliberalism:

War on the Poor:

Poverty in the United States:

Links 11/30/16

Good morning! We’ve decided to make “links” a daily feature.

The mainstream media has largely abdicated its duty to focus on news that really matters to the American people. During the presidential campaign, they devoted a remarkably small amount of time to the issues. Instead, we received wall to wall coverage on emails and tweets.

There’s a market for substance. Just ask Bernie Sanders, who packed large venues while speaking nothing but policy.

Each day, we will highlight stories about the quality of life in the Great Recession. Soon, we will also start including interviews with middle class and working class Americans about their experiences.

Worker’s Jobs and Wages:

Taxes:

White Collar Crime and Plutocracy:

Health Care:

  • What Obamacare-Hating Tom Price’s Appointment Will Mean for Health Care  Twenty million people gained coverage because of the Affordable Care Act. That includes people with preexisting conditions who couldn’t get coverage before. Trump is too smart to not anticipate the uprising that will occur if they don’t get a sufficient replacement. I will say this about Price: He’s one of the few politicians who talks about repealing Obamacare but also has real replacement plans.
  • Women Could Pay More Than Men for Health Care Under Trump The majority of the country will be extremely angry if they get fleeced under Trump’s health care. Women are aware that health care companies have been charging them too much. There’s no justification for the fact that “60 percent of best-selling individual plans in 2009 charged a 40-year-old nonsmoking woman more than a 40-year-old man who smoked, even in plans that didn’t include any type of maternity coverage.”
  • Trump Pledged to Protect Medicare. His Choice for Health Secretary Has Other Ideas. I understand why people are nervous about Prince. However, his appointment does not mean Trump won’t necessarily keep his promise.

Income Inequality:

The Populist Revolution:

Enjoy! Feel free to point me towards other great articles.