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.
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:
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.
Quality of Life:
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).
Universal Basic Income:
Helping the Homeless:
President-elect Trump officially announced that the U.S. will quit TPP his first day in office.
This is a huge victory for America’s workers. It’s not just because this free trade agreement likely would have increased downward pressure on wages, further reduced manufacturing jobs, and increased trade deficits.
This is a victory because TPP’s death shows the power of working class and middle class votes.
Hundreds of millions were spent by big businesses to lobby for TPP. President Obama made TPP his number one legislative priority in his last term.
None of these forces were powerful enough to overcome the will of the American people. When it became clear that no one wanted another trade deal like NAFTA, even Hillary Clinton, long a neoliberal supporter of free trade, rescinded her support. Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump also understood that they could not be viable presidential candidates if they supported trade deals that took away American jobs.
The death of TPP is only the beginning. U.S. politicians are starting to realize that they have to address the needs of the 99% if they want to keep or gain office.
Donald Trump would not be where he is today without the support of the middle and working classes. Rust Belt voters, angry with the status quo, bet that Trump would be able to bring back their jobs. These voters delivered Trump two states, Michigan and Wisconsin, that have not voted for a Republican president in decades.
These people aren’t gullible. Trump, already under pressure to start releasing some plans, falsely claimed he prevented Ford from moving a Kentucky plant to Mexico. In reality, no Ford plant in Kentucky was going to move to Mexico. One plant was going to start making one model in Mexico, but it would not have resulted in the loss of any American jobs.
If Trump thinks false claims of creating more manufacturing jobs will mollify those who voted for him, he is in for a rude awakening.
His supporters are watching. They are prepared to turn on him if he does not see his promises through.
In a tweet on the Kentucky Ford plant, Trump stated “I owed it to the great state of Kentucky for their confidence in me!”
You’re right, Mr. Trump. You do owe the voters. You owe them and they are ready to collect.