None Dare Call It Privatization

Dispatch from a high-powered conference spelling out a new strategy for raiding the commons, be wary of public-private partnership-the new code words for corporate giveaways by Tom Tresser On The Commons, July 28, 2011 At the Hyatt Lodge Hotel on the McDonald’s corporate campus in Oak Brook, Illinois, June 24, the other wingtip dropped. It happened at a conference called “It’s Not Privatization: Implementing Partnerships in Illinois”, ... Read more

CEOs to Workers: More for Me, Less for You

“Reductions in wages and benefits explain the majority of the net improvement in [profit] margins . . . US labor compensation is now at a 50-year low relative to both company sales and US GDP,” JP Morgan investor newsletter. By Holly Sklar Common Dreams, July 25, 2011 Big company CEOs got a 23 percent raise last year and corporate profits are at record highs. But the minimum wage has less buying power now than in 1956 – the year Elvis ... Read more

The Tax Burden of the Very Rich

When there is an income tax, the just man will pay more and the unjust less on the same amount of income. — Plato, The Republic By Christopher Brauchli Common Dreams, July 23, 2011 The purpose of this piece is to identify for readers how an unjust tax system treats the very wealthy. Once that is understood it is easy to understand Senator Orin Hatch’s recent comments. In a little noted speech the Senator said that the poor need to “share ... Read more

Will the Ceiling Fall In? Disastrous Outcomes From an Orchestrated Crisis

By Paul Craig Roberts Counterpunch, July 29, 2011 With the world concerned about US financial credibility and the poor outlook for the US economy, now is not the time for the Republicans to grandstand on the public debt. The debt ceiling needed to be quietly raised.  Instead, the Republicans started a fire and then threw gasoline on it, creating an inferno that could burn up the US social safety net or the US Treasury’s credit rating and the ... Read more

Data Shows All of Earth’s Systems in Rapid Decline

By Stephen Leahy IPS, July 30, 2011 UXBRIDGE, Canada, Jul 29, 2011 (IPS) – Protecting bits of nature here and there will not prevent humanity from losing our life support system. Even if areas dedicated to conserving plants, animals, and other species that provide Earth’s life support system increased tenfold, it would not be enough without dealing with the big issues of the 21st century: population, overconsumption and ... Read more

U.S. Economy Slowed Sharply in First Half of 2011

Sluggish second quarter follows near stagnant first. By Peter Fulham Slate July 29, 2011   The U.S. economy suffered another quarter of sluggish economic growth from April to June, growing a mere 1.3 percent, according to a Commerce Department report released Friday. The numbers present the latest sign that high gas prices, high unemployment and meager income gains this year continue to slow down growth. The disappointing report also ... Read more

The Forgotten Legacy of the Excess Profits Tax

By Phil Mattera Dirt Diggers, Digest, July 21, 2011 Behind all the ideological posturing going on in Washington over the debt ceiling, there is a surprising amount of consensus on the wrongheaded proposition that corporations need more tax relief. The bipartisan Gang of Six plan that has recently been at the center of attention provides for the reduction of the statutory corporate tax rate from 35 percent down to as low as 23 percent. It ... Read more

The Weird Battle Over the Debt Ceiling

Washington, DC is Exaggerating Debt Issue to Push an Agenda to Please Campaign Contributors and Hide the Real Causes of Debt By Dean Baker Al Jazeera, July 28. 2011 Policy debates in Washington are moving ever further from reality as a small elite is moving to strip benefits that the vast majority need and support. The battle over raising the debt ceiling is playing a central role in this effort. The United States is currently running ... Read more

Where Did the Debt Come From, History of Debt and Debt Ceiling, Bond Rating and Debt

71% of national debt happened during GOP presidencies; 28% under Dem presidents By John Aravosis America’s Blog, July 28, 2011 GOP Presidents     Dem Presidents $9.5 trillion            $3.8 trillion Total debt is $14.3 trillion. $1 trillion of debt comes from before Reagan (NYT doesn’t make clear who created that debt). $13.3 trillion accumulated from Reagan to Obama. 71% of the $13.3 trillion was under GOP presidents. 28% of ... Read more

The 6 Biggest Lies About the U.S. Debt

As Congress nears a vote on the various debt ceiling deals, let’s look at the lies and misinformation that got us into this mess. By Arun Gupta AlterNet, July 28, 2011 There is one simple truth about the discussion of the looming U.S. debt crisis: it is largely a compendium of half-truths, distortions, myths and outright lies. For example, is it true that the U.S. debt is unsustainable, which is spurring the budget-cutting fever? Far ... Read more