Tag Archives: Economic Inequality

Income Inequity Is a Choice

Income Inequity Is a Choice
As the U.S. celebrates its 238th anniversary this week, during a year in which income inequality reached heights not seen in almost a century, now is as good a time as any to ask whether American democracy and its winner-take-all capitalistic system are compatible or need to part ways. It’s particularly important given the fact that people of color disproportionately suffer the negative consequences of the nation’s economic inequities even ... Read more

Debt Refusal Essential to Rebuilding Popular Democracy

Debt Refusal Essential to Rebuilding Popular Democracy
Ultimately Ross’s call for debt resistance is about energizing democracy, since debt stifles “our capacity to think freely, act conscientiously, and fulfill our democratic responsibilities.” Because debt limits democratic participation and decision-making, “economic disobedience is justified as a protective deed on behalf of democracy.” Although it has material effects, debt resistance, then, also functions symbolically, providing an image ... Read more

Short-term Thinking, Profits on Wall Street; Pain on Main Street

Short-term Thinking, Profits on Wall Street; Pain on Main Street
What’s bad for Main Street and good for Wall Street in the short term is bad for both in the long term. The American economy is at a crawl. Median household incomes are dropping. The American middle class doesn’t have the purchasing power to keep the economy going. And as companies focus ever more on short-term share prices at the expense of long-term growth, we’re in for years of sluggish performance. When, if ever, will Wall Street learn? Read more

Who’s Really To Blame for Unemployment?

Who’s Really To Blame for Unemployment?
Guided by the mythology of the “American dream”—the idea that, given the opportunity, the deserving will excel and rise above their peers—politicians often attribute unemployment to a mystical “skills gap.” If people can’t find a job, the logic goes, they clearly weren’t fit to be hired. As a consequence, many legislators tout specialized training programs or education reforms as possible solutions to America’s seemingly intractable jobs ... Read more

Barclays Bonuses Rise to Nearly $4 Billion

Barclays Bonuses Rise to Nearly $4 Billion
Amidst an avalanche of Wall Street banks paying fines (instead of being criminally prosecuted by the Department of Justice) for fraud, Barclays is giving out billions of dollars in extra compensation to senior financial staff. Most working people are lucky to get a $50 bonus at the end of the year. But most people don't work on Wall Street where the corporate culture rewards individuals who encourage pushing at the edge of the legal ... Read more

The Real Illness Plaguing U.S. Healthcare: Inequality

The Real Illness Plaguing U.S. Healthcare: Inequality
Making sure everyone has a chance to rise to a level of well-being where their basic needs are taken care of is a laudable, and practical, dream for Americans. But a system that targets the assets of the poor for liquidation and provides care pegged to one’s income level is a system dedicated to reproducing inequality. If we are going to be honest with ourselves we would have to admit that the fault for this current situation lies not in ... Read more

What Would You Do If You Had Political Power?

What Would You Do If You Had Political Power?
We're continuing our series of interviews with Gar Alperovitz about what's next. What might a new economy look like? And in this segment of the interview we're going to ask Gar a question which we're going to be trying to answer over the next few years: what would you do if you ran Baltimore? What would you do if you ran Maryland? Read more

Nearly Half of Americans Living Paycheck to Paycheck

Nearly Half of Americans Living Paycheck to Paycheck
Nearly half of all people in the United States face "persistent financial insecurity" and are forced to live paycheck to paycheck without the savings necessary to weather them through life problems that can be unavoidable — like a medical emergency or a broken car. So finds the 2014 Assets and Opportunities Scorecard released Thursday by the Corporation for Enterprise Development. According to the report, 44 percent of people in the United ... Read more

Capitalism in Long Term Stagnation and Decay

Capitalism in Long Term Stagnation and Decay
Well, there's lots of reasons why the economy is in trouble. I mean, the most obvious one is that when you concentrate all the income at the top, people don't buy. They can't buy enough. They can invest it or they can put it under the mattress or they can put it in stock speculation, but they've got a house, they've got two houses, three cars--they can't purchase enough. The Keynesian idea is to stimulate the economy. So that's the same--you ... Read more