This week House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi stated that the historic profits recently made by Wall Street demand that our nation increase the minimum wage to at least $10.10 an hour. The California Democrat explained that these enormous corporate financial gains have not translated into higher wages for most workers, and millions of working families are facing severe hardships as they continue to struggle.
It seems like every month the number of people who are unemployed, or in need of food stamps soars to record new levels, while corporate profits continue to skyrocket. Attempting to describe the gargantuan disparity in wealth that exists in the United States is increasingly difficult. Currently 1% of our population now possess 40% of our nation’s wealth, while the bottom 80% of us own just a scant 7%.
Jon Stewart spoke with Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz about how the extreme concentration of wealth in the hands of a few plutocrats is destroying the very principles upon which our country was founded:
“It seems like people are not angry at wealth or success, they get frustrated by what appears to be an entirely different set of rules put in place by the wealthy, who then say: ‘Hey man, I’m just playing by the rules’, as though those rules were an arbitrary design of the free market.”
The sweltering dog days of summer are upon us, and canines seem to have even invaded the presidential campaign. Dogs Against Romney released this hilarious image of some furry creatures enthusiastically searching for Mitt Romney’s elusive tax returns. The political group was created in response to Romney tying the family’s Irish Setter to the roof of their car for the duration of a twelve-hour international road trip.
A new report has been published which compiles detailed information about the enormous amount of money that is being hidden by billionaires in offshore accounts. The research, The Price of Offshore Revisited, shows that over 21 trillion dollars, more than the total combined GDPs of both the United States and Japan, are being sequestered out of sight into the legally murky offshore economy. The super elite are using every available resource to exploit loopholes in cross-border tax rules to avoid paying their fair share.
Paul Krugman, the Nobel prize winning economist and author of the new book, End This Depression Now!, spoke with Rachel Maddow about the direct correlation between expanding income inequality and the increasingly divisive political polarization present in the United States. The wealth disparity between the rich and poor has been historically shown to greatly increase just prior to a severe economic crisis, as it did before the Great Depression; and the wealth gap in our country has never been as extreme as it is right now.
The United States is becoming an increasingly severely stratified plutocracy. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities just released a new study proving that the richest 1% are continuing to amass greater and greater amounts of wealth, while the rest of the population is still struggling financially.
This week Michigan Representative Hansen Clarke introduced the Student Loan Forgiveness Act, HR4170, into Congress. Hansen’s proposed bill will allow for all student loans to be forgiven if the borrower can make payments equivalent to 10% of their discretionary income for 10 years. After that point in time, the entire remaining balance of their federal student loan debt would then be expunged.
This wealth distribution map graphic hit me in the gut this morning. It clearly conveys visually how much is owned by so few. The simple map really helps one to grasp just how monumentally distorted our resource inequality problem is.
I am so sick of people toying with language, calling what has been happening economically a “recession”. It is time that we all stop claiming that somehow we are not in the midst of the most massive global economic implosion in the history of our nation. It’s more than a “great” depression, it is absolutely epic.
Stop blaming yourself if you feel exhausted and overworked, because you are. If it seems like for years you have been laboring more hours and making less money, struggling more just to get by, it is indeed true. Even though U.S. citizens on average are now working more hours with much greater productivity, our wages remain stagnant. If we are lucky enough to even have a job in this dire economy, we are told to be grateful and industrious, and not to complain about the increasingly small pittance we are now earning.
It is difficult to comprehend just how rich the plutocracy in the United States has now become. The distribution of wealth and resources in this nation is even more extreme and inequitable than what we are all earning for our wages (if you are fortunate enough to actually even have a job). According to new research released by the Economic Policy Institute,”The State of Working America’s Wealth”, the volatility and turmoil in our economy continues to increase, as the massive chasm between the grotesquely rich and everyone else grows even more immense.
The greater the disparity in wealth between the very rich and everyone else, the more unstable an economy becomes. Our nation has now created a larger gap in the distribution of wealth than the massive chasm that helped fuel the Great Depression.