Reviewing Joe Stiglitz’s new book, The Price of Inequality, Thomas Edsall pulls this quote:
America has become a country not ‘with justice for all,’ but rather with favoritism for the rich and justice for those who can afford it — so evident in the foreclosure crisis.
Read his review here.
James Henry, author of “The Price of Offshore,” interviewed by Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman:
A trillion here, a trillion there… pretty soon you’re talking real money. The London Observer reports new estimates of the world’s offshore wealth:
A global super-rich elite has exploited gaps in cross-border tax rules to hide an extraordinary £13 trillion ($21tn) of wealth offshore – as much as the American and Japanese GDPs put together – according to research commissioned by the campaign group Tax Justice Network.
Read more here.
In an essay for “Capitalism Unmasked,” Econ4′s joint project with AlterNet, Lynn Parramore writes on the new economic bondage:
This has been coming for some time. Ever since the Reagan era, from the factory to the office tower, the American workplace has been morphing for many into a tightly-managed torture chamber of exploitation and domination. Bosses strut about making stupid commands. Employees trapped by ridiculous bureaucratic procedures censor themselves for fear of getting a pink slip. Inefficiencies are everywhere. Bad management and draconian policies prop up the system of command and control where the boss is God and the workers are so many expendable units in the great capitalist machine. The iron handmaidens of high unemployment and economic inequality keep the show going.
Read her piece here.
Jerry Friedman recounts the gripping story of the greatest heist ever in the first installment of “Capitalism Unmasked,” Econ4’s joint project with AlterNet:
Elites say that we need inequality to encourage the rich to invest and the creative to invent. That’s working out well — for 1% pooches.
Read all about it here.
Nobel laureate Joe Stiglitz defines rent-seeking as “using political and economic power to get a larger share of the national pie, rather than to grow the national pie” – and he says that America today has become a rent-seeking society. Hear him interviewed here (the 7:40-8:55 interval for the rent-seeking passage), discussing on his new book, The Price of Inequality.
Check out the astonishing rise in CEO pay in the United States:
Something funny happened when millionaire Nick Hanauer’s was invited to give a TED talk on income inequality in America. He advocated higher taxes on the rich – including people like himself. Then the good people at TED decided his talk was too “political.” They decided not to post it. Here’s an excerpt from Hanauer’s non-talk:
We’ve had it backward for the last 30 years. Rich businesspeople like me don’t create jobs. Rather they are a consequence of an eco-systemic feedback loop animated by middle-class consumers, and when they thrive, businesses grow and hire, and owners profit. That’s why taxing the rich to pay for investments that benefit all is a great deal for both the middle class and the rich.
Read the full text of Hanauer’s non-talk here.
See his powerpoint slides here.
Read the backstory here.
Peter Barnes, author of Capitalism 3.0, writes for onthecommons.org:
Why don’t we pay everyone some non-labor income — you know, the kind of money that flows disproportionally to the rich? I’m not talking about redistribution here, I’m talking about paying dividends to equity owners in good old capitalist fashion. Except that the equity owners in question aren’t owners of private wealth, they’re owners of common wealth. Which is to say, all of us.
One state—Alaska—already does this. The Alaska Permanent Fund uses revenue from state oil leases to invest in stocks, bonds and similar assets, and from those investments pays equal dividends to every resident. Since 1980, these dividends have ranged from $1,000 to $2,000 per year per person, including children (meaning that they’ve reached up to $8,000 per year for households of four). It’s therefore no accident that, compared to other states, Alaska has the third highest median income and the second highest income equality.
Alaska’s model can be extended to any state or nation, whether or not they have oil. Imagine an American Permanent Fund that pays dividends to all Americans, one person, one share. A major source of revenue could be clean air, nature’s gift to us all. Polluters have been freely dumping ever-increasing amounts of gunk into our air, contributing to ill-health, acid rain and climate change. But what if we required polluters to bid for and pay for permits to pollute our air, and decreased the number of permits every year? Pollution would decrease, and as it did, pollution prices would rise. Less pollution would yield more revenue. Over time, trillions of dollars would be available for dividends.
Read his piece here.