Income Inequality

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Addie
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Re: Income Inequality

#101

Post by Addie » Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:43 am

The Guardian OpEd
America once fought a war against poverty – now it wages a war on the poor

After the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign declared silence was betrayal, we are coming together to stand up to the public policy violence that is ravaging our society ...

While our nation once fought a war against poverty, now we wage a war on the poor. The richest 1% in our country own more wealth than the bottom 90% combined, tightening their grip on political power to shape labor, tax, healthcare and campaign finance policies that benefit the few at the expense of the many. A full 60% more Americans now live below the official poverty line than in 1968, and 43% of all American children live below the minimum income level considered necessary to meet basic family needs.

In the last eight years alone, 23 states have passed voter suppression laws – gutting the Voting Rights Act civil rights leaders helped secure more than a half century ago. This is the true hacking of our democracy, allowing people to win office who deny healthcare, living wages, cut necessary social programs and push policies that promote mass incarceration, hurt immigrants and devastate our environment.

These racist laws hurt not just people of color, but poor whites whose lives are upended by the politicians put in office by the violent extremism that is voter suppression.

Coretta Scott King would call all of this violence. She’d say that violence isn’t just killing people with guns, but denying them living wages, allowing them to live in ghetto housing. We rightfully get in the streets and protest when the police shoot unarmed black men, but we must also stand up to the public policy violence that is ravaging our society. We must no longer allow attention to violence to keep the poor, people of color and other disenfranchised people down.

People are poor not because they are lazy, not because they are unwilling to work hard, but because politicians have blocked living wages and healthcare and undermined union rights and wage increases. Our nation’s moral narrative is shaped by Christian nationalists whose claims run contrary to calls in the Scripture, which is very clear that we need to care for the poor, immigrants and the least among us.


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TollandRCR
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Re: Income Inequality

#102

Post by TollandRCR » Sat Apr 21, 2018 10:35 pm

The Center for American Progress ha released a study that urges Democrats to run on progressive economic policies in 2018 and 2020. "The working-class push for progressive economic policies" by Alex Rowell and David Madland. This should be the party's theme.

What policies receive support from many kinds of Americans? Increasing the minimum wage. Equal pay legislation. Broadening access to paid leave. Make college more affordable. Expand access to health care and retirement benefits. Regulate banks. Institute higher taxes on the wealthy.

This kind of agenda gets support more of less across the board. It should, because what people are asking is that they want the economy to work better for them. Success would even begin to turn back our developing-world levels of income inequality.


“The truth is, we know so little about life, we don’t really know what the good news is and what the bad news is.” Kurt Vonnegut

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Re: Income Inequality

#103

Post by Addie » Thu May 17, 2018 2:53 pm

CNN
Almost half of US families can't afford basics like rent and food

The economy may be chugging along, but many Americans are still struggling to afford a basic middle class life.

Nearly 51 million households don't earn enough to afford a monthly budget that includes housing, food, child care, health care, transportation and a cell phone, according to a study released Thursday by the United Way ALICE Project. That's 43% of households in the United States.

The figure includes the 16.1 million households living in poverty, as well as the 34.7 million families that the United Way has dubbed ALICE -- Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. This group makes less than what's needed "to survive in the modern economy." ...

California, New Mexico and Hawaii have the largest share of struggling families, at 49% each. North Dakota has the lowest at 32%.

Many of these folks are the nation's child care workers, home health aides, office assistants and store clerks, who work low-paying jobs and have little savings, the study noted. Some 66% of jobs in the US pay less than $20 an hour.


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Re: Income Inequality

#104

Post by Addie » Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:29 pm

Think Progress
U.S. leading the developed world in income and wealth inequality, UN report finds

Friday's report blames the Trump administration for policies that actively increase poverty and inequality.


A scathing new United Nations report has found that the United States is leading the developed world in income and wealth inequality, laying explicit blame with the Trump administration for policies that actively increase poverty and inequality in the country.

Friday’s report, which will be presented to the U.N. Human Rights Council on June 21, is the result of U.N. special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights Philip Alston’s 10-day tour of the United States last year, when he investigated whether economic security in the country undermines human rights.

The report found that the United States “is now moving full steam ahead to make itself even more unequal,” citing the $1.5 trillion in tax cuts passed in December 2017, which “overwhelmingly benefited the wealthy and worsened inequality.”

“The consequences of neglecting poverty and promoting inequality are clear,” the report concludes. “The policies pursued over the past year seem deliberately designed to remove basic protections from the poorest, punish those who are not in employment and make even basic health care into a privilege to be earned rather than a right of citizenship.”

In December, Alston visited seven locations throughout the country — ranging from Los Angeles’ Skid Row neighborhood to rural Alabama, West Virginia, and Puerto Rico — to meet with people experiencing deep poverty, along with experts and civil society groups.
Adding:
Reuters: U.N. Expert: America's Poor Becoming More destitute Under Trump


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Re: Income Inequality

#105

Post by Addie » Wed Jul 04, 2018 2:53 pm

WaPo
Is it great to be a worker in the U.S.? Not compared with the rest of the developed world. ...

So why does a large subset of workers continue to feel left behind? We can find some clues in a new 296-page report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a club of advanced and advancing nations that has long been a top source for international economic data and research. Most of the figures are from 2016 or before, but they reflect underlying features of the economies analyzed that continue today.

In particular, the report shows the United States’s unemployed and at-risk workers are getting very little support from the government, and their employed peers are set back by a particularly weak collective-bargaining system.

Those factors have contributed to the United States having a higher level of income inequality and a larger share of low-income residents than almost any other advanced nation. Only Spain and Greece, whose economies have been ravaged by the euro-zone crisis, have more households earning less than half the nation’s median income — an indicator that unusually large numbers of people either are poor or close to being poor.



Joblessness may be low in the United States and employers may be hungry for new hires, but it’s also strikingly easy to lose a job here. An average of 1 in 5 employees lose or leave their jobs each year, and 23.3 percent of workers ages 15 to 64 had been in their job for a year or less in 2016 — higher than all but a handful of countries in the study.


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AndyinPA
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Re: Income Inequality

#106

Post by AndyinPA » Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:40 pm

And when they lose their jobs here, there's very little governmental support or much of a safety net left for them. :crying:



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Re: Income Inequality

#107

Post by Addie » Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:17 am

Slate
Goldman Sachs Warns That Rising Wages Could Cut Into Corporate Profits. The Horror!

Corporate executives and Wall Street types come up with all sorts of reasons why it’s supposedly dangerous to let the unemployment rate drop too low. They talk about how the economy might “overheat,” leading to a dreaded bout of inflation. They may talk about “worker shortages” that make it hard to find the right talent.

But in the end, most of this is just verbiage meant to skirt the real concern: Companies are worried that if unemployment falls far enough, they’ll have to pay workers more, and that will cut into their profits. With the official jobless rate at 4 percent, that’s already beginning to happen at some companies, the Wall Street Journal reports today. Ten percent of companies in the S&P 500 have claimed that higher wages hurt their earnings in the first quarter, it notes. Goldman Sachs is predicting that “every percentage-point increase in labor-cost inflation will drag down earnings of companies in the S&P 500 by 0.8%.” ...

Corporate executives and Wall Street types come up with all sorts of reasons why it’s supposedly dangerous to let the unemployment rate drop too low. They talk about how the economy might “overheat,” leading to a dreaded bout of inflation. They may talk about “worker shortages” that make it hard to find the right talent.

But in the end, most of this is just verbiage meant to skirt the real concern: Companies are worried that if unemployment falls far enough, they’ll have to pay workers more, and that will cut into their profits. With the official jobless rate at 4 percent, that’s already beginning to happen at some companies, the Wall Street Journal reports today. Ten percent of companies in the S&P 500 have claimed that higher wages hurt their earnings in the first quarter, it notes. Goldman Sachs is predicting that “every percentage-point increase in labor-cost inflation will drag down earnings of companies in the S&P 500 by 0.8%.” ...



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Re: Income Inequality

#108

Post by Addie » Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:57 pm

Economist
As inequality grows, so does the political influence of the rich

Concentrated wealth leads to concentrated power


SQUEEZING the top 1% ought to be the most natural thing in the world for politicians seeking to please the masses. Yet, with few exceptions, today’s populist insurgents are more concerned with immigration and sovereignty than with the top rate of income tax. This disconnect may be more than an oddity. It may be a sign of the corrupting influence of inequality on democracy.

You might reasonably suppose that the more democratic a country’s institutions, the less inequality it should support. Rising inequality means that resources are concentrated in the hands of a few; they should be ever more easily outvoted by the majority who are left with a shrinking share of national income. ...

One possible reason for this disconnect is that people do not care much about inequality, or want their politicians to do anything about it. The results of surveys suggest otherwise, however. When asked by pollsters, more than two-thirds of Americans and Europeans express concern about current levels of inequality. Alternatively, the creaky wheels of Western democracies might have become too jammed to make progress on any issue of substance, whether inequality or some other persistent problem.

But this answer is also unsatisfying. The rich world has seen big policy shifts over the past decade. Last year America’s government managed to make a sweeping change to taxes—one that tilts the distribution of income even more in favour of the rich. And in a recent study of European politics, Derek Epp and Enrico Borghetto find that political agendas in Europe have become less focused on redistribution even as inequality has risen. Though both inequality and public concern about it are increasing, politicians seem less interested in grappling with the problem.


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Re: Income Inequality

#109

Post by Addie » Thu Jul 19, 2018 6:41 pm

CNBC
US income inequality continues to grow

In 2015, the top 1 percent of families in the United States made more than 25 times what families in the bottom 99 percent did, according to a paper from the Economic Policy Institute.

This trend, which has picked up post Great Recession, is a reversal of what was seen during and after the Great Depression, where the gap between rich and poor narrowed.

“Rising inequality affects virtually every part of the country, not just large urban areas or financial centers,” said co-author Estelle Sommeiller.


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TollandRCR
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Re: Income Inequality

#110

Post by TollandRCR » Thu Jul 19, 2018 6:57 pm

People are being fed the lie that wealth trickles down. Democrats need to show that this is a lie.


“The truth is, we know so little about life, we don’t really know what the good news is and what the bad news is.” Kurt Vonnegut

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RVInit
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Re: Income Inequality

#111

Post by RVInit » Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:50 pm

TollandRCR wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 6:57 pm
People are being fed the lie that wealth trickles down. Democrats need to show that this is a lie.
We need prominent billboards all over the place, where people see the same pointed messages over and over again. Well organized and easy to digest. Repetition is the key.

I'm sure others can come up with something better, but something along the lines of...

"Huge tax cuts for the wealthy not working out for you yet? Trickle down economics...is a MYTH".

Or just

"Trickle down economics...is a MYTH".


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