The Hiroshima-Nagasaki Commemoration Committee is hosting its latest FILM & SOCIAL CONSCIOUSNESS DVD SERIES. The theme is MAN & WOMAN AGAINST THE MACHINE. The third film in the series is THE WOBBLIES [
The award-winning film by Deborah Shaffer and Stewart Bird looks at the Industrial Workers of the World from its founding until its heyday during World War I. Its members, nicknamed the Wobblies, traveled from coast to coast with "Solidarity" as their slogan and the goal of organizing unskilled workers into "One Big
Union." Using interviews with surviving Wobblies, photos, songs, cartoons, and some rare and startling film footage of the period, directors Bird and Shaffer saved that vision from oblivion.
Doors open at 7 PM, and the DVD starts at 7
November 17, 2010
A ? Hedge Fund Republic
My point was that the wealthiest plutocrats now actually control a greater share of the pie in the
You see, some Latin Americans were indignant at what they saw as an invidious and hurtful comparison. The truth is that Latin America has matured and become more equal in recent decades, even as the distribution in the
The best data series I could find is for Argentina. In the 1940s, the top 1 percent there controlled more than 20 percent of incomes. That was roughly double the share at that time in the
Since then, we’ve reversed places. The share controlled by the top 1 percent in
At a time of such stunning inequality, should Congress put priority on spending $700 billion on extending the Bush tax cuts to those with incomes above $250,000 a year? Or should it extend unemployment benefits for Americans who otherwise will lose them beginning next month?
One way to examine that decision is to put aside all ethical considerations and simply look at where tax dollars will do more to stimulate the economy. There the conclusion is clear
In contrast, tax cuts for the wealthy are partly saved — that’s both basic economic theory and recent history — so they are much less effective in creating jobs. For example, Republicans would give the richest 0.1 percent of Americans an average tax cut of $370,000. Does anybody really think that those taxpayers are going to rush out and buy Porsches and yachts, start new businesses, and hire more groundskeepers and chauffeurs?
In contrast, a study commissioned by the Labor Department during the Bush administration makes clear the job-creation power of unemployment benefits because that money is immediately spent. The study suggested that the current recession would have been 18 percent worse without unemployment insurance and that this spending preserved 1.6 million jobs in each quarter.
But there is also a larger question
Oops! That’s already us. The top 1 percent of Americans owns 34 percent of
That also means that the top 10 percent controls more than 70 percent of Americans’ total net worth.
Emmanuel Saez, an economist at the University of California at Berkeley who is one of the world’s leading experts on inequality, notes that for most of American history, income distribution was significantly more equal than today. And other capitalist countries do not suffer disparities as great as ours.
“There has been an increase in inequality in most industrialized countries, but not as extreme as in the
I’m appalled by our growing wealth gaps because in my travels I see what happens in dysfunctional countries where the rich just don’t care about those below the decks. The result is nations without a social fabric or sense of national unity. Huge concentrations of wealth corrode the soul of any nation.
And then I see members of Congress in my own country who argue that it would be financially reckless to extend unemployment benefits during a terrible recession, yet they insist on granting $370,000 tax breaks to the richest Americans. I don’t know if that makes us a banana republic or a hedge fund republic, but it’s not healthy in any republic.
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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs