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Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Great Divergence In Pictures: A Visual Guide To Income Inequality

In September 2010, Slate Magazine published "The United States of Inequality," a 10-part article written by Timothy Noah.

The article is still available in Slate's archives, but an infographic slideshow that accompanied the article is not. Thankfully, The Wayback Machine has a copy, and one of the slides in particular resonates just as strongly today:

A second slide illustrates one of the reasons this second Gilded Age has come to be:

Update: This chart from the Economic Policy Institute illustrates what's happened:

One small step...

As of this afternoon, this blog has received over 100,000 page views since the first post in August, 2010. It's a small step, but a noteworthy one. To our visitors, guest posters and commenters - thank you.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Spiegel Online: Has America Become an Oligarchy?

(h/t Little Green Footballs) Spiegel Online offers a look at income inequity in the US from an outside perspective:
"Differences between rich and poor are tolerated as long as the rags-to-riches story of the dishwasher-turned-millionaire remains theoretically possible. But studies show that increasing inequality and political control concentrated in the hands of the wealthy elite have drastically reduced economic mobility and that the US has long since fallen far behind Europe on this issue. Indeed, only 4 percent of less-well-off Americans ever successfully make the leap into the upper-middle class."

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Cookies






An Occupy Wall Street demonstrator, a Tea Party activist
and the CEO of a Wall Street trading firm sit down at a table
that has a plate with a dozen cookies on it.
The CEO immediately takes 11 of the cookies,
then he turns to the Tea Partier and says,
‘Watch out for that Occupy Wall Street guy.
He wants a piece of your cookie.’







Saturday, October 15, 2011

S. 1517 - A Bill to provide for the creation of jobs

A staffer from Senator Frank Lautenberg's office was kind enough to contact me to point out a bill the Senator introduced last month.

S. 1517, the "21st Century WPA Act,"

"...would launch a modern version of FDR’s Works Progress Administration (WPA) to put people back to work. It would empower the federal government to hire America’s long-term unemployed to do the work our nation needs - building roads and bridges, schools and firehouses; improving our nation’s energy efficiency; and expanding the skills of our nation’s workforce."

From a previous post, this is what FDR said about unemployment back in 1934:

"...we must make it a national principle that we will not tolerate a large army of unemployed and that we will arrange our national economy to end our present unemployment as soon as we can and then to take wise measures against its return."

The WPA was one of the tools used to combat unemployment after the Great Depression, providing almost eight million jobs between 1935 and 1943. What worked then would work now. There is a great and growing need for infrastructure investment in our country. Bills like this, as well as President Obama's American Jobs Act, would put people back to work rebuilding our nation.

Ask your Senators:

  • if they support American jobs
  • if they've co-sponsored either or both of these bills
  • if they're willing to have a debate about these bills
  • if they're willing to vote to create American jobs by voting yes for these bills.
If they say no, ask them why. Ask them to show you their plan, and explain to you why it's better than these bills. Ask them how many jobs their bill will create, and how it will help the deficit.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sept. 30, 1934, Fireside Chat, President Franklin D. Roosevelt

(h/t @muttmutt, @delong and Fred Clark)
"...we must make it a national principle that we will not tolerate a large army of unemployed and that we will arrange our national economy to end our present unemployment as soon as we can and then to take wise measures against its return."

Daily Kos: Yes, I am now a 99er

"My unemployment ran out two weeks ago. I applied for food stamps this week. I am in the process of applying for Mass Health. We are probably going to have to move as we can no longer afford our current apartment. I am at the point where I literally have almost nothing left to lose, and I am angry.

"It is my understanding that the Occupy Wall Street movement had finally arrived in the Boston area. So I guess it's time for me to join in. I can hardly wait.

"Yeah, I am angry. Actually, in some ways, angry is an inadequate word. Angry does not begin to describe how I feel right now. Angry is to what I feel as 'damp' is to being at the bottom of the Atlantic."

Read the full diary entry at Daily Kos