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Posts Tagged ‘Joseph Stiglitz’

rest-in-peace

On May 17 2016 the Richmond Times Dispatch posted the above obituary. No doubt these were the sentiments of Mary Noland and her family.

What choice do we have?

We have Hillary Clinton on one side. She was for the massive income redistribution scam known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and for fracking. We know from leaked emails she told Wall Street executives she was for “free trade and open borders.” Those are code words for accelerated exporting of jobs and pushing US wages lower. Then Bernie Sanders entered the Democratic primary. Since then Hillary has said she’s against the TPP and fracking, but she has already stacked the deck in favor of Wall Street, the TPP and fracking, and she’s not even president yet.

Everybody opposed to fracking and the TPP should be alarmed at the choices she’s making, and her sincerity should be seriously questioned, especially since she has lied many times before.

She chose Tim Kaine to be her running mate. Kaine voiced support for the TPP two days before Hillary chose him. Now he claims he’s against it.

And now she has named former Colorado Democratic Senator and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to be the chair of her presidential transition team — the group tasked with helping set up the new administration should she win in November. That includes identifying, selecting, and vetting candidates for over 4,000 presidential appointments.

Wall Street and other corporate CEO’s are drooling at her two choices. Kaine and Salazar demonstrate a complete lack of sincerity in her opposition to the TPP and fracking. If she is elected president, expect her to push the TPP and redistribute massive amounts of income from the 99 to the 1 percent, especially by exporting jobs.

Now if she wanted to represent the people of the US, and not just the super rich ones, Clinton would chose Joseph Stiglitz as Treasury Secretary. That would alleviate some anxiety on the part of labor union members and leaders about her sincerity, but that’s not going to happen.

Then we’ve got Donald Trump. He says and does anything like he’s a contestant on a reality television show. He’s got zero political experience. He’s gone bankrupt on four occasions. He’s got two feet that must be terribly swollen because of all the times he’s stuck them in his mouth in just the last twelve months.

The Republican Establishment is against him, as are the Koch Brothers. The corporate media is also against him.

My girlfriend is from Iran. Her brother lives there. He says the people of Iran are laughing at us because of our presidential choices. No doubt much of the rest of the world is also. Is this the best we’ve got?

Where have you gone Harry Truman? We need you. Where is an Eisenhower? A JFK? We sorely miss you Franklin Roosevelt! We miss you too Jimmy Carter! I’d give anything to have Gerald Ford or Bob Dole running for president in 2016! Even Lyndon Johnson of the Vietnam quagmire, Ronald Reagan of numerous scandals, and Richard Nixon of Watergate are preferable to the choices we have today.

Are you listening Elizabeth Warren, Sharrod Brown or Jeff Merkley?

Bernie! Can you still run as an independent?

Click here for Mary Noland’s obituary in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

 

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It’s the hollowing out of the U.S. economy by the super rich as they destroy the middle class, and leave nothing but anti-American economic and political inequality in its wake. The haves are getting more, the have nots are getting less. And the middle class is vanishing.

“Between 2000 and 2013, every single state in the United States saw its share of middle-class families shrink, according to analysis from the Pew Charitable Trusts. In some states like Wisconsin and Ohio, that number fell by more than 5 percentage points; middle-income families now make up less than half of those states’ populations.” The income of the middle class has been redistributed to the 1 percent via free trade treaties, in which middle class jobs are exported to lower wage nations, thanks to Wall Street senators like Ron Wyden, Orrin Hatch and Mitch McConnell, and the difference between the old wages and the new lower wages goes into the pockets of the super rich via higher corporate profits, increased dividends, and soaring share prices.

That means the rich get richer in income and wealth via these income redistribution treaties that are falsely labeled free trade agreements. Income is money coming in, and wealth are things that one owns, like stocks, bonds, and houses.

The 1 percent have seen their share of income grow from 8 percent in 1980 to 21 percent in 2008 to 37 percent in 2015. The US most recent economic expansion is the weakest in job growth and wage increases in US history because the demand for goods and services has been crimped by this massive political campaign to redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent, and this is the definition of class warfare. The middle class simply does not have the cash to power the economy like in the old days because the middle class has less of it. The rich have stolen the jobs and cash of the middle class.

It’s not a new narrative but the modern story of inequality goes much deeper than stagnant wage growth. It’s inequality of opportunity as well. It’s something Nobel-prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz has studied and written about a great deal. You can read more on what he thinks has brought about this inequality in the story below. He’s correct to my point of view on all points, but he doesn’t mention the big culprit, free trade agreements.

Free trade agreements are arguably the biggest factor in the growth of income inequality in the United States.

Check out Stiglitz his argument by clicking of the link below.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/nobel-prize-winner-stiglitz—three-steps-to-solving-income-inequality-153834471.html

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I’ve been telling people for the longest of times that markets of supply and demand play no role in the burgeoning inequality as the US government continues to pass legislation that redistributes income from the 99 to the 1 percent. Buying politicians and legislation in the political markets, such as Wall Street’s purchase of Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden, is the classic move in redistributing income from the 99 to the 1 percent. Free trade treaties pave the way for corporate America to ship the jobs of hard working Americans overseas, and the difference between the old higher wages here and the new lower wages there go into the pockets of the super wealthy. That’s why free trade is an income redistribution scam, and is supported 100 percent of the time by Ron Wyden, President Obama, as well as Wall Street Senators Mitch McConnell and Orrin Hatch.

A couple of weeks ago, Nobel Prize Economist wrote the following:

From op-ed of the New York Times

“An insidious trend has developed over this past third of a century. A country that experienced shared growth after World War II began to tear apart, so much so that when the Great Recession hit in late 2007, one could no longer ignore the fissures that had come to define the American economic landscape. How did this “shining city on a hill” become the advanced country with the greatest level of inequality?

One stream of the extraordinary discussion set in motion by Thomas Piketty’s timely, important book, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” has settled on the idea that violent extremes of wealth and income are inherent to capitalism. In this scheme, we should view the decades after World War II — a period of rapidly falling inequality — as an aberration.

This is actually a superficial reading of Mr. Piketty’s work, which provides an institutional context for understanding the deepening of inequality over time. Unfortunately, that part of his analysis received somewhat less attention than the more fatalistic-seeming aspects.

Over the past year and a half, The Great Divide, a series in The New York Times for which I have served as moderator, has also presented a wide range of examples that undermine the notion that there are any truly fundamental laws of capitalism. The dynamics of the imperial capitalism of the 19th century needn’t apply in the democracies of the 21st. We don’t need to have this much inequality in America.

Our current brand of capitalism is an ersatz capitalism. For proof of this go back to our response to the Great Recession, where we socialized losses, even as we privatized gains. Perfect competition should drive profits to zero, at least theoretically, but we have monopolies and oligopolies making persistently high profits. C.E.O.s enjoy incomes that are on average 295 times that of the typical worker, a much higher ratio than in the past, without any evidence of a proportionate increase in productivity.

If it is not the inexorable laws of economics that have led to America’s great divide, what is it? The straightforward answer: our policies and our politics. People get tired of hearing about Scandinavian success stories, but the fact of the matter is that Sweden, Finland and Norway have all succeeded in having about as much or faster growth in per capita incomes than the United States and with far greater equality.

So why has America chosen these inequality-enhancing policies? Part of the answer is that as World War II faded into memory, so too did the solidarity it had engendered. As America triumphed in the Cold War, there didn’t seem to be a viable competitor to our economic model. Without this international competition, we no longer had to show that our system could deliver for most of our citizens.

For the rest of the story, click on the link below. One thing Stigletz does not touch on, however, is that the tax cuts for the rich unleashed a tremendous ability to purchase politicians on a level not seen since the 1880’s.

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/06/27/inequality-is-not-inevitable/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=1&

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The following is taken from a transcript of Joseph Stiglitz’s remarks to the AFL-CIO convention in Los Angeles on September 8, 2013, which is shown in the video above. He has a lot more to say in the film than just what’s below. And there are some things he doesn’t say. While Stiglitz rails against inequality, lot of Democrats, such as Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden, have a 100 percent record of voting to increase inequality, by voting for income redistribution scams like free trade treaties, weakening Wall Street regulations, and privatization scams.

“I’m an economist — I study how economies work and don’t work. It’s been clear to me that our economy has been sick for a long time. One of the reasons it’s been so sick is inequality and I decided to write an article and a book about it.

Two years ago, I wrote an article for Vanity Fair called, “Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%,” which really got to the gist of it. For too long, the hardworking and rule-abiding had seen their paychecks shrink or stay the same, while the rule-breakers raked in huge profits and wealth. It made our economy sick and our politics sick, too.

You all know the facts: while the productivity of America’s workers has soared, wages have stagnated. You’ve worked hard — since 1979, your output per hour has increased 40 percent, but pay has barely increased. Meanwhile, the top 1 percent take home more than 20 percent of the national income.

We have become the advanced country with the highest level of inequality, with the greatest divide between the rich and the poor. We use to pride ourselves — we were the country in which everyone was middle class. Now that middle class is shrinking and suffering.

The Great Recession made things worse. Some say that the recession ended in 2009. But for most Americans, that’s simply wrong: 95 percent of the gains from 2009 to 2012 went to the upper 1 percent. The rest — the 99 percent — never really recovered.”

Now check out the video for more of what Professor Stiglitz has to say about inequality and how it is destroying our economy and our democracy.

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