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Posts Tagged ‘poverty’

Groups in the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) are opposed to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) because past similar deals have caused crippling poverty in many countries. Within six years after the implementation of NAFTA, for example, wages in Mexico dropped nearly thirty percent, unemployment shot up, and drove millions of people illegally into the United States, helping to depress wages there. The TPP will do exactly the same.

“The current trade negotiations for TPP would not be an exception to this. In these deals, the U.S. government is de-emphasizing labor and human rights, while lifting up corporate rights through Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions, meaning extra-legal tribunals where corporations may pursue claims of lost profits,” said FIRM spokesperson Kica Matos.

“Like NAFTA and other trade agreements, TPP risks offshoring millions of jobs overseas forcing more and more people to lose their livelihood here and in other countries,” added Matos. “If TPP is passed, it could not only undermine work opportunities and protections for workers here and abroad, but it could also dramatically increase the number of economic refugees to this country. Millions could be subjected to poverty and will inevitably be forced to leave to seek opportunity elsewhere, risking their lives coming to the U.S. only to face our broken immigration system.”

“Worse yet, the Administration wants to “fast track” a vote on new trade agreements. Instead, we should fast track an immigration bill. We should fast track a jobs bill, unemployment benefits, climate change legislation, and voting rights. We must fast track solutions for children who have been forced to migrate and arrive at our border,” Matos said.

Among the groups that have signed the statement are CASA, Center for Community Change, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), Michigan United, Promise Arizona, One America, Workers’ Defense Project, Alliance for a Just Society, Voces de la Frontera, and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.

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Pope Francis: “The Powerful Feed Upon the Poor”

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By Matt Bruenig, Demos

21 October 14

Some people think of poor people as a small, especially degenerate class of people. I and others have tried to push back against this understanding by pointing out, among other things, that 60% of poor people are children, elderly, disabled, or students, that poverty rates differ significantly across the life cycle (with the oldest, non-elderly workers having about half the poverty rate of the youngest), and that the ranks of the poor are much more fluid than many imagine. In this post, I raise another issue with this understanding, which is that it puts too much weight on the poverty line and ignores the number of people who are near poverty but not in it.

Click on the link below for the rest of the story.

One Third of Americans Now Living in Poverty–Readersupportednews.com

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Elizabeth Warren was once a Reagan Republican; nowadays the US senator is a progressive. Being a progressive means standing up for American citizens, and standing up to the big money of the Koch Brothers, Big Oil, Wall Street and other organizations and members of the 1 percent that want to crush the American dream and destroy any representation in government of the 99 percent.

On Friday, at the Netroots convention, the senator outline her eleven political values:

“We believe that Wall Street needs stronger rules and tougher enforcement, and we’re willing to fight for it.”

– “We believe in science, and that means that we have a responsibility to protect this Earth.”

– “We believe that the Internet shouldn’t be rigged to benefit big corporations, and that means real net neutrality.”

– “We believe that no one should work full-time and still live in poverty, and that means raising the minimum wage.”

– “We believe that fast-food workers deserve a livable wage, and that means that when they take to the picket line, we are proud to fight alongside them.”

– “We believe that students are entitled to get an education without being crushed by debt.”

– “We believe that after a lifetime of work, people are entitled to retire with dignity, and that means protecting Social Security, Medicare, and pensions.”

– “We believe—I can’t believe I have to say this in 2014—we believe in equal pay for equal work.”

– “We believe that equal means equal, and that’s true in marriage, it’s true in the workplace, it’s true in all of America.”

– “We believe that immigration has made this country strong and vibrant, and that means reform.”

– “And we believe that corporations are not people, that women have a right to their bodies. We will overturn Hobby Lobby and we will fight for it. We will fight for it!”

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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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