Monday, November 30, 2020
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Tag: economic inequity

Moral Priorities

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The extra tax cuts for the rich (they collect the same tax cuts as everyone else on their first $250,000 of income) will cost about $68 billion next year alone. Extending unemployment insurance for the long-term unemployed will cost about $65 billion.

Those words are from Katrina vanden Heuvel's weekly Washington Post op ed, this morning titled The GOP:  Gobbling up our Blessings which I recommend that people read.

This diary is not exactly an examination of that column, although I will make reference to a few other items of interest she offers.

Rather, it is a meditation on our priorities as a nation, and what they say about us.

I believe that our nation, our society, lacks a moral compass.  Our priorities are screwed, and as a result, so are an ever-increasing number of our people.

Are we now a Banana Republic?

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crossposted from Daily Kos

Nicholas Kristof argues that at least economically, we are now Our Banana Republic:

The richest 1 percent of Americans now take home almost 24 percent of income, up from almost 9 percent in 1976.
  Our economic inequity is greater than that of places like Nicaragua and Venezuela . . .

Or consider this:  

C.E.O.'s of the largest American companies earned an average of 42 times as much as the average worker in 1980, but 531 times as much in 2001. Perhaps the most astounding statistic is this: From 1980 to 2005, more than four-fifths of the total increase in American incomes went to the richest 1 percent.

Mr. Kristof is late to the issue of the increasing disparity between CEOs and average workers.  Jim Webb made it a major issue of his 2006 senatorial campaign.

Economically we might be worse that most banana republics -  many have universal health care.

Kristof writes about the economics.  The real issue is are we approaching a Banana Republic politically?

We are a union household

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Why?  Because we believe in fairness.

Not only for ourselves, but for all who work.

Because we believe in the dignity of work.

Because we both understand something about history, including economic history.

She is Harvard, Junior Phi Beta Kappa, Marshall Scholar, M. Litt. from Oxford, Ph.D. from George Washington.

I am BA from Haverford, two masters degrees, ABD in Educational Administration and Policy Studies.

We both work with our minds.

She is on her local's negotiating team.

I am my building's union representative.

Had we any doubt, two pieces in today's Washington Post might help convince us.

Rich v. Poor – the world is divided

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this is also posted at Daily Kos

On the eve of this G-20 gathering, let's look at a few facts. Fact, the world has divided into rich and poor as at no time in our history. The richest 2% own more than half the household wealth in the world. The richest 10% hold 85% of total global assets and the bottom half of humanity owns less than 1% of the wealth in the world. The three richest men in the world have more money than the poorest 48 countries.

The words are from Maude Barlow, head of the Council of Canadians, Canada's largest public advocacy organization, and a founder of the Blue Planet Project. She opposes the G-20.   She spoke to a gathering of activists in Massey Hall who gathered in opposition to the summit.  

You can read the source of the quote here, where they were reproduced on Friday from Amy Goodman's Democracy, Now!.