Friday, December 11, 2015

Goodbye Middle Class Life

A milestone was passed this month: America’s middle class is now a minority of the population.

The story on NPR.

How much income have American workers lost? The details from MarketWatch.

Reaganomics has divided the population into haves and have-nots, and has done so with a vengeance. Initeconomics has that story here.

Joseph Stiglitz on the politics of inequality.

The revolving door between our lawmaking branch and the corporate lobbying industry is part of a vast engine of inequality.

Robert Reich discusses the problem of income and wealth inequality.

From that bastion of communist orthodoxy, MONEY magazine: an examination of the cockeyed economics of the Republican candidates.

Power once lost is hard to regain. Workers’ rights and the prosperity that came after were won after a century of sacrifice and outright battle with corporations’ strong-arm tactics. This is the kind of history they don’t like our kids to learn in school. If we turn the dial back they won’t have to worry; we are on the way back toward child labor instead of universal free education. Get a quick review of labor history here.

Young workers are going to experience their work lives as one long slump. This is exactly how the 1% want it and Republicans have made it happen. This important story in the Atlantic.

Of course not all rich people are against working Americans. (Some Republicans actually like Bernie Sanders.) Working Americans are the consumers who make the economy hum. Can it still hum?

One of the things forcing incomes down is what’s called The Gig Economy. In place of full employment (with benefits) workers learn to come when an employer whistles. The Gig Economy explained by MarketWatch.

And those safeguards and benefits? A relic of past times. ProPublica describes how Tyson Foods has carved up its employees' workers' compensation. And their workers suffer a lot of injuries.

The safety net? The 1% succeeded in persuading the other 99% that Welfare protections made people lazy. Actually it doesn’t. The story about the welfare laziness myth from VOX.

How does the 1% get the rest of us all worked up? They own the media for one thing. And a worried, fearful public is easier for them to hustle. Panic is good for the 1%. Krugman explains why the rich love generalized panic.

Workers used to have certain rights. An expectation they weren’t being spied on being one of them. No longer. Who's behind this? Walmart, of course.

Income inequality tends to show up in key areas: how inequality is perpetuated by housing.

And while the 1% is scooping up money that used to trickle down to working people, they are sharing one thing. They are letting working people have all the tax obligations. Another in a very thick file of similar stories, from the Guardian.

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