Where Has All the Money for Our Schools Gone?...

Aug 26, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   By Scott Klinger, OtherWords | Op-Ed (Photo: Mark Strozier) As fall approaches, millions of moms and dads are scrambling to prepare for the first day of school, excited to support their children’s success. But are schools ready to receive our kids and foster that success? Increasingly, the answer is no. In at least 18 states, local government funding levels are declining, according to an analysis by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. And as a result, many schools will open with fewer teachers than last year, among other detrimental losses. As lawmakers throw up their hands and say, “sorry, there’s just not enough money,” we must ask: Where has all the money gone? State and local governments give away at least $70 billion a year to business subsidies, most of it in foregone...

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It Is Time to Begin the Process of Rebuilding Our Middle-Class Economy...

Aug 25, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Inequality Our collapse from an “opportunity for all” middle-class economy to a “winner-take-all,” dog-eat-dog system is behind many problems we face as a society. By Bill Moyers and David Bly An ice sculpture reading Middle Class is displayed as people gather to protest before the beginning of the Republican National Convention on August 26, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images, Artwork by Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese) In The New York Times recently, the paper’s former Washington bureau chief, the veteran journalist Hedrick Smith, asked an important question: “Can the States Save American Democracy?” Smith, who traveled the country to write his latest book, Who Stole the American Dream?, also serves as the executive editor of the Reclaim the American Dream website, where he keeps a keen eye on efforts to...

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Should We Accept TPP’s Harm For National Security Reasons?...

Aug 25, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Dave Johnson   OUR FUTURE.ORG Calling the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) a “trade” deal (it isn’t) the corporate community and the Obama administration are also trying to sell it as important for national security. Recent op-eds make a strong case that this is just wrong. First, Brigadier General (Retired) John Adams writes in The Hill, in “The national security case against TPP”: While I respect President Obama and the pact’s military backers, I believe these arguments miss a crucial point: By facilitating the further offshoring of America’s manufacturing base, the trade pact would actually undermine America’s military readiness and global economic standing. TPP would hurt our national security interests more than it would help. In 2013, the Pentagon’s Defense Science Board put forward a remarkable report describing one of the most significant but little-recognized threats...

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Inaction on Climate Change Could Cost Millennials $8.8 Trillion in Lifetime Income...

Aug 25, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Economy A new study has found that without action on climate change, the millennial generation as a whole will lose nearly $8.8 trillion in lifetime income dealing with the impacts of climate change. By Amy Goodman / Democracy Now!   VIA ALTERNET Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com A new study has found that without action on climate change, the millennial generation as a whole will lose nearly $8.8 trillion in lifetime income dealing with the economic, health and environmental impacts of climate change. The study, “The Price Tag of Being Young: Climate Change and Millennials’ Economic Future,” was produced by NextGen Climate and Demos. We speak to Heather McGhee, president of Demos and Demos Action. This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form. AMY GOODMAN: As we continue to talk about...

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How Do We Transition from a World of Domination and Extraction to a World of Resilience and Regeneration?...

Aug 22, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Local Peace Economy At the New Economy Coalition conference, activists build the road by walking. By Mariana Mendoza / AlterNet Photo Credit: CODEPINK How do we transition from a world of domination and extraction to a world of resilience and regeneration? How do we move away from a system that has been ingrained in most of our daily activities and thoughts and grow with the values that support justice and wellness? Throughout my work in the social, economic and environmental justice movement, I have been asking these questions and trying to figure out how to be resilient and regenerative and not repeat the failures of the exploitative and extractive economy. This July, I had the great opportunity to attend to to the New Economy Coalition’s conference CommonBound, where brilliant and powerful people got...

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Pentagon can’t account for $6.5 trillion of taxpayer money – IG report...

Aug 20, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Published time: 20 Aug, 2016 01:50 Aerial view of the Pentagon. © AFP / AFP AddThis Sharing Buttons Share to Facebook5.3KShare to TwitterShare to RedditShare to StumbleUponShare to Google+Share to Tumblr The Pentagon failed to account for $6.5 trillion in its financial statement, a recently-recovered Inspector General’s report on the 2015 fiscal year said. It reveals the audit of the Department of Defense was “materially misstated.” The army failed to provide “accurate, complete, timely and well-supported” documents that could have explained the use of trillions of dollars in quarterly and yearend adjustments. The US military made $2.8 trillion in wrongful adjustments in one quarter alone in 2015, and $6.5 trillion for the year, but could not provide anything that would detail what it spent the money on. There were a total of 64,321...

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These Are Your 28 TPP House Democrat Targets...

Aug 18, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Dave Johnson   CAMPAIGN FOR AMERICA’S FUTURE President Obama is trying to get a vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) during the “lame duck” session of Congress that will take place after the election. We can help stop this by getting enough Democrats on the record as opposing the TPP. In particular, we need to get the 28 Democrats who – in spite of opposition from most Democrats and hundreds of labor, consumer, LGBT, health, human rights, faith, democracy and other civil organizations – voted for the “fast-track” trade promotion authority (TPA) bill that “greased the skids” for the TPP by setting up rigged rules that will help TPP pass. Now, along with all of those voters and organizations, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and the rest of us need to start working on...

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California’s War on the Homeless: From Streetside Attacks to Policies of Dehumanization...

Aug 17, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   By James Anderson, Truthout | News Analysis (Image: Lauren Walker / Truthout) A man experiencing homelessness in San Diego, Angelo De Nardo, died after being attacked on Moreno Boulevard on July 3, 2016. The assailant had set De Nardo on fire after driving a spike into his head and chest. Another homeless man was critically injured in San Diego’s Midway District the next morning. A few hours later, on July 4 (“Independence Day”), Shawn Mitchell Longley, an unsheltered homeless man, was found dead in Ocean Beach. Two days later, a flaming towel was thrown on Dionico Derek Vahidy; a witness grabbed the towel off the 23-year-old homeless San Diego resident, but Vahidy died of burns four days later. On July 15, on 1800 C Street, Michael Joseph Papadelis, 55, one of the...

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NEW CLINTON TRANSITION HEAD HAS SOME TPP ‘SPLAININ TO DO’...

Aug 16, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Dave Johnson  CAMPAIGN FOR AMERICA’S FUTURE Hillary Clinton has appointed Former Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar, a big supporter of TPP, to lead her transition team, should she be elected President. Politico has more, in Clinton campaign transition chief has pushed for TPP: The new chairman of Hillary Clinton’s transition team has been an outspoken supporter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and works for a firm that lobbied for trade policy issues as recently as this spring, a review of congressional lobbying records and articles shows. [. . .] Salazar’s employer since 2013, the law firm WilmerHale, has also been an active participant in the debate on Capitol Hill over TPP and other trade policy issues. In late 2014 the firm spent at least $30,000 lobbying for renewal of “fast-track” Trade Promotion Authority and on...

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Here’s How Three Cities Aim to Beat Youth Homelessness This Year...

Aug 13, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] 100-day challenges will start on Sept. 7 in Los Angeles, Cleveland, and Austin. Jillian Frankel is an editorial intern for TakePart. She is the features and student life editor at the UCLA campus newspaper, The Daily Bruin.   For most kids, the end of summer means back-to-school shopping and hanging up swimsuits in exchange for new textbooks and class schedules. But for the 2.5 million homeless kids in America, September heat is a reminder that they’re running out of time to find a stable place to live before the start of another school year. According to the National Center on Family Homelessness, one in every 30 children in the U.S. does not have a home to sleep in regularly or is living in a temporary shelter such as a car or a motel....

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Don’t Be Fooled. TPP Is Still Very Much Alive. Help Kill It For Good...

Aug 4, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Dave Johnson  CAMPAIGN FOR AMERICA’S FUTURE There are lots of stories in the media claiming that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is dead for now. And why wouldn’t TPP be dead? Both presidential candidates say they are opposed to TPP. Various Congressional leaders have said that it is unlikely to come up. Nancy Pelosi has spoken out against it. Harry Reid says he opposes it. All labor and environmental organizations along with most consumer, health, human rights and other progressive-aligned groups oppose TPP. Six Republican members of Congress who voted for the “fast track” Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) have sent a letter opposing TPP. Even the Tea Party opposes TPP, calling it “Obamatrade.” Under these circumstances, the very idea that it could come up for a vote at all, never mind that it might...

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Big Pharma Feels the Bern

Jul 21, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] < Ever since Reagan, conservatives have been telling us about "welfare queens." The way they put it, there are thousands of undeserving poor people in this country right now bilking taxpayers for all they're worth, all while you and I are sweating out a hard day's work. And here's the thing: conservatives are right. There are a lot of undeserving people getting rich off the commons and the working class. But they don't fit the racist and classist stereotypes of popular conservative mythology -- far from it. The entities that are really getting rich off the commons are the corporations and corporate executives who, with the help of sellout Republicans, have turned our economy and tax system into their very own get-rich-quick scheme. Case in point: Big Pharma. While big drug companies like to talk...

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Paul Krugman: Don’t believe his hype — Trump wants to kill the middle class...

Jul 5, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Tuesday, Jul 5, 2016 05:32 AM PDT “Is Mr Trump for any of these things” that will help the middle class? “Not as far as anyone can tell” Scott Eric Kaufman SALON.COM   Paul Krugman (Credit: AP/Heribert Proepper) In his most recent New York Times column, economist Paul Krugman ripped into the notion that the presumptive Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, is in any way, shape, or form “on the side of the American worker.” His campaign “pos[es] as populist, claiming that getting tough on foreigners and ripping up our trade agreements will bring back the well-paying jobs America has lost,” but it’s all empty rhetoric. The Economic Policy Institute, which Trump likes to site, “is having none of it”: Lawrence Mishel, the think tank’s president, put out a derisive reply to what...

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BETRAYED AGAIN, THIS TIME BY UNCONVINCING ARGUMENTS FOR THE TPP...

Jul 5, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   Thomas Palley   CAMPAIGN FOR AMERICA’S FUTURE Voters of all stripes have recognized the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as another betrayal of working people, and they have resoundingly rejected it. Despite that, President Obama continues to push it, to the extent of possibly seeking passage in a “lame duck” session of Congress. President Obama’s pushing of the TPP is recklessly irresponsible politics that benefits Donald Trump, who is the outsider candidate running for the Republican nomination. Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, is the insider who has touted her links to President Obama, and she still lacks credibility regarding her TPP opposition because of her past endorsement. In the current dangerous political climate, there is no room for error. Yet, that is what we have. Clinton has refused to condemn the TPP in...

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Elizabeth Warren’s Kick-Ass Speech Tells It Like It Is: What Should Hillary Do?...

Jul 3, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Heading into the Democratic Convention, the senator from Massachusetts offers the best analysis of our failed monopolistic economy. By Don Hazen / AlterNet   Elizabeth Warren speaking at Carroll Manor, Takoma Park, Maryland, April 21, 2012 Photo Credit: Edward Kimmel/Flickr CC In the Sanders/Clinton battle for the presidential nomination, Elizabeth Warren stayed on the perimeter.  She wasn’t quiet, that’s for sure. But she was the only woman in the Senate not to endorse Hillary, no doubt frustrating many women. She didn’t endorse Bernie, either, making many in the Bern crowd angry. She was threading the needle, as few can do. Warren has now embraced Hillary, which seems appropriate, and is campaigning aggressively with her. This is accompanied by considerable speculation about whether Hillary has the vision, and perhaps the chutzpah, to step out of...

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DEAR TONY BLAIR: IT’S NOT THE PITCH, IT’S THE PRODUCT...

Jun 30, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Richard Eskow   CAMPAIGN FOR AMERICA’S FUTURE “Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair …” If Tony Blair’s op-ed on Brexit is mournful and even elegiac in tone, that’s understandable. Great Britain’s vote to leave the European Union was, after all, a repudiation of his legacy as prime minister. And if it isn’t as mournful as it might have been – well, Blair has done quite well for himself since leaving office, which must provide some consolation for his errors. The people of Great Britain won’t be so lucky. Neither will Americans, if they follow the British path. One thing is clear: Although Tony Blair laments the failure of the “political center,” this didn’t happen because he and his colleagues failed. It happened because they succeeded. Why “Leave” Won It’s impossible to discuss...

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BERNIE SANDERS ISSUES A STERN WARNING: EUROPE’S POPULIST REVOLT COULD HAPPEN HERE...

Jun 30, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] The Leave campaign showed what’s possible when a democratic system stops functioning democratically Sean Illing  SALON.COM Bernie Sanders (Credit: Reuters/Jim Young) The populist revolt in Britain and much of Western Europe isn’t reducible to a single variable, but it’s partly a reaction against a globalized economy that has failed the masses. It’s a frenzied, myopic reaction to be sure, but the underlying grievances are real. Mark Blyth, a political economist at Brown University, summed up the Brexit fiasco about as well as anyone could in a recent interview with AthensLive: “This is Trumpism. Everybody’s got a version of it. Here’s what I mean by Trumpism. For the past 25 years, particularly the center-left has told the bottom 60% of the income distribution in their countries the following story: Globalization’s good for you…We’re going...

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ANOTHER CORPORATION SUING OUR GOVERNMENT THANKS TO TRADE AGREEMENTS...

Jun 28, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Dave Johnson  CAMPAIGN FOR AMERICA‘S FUTURE A Canadian corporation is suing the us because we wouldn’t let them build a pipeline across our country (seizing people’s property along the way) so they could sell oil to China. They can do this because we signed a trade agreement that places corporate rights above our democracy. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would increase by an order of magnitude the companies that can sue us for hurting their profits by protecting the environment, consumers, public health and small businesses. Because They Can TransCanada Corporation is suing the U.S. government (us) for $15 billion in damages under North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) rules. The company wanted to build the Keystone pipeline all the way from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico so they could ship oil to...

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HOW BREXIT COULD AFFECT YOUR WALLET...

Jun 26, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] By Jonnelle Marte  THE WASHINGTON POST What Brexit means for Americans’ mortgages and travel plans, in 60 seconds Here are three big ways that Britain leaving the E.U. might affect Americans. (Daron Taylor,Jhaan Elker/The Washington Post) Global stock markets plunged to their lowest levels in months Friday after Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, making an immediate dent in Americans’ 401(k) accounts and sparking concerns about other financial impacts for the average U.S. consumer. In the near-term, the ripple effects of the Brexit may be felt beyond retirement accounts in the form of lower mortgage rates and a stronger dollar that boosts Americans’ purchasing power. But in other ways, the events taking place across the pond may not lead to much change for consumers who are already used to struggling with paltry...

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FOSSIL FUEL COMPANIES IMPOSE MORE IN CLIMATE COSTS THAN THEY MAKE IN PROFITS...

Jun 26, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]  by David Roberts   VOX (Shutterstock) It is fairly well understood by now that releasing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere imposes an economic cost, in the form of climate change impacts. In most cases, however, those responsible for carbon emissions are not required to pay that cost. Instead, it’s borne mainly by the world’s poor and low-lying countries, and of course by future generations, as many of the worst impacts of climate change will emerge years after the emissions that drive them. People sometimes refer to the unpaid cost of carbon pollution as a subsidy, or an “implicit subsidy,” to polluting businesses. The IMF recently issued a report saying that total worldwide subsidies to energy, mainly fossil fuel energy, amounted to $5.2 trillion a year. The reason that number is...

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OBAMA AND WALL STREET PUSH FOR PASSAGE OF TPP DURING “LAME DUCK” SESSION...

Jun 25, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   By Dave Johnson, Campaign for America’s Future | Op-Ed   Have a say in how we are governed, right? So shouldn’t we have a say in how we are governed? President Obama, Wall Street and the giant, multinational corporations are pushing — and pushing hard — for a vote in Congress in the “lame duck” congressional session after the election to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The most recent pitch by Obama was on Monday at a summit of business leaders in Washington, where he said the TPP “will do even more to lower the cost of exporting, eliminating taxes and custom duties, and raising intellectual property standards that protect data and ideas and jobs.” Here is why the push is on. The so-called “lame duck” session of Congress is particularly unaccountable. Those who...

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CLIMATE CHANGE, FOSSIL FUELS ARE HURTING OUR KIDS...

Jun 24, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Environment Children under 5 bear the brunt of disease and problems from climate change and fossil-fuel combustion. It’s time to do something about it. By Frederica Perera | BILL MOYERS.COM A child in an area affected by a drought in the southern outskirts of Tegucigalpa on April 22, 2016. (Photo by Orlando Sierra/AFP/Getty Images) This post originally appeared at Environmental Health News. Editor’s note: The following opinion piece written for EHN accompanies Perera’s commentary on fossil fuels and children’s health published June 21 in the Environmental Health Perspectives journal.  Children suffer the most from fossil-fuel burning. Fossil-fuel combustion and associated air pollution and carbon dioxide (CO2) is the root cause of much of children’s ill health today, as well as their uncertain future. There are strong scientific arguments, as well persuasive economic ones,...

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WALL STREET IS SITTING ON BILLIONS MEANT FOR AMERICAN CHARITIES...

Jun 22, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] e By Ana Swanson THE WASHINGTON POST AP Photo Compared with many other wealthy countries, the United States relies a lot on charity. In the U.S., private donors help feed and house the poor, finance orchestras and museums, fund scholarships and universities – social functions that, in many countries, are paid for by governments and tax dollars. In return, the U.S. government offers generous tax breaks on the income that Americans donate to charity. But some experts believe that changes in the financial industry are putting this longtime relationship at risk. In an article published Tuesday in The New York Review of Books, Ray Madoff, a law professor at Boston College, and Lewis Cullman, a 97-year-old philanthropist who has given much of his wealth to charity, argue that the rapid growth of a type of fund...

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THE 13 DEMOCRATS WHO JUST DID WALL STREET’S DIRTY WORK...

Jun 22, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   Richard Eskow   CAMPAIGN FOR AMERICA’S FUTURE A “D” beside a politician’s name doesn’t necessarily mean they’re fighting for the public’s interests. In fact, 13 Democratic members of Congress recently joined Republicans in voting to protect private equity and hedge funds. This vote demonstrates the corrupting force of money in politics. If the media were doing a better job, it would be a national scandal. Democrats like these need to be encouraged to find new jobs. But don’t expect the party establishment to do it. In fact, one of these 13 representatives is running in the Florida Senate primary as the Democratic National Committee’s hand-picked candidate. Patrick Murphy, a fiscal conservative and former Republican, has been a favorite of the DNC since he first switched parties to run for Congress. Since then Murphy...

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A NATION OF HEALERS

Jun 21, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] David Brooks NYTIMES I’ve been traveling around to the most economically stressed parts of this country. You see a lot of dislocation on a trip like this. In New Mexico, for example, I met some kids who lost their parents — to drugs, death, deportation or something else. They get run through a bunch of systems, including homeless shelter, foster care, mental health and often juvenile justice. They’re like any kids — they turn hungrily to any beam of friendship. But for these kids, life has been a series of temporary stops at impersonal places. They sometimes have only the vaguest idea where they are going next month. “I’m going back into the foster care system,” one teenager told me, without affect either way. You meet people who are uncomfortable with the basics...

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Endless War, Endless Greed: The Pentagon Is Lining Its Pockets with Taxpayer Dollars...

Jun 19, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] World A military plan focused not on peace but profitable production contracts for our weapons-making cartels. By Andrew Cockburn / TomDispatch  VIA ALTERNET Photo Credit: U.S. Army/Flickr Creative Commons These days, lamenting the apparently aimless character of Washington’s military operations in the Greater Middle East has become conventional wisdom among administration critics of every sort. Senator John McCain thunders that “this president has no strategy to successfully reverse the tide of slaughter and mayhem” in that region. Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies bemoans the “lack of a viable and public strategy.” Andrew Bacevich suggests that “there is no strategy. None. Zilch.” After 15 years of grinding war with no obvious end in sight, U.S. military operations certainly deserve such obloquy. But the pundit outrage may be misplaced. Focusing on Washington rather than on distant...

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WHY I WAS WRONG ABOUT WELFARE REFORM...

Jun 18, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Nicholas Kristof   N YTIMES   Photo Bobbie Ingraham and her granddaughter, Hailey, sit outside their home in Tulsa, OK. Credit Shane Brown for The New York Times TULSA, Okla. — IN 1996, President Bill Clinton signed a controversial compromise bill for welfare reform, promising to “end welfare as we know it.” I was sympathetic to that goal at the time, but I’ve decided that I was wrong. What I’ve found in my reporting over the years is that welfare “reform” is a misnomer and that cash welfare is essentially dead, leaving some families with children utterly destitute. Every year I hold a “win a trip” contest to choose a university student to accompany me on a reporting trip to cover global poverty in places like Congo or Myanmar. This year we decided to...

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5 Surprising Cities Where Gentrification Is Displacing Poor People...

Jun 16, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   Wages can’t keep up with housing costs. By Larry Schwartz / AlterNet   Photo Credit: MsSaraKelly / Flickr Walk down once-gritty neighborhood streets in many American cities and the telltale signs may be all around you. The coffee bar on the corner selling $5 latte macchiatos. The high-rise luxury condo building going up at record speed. The cocktail bar, the artisan pastry shop. This is urban gentrification in action, the process by which middle- and upper-middle-class populations move into formerly lower-income neighborhoods, attracted by cheaper housing (and fleeing expensive housing in more affluent areas), transforming the area, driving costs up and forcing lower-income residents out. Nationwide, the percentage of rental increases have been double the percentage of wage increases, and according to a Macarthur Foundation report, renters are compensating by taking second jobs or...

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SANDERS’ SUCCESS: DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM GOES MAINSTREAM...

Jun 12, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]  THE PROGRESSIVE Roger Bybee Image courtesy of Hotvideogames. Hillary Clinton’s capture of the Democratic presidential nomination—an historic milestone for women—should not obscure the significant long-term opportunities created by democratic socialist Bernie Sanders’s sustained and scorching attack on a “rigged” economy and an increasingly undemocratic political system. A January 2016 poll of likely Democratic caucus-goers in Iowa found that 43 percent described themselves as “socialist.” Fully 56 percent of registered Democrats, including 52 percent of Clinton supporters, view socialism favorably according to a recent NY Times/CBS News poll. These poll results signal the emergence of democratic socialism as a mainstream idea—at least in the Democratic Party. Until now, democratic socialism as an electoral force had been condemned to the margins by America’s confining rules. America’s political system has, since its inception, systematically favored just...

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CAN PHILOSOPHY STOP BANKERS FROM STEALING?...

Jun 9, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]  By Lynn Parramore, Institute for New Economic Thinking  Does the question of morality have a place in the realm of banking and regulation? That it feels awkward to even raise the issue is convenient for bankers who engage in reckless and harmful activities every day without fear of punishment. Ed Kane, Professor of Finance at Boston College, believes it’s vital to discuss moral questions, in plain English, without abstractions. Following his own advice, he is blunt in characterizing some of the behavior in the banking industry in recent years: “Theft is a forced taking of other people’s resources,” he says. ‘That’s what’s going on here.” Kane urges a deep inquiry into our culture to understand why bankers so commonly get away with crimes in the United States. In 2007, just before the housing...

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