New Cooperative Refinances Student Debt with Community Funds

student debt2

Over the past two decades, the amount of money a college student must borrow to pay for their education has doubled. The graduates of 2014 now sit at the top of the class in student debt. Tuition fees have risen dramatically as household incomes have stagnated, at best, causing some 70 percent of students to fund their higher educations through loans.

Alternative Currencies and the New Sharing Economy

Alternative Currencies and the New Sharing Economy

Throughout history, local currencies have been used not only as a way to survive during periods of economic uncertainty, but also as a bold way to opt out of a global monetary system that many find exclusionary and, in some cases, corrupt. The only thing that gives modern money value is the fact that...

How to Shrink Income and Wealth Inequality

How to Shrink Income and Wealth Inequality

The pertinent question is not whether income and wealth inequality is good or bad. It is at what point do these inequalities become so great as to pose a serious threat to our economy, our ideal of equal opportunity and our democracy.

Why Big Business Promises Of Cheaper Prices Is Just A Scam

Another Example Why Big Business Promises Of Cheaper Prices Is Just A Scam

In Missouri thousands of independent small and mid-size family hog farmers have gone out of business because they don’t have access to a fair market. “Because of massive corporate control of the market, we’ve lost 91 percent of hog producers in Missouri since 1985. That’s over 20,000 farmers and many, many jobs in our rural communities.”

30 Years of Economic Distress Finally Explained

30 Years Of Economic Distress Finally Explained

Thomas Piketty's "Capital In The 21st Century"  is certainly the the biggest economic book sold in this century, having reached # 1 book status on Amazon. It may also be the most important book. No doubt it will become the book some in the "money class" most love to hate.

Wetlands Are One of the Smartest Investments We Can Make

Wetlands Are One of the Smartest Investments We Can Make

For centuries, coastal wetlands were considered worthless. A mounting body of research is demonstrating that coastal habitats are vital, valuable components of healthy coastal communities and economies. It’s time to acknowledge the environmental and economic value of restoring these ecosystems...

Resurrecting Antitrust In This New Gilded Age

Resurrecting Antitrust In This New Gilded Age 

We’re in a new gilded age of wealth and power similar to the first gilded age when the nation’s antitrust laws were enacted. Those laws should prevent or bust up concentrations of economic power that not only harm consumers but also undermine our democracy

The Year of the Great Wealth Redistribution

The Year of the Great Wealth Redistribution

One of the worst epithets that can be leveled at a politician these days is to call him a “redistributionist.” Yet 2013 marked one of the biggest redistributions in recent American history. It was a redistribution upward, from average working people to the owners of America.

How Ya Gonna Keep ’em Down On The Organic Farm?

How Ya Gonna Keep ’em Down On The Organic Farm?

Though it’s certainly easier to find local, sustainably grown meat and produce in America than it was 20 years ago, the deck nevertheless remains stacked against small farmers and sellers who would feed the steadily increasing demand for such fare. Many of our food-production system’s most dangerous and unsustainable practices...

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is: Financing Our Foodshed

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is: Financing Our Foodshed

In a way, nothing could be simpler. I can still hear Carol Peppe Hewitt saying at a Slow Money na­tional gathering: “It really isn’t complicated. There are local food en­trepreneurs who need money and local investors looking for good places to put their money. We just need to connect them.”

Fighting Another Attempt to Privatize the US Postal Service

post office not for sale

As far as Mark Dimondstein is concerned, the members of the Postal Workers are going to be out in the streets even more than they already are. Their causes? Increasing revenues for the Postal Service, stopping its creeping privatization, via Staples stores, by the Postmaster General

Maximizing "Me" Is Dependent on Maximizing "We"

Maximizing "Me" Is Dependent On Maximizing "We" 

America has a serious “We” problem — as in “Why should we pay for them?” The question is popping up all over the place. It underlies the debate over extending unemployment benefits to the long-term unemployed and providing food stamps to the poor.

Will 2014 Bring Renewed Economic Growth or Financial Crash?

Will 2014 Bring Renewed Economic Growth or Financial Crash?

Your instincts may be telling you otherwise, but the global economy will be strengthening in 2014, according to two major reports released in recent weeks. In an improvement over 2013’s global economic growth of 2.1 percent, we will see a 3 percent rise this year and a bump up to 3.3 percent in 2015...

Is It To Be Inequality or Equal Opportunity?

Is It To Be Inequality Or Equal Opportunity?

America’s savage inequality is the main reason equal opportunity is fading and poverty is growing. Since the “recovery” began, 95% of the gains have gone to the top 1 percent, and median incomes have dropped. This is a continuation of the trend we’ve seen for decades. As a result...

Can Cities Lead the Way in Reversing Inequality?

Can Cities Lead the Way in Reversing Inequality?

Last year, when Maryland lawmakers refused to act on bills to raise the state’s minimum wage to $10, Prince Georges and Montgomery Counties joined the District of Columbia to create the first regional minimum wage compact at $11.50 an hour

Why Costco Deserves Your Business

 Why costco deserves your business

While it is hard for the time being as consumers to avoid the big boys altogether, we can pick those that are responsible good citizens, live by the golden rule, and who treat their employees humanely.  In the end we all live cooperatively whether we choose to accept it or not...

Are Conservatives Really Ignorant Or Do They Habitually Deceive

Usually it is better to assume the best of people for it really is difficult to know what is in someone's heart. That said many in the modern Republican "conservative" party show every sign of being either mentally challenged, guilty of projection with increasing regularity, or they are just intentionally deceiving anyone who is listening with a blank mental slaten.

Wrongful Secrecy, Snares, and Delusions

Wrongful Secrecy, Snares, and Delusions

You’ve heard the refrain “we live in the information age.” We have fingertip access to the Internet, providing us with massive amounts of information. There are no longer any excuses for us to say we don’t have the information; it is there, but up to us to act on the information. The above is all true but very incomplete

Rigged Rules Mean Economic Growth Increasingly Winner Takes All For Rich Elites All Over World

Rigged Rules Mean Economic Growth Increasingly Winner Takes All For Rich Elites All Over World

Wealth of half the world’s population now the same as that of tiny elite. Wealthy elites have co-opted political power to rig the rules of the economic game, undermining democracy and creating a world where the 85 richest people own the wealth of half of the world’s population, worldwide development organization Oxfam warns in a report published today.  

Despite An Improving Economy, Homelessness in the United States Is a Problem

Homelessness in the United States: Trends and demographics

As a 2013 study in the American Journal of Public Health indicates, even those who have deep knowledge in this area and work directly with the homeless often have difficulty assessing patterns and needs. Further, the problem’s deep and sometimes hidden causes, the diversity of stories of those affected, and the often-invisible nature of life on the streets complicate attempts to quantify the true size and nature of the homeless population

Olympia’s Homeless Win Struggle For Permanent Housing

Olympia’s Homeless Win Struggle For Permanent Housing

In 2007 members of the homeless community in Olympia, Wash., erected a tent city in a downtown parking lot to protest the lack of services and support. Predictably, the city government responded with arrests and shutting down the encampment

How Poverty Impedes The Cognitive Function

How Poverty Impedes The Cognitive Function

What must be understood is that mental bandwidth is a limited resource which is used for everything. So what happens if we can make some things, like banking, easier for the poor ?

The Slow Unnatural Death of Our Personal Space

The Slow Unnatural Death of Our Personal Space

Deregulation brings us cramped airplane seats and increased TV ads. The skies and airwaves are commons owned by all of us together. That’s the reason why airlines and broadcasting were once regulated—to protect the public’s interest.

The Meaning of a Decent Society

The Meaning of a Decent Society

Although it’s still possible to win the lottery (your chance of winning $648 million in the recent Mega Millions sweepstakes was one in 259 million), the biggest lottery of all is what family we’re born into. Our life chances are now determined to an unprecedented degree by the wealth of our parents.

A Human Economy Based on Nature: A Win-Win Situation

A Human Economy Based on Nature: A Win-Win Situation

With proper care and respect, Earth can provide a high quality of life for all people in perpetuity. Yet we devastate productive lands and waters for a quick profit, a few temporary jobs, or a one-time resource fix. For a surprisingly long time, we humans have successfully maintained the illusion that we are outside of, superior to, and not subject to the rules of nature...

We Know Who Stole the Economy: We're Taking It Back!

We Know Who Stole the Economy: We're Taking It Back!

Progressive organizations commonly focus on protesting and demanding corrective action to lessen the harms and injustices of a failed economic system. Changing the system is far more difficult and takes far more time, but it is what we must ultimately do.

What Walmart Could Learn From Henry Ford

What Walmart Could Learn From Henry Ford

Walmart just reported shrinking sales for a third straight quarter. What’s going on? Explained William S. Simon, the CEO of Walmart, referring to the company’s customers, “their income is going down while food costs are not. Gas and energy prices, while they’re abating, I think they’re still eating up a big piece of the customer’s budget.”

Workers Plan Nationwide Strikes Against "bully" Walmart

Workers Plan Nationwide Strikes Against "bully" Walmart

Instead of crazed shoppers, Walmart can expect massive protests outside its doors the day after Thanksgiving, known as "Black Friday." In a Nov. 22 press conference, members of OURWalmart announced that workers throughout the U.S. are planning strikes, walkouts, and demonstrations at 1,500 Walmart locations - up from 1,200 in 2012.

Thom Hartmann on "The Crash of 2016: The Plot to Destroy America—and What We Can Do to Stop It"

Thom Hartmann on "The Crash of 2016: The Plot to Destroy America—and What We Can Do to Stop It"

Could the United States face another economic collapse? Writer and broadcaster Thom Hartmann looks back at past financial crises and comes to a startling conclusion. "As long as you don’t look too closely at our nation, things seem under control — the United States looks whole … but when you go around to the 'dark back side' of the nation, you see the shocking truth.

Making Economic Exchange a Loving Human Interaction

Making Economic Exchange a Loving Human Interaction (image from White Dog Café website)

Growing up in the 1950s, Judy Wicks shunned the stereotypes of how girls should behave and longed to play baseball with the boys. When she became a businesswoman and entrepreneur, she recognized that her feminine desire to nurture was an asset in bringing collaboration to business and creating a more caring economy...

Wealth Inequality in America

Wealth Inequality in America

Infographics on the distribution of wealth in America, highlighting both the inequality and the difference between our perception of inequality and the actual numbers. The reality is often not what we think it is.

How Farmland Became Canada’s Hottest Real Estate Market

Buy land, advised Mark Twain, because, as the punch line goes, they ain’t making any more of it. Fast forward to 2013 and that advice, as a look at prices for farmland shows, seems as prescient as ever. As any farmer will readily tell you, the agriculture business has had a tough run. Agriculture was once an economic mainstay. Turn back the clock to 1950 and the sector employed nearly a fifth of Canada’s work force.

Ecuador Takes on Chevron, Global Indifference in Controversial Fights to Protect Rainforest

Ecuador Takes on Chevron, Global Indifference in Controversial Fights to Protect Rainforest

During a visit to New York City for the United Nations General Assembly, Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño joins us to discuss his government’s involvement in two closely watched environmental legal battles. An Ecuadorean court has ordered the oil giant Chevron to pay $19 billion to indigenous and rural Ecuadoreans for the dumping of as much as 18.5 billion gallons of highly toxic waste sludge into the  rainforest.

Moyers and Reich: Inequality for All

Moyers and Reich: Inequality for All

This week, Reich joins Moyers & Company to discuss a new documentary film, Inequality for All, Reich, who Time magazine called one of the best cabinet secretaries of the 20th century, stars in this dynamic, witty and entertaining

Why Walmart’s Response to my Petition Is Brutally Irrelevant

Why Walmart’s Response to my Petition Is Brutally Irrelevant

Yesterday a Walmart spokesman criticized the petition I’ve been circulating that asks Walmart (and McDonalds) to pay their employees at least $15 an hour. Walmart’s spokesman told the Huffington Post that my petition fails to mention that Walmart is a major job creator and that it promotes some of its employees.

The Asset Price Melt-down and the Wealth of the Middle Class

The Asset Price Melt-down and the Wealth of the Middle Class

A 2012 report from the Pew Research Center, “The Lost Decade of the Middle Class,” surveyed nearly 1,300 Americans who identified with this income tier and found pervasive gloominess: 85% said it was “more difficult” for “middle class people to maintain their standard of living” compared to a decade ago.

Private Gain to a Few Trumps Public Good for the Many

Private Gain to a Few Trumps Public Good for the Many

Congress is in recess, but you’d hardly know it. This has been the most do-nothing, gridlocked Congress in decades. But the recess at least offers a pause in the ongoing partisan fighting that’s sure to resume in a few weeks. It also offers an opportunity to step back and ask ourselves what’s really at stake.

Will Wal-mart Pay The Price For Breaking Sam's Pledge To Buy American This Time?

Wal-mart Is Starting To Pay The Price For Breaking Sam's Pledge To Buy American

In Washington, D.C., Walmart has threatened to cancel plans to build three new stores and possibly close three more stores due to open if the city passes an ordinance mandating that the retailer pay a "living wage" of $12.50 an hour. In other words, the type of person who shops at Walmart today has less money to shop at Walmart -- because of, among other things, Walmart.

Ripping Off Young America: The College-Loan Scandal

Ripping Off Young America: The College-Loan Scandal

On May 31st, president Barack Obama strolled into the bright sunlight of the Rose Garden, covered from head to toe in the slime and ooze of the Benghazi and IRS scandals. In a Karl Rove-ian masterstroke, he simply pretended they weren't there and changed the subject. The federal government has made it easier than ever to borrow money for higher education - saddling a generation with crushing debts and inflating a bubble that could bring down the economy.

Is The Dream Of Free Quality Education For The Masses Now In Danger?

Is The Dream Of  Free Quality Education For The Masses Now In Danger?

Want to see a public school system in its death throes? Look no further than Philadelphia. There, the school district is facing end times, with teachers, parents and students staring into the abyss created by a state intent on destroying public education. On Thursday the city of Philadelphia announced that it would be borrowing $50 million to give the district, just so it can open schools as planned on Sept. 9

Why The Anger?

Why The Anger?

Why is the nation more bitterly divided today than it’s been in eighty years? Why is there more anger, vituperation, and political polarization now than even during Joe McCarthy’s anti-communist witch hunts of the 1950s, the tempestuous struggle for civil rights in the 1960s, the divisive Vietnam war, or the Watergate scandal?

How Oil and Gas Drillers Avoid Paying Royalties

Unfair Share: How Oil and Gas Drillers Avoid Paying Royalties

Then one day in April, Feusner ripped open his royalty envelope to find that while his wells were still producing the same amount of gas, the gusher of cash had slowed. His eyes cascaded down the page to his monthly balance at the bottom: $1,690. Chesapeake Energy, the company that drilled his wells, was withholding almost 90 percent of Feusner's share of the income to cover unspecified "gathering" expenses and it wasn't explaining why.

Reagan, Billionaires and Privatization

Reagan, Billionaires and Privatization

In this clip from his radio show, Thom Hartmann gives a pretty good explanation why the American Dream is disappearing and why with great wealth comes great poverty. Thom says billionaires are taking over our commons through privatization and its not a good thing.

Whack-a-Mole: How Payday Lenders Bounce Back When States Crack Down

Whack-a-Mole: How Payday Lenders Bounce Back When States Crack Down

In 2008, payday lenders suffered a major defeat when the Ohio legislature banned high-cost loans. That same year, they lost again when they dumped more than $20 million into an effort to roll back the law: The public voted against it by nearly two-to-one. But five years later, hundreds of payday loan stores still operate in Ohio, charging annual rates that can approach 700 percent.

Americans Can Be Stripped Of Their Cash, Cars, and Homes Without Being Charged?

Americans Can Be Stripped Of THe Cash, Cars, and Homes Without Beiing Charged

Under civil forfeiture, Americans who haven’t been charged with wrongdoing can be stripped of their cash, cars, and even homes. Is that all we’re losing? On a bright Thursday afternoon in 2007, Jennifer Boatright, a waitress at a Houston bar-and-grill, drove with her two young sons and her boyfriend...

Unemployment Dips, But New Jobs Likely Pay Low Wages

Unemployment Dips, But New Jobs Likely Pay Low Wages

The U.S. unemployment rate in July was 7.4 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported, down 0.1 percent from the month before. A separate survey reported businesses claimed to create a net of 162,000 new jobs last month. That left the U.S. with 11.5 million people officially unemployed, 263,000 fewer than in June. But the official jobless rate understates the problem.

Walmart’s Big Lie: No, It Doesn’t Create Jobs!

Walmart’s Big Lie: No, It Doesn’t Create Jobs!

Research shows that destroying jobs is an essential component of the retail giant’s anti-worker business model. Does Walmart create jobs? That question is at the heart of the debate currently raging over its plans to open stores in Washington, DC.

Money Power: Every Dollar You Spend Makes a Difference

Money Power: Every Dollar You Spend Makes a Difference

Money is power. Perhaps more than any generation that has come before us, we un­derstand the deeply-rooted reality of this short phrase and its universal meaning for every human being living on this planet. It follows that wherever large amounts of money collect, so also new centers of power form. The latest...

To Repair the World is to Repair Education

To Repair the World is to Repair Education

Today is the anniversary of the birth of Janusz Korczak (1878-1942). Korczak was a writer, a medical doctor, a thinker and a radio broadcaster, but he was mainly known as a unique and innovative educator, who founded an orphanage for Jewish children in Warsaw.

America Fails Middle Class To Detriment Of Economy

 America Fails Middle Class To Detriment Of Economy

Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Prize-winning Columbia University economist, and author of "The Price of Inequality," talks with Melissa Harris-Perry about the plight of low-wage workers in America and how the stagnation of working-class wages in the United States has eliminated a consumer class that is needed to keep the economy active.

Don’t You Think It’s Time For A Raise?

Don’t You Think It’s Time For A Raise?

If the 1968 minimum wage grew with inflation, it would be $10.67 today. Unfortunately the federal minimum wage is a miserly $7.25.  According to the Economic Policy Institute, U.S. CEOs of major companies earned 18.3 times more than a typical worker in 1965 and in 2012, CEO pay was 202.3 times more than typical worker pay.

Are The Verrazano Bridge Repairs To Be Pulled From American Workers?

Steelworkers oppose using Chinese steel for Verrazano Bridge repairs

This time, it's the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in New York, not the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. This time, the agency paying the tab is New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), not the San Francisco area's Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

Detroit Goes Bankrupt And Just Who Loses

Facing an estimated $18 billion in debt, Detroit has become the largest U.S. municipality to file for bankruptcy. It is a grim milestone in the decline of what was once the country’s fourth largest city. Known as the Motor City and the birthplace of the middle class, Detroit’s auto industry and manufacturing sector have collapsed.

Why We Should Stop Subsidizing Sky High CEO Pay

What’s less well-known is that you and I and other taxpayers are subsidizing this sky-high executive compensation. That’s because corporations deduct it from their income taxes, causing the rest of us to pay more in taxes to make up the difference. 

ACLU Report Shows Massive Racial Disparity In Marijuana Arrests

ACLU Report Shows Massive Racial Disparity In Marijuana Arrests

Cenk Uygur and “The Young Turks” producer Hermela Aregawi examine a recently released ACLU report on marijuana use and arrests. The report shows that although use among white and black Americans is comparable, black Americans are four times more likely to be arrested on marijuana charges. “If that’s not racist, I don’t know what it is,” concludes Cenk.

Patriotic Yardsticks for Unpatriotic Giant Corporations

 Patriotic Yardsticks for Unpatriotic Giant Corporations

Why are big, global U.S. corporations so unpatriotic? After all, they were created in the U.S.A., rose to immense profit because of the toil of American workers, are bailed out by American taxpayers whenever they’re in trouble, and are safeguarded abroad by the U.S. military.

The Fed, Apple, and Trickle-Down Economics

Central Bank Interest Rate vs Treasury Yield

The Fed’s policy of keeping interest rates near zero is another form of trickle-down economics. For evidence, look no further than Apple’s decision to borrow a whopping $17 billion and turn it over to its investors in the form of dividends and stock buy-backs.

How Immigration Reform Will Help Fix The Housing Recovery

How Immigration Reform Will Help Fix The Housing Recovery

In the past year, housing ownership by Americans fell to 65.3 percent while ownership increased among immigrant households. But if the bipartisan immigration bill set forth by the Gang of Eight passes, that number could soon skyrocket.

Entering a Resource Shock World

Scarce Resources

A global scarcity of vital resources and the onset of extreme climate change -- are already beginning to converge and in the coming decades are likely to produce a tidal wave of unrest, rebellion, competition, and conflict.

The Dis-Uniting of America

Pulling Against Each Other

Anyone who wants to understand the dis-uniting of America needs to see how dramatically we’re segregating geographically by income and wealth

Silicon Valley The Land of Wealthy Deadbeats

Silicon Valley Poverty On The Rise

Income inequality is on display in Silicon Valley. There is no shortage of brain power there, so something else must be at play. Greed perhaps? Certainly apathy.

You Are Losing Your Diet Choices

The Right To Coose Your Diet

"Foodopoly" details how a handful of large corporations control the nation’s food production in ways that limit how small farms operate and how ordinary people make choices in grocery stores.

Richard Wolff on Bill Moyers - Curing Capitalism

o

“Capitalism is a system geared up to doing three things on the part of business: get more profits, grow your company and get a larger market share… If along the way they have to sacrifice either the well-being of their workers or the well-being of the planet...”

Kicking The Euro Crisis Down The Road...Again

Cyprus Is Not For Sale

The government of Cyprus has brokered a last-ditch $13 billion bailout deal with European officials to stave off the collapse of its banking sector. Under the deal, all bank deposits above approximately $130,000 will be frozen and used to help pay off the banking sector’s debts.

A Pope Cut From A Different Cloth?

Pope Calls For Aid To The Poor

For Pope Francis I to help the poor, it will take more than Jesuits running soup lines -- although those do help. This pope will need to call the bankers of the world to heel for their sins against humanity.

The War on The Middle Class Has Only Just Begun

Together Again

Not only has it been a bad decade for the middle class, it has been a bad run of 30 years. The GOP has been in control most of that time and when they weren't directly in control they hamstrung the two Democratic presidents Clinton and Obama whenever they could. That was often, and it left the public with only a pseudo champion...

Why Chavez Chose Social Safety Net Over Skyscrapers

Hugo Chávez

Venezuelans revered Hugo Chavez for the same reason that officials here in the U.S. hated him - and why we should be taking a page out of the Chavez playbook in tonight's Daily Take...

Ryan the Redistributionist

Paul Ryan Budget

The Republican Party makeover is breathtaking. Now, suddenly, instead of accusing Democrats of being “redistributionists,” the GOP is posing as defender of the middle class against corporate America — and it’s doing so by proposing to do away with the most progressive piece of legislation in well over a decade.

Why The Minimum Wage Should Be $9

Why Raise The Minimum Wage

Increases in the minimum wage, just like wage gains by unions, indirectly raise the wages of other workers all around them even if they are not directly affected. Or as the old GOP trickle down mantra: wage gains or rising tides "raise all boats". Except they are referring to people at the top of the income heap.

America's weak economic recovery under threat from reckless Congress

The US economy has been out of recession officially for years, nearly as long as President Obama has been in office. But the recovery has been lackluster for the employment rate. While the economy has created a surprising number of jobs given obstructions, the unemployment rate is high because of the size of the hole we were in from The Great Recession. We could have done better! Why didn't we? Politics! That is the plain and simple answer. And another abyss peering session is in store for the American people.

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FROM THE EDITORS

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