The United States Postal Service (USPS) management just ran into a possible game-changing obstacle to its shameful pursuit of a fully privatized post office: labor solidarity.
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.
In the 1980s, corporate CEOs were paid, on average, 30 times what their typical worker was paid. Since then, CEO pay has skyrocketed to 280 times the pay of a typical worker; in big companies, to 354 times.
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...
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.
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.”
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.
The fact that McDonald’s can consistently sell a Bacon McDouble burger for a dollar seems preposterous; it’s a wonder we have a large-scale meat industry at all, much less a highly profitable one.
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...
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
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.
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...
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.”
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
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.
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...
Why has America forgotten the three most important economic lessons we learned in the thirty years following World War II? Before I answer that question, let me remind you what those lessons...
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...
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
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...
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.
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
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.
Methane leaks in natural gas pipelines have long been a concern with the shale gas and fracking boom in Pennsylvania, Colorado and elsewhere. A new study shows methane leaks are also a hazard in major U.S. cities, posing an explosion risk and a threat to the climate.
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
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
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 ?
Fifty years ago this week, President Lyndon B. Johnson launched his "war on poverty," which led to many of the federal and state initiatives low-income Americans rely on today
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.
When thinking 40 years into the future, people step out of the current political situation, and our sense of what's possible becomes much more expansive. We are not only able to think bigger—we crave it.
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.
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...
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
The Obama administration makes good on its promise to give direct care workers the same rights as nearly everyone else—and to top it all off, California follows suit.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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?
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.
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.
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.
As President Obama heads to Phoenix today to tout the "housing recovery," journalist Laura Gottesdiener examines the devastating legacy of the foreclosure crisis and how much of the so-called recovery is a result of large private equity firms buying up hundreds of thousands of foreclosed homes.
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...
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.
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.
Corporations want corporate tax reduction to be the centerpiece of “tax reform" come the fall. The President has already signaled a willingness to sign on in return for more infrastructure investment. But the arguments for corporate tax reduction are specious.
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...
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.
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.
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.
"There are so many other cities in Detroit’s situation, that if the courts decide that it is legal to take away the pension that has been promised to and paid for by these workers, you have [legalized] theft.
Countries like Egypt and Switzerland have placed regulations on how much executives can earn. Here’s why the U.S. should consider doing the same.
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.
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.
Americans are segregating by income more than ever before. Forty years ago, most cities (including Detroit) had a mixture of wealthy, middle-class, and poor residents. Now, each income group tends to lives separately, in its own city'
A basic economic principle is government ought to tax what we want to discourage, and not tax what we want to encourage.
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.
A scheme to reduce emissions from polluting factories in China’s richer provinces by imposing limits on them has resulted in shifting mucky plants to less prosperous places with fewer rules.
Jobs are returning with depressing slowness, and most of the new jobs pay less than the jobs that were lost in the Great Recession.
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.
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.
Google, Amazon, Starbucks, every other major corporation, and every big Wall Street bank, are sheltering as much of their U.S. profits abroad as they can
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.
Hardly a day goes by that Congressional hypocrisy is not on display. It seems it knows no bounds as these modern-day reverse Robin Hoods are ravaging the middle-class and poor and filling the already bulging pockets of their benefactors with riches beyond their wildest dreams.
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.
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.
Anyone who wants to understand the dis-uniting of America needs to see how dramatically we’re segregating geographically by income and wealth
How to Make a Million Dollars an Hour: Why Hedge Funds Get Away with Siphoning Off America's Wealth, joins Thom Hartmann. Hint - It has to do with Cheating.
We’re now witnessing what happens when all of the economic gains go to the top, and the rest of the population doesn’t have enough purchasing power to keep the economy going.
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.
One of the biggest failures of governments worldwide and in particular the US is the way governments have handled declining home values.
In an attempt to fend off its on-line competitor Amazon, Wal-mart reaches for the final pinnacle of employee abuse. No pay at all.
"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.
While some reforms have helped, Republicans in Congress have done everything they could to either stop or neutralize reform measures. So it's still the Wild West out there.
“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...”
It's time to start calling our oligarchs what they are - oligarchs. And tax cheats. And people who have corrupted our politicians, our media, and our market-based economic system.
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.
As Washington lawmakers push new austerity measures, economist Richard Wolff calls for a radical restructuring of the U.S. economic and financial systems.
Don't think a "bank run" can happen in the US? It has and it could. That's why we regulate banks, because they won't do it for themselves. Just ask Alan Greenspan. He spent a lifetime figuring that out.
Many private schools were formed and operated to bridge the gap between public schools that were once the pride of the USA and the desire for pseudo-private schools and public funding.
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.
Prominent Democrats — including the President and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi — are openly suggesting that Medicare be means-tested and Social Security payments be reduced by applying a lower adjustment for inflation.
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...
Attorney Mike Papantonio, Ring of Fire Radio, joins Thom Hartmann. Obama says he wants a "grand bargain." But at what cost?
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...
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.
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.
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.
Chris Hedges gave this talk in Brooklyn at the People’s Recovery Summit.