Category Archives: Income disparity

Tom Engelhardt: The New American Order: 1% Elections, The Privatization of the State, a Fourth Branch of Government, and the Demobilization of “We the People”

Based on developments in our post-9/11 world, we could be watching the birth of a new American political system and way of governing for which, as yet, we have no name.

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What Happened to the “Feel Good” Economy?

Even though this video is from December (hat tip Philip Pilkington), it gives an informative and nuanced explanation of the rise in income inequality and consumer debt levels, and how they play into our unimpressive “recovery”. The interview of Steve Fazzari and Barry Cynamon by Marshall Auerback discusses how the rise of inequality has many drivers, but the biggest appears to be financialization which is so pervasive and well-protected politically as to make it hard to roll back. It also put focus on key metrics that often get lost in conventional coverage. For instance, inflation and productivity adjusted wages would now need to be over $20 to match the levels of the 1960s.

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Nomi Prins: The Volatility/Quantitative Easing Dance of Doom

The battle between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ of global financial policy is escalating to the point where the ‘haves’ might start to sweat – a tiny little. This phase of heightened volatility in the markets is a harbinger of the inevitable meltdown that will follow the grand plastering-over of a systemically fraudulent global financial system.

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Obama Administration Makes Unverifiable Claim of 545,000 IT Job Openings; H-1B Visa Boosting Likely Culprit

Two stories on Slashdot say a great deal about the reality of the labor market versus the official hype. It’s noteworthy that the comments, which are typically fractious at Slashdot, line up almost uniformly on the “employers are looking for insanely specific and often unrealistic experience.” And why might that be? In the case of tech in particular, to justify bringing in more H-1B visa candidates.

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Debunking the Claim that Inequality Fell After the Crisis

A new paper by Stephen Rose of George Washington University that was picked up by the New York Times created a stir by claiming that inequality fell after the crisis. While the crisis proper did hit the well-off hard, and past accounts allow for that, a large range of analyses had found that income and wealth inequality rose after the crisis. That mean the Rose paper was potentially important, and even if not, it was useful to those who’d like to claim that the new normal is benign, even virtuous, so it has gotten quite a bit of attention.

This article by Lance Taylor goes through the Rose paper and other data and finds the “lower inequality” hypothesis to be sorely wanting.

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Austerity Kills: Economic Distress Seen as Culprit in Sharp Rise in Suicide Rate Among Middle Aged

I’m surprised, but perhaps I shouldn’t be, that a recent study hasn’t gotten the attention it warrants. It points to a direct connection between the impact of the crisis and a marked increase in suicide rates among the middle aged.

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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Forced Into Historic Runoff

This Real News Network interview describes why the coming mayoral runoff in Chicago is in many ways a referendum on failed neoliberal policies, such as privatizing schools. The very fact that this race is taking place at all reveals an unexpectedly large degree of popular discontent with misrule by what passes for our elites

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