First and foremost, we have shifted the income tax burden in this country down. And understand that the share of income that people in the middle class and the upper middle class are paying is higher now than it was in the early ’60s, while for people at the very top it’s much lower. That means people can’t save, they can’t invest.
Secondly, we have completely eviscerated unions. Only about 7 percent of private production workers are in unions now, compared to in the mid 30s 40 years ago when we were much healthier economically. (All of our competitors, our major economic competitors are highly unionized. In Germany, executives have unions.) And that’s allowed companies to push down wages.
And then deindustrialization, closing our factories and sending them to China, has cost us the equivalent of every job of every kind in greater metropolitan Philadelphia. Two-point-eight million jobs—that’s just the jobs we lost to China. Then there’s Mexico and Vietnam and a lot of other places.
So we’ve been pursuing policies that have made the global-level capitalists very wealthy, and we’ve been doing so by doing terrible damage to the rest of the country.
Eighty seven percent (87%) of people in City Heights buy food and clothing outside the supermarket and big box stores according to a new study commissioned by the City Heights Community Development Corporation and the Ford Foundation. They are consumers engaged in the “informal economy” and most of them are low income and need to use the resources of the informal marketplace to survive.
Over 70% of the respondents had incomes below $1500 a month. Car repairs, clothes, food, personal grooming, electronics, home furnishings, maintenance and repairs were just a few of the types of informal business thriving throughout the neighborhood. While some resident groups oppose the informal economy the survey showed that about 91% of survey respondents agree that the informal economy is an important part of their community. 65.3 % of the respondents purchase food from a push cart vendor from time to time. 83.5% agree that it is useful to them and their families for financial survival.
According to Elana Cruz, the Director of the La Maestra Micro Credit program “the informal economy thrives in immigrant and low income communities because people need it to survive. It is the great motivator and a necessity.”
Not only do residents consume in the informal economy they actively work there. 94.2% said they were interested in owning their own business and growing their small informal business into a “formal business”. They are budding entrepreneurs.
Every $5 in new SNAP benefits generates a total of $9.20 in community spending.
Find out what a multiplier effect is.
(The 2 Aug 13) release of the July unemployment numbers is a case in point. “Today’s employment report provides further confirmation that the U.S. economy is continuing to recover from the worst downturn since the Great Depression,” the White House blog proclaimed, noting the headline unemployment number had fallen from 7.6 to 7.4%.
However, about half of the rather meager 162,000 jobs created were in the low-wage areas of retail, leisure, travel and dining, and just under two-thirds of the new positions were part-time. It’s an ongoing trend. More than three-quarters of jobs created this year were less than full-time work, according to an analysis by the Associated Press.
Lowly pay scales are also part of our post-2008 reality. As Pat Garofolo reminded me, the National Employment Law Project reported in 2011 that the majority of jobs lost during the Great Recession paid between $13.53 and $20.66 an hour. The majority of their replacements, however, offer pay between $7.51 and $13.52 per hour.
These are the sorts of jobs that not only don’t replace previous salaries, they all too frequently leave workers dependent on government and social service programs, ranging from food stamps to Medicare.
Run tell that to Democrats who crow about Obama’s economic recovery. Remind them that it’s not a chocolate / vanilla problem: it has to do with the political duopoly, it has to do with systemic flaws in our political system and their illiteracy about Keynesian economics.
Individual income tax payments have been rising fast since the economy began to recover, even though wages have hardly budged. But the same isn’t true for taxes for most corporations.
For the vast majority of America’s 5.8 million corporations, profits soared in 2010 — up 53 percent compared to 2009 — when the recession official ended at mid-year. Despite skyrocketing profits, however, their corporate income tax bills actually shrank by $1.9 billion, or 2.6 percent.
everyone needs to be talking about this. i was recently discussing reproductive choice with a pro-life person and they said “well it’s (fetus/embryo) a human life, that’s what this all comes down to for me so I can’t support abortion.”
a woman’s life is a human life. one that is already being lived. one that is being marginalized and devalued with the systematic stripping of basic rights. women are being told by the government that they are not capable of making decisions about their own health, about their own futures. we are being told that we must give up bodily autonomy to the government. we are being told by the state that we should carry babies to term. the idea of mandatory counseling makes my skin crawl-it is as if the government is shaming you into not having an abortion. pressuring you to go through a life altering and sometimes life devastating experience.
imagine if men were told the same thing about their health care? if we told gov. kasich that he had to wait 48 hours before a doctor could perform a life-saving procedure on him? fuck this.
we deserve better. we deserve choices. we deserve to not be shackled and controlled by anyone-not the government, not any man, not any god. these are our bodies.
i’m gonna go scream now.
And if anyone with any pull in the Capitol (Kasich? Anyone?), they could consider that birth control is worth a woman’s while:
Things are pretty dire in Iran these days, Kiarostami said. Speaking through an interpreter (despite being fluent in English), he described how the spiraling economy has seen people struggling for survival, with some of his students unable to pay their tuition fees. Then there’s the political uncertainty, which looms over Iran as the country prepares for presidential elections next month. Memories still linger of the government’s clampdown on activists who disputed the results of the previous polls in 2008.
Without referring to specific political events or figures, Kiarostami said the situation in Iran has “never been this dark.” He added: “And we have huge question marks in front of us now — some miracles should happen in Iran to save the nation.” The director expressed hope that the upcoming presidential elections will bring about the miracle he is hoping for. “If I say [it won’t help], it would show I’m a pessimist,” he said.