Category Archives: Economy

Underemployment v. unemployment in one handy picture

Tax the very rich, right now

Paul Buchheit at Common Dreams writes:

The standard argument against this is that everyone has an equal opportunity to benefit from past accomplishments. But it isn’t true. An American born in 1970 in the bottom economic quintile had only a 17% chance of making it into the top two quintiles. Reports from Brookings, Pew, and the OECD show that much of Europe has more economic mobility than the United States.

Even for those who headed up the newest computer-based technologies, their successes have depended on the input of thousands of physicists and chemists and chip designers and software engineers and market analysts over many years to lay the groundwork for the infrastructure and protocols needed for success.

And then he quotes Tom Paine:

All accumulation, therefore, of personal property, beyond what a man’s own hands produce, is derived to him by living in society; and he owes on every principle of justice, of gratitude, and of civilization, a part of that accumulation back again to society from whence the whole came.


Abbott and Costello do the economy

Read Barry Levinson’s take on the economics of the comic titans. And thanks, DickG., for the link.

The poor get poorer

Those TANF benefits? Pres. Clinton’s answer to welfare? They fell to 20 percent below their 1996 levels in 34 states. And six states have cut them, according to a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Here’s a chart:

And more cuts are planned.

So what does this mean to you, a hardworking American? Well, you just may fall into the abyss, yourself. Or, if you’re blessed to have a job and lucky enough to be holding things together relatively well, you will start to see an increase in requests for public services. And if we don’t or won’t provide those, guess what happens? Emergency services get overtaxed (not in a tax-tax way, but in a used-tax sense) and you will see that in your household budget, maybe in higher insurance premiums or increased taxes to handle emergency medical calls from your neighbors who can’t afford an office visit, who wait to call their local fire department when things get so bad they just can’t suck it up any more. So really? While the Super Committee was a Super Failure, the safety net gets stretched to the point that you can drive city buses through the holes.  I’m no math major, but looking out for those who can’t look out for themselves isn’t just the moral thing to do. It makes perfect economic sense.

The empathy deficit

(And thanks, Sharon, for letting me steal this link off of Facebook.)

Free markets aren’t free

Barry Ritholtz at the Washington Post explains the financial crisis for you, here.

Here’s the take-home phrase:

The previous Big Lie — the discredited belief that free markets require no adult supervision — is the reason people have created a new false narrative.

And thanks, DickG., for the link.

America hearts socialism

Or maybe America just likes fairness?

A new Washington Post-ABC poll says (see question no. 18) that some 60 percent of Americans think the government “should pursue policies that try to reduce the gap between wealthy and less well-off Americans.” Forty-three percent strongly feel that way.

You can read more about the country’s income distribution (from the U.S. Census Bureau) here.


Keeping Wall Street occupied with your junk mail:

You can read more here.

God supports taxes and redistribution of wealth

Our text today comes from Gen.41:25-42. You can read it here, and you can read The Christian Left’s take on it here.

And thanks, Sis. Sensible, for the link.

Looking inward…

It’s what we do when times get tough.

But once — just once – wouldn’t it be swell if we didn’t?

And thanks, Digg, for the link.