2:28 Mar 8th, 2013 | 0 notes
Essentially, the hollowing out of the middle class has dealt a particular blow to women and their earning power. Women held a disproportionate number of public-sector jobs that haven’t come back, even as the immediate bleeding from local and state budget cuts has slowed. And while bonuses and merit pay have begun to return for the highest wage-earners, women are still underrepresented in the best-paid jobs, Hegwisch points out. “At the bottom of the labor market, it is more equal between men and women,” she explains. “But equality can also be equality in misery.
Happy International Women’s Day: Women’s wages are falling even further behind men’s.
That’s 77 cents for every dollar a man earned in 2012, down from 77.5 cents in 2011. Women’s full-time weekly wages dropped last year as men’s rose.
6:32 Sep 16th, 2012 | 2 notes
For all intents and purposes, the Occupy movement is dead, even as the Tea Party lives on. But why?
One reason, it seems to me, is that the Occupy protesters were purposely — even proudly — rudderless, eschewing leadership in favor of broad, and thus vague, consensus. It’s hard to get anything done without leaders. A second is that while they had plenty of grievances, aimed mainly at the “oppressive” power of corporations, the Occupy protesters never got beyond their own slogans.
But the main reason is that, ultimately, Occupy Wall Street simply would not engage with the larger world. Believing that both politicians and corporations were corrupt, it declined to dirty its hands by talking to anyone in power. The takeover of the park — especially as the police threatened to force the protesters out — became an end in itself rather than the means to something larger. Occupy was an insular movement, whose members spoke mainly to each other.
The Tea Party did just the opposite. It, too, believed that politicians were venal, but rather than turning away from politics, its adherents worked to elect politicians who believed in the same things they did. Yes, the Tea Party had wealthy benefactors, but their money would not have succeeded without enormous grass-roots support. Two years ago, 87 new Tea Party-elected candidates showed up in Washington. Much as you or I may not like it, they have largely succeeded throwing sand in the wheels of government. That was their goal.
Timothy Noah, the author of “The Great Divergence,” a fine book about income inequality, says that Occupy Wall Street did succeed in “massively raising the issue’s profile,” as he put it to me in an e-mail. There is more discussion now about income inequality, he added, than during the entire quarter-century the income gap was widening.
That is nothing to sneeze at, I suppose, but raising the issue is the easy part. The hard part is doing something about it. Without political engagement by those who want to reverse income inequality, it will continue to widen.
8:21 May 4th, 2012 | 2 notes
What they found is that as the rich got richer in the decades before the Great Recession, everyone else tried to maintain his standard of living by going deeper into debt. As income inequality grew over that period so did debt levels, because the rich increasingly invested their growing wealth in bonds and bank deposits, in effect providing money for ever more lending to the poor and middle class.
New York Times: Inequality, Debt and the Financial Crisis
4:20 Feb 29th, 2012 | 7 notes
Wall Street headhunter Daniel Arbeeny said his “income has gone down tremendously.” On a recent Sunday, he drove to Fairway Market in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn to buy discounted salmon for $5.99 a pound.
“They have a circular that they leave in front of the buildings in our neighborhood,” said Arbeeny, 49, who lives in nearby Cobble Hill, namesake for a line of pebbled-leather Kate Spade handbags. “We sit there, and I look through all of them to find out where it’s worth going.”
Executive-search veterans who work with hedge funds and banks make about $500,000 in good years, said Arbeeny, managing principal at New York-based CMF Partners LLC, declining to discuss specifics about his own income. He said he no longer goes on annual ski trips to Whistler (WB), Tahoe or Aspen.
He reads other supermarket circulars to find good prices for his favorite cereal, Wheat Chex.
“Wow, did I waste a lot of money,” Arbeeny said.
no, it’s not an onion article.
3:03 Feb 6th, 2012 | 68 notes
For the time being, in the US our corporate and governmental system backed surprisingly by the Supreme Court has become a plutocracy, designed to prolong, protect and intensify the wealth and influence of those who already have the wealth and influence. What the Occupy movement indicates is that a growing number of people have begun to recognize this in spite of the efficiency of capital’s propaganda machines. Forty years of no pay increase in the US after inflation for the average hour worked should, after all, have that effect. The propaganda is good but not that good.
“People now see it is a system for the rich only,” Jeremy Grantham, Financial Times
9:14 Jan 5th, 2012 | 183 notes
At least five large studies in recent years have found the United States to be less mobile than comparable nations. A project led by Markus Jantti, an economist at a Swedish university, found that 42 percent of American men raised in the bottom fifth of incomes stay there as adults. That shows a level of persistent disadvantage much higher than in Denmark (25 percent) and Britain (30 percent) — a country famous for its class constraints.
Meanwhile, just 8 percent of American men at the bottom rose to the top fifth. That compares with 12 percent of the British and 14 percent of the Danes.
2:47 Dec 27th, 2011 | 82 notes
What is clear is that members of Congress are getting richer compared not only with the average American worker, but also with other very rich Americans. While the median net worth of members of Congress jumped 15 percent from 2004 to 2010, the net worth of the richest 10 percent of Americans remained essentially flat. For all Americans, median net worth dropped 8 percent, based on inflation-adjusted data from Moody’s Analytics.
(Source: tartantambourine, via truth-has-a-liberal-bias)
2:25 Dec 7th, 2011 | 9 notes
For us, defending equality, and objecting to the outrageous inequalities between the 1 percent and the 99 percent is based on the democratic imperative to create a community where every citizen has a fair chance at a decent life, an equal opportunity to develop their talents, and an equal voice in political decisions. This aspiration for a society of equals finds its taproot not in envy or class resentment but in our country’s founding ideals and in the democratic dreams of peoples everywhere.
Rob Reich and Debra Satz