* BILL MOYERS ESSAY: IT PAYS TO BE RICH
Source: Moyers and Company
With help from the government, the tax code, and their own money, there’s no limit to how rich the super-rich aim to be — disconnecting themselves further and further from the American people as a result. Bill Moyers examines the gap.
* FIVE REASONS WHY THE VERY RICH HAVE NOT EARNED THEIR MONEY
By Paul Buchheit, Buzzflash
The wealthiest Americans believe they’ve earned their money through hard work and innovation, and that they’re the most productive members of society. For the most part they’re wrong. As the facts below will show, they’re not nearly as productive as middle-class workers. Yet they’ve taken almost all the new income over the past 30 years.
Any one of these five reasons should reinforce the belief that the rich should be paying a LOT more in taxes: […]
* REPUBLICANS VOTE AGAINST BUFFETT RULE A VOTE AGAINST FAIRNESS?
READ and VIDEO @ http://www.politicususa.com/bernie-sanders-gop-oligarchs/
* WHAT RICH PEOPLE FEAR MOST
By Kenneth Rapoza, Forbes
Once again, Washington has shown just who they work for. On matters of the economy, it is a handful of favorite industries like banking and insurance. On fiscal and monetary matters, it is the ubiquitous one percenters who rule the roost.
On Monday, the U.S. Senate blocked the proposed Buffett rule that would set a minimum 30% federal tax rate for millionaires in a 51 to 45 vote that fell like a stone, and far off the target of 60 votes needed to tax the wealthy. Washington fears the rich. But the rich, they fear something else.
Few Americans know what it is like to have one million dollars a year to their name. Whether it comes in the form of a salary, a lottery windfall, or investment income, a million dollars is luxury living at its best. After taxes, it’s $600,000 a year in high tax cities like Manhattan, or $50,000 a month. That’s more than the annual median income of the typical American household, which is around $46,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. […]
* PAUL RYAN THINKS JESUS ENDORSED IGNORING THE POOR
By Matthew Malone, Addicting Information
True right-wingers have never really cared about the poor. What does change, from time to time, is how much of their position they reveal to the public and what they keep hidden. They never admit their lack of compassion outright, but it’s evident in their legislative priorities.
Take, for example, Paul Ryan’s much-celebrated budget plan. Although the plan is billed as a solution to the debt crisis, it really only does three things: 1) increases taxes on the poor and middle class while decreasing them for the rich; 2) increases an already bloated defense budget; and 3) slashes all other areas of the government, often by severe proportions.
And while Paul Ryan is busy advocating further tax breaks for millionaires, Congressional Republicans have advanced a measure that would make draconian cuts to food stamp programs. The effort would make it harder for families to get on nutrition assistance programs (food stamps), give them less money while they’re on the rolls, and kick them off quicker and more easily. […]
* BIRTHING JUSTICE: REWRITING THE RULES OF THE GLOBAL ECONOMY – CREATING ECONOMICS THAT IMPROVE PEOPLE’S LIVES
“Rather than having these people inside the Beltway be the experts on the issue… we ask: How can we empower the people who are actually affected by the issues to be the spokespeople?” – Deborah James
By Tory Field and Beverly Bell, Other Worlds
Ask just about anyone about the “99%” these days and, regardless of how they feel about the Occupy movement, they’ll probably acknowledge the increasing concentration of wealth and power that the past few decades have brought. Occupy has successfully propelled issues of inequality and corporate control to mainstream consciousness, here in the belly of the beast, in the nation that has been pivotal to defining the world economic system.
The current popular US dissent over the extreme concentration of wealth and the marginalization of the voices of the majority has long precursors in US social movements. The farmers’ movements of the 1870s, the populist movement of the 1890s, the Industrial Workers of the World (Wobblies) and other militant labor unions from the dawn of the 20th Century through the 1950s, the civil rights and Black, Chicano, and Native nationalist movements from the 1960s on, and many other social movements… all have been rooted in calls for a more equitable division of power and economic resources. Parallel struggles, in many different forms, have occurred throughout the world.
The global justice movement, also known as the anti-globalization movement, exploded around the global South in the 1980s, when new draconian reforms demanded by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), as conditions for loans, destroyed national economies and the lives of those within them. The World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle in 1999 and the World Bank and IMF meetings in Washington in 2000, when hundreds of thousands of residents of the US and Europe turned out into the streets to protest the trade and financial regimes, marked something new: active alliance from the global North. Since then, organized populations everywhere have worked in their own countries and transnationally to subvert the rules of the global economy, where the wealthiest citizens, corporations, and counties make the decisions for all of us. The people’s movements have reminded us that economic globalization, which we are told is the only possible economic order, only commenced at the end of World War II, and that we do not have to accept it as it currently exists.
Those who are flooding streets today in Spain, Portugal, and Greece, and the millions who have preceded them around the world, all posit an alternative vision for economies: that they be just, that they provide for all without exploitation, that they place the well-being of human beings and the environment over profit, and that everyone gets to be part of shaping them. They believe that economic relationships should be driven by our desire to nurture each other and our communities, not by the competition and greed often underlying the corporate market. And they have won dramatic victories. […]
Inspired? Here are a few suggestions for getting involved!
- Challenge yourself to make conversations about the workings of international ﬁnancial institutions interesting and useful. Global Exchange’s Global Econ 101 webpage (www.globalexchange.org/resources/econ101) and the International Forum on Globalization (www.ifg.org) can help.
- Get involved with campaigns such as those to halt the expansion of the World Trade Organization (WTO), stop new trade agreements and renegotiate existing ones, end Fast Track, and cancel global debt:
- Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, www.citizen.org/trade
- Our World is Not for Sale global campaign, www.ourworldisnotforsale.org
- Citizens’ Trade Campaign, www.citizenstrade.org/ctc
- Democracy Is for People campaign of Public Citizen, www.democracyisforpeople.or
- Jubilee USA, www.jubileeusa.org
- Work for US policy that supports women around the world and their families. Learn how through Women Thrive Worldwide (www.womenthrive.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1117&Itemid=196).
Discover more ideas and download the entire Birthing Justice series here.