“Washington gridlock helps the super-rich stay rich, and get richer,” says Thomas Volscho, a sociologist at the City University of New York and one of the authors of the study. “And the richer they get, the more the gridlock actually helps them.”
The researchers looked back over 70 years of data, and found that the more dysfunctional Washington is, the bigger the share of the pie the top one percent tends to grab. And most importantly, they also found that when economic inequality is high, the kind of polarization and gridlock that have been the hallmark of Washington since Barack Obama’s election make legislative efforts to change course all-but-impossible.
So the apparatus of government is designed to reinforce the status quo, especially when that status quo already favours the 1 per cent. Who knew?
H/t @rachelmack and @ronobot.
More from @NYTimesKrugman. This guy should be required reading.
A job that pays a living wage isn’t just good for the workers who get to take home a livable paycheck, it’s good for other business owners and the economy as a whole. Businesses need people with a reasonable income to buy their goods. When workers are paid so little that they can barely afford to eat, they can’t spend additional money and as a result, the entire economy suffers. This is economics 101.
That implicit contract between society and the business owner used to be common knowledge in this country and, until the Reagan Revolution, was kept intact by businesses. Now, however, corporate America has thrown it out the window.
Walmart is the most egregious example. The nation’s largest employer is one big corporate welfare scheme for the company’s executives and the billionaire Walton family …
There are more lessons here, of course, but this is why we all need to tell Walmart to fuck off.
This week, the EU proposed that bonuses ought to be no more than 100% of bankers’ annual salaries, or 200% if sanctioned by shareholders. Someone earning £1m could thus get an extra £2m if their work is deemed of sufficient value to the firm. But apparently, this is not nearly enough. This cap is unfair, they say. Bonuses should be unlimited. And if these pin-striped übermensch don’t get what they want, they will have a tantrum and stomp off to Singapore. Well, let them go.
What’s that? Lessons in this for Canada, you say? Sorry, not coming through. Your lips move but I can’t hear what you’re saying.
Along the way, however, we’ve forgotten something important — namely, that economic justice and economic growth aren’t incompatible. America in the 1950s made the rich pay their fair share; it gave workers the power to bargain for decent wages and benefits; yet contrary to right-wing propaganda then and now, it prospered. And we can do that again.
The next conflict defining us all is much more unnerving. That conflict will be between people who live somewhere, and people who live nowhere. It will be between people who consider themselves citizens of actual countries, to which they have patriotic allegiance, and people to whom nations are meaningless, who live in a stateless global archipelago of privilege – a collection of private schools, tax havens and gated residential communities with little or no connection to the outside world. Mitt Romney isn’t blue or red. He’s an archipelago man.
Purposefully conflates the philosophy of Jesus with Ayn Rand’s in order to justify being a greedy asshole.
From a discussion of why Pat Robertson is a dick.