FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Stop the HURT

Why is it so hard to find a good job? Here’s a big part of it: based on U.S. productivity since 1980, every year a trillion dollars that should go to the middle-class (more than we spend on the entire military) goes to the richest 1% of Americans.

Young people especially are feeling the ‘HURT.’

Health risks

“Almost every modern social problem – poor health, violence, lack of community life, teen pregnancy, mental illness – is more likely to occur in a less-equal society.”

— Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, “The Spirit Level – Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger”

Unethical behavior

It’s ‘legal’ to call hedge fund income “carried interest” instead of income. And it’s ‘legal’ for CEOs to backdate their stock options to a time in the past when the price was higher. And it’s ‘legal’ for failed companies to award billions of dollars in bonuses with taxpayer money.

And who goes to jail? Studies by the ACLU and New York University reveal “a troubling pattern of incarceration in at least 16 states, where even minor, nonviolent offenses such as SPEEDING and LOITERING result in prison time for the poor.”

Redistribution of income to the rich:

In 1980 the richest 1% of Americans got one out of every fifteen income dollars. Thanks to tax cuts and deregulation, they now get THREE out of every fifteen dollars.

Some individuals make enough money in one year to pay the salaries of every police officer, firefighter, and public school teacher in Chicago.

Trillions of dollars lost by middle-class America

If the poorest 90% of America had simply maintained their share of income held in 1980, they would be making a trillion dollars more per year (about $10,000 per family).

The middle class deserves this income, because our country’s productivity has risen steadily over the past 30 years, and we all contributed.

So what to do? Vote for candidates who will fight to repeal the tax cuts and keep the estate tax. Both of these will result in higher taxes only for a very few people, those responsible for the hurt that most of us feel.

PAUL BUCHHEIT teaches in the School for New Learning at DePaul University.

More articles by:
bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
November 15, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
Meet Ukraine: America’s Newest “Strategic Ally”
Rob Urie
Wall Street and the Frankenstein Economy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Ukraine in the Membrane
Jonathan Steele
The OPCW and Douma: Chemical Weapons Watchdog Accused of Evidence-Tampering by Its Own Inspectors
Kathleen Wallace
A Gangster for Capitalism: Next Up, Bolivia
Andrew Levine
Get Trump First, But Then…
Thomas Knapp
Trump’s Democratic Critics Want it Both Ways on Biden, Clinton
Ipek S. Burnett
The United States Needs Citizens Like You, Dreamer
Michael Welton
Fundamentalism as Speechlessness
David Rosen
A Century of Prohibition
Nino Pagliccia
Morales: Bolivia Suffers an Assault on the Power of the People
Dave Lindorff
When an Elected Government Falls in South America, as in Bolivia, Look For a US Role
John Grant
Drones, Guns and Abject Heroes in America
Clark T. Scott
Bolivia and the Loud Silence
Manuel García, Jr.
The Truthiest Reality of Global Warming
Ramzy Baroud
A Lesson for the Palestinian Leadership: Real Reasons behind Israel’s Arrest and Release of Labadi, Mi’ri
Charles McKelvey
The USA “Defends” Its Blockade, and Cuba Responds
Louis Proyect
Noel Ignatiev: Remembering a Comrade and a Friend
John W. Whitehead
Casualties of War: Military Veterans Have Become America’s Walking Wounded
Patrick Bond
As Brazil’s ex-President Lula is Set Free and BRICS Leaders Summit, What Lessons From the Workers Party for Fighting Global Neoliberalism?
Alexandra Early
Labor Opponents of Single Payer Don’t  Speak For Low Wage Union Members
Pete Dolack
Resisting Misleading Narratives About Pacifica Radio
Edward Hunt
It’s Still Not Too Late for Rojava
Medea Benjamin - Nicolas J. S. Davies
Why Aren’t Americans Rising up Like the People of Chile and Lebanon?
Nicolas Lalaguna
Voting on the Future of Life on Earth
Jill Richardson
The EPA’s War on Science Continues
Lawrence Davidson
The Problem of Localized Ethics
Richard Hardigan
Europe’s Shameful Treatment of Refugees: Fire in Greek Camp Highlights Appalling Conditions
Judith Deutsch
Permanent War: the Drive to Emasculate
David Swanson
Why War Deaths Increase After Wars
Raouf Halaby
94 Well-Lived Years and the $27 Traffic Fine
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Coups-for-Green-Energy Added to Wars-For-Oil
Andrea Flynn
What Breast Cancer Taught Me About Health Care
Negin Owliaei
Time for a Billionaire Ban
Binoy Kampmark
Business as Usual: Evo Morales and the Coup Condition
Bernard Marszalek
Toward a Counterculture of Rebellion
Brian Horejsi
The Benefits of Environmental Citizenship
Brian Cloughley
All That Gunsmoke
Graham Peebles
Why is there so Much Wrong in Our Society?
Jonah Raskin
Black, Blue, Jazzy and Beat Down to His Bones: Being Bob Kaufman
John Kendall Hawkins
Treason as a Lifestyle: I’ll Drink to That
Manuel García, Jr.
Heartrending Antiwar Songs
Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin
Poetry and Political Struggle: The Dialectics of Rhyme
Ben Terrall
The Rise of Silicon Valley
David Yearsley
Performance Anxiety
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail