1. If this is the wave of the future, it makes nonsense of just about all the conventional wisdom on reducing inequality. Better education won’t do much to reduce inequality if the big rewards simply go to those with the most assets. Creating an “opportunity society”, or whatever it is the likes of Paul Ryan etc. are selling this week, won’t do much if the most important asset you can have in life is, well, lots of assets inherited from your parents. And so on.
    — 

    Paul Krugman (via azspot)

    People are going into debt for the majority of their lives in order to get the college degree that’s necessary for many jobs, yet that BA has become less and less valuable over time. Why should people invest so much in their training if it’s not going to pay off?

     
  2. image: Download

    theyoungturks:


Al Sharpton Quote


'Shared sacrifice' my ass

    theyoungturks:

    Al Sharpton Quote

    'Shared sacrifice' my ass

     
  3. "When a man tells you that he got rich through hard work, ask him whose."
—Don Marquis, newspaper columnist, quoted in O Rare Don Marquis (1962) by Edward Anthony

    "When a man tells you that he got rich through hard work, ask him whose."

    —Don Marquis, newspaper columnist, quoted in O Rare Don Marquis (1962) by Edward Anthony

    (Source: questionall)

     
  4. I don’t know how much of the devaluation of labor either technology or monopoly explains, in part because there has been so little discussion of what’s going on. I think it’s fair to say that the shift of income from labor to capital has not yet made it into our national discourse. Yet that shift is happening — and it has major implications. For example, there is a big, lavishly financed push to reduce corporate tax rates; is this really what we want to be doing at a time when profits are surging at workers’ expense? Or what about the push to reduce or eliminate inheritance taxes; if we’re moving back to a world in which financial capital, not skill or education, determines income, do we really want to make it even easier to inherit wealth? As I said, this is a discussion that has barely begun — but it’s time to get started, before the robots and the robber barons turn our society into something unrecognizable.
    — Paul Krugman (via azspot)
     
  5. There is an argument sometimes made by union activists that unions should run persuasion campaigns to collect dues because the workers are more invested and supportive of an energized organization than when dues are passively/invisibly collected on a union’s behalf. There is some evidence that this is true. For example, the most powerful local union in the country, Culinary 226 in Las Vegas—a political powerhouse that ensures middle-class wages and benefits for hotel housekeepers—operates in a right-to-work state and gets close to 100% dues compliance. Thus the Culinary local has the classic “free rider” problem—but the union solves the problem itself thru its intense advocacy. However, the very invisibility and ease of collecting union dues in the non-right-to-work states has paradoxically made unions more dependent on these “automatic” functions than ever. In short, most local unions today are logistically and, often, intellectually, atrophied. They lack the esprit, borne of success and militancy, of Culinary 226. Unfortunately, on balance, and in most situations, unions need automatic dues collection just to function at a reasonably high level. The medicine may make them weaker, but to take them off it immediately could be fatal.
    — 

    This Is Not Wisconsin. It’s Worse.

    This article is really, really, really good. 

    (via differentclasswar)

     
  6. 17:51

    Notes: 12720

    Reblogged from blue-author

    Tags: classclass warfare

    theuppitynegras:

youngblackandvegan:

commie-pinko-liberal:

true fucking story

the end

    theuppitynegras:

    youngblackandvegan:

    commie-pinko-liberal:

    true fucking story

    the end

    (Source: alc-oholic)

     
  7. The important thing to understand now is that while the election is over, the class war isn’t. The same people who bet big on Mr. Romney, and lost, are now trying to win by stealth — in the name of fiscal responsibility — the ground they failed to gain in an open election.

    […]

    Consider, as a prime example, the push to raise the retirement age, the age of eligibility for Medicare, or both. This is only reasonable, we’re told — after all, life expectancy has risen, so shouldn’t we all retire later? In reality, however, it would be a hugely regressive policy change, imposing severe burdens on lower- and middle-income Americans while barely affecting the wealthy. Why? First of all, the increase in life expectancy is concentrated among the affluent; why should janitors have to retire later because lawyers are living longer? Second, both Social Security and Medicare are much more important, relative to income, to less-affluent Americans, so delaying their availability would be a far more severe hit to ordinary families than to the top 1 percent.

    Or take a subtler example, the insistence that any revenue increases should come from limiting deductions rather than from higher tax rates. The key thing to realize here is that the math just doesn’t work; there is, in fact, no way limits on deductions can raise as much revenue from the wealthy as you can get simply by letting the relevant parts of the Bush-era tax cuts expire. So any proposal to avoid a rate increase is, whatever its proponents may say, a proposal that we let the 1 percent off the hook and shift the burden, one way or another, to the middle class or the poor.

    The point is that the class war is still on, this time with an added dose of deception. And this, in turn, means that you need to look very closely at any proposals coming from the usual suspects, even — or rather especially — if the proposal is being represented as a bipartisan, common-sense solution. In particular, whenever some deficit-scold group talks about “shared sacrifice,” you need to ask, sacrifice relative to what?

    — Paul Krugman, Class Wars of 2012
     
  8. Likely brand sales won’t keep Hostess from screwing employees out of millions

    shortformblog:

    • $1.1M in monthly retiree benefits will not be paid by Hostess during the company’s liquidation process according to an attorney for the company.
    • $1.5M was collected by Hostess CEO Gregory Rayburn during fiscal 2012 — an average monthly salary of $125,000 — before bonuses or other incentives.
    • $1.8M has been set aside for the incentive bonuses of 19 Hostess executives, bonuses which the company argues are needed to retain the corporate officers and other high-level managers. Maybe it’s just us, but does this sound like, “Let us pay ourselves another $2 million, or we’ll quit too!” to anybody else?source

     
  9. lalie reblogged your link: Paying Retail Workers a Little Better Can Make a Huge Difference

    I made 25K with a BA working a full time research-heavy desk job. I worked in the Chicago Loop. Basically: Aww, how cute

    Yeah, that’s the thing. NO ONE is being paid enough. The people at the very, very top of the pay scale have experienced a huge jump in income, but everyone else is being underpaid. I just saw an article the other day about a federal judge who was looking for a law clerk who would work for him for free:

    This is the practical endpoint of a social system that has produced a vast oversupply of bright, ambitious, hardworking and highly educated young people, who are increasingly desperate for any sort of employment that bears a vague resemblance to the kind of work they thought they were being trained to do. The zero-salary job is merely the logical extension of what has been called “the internship rip-off,” which allows employers to exploit unpaid labor under the guise of educational training.

    Casualization is happening in both blue and white collar jobs. And employers are expecting both white and blue collar workers to work for less money and fewer benefits. And the fact that white collar workers are being underpaid is a means of turning them against blue collar workers. If you’re not getting paid that much for your white collar job, then why should a retail worker get paid more? Eric Loomis characterizes the class warfare this way:

    So much of our ideology about workers is looking down on blue-collar labor. They aren’t educated so they deserve to be at the bottom. Plus I have a college degree and I have an unpaid internship. I am so lucky to get this “job” and I am so valuable with my bachelor’s degree in journalism from Michigan. So if I’m not getting paid, certainly those losers should be getting even less.

    The thing is, almost everyone is being underpaid. Work in general is being undervalued. Everyone is working harder and investing more in their education and skills, but income hasn’t risen to match increases in productivity. And that’s because the very wealthiest among us are effectively cutting wages and salaries so that they can pay themselves the most. The 1% are making off with the lion’s share of this country’s wealth while the rest of us squabble over the scraps.

     
  10. In 2004, a year in which Wal-Mart reported $9.1 billion in profits, the retailer’s California employees collected $86 million in public assistance, according to researchers at the University of California-Berkeley. Other studies have revealed widespread use of publicly funded health care by Wal-Mart employees in numerous states. In 2004, Democratic staffers of the House education and workforce committee calculated that each 200-employee Wal-Mart store costs taxpayers an average of more than $400,000 a year, based on entitlements ranging from energy-assistance grants to Medicaid to food stamps to WIC—the federal program that provides food to low-income women with children.
    — 
     
  11. A good comparison of Romney’s latest, secretly taped remarks and what he said on the campaign trail. It demonstrates that the real Romney is the guy sneering at the 47 percent at the fancy dinner, not the politician who insincerely apologized for those remarks later:

    When you read these quotes and listen to the audio, three patterns sink in. First, everything Romney says on the conference call is the opposite of what he said in the debates. In the debates, Romney pledged to “make it easier for kids to afford college” and bragged that as governor, he had given students “four years tuition free to the college of your choice.” On the call, he depicts college loan assistance as a bribe. In the debates, Romney labeled Obamacare a big-government mandate that would force everyone to buy a product, would cost 20 million people their health insurance, and would raise every family’s premiums by $2,500 a year. On the call, he describes Obamacare as “free health care” worth $10,000 per family. In the debates, Romney claimed that “under my plan … young people are able to stay on their family plan.” On the call, he brushes off this idea as a “gift” used by Obama to buy votes. In the debates, Romney said “every woman in America should have access to contraceptives.” On the call, he caricatures Obama’s policy—that insurance plans must cover birth control for the premium payer—as “free contraceptives” for young women.

    Second, the Romney on the call matches the Romney in the 47 percent video. In the same resigned tone, he speaks of scores of millions of Americans hooked on free health care and other benefits. But this time, he itemizes the constituencies and reports that they’ve paid back their benefactor with their votes, just as he predicted.

    Third, the call belies everything Romney said in his attempts to clean up the 47 percent video. At the Sept. 19 Univision forum, Romney said the country was too divided, and he proclaimed his commitment to the poor. On the call, he depicts blacks, Latinos, and young women as interest groups bought off by handouts and amnesty. At the Univision forum, Romney framed food stamps as something unemployed people “had to go onto.” On the call, he casts public assistance as “extraordinary financial gifts” eagerly seized in exchange for votes. In the Oct. 4 Hannity interview, Romney excused his 47 percent riff as a one-time verbal flub “in a campaign with hundreds if not thousands of speeches and question-and-answer sessions.” On the call, at length, he repeats it.

    Don’t bother trying to explain yourself, Mitt. The 47 percent of us who gave you a pass the first time won’t make that mistake again. We can tell you’re being candid. Just not with us.

    I am so thankful this lying, privileged jerk lost the election.

     
  12. Guys, I get it: providing healthcare benefits to employees cost money. And, as a group, you tend to prefer things that do not cost that — I watch Undercover Boss. But own your layoffs and your policies. Let’s stop pretending that suddenly, with this election, bosses have been transformed into reluctant assholes.

    Obamacare is just the latest excuse to wriggle out of the social contract. For many years now, full-time benefits like sick days, maternity leave, pensions, lunch hours, chairs — have disappeared by magically transforming full-time employees into ‘independent contractors’ or ‘part-time-20-year temp help.’ Wanna avoid paying half of your employees’ Social Security tax? Reclassify them as ‘independent contractors’ so they pay it all themselves! Make them fill out a 1099! ‘That’s not a full-time busboy — that’s Juan Co., LLC!’

    …So let’s cut the ‘I’d loooove to be able to give employees healthcare — I just can’t!’ Let’s face the facts: pizza and coal companies are just unlucky enough to have a labor force that can’t be outsourced — you happen to be among the few industries that still has to hire Americans! I’m sure that if you could outsource your pizza-making to China, I’m sure that ‘Papa John’s’ would become Papa San’s. Which is actually (Japanese), but, you know, for the joke. You understand.

    …So maybe next time, take all the millions you donated for partisan political purposes and pump it back into the type of healthcare advances that may ultimately increase business productivity! And then, we can just keep pizza out of politics.

    — 

    JON STEWART, responding to business owners like Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter threatening to fire employees because of the implementation of Obamacare, on The Daily Show (via inothernews)

    Remember: Obamacare never mandated that employers fire people or reduce their hours. That is the decision that the employer made. It’s not Obama’s fault that some business owners are total dicks.

    (via stfuconservatives)
     
  13. Mitt Romney’s opposition to the auto bailout has haunted him on the campaign trail, especially in Rust Belt states like Ohio. There, in September, the Obama campaign launched television ads blasting Romney’s November 2008 New York Times op-ed, “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.” But Romney has done a good job of concealing, until now, the fact that he and his wife, Ann, personally gained at least $15.3 million from the bailout—and a few of Romney’s most important Wall Street donors made more than $4 billion. Their gains, and the Romneys’, were astronomical—more than 3,000 percent on their investment.

     
  14. justinspoliticalcorner:

    What is most obnoxious about the Welfare Queen myth is that it is traced directly back to Ronald Reagan, who was indulging in gleeful hyperbole to outrage his Republican base. It has probably done more than any other conservative talking point in living memory to encourage Americans to be cruel to their neediest neighbors, even when some of those Americans are receiving some form of government assistance themselves. Stupid Uncle Bonzo.

    What Reagan actually said, according to Wikipedia: “During his 1976 presidential campaign, Reagan would tell the story of a woman from Chicago’s South Side arrested for welfare fraud: ”She has eighty names, thirty addresses, twelve Social Security cards and is collecting veteran’s benefits on four non-existing deceased husbands. And she is collecting Social Security on her cards. She’s got Medicaid, getting food stamps, and she is collecting welfare under each of her names. Her tax-free cash income is over $150,000.”
    The real life inspiration, according to Wikipedia: ”In 1976, the New York Times reported that a woman from Chicago, Linda Taylor, was charged with using four aliases and of cheating the government out of $8,000. She appeared again in the newspaper while the Illinois Attorney General continued investigating her case. The woman was ultimately found guilty of “welfare fraud and perjury” in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois.”
    So one woman scammed the government out of a total of eight thousand dollars andgot caught and sentenced. From this one woman’s situation, Reagan creatively invented multiple imaginary dead fake veteran husbands (not true), a six-figure “annual salary” ($8,000 is four digits and not enough to live on for a year),  a dozen fake Social Security cards (not correct), 80 aliases (no) and 30 fake home addresses (also no) and so on…in short, he created the Welfare Queen stereotype by wildly exaggerating information about a real person who got caught doing something wrong and who was punished for her criminal act.
    Right from the beginning, when Reagan first told the infamous Welfare Queen story, there wasn’t anyone who actually got away with welfare fraud in real life! One middle-aged woman inspired Reagan’s anecdote, and she got caught! She was punished! That fairy tale The Gipper told us has led to a lot of misery, most of it directed at the weakest members of our society: those who are the least capable of defending themselves. Are we a country of unkind assholes who lack compassion for our neighbors, now?
     
    The same people who believe in the Welfare Queen myth also believe that people on government assistance are out blowing all that “free money” on iPhones, fancy shoes and lobster. In truth, the government provides pre-paid phones to low-income people who take part in welfare-to-work programs. When is the last time you spotted a payphone in the wild? (Was it in working order?) The government provides phones to people so they can apply for jobs. It is a bit difficult to hang out around the last surviving payphone in your area (again, if there is one) all day hoping an employer will call you. (What is more likely to happen if you hover around a payphone all day long is that the local police will assume you are selling drugs.) The government also provides phones because it needs these people to check in often and make sure that they are actually applying for work, because if they are not actively participating in job training or trying to find work, they lose the few benefits they qualify for.
    Are you feeling the urge to gnash your teeth and shake your fist about so-called “Obamaphones” now? It’s such a crazy liberal idea, loaning poor people a phone to use! It was particularly smart of Obama to travel back in time to the mid-1980s to start a program that helped low-income people afford telephone service. Wait…what?
    Except, again, as we have learned, Linda Taylor didn’t get away with anything. Ultimately she served years in jail and paid restitution. Crime did not pay. Gut social programs anyway! Better ten thousand starving children and babies than the chance that one woman get a penny more of “our” tax dollars than she is entitled to…even though over 91% of all government assistance recipients are the elderly, the disabled, children and the working poor (so much for the idea of an army of shiftless welfare recipients sitting at home on the couch, eating government cheese and food stamp-purchased bonbons all day).

    This suggests that the Welfare Queen archetype and the distorted view of Black Americans on welfare is well-entrenched in the White American psyche. The majority of welfare recipients are non-urban and White. The majority of food stamp recipients have jobs or are children, so comparing paychecks to food stamps makes no sense.”

    Let’s get this one thing straight: there are no Welfare Queens out there driving Cadillacs, having five kids specifically to get extra financial benefits from the government, getting free iPhones, and somehow getting rich off “your” money. NONE. There never were.

    This is the man the contemporary GOP lionizes, a blatant liar and race-baiter who didn’t give a shit about poor people.

     
  15. robot-heart-politics:

    think-progress:

    The most outrageous part is that this kind of intimidation is legal.

    The billionaires sure are coming out of the woodwork to threaten the serfs in this election, aren’t they?