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Tag Archives: The destruction of the middle class

Book Review: Chris Arnade’s “Dignity”

“When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?'” —Matt 9:11 By Lambert Strether of Corrente Those who have followed Chris Arnade on Twitter or Flickr will be gratified that his new book, Dignity: Seeking Respect in Back Row America has arrived. I bought it and it’s excellent. It’s also very well produced on heavy, glossy stock, as befits a work that is, at least in part, a photobook. From the back flap, Arnade’s bio: Chris...

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The Poor Who Are Not With Us

America has a bad case of poverty denialism. And no wonder. Being poor is stigmatized. In neo-Calvanist America, if you aren’t doing well, it must be the result of bad choices (like choosing the wrong parents) or not working hard enough. So many people in dire straits often feel compelled to underplay how bad things are for the sake of their dignity. But as the gap between rich and poor has turned into a yawning chasm, the well off are even better able than before to distance themselves from...

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Eight Reasons Why Inequality Ruins the Economy

By Chris Dillow, an economics writer at Investors Chronicle. He blogs at Stumbling and Mumbling, and is the author of New Labour and the End of Politics. Follow him on Twitter: @CJFDillow. Originally published at Stumbling and Mumbling; cross posted from Evonomics I welcome Professor Sir Angus Deaton’s report into inequality. I especially like its emphasis (pdf) upon the causes of inequality: To understand whether inequality is a problem, we need to understand the sources of inequality,...

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Consumers Are Changing But Perhaps Not How You Think

By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans. Those of us who often write about various doomsday scenarios – e.g., plastics, climate change  – are well familiar with a standard magical thinking response: a miraculous change in the mindset of millennials will change the world, and save us all from impending disaster. Alas, Deloitte published a report last week, debunking this scenario: The...

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Why Democratic Presidential Candidates May Have to Choose Between Teacher Pay Raises and Charter Schools

By Jeff Bryant,  a writing fellow and chief correspondent for Our Schools, a project of the Independent Media Institute. He is a communications consultant, freelance writer, advocacy journalist, and director of the Education Opportunity Network, a strategy and messaging center for progressive education policy. His award-winning commentary and reporting routinely appear in prominent online news outlets, and he speaks frequently at national events about public education policy. Follow him on...

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Consumer Contracts Restatement Delayed: Consumers Win…For Now

By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans. Over the last several decades, US corporations have succeeded in making the legal system more business-friendly. Earlier this month, on May 21, consumers scored a small win, when the American Law Institute (ALI) failed to vote on its Restatement of the Law of Consumer Contracts – effectively shelving the project until at least this time next year. For...

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Is Conservatism Running on Brand Fumes?

A provocative article in the Guardian, ‘A zombie party’: the deepening crisis of conservatism, is a must read. I am going to focus on a few key observations rather than attempt to summarize it. Among other things, it also gives some perspective on Brexit, about which I ought to be Saying Something. But we are now in a phase where Game of Thrones level jockeying in the UK appears to have great significance for what happens next. Making sense of that requires more understanding of the fine...

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UBI Without Quality Public Services Is a Neoliberal’s Paradise

By Rosa Pavanelli, General Secretary of Public Services International (PSI) and chair of the Council of Global Unions. Originally published at openDemocracy From tech-billionaires to Socialist leaders, Universal Basic Income has caught the imagination of many across the political spectrum. This mechanism, which would give everyone regular cash payments that are enough to live on, regardless of income or work status, is increasingly promoted as a key policy to maintain social stability and...

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Beware Billionaires Bearing Gifts

By Leo W. Gerard, the international president of the United Steelworkers Union (USW). Produced by the Independent Media Institute. There’s a new Koch organization in town. Instead of trying to buy politicians to do the bidding of billionaires, as Charles and David Koch have historically done, this foundation will support community groups trying to cure the miseries of eons—everything from poverty to addiction. And they’ve got some street cred, having successfully worked with renowned liberal...

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Trump’s Sneak Attack on Social Security

By Nancy J. Altman, a writing fellow for Economy for All, a project of the Independent Media Institute, has a 40-year background in the areas of Social Security and private pensions. She is president of Social Security Works and chair of the Strengthen Social Security coalition. Her latest book is The Truth About Social Security. She is also the author of The Battle for Social Security and co-author of Social Security Works! Produced by Economy for All, a project of the Independent Media...

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