Economy

Income Inequality in the US Keeps Getting Worse

If you don’t care about income inequality, and you think the richest 20 percent of Americans should control 85 percent of our nation’s wealth, well, if you believe that, then these are good times for you. If however you see this huge cavern between the wealthiest incomes and the rest of us, you should be

Is America the Next Rome?

The American political system is broken. The US Congress is incapable of passing any meaningful legislation to solve the nation’s most pressing problems. Therefore, the United States of America’s best days are behind her and she is dying a slow death. I said this back in 2000 and 2004 when George W. Bush was elected

Krugman: The Competition Myth

According to New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, the Great Recession was a teachable moment for Americans to learn that unregulated markets are unstable. That’s not the only thing Krugman would like Americans to learn from the latest recession, but it’s a key point that he feels was missed. Another one is that corporations don’t

Tax Cut Bill Contains $55 Billion in Industry Subsidies and Giveaways

The Washington Post’s Dan Eggen has a story today about the $858 billion tax-cut compromise hashed out between President Obama and his Republican colleagues last week. It’s wending its way through Congress right now. Eggen reports that buried inside the legislation is more than $55 billion worth of “giveaways and tax reductions from some of

Obama Lost His Temper Today

President Obama got mad today. He’s mad at his critics on the left who are angry over the extension of Bush tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. During a press conference today he shouted about how this is a diverse country and that not everyone agrees with him. I like to compare George W. Bush

Deconstructing The Bush Tax Cut Debate

The debate over extending the Bush tax cuts is being misrepresented. Republicans claim that extending the tax cuts on the wealthy will have a stimulative impact on the economy, but the fact remains that this isn’t apparently true.

Layoffs Fall to Lowest Level in 2 Years. Income Up. Americans Spending Again.

I don’t know if this means the recession is over, but according to recent data, layoffs have fallen to a two-year low, income is up and Americans are spending money. This is good news. “The flurry of U.S. data this morning suggests that households have started to pickup the baton of growth from businesses,” said

Minimum Wage Lower Than it was in 1968

Adjusting for inflation, the minimum wage today is lower than it was in 1968. “If you’re one of the several million Americans earning minimum wage, here’s a sobering fact: Your grandpa had more spending power earning minimum wage four decades ago,” writes Life Inc’s Senior Business Reporter Allison Linn. “Adjusted for inflation,” Linn reports, “the

Bush Tax Cuts Did Not Spur Growth – Not At All

If you listen politicians, pundits and talking heads, you’d think the greatest thing we can do to jump-start the economy is to cut taxes. But if you actually take a minute and look at the data, you’ll see that is simply not the case. New York Times Economix Blogger David Leonhardt broke down the growth

Millionaires: The One Minority Group Overrepresented in Congress

A new study by the Center for Responsive Politics shows that the wealth of members of Congress increased by 16 percent from 2008 to 2009. And while some lawmakers lost some money when the stock market crashed, nearly half, 261, are millionaires. Only 1 percent of Americans can claim the title of millionaire. According to

Real Small Business Owners Say Let the High-end Taxes Expire

Anti-tax crusaders like Grover Norquist love to use small business owners as their prop to argue for slashing taxes on the wealthiest of Americas. It’s as if he doesn’t realize that when he says that the vast majority of Americans work for small businesses, he’s correct, but that also means that the vast majority of

The Recession is Over but the Jobs are Just Gone – Poof

Here’s a graph by the New York Times of past recessions and employment recovery. If the recession is over, it sure doesn’t feel like it to people who don’t work on Wall Street. This is an example of how the Democrats screwed themselves over by not effectively governing and allowing Republicans to gut their efforts

Health Care Blamed for US Slump on Global Longevity Scale

The Democrats chose to “compromise” on health care and to govern like a bunch of pansies, and now they’re crapping their pants with the November elections looming. If they’d done what people elected them to do, which was end the wars and pass universal health care reform, they’d be in a lot stronger position. But

Next Senate Could be Loaded With Conservative Ideologues

If the polls are right – you have every reason to believe that they aren’t – but if they’re right, as many as 12 never-before-seen ultra-conservative Republicans will be in the Senate next year. Ron Brownstein wrote today that if it happens, this will be the biggest class of extremely conservative freshmen Senators we’ve seen

Everyone Does Better When There’s a Democratic President

Historically, whenever the Democrats are running the government, the economy does better and everyone gets richer. When the Republicans are in charge, the rich do slightly worse off than if Democrats were in charge, but they do way better than everyone else who suffers in squalor until Republicans are voted out of office. Here’s a

Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes Odds of Winning 1 in 1.75 billion

Here’s an e-mail I received today from Attorney General of Washington Rob McKenna regarding the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes. The odds of winning the $10 million prize are 1 in 1.75 billion regardless of whether or not you buy a bunch of magazine subscriptions. Now Publishers Clearing House has to make that obvious in their

Al Qaeda is to Islam What the KKK is to Christianity

Rightbloggers, Fox News and conservative politicians are purposely conflating Al Qaeda with Islam. While it’s true that Al Qaeda members claim to be living the lives of righteous Muslims – the fact is that they are terrorists. Members of the Ku Klux Klan make similar claims about Protestant Christianity, but they are terrorists too. Many

Rachel Maddow: Government Sheds 200,000 Jobs

Here are two screenshots from Rachel Maddow’s show on Friday highlighting how much the economy sucks. The private sector added jobs, but those gains were swamped by the government shedding jobs.

Matthew Yglesias Explains the Rise of Xenophobia

Racism and xenophobia are always lurking under the surface in American life and politics. And when times get tough, more and more people will cling to the ugliness that is bigotry, and politicians will try to caress the anxiety that slithers along this dark underbelly of America. Matthew Yglesias explains why xenophobia is coming to