Why Don’t the Poor Rise Up? – The New York Times

Why are today’s working poor so quiescent? I’m not the only one posing this question.

“Why aren’t the poor storming the barricades?” asks The Economist. “Why don’t voters demand more redistribution?” wonders David Samuels, a political scientist at the University of Minnesota. The headline on an April 7 National Catholic Reporter article reads: “Why aren’t Americans doing more to protest inequality?”

There are legitimate grounds for grievance. For those in the bottom quintile, household income in inflation-adjusted dollars has dropped sharply, from $13,787 in 2000 to $11,651 in 2013. According to the Census Bureau, 64 million Americans currently live in the bottom quintile.

via Why Don’t the Poor Rise Up? – The New York Times.

Petition · End the Inhumane Treatment of Greece · Change.org

Petition · End the Inhumane Treatment of Greece · Change.org.

90% of the “bail-out” money went to French and German banks, not to the Greek people.  Please support this petition to end the inhumane treatment of the Greek people.

This referendum is a fight between the Greeks and Europe’s cruel capitalism | Aditya Chakrabortty | Comment is free | The Guardian

Europe’s top politicians agree that the Greeks will vote this Sunday on one of the most important questions facing any nation. Yet they can’t settle what that question actually is. For Alexis Tsipras, the Greek prime minister, it is about whether his people will tolerate any more “strict and humiliating austerity”. Not so, says Germany’s Angela Merkel. She reckons the Greeks are choosing between staying in the euro and returning to the drachma. The stakes are raised higher still by the boss of the European commission, Jean-Claude Juncker: come next weekend, “the whole planet” will find out whether Greece wants to remain in Europe.

via This referendum is a fight between the Greeks and Europe’s cruel capitalism | Aditya Chakrabortty | Comment is free | The Guardian.

The world is defenceless against the next financial crisis, warns BIS – Telegraph

The world will be unable to fight the next global financial crash as central banks have used up their ammunition trying to tackle the last crises, the Bank of International Settlements has warned.

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The so-called central bank of central banks launched a scatching critique of global monetary policy in its annual report. The BIS claimed that central banks have backed themselves into a corner after repeatedly cutting interest rates to shore up their economies.

These low interest rates have in turn fuelled economic booms, encouraging excessive risk taking. Booms have then turned to busts, which policymakers have responded to with even lower rates.

via The world is defenceless against the next financial crisis, warns BIS – Telegraph.

Pillage and Class Polarization – The Unz Review

Introduction: About 75% of US employees work 40 hours or longer, the second longest among all OECD countries, exceeded only by Poland and tied with South Korea. In contrast, only 10% of Danish workers, 15% of Norwegian, 30% of French, 43% of UK and 50% of German workers work 40 or more hours.

With the longest work day, US workers score lower on the ‘living well’ scale than most western European workers. Moreover, despite those long workdays US employees receive the shortest paid holidays or vacation time (one to two weeks compared to the average of five weeks in Western Europe). US employees pay for the costliest health plans and their children face the highest university fees among the 34 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

In class terms, US employees face the greatest jump in income inequalities over the past decade, the longest period of wage and salary decline or stagnation (1970 to 2014) and the greatest collapse of private sector union membership, from 30% in 1950 down to 8% in 2014.

via Pillage and Class Polarization – The Unz Review.

Economix Comix on the TPP – Share Far and Wide!

| Economix Comix.

Here’s how much corporations paid US senators to fast-track the TPP bill | Business | The Guardian

A decade in the making, the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is reaching its climax and as Congress hotly debates the biggest trade deal in a generation, its backers have turned on the cash spigot in the hopes of getting it passed.

“We’re very much in the endgame,” US trade representative Michael Froman told reporters over the weekend at a meeting of the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum on the resort island of Boracay. His comments came days after TPP passed another crucial vote in the Senate.

That vote, to give Barack Obama the authority to speed the bill through Congress, comes as the president’s own supporters, senior economists and a host of activists have lobbied against a pact they argue will favor big business but harm US jobs, fail to secure better conditions for workers overseas and undermine free speech online.

Those critics are unlikely to be silenced by an analysis of the sudden flood of money it took to push the pact over its latest hurdle.

via Here’s how much corporations paid US senators to fast-track the TPP bill | Business | The Guardian.