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A Successful Economy Isn’t Just Capitalists Increasing Their Capital. (It’s Your Life, Improving.)

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  • Why Americans Put the Success of Capitalism Above Their Own Lives Falling Apart
  • Related: America's Real Economy: It Isn't Booming.

umair haque, Eudaimonia and Co / Medium Daily Digest

October 12, 2018 | If I ask the average American, “how do you think the economy is doing?” they will probably talk to me about unemployment rates, GDP growth, stock markets, and so on. They might even refer, if they’ve got graduate or undergraduate degrees in related subjects, to notions like interest rates, zero lower bounds, budget constraints, and so forth. And I’ll also hear about “deficits” and “spending” and “profits.”

Now, all this is funny, sad, and a little tragic. Because what my average American won’t talk about are things which are the most necessary essential that impact the quality of his or her own life. The price of food. The cost of healthcare. The impossibility of retirement. The staggering burden of paying for an education. How are these things doing? Do you see the irony here? Let me make it more precise.

https://miro.medium.com/fit/c/240/240/0*lI5-avJvcBbQDmA2.jpegumberhaque: vampire. Editor of Bad Words, Eudaimonia and Co, a book of nights, Leadership in the Age of Rage, and eudaimonia. Top writer in Culture, Economics, Leadership, Politics, Life, Relationships, Psychology, Love


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Related:

America's Real Economy: It Isn't Booming. Peter Georgescu, Forbes

https://thumbor.forbes.com/thumbor/960x0/https%3A%2F%2Fspecials-images.forbesimg.com%2Fdam%2Fimageserve%2F516302216%2F960x0.jpg%3Ffit%3DscaleWalter Holm, age 67, a Vietnam veteran is living at Transitions, a homeless recovery center in Columbia, SC in 2016. There are other aging veterans who are homeless and looking for work, but not finding it.  (Photo by Linda Davidson / The Washington Post via Getty Images)
 

  • If every employer in America came up with even just one modest step—higher wages, regular profit sharing, tuition reimbursement—to help workers spend and save more, the nation would begin to right itself economically. It needs to happen now. We’re running out of time.
  • Related: From the Archives | Socialism: Our Alternative To The Madness Of The Market
     

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Welcome the new NAFTA—Same as the old NAFTA?

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Sean Kilpatrick / The Canadian Press via AP

The new NAFTA is an advance over the old one, but it's still got problems.

C.J. Atkins, People's World

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October 2, 2018 | From Washington to Ottawa to Mexico City, it was all smiles and pats on the back yesterday for the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, replacement for the nearly quarter-century-old NAFTA.

President Trump called it a “terrific deal,” and seemed most excited that he gets credit for renaming the continental trade regime, repeatedly spelling out the acronym—“U-S-M-C-A”—at a press conference. That’s no surprise; form always takes precedent over substance in the sales pitches of con men.

C.J. Atkins is the managing editor at People's World. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from York University in Toronto and has a research and teaching background in political economy and the politics and ideas of the American left.

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The Path Back to Equality Leads Through Unions

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  • The Nation summarizes an important new finding: Americans of the mid-twentieth century had unions to thank for their booming, egalitarian economy.
  • Related: New Study Confirms That American Workers Are Getting Ripped Off.

Nathan Pippenger, Democracy


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June 1, 2018 | rom the end of World War II until about 1980, the United States was in the fortunate position of benefiting from two simultaneous trends: The economy prospered as wages became more equal (an era known as the “Great Compression”). There’s still some debate among economists about exactly why this happened, an argument with obvious relevance to our own era of deep inequality. But according to a new study highlighted by Mike Konczal in The Nation, the role of one factor is now undeniable: unions. Summarizing the new research, Konczal writes that “the growth of union membership—to a height of nearly 30 percent in 1955, before falling to its current low of 10.7 percent—explains the Great Compression every bit as much as theories about education or any other single factor.”

  http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Labor%20Getting%20Its%20Fair%20Share%20of%20the%20Pie_0.jpgKonczal knocks the economics profession for “casually dismissing the role of unions” and gently ribs the idea that anybody would be surprised by “the statement ‘unions help workers.’” But as he acknowledges, detailed data on union membership was unavailable until recently—and moreover, there’s at least the possibility that unions could actually increase overall inequality, by widening the wage gap between their members and non-unionized workers. As Timothy Noah noted in his book The Great Divergence, this was actually what most economists believed until the 1980s. Konczal doesn’t precisely comment on the older idea that unions might actually exacerbate inequality, but he does refer to the theory that “since unions merely transfer wealth among workers, they wouldn’t lower inequality overall and might even slow economic growth.” It turns out that idea is probably mistaken as well. In fact, the results seem to effectively counter all the familiar theories about the possible negative effects of unionization on either income equality or economic growth—all while demonstrating that unions were more diverse, in terms of both skill and racial composition, than is widely believed.

Nathan Pippenger is a contributing editor at Democracy.

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Related:

New Study Confirms That American Workers Are Getting Ripped Off. Eric Levitz, New York Magazine

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/McDonald%27s%20Employees%20Fight%20for%20Higher%20Wages.jpgWhy we fight. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

(Trump's) right to claim that Americans are getting the short end. But the primary cause of that fact isn’t bad trade agreements or “job killing” regulations — its the union-busting laws and court rulings that the president has done so much to abet.
 

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America's Real Economy: It Isn't Booming

https://thumbor.forbes.com/thumbor/960x0/https%3A%2F%2Fspecials-images.forbesimg.com%2Fdam%2Fimageserve%2F516302216%2F960x0.jpg%3Ffit%3Dscale

Walter Holm, age 67, a Vietnam veteran is living at Transitions, a homeless recovery center in Columbia, SC in 2016. There are other aging veterans who are homeless and looking for work, but not finding it.  (Photo by Linda Davidson / The Washington Post via Getty Images)

  • If every employer in America came up with even just one modest step—higher wages, regular profit sharing, tuition reimbursement—to help workers spend and save more, the nation would begin to right itself economically. It needs to happen now. We’re running out of time.
  • Related: From the Archives | Socialism: Our Alternative To The Madness Of The Market

Peter Georgescu, Forbes

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Aug 22, 2018 | Ostensibly, for the past ten years, our economy has been recovering from the 2008 collapse. During the past few years, our comeback seems to have gained momentum. All the official indicators say we’re back in boom times, with a bull market, low unemployment and steady job growth. But there is an alternative set of data that depicts a different America, where the overlooked majority struggles from month to month.

The Nation recently published a stunning overview of the working poor and underpaid. One of the most powerful data points in the piece described how empty the decline in unemployment actually is: having a job doesn’t exempt anyone from poverty anymore. About 12% of Americans (43 million) are considered poor, and yet they are employed. They earn an individual income below $12,140 per year, and slightly more than that for a family of two. If you include housing and medical expenses in the calculation, it raises the percentage of Americans living in poverty to 14%. That’s 45 million people.

https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/21fb03b0ab37a9d0d56bf6d9a591a32f?s=400&d=mm&r=g Peter Georgescu, Contributor, Forbes <>, is the author of Capitalists Arise!

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From the Archives | Socialism: Our Alternative To The Madness Of The Market, Eric RuderSocialist Worker / Dandelion Salad

https://farm7.staticflickr.com/6107/6313138621_29ea85c50d.jpg Image by dsleeter_2000 via FlickrWorkers must take control of the economy’s productive resources, and this will require a massive struggle, animated by a vision of a different kind of society.
 

 

 

 

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