Tag Archive for Income Inequality

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The One Percent’s Great Escape

Mr. Moneybags from the "Monopoly" game

F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote that the rich “are different from you and me,” which remains true today except now they don’t even want to be around regular people, seeking more and more remote locations to escape from the increasingly angry commoners, as Michael Winship explains.

Obama’s Modest Proposals

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, Secretary of State John Kerry, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, and Energy Secretary Earnest Moniz applaud as President Barack Obama enters the House Chamber prior to delivering the State of the Union address in the Capitol in Washington, D.C., Jan. 20, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama struck a folksy tone during his State of the Union address, but there wasn’t much substance for the average folks – and even his fairly modest proposals for helping the middle class face determined GOP opposition – as Michael Winship describes.

What Would Jesus Do at Christmas?

Jesus, driving the money-changers from the Temple, in a painting by El Greco.

America’s widening gap between rich and poor is especially noticeable at Christmastime when the rich shower themselves with extravagant gifts and assuage their self-images by donating a few turkeys and a toy or two to the poor, a tradition that troubles Rev. Howard Bess.

Administrators Are Big Men on Campus

A scene at the University of Chicago.

America’s universities are turning more teaching over to low-paid “adjunct” professors and are leaving students with greater debt burdens, but one area were pay is high and the perks are lavish is in college administration, writes Lawrence S. Wittner.

The Back Story of ‘Citizen Koch’

citizen-koch

Exclusive: The documentary, “Citizen Koch,” was deemed unfit for PBS as the network sidles up to David Koch’s wealth, but the film’s weakness actually is that it doesn’t focus enough on how the Koch brothers have corrupted the U.S. political process, writes Jim DiEugenio.

Tracing the Source of Income Inequality

President Ronald Reagan, delivering his Inaugural Address on Jan. 20, 1981.

Exclusive: Economist Thomas Piketty traces the explosion of income inequality in America to political decisions, especially the right-wing policies of Ronald Reagan who simultaneously slashed taxes for the rich and decried government intervention in the economy, writes Jim DiEugenio.

Piketty’s Exploration of Modern Capital

Thomas Piketty's "Capital in the Twenty-first Century."

Exclusive: Despite some predictable griping from the Right, Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century has reinforced the case that Western societies – and especially America – are concentrating wealth at the very top and shortchanging almost everyone else, as Jim DiEugenio writes.

Learning the Lessons of the 1 Percent

Ohio State University's University Hall.

America’s transformation into a bifurcated society of a few rich and then the rest is occurring in academia as well, with bloated salaries for top administrators combined with the exploitation of poorly paid “adjunct” professors and a financial squeeze on students, as Lawrence S. Wittner explains.

Money and Second-Class Citizenship

Mr. Moneybags from the "Monopoly" game

As America divides more and more into a class-stratified society, the idea of “gated communities” has spread into other areas of separation in which the rich get special benefits, the middle class is treated shabbily and lower-income people face outright disdain, Lawrence Davidson reports.

The Proud Message of Utah Phillips

U Utah Phillips, labor activist and songwriter.

It is often forgotten that the path to the Great American Middle Class was forged in large part by labor activists and social reformers during the first six decades of the last century, a struggle that left behind a proud culture of music and stories that can inspire the present, as Richard L. Fricker recalls.