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The Washington Post had a major column by Steve Pearlstein on the front page of its Outlook section headlined, "Is Capitalism Moral?" The piece notes the sharp upward redistribution of income over the last three decades and asks whether we should just being willing to accept market outcomes.
Of course this question is absurd on its face. The upward redistribution of the last three decades was the result of deliberate government policies designed to redistribute income upward; it was not the natural workings of the market.
For example, trade policy was quite explicitly intended to place segments of the U.S. workforce in direct competition with low paid workers in Mexico, China and other developing countries. The predicted and actual result of this policy has been to push down the wages the bottom 50-70 percent of the workforce to the benefit of those at the top. [...]
The government has also helped management against labor by having laws that asymmetrically punish workers and management. If workers have a strike that is ruled illegal, the case can immediately go into court and the leaders of the strike can be thrown in jail. By contrast, when management breaks the law to prevent workers from organizing, the case goes to the National Labor Relations Board, where it can be dragged out for months or even years. Management will almost never face imprisonment as a result of its lawbreaking.
In the last three decades the government has allowed banks to merge and grow large enough so that they enjoy an implicit guarantee from the government. This guarantee provides a subsidy to the big banks that has been estimated to be as large as $80 billion a year. [...]
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2009—Oh! Oh! Pity the Poor ex-President's Boss:
Press Secretary Robert Gibbs is catching flak for dissing the former Vice President, the lead guy in the Cheney-Bush administration, during Monday's press conference.[…]
If there hadn't been eight years of media sycophancy in the case of Dick Cheney, the current phony outrage about disrespect for the former Veep might leave one gasping in disbelief. Given the record, it's just another installment in the what-else-is-new sweepstakes. As dday says, respect is earned.
Remind me again. What respectful thing did Cheney say about President Obama in his interview with the fawning John King? Something about Obama having reduced the security of Americans? That gets a pass, but comparing Republican Party chief Rush Limbaugh to the ex-Veep is a diss? On the contrary. For all of Limbaugh's baggage, at least he's not on the short list of people who should be investigated and prosecuted for war crimes. The torture he delivers is confined to words.
I'm just so thankful that @CNN has examined the awful toll that rape can take on convicted rapists. — @morninggloria via web
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