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By Rachel Goldfarb, originally posted on Next New Deal

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Why Spitzer’s Return Terrifies Big Finance (Naked Capitalism)

Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Thomas Ferguson argues that Eliot Spitzer as New York City Comptroller would be a threat to the political power of Wall Street. With control of the public pension funds, Spitzer could change how the city does business with the financial industry.

The Consumer Watchdog’s Work Will Last–For Now (MSNBC)

Adam Serwer speaks to Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal on why the Senate GOP spent so long opposing Richard Cordray's nomination to direct the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. Mike says they opposed any nominee, in an attempt to weaken the CFPB.

Reminder: Don’t Pay Attention to Wall Street’s Whines About Regulation (NY Mag)

Kevin Roose looks at Wall Street bank profits over the past ten years, and concludes that we should ignore their complaints about regulation. It turns out that the financial industry is resilient and will find a way to increase profits no matter the restrictions.

McJobs Are the Future: Why You Should Care What Fast Food Workers Earn (The Atlantic)

Jordan Weissmann refutes the claim that no one is making a career or supporting a family off a minimum wage fast food job. Most fast food jobs aren't minimum wage - but making another fifty cents per hour doesn't get a person above the poverty line.

OECD Doesn’t See Unemployment Falling Until Late 2014 (WSJ)

Paul Hannon reports that the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development predicts that it will be some time before unemployment begins to drop. Like many others, it recommends avoiding austerity policies because they will slow growth.

Charles Koch on the Poor: Let Them Eat 'Economic Freedom' (The Nation)

Leslie Savan explains the problems with a new ad put out by Charles Koch that claims anyone making over $34,000 a year is part of the 1%. That's true on a global scale, but doesn't mean anything for people living in poverty in the U.S..

Originally posted to Daily Kos Economics on Wed Jul 17, 2013 at 06:57 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It ain't minimum wage (0+ / 0-)

    Unless its a living wage.  Otherwise, the appropriate term is Slave Wage.
    Whatever the legal definition is currently.

  •  Charles Koch? Suck My Dick Cheney! (0+ / 0-)

    Not that anyone here listens to this asshole but Charles needs seriously to STFU. What a hateful and disingenuous message.

    Living costs? Let them eat a 10 cent falafel.

    Different family or health situation? Tough luck. Get born into a nicer country next time and, by the way, don't have so many kids next time around.

    You're not in the .00001%? See above.

    And, oh by the way, screw you 1 percenters.
    Love Charles

    What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. King Henry, scene ii

    by TerryDarc on Wed Jul 17, 2013 at 08:51:04 PM PDT

  •  Savan is far too generous. (0+ / 0-)

    Some very rough "back of the envelope" calculations make the Koch "1% of the world" claim ludicrous on its face.

    I don't know how the folks at the Frazier Institute (whatever that is) came up with their numbers, but I did a little bit of quick looking around.

    One thing of interest that I found was a chart saying that the median annual income of all Americans (including those who weren't working and those working part time) over the age of 25 to be $32,000 in 2005.  Another graph showed the average (a different measure) income gong down by a couple of thousand since then, thanks in no small part to massive unemployment, so we will call it $30,000 now.

    There are about 210,000,000 people in the US over the age of 25, so that makes about 105,000,000 earning $30,0000 or more.  Let us generously (for the Koch claims, that is) assume that no more than 70% of those manage $34,000 or more, and we are down to  73 million people.
    Just among 25 or overs in the United States.

    So, being a little generous with the numbers, we top the 1% (7 billion world population) without looking beyond those 25 and overs in the US.

    Europe has about 50% more people than the US, but lower mean incomes but less inequality in the income distribution, so...let's just arbitrarily and conservatively say that Europe will contribute as many people as the US.  

    Now we are at 146 million,  or about 2.1%

    Without Canada, Japan, Korea, Singapore, China, India, Africa, Australia,  or South America.  In other words, without the vast majority of the world.

    It's very tricky comparing countries, but the average family income in China is about 1/8 that in the United States, so ...I will take a crazy leap and say that, for a given population, about 1/8 as many Chinese earn that $34,000.
    That's not right. Probably overstates things, so... I will say 1/16. So, given China's population of 4 times the US, I would add another 18 million.  And, for no good reason other than "why not?", the same from India.  That takes us to 182 million, with much of the world left unaccounted including wealthy nations like Japan and South Korea.

    So -- without even trying to adjust for quality of life (ie, what can you get for the money you make), we seem to be findind that $34,000 probably gets you into the top 3-4%, but not the top 1% of the world's population.

    As to qualtiy of life -- that's another issue altogether.  It inlcudes access to health care, the cost of finding a place to live, education, cost of food, etc.  When you start doing that, the idea really breaks down, and an American at $34,000 is nowhere near the idea of (and idea of is the thing that really matters here) the top 1% in the world.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 01:37:10 AM PDT

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