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Richard Eskow writes Jobs or Inequality? That’s No Choice At All:

What’s the economic issue we should focus on – jobs, or inequality? An increasing number of people, including the President and New York’s new mayor, have suggested that inequality of wealth and opportunity is the defining issue of our time.

But some of the folks at the Washington Post’s “WonkBlog” are having none of it. First editor Ezra Klein declared that unemployment, not inequality, should be the left’s defining issue. That drew responses from the likes of Paul Krugman and Jared Bernstein (and yours truly,here).

Then Dylan Matthews, a staff reporter on the team (and creator of the highly addictive “Knowmore” site) used a hypothetical scenario to challenge the importance of inequality. Matthews took to a platform called “TwitLonger” (which, parenthetically, looks a lot like something we used to call a “blog”) to argue that people who consider inequality our society’s defining issue “really think the gap between the rich and poor, separate from the actual positions of the rich and poor on their own, is the problem.”

Richard Eskow, senior fellow at Campaign for America's Future
Richard Eskow
Matthews imagines a future America where poverty, hunger, and homelessness are eliminated; unemployment’s below 4 percent; and GDP and median wages keep growing. If you think inequality’s the problem, says Matthews, you won’t be satisfied.

“If that sounds preposterous,” writes Matthews, “then maybe it’s because you don’t actually think inequality is our biggest problem. You think something like poverty or joblessness or median wage stagnation is. And you’re right.”

But that’s a false choice. It won’t be possible to achieve anything close to that scenario without addressing today’s sky-high inequality. And while it’s theoretically possible to imagine an economy which experiences both extreme inequality and healthy GDP growth, it’s not possible to imagine this economy growing that way.

Here’s why: Unemployment, under-employment, and long-term wage stagnation are suppressing consumer demand. That demand is the engine of a growing and healthy economy – one which is not overly dependent on “rentier” income (see Bob Kuttner here for more on rentiers), bubbles, or cost-inflated financial transactions for its growth, as ours currently is.

Higher tax rates for the wealthy and corporations – that is, returning them to something approaching historical levels – provides much of the revenue for programs which fight poverty and enhance social mobility, as well as for those which lead to job creation and wage growth. It’s not an “either/or” between reducing inequality and increasing employment or reducing poverty; it’s “and/and.” […]

That’s not to say that the Klein/Matthews argument is entirely without merit. We shouldn’t focus exclusively on inequality, especially if we haven’t reached consensus on its origins or its relationship to today’s other economic problems. But there appears to be plenty of consensus about these things in the Bernstein/Krugman crowd, to which I subscribe, and I’d paraphrase that consensus view as follows:

Inequality is the result of economic forces such as increased financial speculation, financialization of economic profits, deregulation, trade policy, tax breaks, and other government policies which favor the wealthy and corporate interests. These forces have also led to today’s high levels of unemployment and poverty.

What’s more, these are not forces of nature. They’re the products of government policy. Matthews makes an important point about that in a post entitled “The government is the only reason US inequality is so high.” He points out that our “tax and transfer” policies are the main reason we score significantly lower than some European democracies, including Sweden, on the equality scale.

Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2007You've Come a Long Way, Nancy:

Tomorrow when Nancy Pelosi takes the Speaker's chair, she won't just be beginning her tenure in what is likely to be one of the most ambitious and contentious party take-overs in recent memory, but she'll also be making history. And she knows it.

"When my colleagues elect me as speaker on Jan. 4, we will not just break through a glass ceiling, we will break through a marble ceiling.... In more than 200 years of history, there was an established pecking order—and I cut in line."
That's a damned long line to be waiting around in the back of, longer than in just about any other of the industrialized, and many developing, nations. There are more women in both Afghanistan's and Iraq's parliaments than in our Congress. In fact, we're number 80 when it comes to representation by women in our national legislature. Kind of puts into perspective the record 71 women taking office in the House this year (that's 16 percent of the body, for those keeping score).

Why the dismal numbers? Ellen Malcolm (EMILY'S List) has one answer: "The biggest obstacle women candidates face is not about gender, it’s about the lack of opportunity. Ninety-eight percent of incumbents who run for re-election are re-elected in most years. ... The bottom line is there are very few opportunities."

Tweet of the Day:

I don't need catheters (so far), but I'm tempted to call for those free samples just to check them out. #inners

On today's Kagro in the Morning show, our first live show of the new year! Greg Dworkin rounded up ACA news, including "As Obamacare Sign-Ups Surge, So Does Conservative Rage," and comment on the OHIE study from The Incidental Economist. Also discussed: De Blasio inauguration coverage, the snowstorm, and Ezra Klein's maybe-sorta plan to start planning something and why the NYT is so interested. Next, musing on the still-growing NSA stories, from Ruth Marcus to Michael Dearing to Julian Sanchez. Lastly, the Japanese Mob hires the homeless to clean up Fukushima, and U.S. Navy sailors in the region have radiation sickness. Only KITM would try to tie THAT together!"

High Impact Posts. Top Comments.

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Comment Preferences

  •  991,753 registered users on dKos now. (20+ / 0-)

    Here are the 10 newest registered users on dKos.  Hope to see their comments and diaries here soon!  (If they're not spammers.)

    Profcarpetrug (user #991,744: spammer)
    somesome7 (user #991,745: possible spammer)
    Indoorair (user #991,746: spammer)
    culonas (user #991,747: already banned)
    Waterdamage (user #991,748: spammer)
    Suzy Gamma
    firetian (user #991,751: spammer)

    And since our society is obsessed with numbers that end in a lot of zeros as milestones, here's a special shoutout to user #991,700: Acastus.

    We've added 115 more users in the last 24 hours.  We're no longer being flooded with all those fake users, though it seems there's been a recent rash of increase in spammers.

    And for your Diary Rescue music pleasure, here's American Authors' "Best Day of My Life".

  •  GOP attacks on unemployment insurance & Obamacare (10+ / 0-)

    Chris Hayes discussed the GOP blocking unemployment insurance with John Nichols and Josh Barro in a clip that for some reason hasn't been posted yet.  He then discussed Obamacare with Dr. Cathleen London.

    Rachel talked about this with Ryan Grim, and had a scathing response to the Koch brothers, whose company demanded a retraction for her talking about their connections to right-wing groups trying to kill Obamacare.  She refused.

    Ed talked with former Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI).

  •  A Photo Diary on Thailand's mass protest (11+ / 0-)

    "If Wall Street paid a tax on every “game” they run, we would get enough revenue to run the government on." ~ Will Rogers

    by Lefty Coaster on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 08:34:23 PM PST

  •  Any news on the designated 2014 DK front pagers? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, OLinda
  •  Chris Kluwe (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    high uintas, Jeff Y, this just in, CJB2012

    Chris talked about Kluwe's bombshell piece about being let go from the Vikings in part because of his support for gay marriage with Mike Pesca.

    Ed talked about this with Lizz Winstead and John Fugelsang.  He then had on Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) to talk about the potential NFL blackout for some playoff games.

    •  I love this quote about the stupidity of blackouts (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, viral, BruinKid
      “Sports have got to be the only business where the consumer gets blamed for poor sales,” Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star writes. “Any other business, we’d look at the numbers and say, ‘Well, their price point is too high,” or ‘The service stinks,’ or ‘They don’t carry a good selection of inventory.’ And it’s ridiculous. NFL fans are the most loyal fans we have in this country. If they’re not purchasing playoff tickets, that tells me it’s an NFL problem, not an Indy/Cincy/Green Bay problem.”
      I live in Columbus, and I really don't give a shit about the Browns, the Bengals or the Buckeyes. However, the whole "blackout" thing has always been insane -- no matter the sport involved.

      If a performing act doesn't sell enough tickets the venue will sometimes cancel the concert (and occasionally vice versa)  Maybe some of these pro cities should start writing clauses into the tax abatement deals: "if this team sucks you don't get our bucks".

      Here's the WaPo story link.

      Signature (this will be attached to your comments)

      by here4tehbeer on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 04:38:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  A bizare meme the wingnuts are trying to form (8+ / 0-)

    The thrust seen on FauxNews and Kudlow on CNBC

    Mayor de Blasio won't be able to address income inequality because he doesn't have business experience.

    Beats me what they're talking about.....

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 08:35:54 PM PST

  •  let's walk and chew gum at the same time (9+ / 0-)

    Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
    Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 08:36:38 PM PST

  •  The future of marijuana (6+ / 0-)

    Chris shares his own experience of almost getting arrested for possession, and talked with Khary Lazarre-White, Jordan Carlos, and Vanita Gupta.

  •  Man! (10+ / 0-)

    I'm just devastated at the loss of Phil Everly. I'm so bummed.

    And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County Down by the Green River where Paradise lay. Well, I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away. John Prine

    by high uintas on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 08:38:55 PM PST

  •  Other assorted MSNBC clips (5+ / 0-)

    Rachel talked about a hopeful pushback by abortion rights activists against all the new restrictions put in place by right-wingers.

    She talked with Raha Wala about Gitmo.

    And who doesn't like another segment of Debunktion Junction?

    Ed also had some things to say about Toronto mayor Rob Ford filing for re-election.

  •  Have a great weekend everyone! (4+ / 0-)

    “I would like to get rid of the homophobes, sexists, and racists in our audience. I know they're out there and it really bothers me.” ― Kurt Cobain

    by Jeff Y on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 08:39:13 PM PST

  •  a cubit too far? (5+ / 0-)

    Bloomberg News has a story on the ticking financing clock for the Noah's Ark project in Kentucky.

  •  thanks MB. Eskow is right. I'm (9+ / 0-)

    Not surprised that Ezra Klein is setting up this false dichotomy.  Ezra is blinded by his own class privilege.

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 08:50:56 PM PST

    •  TomP Eskow writes for Campaign For America's (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      high uintas, Pluto, Eric Nelson, 714day, TomP

      Future, the same org highlighted in my diary this morning.  

      Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 09:42 AM MST
      Reid Says Senate Vote But Will WE Help the Unemployed ?
      Hope kossacks will keep up the pressure to help the unemployed while working on the real issue highlighted by Occupy: Inequality.


      Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

      by divineorder on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 09:20:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Eskow is mostly right, but omits (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      emal, TomP

      1) widening inequality is the natural tendency of capitalist winner-take-all economics, which has been constrained by the countervailing power of organized labor and welfare state policies of elected goverments.   But as those have been systematically assaulted and undermined, inequality grows.

      2) in an abstract thought experiment, it is possible for general prosperity to coexist with gross inequality.  But on this planet, which is already devouring its resource base, Gandhi's truth must be heeded: "there is enough for everyone's need, but not enough for anyone's greed."  It is probably still possible to meet the goal of eliminating poverty worldwide w/o crashing the biosphere, but it will require both massive investment in sustainable technology AND limits on accumulated wealth.

      There's no such thing as a free market!

      by Albanius on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 07:01:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'd like to challenge the wildly ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    high uintas, happymisanthropy

    self indulgent size claims of Orville Redenbacher Gourmet Popping Corn 'Original'. We're all guilty of such claims now, and then, but Orville too?

    Caution: The reality in the mirror may be closer than it appears.

    by glb3 on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 09:02:34 PM PST

  •  Somalia response! (7+ / 0-)

    So my Ron Paul friend finally addressed those who said he should try out Somalia if he likes "freedom" so much.

    The statist talking point is that I should move to Somalia because I value freedom. So therefore, shouldn't statists move to North Korea since they like to be told what to do?
    Yeah, the reason we're telling you to go to Somalia is because you want ABSOLUTE freedom, and can never see any nuance.  In his mind, you're either COMPLETELY free, or you are living in a totalitarian dictatorship.  There's no in-between in his mind, which is not how reality works.

    But there you have it, a peek into the mind of a Ron Paul fan.

    •  Ron Paul supporters don't want "no government" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Neither do most libertarians, though I obviously don't know the specifics of your friend's political beliefs.

      He would think you are straw manning his position just like you think he's doing to yours.

      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

      by Sparhawk on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 09:32:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  He still can't answer you re: Somalia (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Otherwise he wouldn't be deflecting with the North Korea crap.

      “I would like to get rid of the homophobes, sexists, and racists in our audience. I know they're out there and it really bothers me.” ― Kurt Cobain

      by Jeff Y on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 09:35:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  To paraphrase what I once said about mistakes (0+ / 0-)

    I've made: If I had a dime for every defining issue, I'd be to big to fail.
    Defining. What does that mean? The be all and end all? If it were, there would never be another.
    OTOH, if they're merely discussing how to politic in 2014, I'd go with inequality. It's hell of a lot sexier.

    We can discuss this and wonder what to do about that, but in the end, the ONLY thing that matters is voter turnout. Ya CAIN'T go to the dance if you AIN'T bought your ticket! Go team go.

    by franklyn on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 09:17:16 PM PST

  •  selfish nation (0+ / 0-)

    think of a nation that thinks decent medical care for all citizens is a privilege.

    think of a nation that is willing to hire mercenaries to fight in their on going wars.

    think of a  nation that will borrow and print trillions of dollars to keep their mega size military empire status.

    think of a nation that its supreme court calls money free speech.

    think of a nation where corp lobbyists control the gov.

    think of a nation where            it has more people in prison pure thousand than any other nation in the world.

    think of a nation that draws illegals to America for cheap labor than blame those illegals for their economic problems.

    think of a nation that has a corporation that is the largest employer that has food drives for its workers because they dont pay a living wage and so and so on........

    welcome to America the nation that calls themselves exceptionalism.

  •  Jobs and inequality address two very different (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, JJ In Illinois


    Jobs effects the overall productivity of the nation.

    While inequality speaks more to the balance of the results of that productivity.

    They can be addressed separately or together.

    There does seem to be more than some indication that they are at least softly linked.  

  •  New school liberals think any McJob is good job. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KJG52, dclawyer06, emal

    They abandon the ideals that built the middle class for handfuls of peanuts.

    The Democorporate faction of the party uses the Far Right as its excuse for moving further right.

    by masswaster on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 09:30:05 PM PST

    •  But they're not unique (4+ / 0-)

      From my own perspective, I witnessed the same problem with people entering the workforce in the early-mid '80s.

      We tend to think of that era as a "boom", but it was really just a bust. What bothered me at that time was that kids were rushing to take jobs with essentially NO BENEFITS.

      When I entered the workforce in the late 70's, virtually every company had a rich cafeteria of benefits, and companies treated their help relatively well to keep them. But then when the '80s came around and people began jumping to work for places that didn't bother to offer any kind of benefits at all, we wound up with the situation we have now...essentially an economy in which employee benefits are the rarity, not the norm.

      What separates us, divides us, and diminishes the human spirit.

      by equern on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 09:46:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm not sure we've got this tiger by the tail (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    geez53, JeffW

    Income inequality is a serious issue.

    For sure, jobs are also a serious issue.

    But I'm not sure we have the right remedies because I don't believe we have the right culprit.

    If you look back historically to great shifts in the economy, there are two forces (in addition to General Greed) that have vastly shaped our economic landscape:

    1) We became a nation of dual-family workers. It used to be that a single worker could support an entire family. That is no longer true, at least to the extent that it was in the past, where a single earner could provide a home, cars, vacations, and more to most families. I'm not placing good or bad here, just stating an observation. In all the volumes I've read, few seem to bother to take this obvious factor into account.

    Perhaps that's because it's like the horse having escaped from the barn already, closing the barn door is futile. Still, in our longing for a "better economic era" we need to take that into account.

    For better or worse, richer or poorer, most single working individuals are virtually shut out of any hope for a slice of the American dream.

    2) Second observation is that I don't think anyone takes the full extent that the devastation to our economy caused by the Mergers & Acquisitions mania. When it became obvious to Wall Street that you could make more money by breaking up companies or taking ownership of ones that already existed instead of starting your own from scratch, the devastation of loss of jobs, manufacturing base, security, and loyalty between worker and employer vanished.

    I don't have any silver bullets. But I do believe that by recognizing the real ROOTS of the problem, that we can address them to help FIX it.

    However, I do believe that if we were to devise a method by which companies could fend off hostile takeovers, that would solve a considerable stretch of the problem.

    Not only would we have working people on our side on this issue, but also corporate America as well. That would seem be as winning a coalition as we could hope for.

    Companies would then be more likely to look to the long-term rather than the short-term because they wouldn't need to fear not providing rich returns to their stockholders to buy their votes come board or directors election time. If there are no suitors, there'd be no place else for them to go.

    And don't fool yourself. It's those "returns" that are driving a hefty chunk of the "income inequality" pie.

    As I said in a post a couple days ago, our economic situation is extremely complicated (sic), but the corrections it may need to make it healthy again, may not be all that difficult to enact.

    Sure, Wall Street may howl, but we howl louder, there may be no alternative. Are we up for that battle?

    What separates us, divides us, and diminishes the human spirit.

    by equern on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 10:05:54 PM PST

    •  Yep, there has been way too much over-thinking. (0+ / 0-)

      Ever since we left hunter/gatherer and basic agrarian, becoming "civilized", the basic tension has been capital vs. labor.

      We've crept to this current chasm since the 80's with the acceptance of "trickle down" in too many quarters. It never does, never will. Too many steps of greed between those with the cash at the top and those at the bottom who did the actual work to make the cash happen.

      We've completely eliminated net jobs and boosted profit through robotics.

      We've eliminated net jobs here through out sourcing, off-shoring or exploiting labor from south of the border with our wink-and-nod immigration cluster F#$% policy. Again, driving down labor reward and multiplying profit reward.

      Then we allow the greediest to keep their share of the cost for maintaining the system.

      The appearance of complexity comes from all the rationalization used to justify the "experts" paychecks. The finger-pointers and magic-bullet-finders who make a good living in the media, at "think tanks", in politics or in economic academia.

      To answer your last question: No. It's not bad enough yet. Too many arm-chair/couch potato distractions, the frog is still more interested in Kardasian (hopefully SP) idiocracy than the boiling water. Yes, i know, in the real world the frog jumps out before damage, but that's the real world, not where America is. I always hope i'm wrong, then i turn on the TV machine, listen to what used to be NPR or read a paper.

      21st Century America: The distracted, superficial perception of a virtual reality. Gettov Milawn

      by geez53 on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 11:04:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Just heard the word re: Boeing/Union deal. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Work force divided against itself, mission accomplished for Boeing. More gold for capital, more shaft for labor.

      21st Century America: The distracted, superficial perception of a virtual reality. Gettov Milawn

      by geez53 on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 11:14:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You ignore globalization (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      While your observations certainly are true, I believe globalization is the problem, and it is not easily fixable.

      American workers now compete with workers all over the globe.  This began in the 80's, and has devastated the American workforce.

      Why does Apple hire tens of thousands of Chinese workers to make your iPads and iPhones?  Why not American workers?  There certainly is enough profit in those products that would allow Apple to make them here at a higher cost.

      Multiply Apple products by the tens of thousands of other American products made overseas.

      So, why not "Made in America"?  Profits.  Stockholders demanding highest return on investments no matter what it does to destroy the American economy and the American worker.

      There's two solutions to this.  Raise the living conditions of all countries globally so that the cost of labor is relatively the same across the board.

      Or, ignite a movement of consumer attitudes for only buying products "Made in America".  Refuse to buy foreign made products and the profits dry up really quickly.

      All the talk about lack of demand driving this poor economy is ridiculous.  There is enough demand in this country to drive a very robust economy.  The demand is being met by foreign labor, however.

      •  You're right! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JJ In Illinois

        Next time I write on the topic, I'll remember the globalization piece.

        Certainly globalization has had a devastating effect on the value of American labor.

        However, I also think that regulatory remedies could be enacted to help solve the problem, even if at the moment they appear farfetched.

        We could tax companies for each international worker they hire, or hire through a subsidiary.

        We could divest ourselves of the NAFTA-type treaties we are signatory to.

        We could also impose tariffs on goods made in other countries.

        I know a lot of people who at least try to buy American made products if they can, I don't think it would take too much to make that into a broader movement.

        What separates us, divides us, and diminishes the human spirit.

        by equern on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 05:03:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Eskow and the priorities of the privileged. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Same kind of thinking that applauds the bailouts of 2009 because they "avoided a depression", which comes as great news to the millions of people who were thrown out of house and home and have yet to find either.

    Inequality is the same kind of problem that the deficit is:

    Get people working and you'll see that inequality starts to shrink.  For one thing, there's no inequality like the inequality of zero: when you've got nothing, you are nothing. That's about as far from the Bentley Brigade as you can get.

    Worse -- the Filthy Few can run their businesses without paying those lucky enough to be working nearly so much as they would need to shell out when there is competition for services.

    Eyes on the prize guys -- don't continue to ignore the festering open sore of long-term unemployment so you can strike some blow for the sake of your legacy.  Do some actual good for people who need it.

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

    by dinotrac on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 10:17:28 PM PST

  •  Not me. Both are the result of laws that favor.. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KJG52, JeffW, Meteor Blades over labor.

    Ezra Klein links to an article which asks if we do indeed have the most progressive tax code since 1979 in his argument that wealth inequality is less important than full employment. That full employment is the priority.

    The article linked to by Ezra:

    ..comparing average tax rates for poor households and wealthy households, 2013 might be the most progressive tax code since 1979.

     But economists cautioned that measuring progressivity is tricky. “It’s not like there is some scientific measure of progressivity all economists agreed upon,” said Leonard E. Burman, a professor of public affairs at Syracuse University. “People look at different numerical measures and they’ve changed in different ways at different income levels.”  

    To me the actual progressivity is exaggerated by the full and transparent  documentation of the lowest tax brackets of the low wage and poorest workers while the super rich and their actual finances/taxes or lackof remains a mystery and documentation is very incomplete to say the least

    Which makes this stand out:

    Indeed, over the last three decades the bulk of pretax income gains have gone to the wealthy — and the higher up on the income scale, the bigger the gains, with billionaires outpacing millionaires who outpaced the merely rich. Economists doubted that the tax increases would do much to reverse that trend.

     - emphasis added

    I'm of the opinion (a complete non-expert on economics though) that both issues are of a piece and neither is more or less important, because each issue; inequality and Jobs are the direct result of wealth/resources being siphoned out of the system instead of being reinvested.

     A global TPP that has been and is now is well under way.

    We must consider and solve both together as two sides of the same issue - imo

    Thx MB - tough one tonight for me at least, but very good stuff to think on

  •  I'd say both is good. (0+ / 0-)

    I'd be fine working at a facility where everyone - docs, nurses, janitors, whatever, all got paid exactly equally.

  •  I'm excited. I'm learning to link my (0+ / 0-)

    Daily Kos posts
    to facebook,
    so that more eyes might get on them.

    I've become my own
    rescue ranger.

    Here's a comment
    I wrote at Facebook:

    I'm just now learning
     how to "share" what catches my interest,
     by posting links,
     from all those things,
     to here.

     I've been writing,
     pouring my heart out,
     at Daily Kos,
     since 2006.

     I can post links,
     from there to here,
     so that family and friends
     can click on the links,
     and read my latest rant.

    as they say.

    Famine in America by 2050: the post-peak oil American apocalypse.

    by bigjacbigjacbigjac on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 03:24:48 AM PST

  •  On Inequality (0+ / 0-)

    I think this is false debate.  It is true that government policy has widened the gap.  I am in favor of all policy changes be it taxation, education, health care that ameliorate factors that cause poverty.  However, we continue to stubbornly ignore the reality that both free enterprise capitalism and state run socialism have not worked.  The economic system needs to evolve.  I suggest that the path forward is to put the ownership of business in the employee's hands.  That is still capitalism though not of the free enterprise variety which is hierarchal and has a few big winners at the top (thus the huge income gap).

    To make it simple, we need more cooperatives.  There are South American nations that are close to 50 percent employee owned business.  While here in the USA it is less than a couple of percent.  We need to increase that by all means possible.  We can start at the local level but to get true scale we need regional initiatives.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Riane Eisler

    by noofsh on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 06:13:14 AM PST

  •  This "business-friendly" punditry... (0+ / 0-)

    should prove quite popular to the wealthy investors Ezra'll need for backing, now that WashingtonPost and Jeff Bezos declined to purchase Wonkblog.

  •  Find it interesting the choice (0+ / 0-)

    Of inequality versus jobs.

    One is a big picture and the other is a piece of the big picture.

    Inequality doesn't mean just financial or wealth, although that is a huge piece of it. Inequality also means access and opportunity, and equal justice. I have a great job and luckily so does my spouse. But I don't have near the same equality that say some wealthy corporate individual has when it comes to political access, educational opportunity, access to health care, or for that matter justice in front of the law...and that is THE problem. We are not a nation of laws we are a nation of men. Government that is rigged of/for/by the people.

    That is what the obscene growth in wealth and wage inequality has really hi-lighted.  The wealthy rigged the our govt system to their advantage....and no job us serfs will ever change that.

    Government of, for, and by the wealthy corporate political ruling class elites. Elizabeth Warren Progressive Wing of political spectrum.

    by emal on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 07:55:21 AM PST

  •  Inequality should be top priority (0+ / 0-)

    I grant it might be a tactical choice in our operating environment. We can at least prioritize them, and I think it's a no brainer that inequality should be the #1 priority for the left. The equivalent of "keep your eye on the ball" is "it's the inequality, stupid". All good things flow from increasing the redistribution of national wealth from the 1% to the 99%.

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