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By Rachel Goldfarb, originally published on Next New Deal

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The Real Solution to Wealth Inequality (The Nation)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal and Bryce Covert write that instead of trying to increase individuals' purchasing power, basic needs should just be taken off the market altogether.

Why Is the Economy Still Weak? Blame These Five Sectors (NYT)

Neil Irwin examines the possible causes for the underperformance of several economic sectors based on careful predictions of what their output ought to be in a healthier economy.

The NLRB-McDonald's Ruling Could be the Beginning of a Franchise War (LA Times)

Michael Hiltzik suggests that as the National Labor Relations Board places more responsibility on franchisors like McDonald's, those companies will try to pass costs to their franchisees.

A University President Gave up $90,000 to Give His Minimum Wage Workers a Raise (Vox)

By reducing his own salary, the interim president of Kentucky State University has ensured a raise from $7.25 an hour to $10.25 an hour for the school's lowest-paid workers.

As Congress Adjourns, GOP Declares “Omission Accomplished” (

Congress left for summer recess with the GOP having blocked almost everything from passing, but Richard Eskow also calls out the Democrats for failing to give them more progressive proposals to block.

The United States Needs Corporate 'Loyalty Oaths' (The Daily Beast)

"Non-desertion agreements" as requirements for federal contractors would help to ensure companies choose to pay U.S. corporate taxes, writes Jonathan Alter.

New on Next New Deal

Will Syracuse Become New York's Second Economic Capital?

In her video speculation for the Next American Economy project, Amy Liu, Co-Director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings, predicts cities will step up as drivers of innovation and investment.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Actually, the use of currency to mediate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    transactions has many benefits. Money serves as an aide memoire and, of course, provides a tangible record of obligations -- what people owe and are owed.
    The deployment of currency for speculative purposes or to restrict access to resources or to dominate a population is a misuse. The abuse of useful tools is a common occurence. We should recognize when it happens. But, as was true two thousand years ago, as narrated in the New Testament, the people we rely on as stewards of our material assets and our money are not always good stewards. Many aim to enrich themselves at their masters' expense. That's true in spades of our current Congress, the stewards of our currency. Instead of managing that tool for the general welfare, Congress rations it and doles it out to promote their own potency. Congress creates an artificial scarcity and then aggravates the problem by encouraging their minions on Wall Street to hoard and squander great amounts on gambling and other games of chance (including warfare in foreign lands).
    What we have among us are predatory humans. Perhaps their predatory mode is a necessity because they are lacking in practical skills. Regardless, the predators need to be reined in, put on short rations, not encouraged to accumulate and waste whatever they get their hands on. In nature, the predator's wasteful behavior provides opportunities to the scavengers who aren't very good at hunting for themselves. However, because of their cognitive skills, humans have the ability to engage with others in a sharing and caring relationship, thereby not only avoiding waste, but maximizing the benefits of their resource base.
    Avoiding waste is where our profit comes from. Conversely, increasing waste is an indicator of economic failure.

    Why do economists not appreciate that? Because, by and large, economists are rather dense individuals looking to justify their own inability to produce anything but verbiage.

  •  Inequality (0+ / 0-)

    The wealthy mathematically simply cannot buy enough by themselves. If income is not distributed widely, economies suffer in total. If you flatten the income curve by pushing money down the ladder, you eventually create deep demand. In an indebted society there is a lag because much of the income is used to pay down debt first. Which should be supported by creditors because they won't have to take as many write downs.

    With globalization labor remains cheap, and free markets have no pressure to widely distribute income.
    Under this scenario the pie cannot grow. It is in fact a case where reducing the number of billionaires does increase the pie. Or looked at the other way, decreasing the number of impoverished does increase the pie.

    The West's hegemony came about because of a huge explosion of income distribution, concurrent with advances in science and production capability.

    In today's global economy, there isn't a sufficient explosion of income distribution in the East, where production has exploded fueled by income from the West.

    We're facing the friction of Eastern societies, (for the most part), where production has exploded but where the societies have poor methods of income distribution.

    The economic pie cannot grow without wide income distribution. Not the other way around.

    You Don't Happen To Make It. You Make It Happen !

    by jeffrey789 on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 09:05:17 AM PDT

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