h/t: Bill Moyers.com
In this web-exclusive Bill Moyers Essay, Bill professes his lifelong love for libraries and their strong cultural value, and points to a crisis in public library funding across the country. But he also shares a unique and controversial community effort in Troy, Michigan that kept its library from becoming a political casualty, and serves as “a reminder of what can happen when we act together.”
Watch the full video below that explains how the Tea Party put the library in jeopardy, and how the town — with the help ad agency Leo Burnett — successfully fought back.
In a preview of this weekend’s Moyers & Company, I talk with What’s the Matter With Kansas? author Thomas Frank about the friendly faces greeting Jamie Dimon when he appeared before the Senate Banking Committee this morning. Seven members of the committee were big recipients of money from the megabank.
Frank describes the revolving door of employment between government and corporate America, especially when it comes to Congressional staffers-turned-lobbyists.
“Staffers know they could drop what they’re doing and go work for a lobby firm and make fantastic money… They want to please these companies — even when they don’t work for those companies – because that’s their future employer and everybody knows it.”
- Joseph Stiglitz on “The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers our Future” (democracynow.org)
- Joseph Stiglitz Explains the Price of Inequality (wnyc.org)
- Joseph Stiglitz: The Middle Class Has Been Screwed Over The Last Decade (businessinsider.com)
With the nation’s unemployment rate still above eight percent, millions of Americans are looking for work, and the country’s biggest corporations are hiring. According to a new report from the Wall Street Journal, however, many of those corporations are adding jobs overseas at a faster pace than they are at home. Even worse, others are cutting their domestic workforces while adding jobs in other countries at a rapid pace.
Across the United States more than 2,700 companies are collecting state income taxes from hundreds of thousands of workers – and are keeping the money with the states’ approval, says an eye-opening report published on Thursday.
The report from Good Jobs First, a nonprofit taxpayer watchdog organization funded by Ford, Surdna and other major foundations, identifies 16 states that let companies divert some or all of the state income taxes deducted from workers’ paychecks. None of the states requires notifying the workers, whose withholdings are treated as taxes they paid.
Deals cut with the states over the past two decades diverted $5.5 billion from public purposes to private gain, the report says. Close to $700 million more was diverted last year, Good Jobs First estimates.
These deals typify corporate socialism, in which business gains are privatized and costs socialized. They also mean government picks winners and losers, interfering with competitive markets. Leaders in both parties embrace these giveaways because they draw campaign donations from corporate interests and votes from people who do not understand that they are subsidizing huge companies.
“The House GOP budget, proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan, proposes a staggering $368 billion in additional federal workforce cuts over the next 10 years. Federal employees would have their salaries frozen for another three years and would face massive cuts to the retirement benefits promised when they were hired. In addition, the federal workforce would be cut by 10 percent, jeopardizing the federal programs and services every American relies on.
The 1934 economic rebound was widely shared, with strong income gains for the vast majority, the bottom 90 percent.
In 2010, we saw the opposite as the vast majority lost ground.
National income gained overall in 2010, but all of the gains were among the top 10 percent. Even within those 15.6 million households, the gains were extraordinarily concentrated among the super-rich, the top one percent of the top one percent.
Just 15,600 super-rich households pocketed an astonishing 37 percent of the entire national gain.
The different results in 1934 and 2010 show how a major shift in federal policy hurts the vast majority and benefits the super-rich.