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Do We Really Need Billionaires?

By Lawrence Wittner ~ Common Dreams ~ According to numerous reports, the world’s billionaires keep increasing in number and, especially, in wealth In March 2018, Forbes reported that it had identified 2,208 billionaires from 72 countries and territories.  Collectively, this group was worth $9.1 trillion, an increase in wealth of 18 percent since the preceding year.  Americans led the way with a record 585 billionaires, followed by mainland China which, despite its professed commitment…

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America Has the Highly Combustible Economy It Deserves

By Marshall Auerback ~ Independent Media Institute ~ Truthdig It’s part of the American experience to find yourself in an elevator, in an airplane terminal, or at home, looking at a screen with stock numbers whizzing by, and people yammering about how America is somewhere on the spectrum between wonderful or about to disintegrate because of a 5 percent swing in Boeing or Microsoft stock. How did we get to…

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The Evidence Pours In: Poverty Getting Much Worse in America

By Paul Buchheit ~ Common Dreams ~ Poverty—and the stress of being poor—is killing people every single day A White House report recently proclaimed that the “War on Poverty is largely over and a success.” United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley said it was “ridiculous for the United Nations to examine poverty in America.” Well-positioned Americans must talk like this, of course, because admitting the debilitating state of poverty in America…

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Business Is One Reason For Economic Inequality – And Also For Equality

By Bill Conerly ~ Forbes ~ Is business a reason for economic inequality, or does business reduce economic inequality? I believe the answer is “Yes.” Private business both increases and decreases inequality, in conjunction with changes in the structure of the economy, technology, social attitudes and public policy. Private business does not definitively determine the distribution of income, but it influences it. (This article is based on my presentation in…

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The American middle class is stable in size, but losing ground financially to upper-income families

By Rakesh Kochhar ~ Pew Research Center ~ About half (52%) of American adults lived in middle-class households in 2016. This is virtually unchanged from the 51% who were middle class in 2011. But while the size of the nation’s middle class remained relatively stable, financial gains for middle-income Americans during this period were modest compared with those of higher-income households, causing the income disparity between the groups to grow.…

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Winter Is Coming, and Fuel Costs Will Hit the Poor the Hardest

By S.E Smith – Talk Poverty ~ Winter is coming, and it’s going to be colder for some than others. “Starting junior year,” recalls Alexis Stewart, a West Virginia-based writer and musician, “my mom said we couldn’t afford heat and I had to ‘suck it up.’ I don’t know if we didn’t qualify for [the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program] those years or if the funding ran out before…

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The benefits gap between high and low earners is widening

By The Economist I see patients every day who are going to have babies because they work at Facebook,” says Peter Klatsky of Spring Fertility clinic in Silicon Valley. Tech giants now include egg-freezing and in vitro fertilisation in their employees’ health coverage. But even as high-earning Americans have the cost of making a baby covered by their companies, many low earners cannot get paid leave to look after theirs.…

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Voters in Missouri and Arkansas just lifted pay for 1 million workers

By David Cooper ~ Economic Policy Institute ~ In yesterday’s election, voters in Missouri and Arkansas gave overwhelming approval to ballot measures that will raise their state’s minimum wage over the next several years, lifting pay for a combined 1 million workers. In Missouri, 62 percent of voters elected to raise the state minimum wage from its current $7.85 to $12 an hour in 2023. In Arkansas, 68 percent of…

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How we can make energy more affordable for low income families

By DeAndrea Salvador ~ TED ~ Every month, millions of Americans face an impossible choice: pay for energy to power their homes, or pay for basic needs like food and medicine. TED Fellow DeAndrea Salvador is working to reduce energy costs so that no one has to make this kind of decision. In this quick talk, she shares her plan to help low-income families reduce their bills while also building…

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India Halved Its Poverty Rate in 10 Years: Report

By Joe McCarthy ~ Global Citizen ~ Globally, 1.3 billion people live in poverty Between 2006 and 2016, 271 million Indians were lifted out of poverty, the most rapid improvement of living conditions since China helped lift 500 million people out of extreme poverty after 1981, according to a new report from the United Nations’ Development Program (UNDP). There are, however, significant caveats. Even though Nigeria leads the world in…

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