Unequal... and we don't even know it...

The United States is the most unequal society in the developed world, but most Americans don't even know it. According to a new article by Les Leopold over at Alternet, most Americans think that the ratio of CEO to employee pay is about 30 to 1, despite the fact that it's more than 10 times that amount.

For every dollar that an average worker earns, a CEO rakes in more than $350 dollars – and that number just keeps rising. Yet, in two different polls, when Americans were asked about the wealth gap between workers and CEOs, most people believed that the ratio was 30 to 1 – regardless of their political ideology or education level. It's no wonder that we're not doing more to fight inequality.

One study called “How Much (More) Should CEOs Make?”, which surveyed more than 55,000 people in 40 countries, found that people in the United States think a fair pay ratio would be about 7 to 1. But, how will we ever reach that goal if most Americans don't even realize how wide the pay gap has become?

Extreme inequality slows our economy, increases demand on our social safety net, and allows the corporate elite to control our democracy. A small few control the vast majority of wealth and power in our nation, and it's up to us to take back control. To solve this problem we must acknowledge it, and that starts by making everyone aware.

CEOs aren't 350 times more valuable than their average workers, and billionaires don't deserve more political power than the average voter. Let's make sure that everyone knows how wide the wealth gap really is, and how it stands in the way of us taking back control of our democracy.

Comments

sandlewould's picture
sandlewould 8 years 3 weeks ago
#1

Definitely time for maximum wage law- NO CEO or exec. should be allowed to earn more than 100 times the lowest paid worker!

If you didn't see Amy today you must watch Russell Brand mop the floor with the host of BBC's NewsNight re. wealth inequality.

Gary Reber's picture
Gary Reber 8 years 3 weeks ago
#2

Talking about the problem is NOT enough, Thomm Hartmann needs to adopt and promote a new economic paradigm.

The JUST Third Way is a radical overhaul of the economic system (i.e., the Federal tax system, Federal Reserve policy, inheritance law, welfare and entitlement system, etc.) that will achieve genuine economic democracy, based on the Platform of the Unite America Party and its links and the proposed Capital Homestead Act. Our Platform is a call for a vision of political economy that can unite the left and the right, based on Louis Kelso's ownership-based paradigm. Now is the time to cure America's political cancer (Crony Capitalism) and restore America to again becoming a model for global citizens in all countries.

For a new vision see http://www.foreconomicjustice.org/?p=12331 and www.facebook.com/uniteamericaparty

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 3 weeks ago
#3

sandlewould ~ Great to hear from you. However, if you're going to site a Russell Brand "Trews" episode, I might suggest posting the link. I tried to find the one you are speaking of and all I could find is this one about the old man arrested for trying to feed the homeless. If you are speaking of another episode, please post the link. Thank you!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbDhDitAkZ4

Loren Bliss's picture
Loren Bliss 8 years 3 weeks ago
#4

Frankly -- provoked to brutal outspokenness by how the USian voters generally opted for Republicans (that is, for blatant JesuNazism even when there were solidly progressive alternatives) -- I believe we truly are this planet's Moron Nation. I also believe the white USian subspecies truly is Homo Sapiens Ignoramus.

This condition is not curable -- in fact it cannot even be ameliorated -- because it is a product of conscious choice. It includes being too willfully ignorant, too maliciously anti-intellectual and too obsessed with a combination of celebrity worship and Ayn Rand greed to do even the basic brainwork of grasping the concept of inequality, much less understanding its moral implications.

That's why -- if I may put the Big Lie of Obama's 2008 campaign slogan in the context of U.S. sociological reality -- the only "change we can believe in" is that, inside the United States, change itself has been rendered eternally impossible.

It was made so not just by a diabolically cunning Ruling Class -- which in my lifetime has perfected its methodologies of moronation to the point they are irresistable -- but by the active acquiessance of the Moron Nation masses, who joyfully, even gleefully embrace a species-killing combination of lazy-minded ignorance and moral imbecility.

I'm sorry, Mr. Hartmann; I agree we desperately need "to cure America's political cancer," and I respect the passion that fuels your optimism. Indeed the fate of our entire species depends on progressive change the need for which is now made undeniable by Nature herself.

But where amongst the variously opiated submissives of Moron Nation will ever be found the revolutionary determination? Where in the land of morally imbecilic selfishness will ever be found the courage? And where amongst the aristocracy -- its traditional function forever corrupted by the toxic combination of Abrahamic religion and capitalism -- will there ever again be found the will to lead humanity toward anything save extinction?

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 3 weeks ago
#5

Loren Bliss ~ Let me begin by saying that I wholeheartedly agree with you. However, I think it is fair to mention that the American culture has been successfully dumbed down in the last several decades to explain the latest election without becoming agressive toward the electorate. Even you have proclaimed in the past that a simple enough fact that a 35 cent round can feed a family of 4 for a year may sway an election in an atmosphere of gun restriction. Surely you can cut some slack for the current debacle? In either case what I'd like to say is that we can as a people rise up and reclaim our inheritance if we have the right leadership. That is all we really need and what we really need right now is access to that leadership. Don't you agree?

mmuoio's picture
mmuoio 8 years 3 weeks ago
#6

Neo-fascism has been given a broad and expanding runway since 1980. We need to remind ourselves just what these Neo-fascists are striving for and we can never forget it.

  • “We urge the repeal of federal campaign finance laws, and the immediate abolition of the despotic Federal Election Commission.”
  • “We favor the abolition of Medicare and Medicaidprograms.”
  • “We oppose any compulsory insurance or tax-supported plan to provide health services, including those which finance abortion services.”
  • “We also favor the deregulation of the medical insurance industry.”
  • “We favor the repeal of the fraudulent, virtually bankrupt, and increasingly oppressive Social Security system. Pending that repeal, participation in Social Security should be made voluntary.”
  • “We propose the abolition of the governmental Postal Service. The present system, in addition to being inefficient, encourages governmental surveillance of private correspondence. Pending abolition, we call for an end to the monopoly system and for allowing free competition in all aspects of postal service.”
  • “We oppose all personal and corporate income taxation, including capital gains taxes.”
  • “We support the eventual repeal of all taxation.”
  • “As an interim measure, all criminal and civil sanctions against tax evasion should be terminated immediately.”
  • “We support repeal of all law which impede the ability of any person to find employment, such as minimum wage laws.”
  • “We advocate the complete separation of education and State. Government schools lead to the indoctrination of children and interfere with the free choice of individuals. Government ownership, operation, regulation, and subsidy of schools and colleges should be ended.”
  • “We condemn compulsory education laws … and we call for the immediate repeal of such laws.”
  • “We support the repeal of all taxes on the income or property of private schools, whether profit or non-profit.”
  • “We support the abolition of the Environmental Protection Agency.”
  • “We support abolition of the Department of Energy.”
  • “We call for the dissolution of all government agencies concerned with transportation, including the Department of Transportation.”
  • “We demand the return of America's railroad system to private ownership. We call for the privatization of the public roads and national highway system.”
  • “We specifically oppose laws requiring an individual to buy or use so-called "self-protection" equipment such as safety belts, air bags, or crash helmets.”
  • “We advocate the abolition of the Federal Aviation Administration.”
  • “We advocate the abolition of the Food and Drug Administration.”
  • “We support an end to all subsidies for child-bearing built into our present laws, including all welfare plans and the provision of tax-supported services for children.”
  • “We oppose all government welfare, relief projects, and ‘aid to the poor’ programs. All these government programs are privacy-invading, paternalistic, demeaning, and inefficient. The proper source of help for such persons is the voluntary efforts of private groups and individuals.”
  • “We call for the privatization of the inland waterways, and of the distribution system that brings water to industry, agriculture and households.”
  • “We call for the repeal of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.”
  • “We call for the abolition of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.”
  • “We support the repeal of all state usury laws.”
DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 3 weeks ago
#7
Quote Loren Bliss:This condition is not curable -- in fact it cannot even be ameliorated -- because it is a product of conscious choice.

Loren Bliss ~ No, I disagree! It is not the product of conscious choice. It is the product of conditioning. There is nothing natural about this outcome. The very idea that there is anything natural about this electoral outcome runs in defiance with both logic and the fact that these elections were run in complete defiance with common sense rules. We do not have any kind of Campaign Finance Reform in effect in this and many other countries. Until we have these full reforms in effect I believe it is unfair to judge the outcome of our elections.

Stella Jane's picture
Stella Jane 8 years 3 weeks ago
#8

Get with the program folks !

Feed ALL children worldwide for ONE MILLION $$$ per each BILLION spent on WAR.

FIGHTING costs WAY MORE than FEEDING !!

Feed ALL children Educate ALL people

to feed themselves and others

Our RIGHT is to establish ideal human habitat; our DUTY for 7 generations. ALL kept as PUBLIC BENEFIT controlled only by real HUMANS, on GAIA our living planet.

FOOD CEREMONIES generate PEACEFUL COMMUNICATION

Gather in fields: the congregation.

Plant seeds: the ceremony.

PRAY during the growing/watering.

Share WORLDWIDE: the communion.

Peace n Planting our true way of life.

99% feel the same ...... Feed ALL children Educate ALL people

Please BEE REAL -- get a hive going with somebody anywhere!

BEE ProACTIVE aka benefit the 7 generations in all you do!

PS MAKING IT HAPPEN LOCALLY in your neighborhood.

Thought this local action peace plan might be at the heart of our prayers.... we could rent church kitchens and make wonderful BREAKFAST in YOUR POCKET cookies and donated organic milk for school children. Friday night we use the kitchen again to make WHOLE GRAIN PIZZA with ten vegetables and mushrooms. Salad bar too, all organic fresh!

NO MOVIE NIGHTS -- instead there are ten tables with crafts and skills mentors sitting there to help the YOUTH. A great fisherman, a basket maker, leather worker, food preservation teacher and other useful survival skills teachers /life guides.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 8 years 3 weeks ago
#9

Regarding CEO's making 350 times more than their average workers, don't try to draw a conclusion from the midterm elections. Why?......70% of the total voting population failed to vote period. Of the 30 % who did vote, about 16% voted in favor of extreme wealth inequality by Foxmerized default of course. I'm sure they had no clue they were voting in favor of poverty for themselves. This means that 84% of the voting population is either against or failed to express their opinion on wealth inequality.

Somehow the corpse media claims this Fox educated 16% is a mandate for Democrats to not obstruct our democracy like the Teapublicans have the last six years. Instead they're expected to reach out to the billionaire owned Teapublicans. The fact that Kentucky Fried Colonel McConnell's obstruction rate was 147 out of 177 times in favor of a filbuster the last two years is just an inconvenient truth. I didn't hear the media screaming about the Teapublicans not reaching out to the perpetually on defense Democrats when they were in the Senate majority.

The media won't comment on the marginally functional drunk leading the Teapublican House and doing little beyond wasting taxpayer money trying to repeal Romneycare.

There will be an attempt to impeachment Obama after his executive order to arrest rich white guys who enslave vulnerable poor people who aren't from Merica! Still nothing productive though.

The Teapublicans have been obstructing our economic recovery for six years and now they fully expect the Dems to give in to all of their Koch demands based on a an election where 16% of the Foxmerized voters fell for Koch sponsored ads. Or did they? I'm still not buying it. How could a majority of that same 16% vote yes on progressive ballot initiatives and then vote for the guy against them. Curiously the polls consistently predicted a vastly different election outcome too. If you think for one minute the Fascists ruling over the Teapublican Party wouldn't dare commit widespread election fraud then you've not been paying attention......to put it mildly.

"Anonymous" saved the 2012 election from Rove's attempt to steal it for Romney. Bush on the other hand got away with election fraud twice!!!!!

Maybe this is why 70 % don't even bother to vote anymore.

And Obama remains silent! It would look so unpresidential to speak truth to the corpse media.

Stella Jane's picture
Stella Jane 8 years 3 weeks ago
#10

ANOTHER INEQUALITY -- designed by FDA - Big pHARMA collusion:

THINK the WAR on WOMEN hasn’t killed too many ???

Our Government & MANY private individuals funded Big pHARMA to CURE AIDS. Much money was spent on research but NOT TESTED on WOMEN! NO medicines were tested on women for about ten years of copious input of funds. So.....

More WOMEN died from AIDS than Men in WAR 1984-2010 RIP *** see below re: reporting.

Womens organizations and media have been asked to address this situation numerous times since 1984. Most media have advertising contracts with Big pHARMA corpse-porations that prohibit bad press.... thus no articles about womens needs, unmet! It would be bad for BUSINESS.

GREAT BARRIER Brief system --

Invented in 1984 -- Let's manufacture in 2014 !

DE-Regulate Prevention Barrier Methods

Due to FDA / NIH /pharmaceutical regulations, a group of barrier method latex devices have been unused in the fight against AIDS, STD's and also unwanted conception. There are still no barrier methods available for herpes and genital warts, which happen OUTSIDE the area covered by male condoms.

One of these latex barriers got a National Institute of Health grant during Clinton administration, and can be seen online www. JANESWAY.net

This panty condom is both contraceptive and a prophylactic /disease preventive. REARGUARD Anal protection has never even had any newspaper article written about it...

This situation must be clear to media and public alike!

No media in the USA including NY Times Washington Post SF Chronicle have said a word about this, though all been asked to address this situation numerous times since 1984. Most media have advertising contracts with Big pHARMA corpse-porations that prohibit bad press.

The plan of the small group of women still involved is to organize licensed collectives worldwide run by trained volunteers. The volunteers would be given latex barriers for their own use and to give away or sell for no more than 2% MARKUP or two PENNYs per barrier over costs. So each ordinary person volunteering becomes a self-designated distributor. Any collective licensed and using the manufacturing standards could ship worldwide. No corporations would be licensed to avoid profit making in reproductive health worldwide by NON-HUMAN entities. Sponsored /lowered costs would help lower birth rates worldwide.

FACTS today: Men have no options, Women still have NO PROTECTION beyond talking men into male condoms, so…. once people know about this cover-up, talk about a BRIDGE SCANDAL???? We organize and create licensed COLLECTIVES and make our protections ourselves. We share latex with those we love.

WOMEN can create cultural breakthroughs about the red-taped regulation-raped, black-balled panty condom just by mentioning it to any friend who has herpes. Horrid statistics, over half our younger generations have this problem.

Mention ===>> GREAT BARRIER Brief system in news, on every media channel, tweets , television, social media, dating sites, public service announcements etc. Every step of the journey of each manufacturing collective will be celebrated by mutual affirmations.

No more corporate mark-up on our private lives!!! per Gilda Radner via Roseanne Roseannadanna===>>Why do they call it PRIVATES when it is everyone ELSE's business ???

For the 7 generations,

Stella Jane ==> spokesperson for GREAT BARRIER Brief, aka www. JANESWAY Panty Condom. net ===>> Built to fit the inside of a WOMAN!

Liason contact for REARGUARD Anal Condoms. REARGUARD needs some spokespersons.... hello GAY MEN with equal rights -- HELP WOMEN get rights, y'all had mothers and grandmothers!!!

SEE the GREAT BARRIER Brief red-taped, regulation raped, and hidden in plain site (sic) >>~~~>> awkward old tech http://janesway.net/FutureStyles/index.html

It got a National Institute of HEALTH GRANT during Clinton Administration. Then BUSH administration issued the GAG RULE on day ONE of the reign of repugs and millions of women died around the world.

There's REARGUARD Anal latex or silicone protection too but no online info available.

No corporate licenses to manufacture will be issued, to avoid others making profits from women /sex!!!

No more corporate mark-up on our private lives!!!

*** NIH STATISTICS are predicated on WHO SURVIVES with CERTAIN MEDICATIONS in a CLINICAL STUDY. They do not tally doctors' reports at all. THEREFORE it's nearly impossible to tell how many women had it and died, uncounted nor how many children in California schools w/no mother. Women get all STD 20 to 200 times easier than men.

PS MEDIA and RESEARCH persons: Please contact me if you don't understand that the centre 4 dis-ease OBSERVATION does not control disease. The reporting changed, so no actual women's deaths are reported UNLESS they are using some HIV medicine IN a STUDY. So the statistics look like "GAY MEN" caused this problem, fueling haters everyday, and the women continue to die..... uncounted.

PLEASE help get this to women everywhere…. If you can form /fund a collective to manufacture these, you can get the license to begin. Everyone chooses their own level of participation. Example: A real estate agent rents an old dental laboratory, and a builder remodels it for required Good Manufacturing standards. Their good deeds for the community serve as marketing for their own enterprises, as the community organizes around the collective efforts. Any concerned citizens purchase equipment and donate it, while some use their volunteer status to provide prevention education. Each volunteer becomes a self-directed distributor of education and prevention. Mark-up is 2% MAXIMUM.

WHO CAN HELP do this on other continents?

WOMEN On EARTH TODAY need to know that they can begin making protection themselves! VERY LOW disease and unplanned pregnancy when used. MAKE it LOCAL, use it local.

Invented in 1984 -- Let's manufacture in 2014 !

NOW maybe we all see this perfect example of the Permaculture principle: The PROBLEM is the SOLUTION......!

What caused the problem? Political power/corporate greed

Without the PROBLEM, what IS THERE is the solution!

practical private local-made /homemade protection

Invented in 1984 -- Let's manufacture in 2014 !

Womens organizations and media have been asked to address this situation numerous times since 1984. Most media have advertising contracts with Big pHARMA corpse-porations that prohibit bad press.... thus no articles about womens needs, unmet! It would be bad for BUSINESS.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 3 weeks ago
#11

Loren Bliss gets the Bull’s Eye award with this statement: “I believe we truly are this planet's Moron Nation. I also believe the white USian subspecies truly is Homo Sapiens Ignoramus.” I tip my hat, Loren. You really outdid yourself with that little gem. And you hit it square about capitalism and Abrahamic religion as toxic bedfellows.

Here’s my take on all this. We’re talking about a nation of people who work longer and harder than the citizens of any other developed, industrialized country in the world, many of whom must work three jobs just to make ends meet. They don’t have the time or inclination to read anything more intellectually challenging than Ladies' Home Journal or Reader’s Digest. When they’re not slaving away at their dead-end jobs or playing catch-up with domestic chores, they’re kicked back in front of the idiot box getting fed corporate fascist pabulum.

I share the frustration, even rage, Loren vents at the American people. But I’d just like to point out here that many of these idiots of whom he speaks are made, not born. They’ve been opiated by the kleptocrats, brainwashed and scared into submission. And like you, Loren, I am no fan of the conservatism, bigotry and religious fanaticism of much of the white working class in this country.

Part of the problem is the kind of education people have been getting, designed to crank out worker bees not critical thinkers. All of this plays into what brought us “Moron Nation”.

This is the elite’s revenge against Americans of average means, who protested the Vietnam War en masse forty years ago and disrupted their master plan. Can’t have those peons with leisure time on their hands, for things like political activism! People who are demoralized, frightened and opiated are so much easier to control. This is Noam Chomsky’s basic assessment and I agree with it entirely. - AIW

notchakotay's picture
notchakotay 8 years 3 weeks ago
#12

Regarding Thom's discussion of CEO/worker pay ratios:

Whenever I see a power company lineman working, perhaps his 3rd or 4th 12-14 hour night, atop a utility pole in an ice storm during a regional outage, I ask myself, "Would the CEO of his company trade jobs with him, even if he got ot keep his CEO salary?" I think that puts a whole different slant on the concept of equal pay for equal work. And I suspect the lineman would make a better CEO than the CEO would make a lineman. So much for the argument that pay is set according to the so-called "market."

I thought of it again when I saw the news coverage of the two fellows on the window washing scaffold that parially collapsed at the One World Trade Center. I found it sad that one of the workers expressed his gratitude for having the job that enabled him to provide for his family. Even more sadly, it is exactly that mindset many CEOs believe the general workforce should share. I even once had my company's president explicitly state to me that he missed the days when you could hire a master tradesman who would work for almost nothing because there were 30 more lined up to take his job if he complained (this conversation took place in the 1970s, referencing the late 1930s - early 1940s).

notchakotay's picture
notchakotay 8 years 3 weeks ago
#13

@Sandlewould: 100 times? How about 10 times. $15/hr. at the bottom, $150/hr. at the top. That provides a barely livable $30k per year as a minimum and a luxurious $300k as the max. And that includes the value of perks. Anyone who doesn't feel gluttonous making more than that is a sociopath.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 3 weeks ago
#14

DAnneMarc: I suspect that this is the link that sandlewould was referring to:

http://ay-wey.com/videos/?jlid=3YR4CseY9pk&jltitle=Paxman%20vs%20Brand%2...

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 3 weeks ago
#15

Palindromedary ~ Wow! That was one powerful interview!! Thanks so much for the link!!! :-)

douglaslee's picture
douglaslee 8 years 3 weeks ago
#16

Bill Maher's opinion on inequality.

I was going to post Alexandria Pelosi's interviews, but this was just as relevent.

Loren Bliss's picture
Loren Bliss 8 years 3 weeks ago
#17

Marc, if you had ever been physically assaulted by your schoolmates for being a "brain," or as an adult denounced by your alleged colleagues for being "a goddamn intellectual" -- and I have had both experiences more times than I can count -- you would understand that membership in Moron Nation is indeed a conscious, deliberate, malicious choice. And understanding as I do how Moron Nation because of its hatred for the environment coupled with its thermonuclear-bully-of-the-world, might-makes-right leadership has doomed our species to extinction, I will no longer be silent about the culpability of its people.

Loren Bliss's picture
Loren Bliss 8 years 3 weeks ago
#18

Thank you, Alice.

atchelka's picture
atchelka 8 years 3 weeks ago
#19

The former CEO of Costco kept his salary ratio of 12:1 and stated he was glad to have it. Many people don't realize that all the deregulation the right is always talking about is NOT making business easier for small businesses, it is about doing away with all the laws and protections which were put in place to protect us, the average worker/consumer from predatory corporate hustlers. Doing away with those regs caused the S&L collapses under Reagan/Bush and led to the 2008 total financial collapse. Please stop being fooled by GOP lies. George W. Bush was also proud of the pro-corporate judges he put on the bench and in the Supreme Court; those judges are hurting all of us.

douglaslee's picture
douglaslee 8 years 3 weeks ago
#20

CA representative Miller (D) proposed legislation that capped the tax deductabilty of execs at 25 times the line employee's pay. Corporations could still pay the 400 times the average employee as now, but the government would not subsidize it. Tax deductability as operating costs ends at the 25 times level. George Miller I think was his name, but it never made it out of committee, if it even made it to committee.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 3 weeks ago
#21

Reply to #12 and #13: Bingo! All excellent points.

With due respect Sandles, I had the same thoughts after reading your post. A 100-to-one dollar ratio between CEO and worker pay is WAY too much. I think even ten-to-one is pushing it. What makes CEOs so much more valuable than the people doing the actual work?! Without the worker, there's no products or services to sell. Without workers, there’s no company. I think companies can manage much better without CEOs than workers.

Mmuoio’s post (#6) spells out the ugly agenda of these fascists in the starkest terms. If that’s not a recipe for the total destruction of this society, I don’t know what is. I’m just grateful to be old enough not to have my whole life in front of me anymore, because if they succeed at carrying out that agenda, it won’t be pretty. - AIW

Franklin Robinson 8 years 3 weeks ago
#22

Appreciated Thom's column. I am finding that some conservatives in my social and work environments are beginning to see this problem. Even though recent election was discouraging, maybe more education through the media will help.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 3 weeks ago
#23

In some of those side-bar threads is a wealth of examples to illustrate the maliciousness of conservative ideology Loren has been ranting about. I cite this one thread begun by a conservative who goes by the name of “Dexterous”. It’s the one titled “Obamacare Architect Lack of Transparency Was Key…" blah-blah.

Post #3: “I saw no problems with the system as it stood before…” No problem with a system that bankrupts and kills! Way to go Dexie.

Post #5: “Nothing is for free pal.” This is Dex’s response to Legend’s post #4 where some of the many pitfalls of our for-profit healthscare system are described.

Post #19, in Kilo’s response to me: “Health care is not a human right regardless of how many times you shout it.”

UGH. Disgusting. Beam me up. - AIW

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 3 weeks ago
#24

Sorry to keep bouncing back like this, folks, but Thom addresses an issue that really resonates with me. This stuff doesn’t just stick in my craw; it freaks me out. That whole conservative “you’re-on-your-own, every-man-to-himself” philosophy is so toxic, their messages so dangerous. Health care not a right…. Really?! - AIW

Cdr Arty's picture
Cdr Arty 8 years 3 weeks ago
#25

I am now more than a half century old, and find myself so dismayed by the ease of conditioning the majority of Anmericans into voting and support ideas that are clearly against their own self interst by using false interpertations of all religious doctring and the use of misinformation for the sole purpose of creating fear in the low informed population in America, and thus using that fear of taking responsibilty to doing the right thing is used to assist those living by denying fscts can easily blame the press and everyone else except for them selves for the plight they are living with in today's society.

ckrob's picture
ckrob 8 years 3 weeks ago
#26

The essential question at this point is what can the citizen do, either individually or collectively, to get the attention of our so-called representatives? Whether the issue is economic inequality, climate change, electoral reform, police-state behavior, net neutrality, healthcare or any of dozens of other neglected issues, have we exhausted all means of recovery of our democracy? Currently 80-90% agreement on an issue by the electorate is inconsequential at the state/federal levels.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 3 weeks ago
#27

Inconsequential indeed, CK. Democracy is dead in America. I wish I could answer your question; I don't know any better than you how to get the attention of our so-called representatives. We're living under fascism now. Corporate fascism. They've taken over our media, our schools, our food supply, our healthcare system... next on the chopping block is the post office. So then what; our water supply? Where does privatization end? If they could, they'd hijack the air we breathe. - AIW

tim1234 8 years 3 weeks ago
#28

Thom please read this on the Post Office: The section of the constitution that talks about the Post Office is the section where taxes are discussed. The idea that the Post Office should "make a profit" moves the discussion about it to Republican turf. The USPS is just that a service, a utility. There is nothing wrong with have public utilities that are owned by the people and others that are regulated by the people. The Republicans want to drive the discussion of the USPS around profits so they can eventually sell it to UPS or FedEx or Amazon. Then the only part of the USPS that will be left is the part that delivers to areas that are unprofitable for UPS and FedEx. That is the Repulican vision. Do not argue on their turf. The USPS should deliver email and mail and keep it private that is one of the mission of the USPS. It could be expanded to providing high speed internet access everywhere. Banking, voting and other service could be rolled into the service to make it a wonderful public utility. Don't argue on the Right's turf because they have unlimited money to create talking points and will never lose if it comes down to that.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 3 weeks ago
#29

The idea that the post office should get swiped and hijacked by privatizers driven to make a profit is disgusting and horrifying. I brace myself for the additional damage we and our country stand to suffer now that these psychopaths have taken over our entire Congress. We're in serious trouble, folks.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 3 weeks ago
#30

Hey my friends, speaking of inequality, take a load of this! I got it off change.org and it is written by someone named Nailah:

It’s illegal to feed homeless people in public in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Earlier this week 90-year-old Arnold Abbott was arrested and now faces 60 days in jail for offering food to the homeless with his church. Ft. Lauderdale police should drop the charges against Mr. Abbott and repeal the law against feeding homeless people in public.

My children and I were homeless for 6 years. It wasn’t easy, but luckily I had the kindness of strangers to lend me a hand from time to time. They would buy me meals, give me hope, sometimes stop to see how I was and it showed me that I wasn’t alone and that although I was homeless, I wasn’t invisible. It was in large part because of them that I got off of the streets and can now proudly say I have a place to call my own, a husband and 5 beautiful children.

I remember my time on the street often. That’s why I was so upset when I learned that not even a 30 minute drive from where I live, 90-year-old homeless advocate Arnold Abbott, along with two Christian ministers were arrested for violating a new Ft. Lauderdale ordinance that virtually bans public feeding of the homeless. Now Mr. Abbott and his companions each face 60 days in jail and a $500 fine! It's outrageous to think that someone’s kindness could land them in jail.

As an ex-homeless person I take every chance I get to repay the goodwill strangers afforded me. I give what I can to those in need and I teach my children treat others as they wish to be treated and that means being compassionate and understanding. I’m sure many of you do the same. Just imagine being arrested and thrown in jail for 60 days for buying a sandwich for a person in need!

I want the Ft. Lauderdale City Council to repeal this disgraceful ordinance and drop all charges against Mr. Abbott and his companions. All of us deserve to be treated with kindness whether or not we have a home. City officials should encourage it rather than ask us to turn a blind eye.

If this ordinance is allowed to stand and the charges are not dropped, many homeless will lose a vital source of support and precedents could be set for other cities to follow suite.

Join me in signing this petition and demand that Ft. Lauderdale repeal this cruel ordinance and drop the charges against all those involved. - Nailah

What greater depths of depravity must we reach before finally realizing what a soulless culture capitalism and Ayn Randism has left us with!?!

Here’s the link. Sign the petition! https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?shva=1#inbox/149b8d3b406f3216 

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 3 weeks ago
#31
Quote Loren Bliss:Marc, if you had ever been physically assaulted by your schoolmates for being a "brain," or as an adult denounced by your alleged colleagues for being "a goddamn intellectual" -- and I have had both experiences more times than I can count -- you would understand that membership in Moron Nation is indeed a conscious, deliberate, malicious choice.

Loren Bliss ~ (Reply to #17] Well, you've definitely got me there. Very well said. As much as I'd like to I cannot disagree. How truly sad. Point well made!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 3 weeks ago
#32
Quote Aliceinwonderland:

In some of those side-bar threads is a wealth of examples to illustrate the maliciousness of conservative ideology Loren has been ranting about. I cite this one thread begun by a conservative who goes by the name of “Dexterous”. It’s the one titled “Obamacare Architect Lack of Transparency Was Key…" blah-blah.

Post #3: “I saw no problems with the system as it stood before…” No problem with a system that bankrupts and kills! Way to go Dexie.

Post #5: “Nothing is for free pal.” This is Dex’s response to Legend’s post #4 where some of the many pitfalls of our for-profit healthscare system are described.

Post #19, in Kilo’s response to me: “Health care is not a human right regardless of how many times you shout it.”

UGH. Disgusting. Beam me up. - AIW

Aliceinwonderland ~ You might want to provide the link for that thread in case anyone else would like to weigh in. Oh, wait a minute, here it is:

http://www.thomhartmann.com/users/dexterous/blog/2014/11/obamacare-architect-lack-transparency-was-key-because-%E2%80%98stupidity-americ#comment-293551

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 3 weeks ago
#33

Aliceinwonderland ~ (Reply to #30) Thanks so much for sharing that heartfelt and touching letter. What a great way to remind some people that we are all humans; and, as such, all entitled to certain inalienable rights. If we aren't free enough in this country to give away things that belong to us to whomsoever we chose, who are we to claim we are free in any way? That's just the notion of freedom--lets not even get into the notion of being a "Christian" nation.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that I couldn't wait to sign that petition; however, when I clicked on that link all I got was my own GMail inbox. I did my own websearch and this is the link I found. Consider it signed; and, thanks for sharing:

https://www.change.org/p/ft-lauderdale-city-officials-drop-the-charges-against-90-year-old-arnold-abbott-for-feeding-the-homeless

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 3 weeks ago
#34

hater22 ~ That is really a great idea. One solution that I recently heard was to impose salary caps --like they do with athletes in professional sports--on CEO's. Lets say no CEO can make more than 100 times what his lowest paid employee make. Still, a very fair dispersion. Once capped, the only way that CEO can give himself a raise or bonus would be by shelling out raises and or bonuses to all his lowest paid employees. I like that idea.

RichardofJeffersonCity's picture
RichardofJeffer... 8 years 3 weeks ago
#35

Can one person owning a billion dollars be justified?

geochand's picture
geochand 8 years 3 weeks ago
#36

When comparing/contrasting salaries......what employees are they comparing CEO's to. The entry level workers who, by the way, can be replaced by anybody off the street?

Who is anybody to say how much a CEO of a private business should earn. They are in place to make money for their shareholders or their owner. Period.

There will always be a pay gap, just as there will always be an intelligence gap and a motivation gap etc.....

As long as you're at it it seems that looks play some part in life.....it's always the good looking guys that get the good looking girls (and visa-versa) i think that we should all be made equal. Plastic surgery for everyone so that we all have equal beauty. All men should be overweight with bad teeth and terrible hair. And women should have small breasts, a fat ass and the voice of troll.

hd70642's picture
hd70642 8 years 3 weeks ago
#37

A family is no Substitute for an actual social safety net ! Due to over whelming credit card debt my father took out a reverse mortgage and I Really do not know how I am going to have place to stay since I have been out of work for over two years and even when I was working I never made a living wage !To begin with My brother essentially views me as an undue burden and will mostly likely have me thrown out of his residence for the most trivial and frivolous reasons . He once tried to convince me he was turned down from an apartment because I was out of work !So living there will be jumping through his hoops and walking on egg shells . The prospect of having to live with an individual of whom I have no respect for or trust in fills me with non stop dread . Although as of yet I have to yet to muster up the courage to commit suicide ! It is quite possible that in time the horror of living with this highly undesirable individual will surely overwhelm any cowardice that kept me from ending my horrific existence ! The stress of living with him has drained the life out of me and has greatly contributed to an over all deterioration of physical and mental health! The idea that pills will rectify this situation greatly evades reality and does nothing to make things right ! He has mocked me being out of work and thinks I am supposed to get job at his abusive and hostile carcinogenic laden work place that evades OSHA regulations regularly My brother has let unsavory persons take advantage of him on numerous occasions . Some specific examples are as follows 1 He has spent tens of thousands of dollars on credit on at least one individual 2 Due to his gross negligence somebody got a hold of his personal information and opened a false account at Comcast and Verizon costing him altogether thousands of dollars . He only be came aware of this when a friend ran a credit report on him ,and never perused the manner seriously 3 Another individual got ahold of his debit card on at least four occasions and on one occasion his checking account was cleaned out . 4 The same individual who got ahold of his debit card when had a yard sale and only raised fifty dollars stole what little money he got from the yard sale ! The height of irony is he told me when I move in with him he will not tolerate a book shelf when I reside with him or having any of my hand tools around ,but not only highly tolerates , but seems to openly invite others making a fool of him ! On a few occasions I demonstrated fixing things around the house he thought were impossible for me to accomplish ! 1 I fixed the handle to the toilet 2 A Kitchen drawer he thought was beyond repair! 3 I installed a receptacle underneath a window so it could be readily accessed by a window fan or Ac! He does not respect me on one or a few occasions has said go ahead and hit me so I can call the police .. He said he desired to go the worst part of town because of cheaper rental rates and stated we have nothing to be afraid no violence will happen to us because we have nothing to steal ! His failure to recognize he can be a victim of violence regardless of whether he has anything of value is yet another example of he not only regularly exercises poor judgment but has ran a marathon of it !

Dexterous's picture
Dexterous 8 years 3 weeks ago
#38

The average wage at Costco must be pretty high if the CEO salary was capped at 12:1

worker wages. The stockroom must pay in the vicinity of $450,000 / per year

W. Craig Jelinek/President and Chief Executive Officer 2009=$1,835,456 2010=$2,264,059 2011=$3,335,865 2022=$4,810,773 2013= $5,385,475

http://insiders.morningstar.com/trading/executive-compensation.action?t=...

sandlewould's picture
sandlewould 8 years 3 weeks ago
#39

Sorry DAnne... the words "must watch Russell Brand" were the link...

sandlewould's picture
sandlewould 8 years 3 weeks ago
#40

Yes, 100 - 1 is WAY to much, but I figured no one would take me even remotely seriously if proposed any less for CEOs. 10 -1 is more like it...but still to much ...how 'bout 3 - 1?

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 2 weeks ago
#41

Atta girl Sandles! By the way, nice to have ya back. - AIW

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Today, we are closing Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to hartmannreport.com - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From Screwed:
"I think many of us recognize that for all but the wealthiest, life in America is getting increasingly hard. Screwed explores why, showing how this is no accidental process, but rather the product of conscious political choices, choices we can change with enough courage and commitment. Like all of Thom’s great work, it helps show us the way forward."
Paul Loeb, author of Soul of a Citizen and The Impossible Will Take a Little While
From Screwed:
"Once again, Thom Hartmann hits the bull’s eye with a much needed exposé of the so-called ‘free market.’ Anyone concerned about the future of our nation needs to read Screwed now."
Michael Toms, Founding President, New Dimensions World Broadcasting Network and author of A Time For Choices: Deep Dialogues for Deep Democracy
From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"Hartmann combines a remarkable piece of historical research with a brilliant literary style to tell the grand story of corporate corruption and its consequences for society with the force and readability of a great novel."
David C. Korten, author of When Corporations Rule the World and Agenda for A New Economy