Growing economic stress & inequality brings an increase in violence
Twelve people are dead and nearly 40 wounded after a gunman opened fire in a crowded movie theatre in Colorado late Thursday night. Moviegoers were attending the premiere of the new Batman movie, when 24-year-old James Holmes walked in with tear gas, a rifle, a shotgun, and two hand guns, and opened fire. Holmes is in police custody.
The US is NOT the wealthiest nation on the planet
America likes to think of itself as the richest nation on the planet, and looking strictly at total combined wealth, it is. But that’s only because there are a heck of a lot of billionaires living here. But looking at median wealth, or how much Americans in the middle are making, the United States doesn’t even crack the top ten in the world.
The Wealthy hoard money, while holding the middle class hostage
The heirs of the Wal Mart fortune – the Walton family – have gotten a lot wealthier since the Bush recession began in 2007, while the rest of us have gotten a lot poorer. According to data from the Federal Reserve, median family wealth in America dropped by nearly 40% between 2007 and 2010. But, during that same, the wealth of the Walton family increased 22% to nearly $90 billion.
So now, the six Walton heirs have more wealt
American democracy - for sale to the highest anonymous bidder
Transparency!? We don’t need no stinkin’ transparency! On Monday, Republicans in the Senate joined together to filibuster and kill the latest attempt by Democrats to inject transparency in our elections.
It's time for the banksters to lawyer up
The New York Times reported on Saturday that the Department of Justice is building several criminal cases against major Wall Street banks related to the ongoing LIBOR rate-rigging scandal. Charges are expected to be brought against at least one bank and its employees by the end of this year. It’s alleged that hundreds of billions – if not trillions – of dollars were manipulated in the global economy by a handful of banks colluding
What will be Wall Street’s punishment for fraudulently manipulating the LIBOR?
An analysis by Morgan Stanley finds that Wall Street stands to be hit with at least $22 billion in penalties over its involvement in rigging key interest rates that underlie trillions of dollars of investments around the world. But that’s a low number – as hundreds of thousands of litigants – from individuals, to cities, to businesses – might have cases against the banks as this investigation continues – and it’s learned just how much mo
Our crumbling infrastructure & long commutes
Our public transportation system is failing low-income workers. According to a new study by the Brookings Institute – only a quarter of Americans can get to their job within 90 minutes using public transportation. For a lot of Americans who can’t afford a car – or the gas to commute the average 13 miles it takes for the typical American to get to work – then public transportation is their only option. But that means long, exh
America’s entrepreneurial class is dying
While small businesses have certainly taken a hit following the Bush Great Recession, the evidence shows that American entrepreneurs have been getting pummeled for more than thirty years. According to a new study released today by the New American Foundation, the number of entrepreneurs per capita has dropped by 53% since 1977. And since 1991, the number of Americans who are self-employed has dropped by more than 20%. In othe
The LIBOR rate fixing scandal could grow
After heads rolled last week at Barclays Bank following admission that the bank rigged key interest rates that underlie millions of consumer loans from home mortgages to credit cards, there are new allegations that other banks may be involved, and that this massive rip-off has been going on for decades. As one financial insider admitted to The Economist, “fifteen years ago, the word was that LIBOR was being rigged.” The insider wen
Corporations are eating our commons
So-called Emergency Financial Managers in Michigan are selling off public schools to private charter school corporations – and laying off hundreds of public school teachers in the process. The “mini-dictators” who – appointed by Republican Governors – have unprecedented power to fire local elected officials, break union contracts, and sell off our commons to corporate interests have decided to eat alive the public school system in West M