Thom's blog

The minimum wage is not a living wage

Minimum wage workers are screwed. While Republicans in Congress want to drop or throw away the federal minimum wage – new data shows that the minimum wage in America is woefully inadequate. The current minimum wage is pegged at $7.25 – but given the price increase of pretty much everything over the last few decades – from healthcare to housing to education – that $7.25 doesn’t get you very far.

In fact – today’s minimum

Not only are the long-term unemployed screwed out of the American Dream – they’re also dying younger

The New York Times is reporting on a new study showing that the long-term unemployed (those out of work more than six months) are twice as likely to die within a year of unemployment as are those who are employed. Even 20 years after getting back to work – those Americans who experienced long-term unemployment in their younger years still have a 15% greater chance of dying early.

According to the study – a worker who lost thei

American Corporations pay the lowest taxes in the entire developed world!

Pay no attention to the lies already coming from the Right – corporations are paying less in taxes in America than they’ve paid in 40 years. According to the Congressional Budget Office – despite American corporations making enormous profits last year – their second best in a generation - they paid on average only 12.1% in federal taxes. That’s far below the 35% corporate tax rate that Conservatives claim is crippling business in Amer

The nation of Spain ground to a halt yesterday

Working people across that nation went on strike and took to the streets to protest an austerity budget being pushed by their new government. It’s the same sort of social unrest that’s followed austerity measures in Greece, the U.K., and Italy. And it’s the same sort of austerity budget that Republicans just passed out of the House of Representatives yesterday, approving multi-millionaire Congressman Paul Ryan’s budget. In a vot

Despite a bad year, Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan got a 600% raise

Most CEOs who watch their corporation’s stock value drop in half get fired, or at the very least take a pay cut. But not if you’re a bankster. Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan was given a big fat check for $7.5 million in 2011 – a 600% increase from the year before – despite the fact that Bank of America’s stock dropped 58% over the year.

Not to mention – Bank of America had to pay out $335 million in a settlement against cha

It might not be too long before our economy gets screwed by Wall Street, again

The corporate corruption of our government is most glaring when it comes to regulating Wall Street. According to a new report released today by Public Citizen – lawmakers who oppose the Volcker Rule, which says banks can't gamble with your checking account money, receive on average four times more in campaign contributions from Wall Street than those lawmakers who support the Volcker Rule.

In total – Members of Congress opposing the

The United States belongs to an exclusive club of nations that put their own citizens to death

Amnesty International is out with a new report on the death penalty – showing that only 20 out of the 198 nations worldwide carried out executions last year – the United States is one of those nations. We’re also the only Western democracy to still use the death penalty. The United States ranked fifth in the world in executions in 2011 – behind nations with upstanding human rights records like China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq.&nbsp

Today begins The US Supreme Court hearings on the constitutionality of Obamacare

Today kicks off three straight days of oral arguments before the Supreme Court over the constitutionality of Obamacare. If the court ends up siding with the right-wing state Attorneys General who are in the pocket of the for-profit health insurance industry, then 50 million Americans will lose access to healthcare.

Not to mention – 17 million children will be denied insurance coverage because of pre-existing conditions –

Brazil arrests 17 Chevron Oil Executives for "Environmental Crimes"

Brazil is going to great lengths to protect its commons. Seventeen executives, including American citizens, working with Chevron and oil rig contractor Transocean have been charged with crimes against the environment in Brazil after an oil spill off the coast poured about three thousand barrels of oil into Brazilian waters last November. If found guilty – the corporate executives could face up to 31 years in prison.

“Too big to fail” is bigger than ever!

The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas is out with its annual report on America’s banking industry – and the numbers are shocking. Currently – only 5 banks control more than half of all the industry’s assets. That’s right – the top 5 banks in America own 52% of all the wealth in the finance sector. To put that in perspective – in 1970 – the top 5 banks controlled only 17% of the industry’s assets. Not only that – the total wea

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