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Big Finance Is a Monster That’s Consuming Our Economic Security

This horror story starts in the 1970s when the economic policy establishment, led by Milton Friedman, thought they were a whole lot smarter than the New Dealers who had put a lid on the financial sector and forced high taxes on the super-rich – all designed to prevent the gamblers from again wrecking our economy like they did in 1929. Blinded by ideology, the 1970s gang were certain the economy would run much better if free markets were allowed to function without government interference. This meant deregulation of airlines, telecommunications, trucking industry and most importantly, the deregulation of finance. At the same time they called for tax cuts for the rich because these elites were the source of investment capital needed to make the economy grow. When the Reagan Revolution arrived, both political parties were tripping all over themselves to cut taxes for the rich and to unleash the financial sector so that it could “innovate” This combo was supposed to produce a massive investment boom that would make all boats rise. Free markets, not government, would run the economy. And so they did. The combination of upper-end tax cuts, deregulation, globalization and anti-union policies led to a dramatic change in our income distribution. The top one percent jumped from taking in 8 percent of all income in 1970 to 23 percent in 2006 — the same as on the eve of the Great Depression, and that’s no coincidence. Continue reading this article at Alternet.
looting Les Leopold is the author of The Looting of America.

Why Europe’s Laws On Vacations Are Better Than Your Wildest Dreams (and How Badly Americans Get Screwed)

Imagine this: You work 25 hours a week at the McDonald’s in Cairo, New York, and have finally earned two weeks of paid vacation. You set out on a bike trip. On the first day in the saddle, you hit a pothole and crash, cracking your collar bone. You sit on your couch for the […] Read More..

How the Federal Reserve Is Manipulating Our Kids Into Loving Wall Street

Each year the Federal Reserve sponsors a national academic competition to indoctrinate our leading high school students into revering the marvels of modern finance capitalism. Unfortunately, nowhere in that intensive program do our students learn about how the largest U.S. banks have turned the Federal Reserve into their own private piggy-bank. The Fed, through a […] Read More..

What If the Greedy Rich Paid Their Share? 8 Things to Know About Wealth and Poverty in the US

We’re far from poor — we just have a wildly lopsided distribution of wealth that makes us seem poor. America is loaded. We are not a struggling nation ready to go under. We are not facing an enormous debt crisis despite what the politicians and pundits proclaim. We are not the next Greece. Rather, we […] Read More..

5 Ways Wall Street Is Putting the Squeeze on American Students

The damage Wall Street inflicted on our educational infrastructure is growing. March 13, 2012  | The damage to our educational infrastructure is growing, according to Catherine Rampell’s chilling report in the New York Times. As state funding has dwindled, public colleges have raised tuition and are now resorting to even more desperate measures — cutting […] Read More..

How Can the World’s Richest Country Let Children Go Hungry? 6 Tricks Corporate Elites Use to Hoard All the Wealth

December 21, 2011  –  AlterNet “Squeezed by rising living costs, a record number of Americans, nearly 1 in 2, have fallen into poverty or are scraping by on earnings that classify them as low income.” “Study: 1 in 5 American children lives in poverty.” “In 2010, 17.2 million households, 14.5 percent of households (approximately one […] Read More..