Monday, April 4, 2016

Bernie Sanders will raise Stagnate Wages, Tax all Yachts 

Most Americans believe that a rising tide should lift all boats — and that as the economy expands, everybody should reap the rewards. And for two-and-a-half decades beginning in the late 1940s, that was how our economy worked. Over this period, the pay (wages and benefits) of typical workers rose in tandem with productivity (how much workers produce per hour). In other words, as the economy became more efficient and expanded, everyday Americans benefited correspondingly through better pay. But in the 1970s, this started to change.

Since 1973, pay and productivity have diverged. From 1973 to 2014, net productivity rose 72.2 percent, while the hourly pay of typical workers essentially stagnated — increasing only 9.2 percent over 41 years (after adjusting for inflation). Even during the Clinton years, as nominal wage may have risen, they didn't in proportion to worker productivity — excluding those that may have benefited from the Dot.Com bubble (before that went bust). This means that although Americans are working more productively than ever, the fruits of their labors have primarily accrued to those at the top and to corporate profits, especially in recent years.

Rising productivity provides the potential for substantial growth in the pay for the vast majority. However, this potential has been squandered in recent decades. The income, wages, and wealth generated over the last four decades have failed to “trickle down” to the vast majority, largely because policy choices (by both major political parties) made on behalf of those with the most income, wealth, and power have exacerbated inequality. In essence, rising inequality has prevented potential pay growth from translating into actual pay growth for most workers. The result has been wage stagnation.

For future productivity gains to lead to robust wage growth and widely shared prosperity, we need to institute policies that reconnect pay and productivity. So how do we begin to fix this? As Bernie Sanders says, we need a political revolution, to get millions of Americans to say, "Yes, this is what we want" — rather than to vote against their own best interests, or for "the better of two evils" again.

To begin with, Bernie will work to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Bernie Sanders' website has a letter signed by 170 prominent economists that agree with this plan; Hillary Clinton mentioned two during the debates who disagreed. She even called Sanders' plans "pie in the sky" — however, California and New York did just that, and reached a deal to raise their State's minimum wage to $15 an hour.

But raising the minimum wage is just a start, and Bernie Sanders has many other proposals that, not only economists, but insiders on Wall Street, who also say that Bernie's plan for the entire economy are the best among all the presidential candidates currently running. So it's not so "pie in the sky" after all, not if this is what Americans will vote for.

Read through all the posts below and the links within them, and also watch any videos they may have:

  • Campaign for America's Future: Why Sanders’ Economic Plan Is Best For The 99 Percent
  • AlterNet: What the Mainstream Media Won't Tell You About Bernie Sanders' Economic Plan
  • Daily Kos: Wall Street expert Asher Edelman shocks CNBC, Bernie Sanders is best for the economy
  • CNN: Under Sanders, income and jobs would soar, economist says
  • PoliticusUSA: 170 Economists Endorse Bernie Sanders’ Plan To Reform Wall St. And Rein In Greed

Of course, an internet search will give you much more. Hillary Clinton "feels sorry" for Bernie Sanders' supporters because she doesn't think they do their own research — but yet, she wants their vote. But anyone can go to his website on the issues to see where Bernie stands — proving that what Hillary Clinton claims is not true, that Bernie is not "a single issue candidate". I know, because I did my research.

Almost two-thirds of people in the labor force do not have a college degree. So how do we begin to fix this? Again, see the short video above, then read what Bernie says about free college tuition — it's "doable" and is NOT "pie in the sky" (If Hillary were president back when, Social Security, Medicare and landing on the Moon would all have been "pie in the sky" ideas in her eyes. Whereas, Bernie believes it's all possible — if that's what Americans want.

If you were wondering how the political and financial establishment (including the major corporate media) of this country would respond to Bernie Sanders winning six of the last seven contests, most of them by extraordinary margins, here’s your answer: Over the next 15 days alone, Hillary Clinton’s campaign has scheduled 33 high-dollar fundraisers.

While Bernie is campaigning in Wisconsin and New York, the Clinton campaign is traveling to places that have already voted (like Colorado, Virginia, and Florida) to collect massive checks, including from one event where couples can contribute $353,000 to sit with George Clooney.

#BoycottClooney and his new movie Money Monster — and other ultra-wealthy Hollywood movie stars (and pop stars like Katy Perry) who are working against the poor and middle-class, after the poor and middle-class made them so rich. If you buy Clooney's and Perry's DVDs and CDs, they'll give thousands of dollars in campaign contributions to people who don't want to reign in the big banks and corporations and raise average American's wages — because Bernie would raise THEIR taxes, not yours (like raising the $118,000 cap for Social Security taxes to expand the program, and maybe taxing capital gains as ordinary wages after the first $250,000). People such as Mister Clooney would pay a lot more in new taxes than he ever would in campaign contributions to Hillary Clinton.

Bernie Sanders will raise stagnate wages and lift all boats; but those with multi-million-dollar yachts will pay more in taxes — but not to worry, they can easily afford to.

Oh, and Hillary will pay more in taxes too.

[* The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists released a report called The Panama Papers. The cache of 11.5 million records shows how a global industry of law firms and big banks sells financial secrecy to politicians, fraudsters and drug traffickers as well as billionaires, celebrities and sports stars.]


  1. The Rich: Why Their World Might Crumble

    In 1968 economic inequality started to rise. Among men working full time -- the group most sharply affected -- inequalities in earnings between the top 20 percent of wage earners and the bottom 20 percent doubled in the next two and a half decades.

    By 1973, the median wage for all men working full time began to fall.

    Over the next 20 years, men's earnings fell 11 percent, from $34,048 to $30,407, even though the earnings of the top 20 percent grew steadily and the real, per-capita GDP rose 29 percent.

    Within the family, American women came to the rescue of American men. Mostly by working many more hours per year, women kept median household incomes slowly rising until 1989.

    In 1989, however, median real wages for women working full time year-round also began to fall [and] these wage declines are accelerating.

    Since 1989 median household incomes have fallen more than 7 percent after correcting for inflation and family size. Already working full time, women had no more extra hours of work effort to contribute to the family's income.

    By the early 1990's the share of wealth (more than 40 percent) held by the top 1 percent of the population was essentially double what it had been in the mid-1970's — and back to where it was in the late 1920's (before the introduction of progressive taxation.)

    Since 1929, America has never experienced falling real wages for a majority of its work force while its per-capita GDP was rising. In effect, we are conducting an enormous social and political experiment -- something like putting a pressure cooker on the stove over a full flame and waiting to see how long it takes to explode.

    The middle class is scared, and it should be. The supports for its economic security are being kicked out from under it.

    The Republicans' balanced-budget plan essentially offers a return to Spencer's survival-of-the-fittest capitalism. It raises taxes on working Americans and lowers them for the wealthy. It shreds the safety net, apparently on the theory that individuals facing starvation will knuckle down and work. Fear will make them hold on so tightly to the economic trapeze that they won't fall off.

    During the medieval era, unwalled cities and free citizens were replaced by walled manor houses and serfs. Walled and gated communities are once again on the rise. Twenty-eight million Americans live in such communities, if one counts privately guarded apartment houses, and the number is expected to double in the next decade.

    No one can know what will happen if inequality continues to rise and a large majority of our families experience falling real incomes. But if capitalism does not deliver rising real wages in a period when the total economic pie is expanding, its hold on the political allegiance of the population will be threatened.

    Similarly, if the democratic political process cannot reverse the trend to inequality, democracy will eventually be discredited. What we do know is that a large group of hostile voters who draw no benefits from the economic system and don't think the government cares is not a particularly promising recipe for economic or political success.

    * This was posted in the New York Times in 1995

  2. Sempra Energy CEO Debra Reed moonlights. Like so many of her fellow corporate chiefs, she sits on the board of directors of other corporations. That sitting, she likes to tell skeptics, may be more valuable “than an MBA.” More valuable certainly for Reed. Sempra’s own board of directors has three veteran corporate CEOs on its compensation committee. Those CEOs have done their best to make Reed’s life sweet. In 2015, we learned last month, Reed collected $16.1 million for her labors, including $3.2 million in bonus cash. Not bad for a year that saw a Sembra subsidiary create the “the biggest natural gas leak in U.S. history.” The “penalty” on Reed for that leak? Sembra docked her pay all of $130,000. Reed grabbed over quadruple that sum last year from the fees she collected for sitting on the corporate boards of Caterpillar and Halliburton.

  3. What is the point of raising wages when all the jobs are moved overseas via the trade deals. Tppp, and now BIT with China

    1. Thanks for that link! I'm going to investigate this.