The Year in Pain: Top Ten Economic Stories of 2007


We live in a new Gilded Age, one in which the wealthy are doing amazingly well -- really well -- while the vast majority of Americans try to cover spiraling costs with stagnant wages and struggle to stay afloat. This year, AlterNet writers analyzed the shifts in the American economy during (and before) the Bush years, held corporations accountable for the kinds of outrages the commercial media rarely touch and even found a few bright spots within the gloom. Here are your ten favorite pieces from 2007:

10. The Big Corporate Motherhood Conspiracy
By Janina Stajic, AlterNet
Retailers have created a new trend and are selling yet another a myth: the problem- and pain-free motherhood. Too bad reality doesn't measure up.

9. Twenty Things You Should Know About Corporate Crime
By Russell Mokhiber, AlterNet
Did you know that corporate crime inflicts far more damage on society than all street crime combined? This and 19 more amazing facts about the state of corporations in America.

8. Why Having More No Longer Makes Us Happy
By Bill McKibben, Mother Jones
The formula of human well-being used to be simple: Make money, get happy. So why is the old axiom suddenly turning on us?

7. Fighting the Corporate Theft of Our Water
By Tara Lohan, AlterNet
The Bush administration is helping multinationals buy U.S. municipal water systems, putting our most important resource in the hands of corporations with no public accountability.

6 Why Working Women Are Stuck in the 1950s
By Ruth Rosen, The Nation
Though most mothers are in the workforce, Americans remain trapped in a time warp, convinced that women should and will care for children, the elderly, homes and communities.

5. How to Save the Middle Class from Extinction
By Paul Krugman, AlterNet
Economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman explains in simple terms how the American economy went from having the world's most dynamic middle class to being on the verge of a rich-poor state in only 30 years.

4. America Gone Wrong: A Slashed Safety Net Turns Libraries into Homeless Shelters
By Chip Ward,
A dirty little secret about America is that public libraries have become de facto daytime shelters for the nation's street people while librarians are increasingly our unofficial social workers for the homeless and mentally disturbed.

3. The Crash of 1929: Are We on the Verge of a Repeat?
By Scott Thill, AlterNet
Hedge funds have helped create a counterfeit economy that some experts say could lead to another full-blown economic depression.

2. Ten Ways to Prepare for a Post-Oil Society
By James Howard Kunstler,
The best way to feel hopeful about our looming energy crisis is to get active now and prepare for living arrangements in a post-oil society.

And, now, with much fanfare, the top story of 2007 …

1. Maybe We Deserve to Be Ripped Off By Bush's Billionaires
By Matt Taibbi,
While America obsessed about Brittany's shaved head, Bush offered a budget that offers $32.7 billion in tax cuts to the Wal-Mart family alone, while cutting $28 billion from Medicaid.

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