It was a very hot day at the outskirts of Ahmedabad, India, where I met with a group of men and women at a local bus stand. They were itinerant laborers, people who move from one part of India to another in search of work. The city of Ahmedabad in Gujarat has a population of about six million people; among them are about 1.5 million migrants. Official figures from the Indian government suggest that there are 139 million internal migrants in India. This is likely a low figure.
* This interview originally appeared on the blog of the Institute for New Economic Thinking.
This was a landmark year for building a national moral movement in the United States, both in terms of the challenges we faced and the victories we achieved.
Mr. Bumble, the parish beadle who oversees provisions for the poor in Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist, complains: “We have given away… a matter of twenty quartern loaves and a cheese and a half, this very blessed afternoon, and yet them paupers are not contented…"
There are a few places where we can already see the gap between what Republicans are claiming their tax plan will do for you and what it will really do that should tell us all we need to know: if they need to lie and misdirect that much to sell the plan, voters definitely shouldn’t be buying. Take the claim that the plan would “lower the tax rate ‘for low– and middle-income Americans’ from 39.6 percent to 35 percent so ‘people can keep more of the money they earn’” … where the “low- and middle-income Americans” in question are earning $450,000 a year. Or take the $1,182 per year tax cut for a family making the median income of $59,000 a year. The reality behind that one gets complicated fast:
The Mega Rich Are Getting Mega Richer: A Former CEO Exposes the Corruption Behind Their Obscene Paychecks
The following is an excerpt from the new book The CEO Pay Machine: How It Trashes America and How to Stop It by Steven Clifford (Blue Rider Press, May 2017), available from Amazon and IndieBound:
Mountain Dew, the carbonated fluorescent-green soda that Willy the Hillbilly declared “will tickle your innards” in a 1966 commercial, has long been a staple of Appalachia. It was officially developed in Knoxville, Tennessee, in the mid-1900s, but it has ties to the wheat and rye distilled by Irish immigrants who settled in the region as coal miners during the previous century. Today, coal has left Appalachia, as have a host of other industries that brought economic opportunity. Mountain Dew, however, remains culturally significant. Sarah Baird, a writer who grew up in Eastern Kentucky, recently wrote about the importance of the drink to her sense of identity, saying, “It’s not just a beverage—it’s a portable sense of home.”
In a 2015 segment on his HBO comedy show, John Oliver defended the IRS and said people shouldn’t hate the agency because it serves the very necessary purpose of collecting the money the government needs to do its job. “If you’re angry about the amount of tax you pay, that’s nothing to do with them,” Oliver said. “That’s determined by a vote in Congress.”
Once Again, Wall Street Salary and Bonuses Show America's Rich Are Getting Richer as Inequality Deepens
Wednesday’s big news on Wall Street wasn’t that for yet another year its average wage and bonuses put finance employees in the top 1 percent. It was that the Federal Reserve’s third interest rate hike in a decade was fueling a stock rally—meaning there was more money for the already wealthy to grab.
In The New York Times recently, the paper’s former Washington bureau chief, the veteran journalist Hedrick Smith, asked an important question: “Can the States Save American Democracy?” Smith, who traveled the country to write his latest book, Who Stole the American Dream?, also serves as the executive editor of the Reclaim the American Dream website, where he keeps a keen eye on efforts to revitalize politics closest to where people live. In his op-ed essay he answered his own question by reporting that “a broad array of state-level citizen movements are pressing for reforms… to give average voters more voice, make elections more competitive and ease gridlock in Congress.”
Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter David Cay Johnston isn’t happy with the way the press has been handling Donald Trump. “The coverage has been extremely poor in my opinion,” Johnston, who at 67 clearly still enjoys making trouble, pronounced at no less a lions’ den than the National Press Club on Thursday night in Washington.