Inequality versus sustainable growth

Is wealth and income inequality holding the economy back? A recent study by the Pew Foundation shows that from 2009-2011 the wealthiest 7% of the US saw their net worth climb 24% – to an average of nearly $3.2M – while the other 93% of the population saw their wealth plummet 7%. More than being unfair, it may also be holding back economic growth overall. The rich may be happy with their take, but it may stop coming. Continue Reading

Who are the Job Creators?

Whenever the discussion goes to higher taxes for the wealthiest Americans, we hear that it will impact the job creators. The assumption is that the wealthiest portion of the population will create more jobs if they have more money. It sounds great but the reality is something totally different. Successful businesses do not create jobs just because there is money available. They create jobs when there are customers available. This is true of retail, and manufacturing. Any successful business expands when there is an opportunity for more business and profit. Continue Reading

Income inequality: We have to talk about it to fix it

Income inequality is one of those things that we find almost impossible to talk about in US politics. Simply raising the issue automatically leads to charges of “class warfare”, a term that is empty enough in meaning to raise emotions without much intellect. Yet it is important. Continue Reading

Two days’ graphs: Not so mobile

“If you don’t have a job and you are not rich, blame yourself!” So spoke Herman Cain during his brief bubble of frontrunnerdom in the presidential primary. He was giving voice to a myth favored by conservatives who would like nothing better than to write off every social ill as a personal failing.

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Graph of the Day: Which percent are you?

With all of the hullaballoo these days about the 99% and the 1% – or the 47% and the 53% if you’re reading conservative propaganda – it’s worth figuring out which percent (roughly) you’re in. With that in mind, here’s a graph to help you out.

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OPINION | Bridge the gap

It’s been a tough year of conservative attacks on Minnesota workers. Unemployment has hit building trades particularly hard and much needed infrastructure projects go unstarted.Workers, students, and community organizers are taking their message to the streets. We need to create jobs that fix our crumbling roads, bridges, and schools, while letting all Minnesotans share in the state’s prosperity. Continue Reading