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By Tim Price, originally published on Next New Deal

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The Non Zero-Sum Society (Robert Reich)

Reich argues that the wealthy should realize that they're better off with a smaller piece of a bigger pie, but based on their efforts to crush unions, they seem to believe that the key to winning a pie-eating contest is starving out your competition.

Can the rising progressive tide lift all ships? (WaPo)

Katrina vanden Heuvel writes that the emerging progressive coalition that came out on top in the 2012 election is still scraping bottom economically. Their challenge is to articulate a vision that raises everyone up instead of using them as a convenient stepladder.

The Anti-Economist: Misleading American History (Truthdig)

Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Jeff Madrick writes that the prevailing narrative of U.S. economic history is essentially an origin myth for the conservative movement, complete with Ronald Reagan as a minor deity. The truth is heretical, but it might just set us free.

The folly of DC's desperate deficit fearmongers (Guardian)

Dean Baker writes that the UK's looming triple-dip recession should be the last piece of evidence anyone needs that deficit hawks are full of it, but American proponents of austerity still want to nurture their wounded theory and watch it grow big and strong again.

Five things economists know about immigration (WaPo)

Dylan Matthews rounds up the evidence that more immigration is good for the immigrants as well as pretty much everyone else, despite the productivity loss from xenophobes having to lie down and weep every time they see a sign in more than one language.

Why Are Domestic Workers Ignored in Immigration Reform? (The Nation)

NND Editor Bryce Covert notes that while the bipartisan immigration reform proposal includes special recognition for agricultural workers, it overlooks those who work in our homes and care for our loved ones. They aren't volunteering to score extra lady-points.

The Decline of Unions Is Your Problem Too (Time)

Eric Liu argues that while most Americans think the slow death of labor unions is irrelevant because they aren't part of one, they fail to realize that the "special interests" they're dismissing are their own interests, and their employers agree they're not very special.

Alt-Labor (Prospect)

Josh Eidelson looks at the rise of non-union workers' groups representing restaurant employees, domestic workers, and others -- ideal for the organizer who enjoys traditional levels of hostility and resistance but wants to explore some new tactics.

Report: States Force Jobless to Pay Needless Fees (AP)

Daniel Wagner highlights a new study that shows the unemployed are being bilked as states issue unemployment benefits through prepaid cards rather than direct deposit. First the banks helped create the jobs crisis; now they're charging for the service.

The Politics of Debt in America (TomDispatch)

Steve Fraser examines America's complicated relationship with debt throughout history, from the vilified borrowers to the lenders who have been held up as paragons. But what if those on the bottom of the food chain decide to take themselves off the menu?

Tim Price is Deputy Editor of Next New Deal. Follow him on Twitter @txprice.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Economics on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 07:22 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Hoarding cats has never worked and neither (0+ / 0-)

    will hoarding money.

    Our money system is not what we have been led to believe. The creation of money has been "privatized," or taken over by private money lenders. Thomas Jefferson called them “bold and bankrupt adventurers just pretending to have money.” webofdebt

    by arealniceguy on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 02:46:35 PM PST

  •  Huge economic inequality is its own goal. (0+ / 0-)

    It concentrates power into the hands of a few who control the government and the economy to protect their own advantage. It doesn't matter to those few that the economy as a whole is not growing; they might even prefer it if most of the poor were to die off.

    And there are other economies in the world left to plunder; if the US economy has been sucked dry, there is still the EU (the largest economy in the world), and after that there will be China... The game is not over until most people are dead, and the remainder are kings and lords with great castles built by serfs who are glad to be allowed to live at all.

  •  Robert Reich and the Non Zero-Sum Society (0+ / 0-)

    Reich observes the wealthy and concludes accurately but quite puzzled that they behave as if life was a zero or less-than-zero game where the best strategy to move up is to bring the other guys down.

    Alas, alas, alas, this is nothing to be surprised about.

    Great wealth is not a matter of absolute numbers. It's positional. It's not about having more stuff. The very wealthy already have far much more stuff than they can consume, no matter how profligate they are. Any more stuff they can get will not bring them any additional enjoyment by itself. So, what's left for them is status, relative status. For them, it's all about having more stuff than the other guy, even if they will never do anything out of that 'more stuff'. And as it's a matter of relative positions, anything that bring down the rest is a good thing for them.

    That's how the rich think. That's how they work. And there's nothing you can do to make them think otherwise. Unless they were literally born into it, single-minded ruthless acquisitiveness is the way they got rich in the first place. And having gotten there, they can't change their way and they just keep going. It's the only thing they know. It's the only thing that brings joy in their little, very little morally stunted, shriveled lives. The very rich are not irrational. It's just that they have very different incentives than the rest of us.

    Now, for ourselves, rather than bemoan the (apparent) irrationality of the very wealthy, it would be far preferable to take stock of reality. We need to recognize hat not only the very rich have absolutely no social usefulness whatsoever (job creators, anyone?) but that they are, by their very nature, positively corrosive and destructive to a just, prosperous and healthy society.

    Then, act consequently.

    I deal in facts. My friends are few but fast.

    by Farugia on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 03:07:13 PM PST

    •  Rich, greedy and lazy (0+ / 0-)

      Anyone who wants to sit on their ass and collect millions without making a contribution to help the economy should be taxed at a higher rate than average working people.  In fact, they should be subjected to a penalty tax until they can prove they're actually creating jobs and helping the economy.

      Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

      by Betty Pinson on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 03:19:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Time to set a deadline for economic recovery (0+ / 0-)

    It's time to set specific goals for new jobs created each month and make our political and business leaders stick to them.

    There's really no excuse.  

    Without a deadline or specific goals, none of these leaders is going to get it done, they're not even going to try.  We need to force them all to come up with a plan that has deadlines and penalties.

    Let's say we set a goal for average job creation of 350,000 per month.  That would bring us to a reasonable rate of unemployment within 2 years.  

    Let's give them 6 months (July) to get to the level of 350,000 jobs created per month.  If they don't reach that goal by July, we start raising taxes on big corporations, Wall Street and the top 1%.

    If they reach the July goal a month later, the taxes increase falls back by half.  When they reach the goal of 350,000 jobs every month, sustained for 24 months, their taxes go back to the original level.

    Wall Street, corporate America and the top 1% have much more power today than in past decades.  They have the ability to make this happen, if they want.  We just have to motivate them to do it.

    Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

    by Betty Pinson on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 03:18:11 PM PST

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