The top 1% of the country is doing 281% better than they were doing in 1979 according to a study released by the non-partisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
According to Chris Hayes of The Nation: "There's a social pyramid in this country, and as you climb it, you encounter a smaller and smaller group of people doing better and better, while everyone at the bottom stays where they were. And it's precisely this kind of systematic inequality that incentivized the corporate fraud of the last decade."
Meanwhile, Republicans are arguing that we should not only let the Bush-era tax cuts for America's richest expire, we should make them permanent.
Meet regular Fox News and Fox Business contributor Marc Rudov.
Fox and Friends was trolling for baseless outrage (their specialty) recently by discussing Minnesota banning of ladies nights since gender-based pricing is illegal under the Human Rights Act months after the fact.
Mr. Rudov was on Fox & Friends to discuss this "ridiculous outrage", to which he responded about not liking Ladies Nights anyway because, "dating is legal prostitution."
Such a charmer.
He sounds like an embittered 22 year old who was recently dumped by someone obviously too good for him for another, less immature person.
overheard by Screws drawn by Mike Shea (click
on strip to see larger version) Look
new Said What? comic in Wednesday's B: The Paper. Available
free around town.
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It could end up as a comic strip.
A few years ago, we were dealing with the prospect of a large development coming into our neighborhood. Shortly after it was announced, we were surprised to see unquestioning cheerleading from the members of a local board of an organization whose mission was to encourage the growth of small, independent, locally owned businesses.
Later it was discovered that the developer had spread around support seed money to select community organization leaders in the form of several thousand dollars per person.
When you're talking multi-million dollar investments, what's a few thousand dollars here or there? Better yet, if you can get away with paying folks a hundred bucks here or there, even better - especially for a retailer known for its supposed discount prices.
Just like in Baltimore, the battle over the Wal-Martization of the city is intense in Chicago. But it seems that not all the pro-Wal-Martists are honest actors - some are just outright paid for their support.
...But there'd be money too, the organizer emphasized: $100 for two days' work.
The recruits signed up, were issued T-shirts and placards that said IT'S ABOUT JOBS, and filed onto four school buses that took them downtown. The TWO [pro-Wal-Mart The Woodlawn Organization] white shirts joined other demonstrators who were marching around City Hall chanting, "We need jobs," and after about an hour Garel and 100 others were led inside to show solidarity as Beale and a Walmart official held a news conference.
Half the recruits headed back downtown Tuesday for a rally outside City Hall that rang with the bleat of vuvuzelas. The other half, Garel included, were assigned to show their support before Thursday's zoning committee meeting.
...Back in Woodlawn, an organizer told them to show up at Tre's between 3 and 6 that afternoon for their money. Garel got there at five. A TWO organizer had him sign a form and handed him a $100 bill.
Alderman Beale assured me neither his organization nor Walmart had paid any of the supporters, mostly Ninth Ward residents, who he'd brought to City Hall for the vote.
"I'd never do that," he said. "My integrity is extremely important to me. My staff worked extremely hard organizing folk legitimately."
I called Walmart officials to ask if they knew about or had paid for the TWO demonstrations, but they didn't return my calls. Neither did TWO officials. But Leon Finney had acknowledged to me, months earlier, that last year TWO paid people to circulate petitions championing a pro-Walmart "Jobs or Else" campaign. (Garel says he got $25 a day for that effort.)
TWO's budget is almost entirely funded by tax dollars, and when public money's involved, nonpartisanship is generally expected. More than $4.4 million of TWO's $4.9 million budget for fiscal 2007-'08 (the last year for which tax returns and related documents are available) came from government agencies, including the Illinois Department of Human Services, Chicago Public Schools, and the city of Chicago. That was the year TWO managed to find busloads of people eager to show the Plan Commission, which Finney sits on, how ardently the public supported moving the Chicago Children's Museum to Grant Park. It was also the year Charles Holley, a Walmart executive vice president, wrote TWO a company check for $25,000.
The moral to the story - not all the pro-Wal-Martists are honest actors. Some have their own agendas. Some may have already sold their support.
QUESTION: When is the retail industry like the systematic extermination of 6 million Jews?
ANSWER: When Jeff Zellmer of the Maryland Retailers Association is testifying before the Baltimore City Council's Labor Committee against a proposed Living Wage bill. He said, "This bill is basically a Holocaust. That’s what it is, a Holocaust for retailers.”
Last night, the Baltimore Living Wage bill was defeated in committee. Council person Belinda Conaway voted for it. Labor Committee Chairman Warren Branch voted against it. Council person Nicholas D'Amato was absent.
Despite a popular outpouring of the support for the legislation by Baltimore City residents, Branch decided to look after what he mistakenly feels is in the best interest of large, mostly out-of-state, corporate concerns and let the bill die in committee.
Is anyone planning on opposing Branch in District 13? Now's your chance.
Some other interests that testified against legislation requiring large corporations (making $20 million a year or more) to pay their employees a living wage include:
- Safeway - 25th Street Station - Downtown Partnership - BDC (Baltimore Development Corp.) - Goodwill - B. Green Food Depot - KNLB Real Estate - Greater Baltimore Committee - MD United Contractors - Santoni Markets
This motley assemblage definitely produced some outrageous behavior during the course of the more than four-hour hearing, before the bill was allowed to die on a subcommittee’s 1-1 tie vote (Warren Branch voted “no,” Belinda Conaway voted “yes” and Nicholas D’Adamo was absent because of his parents’ health problems.)
But who could have guessed that the bad behavior would be that of the council members themselves? And the tastefully-dressed power-brokers who took to the microphone to oppose the bill?