May 13, 2015

The emerging populist agenda "All agree that our extreme inequality is not the inevitable result of globalization or technology. It is the result of policy and power. The rules have been rigged. No one reform offers an answer; broad reforms are needed. "

The most surprising development in our political debate isn’t the gaggle of Republican presidential contenders or the ceaseless attacks on Hillary Clinton. What is stunning is the emergence of a populist reform agenda that is driving the debate inside and outside the Democratic Party.
A range of groups and leaders are putting forward a reform agenda of increasing coherence. Today, the Roosevelt Institute will present a report by Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, while New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is to release a “Progressive Agenda to Combat Income Inequality.” These follow the Populism 2015 Platform, released in April by an alliance of grass-roots groups and the Campaign for America’s Future. Also in April, the Center for Community Change (CCC) joined with several grass-roots allies to launchPutting Families First: Good Jobs for All
Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.), now contending for the Democratic presidential nomination, released hisEconomic Agenda for America last December. And while Hillary Clinton has chosen a slow rollout of her agenda, the Center for American Progress published the report of the Commission on Inclusive Prosperity headed by former treasury secretary Larry Summers, widely seen as a marker of where Hillary might move.
Not surprisingly, these offerings differ in analysis, emphasis and specific reforms. But more striking is their scope of consensus.
All agree that our extreme inequality is not the inevitable result of globalization or technology. It is the result of policy and power. The rules have been rigged. No one reform offers an answer; broad reforms are needed.
All link growth and inequality. As Stiglitz argues, extreme inequality cripples growth, and full employment is vital to reducing inequality.
The central elements of the emerging populist agenda include:
Public Investment to Create Jobs: All share a central strategy — major, long-term public investment in rebuilding America; modernizing our decrepit roads, sewers and transport; creating good jobs in the process. Sanders, the Populism Platform and the CCC agenda also emphasize meeting the threat posed by climate change, investing in new energy and energy efficiency and capturing a lead in the green industrial revolution. The CCC agenda also pays needed attention to giving investment priority to the “poorest communities.”
Progressive Tax Reform: All call for raising taxes on the rich and the corporations not out of envy but to provide the resources for needed public investment.
Predistribution: Each agenda seeks to ensure that the rewards of growth are widely shared, by empowering workers to gain their fair share. That includes lifting the floor — raising the minimum wage, guaranteeing paid sick and vacation days and family leave, funding child care, cracking down on wage theft, enforcing pay equity for women, revising overtime laws and more.
Most of the plans also emphasize empowering workers to organize and bargain collectively, arguing that the assault on unions has tilted the scales against workers. Both Sanders and the CAP committee also call for subsidizing worker-owned companies and cooperatives and for various forms of profit-sharing.
The Populism Platform, CCC agenda and CAP committee all call for redressing discrimination, including an end to mass incarceration and reform of our biased criminal justice system, comprehensive immigration reform, and pay equity and support for women. (“The Progressive Agenda” may soon include additional planks on debt-free college, expanding Social Security and criminal justice reform.)
Finally, all would curb the excesses at the top, cracking down on perverse CEO compensation schemes that give executives incentives to cash out their own companies.
Trade and Wall Street: Other than the more focused CCC agenda, all challenge the entrenched structures that fuel inequality, expressing opposition to current trade policies, and calling for curbing Wall Street excesses. Most would break up the big banks (with Summers an exception to that).
The Basics in Education: Most challenge the limits of our punitive education debate, focusing instead on basic investments in education: universal pre-K, investments in public education and various roads to debt-free public college.
Expand Shared Security: Most support expanding Social Security benefits. Sanders and Stiglitz emphasize Medicare for all. The CAP report calls for a new automatic program to provide jobs for the young in times of high unemployment.
Some differences are worth noting. Only the Populism 2015 document puts foreign policy on the economic agenda, though it is hard to imagine rebuilding America if we continue to squander lives and treasure in misbegotten military adventures abroad.
Similarly, only Sanders, Stiglitz and Populism 2015 include the need to curb big money in our politics and crack down on corruption. Clearly these rules have been rigged by the few to favor the few. This system stays in place because it works for them. No reforms are possible without curbing our corrupted politics.


  1. hello? No mention of nationalizing the central bank? This is fake news

  2. I dunno man. I can't see reforming this system. It needs to be replaced. In fact, it will be replaced. Hopefully they won't wipe out the planet completely before economic order restores itself to something sustainable for the ecology.

  3. The planet grows larger every year and more dinosaurs go extinct, get liquified by geologic processes and become unlimited cheap oil every day so we don't have to concern ourselves with resource availability. Just ask any Republican.

  4. "All agree that our extreme inequality is not the inevitable result of globalization or technology. It is the result of policy and power.
    Jct: Not quite. So find our extreme inequality is from taking unearned usury from the poor to give to the rich.

  5. "The I.R.S. in keeping with the spirit of lowering costs, inflation in wages, costs of benefits from charities, will reduce the face value of the tax credit offset by fifty percent."
    Sorry sir, the private corporation we call the IRS will only do things with the spirit of enriching themselves, and the usurers.
    Just a newsflash for ya... All the politicians are in the back pockets of the usurers. Good luck "starting with ... the system as it stands"!
    There's no longer time for pie in the sky "Let's start with... the system as it stands now..." and what? Sing kumbaya with good feelings that "They" will honor anything? They don.t.
    They (those behind "the system as is stands") honor nothing but money and death for their gain. It all needs to be SHUNNED, Not "worked with". That's been tried so many times without results...

  6. “There’s class warfare, all right,” Mr. Buffett said, “but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.” – Warren Buffet, NY Times 11/26/2006

    DAVOS ............ the Billionaire's UNION MEETING ...................... while the "Freedom to Work" JUDAS ISCARIOTS have been undermining the Worker's organizations,the BILLIONAIRES have become ever MORE organized. From the Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission, Bilderbergers,DAVOS ..............they have tightened the noose around the neck of the Working Man. They screen members in their FRATERNITIES and at Country Club socials .......
    1) Doctors have UNIONS, one is the American Medical Association.
    2) Lawyers have UNIONS, one is the American Bar Association.
    3) ALL Professions have UNIONS ...... they have Trade Associations, They have Trade Publications
    Fraternities, Country Club Memberships are "screening" areas to ensure UNION solidarity............
    P.S. YOU pay for THEIR Union Dues &Meetings.

    Without Unions the WORKERS would not have (HAD) living wages, vacations, sick days, pensions, 40 hour weeks, overtime, SAFE work conditions..... LOSING all that? Just as the Unions are undermined and destroyed? WHAT A COINCIDENCE !!!!
    Be sure to THANK a "RIGHT to SLAVE" propagandizer next time you see one, just before you kick his azz..

    American Wages have stagnated since the 1980s and working conditions have worsened. What happened then? REAGAN.
    Reagan waged war on the Working People of America (1)Launching the war with his attack on unionization, firing the air-traffic controllers and (2) Introducing the concepts of low paid part-time and contract workers. Remember how Henry Ford introduced the concept that if you paid your people enough money, they would/could buy the products they were building? Well Reagan destroyed that concept, and brought us HERE, to THIS economic crash. Reagan was no "hero" who destroyed Communism. Reagan was a coward who HID the fact that the USSR was dead on it's feet and collapsing. Reagan created fear in the People to get support for a wasteful looting of the Public Treasury by the Military Industrial Thieves. Finally, Reagan, the week after leaving office, ran over to Japan to collect at LEAST $6MILLION in "speaking fees" which was a nice term for BRIBE for keeping our markets open to the Japanese, and thus SELLING OUT American Workers. No, Reagan was not a great man, he was a Low Life Credit Card spendthrift. more and spend a whole lot more...that ol' boy keeps getting resurrected...his true legacy is the beginning of "deficits don't matter"...and a central/big gov't can control the economy.

  7. Two points, one, the I.R.S. is a redistribution plan but thanks to waivers is also a economic driver according to companies receiving tax waivers.

    Secondly, the Federal Reserve's stated mission is to grow the economy by reducing wages.

    And, "pie-in-the-sky," was what New England aristocracy called the Declaration of Independence. You remember that. You're entire existence and freedom are due to, "pie-in-the-sky," ideas.

  8. -_-
    Pie-in-the-sky = thinking that "fixing the current system" will work. After only a century, the Fed has tanked the purchasing power of the USD. Get them all out of there and start fresh, they obviously suck at their jobs.
    That said, How 'bout we scrap both the IRS and the Fed, and start fresh with an actual value based currency instead of fiat?
    Oh wait, that makes sense. I'll shut up now. Buh bye.

  9. So you want to take a limited resource and tie a dollar to it essentially making everyone poor forever as the, "value," of the resource will rise astronomically.

  10. That's how you might envision it, straw man =)
    Every currency that hasn't been value based (or has allowed its value to be debased for that matter) in history has resulted in insolvency and failure. The faces and names change over time but it's still the same story.
    In the real world, "value based" and "limited" are NOT mutually exclusive. Just pointing that out in case it isn't readily apparent.

  11. Value based means tied to a specific thing of market value. By tying to that thing you bound the value of your currency to it so all billionaires have to do to rule everything is lock out the market on that resource which they will immediately do and which was the reason we decoupled from gold to begin with.

  12. Jct: yes, a numeraire accepted by everyone tied to a market value can be manipulated by the billionnaires except for the one big one. They can't lock up the market on LETS timebanks. IOUs for Hours of labor owed created by the debtors interest-free can't be locked up. explains how everyone can bank their own online DIY P2P game.

  13. Everyone wants to rule the world....

  14. Jct: So what. Freddy's running the poker chips. We all watch the assets to into the box and the chips come out. Then chips go in and assets go out. Tell me how the desire to rule is going to mess up our game?

  15. No I am saying that any competing system to the dollar(which is illegal under the Constitution) is only an attempt to wrest control from those who have to someone who does not.

  16. I like your ideas I just don't think they can be adopted when the Fed is actively shutting down Bitcoin by policy. The Fed is the only authorized(By the Constitution) money-creating agency.

  17. That's going to continue to happen, no matter what. If fact, it's been that way since the beginning of time... So no one can feign shock when "the next new thing to buy stuff with" is subverted or outright corrupted. The love of resources and power can do that to people so predisposed to that, after all. There will always be those who would rather steal from others to make their own fortunes, instead of "earning an honest [insert currency unit of choice here]."
    The contract between the government and the governed is only possible if they both honor it. This is true whether its money or politics you're talking about.
    History is loaded with governments (nevermind currencies) that ceased to be for not honoring that.
    FRNs are no different. They will eventually become irrelevant and be replaced as the "global reserve" currency, just as the currencies from all of the other fallen empires in history have also faded to irrelevance.
    ..I kind of get the impression that that's a side effect of the childish "If I can't have it, no one can!" attitude these people with more money than they can count seem to always have.
    But whatever, it's all academic I guess, until the global economy crashes and burns... Or doesn't, depending on whose narrative you follow.

  18. Direct-to-consumer Fed financing programs eliminate the banking industry and the interest on the programs eliminates taxes.

  19. You must enjoy paying usury.

  20. FRNs are usury, you delightfully intelligent genius!
    'New' money is created as a LOAN with INTEREST. The Fed IS a bank.
    Have a nice day!

  21. The Fed is a quasi-governmental organization owned by taxpayers you can read this by logging onto their website. They directly state this as fact.

  22. Just because the Fed "states this as fact" on their website doesn't mean the information is true.
    Bush Jr. stated Saddam's possession of WMD as fact. We now know that this was a lie.
    Bush Jr. also "stated as fact" that Iraq was responsible for 9-11. This has also proven to be a lie.
    So your point is... what? That the official statements are a lie? If that is the point you are trying to make, then I agree, they DO lie.

  23. You need to research the Fed but you can start with this;

    "I say the Fed is independent, by this I mean independent within the Federal Government but not independent OF the Federal Government for we are part of it." -Dallas Federal Reserve, William Martin, Quote from the Netflix documentary; "Money for Nothing.”

  24. You're trying too hard man...
    Saying an opinionated documentary is "fact" is just... Over the top.
    You really couldn't come up with a better retort?

  25. The statement was made by a member of the Fed.

  26. Yeah, it was, wasn't it... But hey, if Bernanke feels ok with perjuring himself to Congress under oath, what's to prevent this other joker from saying whatever he wants in a little documentary?

  27. Believe what you will and then there is the truth.

  28. Haha, I don't believe anything I read and only half of what I see.