Posts tagged “plutocracy”

  • Sam Pizzigati: The Rich Take Care of the Rich

    August 21, 2013

    Jeff Bezos, billionaire and CEO of Amazon, is purchasing The Washington Post, a move that is garnering significant objection from concerned journalists and readers. All are wondering: “Has plutocracy finally overwhelmed our press?”

    In a South Coast Today op-ed piece, Sam Pizzigati, author of The Rich Don’t Always Win, has an interesting answer. He says, in reality, “America’s most powerful newspapers have always been partial to the privileged.” Those bemoaning the loss of yet another “grand” journalistic family forget that it’s actually the Grahams that made anti-union sentiment and practice acceptable when they hired replacements for their striking workers in 1975.

    Since then, the American labor movement has dwindled into near non-existence.  In Amazon’s warehouses, for example, there is apparently no union representation whatsoever. Pizzigati reports:

    “Exhausted after 12-hour shifts, [Amazon] employees regularly wait, unpaid and for nearly a half-hour at security checkpoints meant to detect pilfering…[They] take home about $24,300 a year…barely more than the official poverty line for a famly of four and far less than what Walmart pays.”

    It’s this “take-no-prisoners” mentality that made Bezos so wealthy—wealthy enough to purchase The Washington Post.

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  • Tax Progressivity: A Blow to Plutocracy

    February 19, 2013


    Progressives of 100 years ago hoped that the 16th Amendment and the introduction of federal income tax would be a blow to plutocracy, according to Sam Pizzigati, author of The Rich Don’t Always Win: The Forgotten Triumph Over Plutocracy That Created the American Middle Class, 1900—1970, in a recent article in The Nation entitled “Real tax reform: Give the rich a tax incentive to support pay increases for the rest of us.” In the first tax schedule following the Amendment, tax rates on the highest brackets were much lower than progressives wished for. However, World War I boosted tax rates for those with an income of over $100,000, a tradition that persisted through the Great Depression and the Eisenhower Era. Taxes on the richest were widely viewed as necessary to prevent concentration of wealth and the destruction to American society that it would bring.

    Though the dismantling of tax progressivity is often blamed on Ronald Reagan, it was actually John F.

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  • Sam Pizzigati in D.C.

    November 19, 2012

    Sam Pizzigati, author of The Rich Don’t Always Win: The Forgotten Triumph over Plutocracy that Created the American Middle Class, 1900–1970will be at Busboys & Poets 5th & K Monday, November 19 at 6:30 to sign and discuss his new book. 

    A century ago, the United States hosted a super-rich even more domineering than ours today. Yet fifty years later, that super-rich had almost entirely disappeared. Their majestic mansions and estates had become museums and college campuses, and America had become a vibrant, mass middle class nation, the first and finest the world had ever seen. In The Rich Don’t Always Win, Pizzigati examines that transformation in popular history, and speaks to the same hopeless feeling many Americans are feeling today.

    This even is cosponsored by Teaching for Change‘s Institute for Policy Study.

    Sam Pizzigati Book Tour
    Monday, November 19th @ 6:30pm
    Busboys & Poets 5th & K (Cullen Room)
    1025 5th Street Northwest, Washington, DC


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