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Posts tagged “The Rich Don’t Always Win”

  • Sam Pizzigati considers what makes one society more ‘fun’ than another

    December 12, 2013


    In an article published on Moyers & Company, veteran labor journalist and author of The Rich Don’t Always Win, Sam Pizzigati discusses a recent study by World Bank economist, Branko Milanovic. This insightful and refreshing study, Pizzigati tells us, has unveiled “a new yardstick for human progress” – one that measures the “funness” of a society. Using this “cross-national international index,” Milanovic compiled a list of ten fundamental factors that keep the good times rolling. These factors range from the obvious to the jaw-dropping.

    Do you want to find out what makes a society “fun” to live in? Read Sam’s article here to learn more about this fascinating and potentially groundbreaking study.

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  • 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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  • CNN’s Must-Reads on Income Inequality

    August 20, 2013

    This past June, CNN asked its readers to decide which five of twenty possible stories columnist John Sutter would cover in his Change the List Project. With 16,789 votes, first place went to “America’s widening rich-poor gap.”

    Sutter says, “I love that each of these stories was chosen by you. I see that as a mandate of sorts. When journalists pitch big projects they sometimes wonder, ‘Is this really the best use of my time?’ I don’t have those doubts with Change the List. I know I’m working on your behalf — on the topics you’ve deemed most important.” Those of us at Seven Stories are encouraged that the public is so interested in income inequality; we think it’s pretty important too.

    As Sutter begins researching his series, he’s asking the public again for help. This time, he wants help compiling a list of approximately 100 “must reads” on the subject of income inequality.

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  • Pizzigati in Huffington Post Business Section

    August 19, 2013


    Recently in The Huffington Post Business section—Sam Pizzigati’s new book The Rich Don’t Always Win was used as a reference while discussing the rich versus the poor and ways to equalize our economy.

    Experts are saying that among America’s richest inhabitants, the top one percent have saved 37 cents per dollar this year, however they are not using their savings productively, instead they are hoarding cash. Therefore America’s wealthiest people are taking a larger share of the income. The solution to equalize this intake of money would be to raise taxes on the rich.

    “That increased concentration of wealth in the hands of a few, combined with the effects of the Great Recession and the slow recovery, has meant less money in the hands of low- and middle-income Americans — who are more likely to spend it — decreasing demand for goods and services, according to Sam Pizzigati

    The Article goes on to quote more of Pizzigati’s book when concerning how foolish it is to let the wealth stay at the top.

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  • They Can’t Stop Beethoven, Can They? Orchestral Workers Fight For Dignity

    June 19, 2013

    Locked-out musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra

    Locked-out musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra

    By Sam Pizzigati
    Too Much – A commentary on excess and inequality
    June 9, 2013

    Posted on Portside.

    Richard Davis chairs the negotiating committee at the nonprofit responsible for the Minnesota Orchestra. Last October 1, Davis and his fellow corporate managers who run the nonprofit “locked out” the orchestra’s musicians after they refused to accept a contract offer that would have cut musician pay by up to 50 percent and jumped annual health care premiums by up to $8,000. These musicians are not striking. Quite the contrary.

    For the grasping managers of Corporate America – and the institutions their wealth dominates – no workers deserve dignity, not even the most amazingly accomplished.

    What do bank executives who make $19 million a year do in their spare time? They do the same thing they do in the hours they spend in their executive suites. They squeeze America’s middle class.

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  • Sam Pizzigati talks about the decline of taxes on the super-rich with Laura Flanders on GritTV

    April 17, 2013


    The struggle against inequality continues as Tax Day highlighted just how little the wealthiest Americans pay in taxes. Sam Pizzigati, author of the recently released, The Rich Don’t Always Win, talked with Laura Flanders about the battle against plutocracy that everyday Americans waged in the first half of the 20th century, when the upper class ruled and inequality was at its peak. Pizzigati compares 2007, the year before the financial meltdown, when the richest 400 people were taxed just 16.6% of their total income (which averaged $345 million), to 1955 when the richest 400 paid 51.2% of their total income (after exploiting all the loopholes).

    It’s almost laugh-out-loud ridiculous to think that in the 1950s the top tax bracket was 91% on those making over 200,000 a year. But the 1950s were times of great prosperity, and it was because of the little guys fighting for economic equality, over many decades, that progressive taxes were implemented.

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  • Obama’s Agenda: What it means for economic inequality

    February 26, 2013

    When President Obama gave his State of the Union address on February 12th, hepizzigati_crdt_fredsolowey laid out his second-term agenda which included his plans to help reduce the growing economic inequality in our nation. He spoke of raising minimum wage, granting universal pre-kindergarten access to families in need, restoring the pay roll tax cut, and linking federal student aid to the rising college tuition costs. But what does his plan really mean for economic disparity?

    According to University of California economist Emmanuel Saez, the top ten percent in the US is making 46.5 percent of the nations income, which is the highest rate in nearly 100 years! This, amongst many other indicators, has sounded the alarms for government to address the this gap between the top-earners and the rest of the country. In an interview with Between the Lines‘ Scott Harris, Sam Pizzigati, veteran labor journalist and author of The Rich Don’t Always Win: The Forgotten Triumph over Plutocracy that Created the American Middle Class, 1900-1970, assesses President Obama’s plan and how effectively it addresses the economic inequality.

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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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  • Firedoglake Welcomes Sam Pizzigati, author of The Rich Don’t Always Win

    February 11, 2013

    Check out Sam Pizzigati’s interview yesterday on the Firedoglake Book Salon all about income inequality and how we can learn from the struggle that the poor and middle class went through in the first half of the 20th century to balance that inequality.

    Hosted by John Cavanagh, who says: “We desperately need a new movement mighty enough to beat back our staggering economic inequality.  With the assistance of books like Sam’s, that new movement can learn vital lessons from our not-so-distant past.”

    Says Sam Pizzigati: “A century ago, we had a United States where the nation’s wealth sat concentrated in the hands of a small and powerful few. We face that same situation today.

    To turn this situation around, I think we need both information and inspiration — the information that can help us identify what we could do to truly “share the wealth,” the inspiration that wealth, in a modern economy, really can be shared.”

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  • Sam Pizzigati argues in a Huffington Post op-ed that the middle class beat back the rich once and can do it again

    November 30, 2012

    Sam Pizzigati, a veteran labor journalist and the editor of Too Much, an online weekly on excess and inequality, has a new book that tells the story of how the middle class fought against the overwhelming power of the rich in the first half of the twentieth century-and won! The Rich Don’t Always Win offers inspiring ideas for today’s unbalanced society, here are a few “Plutocracy-Busting Ideas” that Pizzigati wrote about in the Huffington Post.

    Two: Leverage the power of the public purse against excessive corporate executive pay. Congress can’t set direct limits on private corporate executive pay, yesterday’s progressives understood. But Congress could impose limits indirectly by denying federal government contracts and subsidies to corporations that lavished rewards on top executives.

    In 1933, then-senator and later Supreme Court justice Hugo Black won congressional approval for legislation that denied federal air- and ocean-mail contracts to companies that paid their execs over $17,500, about $300,000 in today’s dollars.

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