Posts tagged “The Rich Don’t Always Win”
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.
February 26, 2013
When President Obama gave his State of the Union address on February 12th, he 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.
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.
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.”
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.
November 29, 2012
Sam Pizzigati, author of The Rich Don’t Always Win: The Forgotten Triumph over Plutocracy that Created the American Middle Class, 1900–1970, will be at Busboys & Poets Hyattsville Thursday, Nove,ber 29 at 6:30 to sign and discuss his new book.
Polls now show that two-thirds of Americans believe that the nation’s enormous wealth ought to be “distributed more evenly.” But almost as many Americans—well over half—feel that protests against inequality will ultimately have “little impact.” The rich, millions of us believe, always get their way. But, as Pizzigati shows in the popular history of 1900-1970, the plutocracy can win.Poets & Busboys Hyattsville (Zinn Room) 5331 Baltimore Avenue, Hyattsville, MD
November 21, 2012
Sam Pizzigati, Associate Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, discusses his new book, “The Rich Don’t Always Win: The Forgotten Triumph Over Plutocracy That Created the American Middle Class, 1900-1970.”
In The Rich Don’t Always Win, Pizzigati examines how average Americans took down plutocracy in the middle of the 20th century and how we can emulate their success and harness today’s simmering discontent to return America to the stability that comes with a more equal distribution of wealth. Barbara Ehrenreich calls The Rich Don’t Always Win a “lively, engrossing new book” that deserves a spot “on your bookshelf right next to Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States.”
November 19, 2012
Sam Pizzigati, author of The Rich Don’t Always Win: The Forgotten Triumph over Plutocracy that Created the American Middle Class, 1900–1970, will 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
August 3, 2012
“The gap between the wealth of America’s most awesomely affluent and everyone else is holding steady…But wasteful consumption can’t explain the inequality paradox either. Deep pockets in America’s top 0.01 percent could shell out $5,000 every single day of the year and still have 93 percent of their annual incomes left to spend”
According to Sam Pizzigati, author of The Rich Don’t Always Win, the wealthiest percent of Americans are increasing their earnings over time, but the wealth gap is still holding steady. What explains this phenomenon? Secret global tax havens! Read Pizzati’s full article uncovering the mystery here on Counterpunch.
The Rich Don’t Always Win speaks directly to the political hopelessness so many Americans feel. By tracing how average Americans took down plutocracy over the first half of the 20th Century—and how plutocracy came back—Pizzigati’s book outfits the 99% with a deeper understanding of what we need to do to get the United States back on track to the American dream.