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Oh, are we getting ripped off. And now we've got the data to prove it. From 2009 to 2011, the richest 8 million families (the top 7%) on average saw their wealth rise from $1.7 million to $2.5 million each. Meanwhile the rest of us — the bottom 93% (that's 111 million families) — suffered on average a decline of $6,000 each.
Do the math and you'll discover that the top 7% gained a whopping $5.6 trillion in net worth (assets minus liabilities) while the rest of lost $669 billion. Their wealth went up by 28% while ours went down by 4 percent.
It's as if the entire economic recovery is going into the pockets of the rich. And that's no accident. […]
The solutions are simple, but the fight is hard.
The Robin Hood Tax
The best way to move money from Wall Street to Main street is through a financial transaction tax — a small charge on each and every sale of stocks, bonds and derivatives of all kinds. Consider it a sin tax on Wall Street's many vices. Such a tax could raise enough money so that every student in this country could go to a two- or four-year public college or university, tuition-free Just think what the elimination of increasing student debt would do to the lopsided wealth statistics. Just think of what that would do for jobs as colleges expanded to deal with the demand. It's not a wild-eyed demand: 11 countries are about to adopt such a tax. (See robinhoodtax.org)
Public State Banks
A second critical strategy to end Wall Street as we know it is to form 50 public state banks on the model of the Bank of North Dakota. These would function as real banks rather than the rigged casinos that pass for banks on Wall Street. State banks are designed to support community banks that, in turn, lend to local businesses. Most importantly, the public bankers would be paid reasonable salaries rather than gouging themselves at the trough. (See "Why is Socialism doing so darn well in Deep Red North Dakota?")
The Public Banking Institute is paving the way as its leaders (Ellen Brown and Marc Armstrong) help some 20 states explore the idea. They need and deserve our support. And for all you Fed haters, they also are formulating some very cool ideas about how to dramatically transform our central bank. (More on that in a future piece.) Most importantly, we all need to find a common way to protest Wall Street's rule over the economy and over Washington. This isn't about redistributing their wealth. It's about getting ours back.
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2008—Fox Military Propagandist Promotes Terrorist Murder:
Does support of terrorists make one a terrorist? Presumably that depends on whether you take Mister Bush’s squint-eyed November 6, 2001, prescription — "You're either with us or against us in the fight against terror" — in a blindly nationalistic fashion or in a moral one. Terrorism isn’t an ideology. It’s a technique. Much as sophists and thugs - such as the late Jeane Kirkpatrick — like to twist the definition to fit who is carrying out a policy, terrorism can't be one thing for them and something else for us.
Yet one of the most pre-eminent of the Pentagon’s chosen propaganda team of ex-military-cum-television-analysts, retired Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney, not only supports but promotes terrorism against Iran. He's still spewing on Fox News despite having been exposed by David Barstow’s revelations three weeks ago.'
This isn’t new territory for McInerney. He’s argued for attacks on Iranfor as long as Bill Kristol and other neoconservatives have done. As a member of the Iran Policy Committee, McInerney has long argued that the State Department should take the Mujahideen-e Khalq off its terrorist watch list. The group originated as leftwing opposition to the Shah of Iran in 1963 and was involved in various operations, including the taking of U.S. Embassy hostages in 1979 and the bloody suppression of the Shiite revolt in Iraq under Saddam Hussein.
Although MEK killed Americans as well as Iranians in the past, it has since adopted a public veneer of being a backer of freedom and democracy as soon as the Iranian mullahs are overturned, the idea being to install one of its founders as Iran’s president.
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