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Friday, January 23, 2015

The Best Radio Show

     Richard Wolff's Economic Update

I just finished an hour's listening to Economic Update, January 23, 2015. 

It was the best show I've ever heard (click here - Audio/Jan. 23, or click here, KPFA radio which carries Wolff's program), especially the final half when Wolff's wife, psychologist Dr. Harriet Fraad, describes the dangerous plight of our nation's youngsters. I seldom describe the human side of bad economics; this show is refreshing and will enlighten you. One in six youngsters, below 18 year's old, suffers food insecurity and hunger perhaps daily. Half of the children attending public schools now qualify for free lunch, meaning their family has less than $43,000 income. (If you wish, you can check: the  Basic Needs Calculator, the Basic Family Budget Calculator at EPI - Topeka, Kansas is the median expense city in the nation, the MIT calculator, and State of Working America, and here, if you wonder if $43,000 is too high an income to qualify for food assistance.) In 1995, 20 years back, only 33% qualified. Our system of after-school care and infant childcare is lamentable and will destroy our nation ultimately. Other nations provide these services far better. Many, many children arrive at school hungry and need breakfast, and teachers often provide morning snacks out of their own savings. I taught in public schools in east Oakland for over 10 years, I testify that this is a reasonable assertion. Run-away and throw-away children are on the increase since the beginning of the recession. This radio show is a disturbing program, but it highlights the personal effects of an economy and society dangerously out of touch. Too often ordinary people claim that others who have money problems have made bad decisions and now survive  parasitically on the rest of society. Good people seem to make this erroneous assertion regularly, and they should learn better by listening to this radio show. 
I also read Robert Kuttner's article 

about the error of believing in the myth of the free market and that government doesn't work, but  that "Freedom Works" as my Tea Party Congressman states on his campaign billboards. "Don't Vote for Anarchy, Anarchy Doesn't Work" is my response. Kuttner's article, "The Libertarian Delusion", is a convincing rebuttal. It will eventually be posted by American Prospect Magazine.  (And I'll provide a hyper-link. Here's his home at A.P.)

On January 26, 2015, Economic Policy Institute published a report  
that  details lopsided income growth between 1979 and 2012, 33 years, the net result is "Change in Income" for top 1% = 180.9%, for the bottom 99% = 2.6%, Top 1% share of all income growth, 88.5% over 33 years. At Measuring Worth we see in those 33 years GDP per capita increased by 70.3%, from $28,725 to $48,908. Again, 88.5% of that growth went to the top 1%. The income difference between the 1% and the average 99% is 30 times. The wealth difference? I'd like to know, it must be around 1 to 1,000. The lower-saving 50% owns but 1.1% of all wealth (see here). Of the $25 trillion in new wealth since 2008, that is $78,000 per human nationwide of additional savings, most of it went to the top 1% (see here, page 2). 

Complementary to the above is my posting below that shows that freedom is not working for many Americans. 

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