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September 21, 2014
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
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Field Days

By Jonah Raskin
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Tag: Money


Pincasso / Shutterstock.com

Too Big to Punish

A few months ago, in a press conference about the felony conviction of Credit Suisse, Attorney General Eric Holder said, “This case shows that no financial institution, no matter its size or global reach, is above the law.” Yet, earlier this month, the Obama administration announced its proposal to waive some of the possible sanctions against Credit Suisse.

Posted on Sep 19, 2014 READ MORE



Steve Rhodes (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Occupy Activists Try to Restore Our Faith in ‘Collective Power’ by Wiping $3.9M of Student Loan Debt

The Strike Debt movement, which has its roots in Occupy Wall Street, bought and “abolished” a portfolio that included the student loan debts of 2,700 students who had attended the privately run Everest College.

Posted on Sep 18, 2014 READ MORE



A New Way Insurers Are Shifting Costs to the Sick

By charging higher prices for generic drugs that treat certain illnesses, health insurers may be violating the spirit of the Affordable Care Act, which bans discrimination against those with pre-existing conditions.

Posted on Sep 18, 2014 READ MORE



One Way or Another, Everything Changes

From the author of “The Shock Doctrine,” here is the introduction to Naomi Klein’s new book, “This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate.”

Posted on Sep 17, 2014 READ MORE



A Climate Week to Change Everything

The climate crisis is worsening faster than predicted, by every scientific measure, and is paralleled by another crisis: the failure of the U.N. climate negotiation process.

Posted on Sep 17, 2014 READ MORE


Chris Hedges Has 15 Minutes to Start a Revolution

By Chris Hedges

The Truthdig columnist speaks to a crowd in Wisconsin over the weekend about the prevailing power structure and “the abject surrender of our political class ... to cash-rich lobbying groups.”

Posted on Sep 17, 2014 READ MORE



Weak Laws Offer Debtors Little Protection and Allow Collectors to Seize a Fourth of Their Wages

Critics say the 1968 federal law that allows collectors to take 25 percent of debtors’ wages, or every penny in their bank accounts, is out of date and overly harsh.

Posted on Sep 16, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Wages of Millions Seized to Pay Past Debts

One in 10 working Americans between the ages of 35 and 44 are getting their wages garnished. That means their pay is being docked—often over an old credit card debt, medical bill or student loan.

Posted on Sep 15, 2014 READ MORE



Harvard Business School’s Role in Widening Inequality

No institution is more responsible for educating the CEOs of American corporations than Harvard Business School.

Posted on Sep 13, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Shareholders’ Quest for More Transparency

A proposed Securities and Exchange Commission rule would force publicly traded companies to disclose their political spending to their shareholders.

Posted on Sep 12, 2014 READ MORE



Omar Bárcena (CC-BY)

Los Angeles Called ‘Epicenter’ of Cartel Money Laundering

Agents from the FBI and ICE swept through downtown L.A.’s fashion district on Wednesday, grabbing $65 million that allegedly belongs to Mexican drug traffickers.

Posted on Sep 10, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

A Progressive Estate Tax

Unless we reduce skyrocketing wealth and income inequality, unless we end the ability of the super-rich to buy elections, the United States will be well on its way toward becoming an oligarchic form of society where almost all power rests with the billionaire class.

Posted on Sep 9, 2014 READ MORE



Get Ready for the ‘Internet Slowdown’

Next Wednesday, Sept. 10, if your favorite website seems to load slowly, take a closer look: You might be experiencing the Battle for the Net’s “Internet Slowdown,” a global day of grass-roots action.

Posted on Sep 3, 2014 READ MORE


Corporate Inversion Tax Dodge

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Posted on Sep 2, 2014 READ MORE


Fox News Logic

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Posted on Aug 31, 2014 READ MORE


Canada

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Posted on Aug 30, 2014 READ MORE



360b / Shutterstock.com

Should Companies Have to Pay Taxes?

Reading companies’ annual reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission is a reliable cure for insomnia. Every so often, though, there is a significant revelation in the paperwork.

Posted on Aug 29, 2014 READ MORE


Child Cost

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Posted on Aug 24, 2014 READ MORE


Stephen Colbert: If We Put a Woman on the Dollar Bill, It’ll Be Worth Only 77 Cents

“The Colbert Report” is on a summer break, but here’s a great clip you may have missed about women on U.S. currency.

Posted on Aug 20, 2014 READ MORE



L.E.MORMILE / Shutterstock.com

Is Corruption a Constitutional Right?

Last week, the GOP filed a federal lawsuit aimed at overturning the pay-to-play law that bars governors from raising campaign money from Wall Street executives who manage their states’ pension funds.

Posted on Aug 15, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Ebola’s Message: Foreign Aid and Science Funding in a Time of Global Peril

Most Americans have long believed, in embarrassing ignorance, that the share of the U.S. federal budget spent on foreign aid is an order of magnitude higher than what we actually spend abroad.

Posted on Aug 11, 2014 READ MORE


California Income Chasm

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Posted on Aug 11, 2014 READ MORE



The Rebirth of Stakeholder Capitalism?

We’re all stakeholders in the American economy, and many stakeholders have done miserably.

Posted on Aug 11, 2014 READ MORE



House.gov

What ‘War on Whites’?

If there really were a “war on whites,” as a Republican congressman from Alabama ludicrously claims, it wouldn’t be going very well for the anti-white side.

Posted on Aug 8, 2014 READ MORE


Banks

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Posted on Aug 8, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Abbot Kinney, Pacific Ocean Park, and the California Dreamers

A new book about an old seaside amusement park, gone for a half a century, set me thinking about a favorite subject, the boom-and-bust quality of California, a place of constant invention and reinvention, of dreams shattered or attained.

Posted on Aug 4, 2014 READ MORE



The Disconnect Between Workers’ Pay and Social Worth

Does anyone seriously believe hedge-fund mogul Steven A. Cohen is worth the $2.3 billion he raked in last year, despite being slapped with a $1.8 billion fine after his firm pleaded guilty to insider trading?

Posted on Aug 4, 2014 READ MORE



Lobbyists Bidding to Block Government Regs Set Sights on Secretive White House Office

When Washington lobbyists fail to derail regulations proposed by federal agencies, they often find a receptive ear within the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, an arm of the White House Office of Management and Budget that conducts much of its business in secret.

Posted on Aug 2, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

The Rising Tide: Will All Boats Be Lifted?

Debate and commentary about the rising tide of income inequality in the United States is remindful of Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaigns in the 1980s when he kept preaching about boats stuck on the bottom.

Posted on Aug 1, 2014 READ MORE



Alan Freed / Shutterstock.com

Clinton vs. Warren: Big Differences, Despite Claims to the Contrary

Hillary Clinton’s political allies want Democratic primary voters to believe that the former secretary of state is just like populist Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren, and they’ve been claiming that there are no differences between the two possible presidential contenders. There’s just one problem: That’s not true.

Posted on Aug 1, 2014 READ MORE



Paul Miller

Telephone Mamas: The Forgotten Dreamers

Our playgrounds are populated with mothers like these, women who send trinkets and duct-taped packages back to their babies in faraway countries. They call them babies, even if they are not babies anymore, because it’s a habit.

Posted on Jul 28, 2014 READ MORE



Gage Skidmore (CC-BY-SA)

Paul Ryan’s New Clothes

Paul Ryan is counting on this: Because he says he wants to preserve a safety net, speaks with concern about poor people and put out a 73-page report, many will elide over the details of the proposals he made last week in his major anti-poverty speech.

Posted on Jul 28, 2014 READ MORE



You Can’t Taper a Ponzi Scheme: Time to Reboot

The rules of money have been changed before and can be changed again. Depressions, credit crises and financial collapse are not acts of God but are induced by mechanical flaws or corruption in the financial system. Credit may stop flowing, but the workers, materials and markets are still there.

Posted on Jul 27, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Kansas Experiment Blows Up Laboratory of Democracy

When Louis Brandeis wrote in 1932 that a “single courageous state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory,” he surely wasn’t imagining anything quite like Brownbackistan.

Posted on Jul 25, 2014 READ MORE


Income Inequality

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Posted on Jul 21, 2014 READ MORE


Atlantic City

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Posted on Jul 16, 2014 READ MORE



The Rise of the Nonworking Rich

The real nonworkers are the wealthy who inherit their fortunes. And their ranks are growing.

Posted on Jul 16, 2014 READ MORE



AP/Damian Dovarganes

‘Sons of Wichita’: An Unauthorized Examination of the Koch Dynasty

Until the run-up to the 2010 congressional elections, Daniel Schulman—like much of America—had barely heard of Charles and David Koch, billionaire industrialists who were primary backers of the tea party and were determined to take down President Obama.

Posted on Jul 15, 2014 READ MORE


John Oliver Puts His Finger on the Reason Income Inequality Is So Prevalent in the U.S.

“Just because politicians can’t talk about income inequality,” the “Last Week Tonight” host starts on one of his characteristic rants, “doesn’t mean we shouldn’t.”

Posted on Jul 14, 2014 READ MORE



AP/Eric Gay

Truthdiggers of the Week: The Lawyers Suing to Protect Refugee Children

After fleeing a country with the worst murder rate in the world, and traveling more than a thousand miles while surviving corrupt officials, cartels and garden variety rape, an unaccompanied Honduran child would probably find herself in a courtroom trying to explain, via a translator, why she can’t go back.

Posted on Jul 13, 2014 READ MORE



White House/Lawrence Jackson

Corporate Welfare Gets a Boost From Democrats

The Export-Import Bank—a government agency providing taxpayer subsidized loans to multinational corporations—has been called “one of the most egregious forms of corporate welfare.”

Posted on Jul 11, 2014 READ MORE


Corporate Personhood

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Posted on Jul 7, 2014 READ MORE



The Politics and Economics of Inequality: A Lecture to the Top One-Tenth of 1 Percent (Video)

Here’s a lecture I gave recently at this year’s Aspen Ideas Festival. The irony of talking about inequality with an audience composed almost entirely of the richest one-tenth of 1 percent of Americans was not lost on me.

Posted on Jul 5, 2014 READ MORE



Freedom, Power, and the Conservative Mind

Freedom is the one value conservatives place above all others, yet time and again their ideal of freedom ignores the growing imbalance of power in our society that’s eroding the freedoms of most people.

Posted on Jul 3, 2014 READ MORE



Hadrian / Shutterstock.com

French Bank BNP Has Enough Cash to Pay Record $9 Billion Fine

Accused of violating sanctions against Iran, Syria and Cuba, French bank BNP Paribas agreed to pay a jaw-dropping fine, and, perhaps more incredibly, to do so without asking for money.

Posted on Jul 1, 2014 READ MORE



Screenshot/ Youtube

Break the Koch Machine (Video)

A number of billionaires are flooding our democracy with their money, drowning out the voices of the rest of us. But Charles and David Koch are in a class by themselves.

Posted on Jun 28, 2014 READ MORE



Real Business Leaders Want to Save Capitalism

A few weeks ago I was visited in my office by the chairman of one of the country’s biggest high-tech firms who wanted to talk about the causes and consequences of widening inequality and the shrinking middle class, and what to do about it.

Posted on Jun 21, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

The Three Biggest Right-Wing Lies About Poverty

Rather than confront poverty by extending jobless benefits to the long-term unemployed, endorsing a higher minimum wage or supporting jobs programs, conservative Republicans are taking a different tack.

Posted on Jun 16, 2014 READ MORE



stocklight / Shutterstock.com

Al Gore’s Warnings About Inequality and Democracy

The former vice president recently told a tech industry conference when “95 percent of all the additional national income in the U.S., since the recovery began in ’09, goes to the top 1 percent, that’s not an Occupy Wall Street slogan, that’s a fact.”

Posted on Jun 13, 2014 READ MORE



Student Debt: Blame Lawmakers, Tax-Shirking Rich, War on Drugs, Not Universities

Why is tuition so high in state universities that The New York Times is wondering whether families will go on being able to afford it?

Posted on Jun 10, 2014 READ MORE


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