Tag Archives: middle class americans

Demand

Remember that old equation – supply and demand. A friend of mine said something that really struck me. He said we aren’t going to get an explosion of jobs until demand increases. Demand equals the middle class doing better. It is really that simple.

Let’s take Levi’s 501 jeans. How do we get Levi’s to hire more people to make more of their classic 501 jeans? It isn’t by giving tax cuts to Paris Hilton. It is by putting more money into the pockets of average middle class Americans. Then, when thousands of Americans buy Levi’s 501 jeans and the demand exceeds the supply, the Levi Strauss company will hire more workers to make those classic jeans. It is that simple. 

What is wrong with us?

In the United States, we believe in equality. We like to believe that everybody has a chance at the American dream. We love to hear rags to riches stories. Whether it is Cinderella or the Prince of Persia or even Bill Gates, we’d all like to believe that we can be sitting at the head of that huge boardroom table. Yet, at the same time, we allow a system to exist where corporations get breaks that the rest of us don’t. We justify this dichotomy by saying, “well, they create jobs.” For some reason, this small phrase “justifies” our allowing corporations to get every break imaginable. They are allowed to consistently thwart our rules and regulations and yet we still defend them. Does this mean we’re schizophrenic or just insane?

More from Arianna:

You want Exhibit A of two sets of rules? According to the White House, in 2004, the last year data on this was compiled, U.S. multinational corporations paid roughly $16 billion in taxes on $700 billion in foreign active earnings — putting their tax rate at around 2.3 percent. Know many middle class Americans getting off that easy at tax time?

In December 2008, the Government Accounting Office reported that 83 of the 100 largest publicly-traded companies in the country — including AT&T, Chevron, IBM, American Express, GE, Boeing, Dow, and AIG — had subsidiaries in tax havens — or, as the corporate class comically calls them, “financial privacy jurisdictions.”

Even more egregiously, of those 83 companies, 74 received government contracts in 2007. GM, for instance, got more than $517 million from the government — i.e. the taxpayers — that year, while shielding profits in tax-friendly places like Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. And Boeing, which received over $23 billion in federal contracts that year, had 38 subsidiaries in tax havens, including six in Bermuda. (more…)

Let's Play "The Government Can't Work" Game with Healthcare!

Republicans have had a variety of answers as to why universal healthcare will not work.  One of their biggest and loudest points has to do with big government (cue scary music).  To them, the government is not the solution to any problem.  The government is treated with the same rhetoric as is Communism, as if our government were not made up of Americans.  In my opinion, we get the government that we deserve and have asked for.  If we continue to browbeat government employees, cut wages and cut benefits, we are not going get the best and the brightest.

President Obama’s hybrid healthcare plan, which is a mix of public and private healthcare, is getting bogged down in Congress.  It is quickly turning into an option that is not viable.  The Daily Kos has more

The “progressives” at Third Way, that moderate public policy think thank tank that apparently exists to make the DLC look like regular liberal firebrands, turned their hyper-incrementalist bullshit domestic policy sites on something that matters: the public option in the health care reform package.

This leaked draft [pdf] of their upcoming policy paper shows that they’re not even going for a hyper-incrementalist watering down of the public option–they’re trying to kill it. Here’s their premise:

Whether health care reform should include a “public plan” is an issue that now threatens to fracture the emerging consensus on health reform. If left unresolved, the debate over a public plan could derail the broader reform agenda while other pressing issues central to reform are put on hold.

The proponents of a public plan seek the right goals—to broaden access and lower costs. But there is a very real danger that an overly intrusive public plan can ultimately undermine these very goals and destabilize the private-sector coverage that middle-class Americans—i.e., Harry and Louise—depend on and are largely satisfied with.

They actually invoke Harry and Louise again, which is fitting, since Harry and Louise were a creation of the insurance industry, much like this plan seems to be. In the event that Third Way forgot, “proponents” of the public option include President Obama, one of the key Senate leaders on the issue, and the largest voting bloc in the House of Representatives. It’s not a fringe group of DFHers who want a solid public option. It’s the consensus of the majority of Democrats. And the President. Continue reading Let's Play "The Government Can't Work" Game with Healthcare!