Reagan and Faux Noise
Mark Zuckerberg lost $119 Billion dollars on the stock market today (7/26/18). This is the largest loss of wealth in a single day in modern stock history.
This will literally not change his lifestyle or effect his livelihood at all. He is still a multi-billionaire.
If I worked every single day, for the rest of my life, at $15/hr – which is more than twice the national minimum wage – I would never make even 1/1000th the amount of just the money that Zuckerberg lost today.
If I worked every single day, for the entirety of the time that anatomically modern humans have existed (200,000 years) – at $15/hr – I would still not make one tenth of the amount of just the money he lost today.
And he is still a billionaire and will lose literally zero luxury or well-being from what happened today.
You want to know how absolutely grotesque modern wealth inequality is?
There you go.
Betsy DeVos, President Trump’s Secretary of Education, is high on the shortlist for the very competitive title of “most despised person in the cabinet.”
A billionaire who essentially bought herself her prominent position on the Trump team, DeVos has used her time in office to wage war on our public schools and has done everything in her power to make life harder for American students.
“Whether it is rolling back President Obam’s rules governing campus sexual assault, revoking guidances aiming to curb racial discrimination in schools, stripping transgender students of their rights, or cutting off debt relief for students defrauded by fake for-profit “colleges,” she has done nothing but heap hardship on America’s most vulnerable students.”
Which is why it should bring a smile to your face when you hear that somebody untied her $40 million yacht and set it adrift on Lake Erie.
Thoughts & Prayers
They might’ve just forgot.
Just needs to happen once.
June 1914 cover of the American socialist magazine “The Masses”. The illustration by John Sloan depicts the Ludlow Massacre of April 20th, 1914, an incident in which the Colorado National Guard attacked a tent camp of 1,200 striking coal miners, killing thirty nine people including several women and children.
Kevin Bridges: A Whole Different Story
…where’s the lie?
From a macroeconomics standpoint, Bridges is completely accurate.
The problem with most Tories (and many Republicans in the US) is that they either have big business interests at heart or have bought the lie that government is like a business. Government is not a business! Microeconomic principles, even ones that apply to entire industries, don’t apply to governments!
Here’s the fundamental macroecomic model of an economy:
(image from tutor2u)
Notice that the system is circular. The model shows that the economy inherently needs to be balanced. If some households are making hundreds of times the income of other households, they will put the vast majority of that money into savings and investment.
This is bad for the economy.
Some savings and investment is necessary. But too much means the little green arrows are siphoning off vast portions of the peach demand arrow (”purchases of goods and services”). This means that companies are fighting over a smaller and smaller pie. Even if you heavily fund those companies, many will collapse due to lack of demand for their products, unless they become monopolies and the sole practical source of their product. Monopolies are technically illegal in the US, but we have them anyway because of this problem (and a lack of enforcement).
The other way you can damage the demand arrow is by shifting the proportions of the purple income arrow. Most people make money from wages, so if you significantly decrease those relative to dividends, interest, profits, and rent, you’ll harm the majority of households. In turn, this again decreases the peach arrow because many households only need a set amount of a given product in a year. The fewer households that can afford the products, the lower overall demand, because the remaining households won’t buy up the difference.
Households with average levels of income spend far more money than they save, of necessity, and they do so at a relatively steady rate. This is good for the economy.
Households with incredibly high levels of income – millionaires, etc. – save far more than they spend. They tend to make their money off of dividends, interest, profits, and rents – not wages. Therefore, to improve the economy, including increasing tax revenues for the government, two basic steps are urged by almost all macroeconomists:
1. Increase wages, especially at the lowest end. This expands the tax base and drives up demand for basic goods and services, stabilizing the industries necessary to a decent quality of life: agriculture and food production, clothing, housing, education, transportation, etc.
2. Use progressive taxes, in which those who make the most money, particularly off of dividends, interest, profits, and rents, pay a higher percentage of their income as taxes. This allows that money to be spent directly on goods and services or to be redistributed to poor households, who will in turn spend it on goods and services. In both cases, money that would have gone into savings and investment instead goes into demand. This makes businesses more successful and a large number of households more prosperous. Society as a whole benefits from decreased crime, lower health problems, and improved public goods like education, roads, emergency response, infrastructure, etc.
Macroeconomics is the opposite of an individual business. Individual businesses study how to take the most pie for themselves and keep it. Macroeconomists – and governments – study how to make the pie bigger and distribute it in such a way that society as a whole benefits from the growth.
Conservatives: doing economics wrong for the past several decades by deliberately pretending that knowing how to run a business is anything like knowing how to run a government. Being fiscally cautious and being uneducated do not have to go hand in hand. (I’m both, for example.) But the rhetoric for slashing budgets has been laden with errors and ideology since at least the 1930s, and I’m tired of it.
ONE MORE TIME FOR THE MORONS
AT THE BACKIN OUR GOVERNMENTS
Or as Paul Wellstone used to say, “We all do better when we all do better.”
I wish the part about aunts on facebook wasn’t true.