RUNAWAY INEQUALITY AN ACTIVISTS GUIDE TO ECONOMIC JUSTICE

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Runaway Inequality

Author : Les Leopold
ISBN : 0692436308
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 54.53 MB
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Runaway inequality is now America’s most critical economic fact of life. In 1970, the ratio of pay between the top 100 CEOs and the average worker was 45 to 1. Today it is a shocking 829 to one! During that time a new economic philosophy set in that cut taxes, deregulated finance, and trimmed social spending. Those policies set in motion a process that greatly expanded the power of financial interests to accelerate inequality. But how exactly does that happen? Using easy-to-understand charts and graphs, Runaway Inequality explains the process by which corporation after corporation falls victim to systematic wealth extraction by banks, private equity firms, and hedge funds. It reveals how financial strip-mining puts enormous downward pressure on jobs, wages, benefits, and working conditions, while boosting the incomes of financial elites. But Runaway Inequality does more than make sense of our economic plight. It also shows why virtually all the key issues that we face—from climate change to the exploding prison population—are intimately connected to rising economic inequality. Most importantly, Runaway Inequality calls upon us to build a common movement to tackle the sources of increasing income and wealth inequality. As the author makes clear, the problem will not cure itself. It will take enormous energy and dedication to bring economic justice and fairness back to American society. The book is divided into four parts: Part I: What is the fundamental cause of runaway economic inequality? What has made our economy less fair and left most of us less secure? Part II: How does the United States really compare with other major developed countries? How do we stack up on quality of life, health, and well-being? Part III: What does economic inequality have to do with so many of the critical issues we face, including taxes, debt, education, criminal justice, racism, climate change, foreign trade, and war? Part IV: What concrete steps can we take to begin building a fair and just society? From the book: “There is nothing in the economic universe that will automatically rescue us from runaway inequality. There is no pendulum, no invisible political force that ‘naturally’ will swing back towards economic fairness. Either we wage a large-scale battle for economic, social, and environmental justice, or we will witness the continued deterioration of the world we inhabit. The arc of capitalism does not bend towards justice. We must bend it.”
Category: Business & Economics

Social Problems

Author : Eric Bonds
ISBN : 9781317816072
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 41.54 MB
Format : PDF, Kindle
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This short book lays out a new definition for what constitutes a social problem: the violation of a group’s human rights, which are understood as commonly upheld standards about what people deserve and should be protected from in life. Evaluating U.S. society from an international human rights perspective, Bonds also stresses that human rights are necessarily political and can therefore never be part of a purely objective exercise to assess wellbeing in a particular society. His approach recognizes that there is no one single interpretation of what rights mean, and that different groups with differing interests are going to promote divergent views, some better than others. This book is ideal for undergraduate sociology courses on social problems, as well as courses on social justice and human rights.
Category: Social Science

The Looting Of America

Author : Les Leopold
ISBN : 9781603582223
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 65.24 MB
Format : PDF, ePub
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How could the best and brightest (and most highly paid) in finance crash the global economy and then get us to bail them out as well? What caused this mess in the first place? Housing? Greed? Dumb politicians? What can Main Street do about it? In The Looting of America, Leopold debunks the prevailing media myths that blame low-income home buyers who got in over their heads, people who ran up too much credit-card debt, and government interference with free markets. Instead, readers will discover how Wall Street undermined itself and the rest of the economy by playing and losing at a highly lucrative and dangerous game of fantasy finance. He also asks some tough questions: Why did Americans let the gap between workers' wages and executive compensation grow so large? Why did we fail to realize that the excess money in those executives' pockets was fueling casino-style investment schemes? Why did we buy the notion that too-good-to-be-true financial products that no one could even understand would somehow form the backbone of America's new, postindustrial economy? How do we make sure we never give our wages away to gamblers again? And what can we do to get our money back? In this page-turning narrative (no background in finance required) Leopold tells the story of how we fell victim to Wall Street's exotic financial products. Readers learn how even school districts were taken in by "innovative" products like collateralized debt obligations, better known as CDOs, and how they sucked trillions of dollars from the global economy when they failed. They'll also learn what average Americans can do to ensure that fantasy finance never rules our economy again. As the country teeters on the brink of what could be the next Great Depression, we should be especially wary of the so-called financial experts who got us here, and then conveniently got themselves out. So far, it appears they've won the battle, but The Looting of America refuses to let them write the history--or plan its aftermath.
Category: Business & Economics

The Man Who Hated Work And Loved Labor

Author : Les Leopold
ISBN : 1603580719
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 37.61 MB
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A CIA-connected labor union, an assassination attempt, a mysterious car crash, listening devices, and stolen documents--everything you'd expect from the latest thriller. Yet, this was the reality of Tony Mazzocchi, the Rachel Carson of the U.S. workplace; a dynamic labor leader whose legacy lives on in today's workplaces and ongoing alliances between labor activists and environmentalists, and those who believe in the promise of America. In The Man Who Hated Work and Loved Labor: The Life and Times of Tony Mazzocchi, author and labor expert Les Leopold recounts the life of the late Oil, Chemical, and Atomic Workers Union leader. Mazzocchi's struggle to address the unconscionable toxic exposure of tens of thousands of workers led to the passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and included work alongside nuclear whistleblower Karen Silkwood. His noble, high-profile efforts forever changed working conditions in American industry--and made him enemy number one to a powerful few. As early as the 1950s, when the term "environment" was nowhere on the political radar, Mazzocchi learned about nuclear fallout and began integrating environmental concerns into his critique of capitalism and his union work. An early believer in global warming, he believed that the struggle of capital against nature was the irreconcilable contradiction that would force systemic change. Mazzocchi's story of non-stop activism parallels the rise and fall of industrial unionism. From his roots in a pro-FDR, immigrant family in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, through McCarthyism, the Sixties, and the surge of the environmental movement, Mazzocchi took on Corporate America, the labor establishment and a complacent Democratic Party. This profound biography should be required reading for those who believe in taking risks and making the world a better place. While Mazzocchi's story is so full of peril and deception that it seems almost a work of fiction, Leopold proves that the most provocative and lasting stories in life are those of real people.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

How To Make A Million Dollars An Hour

Author : Les Leopold
ISBN : 9781118438114
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 32.80 MB
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How hedge funds make money by taking it from the rest of us—and how you can join them! Top hedge fund managers make more than Oprah, Rupert Murdoch, and A-Rod combined—but they aren't running news and entertainment empires or playing baseball for the New York Yankees. Aren't you curious about how these hedge fund dudes make so much doing who knows what? You may even wonder if you can get there, too. After all, this is America! This book gives you the answers in a twelve-step guide to accumulating vast riches the way hedge fund managers do—by playing trillion-dollar poker with a marked deck. Through each easy step, you'll learn the sleight of hand and disregard for basic morality you'll need to move from making tens of dollars an hour to millions an hour! Along the way, you'll also question whether these hedge fund moguls make markets work better—as they and their apologists insist—or cause instability, siphon off capital, and destroy value without adding so much as a single widget to the economy. Takes a fascinating tour of the wild side of fantasy finance to explain just how hedge fund managers make so much money—and whether or not the million-an-hour crowd produces anything positive for society and the economy Teaches you hedge fund secrets that make it possible to pull down astounding sums in the space of minutes—from rigging your bets to milking millions in special tax breaks—if you're willing to bankrupt your morality for the cash Counters many of the most common arguments about why speculating in financial markets is somehow "worth more" than creating entertainment, electronics, or consumer goods that consumers want Written by Les Leopold, the popular AlterNet writer and author of The Looting of America
Category: Political Science

Illegals

Author : J. P. Bone
ISBN : UTEXAS:059173005498446
Genre :
File Size : 75.28 MB
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ILLEGAL ALIENS: The words are a brutal suggestion that immigrants are criminals instead of ordinary people like Rosa and Manuel-workers forced by poverty and violence to migrate to the United States. From the volcanic slopes of Central America and the dusty plains of Mexico to the sweltering streets of East Los Angeles, they make an astonishing journey, only to face the sweatshops of L.A., and conditions that in many ways are as oppressive as those they attempted to escape. Yet they never give up the struggle and prove that where there is a will there is a way, and that no human should be called "illegal." "J. P. Bone's novel Illegals is a rarity in contemporary literature - a story which boldly and vividly presents a piece of contemporary history, told through characters who cannot fail to move you with their anguish and their courage. I am reminded of Upton Sinclair and John Steinbeck, who did not hesitate to confront the most urgent issues of their day through their fiction. Illegals is a novel that touches the heart. I hope it is widely read." Howard Zinn, Historian, author of A People's History of the United States ." . . a rare uplifting literary work . . . cites chapter and verse the details of the exploitation of working people from Latin America by the corporate colossus up north. It paints a bleak picture of immigrants' plight, yet offers inspiring hope for those who dare to work together in solidarity." Studs Terkel, Pulitzer Prize Winning author, historian "J. P. Bone has not only produced a novel worthy of reading on its literary merits, but his Illegals is also an extraordinary story which captures the human drama of the everyday struggles experienced by Latino immigrants in their quest for survival and social justice." Carlos Munoz, Jr. Professor Emeritus, U. C. Berkeley ." . . I encourage you to read Illegals not just for its powerful commentary, but because it's a damn good read!" Michael Moore, Academy award winning director, author " . . . J. P. Bone proves that where there is a will there is a way and that in the midst of pain, struggle, and sacrifice, no human should be 'illegal.'" Jesse "Chuy" Varela "This moving and intimate story drawn from personal accounts takes you to the heart of the struggles of people fleeing Latin America. By following them with powerful empathy through burning sun, terror and courageous battles to survive, this novel should change forever the way we look at immigrants from south of the border..." Bob Schildgen, Author of Hey Mr. Green! and Toyohiko Kagawa, a bigraphy of a Japanese reformer. The first edition of Illegals by J. P. Bone, was published in 1996. The author made many important revisions to Illegals in 2012, and again in 2014. The new edition includes those revisions."
Category:

The Millennials Money

Author : J.D. Alt
ISBN : 9781457545122
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 64.63 MB
Format : PDF
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Today's Millennials are the first generation in modern history to approach political power in a true era of sovereign fiat money. Why is an architect explaining the extraordinary importance of this fact? Two reasons: First, because modern fiat money, as J.D. ALT explains in his introduction, is not a new economic theory but, instead, merely a poorly visualized reality. This book rectifies that problem with a series of simple and instructive "architectural" diagrams that make the surprising "logic" of fiat money both visible and understandable. Second, as he goes on to make clear, at its heart fiat money is about building and creating things as a collective society-real, tangible, concrete things that can dramatically improve the sustainability and prosperity of society for each of its members. Focusing on four major challenges facing the Millennials as they come to power in the U.S.-Education, Retirement, Employment, and Global Climate Change-he then explores and imagines, with an architect's eye for structure and process, how understanding and managing modern fiat money can change the narrative about what America can, in fact, afford to undertake and accomplish.
Category: Business & Economics

A People S Guide To Los Angeles

Author : Laura Pulido
ISBN : 9780520953345
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 61.66 MB
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A People’s Guide to Los Angeles offers an assortment of eye-opening alternatives to L.A.’s usual tourist destinations. It documents 115 little-known sites in the City of Angels where struggles related to race, class, gender, and sexuality have occurred. They introduce us to people and events usually ignored by mainstream media and, in the process, create a fresh history of Los Angeles. Roughly dividing the city into six regions—North Los Angeles, the Eastside and San Gabriel Valley, South Los Angeles, Long Beach and the Harbor, the Westside, and the San Fernando Valley—this illuminating guide shows how power operates in the shaping of places, and how it remains embedded in the landscape.
Category: Social Science

The Everything Economics Book

Author : David A Mayer
ISBN : 9781440506031
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 71.12 MB
Format : PDF
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The Dismal Science. The Worldly Philosophy. The Science of Scarcity. Most people think economics is one of the most challenging and complex fields of study. But with this book, it doesn't have to be! You will learn how the U.S. economy works in unbiased, easy-to-understand language. And you can learn it without the complex equations, arcane graphs, and technical jargon you'll find in most economic texts. David A. Mayer and Melanie E. Fox explain: Why and how we trade How the government intervenes in markets Unemployment and inflation Supply and demand Competitive, financial, and foreign exchange markets How the economy is measured You will also learn about the causes and fallout of the recent recession and how global climate change may transform the way our economy operates. Most important, with this introduction, you'll learn how our complex and dynamic economy affects the way we actually live our lives.
Category: Business & Economics

Cut Adrift

Author : Marianne Cooper
ISBN : 9780520958456
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 23.43 MB
Format : PDF
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Cut Adrift makes an important and original contribution to the national conversation about inequality and risk in American society. Set against the backdrop of rising economic insecurity and rolled-up safety nets, Marianne Cooper’s probing analysis explores what keeps Americans up at night. Through poignant case studies, she reveals what families are concerned about, how they manage their anxiety, whose job it is to worry, and how social class shapes all of these dynamics, including what is even worth worrying about in the first place. This powerful study is packed with intriguing discoveries ranging from the surprising anxieties of the rich to the critical role of women in keeping struggling families afloat. Through tales of stalwart stoicism, heart-wrenching worry, marital angst, and religious conviction, Cut Adrift deepens our understanding of how families are coping in a go-it-alone age—and how the different strategies on which affluent, middle-class, and poor families rely upon not only reflect inequality, but fuel it.
Category: Social Science