imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

A Frenchman Admonishes Americans to Equality

by Martin Killian and Markus Diem Meier Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014 at 6:27 AM
marc1seed@yahoo.com

With his book and the data, Thomas Piketty has shaken the self-understanding of American society.. In 2010 the richest one percent had around 20 percent of the total income. In the 1970s the share was under 10 percent.

A FRENCHMAN ADMONISHES AMERICANS TO EQUALITY



By Martin Killian



[This article published on Never Mind the Markets 4/24/2014 is translated from the German on the Internet, http://bazonline.ch.]



The chasm between poor and rich opens up more and more.



Inequality has become an American trademark. Therefore the celebrated book of the French economist struck more powerfully in the US than elsewhere.



In his book “On Democracy in America,” Alexis de Tocqueville, Thomas Piketty’s compatriot, described a relatively egalitarian society nearly 180 years ago. Last week de Tocqueville’s compatriot raced from one US television studio to the next and proclaimed the exact opposite. The United States has increasingly developed to an unequal society. A “patrimonial capitalism” of inherited money looms on the horizon as in the 17th and 18th century in Europe.



The bearer of the bad news is Thomas Piketty, professor at the Paris School of Economics and author of the path-breaking 700-page good read about the economic causes of growing inequality in many western nations. The title of his work – “Capital in the 21st Century” – may recall Karl Marx’ “Capital.” Piketty understands himself as a social democrat. His book struck in the United States like a bomb. It explains why inequality grows in crisis times and the rich become ever richer. Supported by enormous volumes of historical income- and tax data, Piketty predicts a further intensification of social inequality if counter-measures are not taken.



CELEBRATED AS “EPOCHAL”



The Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman praised the book as “truly excellent.” Elsewhere Piketty’s thick tome is celebrated as epochal. “Whoever has read it cannot see the world as before,” said the American MSNBC TV moderator Krystal Ball when Piketty was a guest. The Frenchman explained Anglo-American capitalism leads to growing inequality particularly in crisis times because capital incomes grow more quickly than economies. Whoever has receives more. That is Piketty’s thesis supported by massive data.



Nowhere in the developed world can this be documented better than in the US. Those at the top skimmed off while wages and salaries of most Americans stagnated or only rose moderately since the 1970s. The income of the richest one percent grew 165 percent; the income of the richest tenth of one percent soared 362 percent. While Piketty’s book led the bestseller list of online trader Amazon, the US middle class is no longer the richest on earth as in the past. Middle class persons in Sweden, Canada and elsewhere live better than the former front-runners.



ON THE WAY TO AN OLIGARCHY



Piketty is hardly alone with his warning that even greater and politically dangerous inequality threatens the United States. However his prescriptions are often disregarded as the country is already well on the way to an oligarchy. Increasing capital- or inheritance taxes together with higher top tax rates as the Frenchman urges can hardly be carried out in the United States on account of Republican resistance. Capital has been at the controls since the 1980 election of the Republican Ronald Reagan. Plutocratic characteristics increasingly cling to the US. Taxation of capital incomes and inheritances like the top tax rate was forced down.



Republicans used ideological cushioning of their gifts for the rich and the super-rich. In 1960 the Democratic president John F. Kennedy declared “a rising tide lifts all boats.” Republican Congressional minorities and presidents after 1980 started a machinery clearly favoring the richest Americans with supply-oriented economic policy, “trickle-down theory” and untiring propaganda.



LEGAL BRIBERY



With Ronald Reagan, a campaign began against the unions and for an almost religious transfiguration of the markets. “No hypocrisy is too great when economic and financial elites are forced to defend their interests,” Piketty writes about the French Belle Epoque and means the distortions and lies with whose help the political class in the United States supports top earners and profiteers. Unlike the European rich, the American rich have a lever with which they can gain advantages again and again. They finance American parties and election campaigns and lubricate a political system of legal bribery.



Therefore Piketty’s proposals on reducing inequality and rescuing liberal democracy can hardly be carried out in the US. Alongside the reform of election campaign financing, courts are needed that stop the trend to an American oligarchy by ending legitimating the dreadful state of financing as freedom of speech. Ridiculous top salaries and the accumulation of inherited capital guarantee the constant undermining of American democracy. The way to the banana republic is opened up. (baz.ch/ Newsnet)



THE PIKETTY SHOCK FOR THE US



The book of the French economist Thomas Piketty is the dominant theme in America



By Markus Diem Meier



[This article published on May 7, 2014 is translated from the German on the Internet, http://blog.baszonline.ch/nevermindthemarkets/.]



Thomas Piketty put optimistic assessments in question with the following observations and reflections:



• The share of the top earners in the total income has dramatically increased in the US since the 1980s… In the 2000s, the top 10 percent raked in almost 50 percent of the total income. In Europe the share of the top 10 percent has also climbed but not to the same extent.



• In 2010 the richest one percent had around 20 percent of the total income with 20 times the average income. In the 1970s the share was under 10 percent. Capital gains and losses are included in this income…



• According to economic theory, work in functioning markets should be paid corresponding to its marginal productivity, the additional value created. As Piketty explains, the very strong increase of the share of the top income refers back to the salaries for top managers in the US. However nothing indicates that the efficiency of these managers has increased in the last thirty years to the same extent as these salaries. Otherwise they would be reflected in a higher output of the US economy or in a parallel development in other countries since the same possibilities must exist there. Piketty’s explanation for the higher income is simple and understandable. Top managers are paid higher salaries because they have power.



Assets not incomes are the main theme of Piketty’s book. The share of assets in the hands of the richest is greater in the US than in Europe. The richest 10 percent of Americans possess 70 percent of all assets; the richest one percent has 35 percent of all assets. In Europe the richest 10 percent corner 60 percent of all assets and the richest one percent 25 percent. Assets cement the economic and indirectly political hierarchies of power since they are bound to the efficiency of persons much less than incomes and are handed down.



The importance of assets appears in the US in that the highest incomes mainly result from assets and not from labor.



• As Piketty writes, the much higher income share of top earners is reflected in an even greater assets concentration. Today’s top incomes are not completely spent and serve as savings.



• The social mobility in US society is trifling as the analysis of economists shows. This means there will not be others with excessively high incomes and high assets.



• Access to higher education could at least be a way to such mobility for incomes. In this connection, Piketty refers to the study of economists Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz who showed the importance of higher education for income and simultaneously that descendants with medium and lower income cannot afford the top universities. Piketty documents that higher education is important for the rise in the top-earning 10 percent but not for the rise in the very highest.



• As already described, that the returns on assets (as in the 19th century and before) will be even higher than economic growth in the future is most important for economists. The concentration of assets will intensify. That is the result. As Piketty shows, higher yields can be realized with very high assets than with smaller. This intensifies the assets concentration.



With his book and the data, Thomas Piketty has shaken the self-understanding of American society. The compiled and evaluated tax data in the so-called World Top Income Database is unparalleled. With all inequality in results, the basic conditions make possible everyone’s assent and no class can and may be completely and permanently distanced economically (and politically) from the rest of the population. That is the assumption.



The terrible example of such a society for the US was old continental Europe before the First World War. As Piketty describes impressively, that was the reason why the US introduced exorbitantly high income taxes with top tax rates of more than 90 percent – hardly imaginable any more today…



Greater tax revenues were not gained with such higher rates. The goal was prevention of exorbitantly great differences. The worry was becoming like Europe. The irony of history is that the US today is already more like old Europe in this relation than the Europeans themselves. No wonder Piketty’s book struck like a bomb in the US.

Report this post as:

Local News

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Architect Stephen Francis Jones A24 3:01PM

UN Forum Wrestles with Economic Policies 10 Years After Financial Crisis Islands Call for A24 12:34PM

Xyloglossie attitudinale A23 8:07AM

Shadowgun Legends Hack and Cheats A23 7:24AM

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy