The Destruction of America

This is America on  conservatism.

They gave tax cuts to millionaires…

They gave tax cuts to billionaires…

They gave tax cuts to companies shipping American jobs overseas…

And then they “deregulated” Wall Street and the banks to steal.

Home of the Brave, Land of the Free, Land of Opportunity?

Not anymore.

A steady fall since Raygun economics.

The myth of the American Dream

The American Dream is supposed to mean that through hard work and perseverance, even the poorest people can make it to middle class or above. But it’s actually harder to move up in America than it is in most other advanced nations.

It’s easier to rise above the class you’re born into in countries like Japan, Germany, Australia, and the Scandinavian nations, according to research from University of Ottawa economist and current Russell Sage Foundation Fellow Miles Corak.

Among the major developed countries, only in Italy and the United Kingdom is there less economic mobility, according to Corak.

The research measures “intergenerational earnings elasticity” — a type of economic mobility that measures the correlation between what your parents make and what you make one generation later — in a number of different countries around the world.

Economists aren’t certain exactly why some countries have a greater degree of mobility than others, but they do point to certain similarities.

Greater current inequality: The more unequal a society is currently, the greater the chance that the children will be stuck in the same sphere. This is because wealthy families are able to provide things like tutors and extracurricular activities — and the time to pursue them — that poorer families often cannot.

Also, education matters a lot more now than it did 100 years ago in terms of getting a good job.

“The rich can pump a lot more money into their kids’ future,” said Corak.

This helps explain why counties like China, India and many South American nations also exhibit relatively little economic mobility.

Families: Having a stable home life is also associated with the ability to climb the economic ladder, said Corak. The United States tends to have higher rates of divorce, single-parent homes, and teenage pregnancy than many other industrialized counties.

Social policies: Counties that redistribute wealth — through, say, higher taxes on the richand more spending on the poor — tend to have greater social mobility, said Francisco Ferreira, an economist at the World Bank.

This is especially true when it comes to education spending. Critics have long contended that the U.S. system for funding education — where school funding is largely based on property taxes — perpetuates inequality far more so than a system that taxes the whole country for schools, then redistributes that money to the districts that are most needy.

If why Americans have a harder time making it into the middle class is a bit of a mystery to economists, why Americans cling to the belief that it’s still easy to do is even more baffling.

It could be because, during the late 1800s and early 1900, the United States was a much more mobile country than Britain, said Jason Long, an economist at Wheaton College in Illinois.

“It’s clear that Americans still believe that America has exceptional mobility, and that’s not true,” said Long. He calling it “vexing” that “lots of people could be systematically mistaken about verifiable, factual information.”

But no society has total mobility. Class is always going to be somewhat correlated to one’s upbringing, Corak noted.

Take Back the Land

Recently departed Jazz Musician Gill Scott Heron’s seminal piece was a song called “Winter in America”. I think Gill Scott saw the destruction of the American Dream years before it reached the crisis point.

Something is really, really wrong here – and other than a few intrepid groups like “Take Back the Land” – there doesn’t seem to be anyone in power doing a damn thing about it.

The right wing in this country is spending a lot of time defending the banks, the major corporations, and the rich by foisting one Trojan Horse issue after another upon the public airwaves.

A $15 a year tax break isn’t going to save you from being foreclosed on your house.

Protesters ‘Liberate’ Foreclosed Homes

protesters foreclosuresWhen Virginia Henry bought her boarded-up and abandoned Rochester, N.Y., home in December 2007, she saw potential where others were blind to it. The house, a short sale, became her home to live in and care for, she said. She plopped down her $20,000 and filed her paperwork for a loan program that would pay the balance — $43,000 — to rehabilitate the property.

But what followed was a series of unanswered calls and letters to Bank of America, Henry says, eventually culminating in her arrest Friday for a charge of trespassing on her own front lawn. The arrest, like much of this story, is the source of a dispute. Henry asserts police officers shoved her to the ground during the arrest, police claim she fainted from the intense heat. She has a court date for the trespassing charge July 28.

The facts of the short sale are also at issue. The bank has told Henry that the short sale never closed and that the house at 5 Appleton St. — with all her worldly possessions trapped inside — is no longer hers. A Bank of America spokeswoman, Jumana Bauwens, said she would investigate the claims.

“This is my home,” Henry told AOL Real Estate in a phone interview after the arrest. “How can I be trespassing in my own home?”

Protesters Step In
Continue reading

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 133 other followers