Category Archives: Economy, Labor, Tax
by Joan C. Williams, Harvard Business Review, November 10, 2016
My father-in-law grew up eating blood soup. He hated it, whether because of the taste or the humiliation, I never knew. His alcoholic father regularly drank up the family wage, and the family was often short on food money. They were evicted from apartment after apartment.
He dropped out of school in eighth grade to help support the family. Eventually he got a good, steady job he truly hated, as an inspector in a factory that made those machines that measure humidity levels in museums. He tried to open several businesses on the side but none worked, so he kept that job for 38 years. He rose from poverty to a middle-class life: the car, the house, two kids in Catholic school, the wife who worked only part-time. He worked incessantly. He had two jobs in addition to his full-time position, one doing yard work for a local magnate and another hauling trash to the dump.
Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, he read The Wall Street Journal and voted Republican. He was a man before his time: a blue-collar white man who thought the union was a bunch of jokers who took your money and never gave you anything in return. Starting in 1970, many blue-collar whites followed his example. This week, their candidate won the presidency.
For months, the only thing that’s surprised me about Donald Trump is my friends’ astonishment at his success. What’s driving it is the class culture gap.
One little-known element of that gap is that the white working class (WWC) resents professionals but admires the rich….
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details from a coalition of progressive groups
Why reform Wall Street?
Because a handful of hedge fund managers make more money per year than all of the kindergarten teachers in America put together.
Because the five biggest banks are bigger now than they were before the financial collapse of 2008.
Because we pay sales taxes on everything we buy – from a gallon of gas to a bag of groceries – but Wall Street doesn’t pay a single penny in transaction taxes on hundreds of millions of dollars of financial products they buy and sell every day.
Because the richest 1% has captured 90% of all income growth since the recovery began. …
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