A very good paper on “The Economy”…

Public Attitudes Toward the Next Social
Contract by Bruce Stokes, Director, Global Economic Attitudes, Pew Research Center

http://www.pewglobal.org/files/pdf/Stokes_Bruce_NAF_Public_Attitudes_1_2013.pdf

Also from The Next Social Contract Initiative which is part of the New America Foundation- www.Newamerica.net.

A couple of representative quotes:

“In 2012 the United States spent an estimated 19.4% of GDP on such social expenditures, according to the Organization for
Economic Cooperation and Development, the Paris-based industrial country think tank. Denmark spent 30.5%, Sweden 28.2%
and Germany 26.3%. All of these nations have a lower central government debt to GDP ratio than that of the United States.”

Of course, another interesting comparison would be to compare these countries spending on defense and “intelligence” as a percent of their respective GDP’s and then look at what that is for the U.S. Gets down to the old “guns or butter” debate as to what a country and its economy can and ought to do.

“Declining earnings have contributed to rising income and wealth
inequality. Between 1983 and 2010, the richest 1% of households
accounted for 38.3% of all growth in household wealth, according to the
Economic Policy Institute. For the bottom 60% of households, their
wealth actually declined during this time period.”

This disparity is pretty nicely explained in Piketty’s equation that I will spend more time on in later posts- but the key is that “rents”- or basically investment income go up more than “earned income” and always have and always will in the capitalist model. That this is unsustainable at least in terms of whether you can have either any meaningful Democracy much of a broad based civil society should be self evident. But it doesn’t seem to be in either the mainstream media or in the advertising of the various oligarchic sectors of the economy- including the aforementioned corporate owned and operated concentrated media conglomerates.

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Posted in It’s the Economy, Stupid... or vice versa...

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