America’s rotting empire: Billionaires galore and a crumbling infrastructure

  • metta

    Posts: 44238

    May 09, 2014 4:59 AM GMT
    America’s rotting empire: Billionaires galore and a crumbling infrastructure

    Not a single U.S. city currently ranks among the world's most livable
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    May 09, 2014 5:11 AM GMT
    "In other words, we’re dumb and getting dumber"


    "States with higher estimated collective IQ have greater gross state product, citizens with better health, more effective state governments, and less violent crime"

    Gays are doing well in the IQ department
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    May 09, 2014 10:58 AM GMT
    metta8 saidAmerica’s rotting empire: Billionaires galore and a crumbling infrastructure

    Not a single U.S. city currently ranks among the world's most livable

    Any article that begins with this is an obvious joke:

    “The game is rigged,” writes Senator Elizabeth Warren in her new book A Fighting Chance. It’s rigged because the rich and their lobbyists have rigged the rules of the game to their favor. The rules are reflected in a tax code and bankruptcy laws that have seen the greatest transfer of wealth from the middle class to the rich in U.S. history.

    The result?

    America has the most billionaires in the world, but not a single U.S. city ranks among the world’s most livable cities. Not a single U.S. airport is among the top 100 airports in the world. Our bridges, road and rail are falling apart, and our middle class is being guttered out thanks to three decades of stagnant wages, while the top 1 percent enjoys 95 percent of all economic gains.

    The earliest year that Elizabeth Warren has released income tax returns for, 2008, show that she and husband Bruce Mann had a combined income of $831,208 and in 2009 it increased to $981,670. Elizabeth was paid an average of $350,00 during 2009-2010 by Harvard Law School.

    As of the end of 2011 Warren's net worth was about $14.5 million.

    In 2010-2011 She earned aprox. $140,000 from Aspen Publishers for her books on Bankruptcy. There is no data available for a variety of commercial books she has published over the years. She also worked as a private consultant earning a fee of $90,000 for her work an bank antitrust litigation and because she won't release her report, it's not known if she incorporated her bankruptcy docket.

    During 2008-2010, Warren received $212,000 from Travelers Insurance Co. in connection with asbestos liability litigation.

    In a letter to the Cambridge wicked Local, Steven Helfer (former library assistant at Harvard Law) pointed out that Warren failed to support library staf who faced layofs in 2009:

    "Cambridge -Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren says she is a "fighter" for moderate-income Americans When given the opportunity to stand up for low-income employees at Harvard three years ago, however, where she has been a tenured professor for almost 20 years, Warren did nothing of the sort.

    In 2009, at the depth of the recession, Harvard's endowment, because of it's high-risk investing, decreased by 30 percent. the university proclaimed it needed to cut costs and warned low-paid staff of layoffs. Many on campus asked the administration to follow the example of institutions like Beth Israel hospital and request faculty and other high earners take pay reductions as a means to save jobs.,
    Several employees at Harvard Law School circulated a petition asking all law school members, who could to make such a sacrifice. Warren and her Husband (also a Harvard Law Professor) have combined yearly income in the $1 million range and she earned another $200,000 for work she called "part time" in Washington. During this uneasy period when across campus staff feared for their livelihoods, warren remained silent.

    Harvard president Drew Faust - whose own salary is close to $1 million - and university administrators ignored requests for pay reductions. Ultimately 275 lower-income employees lost their jobs and many more were persuaded to retire. Harvard professors, ever fond of inveighing against "corporate greed" and voicing slogans like "shared sacrifice" suffered no inconvenience.

    Warren now vows to go to Washington to fight for the middle class. But, like so many academics, she is more adept at feathering her own nest than truly helping Americans in need."

    Helfer was library assistant at Harvard Law School for 22 years and retired in 2009.

    the Washington post reported in Feb. 2013 that Warren purchased a 1,400 sq ft two bedroom, two baths condo for $740,000.

    let me point out that the warren's effective tax rate never reached 29% and despite a combined income of over $1 million annually the warrens charitable giving never reached $30,000 (less than a 10% tithe to a church).

    If the system is "rigged" Ms Warren should know she has certainly benefited from a "rigged" system and is only calling for changes now that she's exacted her pound of flesh from everyone from students and parents that pay an outrageous tuition so professors like the Warrens can "feather" their own nests to the lower income earners who she managed to convince that "shared sacrifice" was a reality.

    "For the past three decades, the Republican Party has waged a dangerous assault on the very idea of public education. Tax cuts for the rich have been balanced with spending cuts to education. During the New Deal era of the 1940s to 1970s, public schools were the great leveler of America. They were our great achievement. It was universal education for all, but today it’s education for those fortunate enough to be born into wealthy families or live in wealthy school districts. The right’s strategy of defunding public education leaves parents with the option of sending their kids to a for-profit school or a theological school that teaches kids our ancestors kept dinosaurs as pets."

    Taking into account the Warren's situation as educators who managed to amass a fortune worth more than $14 million as public educators just underscores the fact that it doesn't matter how much money is thrown at public education very little of it ever goes to actually education of students and instead to the enrichment of the educators and they Unions. And lets not forget that currently it costs an average of more than $10,000/student for a public school education while the average for a private school education averages about half that. Teachers Unions fight against school choice and tying pay to merit, use the union dues they raise to protect teachers who sexually abuse students and on and on!
    The article would be good if it wasn't such bullshit and a huge joke!

  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 18143

    May 10, 2014 1:40 PM GMT
    Not only the cities but all the suburbs as well are falling apart with crumbling, overburdened infrastructure and faltering public services. Yet instead of repairing or rebuilding the existing infrastructure, we just keep building more new highways, water lines, schools etc. to keep financing inefficient, unneeded greenfield developments in the rural exurbs in the pursuit of the so called American dream which is in reality turning into a costly American nightmare.
  • tango02

    Posts: 71

    May 12, 2014 2:34 AM GMT
    Everything goes back to Ronald Reagan's trickle down economics. The problem with this economic theory is that wealth never trickled back down to mainstream Americans because of greed. I think Reagan was very naive and didn't understand human nature very well otherwise corporations and special interests would never have been given the power and influence they have over government today. After all, it's definitely human nature to do whatever you can get away with and that's exactly what the rich and elite are doing. All the money that would have been invested back into America's future, for example infrastructure repair and education, is being siphoned off to line the pockets of the 1%.