Monday, March 8, 2010

On The Left Episode 3

This week we will be talking about the financial crisis. I will be playing clips from an interview with Naomi Klein, a Clip from The Young Turks were Cenk interviews Michael Moore, we will listen in on an interview from Democracy Now between Amy Goodman and Eliot Spitzer and I will round off the show with some words of wisdom from none other than Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Oct 31 1936 speech at Madison Square Garden
Enjoy the show:

Let’s talk about financial matters today, first the numbers, unemployment, we lost another 36,000 jobs and our unemployment rate held steady at 9.7%. We need to remember that America has to create 100,000-130,000 new jobs per month to keep up with population growth.
On March 5 the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the February non-farm payrolls report. The civilian labor force participation rate is at 64.8%. This tells us that less than two thirds of the population is in the labor force- Employed or unemployed. The U-6 broad measure of unemployment that includes involuntary part time workers and those marginally attached to the labor force, rose to 16.8% this number remains painfully high and suggests widespread economic suffering. 41% of the unemployed have been out of work for at least 27 weeks.
Productivity has been growing very rapidly since the recession began in late 2007.from the fourth quarter of 2008 to the fourth quarter of 2009 productivity increased 5.8 percent, as output declined 0.2 percent and hours fell 5.7 percent, making worker work harder and work less hours. Corporations save on wages and hours while getting more goods and services produced by existing workers who are afraid to lose there jobs. We are also seeing the most disproportional relationship between output, hours and pay recorded in the last 62 years. Output per worker hour is surging. Pay and employment is not. This helps explain how we are seeing rising profits and GDP with no improvement in employment. And why there is a sharp divergence between corporate profits and employment conditions.
I know at least 30 people personally that have been laid off in the last six months.
Next in Dec 2009 the FDIC listed 702 banks on its Problem list that was up from 552 three months earlier.
140 bank failures in 2009 was the highest annual tally since 1992, which was at the height of the savings and loans crisis. By way of comparison there were just 25 bank failures in 2008 and 3 in 2007.
Next on to Taxes the IRS has once again started to release the yearly report of the top 400 earners, this report was first made public in 1992 by the Clinton administration, but the George w bush administration shut down access to the report. Its release was resumed a year ago when Obama took office and boy we can now see why the Bushies did not what this getting out.
In 2007 the top 400’s average income of 344.8 million was up 31% from 2006’s average of 263.3 million, now that was the Average number. Now once again these are that the IRS put in to the report. now the tax rate for this group fell from 2006 to 2007 from 17.17% to 16.62%, that rate is lower than the typical effective income tax rate paid by Americans with incomes in the low six figures so over $100,000.
Tax payers on the 95th and 99th steps of the income ladder paid an effective rate of 17.52% .The taxpayers in this category made between 255,000 to 451,000 per year in 2007, compared with a DAILY Average income of almost 945,000 for the top 400, that is 945,000 per day.
The top 400 saw an increase in their incomes of 27 percent or 9 times that of the bottom 90% of earners.
Since 1992 the bottom 90% has seen an increase of 13% compared with 399% for the top while you who make 25,000 to 100,000 pay 20 to 33 percent tax rates these guys are paying just 17% but that is only on their income, the biggest source of income was from capital gains which is taxed at a Maximum rate of just 15%, Now do you see where the Bush Tax cuts and the “Death Tax” really went.
This is the most telling part I think , in 2007 the pre-tax income for a family of four was 50,233,while the top 400 households earned a median of 345 million, almost 6900 times as much income. In contract in 1992 the ratio was just a sixth as large, with the top 400 household having 1124 times as much, still way out of whack but closer by a long shot.

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