How do we eliminate the paradox of poverty & privation amid plenty & abundance?

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Offline Geolibertarian

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http://www.prisonplanet.com/21-signs-of-impending-doom-for-the-2011-economy.html

21 Signs Of Impending Doom For The 2011 Economy

The American Dream
Wednesday, March 9, 2011

If you are not aware of how rapidly the global economic situation is unraveling you need to snap out of it and start paying attention.  The world economy was relatively stable in 2010, but here in 2011 things are deteriorating very quickly.  Right now there is major civil unrest in at least a dozen different nations in Africa and the Middle East.  The civil war going on in Libya has sent the price of oil skyrocketing and the protests that are scheduled to begin in Saudi Arabia later this month could send oil prices even higher.  Meanwhile, the sovereign debt crisis in Europe just seems to get worse by the day.  Several nations in Europe are suddenly finding that it has become extremely expensive to finance more debt.  It appears that it will only be a matter of time before more bailouts are needed.  Meanwhile, the United States is also covered in a sea of red ink and the economic situation in the largest economy on earth continues to deteriorate rapidly.  It is as if the entire world financial system has caught a virus that it just can’t shake, and now it looks like another massive wave of financial disaster could be about to strike.  Does the global economy have enough strength to weather a major oil crisis in 2011?  How much debt can the largest nations in North America and Europe take on before the entire system collapses under the weight?  Will 2011 be a repeat of 2008 or are we going to be able to get through the rest of the year okay?  Only time will tell.

But it is quickly becoming clear that we are reaching a tipping point.  If the price of oil keeps going up, all hopes for any kind of an “economic recovery” will be completely wiped out.  But if the globe does experience another economic slowdown, it could potentially turn the simmering sovereign debt crisis into an absolute nightmare.  The U.S. and most nations in Europe are having a very difficult time servicing their debts and they desperately need tax revenues to increase.  If another major economic downturn causes tax revenues to go down again it could unleash absolute chaos on world financial markets.

The global economy is more interconnected than ever, and so a major crisis in one area of the world can have a cascading effect on the rest of the globe.  Just as we saw back in 2008, if financial disaster strikes nobody is going to escape completely unscathed.

So what should we expect for the rest of 2011?  Well, the truth is that it doesn’t look good.  The following are 21 signs of impending doom for the 2011 economy….

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://webofdebt.com
http://schalkenbach.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

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Austin team dissects U.S. wealth gap
« Reply #161 on: March 19, 2011, 10:46:10 am »
http://www.statesman.com/opinion/insight/austin-team-dissects-u-s-wealth-gap-1284888.html

Austin team dissects U.S. wealth gap

LBJ School report traces causes and effects of disparity, lays out solutions.

Statesman.com
Feb. 26, 2011

America is an unequal society. Economist Edward Wolff notes that apart from the 1920s, the distribution of American wealth is more unequal today than it has been since the beginning of the 20th century.

Most of us realize that a market economy like ours naturally generates differences in outcomes. We accept a bit of inequality as the price we pay for economic freedom; indeed, we celebrate people who manage to rise to the top of the economic distribution.

Yet Americans vastly underestimate the extent of the economic inequalities in our midst. Two well-known business school professors, Michael Norton of Harvard University and Dan Ariely of Duke University, recently conducted a survey on the topic. On average, respondents estimated that the richest 20 percent of Americans own 59 percent of the nation's wealth and that the bottom 60 percent account for more than 20 percent of it. In reality, the richest Americans control 84 percent of the country's wealth, while the middle class and poor own a mere 4.3 percent.

Notably, this survey examined inequalities in wealth, not income. Whereas income measures the flow of financial resources to meet one's needs, wealth is a measure of one's command over the cumulative surpluses in those resources. Simply put, these surplus resources are reflected in what one owns — assets such as a home, car, savings, or investments — minus what one owes.

Accumulating assets over time allows a household to endure economic crises such as a job loss or unexpected medical expenses without becoming destitute. Through investing, these surpluses also create opportunities to secure a better future for ourselves and our children. Wealth is therefore an important measure for household financial security. Evidence suggests that households with wealth enjoy many advantages over families who are asset-poor and that this effect is magnified from generation to generation.

In fact, with just 4.3 percent of our national wealth, most of the families in the bottom 60 percent simply do not have the financial security and opportunities generated by wealth. Many of America's most intractable problems, such as racial inequality and intergenerational poverty, are understood more completely when viewed as an issue of access to wealth over time.

For example, a 2004 study shows that white families, on average, receive 13 times the inheritance of black families. Furthermore, economic estimates suggest that about 80 percent of current U.S. wealth exists through intergenerational gifting, putting minority families in a distinctly disadvantaged economic position.

Gross wealth disparity is costly to society. From opposite ends of the political spectrum, progressive economist Paul Krugman and Republican commentator David Frum have both pointed out that such disparity can lead not only to political instability but also to economic stagnation.

Perhaps most importantly, as wealth inequality grows, social mobility — the ostensible "American dream" — becomes less and less a possibility achievable through hard work and more and more a mythic ideal available to the lucky few.

The gap between that lucky few and the less fortunate has grown substantially in recent decades. In 1929, the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans controlled about 44 percent of national wealth. By 1976, wealth inequality bottomed out with the top 1 percent owning around 20 percent of the wealth. Since then, their share has soared to nearly 50 percent.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://webofdebt.com
http://schalkenbach.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

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http://www.prisonplanet.com/rich-vs-poor-14-funny-statistics-and-14-not-so-funny-statistics-about-this-economic-recovery.html

Rich vs Poor: 14 Funny Statistics And 14 Not So Funny Statistics About This “Economic Recovery”

The Economic Collapse
March 22, 2011

Today there are two very different Americas.  In one America, the stock market is soaring, huge bonuses are taken for granted, the good times are rolling and people are spending money as if they will be able to “live the dream” for the rest of their lives.  In the other America, the one where most of the rest of us live, unemployment is rampant, a million families were kicked out of their homes last year and hordes of American families are drowning in debt.  The gap between the rich and the poor is bigger today than it ever has been before.  In fact, this article is not so much about “rich vs poor” as it is about “the rich vs the rest of us”.  Barack Obama and Ben Bernanke keep touting an “economic recovery”, but the truth is that the only ones that seem to be benefiting from this recovery are those at the very top of the economic food chain.

Below you will find 14 funny statistics about this economic recovery and 14 not so funny statistics about this economic recovery.  Actually, if you find yourself deeply struggling in this economy you will probably not find any of the statistics funny.  In fact, you will probably find most of them infuriating.  After all, there are very few people that actually enjoy hearing about how well the rich are doing when they are barely able to pay the mortgage and put food on the table.

In any event, the 28 statistics below show the stark contrast between the “two Americas” that share this nation today.  Many liberals will likely try to use these statistics as an example of why we should tax the rich.  But handing more money to the government is not going to magically create more jobs for the poor.  What the American people desperately need are good jobs, and many liberals don’t seem to understand that.  Many conservatives will likely try to use these statistics as evidence that “capitalism” is working.  But the truth is that what we have in the United States today is not capitalism.  Rather, it is more aptly described as “corporatism”, because money and power is increasingly becoming concentrated in the hands of gigantic corporations that individuals and small businesses simply cannot compete with.  The truth is that when wealth is concentrated at the very top it does not “trickle down” to the rest of us.  In the old days the wealthy at least were forced to hire the rest of us to run their factories and their businesses, but with the advent of globalism that isn’t even true anymore.  Now they can just move their factories and businesses overseas to places where they can legally pay slave labor wages to their employees.

Very large concentrations of money and power are almost always bad for the prosperity of average citizens.  Our founding fathers never intended for our central government to have so much power and they never intended for giant corporations to have so much power.  But we have abandoned the principles of our founding fathers.

When large concentrations of power (whether governmental or corporate) are allowed to flourish, it almost becomes inevitable that the gap between the rich and the poor will grow.  We are seeing this happen all over the world today.

Unfortunately, it does not appear that any of this is going to change any time soon.  In the United States, both the federal government and multinational corporations are constantly attempting to grab even more power.  It has gotten to the point where individual Americans really don’t have much power left at all.

In any event, hopefully you will find the following statistics informative or at least entertaining.  The wealthy are most definitely enjoying an “economic recovery” while most of the rest of us are still really struggling….

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://webofdebt.com
http://schalkenbach.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

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US Poverty: Past, Present and Future
« Reply #163 on: March 23, 2011, 02:06:42 pm »
http://www.thenation.com/article/159381/us-poverty-past-present-and-future

US Poverty: Past, Present and Future

Greg Kaufmann
The Nation
March 22, 2011   

If the federal budget is a moral document—a statement of values and priorities—then the current debate on where we will spend our money in tough fiscal times is a defining moment for the character of this nation.

Currently, a record 47 million people live below the poverty line—$22,400 per year for a family of four—including one in five children. Over 100 million people, or one in three Americans, live on less than $46,000 for a family of four.

Despite this widespread economic hardship, the current budget debate is focused entirely on cuts in domestic discretionary spending—things like childcare, Head Start, federal housing, transportation, job creation programs, job training—cuts that will have a devastating and disproportionate impact on those already struggling to make ends meet.

It seems an opportune moment to look back on how this nation has confronted poverty-related issues in the past, and where we are headed today. Few people are more able to provide that perspective than Georgetown University law professor Peter Edelman, who is currently writing a book on just that subject.

Edelman has battled poverty for nearly fifty years, most notably as a legislative assistant to Senator Robert Kennedy and as an assistant secretary of health and human services in the Clinton administration—a post he resigned in protest of the 1996 welfare reform bill—as well as through his writing and teaching.

He says of his time working for the late Senator, “Here was a man who really—I think unlike anybody at that level since—was just deeply committed to doing something very serious about poverty in this country and obviously the intersection of poverty and race. I had the opportunity to go around the country with him, and to learn as he learned—from listening and talking to people and seeing problems. I learned much more about what it’s like to be poor than I could have ever learned from books.”

From the moment he visited starving children in Mississippi in 1967, where he also met his wife, Marian Wright Edelman, Edelman has led a life dedicated to confronting poverty and shining a light on issues that all too often go under-reported.

Here is our conversation:

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://webofdebt.com
http://schalkenbach.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

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http://www.prisonplanet.com/broke-and-getting-broker-22-jaw-dropping-statistics-about-the-financial-condition-of-american-families.html

Broke And Getting Broker: 22 Jaw Dropping Statistics About The Financial Condition Of American Families

The American Dream
March 30, 2011

Most American families are really struggling in this economy and they see most of the families around them really struggling, but they don’t have any hard numbers to back up the feelings of economic despair that they are experiencing.  Well, below you will find 22 statistics that prove that American families are broke and getting broker.  Today, the financial condition of most middle class families is rapidly deteriorating.  The number of good jobs is declining, incomes are down, debt loads are up and bankruptcies and foreclosures just continue to increase.  If you step back and really examine the statistics, it becomes really hard to deny that American families are getting poorer.  Well, the wealthiest 5 percent are still thriving, but everyone else is really having a tough time.  The truth is that a large percentage of the U.S. middle class is slowly but surely going broke.  Unfortunately, this is being caused by long-term economic trends that simply are not going to be fixed overnight.

Most Americans had just assumed that the United States would always have a dominant, prosperous economy.  But in the world we live in today there are no guarantees.

The era when almost anyone could find a good job is over.  Millions of good jobs have already left the United States, and vast numbers of legal and illegal workers have been shipped in to the country to compete for the jobs that are still here.

There are millions of Americans that would give just about anything for a good job right about now.  But the good jobs are very few and far between at this point.

Every day there is more depressing news.  For example, a recent job fair in Massachusetts was shut down because of a lack of jobs.

In fact, with jobs so scarce these days, more Americans than ever are willing to work for free.

This is not just a “recession” or an “economic downturn”.  The U.S. economy is fundamentally changing for the worse.  Millions of American families are already experiencing economic despair and millions more will be experiencing it very soon.

The following are 22 jaw dropping statistics about the financial condition of American families….

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://webofdebt.com
http://schalkenbach.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

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Good Economic Numbers? Don’t Be Fooled By The Financial Sugar High
« Reply #165 on: April 02, 2011, 09:50:36 am »
http://www.prisonplanet.com/good-economic-numbers-don%e2%80%99t-be-fooled-by-the-financial-sugar-high.html

Good Economic Numbers? Don’t Be Fooled By The Financial Sugar High

The Economic Collapse
April 2, 2011

The U.S. financial system is like a junkie that needs continually increasing amounts of “junk” to get the same “buzz”.  So what is the U.S. financial system addicted to?  It is addicted to money and debt.  For many years, whenever the Federal Reserve would lower interest rates or the U.S government would borrow and spend more money, the U.S. economy would respond positively.  But just like with any other kind of artificial stimulation, over time it has taken greater and greater amounts of debt and cheap money to get a response from our economic system.  So yes, the fact that the official unemployment rate went down 0.1%  last month is good news, but considering the massive amount of spending that the U.S. government is doing and considering the gigantic quantity of money that the Federal Reserve is injecting into the financial system, the truth is that the unemployment rate should be falling much faster than that.  So don’t be fooled by the good economic numbers and don’t be fooled by the financial “sugar rush”.  The U.S. government and the Federal Reserve have been pulling out all the stops to stimulate the economy, and the fact that all of their efforts are barely moving the unemployment rate at all is an indication of just how far our economic situation has degenerated.

Many in the mainstream media were extremely excited when the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the U.S. unemployment rate declined to 8.8% in March.  U.S. stocks soared as investors enthusiastically welcomed the news.  But should we all really be jumping up and down over this?

The truth is that some other measures show that the unemployment situation in the United States is becoming worse.

According to Gallup, the number of Americans that are either unemployed or working part-time but desiring full-time work actually rose from 19.8 percent in February to 20.3 percent in March.

So let us not get too excited about the employment situation. Yes, unemployment is not spinning wildly out of control at the moment and that is good news.

However, when you look at the larger picture things look rather grim.

What the U.S. government and the Federal Reserve have been doing is that they have been mortgaging our future big time for short-term economic gain.

This year alone, the U.S. government is going to run an all-time record budget deficit of approximately 1.6 trillion dollars. By borrowing 1.6 trillion dollars that we do not have and spending it into the system, it does stimulate the economy.

There are some members of Congress that would like to implement substantial budget cuts, but most members of Congress fear doing too much budget cutting right now because it would “harm the economy”.

And you know what? They are right – budget cuts would harm our economy in the short-term.

But continuing to pile up all of this debt is setting the stage for an absolute economic nightmare in the mid to long term.

We have lived far, far beyond our means for decades, and most of our politicians are acting like this can go forever.

But tell me, does anyone out there actually believe that we can keep expanding the national debt like this indefinitely?….



[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://webofdebt.com
http://schalkenbach.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

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Re: Good Economic Numbers? Don’t Be Fooled By The Financial Sugar High
« Reply #166 on: April 02, 2011, 10:05:51 am »
http://www.prisonplanet.com/good-economic-numbers-don%e2%80%99t-be-fooled-by-the-financial-sugar-high.html

We have lived far, far beyond our means for decades, and most of our politicians are acting like this can go forever.

As I explained on page 3 of this thread when the author of the above blog parroted this same talking point last October, the problem is not that "we" have been "living" beyond our means, but that ruling-class oligarchs have been parasitizing us beyond our means.

Whether they realize it or not, those who blindly insist otherwise are merely shifting blame from where it belongs -- on the financial terrorists who engineered this economic collapse in the first place -- to where it does not belong -- on the lower- and middle-class victims of the collapse.

--------------------------

"Have you ever wondered how everyone -- governments, corporations, small businesses, families -- can all be in debt at the same time and for such astronomical amounts? Have you questioned how there can be that much money out there to lend? Now you know: there isn't. Banks do not lend money; they simply create it from debt....Isn't it astounding that, despite the incredible wealth of resources, innovation and productivity that surrounds us, almost all of us -- from governments to companies to individuals -- are heavily in debt to bankers? If only people would stop and think: 'How can that be? How can it be that the people who actually produce all the real wealth in the world are in debt to those who merely lend out the money that represents the wealth?' Even more amazing is that once we realize that money really is debt, we realize that if there's no debt, there'd be no money. If this is news to you, you are not alone. Most people imagine that if all debts were paid off, the state of the economy would improve. It's certainly true on an individual level. Just as we have more money to spend when our loan payments are finished, we think that if everyone were out of debt, there would be more money to spend in general. But the truth is the exact opposite: there would be no money at all. There it is: we are totally depenedent on continually renewed bank credit for there to be any money in existence. No loans, no money."


--------------------------

Was it "we" who created the quadrillion-dollar derivatives bubble? No, it was the bankers who did that.

Was it "we" who, through the use of bought-off politicians, instituted a debt-based money system in which "borrowing" is the only way any money is allowed to come into circulation in the first place, in which money is destroyed whenever the principal of a bank loan is repaid, and in which the money needed to pay the interest on all these loans is never created to begin with (thus creating a built-in shortage of money, and hence a dog-eat-dog, musical chairs economy)? No, it was the bankers who did that.

And was it "we" who knowingly failed to provide lawful consideration for any of the collateral-backed IOUs that were accepted by private banks in exchange for the non-existent "money" they loaned? No, it was the bankers who did that.

So the wealth-producing lower and middle classes must not let themselves be bullsh*ted either by the global warming cult or by the let-the-banker-engineered-depression-"run-its-course" Austrian School cult into falsely believing that they must pay the price for the economic crimes of the non-producing, parasitic banking class.

It's the Rockefellers and Rothschilds of the world who should be forced into bankruptcy and foreclosed on, not us!

Or, to put it another way, it is not "we" who should be made to experience a standard of living far below what we've grown accustomed to, but parasitic robber barons who should be made to experience a standard of living far below what they've grown accustomed to!

"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://webofdebt.com
http://schalkenbach.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

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http://www.nj.com/springsteen/index.ssf/2011/03/bruce_springsteen_writes_story.html

Bruce Springsteen writes: "Story on poverty, aid cuts gives voice to voiceless"

By Stan Goldstein
The Star-Ledger
March 31, 2011

In the Letters to the Editor section of today's Asbury Park Press, there is a letter from Bruce Springsteen of Colts Neck.

Springsteen writes regarding a March 27 Press story "As poverty rises, NJ cuts target aid."

Springsteen writes: "Thank you for your March 27 front-page story by Michael Symons. 'As poverty rises, cuts target aid.' The article is one of the few that highlights the contradictions between a policy of large tax cuts, on the one hand, and cuts in services to those in the most dire conditions, on the other."

The complete Letter to the Editor may be read here.

"These are voices that in our current climate are having a hard time beind heard, not just in New Jersey, but nationally," Springsteen writes.

The Star-Ledger ran a story on March 23: "Food Stamp use, poverty rates sharply rise among N.J. children durcing recession."
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://webofdebt.com
http://schalkenbach.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

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27 Depressing Statistics About The U.S. Economy
« Reply #168 on: April 04, 2011, 11:57:12 am »
http://www.prisonplanet.com/feeling-depessed-27-depressing-statistics-about-the-u-s-economy-that-will-make-you-feel-even-worse.html

Feeling Depessed? 27 Depressing Statistics About The U.S. Economy That Will Make You Feel Even Worse

The Economic Collapse
April 4, 2011

If you know someone that believes that the U.S. economy is in great shape, just show that person the following statistics.  But please don’t show these statistics to anyone that is feeling depressed or that has just lost a job – it might push such a person over the edge.  The sad truth is that the U.S. economy is in the midst of a long-term decline and it is coming apart at the seams.  Right now the Obama administration and the Federal Reserve are attempting to “paper over” our economic problems with massive amounts of government debt and paper currency, but in the end it is not going to work.  When you analyze the numbers objectively, it leads to the inescapable conclusion that we are headed for another Great Depression.  That is a very depressing thought, but there is no denying that decades of debt and incredibly bad decisions are starting to catch up with us.  The economic pain that is coming is going to be absolutely mind blowing.

It would be nice if our politicians and our business leaders suddenly started making incredibly wise decisions so that we could bring the U.S. economy in for a “soft landing”, but the chance of that happening is so small that it is not even worth mentioning.

It is time for all of us to face up to the truth.  In this day and age it is really easy to get caught up in the trap of feeling depressed, but once we understand exactly how bad our problems are it can be empowering because then we can start focusing on solutions.

The following are 27 depressing statistics about the U.S. economy that are almost too crazy to believe….

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://webofdebt.com
http://schalkenbach.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

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Despicable Lies, Delusional Economic Recovery, Hyped Unemployment Numbers...
« Reply #169 on: April 05, 2011, 05:13:18 pm »
http://www.globalresearch.ca/despicable-lies-delusional-economic-recovery-hyped-unemployment-numbers/24160

Despicable Lies, Delusional Economic Recovery, Hyped Unemployment Numbers...

by Joel S. Hirschhorn



Global Research
April 5, 2011

The US government lies. Sure looks like most Americans gobble up false and misleading information that is nothing less than political propaganda. Take the highly hyped unemployment number for March, 2011 of 8.8 percent that moved like a tornado through the media and was praised by Democrat politicians and the White House. As if that number is accurate, as if it fairly describes unemployment. It does not. What is called by experts, such as Leo Hindery, as the real unemployment number was actually 17.7 percent, which is remarkably higher. To appreciate that much higher number is to throw a large bucket of cold water on all the political spin on the economic recovery.

The official government unemployment figure has been carefully crafted to intentionally underestimate actual unemployment. The way the data are collected through a survey of homes intentionally ignores a number of unemployed and underemployed Americans. The latter includes those who have stopped looking for a job because it has become crystal clear to them that there are no jobs for them, as well as those working part-time when what they really want is a good full time job.

Similarly, Gallup polling which takes into account these other factors found the total number for March up slightly to 20.3 percent of the US workforce.

As if this sham game is not bad enough, what the government also does not reveal with hard information is that most new jobs being created now are low wage ones often without any good benefits. Another reason to see how delusional the economic recovery is.

To get back to a low unemployment level characteristic of a good economy could take up to ten years. The federal lie includes 13.5 million unemployed workers but the real number is more like 28.2 million. That means a lot more hardship and suffering in the fictional recovery than the government wants the public to know about. The number of real unemployed workers has increased by 11.5 million since the start of the Great Recession, and just since December 2008 by 3.7 million.

The economy must add 13 million private sector jobs over the next three years-360,000 each month-to bring unemployment down to 6 percent. There is no possible or imaginable way for this to happen. So real unemployment will remain terrible.

All this plus the fact that real wages have stagnated for many years means that the middle class in the US is in dire shape. The most important implication of this is that there is no good reason to think that the deeply depressed housing market stands any chance of recovery for many years. There are not enough people with enough money and financial security to buy even low priced houses. There simply are too many empty houses and even more coming from millions more foreclosures. Without a healthy housing market it is inconceivable that a true economic recovery and meaningful growth are possible.
 
In other words, contrary to all the blabber from politicians and pundits, the current recovery is largely delusional as far as the vast majority of Americans are concerned. Of course, the rich Upper Class is doing just fine. In 2009, the richest 5 percent claimed 63.5 percent of the nation’s wealth. The richest 20 percent of Americans own 84 percent of all wealth. The overwhelming majority, the bottom 80 percent, collectively hold just 12.8 percent. As the Economic Policy Institute has reported, the richest 10 percent of Americans received an unconscionable 100 percent of the average income growth in the years 2000 to 2007, the most recent extended period of economic expansion.

Odds are that you, dear reader, are in the bottom 80 percent, which means you should have the good sense to see how delusional the current economic recovery is and that you should have little hope for doing well in the future. Remember also that state and local governments facing budget shortfalls will surely layoff many more people and those congressional attempts to address the horrendous national debt and deficit will surely mean cuts in many government programs that many in the bottom 80 percent depend on.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://webofdebt.com
http://schalkenbach.org
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Offline Geolibertarian

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Is America Becoming The Land Of The Part-Time Job?
« Reply #170 on: April 08, 2011, 02:53:17 pm »
http://www.prisonplanet.com/is-america-becoming-the-land-of-the-part-time-job-most-of-the-jobs-that-are-being-created-are-part-time-jobs-and-some-companies-are-going-to-a-%e2%80%9cpart-time-only-policy%e2%80%9d.html

Is America Becoming The Land Of The Part-Time Job?: Most Of The Jobs That Are Being Created Are Part-Time Jobs And Some Companies Are Going To A “Part-Time Only Policy”

The Economic Collapse
April 8, 2011

Do you need a good job? If so, there are millions of other Americans that are just like you. Unfortunately, most of the jobs that are available in America today are either part-time jobs, temp jobs or are “independent contractor” jobs. The “full-time job with benefits” is a dying breed. There are so many desperate unemployed workers in America today that companies don’t have to roll out the red carpet anymore. Instead, they can just hire a horde of inexpensive part-timers and temps that they don’t have to give any benefits to. But isn’t the employment situation supposed to be getting better? No, it really is not. Yes, the U.S. economy added 216,000 jobs in March. However, the truth is that approximately 290,000 part-time jobs were created and about 80,000 full-time jobs were actually lost. This is all part of a long-term trend in America. Good jobs are rapidly disappearing and they are being replaced by low paying service jobs that do not pay a living wage. In many American households today, both parents have multiple jobs. Yet a large percentage of those same households can’t even pay the mortgage and are drowning in debt.

Whenever a new government jobs report comes out from now on, try to find out how many of the jobs that were created were actually part-time jobs. Most Americans that only have part-time jobs are living around or below the poverty line. The truth is that it is really hard to get by if you are only making a couple hundred bucks a week.

As mentioned above, the U.S. economy added 216,000 jobs last month. The Obama administration and the mainstream media heralded that figure as evidence that the U.S. economy is recovering nicely.

But is that really accurate?

Rebel Cole, a professor at DePaul University’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business, says that when you take the time to do a closer examination of the employment numbers they don’t look so good….

    “If you look deeper in the report, there were 290,000 new part-time workers, which means that there were 80,000 fewer full-time workers, that’s not a good sign. Things are getting worse, not getting better.”

Unless you are a teen or a college student or a retired person, most likely you would prefer to be working a full-time job. Most people do not actually have the goal of working part-time. Most part-time jobs pay very poorly and offer very few benefits.

Unfortunately, that is why so many big companies like part-time workers and temp workers. There are so many more rules, regulations and laws that pertain to full-time workers.

Hiring a bunch of part-time workers is so much easier and so much cheaper. Without a doubt it is definitely more profitable in most situations.

Today, there are millions of Americans that have part-time jobs that would love to have full-time jobs. In fact, the government says that there are about 8 million Americans that are currently working part-time jobs for “economic reasons”.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://webofdebt.com
http://schalkenbach.org
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Online EvadingGrid

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It is not just America . . . .
Its happening all over in the advanced developed nations.
Iceland has JAILED BANKERS - spread the word

Offline Geolibertarian

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It is not just America . . . .
Its happening all over in the advanced developed nations.

I'm aware of that, believe me.

But do you know of any country other than the U.S. in which so many millions of people are living in willful denial about how ruling-class oligarchs are literally waging economic WAR against them?

I certainly don't.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://webofdebt.com
http://schalkenbach.org
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Offline egypt

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Get together with your neighbors.  Decide who will grow -- what.  Each neighbor planting a fruit, nut or another tree that will produce in your area can be wonderful.  Because, each tree can provide abundance for many families.  In California, before people had to cut down their fruit trees (due to government taxation of them), everyone just traded from their fruit tree, for other fruits.

Grow a garden.  If living in an area that has a short growing season, sprout seedlings into small plants, first.  This can be done inside your home.  Same thing with a vegetable garden as fruit trees.  One garden can provide abundance to many families.

Can & put up to hold over the winter.  If every neighbor is growing "something" there will be plenty for families to eat right away -- along with canning the rest for eating during the winter.

Save the seeds from the very best tasting, looking, growing vegetable or fruit, to plant the next year.  Have a rototiller for all to use.

I found out that a man got together with his neighbors and they canned up a storm.  He didn't want to have plenty while others went without.  So, all the neighbors have plenty to hold them over elitist-created crisis.  No one will be knocking on doors & begging for food in his neighborhood!

Those who may be starving, would certainly like it if government stepped in to confiscate stores of food in people's homes.  The government would use this excuse to feed those who are unprepared & they would like this very much.  How about the illegals on food stamps with anchor babies as one minor example?  Think *that* can't happen?  Consider:   Our government Leaders have stated many times that China is the model.  An elderly man was thrown into a concentration camp for having 100 pounds of rice stored (hidden) in his walls.

We would be taken over through lack of food/shelter & fear.  Stand up, be strong.  Grow our own food and don't be afraid of *anything.*

Love, e




Offline freedom_commonsense

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I'm aware of that, believe me.

But do you know of any country other than the U.S. in which so many millions of people are living in willful denial about how ruling-class oligarchs are literally waging economic WAR against them?

I certainly don't.

No, but that's only because the UK's population is five times smaller. There's still a lot of willful ignorance about why there is so much unemployment and the "balanced budget" issue. The single tax and debt-free currency issuance are seen as "unfair" and "causing inflation" respectively.

It's like banging one's head against a wall repeatedly, talking to these kind of people...

Offline Geolibertarian

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Fight Economic Oppression, Target the Top One Percent
« Reply #175 on: April 11, 2011, 07:39:54 pm »
“There’s class warfare, all right, but it's my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”

-- Warren Buffet, New York Times, November 26, 2006

--------------------------------

http://www.globalresearch.ca/fight-economic-oppression-target-the-top-one-percent/24271

Fight Economic Oppression, Target the Top One Percent

by Joel S. Hirschhorn



Global Research
April 11, 2011

Massive economic inequality is killing America and we the people. It has already killed American democracy. The rich have captured the political system so they could manipulate the economy and benefit unfairly. Economic freedom and opportunity are gone. Greed among the top one percent has succeeded so well that a true uprising and revolt by Americans, like that seen in Egypt, may be needed to restore America.

US society is riddled through and through with constant lies and political propaganda to keep Americans stupid and distracted. The truth is here, hidden from easy view for most citizens by an epidemic of dishonesty and irresponsibility among elected officials, corporate leaders, cowardly, corporate controlled mass media, and especially right-wing pundits, many of whom are in the top one percent. The truth, of course, is often revealed, but only in venues that relatively few people with sufficient intelligence and critical thinking skills access. Two recent articles should be required reading in every classroom and home.

First, some key numbers tell the true story about the decline of America in recent decades as revealed by acclaimed economist Joseph E. Stiglitz in Vanity Fair. Upper one percent Americans are now taking in nearly a quarter of the nation’s annual income and own 40 percent of the nation’s wealth. Twenty-five years ago, the corresponding figures were 12 percent and 33 percent. The top one percent’s incomes rose 18 percent over the past decade as those in the middle have actually seen their incomes fall. As the recession still hurts most Americans, especially the unemployed, hungry and foreclosed, the top one percent, many of whom created the economic meltdown, keeps their tax cuts and riches.

Most citizens are doing worse year after year,” correctly observes Stiglitz.

Also, in our delusional democracy run by a bipartisan corporate dictatorship: “Virtually all U.S. senators, and most of the representatives in the House, are members of the top 1 percent when they arrive, are kept in office by money from the top 1 percent, and know that if they serve the top 1 percent well they will be rewarded by the top 1 percent when they leave office. By and large, the key executive-branch policymakers on trade and economic policy also come from the top 1 percent.” No surprise that those who poisoned the economy have not been prosecuted.

You cannot vote away this insanity by electing Republicans or Democrats, even those claiming Tea Party status, who mostly want to protect rich and corporate elites as evidenced by their disinterest in removing corporate subsidies and welfare, nor raising taxes on the rich. This behavior is brainless for non-wealthy Americans.

Stiglitz says: “The top 1 percent may complain about the kind of government we have in America, but in truth they like it just fine: too gridlocked to re-distribute, too divided to do anything but lower taxes.” In truth, they own our government.

The second article in The Nation by Robert Scheer smartly noted: “The delusion of a classless America in which opportunity is equally distributed is the most effective deception perpetrated by the moneyed elite that controls all the key levers of power in what passes for our democracy.” Mostly ignored, “the corporate rich reward themselves in direct proportion to the amount of suffering they have caused.”

Scheer referenced this: During Clinton’s presidency the income of the top one percent increased by 10.1 percent per year, while that of the other 99 percent of Americans increased by only 2.4 percent a year. From 2002 to 2006, a period in which the top one percent increased its income 11 percent annually the rest of Americans had a truly paltry gain of 1 percent per year.

What kind of population would endure all this? Submissive, stupid and sidetracked Americans refusing to see the economic oppression strangling the nation.

To be in the top one percent you need an adjusted gross income of about $400,000, most not coming from salaries or wages. And those households with less than 5 million people total have a net worth of at least $8 million each. Do you make the cut? If not, then wake up to reality. You are a victim!

The top one percent people are the enemy. THEY have stolen your financial security and opportunity. THEY have sold us out to China and other nations. YOU have been sacrificed to satisfy their greed. You have a better chance of winning a huge lottery than becoming one of them.

Abusive inequality is no accident of history. It has occurred by design. Forget morality and fairness. The wealthiest of the wealthy have ingeniously engineered the political and economic systems to get exactly what they want and screw the rest of society. They do not fear outright revolution, peaceful or violent class war.

Pause for a moment. Think in terms of an invisible corporate dictatorship run in a bipartisan way by people who know how to use their money to retain a thoroughly corrupt political system. That is the tool used to protect themselves from the wrath of a few hundred million victims of their villainy. The economic oppression by the richest one percent is far greater than that of the British which spurred the American Revolution. We desperately need a second revolution against domestic tyranny.

In addition to the two excellent recent articles, you would benefit from examining the Who Rules America? website. If you appreciate data also peruse this excellent Mother Jones article, which points out most Americans perceive wealth distribution more fairly distributed than it really is, delusional thinking.

[Continued...]

--------------------------------
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://webofdebt.com
http://schalkenbach.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

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35 stats that show just how badly the average American is doing economically
« Reply #176 on: April 15, 2011, 03:36:32 pm »
http://www.prisonplanet.com/35-statistics-that-show-the-average-american-family-has-been-broke-down-tore-down-beat-down-busted-and-disgusted-by-this-economy.html

35 Statistics That Show The Average American Family Has Been Broke Down, Tore Down, Beat Down, Busted And Disgusted By This Economy

The American Dream
April 15, 2011

The economic statistics that you are about to read are incredibly shocking, but they are also very, very real.  Tonight there are going to be millions of men and women all across America that cannot sleep because they are consumed with anxiety about their financial problems.  Even as you read this, there are a lot of parents out there that are trying to figure out how to explain to their children why their homes are being taken away.  There are also hordes of very hard working Americans that are incredibly frustrated because they have sent out thousands of resumes and yet they can’t seem to get a job interview.  Have you ever been at a point where you couldn’t pay the mortgage or put food on the table for your family?  It can be an absolutely soul-crushing experience.  In fact, there are some cities in the U.S. that have been so utterly devastated by this economy that it seems as though virtually everyone has had the hope sucked right out of them.  The mainstream media is trying to convince all of us that we are in an economic recovery, but that is a lie.  The truth is that we are in the middle of a long-term economic decline and the greatest economy in the history of the world is dying right in front of our eyes.

The average American family is under more economic stress right now than at any other time since the Great Depression.  Just check out the following statistics….

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://webofdebt.com
http://schalkenbach.org
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Offline shipgeek

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I will be feeling much better the day when bin Soetoro and Sarkozy get kicked out.

I hope it will happen soon.

Get the f**k out b*st*rds!!!!

 >:(
E MARE LIBERTAS

Offline Geolibertarian

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I will be feeling much better the day when bin Soetoro and Sarkozy get kicked out.

I hope it will happen soon.

Get the f**k out b*st*rds!!!!

News flash: they are merely puppets of the parasitic ruling class.

It's the Rothschilds and Rockefellers of the world -- and the privileges (see this, this and this) that enabled them to become so ridiculously powerful in the first place -- that we should be focused on.

Otherwise they'll continue to use their enormous power to ensure that the current puppet in question, once he becomes too unpopular, is merely replaced with another puppet.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://webofdebt.com
http://schalkenbach.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

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Shock employment figures: Fewer than 46% of Americans have jobs
« Reply #179 on: April 16, 2011, 11:32:01 am »
http://www.prisonplanet.com/shock-employment-figures-fewer-than-46-of-americans-have-jobs.html

Shock employment figures: Fewer than 46% of Americans have jobs

David Edwards
Raw Story
April 16, 2011

The percentage of Americans who have jobs has fallen to the lowest point in three decades and now hovers just above 45 percent of the total population, according to an analysis of labor data published by USA Today.

The report, based on figures provided by the Census and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, showed that at 36.7 percent, Mississippi had the lowest percentage of population working.

Employment rates were also low in California and Arizona, where just over 37 percent had jobs. At 55.8 percent, North Dakota had the highest rate of employed residents.

Overall, 45.4 percent of Americans were working, the lowest since 1983. Employment peaked at 49.3 percent in 2000.

“The bad economy, an aging population and a plateau in women working are contributing to changes that pose serious challenges for financing the nation’s social programs,” the paper noted.

The news comes at a time when Republican senators have unveiled a plan to raise the retirement age, which would force more Americans to search for jobs that just aren’t there.

Full article here
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://webofdebt.com
http://schalkenbach.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline freedom_commonsense

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Similar percentage here. Although a good quarter of the British populace is retirement age.

Offline Geolibertarian

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24 Signs Of Economic Decline In America
« Reply #181 on: April 23, 2011, 09:49:26 am »
http://www.prisonplanet.com/24-signs-of-economic-decline-in-america.html

24 Signs Of Economic Decline In America

The Economic Collapse
April 23, 2011

The United States is in the middle of a devastating long-term economic decline and it is getting really hard to deny it.  Over the past year I have included literally thousands of depressing statistics in my articles about the U.S. economy.  I have done this in order to make an overwhelming case that the U.S. economy is in deep decline and is dying a little bit more every single day.  Until we understand exactly how bad our problems are we will never be willing to accept the solutions.  The truth is that our leaders have absolutely wrecked the greatest economic machine that the world has ever seen.  Most Americans just assume that we will always experience overwhelming prosperity, but that is not anywhere close to the truth.  We are not guaranteed anything.  Our manufacturing base has been gutted, the number of jobs is declining, more Americans are dependent on government handouts than ever before, our dollar is dying and as a nation we are absolutely drowning in debt.  The economists that are trumpeting an “economic recovery” and that are declaring that the U.S. economy will soon be “better than ever” are delusional.  We really are steamrolling toward a complete and total economic collapse and our leaders are doing nothing to stop it.

The following are 24 more signs of economic decline in America.  Hopefully you will not get too depressed as you read them….

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://webofdebt.com
http://schalkenbach.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

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American Hellholes
« Reply #182 on: April 25, 2011, 10:19:10 am »
http://www.prisonplanet.com/american-hellholes.html

American Hellholes

The Economic Collapse
April 25, 2011

The U.S. economy is dying and we are heading for the next Great Depression.  The talking heads in the mainstream media love to spin the economic numbers around and around and they love to make it sound like the economy is improving, but the truth is that it doesn’t take a genius to see what is happening to the U.S. economic system.  All over the nation many of our greatest cities are being slowly but surely transformed into post-apocalyptic wastelands.  All over the mid-Atlantic, all along the Gulf coast, all throughout the “rust belt” and all over the entire state of California cities that once had incredibly vibrant economies are being turned into rotting, post-industrial hellholes. In many U.S. cities, the “real” rate of unemployment is over 30 percent. There are some communities that will start depressing you almost the moment that you drive into them. It is almost as if all of the hope has been sucked right out of those communities.  If you live in one of those American hellholes you know what I am talking about.  Sadly, it is not just a few cities that are becoming hellholes.  This is happening in the east, in the west, in the north and in the south.  America is literally being transformed right in front of our eyes.

If you still live in an area of the United States that is prosperous, do not mock the cities that you are about to read about.  The cold, hard reality of the matter is that economic decline and economic despair are spreading rapidly and they will come to your area soon enough.  Right now we are still talking about “American hellholes”, but if the long-term economic trends that are destroying this nation are not turned around eventually we will just be talking about one gigantic “American hellhole”.  In the end, no area of the country will completely escape the economic hell that is coming.

Let’s take a closer look at what is currently happening in some of the worst areas of the country….

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://webofdebt.com
http://schalkenbach.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline freedom_commonsense

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London's a classic example. Less than ten minutes apart are the bankers' financial district in the centre and slum tenement blocks to the east. The denizens of Canary Wharf can literally look down on the poor neighborhoods on the other side of the river.



..and if I spin the shot 180 degrees:


Online worcesteradam

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The banks were traditionally around Lombard street in the City of London.
The move out east happened during the Thatcher era.
They got the public to pay for their move out there, had their own railway (DLR) and airport (City Airport) built, by selling it as a 'redevelopment/regeneration' project (LDDC).

I used to live in in Poplar in 2003, opposite All Saints.
“The problem is that the one-world opinion is taking the side of the Palestinians, not the side of Israel.“ - Pat Robertson, 9/9/2001

Offline Geolibertarian

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Privilege-induced rack-renting continues to create poverty amidst plenty
« Reply #185 on: April 27, 2011, 03:05:44 pm »
With particular regard to said tax system, whenever this system is in place, there is always -- in the words of economist Fred Foldvary -- a "constanct race” between (a) the process by which labor-saving technology increases wages and (b) the process by which increasing numbers of people with increasing incomes all competing for access to the same amount of land enables titleholders to absorb much of these wage gains through higher rent demands while providing no service in return -- a parasitic process commonly referred to as rack-renting.

http://www.prisonplanet.com/soaring-costs-force-some-renters-to-choose-between-shelter-and-food.html

Soaring Costs Force Some Renters To Choose Between Shelter And Food

Yepoka Yeebo
Huffington Post
April 27, 2011

NEW YORK — Around 10 million American households — or one in every four families that rent their homes — could have to choose between paying rent, buying groceries or keeping current with bills, according to a report released Tuesday.

The number of households spending more than 50 percent [.pdf] of their income on rent and bills jumped by 2.6 million over the last decade, according to a Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies report. Economists generally consider “affordable” rent to cost about 30 percent of a tenant’s income.

When housing costs hit certain levels, many Americans are forced to choose between rent and food. “In real terms, it means more people have less money to spend on household necessities such as food, health care, or savings,” Eric Belsky, director of the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, said in the report. Households which spend 50 percent or more of their income on rent also spend almost 40 percent less on food and over 50 percent less on health care than households with more affordable rent.

“In the last decade, rental housing affordability problems went through the roof,” Belsky said in the report. “And these affordability problems are marching up the income scale,” he added.

Already, rising rents mean the household budgets of working-class and middle-class families are under strain. Growing numbers of middle-income, and lower-middle-income renters are spending between 30 percent and 50 percent of their incomes on rent. And the report found that rents could start to soar as the recovery takes hold.

Full article here
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://webofdebt.com
http://schalkenbach.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline freedom_commonsense

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Paying 80% of my income in rent wasn't unusual, and I'm not talking about particularly luxurious settings here (an "apartment" that was one room). Most Americans would be shocked at the standard of accomodation here.

The banks were traditionally around Lombard street in the City of London.
The move out east happened during the Thatcher era.
They got the public to pay for their move out there, had their own railway (DLR) and airport (City Airport) built, by selling it as a 'redevelopment/regeneration' project (LDDC).

I used to live in in Poplar in 2003, opposite All Saints.

Yup, a legacy of the closed factories. The unemployment rate is still over 30% out there.

Offline Geolibertarian

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Re: Privilege-induced rack-renting continues to create poverty amidst plenty
« Reply #187 on: April 27, 2011, 05:32:19 pm »
Paying 80% of my income in rent wasn't unusual, and I'm not talking about particularly luxurious settings here (an "apartment" that was one room).

As economist Fred Harrison explains in the following clip, the combination of wage taxes and institutionalized rack-renting is how wage-earners are made to pay twice for the same services, all so overprivileged landlords and slumlords can avoid paying even once:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZkfmY1PMng (Ricardo's Law ~ The Great Tax Clawback Scam)

Yet Austrian Schoolers never talk about that, and tend to become hostile whenever someone brings it up. Why do you suppose that is? Perhaps the following quote of Webster Tarpley provides the answer:

    “The Austrian School came into existence when a bunch of Viennese rent-gouging landlords didn’t want rent control on the rents they could gouge out of their tenants in old Vienna, so they hired a bunch of scribblers--and that’s the Austrian School.”

-- Webster Tarpley, World Crisis Radio broadcast, 9/27/08, 1st hour
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://webofdebt.com
http://schalkenbach.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline freedom_commonsense

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Re: Privilege-induced rack-renting continues to create poverty amidst plenty
« Reply #188 on: April 27, 2011, 05:43:13 pm »
As economist Fred Harrison explains in the following clip, the combination of wage taxes and institutionalized rack-renting is how wage-earners are made to pay twice for the same services, all so overprivileged landlords and slumlords can avoid paying even once:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZkfmY1PMng (Ricardo's Law ~ The Great Tax Clawback Scam)

Yup, seen that. Fortunately now it's more like 30%, still not great though. Not because my earnings increased, but because I had to move somewhere cheaper (a publically owned estate funnily enough).

Yet Austrian Schoolers never talk about that, and tend to become hostile whenever someone brings it up. Why do you suppose that is? Perhaps the following quote of Webster Tarpley provides the answer:

    “The Austrian School came into existence when a bunch of Viennese rent-gouging landlords didn’t want rent control on the rents they could gouge out of their tenants in old Vienna, so they hired a bunch of scribblers--and that’s the Austrian School.”

-- Webster Tarpley, World Crisis Radio broadcast, 9/27/08, 1st hour

Or they're homeowners who intentionally voted themselves free money, and got it, in the form of the real estate bubble (the UK market is still averaging over 3 times what it was after the last crash in 1992).

The average price translates to about $257,000...which gets you something like this:



Pathetic isn't it?

Online worcesteradam

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Mortgages have overinflated house rices
plus the estate agents/banks routinely bypasses any  restrictions that existed.

see here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vT1UnGS91BY
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Offline Geolibertarian

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Study: Most Americans Want Wealth Distribution Similar to Sweden
« Reply #190 on: April 28, 2011, 02:17:56 pm »
http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews/article/569425/study%3A_most_americans_want_wealth_distribution_similar_to_sweden/

Study: Most Americans Want Wealth Distribution Similar to Sweden

By Daniel Tencer
AlterNet
April 24, 2011

Americans generally underestimate the degree of income inequality in the United States, and if given a choice, would distribute wealth in a similar way to the social democracies of Scandinavia, a new study finds.

For decades, polls have shown that a plurality of Americans -- around 40 percent -- consider themselves conservative, while only around 20 percent self-identify as liberals. But a new study from two noted economists casts doubt on what values lie beneath those political labels.

According to research (PDF) carried out by Michael I. Norton of Harvard Business School and Dan Ariely of Duke University, and flagged by Paul Kedrosky at the Infectious Greed blog, 92 percent of Americans would choose to live in a society with far less income disparity than the US, choosing Sweden's model over that of the US.

What's more, the study's authors say that this applies to people of all income levels and all political leanings: The poor and the rich, Democrats and Republicans are all equally likely to choose the Swedish model.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

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http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

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Re: Study: Most Americans Want Wealth Distribution Similar to Sweden
« Reply #191 on: April 28, 2011, 02:25:48 pm »
http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews/article/569425/study%3A_most_americans_want_wealth_distribution_similar_to_sweden/

Study: Most Americans Want Wealth Distribution Similar to Sweden

If the above article had appeared at an Austrian School web site, I suspect the title would have instead been something like:

    "Study: Most Americans Are Flaming Pinko Commies Who Hate Liberty, Despise Property Rights, and Loathe Working for a Living!"

::)
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://webofdebt.com
http://schalkenbach.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline freedom_commonsense

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Re: Study: Most Americans Want Wealth Distribution Similar to Sweden
« Reply #192 on: April 28, 2011, 03:15:42 pm »
If the above article had appeared at an Austrian School web site, I suspect the title would have instead been something like:

    "Study: Most Americans Are Flaming Pinko Commies Who Hate Liberty, Despise Property Rights, and Loathe Working for a Living!"

::)

Sweden's methods aren't in line with what we'd use though. Aside from high taxes, the state is heavily involved in delivering education\healthcare (which contradicts your desired policies).

"Sweden has a two step progressive tax scale with a municipal income tax of about 30% and an additional high-income state tax of 20–25% when a salary exceeds roughly 320,000 SEK per year. Payroll taxes amount to 32%. In addition, a national VAT of 25% is added to many things bought by private citizens, with the exception of food (12% VAT), transportation, and books (6% VAT). Certain items are subject to additional taxes, e.g. electricity, petrol/diesel and alcoholic beverages."

http://www.dn.se/DNet/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=3130&a=750879

Which totals about 47% of GDP.

Offline jerryweaver

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We are pretty much accepting the high taxes but the beneficiaries of the public largess is the bloated MIC and other projects foreign  to the constitutional mandate that our guberment alleges to operate under.


Online worcesteradam

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wealth redistribution away from federal government, is whats needed
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Offline Geolibertarian

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Re: Study: Most Americans Want Wealth Distribution Similar to Sweden
« Reply #195 on: April 29, 2011, 03:21:49 pm »
Sweden's methods aren't in line with what we'd use though.

I know, my point is that, in my experience, Austrian Schoolers tend to rail self-righteously against any system that seeks to secure a more equitable distribution of wealth and income. I know there may be exceptions here and there, but that nevertheless seems to be the general rule.

Quote
Aside from high taxes,

As you know, my position is that whether a tax is good or bad depends not on how "high" it is, but on what it's levied upon. If it's levied upon land values, it's a good tax, even at a high rate. (Especially at a hight rate, actually.) If it's levied instead upon the value of either labor or capital goods, it's a bad tax, even at a low rate.

Quote
the state is heavily involved in delivering education\healthcare (which contradicts your desired policies).

Well, as I've stated before, on the issue of health care I'm actually open to a single-payer system like the one they have in Canada. And on education, I support having tax-funded schools that are "public" in the same sense that libraries are "public." But I'm definitely opposed to both compulsory attendance laws and centralized control of school curriculum (which alone guarantees I'll never be welcome in the Democratic Party).

Returning to the issue of wealth distribution (the mere raising of which tends to conjure scary images of Karl Marx in the minds of most right-wing reactionaries), you may find the following quotes of particular interest:

"We differ from the socialists in our diagnosis of the evil and we differ from them as to remedies. We have no fear of capital, regarding it as the natural handmaiden of labor; we look on interest in itself as natural and just; we would set no limit to accumulation, nor impose on the rich any burden that is not equally placed on the poor; we see no evil in competition, but deem unrestricted competition to be as necessary to the health of the industrial and social organism as the free circulation of the blood is to the health of the bodily organism--to be the agency whereby the fullest cooperation is to be secured." -- Henry George, The Condition of Labor, p. 61

"Socialism takes no account of natural laws, neither seeking them nor striving to be governed by them....It is more destitute of any central and guiding principle than any philosophy I know of." -- Henry George, The Science of Political Economy, p. 198

"[In] truth I think that in trying to understand the socialists, you have confused yourself, which I don't wonder. The truth is that they do not understand themselves. As for Karl Marx, he is the prince of muddleheads." -- Henry George, An Anthology of Henry George's Thought, p. 78

"[John] Locke was not in error. The right of property in things produced by labor--and this is the only true right of property-- springs directly from the right of the individual to himself, or as Locke expressed it, from his 'property in his own person.'" -- Henry George, A Perplexed Philosopher, p. 30

"I believe that the right of property lies at the very foundation of the social order and that no community can be prosperous or any state stay secure when the right of property is denied, and the heaviest indictment against the present state of things is that it is a denial of the right of property. What is the right of property? From what does it spring? Is it not, as Adam Smith says, that the first and most sacred rights of property is the right of man to himself and to the produce of his own labor; and is not a system which takes from laborers the produce of their labor and puts it in the hands of men who do nothing whatever to earn it--is not that system a denial of the first and most sacred right of property?" -- Henry George, An Anthology of Henry George's Thought, p 88

     "Yet to whoever will grasp first principles it must be evident:
     "That there can be no real conflict between labor and capital--since capital is in origin and essence but the product and tool of labor;
     "That there can be no real antagonism between the rights of men and the rights of property--since the right of property is but the expression of the fundamental right of man;
     "That the road to the improvement of the conditions of the masses cannot be the road of restricting and denying the right of property, but can only be that of securing more fully the right of property; and that all measures that impair the right of property must in the end injure the masses--since while it may be possible that a few may get a living or be aided in the getting a living by robbery, it is utterly impossible that the many should.
     "It is not as deniers, but as asserters of the equal rights of man, that we who for want of a better term call ourselves single-tax men so strenuously uphold the right of property." -- Henry George, A Perplexed Philosopher, p. 209

"The right of life and liberty--that is to say, the right of the man to himself--is not really one right and the right of property another right.  They are two aspects of the same perception--the right of property being but another side, a differently stated expression, of the right of man to himself.  The right of life and liberty, and the right of the individual to himself, presupposes and involves the right of property, which is the exclusive right of the individual to the things his exertion has produced.
     "This is the reason why we who really believe in the law of liberty, we who see in freedom the great solvent for all social evils, are the stanchest and most unflinching supporters of the rights of property, and would guard it as scrupulously in the case of the millionaire as in the case of the day-laborer." -- Henry George, A Perplexed Philosopher, pp. 210-211

"To prevent government from becoming corrupt and tyrannous, its organization and methods should be as simple as possible, its functions be restricted to those necessary to the common welfare, and in all its parts it should be kept as close to the people and as directly within their control as may be." -- Henry George, Social Problems, p. 171

"The first and main purpose of government is admirably stated in that grand document which we Americans so honor and so ignore--the Declaration of Independence. It is to secure to men those equal and unalienable rights with which the Creator has endowed them." -- Henry George, Social Problems, p. 171

"The best use that could be made of our great law libraries…would be to send them to the paper mills….At the same time our statute-books are full of enactments which could, with advantage, be swept away. It is not the business of government to make men virtuous or religious, or to preserve the fool from the consequences of his own folly. Government should be repressive no further than is necessary to secure liberty by protecting the equal rights of each from aggression on the part of others, and the moment governmental prohibitions extend beyond this line they are in danger of defeating the very ends they are intended to serve." -- Henry George, Social Problems, p. 173

"It is not the business of government to direct the employment of labor and capital, and to foster certain industries at the expense of other industries." -- Henry George, Social Problems, p. 178

"These essays [by Herbert Spencer] are strongly individualistic, condemning even bitterly any use of governmental powers or funds to regulate the conditions of labor or alleviate the evils of poverty. In this Mr. Spencer was continuing and accentuating a line begun in 'Social Statics,' and, in the view of those who think as I do, was in the main right; for governmental interferences and regulations and bonuses are in their nature restrictions on freedom, and cannot cure evils that primarily flow from denials of freedom." -- Henry George, A Perplexed Philosopher, p. 66

"I have been an active, consistent and absolute free trader, and an opponent of all schemes that would limit the freedom of the individual. I have been a stancher denier of the assumption of the right of society to the possessions of each member, and a clearer and more resolute upholder of the rights of property than has Mr. [Herbert] Spencer. I have opposed every proposition to help the poor at the expense of the rich. I have always insisted that no man be taxed because of his wealth, and that no matter how many millions a man might rightfully get, society should leave to him every penny of them." -- Henry George, A Perplexed Philosopher, pp. 70-71

"For my part, I would put no limit on acquisition. No matter how many millions any man can get by methods which do not involve the robbery of others--they are his: let him have them. I would not even ask for charity, or have it dinned into his ears that it is his duty to help the poor. That is his own affair. Let him do as he pleases with his own, without restriction and without suggestion. If he gets without taking from others, and uses without hurting others, what he does with his wealth is his own business and his own responsibility." -- Henry George, Social Problems, p. 87

"What we want today to bring us all together is, not union under one government that shall assume to govern, but that absolute freedom of intercourse that shall entwine all interests, that absolute freedom of intercourse that shall establish a daily ferry from this side of Atlantic to the other side of the Atlantic, that shall make everyone belonging to any of these nations, wherever he may be on the territory of another, feel as though he were at home. That is what we strive for--for the freedom of all, for self-government to all--and for as little government as possible. We don't believe that tyranny is a thing alone of kings and monarchs; we know well that majorities can be as tyrannous as aristocracies; we know that mobs can persecute as well as crowned heads. What we ask for is freedom--that in each locality, large or small, the people of that locality shall be free to manage the affairs that pertain only to that locality; that each individual shall be free to manage the affairs that relate to him; that governments shall not presume to say of whom he shall buy or to whom he shall sell, shall not attempt to dictate to him in any way, but shall confine itself to its proper function of preserving the public peace, of preventing the strong from oppressing the weak, of utilizing for the public good all the revenues that belong of right to the public, and of managing those affairs that are best managed by the whole. Our doctrine is the doctrine of freedom, our gospel is the gospel of liberty..." -- Henry George, An Anthology of Henry George's Thought, p. 41

"The only reformer abroad in the world in my time who interested me in the least was Henry George, because his project did not contemplate prescription, but, on the contrary, would reduce it to almost zero. He was the only one of the lot who believed in freedom, or (as far as I could see) had any approximation to an intelligent idea of what freedom is, and of the economic prerequisites to attaining it....One is immensely tickled to see how things are coming out nowadays with reference to his doctrine, for George was in fact the best friend the capitalist ever had. He built up the most complete and most impregnable defense of the rights of capital that was ever constructed, and if the capitalists of his day had had sense enough to dig in behind it, their successors would not now be squirming under the merciless exactions which collectivism is laying on them, and which George would have no scruples whatever about describing as sheer highwaymanry." [Emphasis added] -- Albert Jay Nock, Free Speech and Plain Language, p. 159

"I do not wish to be misunderstood as falling into the trap of the socialists and communists who condemn all privately owned business, all factories, all machinery and organizations for producing wealth. There is nothing wrong with private corporations owning the means of producing wealth. Georgists believe in private enterprise, and in its virtues and incentives to produce at maximum efficiency. It is the insidious linking together of special privilege, the unjust outright private ownership of natural or public resources, monopolies, franchises, that produce unfair domination and autocracy.

"The means of producing wealth differ at the root: some is thieved from the people and some is honestly earned. George differentiated; Marx did not. The consequences of our failure to discern lie at the heart of our trouble."



"Marx's biggest error was to suppose that society could be improved by grand design: that the solution was to impose a new order, rather than to abolish privileges embedded in the existing order. His scheme actually rescued the aristocracy he had condemned, as it required an aristocracy to run it, and it pitted labor against capital, when, in fact, true capital is nothing more than the fruits of labor, and is a natural ally of labor against privilege....

"The errors of anti-Marxists derive mostly from overreaction -- from denying whatever Marx asserted, replacing Marxist half-truths with equally false anti-Marxist half-truths. Often, in so doing, they fall into the trap of accepting underlying Marxist assumptions....

"While Marx treated land as capital to attack it, anti-Marxists treat land as capital to defend it. This not only accepts the Marxist redefinition of capital, but causes anti-Marxists to say absurd things about land that make sense only with regard to true capital.

"Buying into the Marxist equation of wealth and privilege, anti-Marxists defend privilege as if it were wealth. They do this with regard not only to land, but to banking, incorporation, franchises, the overextension of patents, etc. While there are sometimes glimmers of theoretical distinctions, there is a near constant defense of those parties whose wealth comes almost entirely from capitalized privilege, and only minimally from true capital. Such errors defy logic, are inconsistent with classical liberalism, and are intuitively rejected by the unindoctinated."

"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://webofdebt.com
http://schalkenbach.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline freedom_commonsense

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Re: Study: Most Americans Want Wealth Distribution Similar to Sweden
« Reply #196 on: April 29, 2011, 03:40:56 pm »
I know, my point is that, in my experience, Austrian Schoolers tend to rail self-righteously against any system that seeks to secure a more equitable distribution of wealth and income. I know there may be exceptions here and there, but that nevertheless seems to be the general rule.

Fair enough.

As you know, my position is that whether a tax is good or bad depends not on how "high" it is, but on what it's levied upon. If it's levied upon land values, it's a good tax, even at a high rate. (Especially at a hight rate, actually.) If it's levied instead upon the value of either labor or capital goods, it's a bad tax, even at a low rate.

When I said high, I also elaborated that they're the same old wage and sales taxes that we see all over Europe, and they're incredibly high even by UK standards.

Well, as I've stated before, on the issue of health care I'm actually open to a single-payer system like the one they have in Canada. And on education, I support having tax-funded schools that are "public" in the same sense that libraries are "public." But I'm definitely opposed to both compulsory attendance laws and centralized control of school curriculum (which alone guarantees I'll never be welcome in the Democratic Party).

France has something more akin to a single payer healthcare system than the Nordic countries. As for schooling, well I can't think of a country that doesn't have compulsory attendance laws.

Returning to the issue of wealth distribution (the mere raising of which tends to conjure scary images of Karl Marx in the minds of most right-wing reactionaries), you may find the following quotes of particular interest

Thanks, I'll be sure to reference them in order to seperate Georgism from Marxism in the eyes of Chicago School adherents. :)

Offline africknamerican

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Re: Study: Most Americans Want Wealth Distribution Similar to Sweden
« Reply #197 on: April 29, 2011, 08:53:08 pm »
http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews/article/569425/study%3A_most_americans_want_wealth_distribution_similar_to_sweden/

Study: Most Americans Want Wealth Distribution Similar to Sweden



Or you could call it "Jeffersonian" wealth distribution.

The problem is not about the end -- a better distribution of wealth, but it's about the means, and about the bureaucratic socialist state that usually accompanies it.

Most social democracies like Sweden tax (and regulate and bureaucratize) to achieve equal outcomes. This ends up stifling incentives and innovation. Actually, the Swedish seem to love it, but they are a conformist people. Equalizing outcomes rubs most Americans the wrong way.

A Georgist system, however, would simply serve to distribute the opportunity to create wealth, like a substitute for distributing land back in the day of homesteading. And people could do with that opportunity whatever they like.  IF opportunity is equal, hard work, innovation etc. could lead to natural wealth disparities but nothing like the disparities we have today.

Offline Freeski

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Re: Study: Most Americans Want Wealth Distribution Similar to Sweden
« Reply #198 on: April 29, 2011, 09:41:08 pm »


Or you could call it "Jeffersonian" wealth distribution.

The problem is not about the end -- a better distribution of wealth, but it's about the means, and about the bureaucratic socialist state that usually accompanies it.

Most social democracies like Sweden tax (and regulate and bureaucratize) to achieve equal outcomes. This ends up stifling incentives and innovation. Actually, the Swedish seem to love it, but they are a conformist people. Equalizing outcomes rubs most Americans the wrong way.

A Georgist system, however, would simply serve to distribute the opportunity to create wealth, like a substitute for distributing land back in the day of homesteading. And people could do with that opportunity whatever they like.  IF opportunity is equal, hard work, innovation etc. could lead to natural wealth disparities but nothing like the disparities we have today.

Good post, dude.

I'm leaning more towards a localized concept where I only need about a dozen people to keep me happy. A carpenter, doctor, electrician, mechanic, programmer, farmer, baker, dentist, trash collector, store owner, etc. Point being, maybe there's a finite number of people that we actually "need"? Maybe we need a billion local networks of free people?

f**k Wal-Mart.
"He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it." Martin Luther King, Jr.

Offline africknamerican

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Re: Study: Most Americans Want Wealth Distribution Similar to Sweden
« Reply #199 on: April 30, 2011, 07:39:19 pm »
Well, as I've stated before, on the issue of health care I'm actually open to a single-payer system like the one they have in Canada. And on education, I support having tax-funded schools that are "public" in the same sense that libraries are "public." But I'm definitely opposed to both compulsory attendance laws and centralized control of school curriculum (which alone guarantees I'll never be welcome in the Democratic Party).

Single-payer? Say it isn't so!

It's a great theory -- "Congress pays, you choose" -- but when has government ever paid for anything and left you free to choose? Single-payer would be accompanied with all the govt. dictates and restrictions we have today, possibly even more.

I support public health services, in theory, if the people of a town, city or county want them -- although I live in the second biggest county in the nation (Cook County, Chicago area), which evidently is way too big since county govt. and its hospital system suffer all the legendary inefficiencies, corruptiion, nepotism etc. associated with Chicago. If you want to have a public health system, you'd better keep it super-local. Outside of Chicago, we still have township goverments (which are only a few miles square), and some of those, particularly the rural or semirural ones, provide health clinics. Somethin the size of a township or large school district seems about the level on which to provide such services and still maintain enough public oversight to avoid corruption. Combined with a radical free-marketization (??) of health care -- which would include lifting the restrictions on charity care, and many other layers of red tape, subsidies, etc., I think health care would be accessible to everyone. No further government involvement should be needed, and certainly no interference by the long arm of Washington.

On libraries vs. schools, I think libraries are the ideal schools. They offer free access to materials, they are relatively unpoliticized, and nobody tells you when you must come or what you must learn. More and bigger libraries, locally funded and controlled, could host all sorts of different classes, homeschoolers, and tutoring relationships.

The problem with schooling is, the "compulsory" aspect, the controlled curricula, the unions, the bureaucracy, etc., seem to be inseparable now. How would you separate state funding from the whole litany of other things that follow in its trail? Government schooling has devolved from being a service, a convenience for the community, into a religion, and its chief article of faith is that education cannot take place without a whole host of "experts" running the machine and imposing "standards."  

Seems to me that in order to break the faulty logic of "if 'government' pays, then government gets to control," you have to defund the system, give people vouchers (better yet, just their individual CD, from which they decide how much to spend on education), so it's understood the money belongs to the parents, therefore the choice belongs to the parents as well. Defund and deregulate the "system," fund parents instead, and the schools themselves go from being govt. schools pretending to serve the public, to real schools that actualy answer to the public and therefore must serve them.