Psst! Wanna Buy a Bridge for Cash?

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Wendy McElroy: If America’s most aggressive state crackdown on the “gray market” in used goods proves to be revenue-enhancing, other cash-starved states are likely to follow Louisiana’s lead.

Why Obama Should Break Up Big Banks

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Robert Reich: What better way for Obama to distinguish himself from Romney than to condemn Wall Street’s antics since the bailout, and call for real reform?

A Jubilee for Student Debt?

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Ellen Brown: Eliminating, reducing, or deferring student loan debt will free up the budgets of millions of students, allowing them to spend more on goods and services, increasing demand and creating jobs, and adding to tax revenues.

The Flat-Tax Fraud, and the Necessity of a Truly Progressive Tax

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Robert Reich: Simple fairness requires three things: More tax brackets at the top, higher rates in each bracket, and the treatment of all sources of income (capital gains included) exactly the same.

Drinks Are on the House (and Senate)

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Walter Brasch: “As long as the Republicans control Congress,” said Marshbaum, “the American way of life will be preserved. Want a drink now?”

Occupy Wall Street’s “Gullible” and “Unsophisticated” Protesters

wall street okotoberfest

Joseph Palermo: Prosperity never “trickles down.” And people are finally catching on. The housing bubble went too far. It destroyed too many lives and livelihoods to go unquestioned and unpunished, as Wall Street (and Washington) would like it.

The Need for a Progressive Alternative

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Robert Reich: Without bold alternatives, Americans desperate for big solutions are attracted to bold crackpot ideas like Herman Cain’s “9-9-9” proposal, which would raise taxes on the poor and cut them for the rich.

The Rise of the Regressive Right and the Reawakening of America

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Robert Reich: Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann and the other tribunes of today’s Republican right aren’t really conservatives. Their goal isn’t to conservative what we have. It’s to take us backwards.

The Public Banking Option: The German Model

BANK OF NORTH DAKOTA

Ellen Brown: Publicly-owned banks were instrumental in funding Germany’s “economic miracle” after the devastation of World War II. Although the German public banks have been targeted in the last decade for takedown by their private competitors, the model remains a viable alternative to the private profiteering being protested on Wall Street today.

Occupy Wall Street: Separating Fact from Media

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Walter Brasch: Even the most oblivious recognize the protestors as a large cross-section of America. They are students and teachers; housewives, plumbers, and physicians; combat veterans from every war from World War II to the present.

Occupy Repatriation

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Brent Budowsky: Democrats should oppose, Congress should defeat and the American people will reject any windfall repatriation tax bonus to American companies that have exported American jobs.

Behind Europe’s Debt Crisis Lurks Another Giant Bailout of Wall Street

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Robert Reich: Republicans and Wall Street executives who continue to yell about Dodd-Frank overkill are dead wrong. The fact no one seems to know Morgan’s exposure to European banks or derivatives – or that of most other giant Wall Street banks – shows Dodd-Frank didn’t go nearly far enough.

Sheared by the Shorts: How Speculators Fleece Investors

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Ellen Brown: When done on a large enough scale, short selling can force prices down, allowing assets to be picked up very cheaply.

California Legislature Passes Bill to Study State-Owned Bank

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Ellen Brown: California, like North Dakota, is resource-rich. A state-owned bank will allow it to capitalize on its resources to full advantage, by providing the credit needed to realize its potential.

The Republican Weapon of Mass Cynicism

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Robert Reich: If we can’t trust government at a time like this, whom can we trust? Corporations? Wall Street? Bill Gates and Warren Buffett? Or is each of us now simply on our own?

Micro Politics and the Fear of Small Government

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Mario Rivas: Bell will forever stand as a stark reality of what can happen when too much trust and power are given to small government in the hands of the corrupt.

War: Fiscal Stimulus of Last Resort

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Ellen Brown: Diverting a portion of our massive war spending to peaceful use could add jobs, improve living standards, and add infrastructure, while reducing the national debt and balancing the government’s budget by increasing the tax base and government revenues.

Financial Regulation Kills Jobs? Perhaps Not

Marian Wang: But separate from the jobs created to actually handle new regulation, others have pointed out that regulations can have a long-term, positive effect on overall economic growth by preventing the types of crises that put an industry on life-support.

S&P: So What!

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Mark Pash: Ongoing investigations by the SEC and Justice Department, Congress and federal regulators who are looking at ways to implement the Dodd-Frank Act, which contains provisions aimed at reducing the raters’ role in the financial system.

Inequality: The Real Cause of America’s Economic Woes

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Robert Reich: During periods when the very rich took home a much smaller proportion of total income — as in the Great Prosperity between 1947 and 1977 — the nation as a whole grew faster and median wages surged.

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Rick Perry’s Secret Plan to Save Blue States from the Red States

Robert Reich: Of all the nonsense Texas Governor Rick Perry spews about states’ rights and the tenth amendment, his dumbest is the notion that states should go it alone.

Nevada Wallops Bank of America With Sweeping Suit

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Paul Kiel: Nevada’s action signals that the banks’ problems with home mortgages—the main cause of the financial crisis—continue to burden them and rattle investors.

Blacks and Latinos Will Suffer When the Student Debt Bubble Bursts

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David Love: There is every indication that the bursting of the student debt bubble, like the housing bubble before it, is imminent. And when it happens, it will send shockwaves throughout the financial markets. People of color will be especially vulnerable.

Protests, Not Parades, This Labor Day

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Robert Reich: Labor Day is traditionally a time for picnics and parades. But this year is no picnic for American workers, and a protest march would be more appropriate than a parade.

Stock Tip: Be Worried. Workers are Consumers.

Iranian medical delegation at the Agent Orange conference in Hanoi.

Robert Reich: Every CEO of every company that continues to squeeze payrolls (Verizon, are you listening? Ford?) needs to understand they’re shooting themselves in the feet. Where do they expect demand for their products and services to come from?

Latinos Support Raising Taxes on Wealthy

Pilar Morrero

Pilar Marrero: According to our poll, Latino voters are also almost completely opposed to balancing the budget following the formula of the GOP and the Tea Party: only budget cuts.

Democrats Must Push Back

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Norman Solomon: Call me old-fashioned, but I believe in the vital lessons of the New Deal. Many millions of good jobs must be created — and that will require well-funded federal jobs programs on a large scale.

Well-To-Do Americans Getting More Benefits than the Poor

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Sherwood Ross: All the Federal welfare checks, food stamps, and unemployment benefits don’t begin to add up to the more than $1 trillion in indirect tax breaks awarded annually to America’s middle- and upper-classes.

The Debt Ceiling Crisis: Let’s Get Personal

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Walter Brasch: Since you like hunting, and they like hunting, your banker friends will let you buy all the guns and ammunition you want. But, they can’t help you on your health bills, or even lower the insurance premiums and co-pays. And, they can’t do much for that inflated mortgage payment. Or to help you find another job.

The Costs of War

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Vijay Prashad: The drain of wealth to the war economy is a massive regressive taxation on the population: the rich who pay a much smaller proportion of their taxes and the corporations are insulated from the costs of war, and indeed some of them benefit from the windfalls of war.

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