Mark Naison: Race to the Top redistributes income and not in a good way. Why has this ambitious education reform effort become an economic engine in reverse for poor and working class families.
Richard “RJ” Eskow: Roughly two-thirds of Americans who make $10,000 per year or less are women. The gender balance only reaches 50/50 status as it approaches the income levels we commonly think of as ‘middle class.’
Shiela Kuehl: Proposition 38, which amends state statutes (not the Constitution) to increase state income tax for any Californian earning more than $7316 a year, and allocates the increased revenues to K-12 education, state debt and early childhood education.
Steve Hochstadt: One obvious conclusion is that high, even very high tax rates on the wealthiest taxpayers do not impede economic growth.
Mark Naison: We can do a lot more to promote racial and economic equality through programs of progressive taxation, promotion of unionization in low wage enterprises, and efforts to uproot discrimination in the labor market.
Mark Naison: If I dare to dream, I can see where this collaboration between Occupy and Labor might lead—to the unionization of Wal-Mart, to the unionization of McDonalds, to the unionization of financial services workers in the nation’s largest banks.
Randy Shaw: Occupy has gone beyond the usual suspects and given a new generation of activists a desperately needed vehicle for advancing progressive change.
Robert Reich: You can bet Republicans will continue to harp about the large portion of low-wage earners who pay no income taxes — without mentioning that they pay a higher portion of their incomes than anyone else in payroll and sales taxes.
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?
Adam Eran: Historic tax reductions on the wealthy, and the Wall-Street-Fraud recession, have reduced public revenues, and this reduction now makes otherwise too-popular-to-cut programs vulnerable. But are such cuts really necessary?
David Love: I’m betting on Japan to win this, with their ganbatte spirit, highly educated workforce, long-term strategy and dedication to technological advancement.
Robert Reich: The best outcome would be an agreement to extend the tax cuts for the bottom 99 percent, for two years. This would stimulate the economy in the short term when it most needs it, and reduce the long-term deficit.
If you’re able and willing I’d urge you to descend on Washington the moment Congress returns from recess. There is nothing quite as persuasive to a member of Congress as real live constituent demanding real reform.