Daily Archives: May 6, 2012

“In the United States, almost all the gains from productivity growth have been going to the top 1 percent”

… and ….

The world’s productivity revolution is outpacing the political will of rich societies to fairly distribute its benefits. The result is widening inequality coupled with slow growth and stubbornly high unemployment.

I think Robert Reich has some interesting things to day in his essay: The Answer Isn’t Socialism; It’s Capitalism That Better Spreads the Benefits of the Productivity Revolution

Although I also think he’s kind of playing on the word “socialism” ina way that is not fully necessary, but that’s OK.

A resurgent right insists on even more tax breaks for corporations and the rich, massive cuts in public spending that will destroy what’s left of our safety nets, including Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid, fewer rights for organized labor, more deregulation of labor markets, and a lower (or no) minimum wage.

This is, quite simply, nuts.

And this is why a second Obama administration, should there be one, must focus its attention on more broadly distributing the gains from growth. This doesn’t mean “redistributing” from rich to poor, as in a zero-sum game. To the contrary, the rich will do far better with a smaller share of a robust, growing economy than they’re doing with a large share of an economy that’s barely moving forward.

As in the “Keep the money moving” theory of making for a stronger economy.

Advertiser walks away from anti-science Heartland

This just in:

Diageo announces it is to end funding of Heartland Institute
Diageo, one the world’s largest drinks companies, has announced it will no longer fund the Heartland Institute, a rightwing US thinktank which briefly ran a billboard campaign this week comparing people concerned about climate change to mass murderers and terrorists, such as Osama bin Laden, Charles Manson and Ted Kaczynski.

On Thursday, a billboard appeared over the Eisenhower Expressway in Illinois showing a picture of Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber who in 1996 was convicted of a 17-year mail bombing campaign that killed three people and injured dozens. The caption read: “I still believe in global warming. Do you?” A day later it was withdrawn.

Extraordinary gas fire in Minneapolis

We had a hella storm come through the Twin Cities last night. Some hail, some wind, but piles of lightning. And then this happened in Dinkytown: Lightning struck a high power line, which fell across a couple of parked cars and stayed “live.” The live line heated up the pavement on the street enough that it caused a buried gas line to explode.

I’m pretty sure there are details we don’t know yet. Perhaps there was already a leak and the gas that caught on fire was already out of the pipe. Perhaps the lightning grounded through the gas line and that is what sparked the fire. Either way it totally freaked the fire department guys. They’ll be talking about this for a while!

Ever see anything like this before?

Details here.