September 6, 2012


By Jessica Chau

Today we feature Nobel-prize winning economist, Joseph Stiglitz, and a letter to the editor about the rich getting richer.

Mitt Romney is obligated to pay his fair share of taxes

Gulf News, Joseph E. Stiglitz, 9/6/2012

Mitt Romney’s income taxes have become a major issue in the American presidential campaign. Is this just petty politics, or does it really matter? In fact, it does matter – and not just for Americans.

A major theme of the underlying political debate in the United States is the role of the state and the need for collective action. The private sector, while central in a modern economy, cannot ensure its success alone. For example, the financial crisis that began in 2008 demonstrated the need for adequate regulation.

. . . public goods must be paid for, and it is imperative that everyone pays their fair share. While there may be disagreement about what that entails, those at the top of the income distribution who pay 15 per cent of their reported income (money accruing in tax shelters in the Cayman Islands and other tax havens may not be reported to US authorities) clearly are not paying their fair share.

There is an old adage that a fish rots from the head. If presidents and those around them do not pay their fair share of taxes, how can we expect that anyone else will? And if no one does, how can we expect to finance the public goods that we need?

Letter: Welfare for the rich

The Commercial Appeal [Memphis, Tenn], 9/6/2012

Murray Hudson, Halls, Tenn.

In its best sense, “the American Dream” is an opportunity for everyone to succeed.  It is a perversion of that dream for a handful of oligarchs to try to remake the United States more like today’s Russia.

Many, like Donald Trump and the Koch brothers, were born into billions, but unlike Andrew Carnegie they’re not building lots of libraries or, like the MacArthurs, helping brilliant thinkers try to make this a better world. Too many of the 1 percent who own nearly half our wealth want to “have it all.”

Republicans have had the presidency or Congress or both for 26 of the past 32 years. Starting with Ronald Reagan smashing the FAA, unions and wages have declined. The middle class has shrunk. Corporations have made most of their gains in the past decade or more from cutting jobs, wages and benefits.


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