Sunday, July 01, 2018

Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Sam Pizzigati makes the case for an effective maximum wage - and notes that the U.S.' historical top tax brackets were based on the recognition that excessive top-end income can have harmful effects for everybody:
In 1942, shortly after Pearl Harbor, FDR asked Congress for a 100% top tax rate that would leave no individuals with more than $25,000 of annual income – about $375,000 today – after taxes.

America’s top unions backed FDR’s plan – and so, Gallup pollsters reported, did a clear plurality of Americans. Congress felt the heat. By 1944, America’s richest faced a 94% tax rate on income over $200,000. Our top tax rate hovered around 90% for the next two decades, a span of time that saw the United States give birth to the world’s first mass middle class.

America in those years became significantly more equal. By 1970, the 1%’s share had sunk to a tenth of the nation’s income, versus a quarter in 1928. The bottom 90%’s share had jumped to two-thirds.
The maximum wage is an idea whose time has come. I think most Americans would agree that no enterprise where workers would have to labor over a century to make what their CEOs can make in a year should get a single one of our tax dollars.
- Michelle Goldberg notes that millennial voters are embracing democratic socialism. And Dylan Scott points out that the U.S. Democrats (and other parties seeking progressive votes) can accomplish far more by embracing popular progressive ideas than by tilting to the neoliberal centre.

- Suzi Weissman interviews David Graeber about the rise of bullshit jobs - along with the path forward to try to reduce workers' reliance on socially pointless or counterproductive employment to stay afloat.

- Finally, Kathleen Belton highlights some of the steps we can take to reduce the amount of plastic we dump into our environment.

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