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Wealth and Inequality in America

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Thirty years experience shows that the theory that making the wealthiest people in a nation richer will trickle down to the poor and middle class does not work.  Deregulation and and a huge decrease in high income individuals' tax rates transferred money from the middle class to the wealthy over three decades and resulted in the financial meltdown from which our nation has not yet recovered.  The pie chart  to the left shows that the bottom 50% of Americans own only 2.5% of wealth while the top 10% owns over 70%.

Other slides show the stagnation in the average hourly wage, the huge increases in income for the top 10%, the decline in the share of income for the bottom 90%, the relationship of income to changes in tax rates, and comparisons to the wealth gap in other countries. See the slides: "15 Mind Blowing Facts about Wealth and Inequality in America."

In a recent article, Roberrt Reich points out that the wealthy used to fund the government by paying taxes.  In the last 30 years, the wealthy funded the government through loans.  Just like foreign governments that buy U.S. bonds, the wealthy will stop buying them if deficits become too large and they fear the U.S. government might default on the loans.  See Reich's article, "The Great Switch by the Super Rich."

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In June 2012, Think Again MN launched a history series that examines politics and policy-making in Minnesota during the last century from the immediate post World War II years up through the 1990s. That era witnessed fierce legislative battles at the State Capitol but it was also a time of shared values that cut across partisan lines. 

Read about it here

MN's Leading Election System

MN's Leading Election System

With Secretary of State Steve Simon

 

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Listen to Secretary of State Steve Simon's excellent presentation on MN's outstanding election system emulated by many other states at the Think Again Brooklyns forum January 19, 2016.  Secretary Simon includes ways in which it can be improved, and he explains why it is important to vote.  He concludes with a quote from a tee shirt:  "Failure to vote is not an act of rebellion.  It is an act of surrender."

Get details on how to vote at http://mnvotes.org

Oregon's Automatic Voter Registration

How Oregon Became the Easiest Place to Vote in the US

By Lornet Turnbull
YES! Magazine
October 8, 2016


In January, Oregon became the first state in the country to begin automatically registering eligible citizens to vote when they obtain or renew their driver's licenses or state IDs, completely shifting the burden of voter registration from the individual to the government. 

Read the Article

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