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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

"Because you're right, Bernie, you're right!"

...throngs of people—with a noticeable presence of students and young adults—waited for more than an hour in a line (in Portland, Maine) that stretched around the building in order to hear the presidential candidate's populist message. (9,000 jammed into the venue. 10,000 had attended one last week in Madison, Wisconsin.)

From DemocracyNow!

"AMY GOODMAN: Bernie Sanders is also talking about taxing the rich. Now, taxes in the U.S., the standard wisdom is you can’t talk about it. But we’re seeing a level of wealth going from the bottom to the top like we’ve never seen in history. Can you talk about what that would look like?

RICHARD WOLFF: Yes. In one way, it’s easy to talk about it, because it’s going back to something we in America once had. I often have to explain to people, because of our strange way of—I don’t know—amnesia about our economic history, what we once had. I’ll give you an example. At the end of World War II, for every dollar paid into the federal government by individuals in personal income tax, corporations paid $1.50. In other words, corporations as a whole paid 50 percent more than individuals as a whole. Today the relationship is, for every dollar that we as individuals pay in taxes, corporations pay 25 cents. In other words, there’s been a change in the taxes. I’ll give you another example. In the ’50s and ’60s, the richest people paid an income tax rate of 90 percent or above. Today they pay 39 percent, is the maximum.

So, what we’ve seen—and Bernie said it quite right—is a massive change in the tax structure, benefiting the richest and putting the burden on the middle and the bottom. And all we are asking—people like Bernie Sanders or, for that matter, me—is that we go back to what we had, especially when you remember that the '50s and ’60s, when we taxed the rich, we had rates of economic growth much faster than we've had now that we don’t tax them anymore. We have lower kinds of economic development, because we help the rich, which is bizarre, because the argument for helping the rich has always been that’s what you need to do to get economic growth, but the actual history of the United States is the reverse.''

--Richard Wolff, professor emeritus of economics at University of Massachusetts, Amherst, visiting professor at New School University, has written a number of books. Among his latest is the book, Democracy at Work: A Cure for Capitalism. Also has a radio show that broadcasts on Pacifica radio stations and community radio stations around the country, called Economic Update.

And, even better, Dr. Jill Stein is seeking the Green Party's nomination again: Things are looking up.