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A Do-Over for Our Unequal Economy?


A Do-Over for Our Unequal Economy?

Sam Pizzigati

The basic idea behind the “mulligan” ­– you flub a shot, you get to take the shot again — may be golf’s most endearing contribution to world civilization.

In our real-world economy, unfortunately, we don’t get to take mulligans. We certainly could use one. Here in the United States, a new report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office makes depressingly clear, we’ve essentially flubbed the last three decades.


More pabulum to deconstruct.

I am not a mathematician or an economist but like millions of others, I KNOW when I'm getting financially screwed. Most components of today's economy (and the economic theories used to keep it in place) are designed to SCREW working families.

So, once again, the frame that takes what the dark financial wizards and billionaire funded think tanks put into operation and claims that WE did this... is a lie. Yeah, it's a lie told often and one poster claims it's "just rhetorical."

Bull shit.

As Thomas Piketty's treatise reveals: Wealth was deliberately sent to the top of the financial food chain through a number of stealth devices, the crash of Wall Street in 2008 being one of them.

This type of language frame is used antiseptically. It doesn't separate the ARCHITECTS of the heist from those it impacts:

"Here in the United States, a new report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office makes depressingly clear, we’ve essentially flubbed the last three decades."

To me, the phenomena could come right out of the film trio, "The Matrix."

Those who are still under the spell of the machine world with its all-alike Mr. Smith clones don't challenge language structures. They even argue these are heard often as if that isn't PROOF of just how indoctrinating these passive mantra-like message frames are and become.

Again, I am no economist but I certainly am not part of the WE (nor are millions of citizens inside the U.S. and around the world) that sent this money to the 1% Donor Caste.

We didn't FLUB. And the MIC didn't "lose" wars that are themselves required to be sustained in order to guarantee the money stream to the Pentagon and Weapons suppliers.

Writers who share important statistics while reinforcing the paradigms that are the cause of the world's troubles provide a weak service... if the goal is to educate fellow citizens in order to bring about that critical mass consciousness that will collapse the system of the Money changers, like the foundation eroded--sunken sink-hole style--out from under it.

Watch for falling debris!


This at last gets to the crux of the issue with accuracy:

"None of this substantial transfer of wealth — to America’s economic summit — had to happen. Policy makers chose to make to happen, by changing the rules on everything from taxes and trade to labor law and business regulation."

Citizens United.

K-Street a mecca for Washington lobbyists

Koch Brothers' think tanks setting the agenda

Presidential elections costing a cool BILLION

The corporate capture of mass media

= The results of The Page & Gilens Study: That citizens have virtually NO influence over or agency through which to alter the major policies that end up implemented.

Instead of "we," how about next time accurately defining the perpetrators and benefactors of said policies...

Here is a hint (from your own text):

"Families in the top 1 percent have done the best of all. Their overall share of the nation’s wealth, the new CBO report finds, has jumped from 31 percent in 1989 to 37 percent in 2013.

"These figures may understate how unequal the U.S. economy has become. Other reputable statistical methodologies, the CBO report acknowledges, put the current top 1 percent share of the nation’s wealth as high as 42 percent."

It helps to also relate that this phenomenon is global in scope... with less than 100 families owning half the world's wealth.

That didn't happen by accident.

A modern era of colonialism is underway only this time the conquistadors are the corporations.


Re a Do-Over:
Adding: monetary code is the dominant coding structure for culture's relationship / reality interface, internally, and with geo, eco bio & tech networks.

Because of our species exponential increases in population and tech power, our reach / impacts in-and-across those networks and over time have increased vastly as well.

In a very real sense, we're doing natural selection with monetary code. Not the only code / coding structure in the cultural repertoire, but again, the dominant one for ordering complex network relationships into hierarchies.

How's that working out? We're converting the sky and ocean into terrorists, arming them with weapons of mass extinction.
For more, please see: Culture, Complexity & Code2 http://ow.ly/4mJQ2r


Eight years after the 2008 crash we have not restored any of the New Deal regulations that prevented bubbles and crashes, and held back the subject income and wealth inequality for a half century and we are not even stopping the continued dismantling of what remains of the New Deal, how are we going to get anywhere close to accomplishing any of the author's Do-Over proposals ?

Breaking the new ground required to accomplish the author's proposals is a far heavier lift than restoring and expanding time tested New Deal regulations.


The formal term in economics for a mulligan is jubilee.

It means to forgive all debts at once.

Consider the other associations that you may have with that word or the related jubilant or to jubilate. Apparently, this is what happens when a society decides that wealthy people just do not own nor are owed what they claim to.

Consider what motives Sam Pizzigati might have to mention Donald Trump's economics in passing but completely avoid Hillary Clinton. May he rail all day against Donald Trump, but the omission of Clinton here suggests that the author takes her policies to involve "a do-over for our unequal economy."

It is also interesting that this is presented as though the wealth of average Americans had really stayed more or less level. Who or what is that little piece of nondata supposed to fool, and what for?

Mr. Pizzigati? Head off the desk, sir: we're live.


I'm curious, Sam. What makes you think a "do over" under the same economic and political systems would produce a different result?


Direct democracy is economic democracy.

Let the people decide!


I'm all on board with direct (pure) democracy. However, natureboy, that is only one side of the coin. We are being deceitful if we don't also talk about the need for enhanced personal responsibility and accountability that is required in a society under direct democracy.

By the way, this is not a criticism.

I just think people need to realize that participatory, direct democracy comes with responsibility. However, breaking the chains of our corrupted system of representative democracy will reveal what real democracy can and will accomplish.

Regardless of what detractors will say, implementing direct democracy with today's technology is a very easy task.


good point. a jubilee is about the only humane option left for peonage.
And this will take a virtual revolt to achieve.


If we can make the revolt virtual, I am far better prepared. Would I could take on everyone's debt at once. The bill collectors could come by, and I could offer them turnips.

It seems that's how debt works, eventually.

More seriously, I don't think we can take them directly. I don't know that we shall be able to do this with mass nonviolent action either, or at least not by itself. I am trying to work out how it might be possible to organize and foment very extensive and non-centralized acts of non-participation, nonpayment, direct disobedience, and sort of bootstrapping an alternate economy.

One of the difficulties that does not seem to get anticipated by the people whom I meet in this sort of endeavor is that this government and its financiers are actually quite experienced about crushing that sort of thing as well. It has in many ways been the sort of resistance that has existed in colonies and slaving areas. To a large extent, NAFTA and TPP are designed to kill things like this.

Let's keep at the revolt thing and try to work something out. I don't think a violent revolution will fly, and it appears that the electoral options may have become deceased prematurely.


hardest part is just understanding that old habits aren't working and won't work anymore. that's half the battle it seems to me.
i still think there's lots of room to be creative, if anything, to stop the bleeding. so I'm not a proponent of any one method over another. I'm only a proponent of success, and whatever gets there is fine by me. We have a profound right to self-defense, and that includes from the state and its private financiers.
It's time we started exercising that right.


Yes. The alternatives are murder.


Given the topic, consider some cultural norms...

Under Judaism and Christianity, people are obliged to pay a tithe, 10% of their income, to the common good, as represented and managed by the Levites and the Church.

Under Islam, people are obliged to pay 3% of their wealth. It goes in the same direction, collected by and managed for the public good by the religious establishment. People in all these systems don't get credit for private charity done outside the formal 10% or 3% system.

BTW, I am curious: What is the level of inequality in Muslim nations?

I can easily imagine that Common Dreamers would want a 'progressive' system of wealth assessment, where a 'liveable' amount of wealth of the poorest is exempt from assessment, and the assessment rate goes up from there, to reach a point of a maximum amount of wealth, which no one is allowed to exceed...