Amazon raises minimum wage to $15 for all U.S. workers

Political pressure works, y'all!

  • Even seasonal/temp workers will benefit from the wage raise.
  • The announcement is a direct response to public and political pressure.
  • The change begins November 1 — Merry Happy HoliXmas to folks who work there!
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Dear Jeff Bezos, what are you going to do with all that money?

Economist Jeffrey Sachs discusses how the megarich can help millions of children by donating 1 percent of their wealth.

  • In 2006 there were about 700 billionaires with a total net worth of about $3 trillion. Today there are 2,208 billionaires with a total net worth of $9.1 trillion. A tiny fraction of that wealth could keep millions of kids alive and in school.
  • Jeffrey Sachs, who argues that the world economy isn't "exactly fair," proposes the ultra rich give 1 percent of their collective wealth — about $100 billion — to help meet everyone's basic needs. "What I know — as an economist that has worked all over the world, including in the poorest places in the world— [is that] little bits can save lives and make futures for the children of this world..."
  • If plutocrats don't give voluntarily, Sachs recommends putting an SDG levy, a Sustainable Development Goals levy, on 1 percent of their collective wealth. "We're going to get this job done. We're going to get every child healthcare. We're going to get every child into school."

“Let’s get something done”: The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

How the U.N. hatched the most ambitious plan in the world.

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  • The United Nation's goals by 2030 are to eliminate world hunger, provide universal healthcare, and more.
  • Research shows that there is more than enough money to build a future that is smart, fair and sustainable.
  • Like the moon-landing in 1969, these goals are achievable... if people can work together.
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A Columbia Professor Grades Trump’s Economic Policy

Jeffrey Sachs, from the Rust Belt himself, shares his thoughts on Trump's economic plans and shares some red flags to watch for as new policy proposals surface.

The Rust Belt was promised a lot this election – will those promises, which are now transitioning into policies, be made good? Economist and UN advisor Jeffrey Sachs is a Rust Belt native himself, and believes it’s in the hands of people in that area to take an informed look at the economic proposals of the Trump administration – will these proposals benefit the average person, or is there misdirection and populist scapegoating at play that will only serve to make the rich richer? Sachs provides some red markers to watch for when listening to policy proposals, and offers a question to keep in mind: "Who is going to pay for that tax break?" It may not be the answer the people of the Rust Belt signed up for. Jeffrey Sachs's most recent book is Building the New American Economy: Smart, Fair, and Sustainable.

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Can Universal Basic Income Fix America’s Inequality?

Can't the U.S. be a little more like Scandinavia in its ethos? Fixing inequality in America will take more than economic reform, it will also need a cultural shift.

From a human rights and decency standard, everybody in a society should be able to meet their basic needs, says economist and Columbia professor Jeffrey Sachs – but he questions whether a popular proposal known as Universal Basic Income (UBI) is the way to achieve a better standard of living in the U.S. At its simplest, UBI is an unconditional base salary that is paid to all citizens of a society, no matter their employment status, current wealth, attempts to gain work, and regardless of how they intent to spend it. Sachs sees the value in the idea, but isn’t confident in the proposal’s no-strings-attached nature – will some people coast for free off the hard work of others? A guaranteed basic income experiment known as ‘Mincome’ in Canada in the 1970s showed a just a 9% reduction in working hours among two main groups of citizens: new mothers, using their additional income to extend their maternity leaves and spend more time with their infants, and teenage boys who were using that income to stay in school. A new UBI trial is planned for 2017 in Ontario, and many nations await the results.

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