Daily Clips: December 10, 2015

The middle class is no longer the majority: As you can see the in the graphic below, the American middle class has eroded significantly since 1971, while the lower and upper classes have ballooned in size. Something something the pitchforks are coming

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 9.48.25 AM

If voting were mandatory, America would shift to the left: You’ve probably heard this argument before, but it bares repeating. In a recent study, mandatory voting was found to cause “stronger support for leftist, redistributive policy, for example, bills that proposed stricter market regulation and expanded welfare programs.”

Putting a price tag on gun violence: A Mother Jones analysis claims that the yearly cost of gun violence is $229 billion per year, which represents 1.4 percent of GDP.Gun suicides outnumber gun homicides in this country, yet “the overwhelming majority of the direct costs of gun violence come from homicides and assaults.” This is mostly due to the cost of imprisoning the perpetrators of such violence.

For a variety of reasons, this article states that Mother Jones’ estimate might be too high, but nonetheless shows that gun violence does leave us with quite a bill.

Stock buybacks enrich the bosses even when businesses sag: 

As corporate America engages in an unprecedented buyback binge, soaring CEO pay tied to short-term performance measures like EPS is prompting criticism that executives are using stock repurchases to enrich themselves at the expense of long-term corporate health, capital investment and employment.

“We’ve accepted a definition of performance that is narrow and quite possibly inappropriate,” said Rosanna Landis Weaver, program manager of the executive compensation initiative at As You Sow, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit that promotes corporate responsibility. Pay for performance as it is often structured creates “very troublesome, problematic incentives that can potentially drive very short-term thinking.”

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Nick Cassella
Nick Cassella graduated from the University of St Andrews in Scotland in 2014. After graduating, he worked on the Initiative 594 campaign before joining Civic Ventures, where he now manages Civic Skunk Works' social media presence.