Feeds:
Posts
Comments


As expected, since the Trump and Republican Party tax cuts were written to benefit the rich and their corporations, only the rich and their corporations are benefiting from them, for the most part. The tax cuts were intended to increase income and wealth inequality in favor of the billionaires and multi-millionaires, and that is precisely what they have done, according to a perusal of a story in the May 11, 2018 issue of the Wall Street Journal (Buybacks Surge, Steadying Market, Wall Street Journal).

The Journal reported “U.S. companies are buying back their shares at a record pace, providing fresh support during a rocky stretch for the stock market when many investors have rushed for the exits. S&P 500 companies that have reported earnings for the first three months of 2018 bought $158 billion of their own stock in the quarter…. About 85% of S&P 500 components (companies which are also known as corporations) have reported so far.”

The Journal reports corporations can do this since the “new tax law” is “freeing up cash.” This is something corporations badly need since total US corporate profits fell during the fourth quarter of 2017. One can be reasonably suspicious that before-tax corporate profits during the first quarter of 2018 might also have fallen, especially since the US and world economies are at the tail end of an economic expansion. Those first quarter statistics are not yet available.

One can be reasonably suspicious that, as I pointed out in a previous story, much of the tax cut money would be used by corporations and the rich to fuel the stock market higher, rather than create jobs building products for which there is no demand.

The S&P 500 peaked at $2853.53 on January 26 of this year. It has been down ever since, influenced to a large degree by the fall in fourth-quarter profits. The Dow also peaked in January and has been down since then. This is likely why investors are fleeing the stock market.

When the Journal reporters write about “investors,” they are not writing about you and me. They are writing about billionaires, multi-millionaires, Wall Street Banks like Goldman Sachs, hedge funds, wealth fund managers, and other financial institutions that invest mostly for rich people.

So corporate managements are buying their own shares and taking them off the market. This is done in order to push share prices higher, which is a simple case of supply and demand. Reduce the supply of shares on the market, and this should jack up prices, so long as no other variables happen to come along. One of which is the decline in corporate profits.

Of course, there is something else CEO’s of corporations are doing to entice investors into the market.

They are taking the savings from tax cuts and offering higher dividends, which are payments made to shareholders. Notice these payments will go mostly to billionaires and millionaires, along with the higher priced shares due to the buybacks.

So the stock market bubble continues thanks to the Trump/Republican tax cuts for the rich and their corporations. Naturally, this only increases income and wealth inequality. Worst yet, with a recession right around the corner, all that money in buybacks and increased dividends is simply throwing good money after bad.

As a final note, I should point out that the Journal reporters (Ben Eisen and Akane Otani) are either stupid, poor reporters, or liars. They write, “The S&P 500 is up only modestly for the year.” Apparently, they do not count the month of January as being part of the year 2018 because that is when the S&P 500 reached its peak value, at least according to Yahoo. On the other hand, they write, “…many analysts believe major indexes would have suffered losses without the support of buybacks.” This is, of course, the purpose of the buybacks.

There is no doubt about the purpose of the tax cuts for the rich; increase income and wealth inequality in their favor and at the expense of the 99 percent. The federal government is now looking at reducing programs for the infirmed, the needy, the elderly, children, and others, in large measure due to the tax cuts. The federal deficit is now growing, thanks to the tax cuts. Fewer taxes collected mean fewer dollars for government programs that benefit anybody except the rich.

The federal government and the United States Federal Reserve Bank will only print up trillions of dollars to save the rich. The rest of us, being cannon fodder for the rich, are expendable.

For more information on this see Breakdown-of-the-26-trillion-the-federal-reserve-handed-out-to-save-rich-incompetent-investors-but-who-purchase-political-power–JohnHively.Wordpress.com

Advertisements

The New York Times has lied again. So does most of the corporate news media about certain issues.

The Times has long been a bastion of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), which, since the late 1970s, has been completely dominated by billionaires of Wall Street and big corporations, as well as another group of billionaires, such as Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, George Soros and others. The chief aim of all of these folks and organizations is to keep Wall Street happy, stock prices soaring, and the liberal Democratic grassroots uninformed and keeping their eyes off the real issues.

The Times now officially has endorsed the lie that public employee pensions are the cause of local and state government budget shortfalls. In a story published on April 14 2018, they specifically used the case of Oregon. The Times claimed that funding for public employee pensions is crowding out other government services.

However, there are other things that are causing budget shortfalls in Oregon, and nationally, and the Times editors dare not mention them because it will offend corporate advertisers, the Democratic National Committee, and other billionaires whose plight the Times editors are sympathetic to.

Here is the reality.

Budget shortfalls in Oregon coincide with declining state corporate tax liabilities. A report by the Oregon Center for Public Policy shows that corporations now pay only 6.7 percent of all of Oregon’s income taxes today compared to 18.5 percent in 1970. No budget shortfalls would exist if corporations paid the same percentage of state income taxes as they did in 1970. Corporations have used their financial muscles to force legislators to reduce their state tax liabilities, and this has caused the shortage. (As an aside, some people call the links between cash and legislation corruption.)

In addition, hundreds of thousands of Oregon jobs have been exported since 1994 to third world nations, reducing the state’s tax base, and this has also helped to increase the budget shortfalls. Wall Street politicians, such as Bill and Hillary Clinton, as well as Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden, have led the drive to export tens of millions of US jobs since 1994 (Wyden is supposed to be a US senator from Oregon but his voting record indicates he is in Wall Street’s back pockets as much as the Clintons).

What this really means is that income and wealth inequality have created the shortfalls since corporations are simply tools of the rich which are used to redistribute income and wealth from working Americans to rich investors. Reducing the tax liabilities of corporations has redistributed $2.36 billion dollars from taxpayers to the rich shareholders of corporations during the 2017-19 Oregon state budget. Notice the Times doesn’t mention this.

The same holds true with international income redistribution treaties. The difference between the old higher US wages and benefits of those tens of millions of exported US jobs and the new dirt low third world wages have gone straight into the bank accounts of the billionaires who control both major political parties, and the New York Times.

So redistributing income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent has created local and state budget shortfalls nationwide, as well as in Oregon.

What’s even worse, the Times story only uses examples of overly generous state pensions given to just a few, such as former Oregon Ducks football coach Mike Belotti. Belotti receives $559,000 a year from the public employee’s retirement system (PERS). There is no mention in the Times story that Belotti and these few others are exceptions. There is no mention of the elderly couples who worked thirty-four years each to get a combined $2000 a month in their deferred compensation called a pension, or the many who only receive a few hundred dollars a month, or the vast majority who receive between $400 and $2000 a month. There is no mention that pensions are deferred compensation.

In effect, the Times story was intended to generate public outrage at local and state pensions, and it was also specifically intended to turn our eyes away from the real reasons why there might be local and state budget shortfalls in Oregon and throughout the nation. The Times story was class warfare at its most insidious. No doubt the billionaires loved the story, even if it was a complete lie.

See 8 Key Things About Oregon Corporate Taxes–Oregon Center for Public Policy

One of history’s greatest groups of scum, villainy, treason, greed and gluttony resided in the George W. Bush White House. Now President Donald Trump has rewarded one of those villains.


Scooter Libby-the face of a traitor

Last week, President Donald Trump pardoned a traitor to the United States–Scooter Libby, former Chief of Staff to the unconvicted US traitor, then Vice President Dick Cheney. Libby was part of Cheney’s inner circle that made the decision to out an undercover CIA officer named Valerie Plame for political purposes. Plame was undercover and working for a CIA front company named Brewster Jennings and Associates, which infiltrated ties between groups involved in smuggling nuclear weapons and the material to create them to countries such as Israel, North Korea, and Pakistan.

Plame was married to Joe Wilson, a former ambassador to Niger. In lying the people of the United States into war, members of the Bush regime claimed Iraq was trying to develop a nuclear bomb, and they cited evidence Iraq was trying to purchase uranium from the African nation of Niger. The CIA sent Wilson in 2003 to investigate. He reported back that the Bush regime was incorrect in their claims, and then wrote an op-ed in the New York Times pointing this out.

The traitors in the white house decided to punish Wilson by outing his undercover CIA wife. In doing so, they punched a billion dollar hole in US security. Brewster Jennings was gone thanks to the traitors.

Even the worst, most incompetent and arguably the most corrupt president in US history, George W. Bush, who worked closely with Libby when the latter served as chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, refused to pardon Libby, who had been convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice in 2007 for his role in the leaking of the identity of CIA undercover operative Valerie Plame.

Here is what the corporate news media does not want you to know; In outing Valerie Plame, Libby and the rest of the human scum in the Bush White House were attacking honesty. They did this to protect the dirty lies they fabricated and used to influence public opinion into launching the United States into a war against Iraq. The liars in the Bush White House wanted to steal the Iraqi oil fields for their Big Oil billionaire buddies using the United States military.

They did not give one damn cent about the tens of thousands of US and Iraqi lives their lies murdered. They did not give a dog’s fart about the trillions of US taxpayer dollars wasted because of their lies. The greed for wealth and power were the only things that mattered to these sub-species of humans (That is if you feel a fully human person cares at least a little for their fellow humans, and are not willing to sacrifice the lives of thousands of people for money and power).

Every member of the Bush White House got away Scot free for launching a war based on lies, except Scooter Libby. Now President Donald Trump has done a most despicable thing. He has rewarded a man who waged war against the truth with a pack of dirty lies, a man whose lies helped kill tens of thousands of people, made homeless a million more and cost the US taxpayers trillions of dollars.

Three years after Plame and Brewster Jennings were outed, North Korea announced it had produced its first nuclear bomb. All of this is thanks to the Bush White House lies and to Scooter Libby.

None of this matters to Trump, who is now a supporter of traitors to the people of the United States. Can Trump stoop any lower?

Libby, a convicted perjurer, and obstructor of justice is currently a practicing attorney in Virginia. How honest can attorneys be in Virginia? Any convicted traitorous lying scum can apparently be licensed as an attorney in Virginia. Standards are not too high there.

Larry Johnson, a former CIA and State Department official who was a 1985 classmate of Plame’s in the CIA’s case officer-training program at Camp Peary, Va., known as “the Farm,” predicted that when the CIA’s internal damage assessment is finished, “at the end of the day, (the harm) will be huge and some people potentially may have lost their lives.”

“This is not just another leak. This is an unprecedented exposing of an agent’s identity,” said former CIA officer Jim Marcinkowski, who’s now a prosecutor in Royal Oak, Mich., and who also did CIA training with Plame…

Quite naturally, something happened in Sweden that could not occur in the United States with its horribly corrupt government and both political parties. Want to cut fossil fuel emissions? It’s happening in Sweden.

Last Wednesday, Sweden opened the first electric road that can recharge commercial and passenger car batteries while driving. The eRoadArlanda project consists of 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) of electric rail installed on a public road outside Arlanda Airport. The innovation was funded by the Swedish Transport Administration and is part of the government’s goal of fossil fuel-free transportation infrastructure by 2030.

Big Oil and Wall Street cannot allow such a thing to happen in the United States.

According to the project website, the road works by transferring energy from an electrified rail to a movable arm attached underneath the vehicle. The arm is able to detect and lower onto the electrified section when the vehicle drives above it.

The road is divided into 50-meter sections, with each section supplying power only when a vehicle is above it. When the vehicle stops, the current is disconnected. The system is also able to calculate the vehicle’s energy consumption, which enables electricity costs to be debited per vehicle and user.

A diesel-turned-electric truck owned by logistics firm PostNord is the first to use the road. Over the next 12 months, the truck will stay juiced as it shuttles deliveries between Arlanda Airport and its distribution center 12 kilometers away.

“Everything is 100 percent automatic, based on the connector magnetically sensing the road,” Hans Säll, chairman of the eRoadArlanda consortium and business development director at construction firm NCC, told The Local. “As a driver you drive as usual, the connector goes down onto the track automatically and if you leave the track, it goes up automatically.”

The developers claim that electrified roads can cut fossil fuel emissions by 80 to 90 percent. According to the project website, “operating costs will be minimal, due to significant reductions in energy consumption arising from the use of efficient electric engines. Electricity is also a cleaner, quieter and less expensive source of energy, compared with diesel.”

Säll told the Guardian, “If we electrify 20,000 kilometers of highways that will definitely be enough.”

“The distance between two highways is never more than 45 kilometers and electric cars can already travel that distance without needing to be recharged. Some believe it would be enough to electrify 5,000 kilometers,” he added.

According to the Guardian, electrification will cost about €1 million ($1.23 million) per kilometer, which is said to be 50 times lower than the cost of building an urban tram line.

According to a new study from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) public school teachers are paid less than their similarly educated peers. The worst states for teachers are those where the teachers have gone on strike recently. Following West Virginia’s lead, teachers in Kentucky and Oklahoma have walked out to protest dramatic cuts to investments in schools, students, and teachers, while teachers in Arizona are considering doing the same.

The new EPI report shows that striking teachers live in states with some of the largest gaps in pay between teachers and similarly educated workers in other professions. For example, while teachers nationally earn 77 cents per every dollar that other college graduates take home in weekly wages, in Arizona, teachers earn just 63 cents on the dollar. Oklahoma teachers take home 67 cents, and West Virginia teachers take home 75 cents on the dollar. And there is no state where teacher wages are equal to or better than those of other college graduates.

Meanwhile, teachers, parents and administrators and small business owners are lining up to voice their discontent because the Minneapolis School District, third largest in Minnesota, is facing a $33 million dollar shortfall, which will result in layoffs of as many as 400 teachers. Why is there a shortfall?

The city of Minneapolis provided $500 million to help fund the building of a private NFL stadium. Your taxpayer money is going to primarily help grow the profits of corporations, developers, millionaires and billionaires, and to hell with anybody who doesn’t have enough money to purchase representation in the political markets.


“The taxpayer-funded US Bank Stadium hosted its first Super Bowl last month, with billionaire real estate tycoon and Vikings owner Zygi Wilf expected to reap $200 million from the new stadium each year in personal profits. The city of Minneapolis budgeted a whopping $498 million of taxpayer money to aid in the construction of the stadium, as well as to the destruction of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, which the new stadium replaced.

Taxpayers also will be chipping in over $7 million a year for operations and management, and do not receive discounts of any kind for funding the new facility.

Supporters of the stadium say that it spikes tourism and spending, which in turn helps the city. Many economists, however, say this spending tends to replace other local entertainment options that otherwise would have been utilized, and that city benefits for a new sports stadium are negligible, perhaps even ultimately harmful.

For a report on the Minneapolis educational crisis, click here

Click here for the EPI report.

The rich and Wall Street executives have been quaking in their boots recently. Their Ponzi Schemes and bubbles known as the financial markets are in danger of collapsing. And it’s all because of President Donald Trump.

Trump is threatening to levy taxes on products made in China and exported to the USA. These taxes are called tariffs, and here’s what the corporate news media doesn’t want you to know. By doing this, Trump is also threatening to deflate the recent stock market bubble, which is the same thing as saying Trump is threatening to decrease by significant margins the income and wealth of the billionaires who control both major political parties in the United States.

Tariffs are taxes on goods being imported into the USA from foreign nations. US corporations export into the USA tens of billions of products manufactured in China, Vietnam, Mexico and other third world nations. Increased tariffs mean US corporations will need to raise the prices of their Chinese and other third world products, or lower their profit margins.

The profits of corporations are the primary component determining the prices of shares. When profits drop, especially in the long term, share prices fall. So the share price of say, Home Depot could fall from $176 a share to $14 a share. If you own millions of shares you lose quite a lot of money. This is why the threat of tariffs in steel and aluminum has roiled the US financial markets as of late. A lot of paper wealth is going to evaporate as stock prices drop should the tariffs be enacted. Dividends may decline, as well.

Tens of millions of US jobs have been exported from the US to China, Vietnam, India, Pakistan, Mexico, Honduras and elsewhere over the last twenty-five years. This has been done in order to jack up corporate profits by significantly reducing US labor and environmental costs. The difference between the old higher US wages and benefits and the new lower wages without benefits has gone straight into the already fat wallets and bank accounts of the superrich. They have used their ill-gotten gains to bid up the prices of corporate shares, gold, housing, commodities futures, and other investments.

President Trump’s threat to use tariffs against China and other nations means fewer dollars will go into the pockets of the rich if the tariffs are enacted. It also means potentially massive losses in the stock and maybe even bond markets.

Some corporations may even be inclined to export their jobs in China back to the United States if the tariffs are enacted. The middle class will benefit with additional jobs should this come about. In other words, the tariffs could redistribute income from the rich back into the pockets of the 99 percent, and this is something the billionaires will not allow their corporate media outlets to tell you. The proposed tariffs are limited, and therefore will not have much of an impact, but they will have some positive benefits to the US 99 percent.

Currently, six men own more wealth than the bottom 50 percent of the world’s people (See https://johnhively.wordpress.com/2017/02/23/six-men-own-more-wealth-than-the-bottom-50-percent-of-human-kind/). In the USA, the 1 percent own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent for the first time in US history (See https://johnhively.wordpress.com/2017/12/03/in-the-united-states-the-1-percent-now-own-more-wealth-than-the-bottom-90-percent-for-the-first-time-in-us-history/). In the United States, the 1 percent steal as much as 35 percent of the income produced in the USA every year, up from 8 percent in 1979.

Trump’s tariffs will likely put tiny brakes on the continuously growing inequality of wealth and income produced by free trade agreements. Those brakes will likely only slow down the growing income and wealth inequality rather than halting or reversing them. But the tariffs would be a beginning to reversing the massive income and wealth inequality which the rich have successfully conspired to produce over the last thirty-seven years.

A few other things are in order. The USA has the fifteen to twenty largest trade deficits in world history. That means the US imports more goods than it exports. Our largest trade deficit is not with China, as the media claims. In reality, the largest US trade deficit is with US corporations that have exported tens of millions of US jobs overseas. The purpose of exporting tens of millions of US jobs has been to redistribute trillions of dollars from US workers to the rich, avoid US pollution controls (thereby increasing profits),  and avoid US health and safety regulations.

What American Presidents Have To Say About Tariffs:

“America’s growth and future depend on trade. But we would insist on trade that is fair and free. We are always willing to be trade partners but never trade patsies”. President John F. Kennedy.

“Protection, which guards and develops our industries, is a cardinal policy of the Republican Party. The measure of protection should always at least equal the difference in the cost of production at home and abroad.” President Theodore Roosevelt

“A wise tariff protects American industries and manufacture. It encourages growth and enterprise among our own people. It opens our mines, it erects our machine shops, our furnaces and factories”.
President William Mckinley

It Was Good Enough For Kennedy, Roosevelt & McKinley. Why Isn’t It For Congress?


There is a lot of talk out of Republican Party circles about the left and its plots to take away our freedoms, such as our guns. However, this is a lie. The left has been dead for decades. There are no popular parties of communists and socialists. Sure, there are a few remaining members of these old parties, but they are hardly a threat to the status quo. Most of them may be FBI informants anyway.

Nowadays, the left is the old political right on bread and butter issues, the environment, and much more. Remember President Richard Nixon? Over forty years ago he was a hard-line conservative who hated communism but made peace with China, ended the war in Vietnam by withdrawing all US troops, signed legislation creating the Environmental Protection Agency, and offered a public option on national health care which was rejected by the Democrats. Nowadays Nixon would be considered politically far to the left. He would be a big letter “COMMUNIST!”

So when we hear talk about the left from say, Fox News, especially on economics and politics, those folks really mean the 99 percent. That’s right! They mean us! In poll after poll the 99 percent want a $15 minimum wage, higher taxes on the rich, an end to free trade agreements that are designed to export millions of US jobs but which benefits the 1 percent almost exclusively, Medicare for all, greater worker and environmental protections, legislation that will strengthen labor unions, and a lot more stuff that would be in interest of the 99 percent, but which would not necessarily be in the interests of the billionaires who control your government, both major political parties, and all of the major news media that keep you blinded to the things the billionaires don’t want you to know about.

So when you hear somebody on television talking about how the left is out to steal your freedoms, like a powerful gang of communists, that really is not true. These groups don’t exist in any serious way. That somebody on television is really out to steal your freedoms by distracting you from the real economic bread and butter issues by focusing your attention on the social issues. That person on the news is a paid employee of the billionaires on the political right. That person has little credibility.

By today’s political right standards, even old arch-conservative Richard Nixon would be a hard-line communist. Nixon was, of course, also a crook who resigned under the very real threat of impeachment. Nowadays, the political servants of the 1 percent can commit all sorts of crimes and get away with it, like torture, waging wars against humanity, and on and on.

Oh my! How things have changed.