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Eight billionaires possess the same amount of wealth, and probably more, as the lower half of the world’s population, according to an analysis from the charity Oxfam released last Sunday.

Six of these billionaires, from Forbes’ list of the world’s richest people, are American entrepreneurs: Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO Warren Buffett, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Rounding out the list are Carlos Slim, the Mexican tycoon, and Amancio Ortega, the Spanish founder of a retail conglomerate that includes clothing chain Zara. Together their net wealth ― assets minus debts ― amounts to $426 billion.

“Left unchecked, growing inequality threatens to pull our societies apart,” Oxfam writes in its report, citing Brexit, the rise of President Donald Trump and a rise in the widespread disillusionment with the absolute corruption of mainstream politics, which has been provided by, and benefitted, the rich at the expense of everybody else.

In 2016, the richest 1 percent of the world held slightly more than half of the wealth of the entire planet, Oxfam noted. While the 1,810 billionaires on Forbes’s list, 89 percent male, hold $6.5 trillion, as much wealth as 70 percent of humanity.

In other words, 70 percent of the world’s population is fighting among themselves over crumbs the rich have yet to scoop up.

All of the corruption is used to tilt the economic game in favor of the billionaires allowing them via the government to redistribute income and wealth from the 99 percent to themselves. Some of the corruption in the United States have included the successful negotiation of trade agreements with an eye toward lowering wages worldwide, suppression of federal minimum wage increases, Supreme Court decisions that have nearly eliminated 100+ years of campaign finance laws, the war against labor unions waged by the rich via their helpful federal government and their corrupt United States Supreme Court, lowering the tax rates of the rich to the point where billionaires now pay a lower rate than middle-class income earners. and the privatization of public services.

Last year, when Oxfam did its report, it took 62 billionaires to equal the bottom half of the world. The change this year seems drastic because of improvements in the quality of the data Credit Suisse was able to get. If Oxfam had used that improved data last year, it would’ve taken just 9 billionaires to reach parity with the world’s bottom half, Kripke said.

Rising inequality causes more than a sense of moral outrage and the election of reality TV stars. There’s a wide body of research that shows inequality adversely affects the health of those at the bottom, raising the risk of cardiovascular disease, increasing suicide rates and shortening lifespans. Some attribute the rise in the death rate of white people and the heroin epidemic to inequality.


I paid my wealth tax of almost $3000 earlier this month. Doing so left me broke for a couple of weeks. This wealth tax is called a property tax, but the land you own is part of your wealth and my property tax could just as easily be called a wealth tax since it taxes part of my wealth.

Until recently, progressive taxation had been part of the fabric of American democracy for over a century. The idea the rich can pay more is quite biblical, just ask Jesus. Somebody who has $100 billion in wealth is going to pay $3 billion or so in tax, and some of them are acting as though the taxman is going to swing an ax into their billion-dollar genitals if the tax legislation is enacted.
These billionaires have rigged the economy in their favor by using their billions to corrupt both major political parties and the federal government in the process. They have used corruption to redistribute trillions of dollars from working folks to themselves in the process. This is why three people (Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Jeff Bezos) own more wealth than the bottom half of the U.S. population. This is why the 1 percent have gained $21 trillion since 1989 and the bottom half of U.S. citizens have lost $900 billion (See  the-corrupting-billionaires-have-gotten-richer-by-21-trillion-since-1989)

Exporting millions of jobs via trade agreements alone sent trillions of dollars from working people to the billionaires over the last forty years. The difference between the old higher US pay and the new lower third world pay goes straight into the pockets of the billionaires via higher corporate profits, rising dividends, and surging share prices.

Corruption and class warfare against the 99 percent are running wild in all three branches of government, and that tiny progressive tax is a step in the right direction that might help put an end to it and restore U.S. democracy in the process.

I do not agree with everything Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders propose. However, I agree with former President Barack Obama when he said: “Income inequality is the defining challenge of our time.” He said it one time. Then somebody likely took him to the side, told him never to say it again, and he never did. Now he makes $400,000 a speech, which is $150,000 more than Bill and Hillary Clinton make.

We can put an end to this type of revolving-door corruption and other forms of political corruption. The wealth tax is just a tiny step in the right direction.

A recent Wall Street Journal story claimed socialism was an utter failure and no nation which has embraced capitalism has ever failed. That was a lie, plain and simple. There are plenty of examples and we can begin right here with the complete failure of capitalism in the United States.

The roaring twenties was a time of unprecedented income and wealth inequality. This period was followed by the Great Depression beginning in 1929. The Depression devastated the U.S. economy. From 1929 to 1932, half of all banks failed, unemployment rose from 2.7 percent to 25.3 percent and homelessness became rampant. Housing prices plummeted 30%, international trade collapsed by 65%, the stock market suffered a 90+ percent loss of value, real Gross Domestic Product (GNP) fell 30.5 percent, wholesale prices fell 30.8 percent, and consumer prices fell 24.4 percent. Wages plummeted. In manufacturing, representing 4 of every 9 jobs in the non-farm economy at the time, weekly earnings dropped 37.5 percent from 1929 through 1932.

From 1929 to 1932, the pro-capitalist policies of the incumbent Republican Party President Herbert Hoover and the Republican congress had utterly failed. The market did not correct itself.

In the summer of 1932, Hoover insisted he would easily defeat the Democratic Party challenger, Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR). At the time Hoover made this claim, the unemployment rate was 21.3 percent. However, 1932 was the year the Great Depression kicked into high gear. Manufacturing wages dropped more than 19 percent during that year alone, prices continued falling, and unemployment accelerated. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) collapsed by 12.9 percent, the highest fall on record. The capitalist economy of the United States was in a free fall in 1932, an utter failure of an economic system.

By the time FDR was inaugurated as president in March 1933, the unemployment rate was 25.3 percent. Unrest was occurring all over the nation; tax collectors were tar and feathered, and people were taking to the streets.

FDR infused socialism into capitalism to revive dead capitalism. His socialist policies arrested the collapse; GDP fell only -1.2 percent in 1933, and prices began to grow. GNP grew over ten percent in 1934, while prices and wages continued to rise. Socialist policies enacted by FDR included the Social Security Act to help protect the aged, unemployment insurance to keep people spending money, the minimum wage to stop wages from plummeting beyond a certain level, the Wagner Act which gave organized labor more rights to negotiate a better living with employers, and the Securities and Exchange Commission to police Wall Street criminals. Major federal programs and agencies included the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), and the Civil Works Administration (CWA), both of which put hundreds of thousands of people to work. FDR also created the Farm Security Administration (FSA) to provide relief to farmers from drought and falling prices.

As a result of the adoption of these and other socialist policies, GNP grew by robust amounts until FDR decided to curtail federal spending. The result was a short setback to the economy. FDR reversed course and continued federal deficit spending until the unemployment fell to less than 10 percent on the eve of World War II.

The United States has had a robust socialist sector as part of its economy ever since (Actually before then too). Think of all those public schools initiated 200 and more years ago in the United States, the Constitutionally mandated United States postal service (God damn socialist U.S. Constitution), the highway system, the military, the police, public parks, the court system, public employees, the national park system, the Food and Drug Administration, etc…. That is a lot of socialism for a capitalist nation, and the result has been a robust middle class, which has been weakened as the billionaires have taken over both major political parties (and your government in the process), privatized a lot of government services to take money from you and put it into their wallets, and redistributed trillions of dollars from the 99 percent to themselves during the last forty years. The rich love socialism for themselves, but not for you.

As for other capitalist nations that have failed a shortlist would include:

* Imperial Russia; people overthrew the capitalist system and replaced it with a communist system because the capitalist system had utterly failed. Yes, I know, the communist system also failed.

* Sweden: The late Nobel Prize-winning economist liked to tell the tale of the complete failure of Swedish capitalism. The Great Depression ushered in the first known nation that became heavily socialist by a vote of the people during the 1930s. The Swedes never looked back.

* The Weimar Republic was established as the representative democracy of Germany which aimed to give genuine power to all German adults. However, it had major flaws that contributed to its downfall in 1933-34, and it was replaced by Nazi Germany.

* Nazi Germany-the less said about it the better, but it did fall into the dustbin of history in 1945.

* Venezuela-Poverty ran rampant in capitalist Venezuela. Capitalism’s promises of prosperity failed miserably to improve the standards of living for the vast majority of Venezuela’s people, and that is why Hugo Chavez was elected and re-elected time and again up to his death. Thus the failure of capitalism gave birth to socialism. I know! I know! Somebody is going to say socialism has failed in Venezuela too! I will not argue that point.

On the other hand, I can name many successful socialist nations, like Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, China, France, and by the way, you can also include the United States in that list, especially if one looks at all the ways the government enriches the wealthy through legislation, and through military spending, or how the Federal Reserve bailed out the rich with the $26 trillion bailout. $26 trillion? That’s socialism for you, well, not for you, but for the rich.

Socialism and capitalism have meshed together for ages. There is no pure socialist nation nor a purely capitalist nation. Purely capitalist nations have failed, and purely communist nations have failed. By the way, our capitalist health care system in the United States is the least efficient and most expensive system in the developed world, and also the only capitalist one.

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren understands economics and political power. She understands democracy, and she understands we no longer have a democracy. We have a plutocracy, which is a government for the rich and by the rich. The rich and their corporations have their power over all three branches of government, and they have used that power to redistribute tens of trillions of dollars from working people to themselves over the last forty years.

This week hedge fund CEO Leon Cooperman sent her a five-page letter complaining that she doesn’t know anything about billionaires, or him in particular. Leon apparently does not know that when you export millions of jobs, the difference between the old higher U.S. compensation and the new low, that is very low, third-world wages with no benefits goes straight into the pockets of the rich while the job losers get unemployment insurance.

This is why three people own more wealth than the bottom half of the U.S. population, This is why the six richest people in the world own more wealth than the bottom half of humanity. This is why 38+ percent of all income in the U.S. goes into the pockets of the 1 percent every year compared to roughly 8 percent as late as 1979. The billionaires have created massive amounts of political corruption and the destruction of United States democracy in the process. Warren understands this.

Leon Cooperman is facing a tax hike if Warren becomes president. Apparently, many billionaires are assuming this is the end of life as they know it.

Warren’s tax agenda has become a lightning rod for criticism by the ultrawealthy, including some, like Cooperman, who identify as political moderates. “What is wrong with billionaires?” Cooperman complained to Politico in a story that appeared last week. “You can become a billionaire by developing products and services that people will pay for.” Warren is not against billionaires who do this. She is against those who have rigged the economy and destroyed U.S. democracy in the process.

Adding to the mountain of statistical evidence showing the severity of U.S. inequality, an analysis by of the United States Federal Reserve Bank showed that the top one percent of Americans have gained, or rather stolen using political and media corruption, $21 trillion in wealth since 1989 while the bottom 50 percent lost $900 billion.

Matt Bruenig, founder of the left-wing think tank People’s Policy Project, broke down the Federal Reserve’s newly released “Distributive Financial Accounts” data series and found that, overall, “the top one percent owns nearly $30 trillion of assets while the bottom half owns less than nothing, meaning they have more debts than they have assets.”

Wealth is made up of assets, such as stocks, bonds, and houses. Income is the money that comes to you either via government programs, your jobs, or from your assets, such as dividends.

The growth of wealth inequality over the past 30 years, Bruenig found, is “eye-popping.” This income and wealth inequality has been brought about by the political corruption of all three branches of the United States government by the 1 percent using their control of both major political parties.

“Between 1989 and 2018, the top one percent increased its total net worth by $21 trillion,” Bruenig wrote. “The bottom 50 percent actually saw its net worth decrease by $900 billion over the same period.”

Much of the increase in inequality is due to international trade agreements, which have allowed U.S. corporations to export millions of American jobs to third world nations. The difference between the old higher US pay and other compensation goes straight into the pockets of the 1 percent via higher corporate profits, dividends and share prices.

This suggests you ought to vote for Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren for presidents.

Wall Street executives already have Joe Biden and Donald Trump, along with the corrupt corporate wing of the United States Supreme Court, and such US Senators as Ron Wyden and Mitch McConnell tucked away in their back pockets. These folks do not represent you.

The billionaires who own the Democratic Party are preparing to sit out the presidential campaign fundraising cycle, and have threatened to back President Trump if Senator Elizabeth Warren wins the party’s nomination. We know where the loyalty of the billionaires who control the Democrat Party lie, and it is with their comrades in arms, the billionaires who own the RepubliCon Party.

The billionaires that control both major political parties work hard using their news media and talking heads to get Democratic and Republican voters to side with their party and argue with one another about social issues, such as abortion, gun control, or whether or not transgender bathrooms should have urinals, and whether or not Albus Dumbledore of Harry Potter fame is gay or not, and whether or not Santa Claus should be depicted as transgender or not, rather than talking about income, wealth and the political inequality the billionaires, their politicians (such as Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden) and their Supreme Court have created, and how the billionaires have rigged and corrupted the democracy we live in, while simultaneously working together to financially rob and rape the 99 percent of both Parties in whatever way possible so long as it makes them richer in the process.

The billionaires who control the Democratic Party have already supported President Trump on a number of issues, such as tax cuts for the rich.

Warren tweeted in response to the threat, “I’m fighting for an economy and a government that works for all of us, not just the wealthy and well-connected. I’m not afraid of anonymous quotes, and wealthy donors don’t get to buy this process. I won’t back down from fighting for the big, structural change we need.”

In recent weeks, CNBC spoke to several high-dollar Democratic donors and fundraisers in the business community and found that this opinion was becoming widely shared as Warren, an outspoken critic of big banks and corporations, gains momentum against Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders in the 2020 race.

What CNBC did not say was that the vast majority of U.S. citizens need a new Franklin Delano Roosevelt as United States president in order to stave off the predations of the billionaires who own both major political parties, as well as the corrupt/corporate/conservative wing of the United States Supreme Court.

One Democratic Party senior private equity executive said, “You’re in a box because you’re a Democrat and you’re thinking, ‘I want to help the party, but she’s going to hurt me, so I’m going to help President Trump.’” This billionaire spoke on the condition of anonymity in fear of retribution by party leaders. The executive said this Wednesday, a day after Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House would begin a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump.

During the campaign, Warren has put out multiple plans intended to curb the corrupting influence of Wall Street on government, both major political parties, and the United States Supreme Court, including a wealth tax. In July, she released a proposal that would make private equity firms responsible for debts and pension obligations of companies they buy. The billionaires surely do not want that. Trump, meanwhile, has given wealthy business leaders a helping hand with a major corporate tax cut and by eliminating regulations.

Warren has sworn off taking part in big money fundraisers for the 2020 presidential primary. She has also promised to not take donations from special interest groups. She finished raising at least $19 million in the second quarter mainly through small-dollar donors.

Trump, has been raising hundreds of millions of dollars, putting any eventual 2020 rival in a bind as 20 or so Democrats compete for their party’s nomination.

Trump’s campaign and the Republican National Committee have raised over $100 million in the second quarter, and a record $125 million in the third quarter. Most of that came from wealthy donors who gave to their joint fundraising committee, Trump Victory. In August, the RNC raised just over $23 million and has $53 million on hand.

The Democratic National Committee have struggled to keep up. The DNC finished August bringing in $7.9 million and has $7.2 million in debt. CNBC decided not to mention this is because Democratic grassroots voters are throwing tens of millions of dollars to the Warren and Bernie Sanders campaigns.

Biden, who has courted and garnered the support of various wealthy donors, has started to lag in some polls. The latest Quinnipiac poll has Warren virtually tied with the former vice president. Biden was one of three contenders that saw an influx of contributions from those on Wall Street in the second quarter.

The business community’s unease about Warren’s candidacy has surged in tandem with her campaign’s momentum. CNBC’s Jim Cramer said earlier this month that he’s heard from Wall Street executives that they believe Warren has “got to be stopped.”

Some big bank executives and hedge fund managers have been stunned by Warren’s ascent, and they are primed to resist her. Ultimately, this means they intend to resist the will of the vast majority of United States citizens.

“They will not support her. It would be like shutting down their industry,” an executive at one of the nation’s largest banks told CNBC, also speaking on condition of anonymity. This person said Warren’s policies could be worse for Wall Street than those of President Barack Obama, who signed the Dodd-Frank bank regulation bill in the wake of the 2008 financial meltdown.

Yet before Obama was elected, his campaign took over $1 million from employees at Goldman Sachs, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

A hedge fund executive pointed to Trump’s tax cut as a reason why his colleagues would not contribute or vote for Warren if she wins the nomination.

“I think if she can show that the tax code of 2017 was basically nonsense and only helped corporations, Wall Street would not like the public thinking about that,” this executive said, also insisting on anonymity.

This really means something simple: if you want to vote for your interests, as well as the interests of the vast majority of United States citizens, vote for Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders. If you want to vote for the interests of the billionaires’ vote for Joe Biden.

Billionaires Rise Up Against Elizabeth Warren


The gap between the richest and the poorest U.S. households is now the largest it’s been in the past 50 years according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

U.S. income inequality was “significantly higher” in 2018 than in 2017, the Census Bureau says in its latest American Community Survey report. Since the rich in the United States possess earnings and investments abroad, it is likely the income and wealth gaps are much larger than the Census Bureau measures.

The gap grew despite a surging national economy that has seen low unemployment and more than 10 years of consecutive GDP growth.

The most troubling thing about the new report, says William M. Rodgers III, a professor of public policy and chief economist at the Heldrich Center at Rutgers University, is that it “clearly illustrates the inability of the current economic expansion, the longest on record, to lessen inequality.”

That is because the rich are using their political power to create income inequality in their favor.

When asked why the rising economic tide has raised some boats more than others, Rodgers lists several factors, including the decline of organized labor and competition for jobs from abroad. He also cites tax policies that favor businesses and higher-income families.

To understand even a little of how labor unions have been weakened you only need to look at a few of the legal decisions made by the corrupt corporate wing of the United States Supreme Court when it sided with the billionaires and their corporations in the Janus vs. AFSCME case. The corrupt wing of the court, lead by Cheif Justice John Roberts, decided to put an end to decades of legal precedent in which labor union members who did not want to pay union dues were required to pay a lesser fee to their unions to cover the cost of negotiating new contracts with management. Now labor unions are the only organizations in the United States that must provide free services to members who do not wish to pay. The corrupt wing of the court’s intention in making this decision was to weaken the power of labor unions, and working people in general, vis-a-vis the billionaires and their corporations.

Everybody knew the corrupt corporate wing of the court was going to vote in favor of Janus and end four decades of legal precedent in the process. Everybody knew the billionaires had the corporate wing in their hip pocket.

Income inequality is measured through the Gini index, which measures how far apart incomes are from each other. To do that, the index assigns a hypothetical score of 0.0 to a population in which incomes are distributed perfectly evenly and a score of 1.0 to a population where only one household gets all of the income.

The United States has been one of the most unequal of nations in the world using the Gini coefficient. The U.S. is ranked 103 in the world by the World Bank for income inequality, behind every major industrialized country, and up there with such nations as Haiti and Uganda. The U.S. was ranked at 73 ten years ago, so inequality continues to worsen here.

The billionaires’ control the corrupt corporate wing of the United States Supreme Court, the entire Republican Party, and most Democratic politicians at the national level. Therefore, you can expect income and wealth inequality will continue to get worse in the United States.

In other words, vote for Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren for president.

US Census Bureau Report

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