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Archive for April, 2013

Are corporations people?

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The Guardian of the UK, normally a straight forward and honest broker of news and commentary, has bought into the lying bull shit of the US corporate press. Some Guardian idiot named Larry Elliot wrote,

“America’s growth figures have come as a nasty shock to Wall Street. For nine months the stock market had been rising on hopes that the world’s biggest economy was on the mend. But the latest data suggests the US recovery is still very much work in progress.”

No, no, no, the stock market was rising because corporate profits are at record levels! Apparently, Elliot doesn’t seem to understand the connection (simple cause and effect) between stock prices and corporate earnings. He’s too dense to understand that the only way those earnings can grow in the face of worldwide declining demand is by redistributing income from the 99 to the 1 percent. Shipping jobs overseas is the easy way to push stock prices up because the difference between the old wages here and the new lower wages overseas increases corporate profits year after year. Studies by the Federal Reserve show that between 1.2 to 2.4 million jobs are shipped from the US to elsewhere every year.

It’s easy to predict slower growth in the US because the demand for goods and services has been redistributed into the fat wallets of the super wealthy. They’ve used their control of the US government to pass legislation that does this. They now take home over 31 percent of total income produced in the US, compared to about 8 percent thirty-three years ago. That leaves the rest of us with little or no money to buy goods and services to the point where economic growth can be vibrant, like it used to be. Meanwhile, the rich invest in things like politicians and derivatives, which does nothing to create demand, but does everything to destroy it. The redistribution process is growing. That means the economy will continuously weaken, although it is possible there might be occasional and abnormal historically weak growth spurts.

At least Elliot did get something right, although not completely:

“The even worse news is that the US economy may slow down in the second quarter. Not only will activity be impeded – perhaps severely – by cuts in federal programs, but consumers are unlikely to continue running down their savings to finance their spending in the way they did in the first three months of the year.”

What he doesn’t say is that consumers are unlikely to continue running down their savings” or use their credit cards when their income is continuously being redistributed to the 1 percent by their government. (more…)

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Bill Moyers: Congress on the Leash

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Torture is all about corporate profits for the 1 percent. It’s a big welfare program for the rich. Much of the US torture taking place around the world is under the direction of US corporations, which are called contractors, which is short for mercenaries. In fact, the torture corporations “that supplied the interrogators and interpreters” and who ordered the torture of prisoners, continue “to reap billions in federal contracts” and have seen “their stock prices rise.” In a nut shell, that’s what torture is all about. Profits before people, and Obama knows all of this.

The US Constitution expressly uses the word “persons.” It doesn’t use the word “citizen” in either its singular or plural meaning. Yet somehow the Koch Brothers wing of the US Supreme Court has ruled that if the US government says you’re a suspect in terror, then it can torture you, regardless if you’re a person. Why? Because it’s profitable and an income redistribution scam from the 99 to the 1 percent.

The only redress victims of US corporate torture have is in civil courts. “Recently, in a case called Al-Quraishi v. Nakhla, filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), 71 survivors of US torture received a $5.28 million settlement – the first time a private military contractor has been held accountable in any fashion for its role in torture. Another CCR case, Al Shimari v. CACI, filed on behalf of four Abu Ghraib survivors of torture, is currently proceeding in federal court. With the discovery phase of the litigation completed, Al Shimari may mark the first time a case against a private military contractor for torture goes to trial.”

Check out the story in the link below.

Seeking Corporate Accountability for Crimes at Abu Ghraib — Truthout.org

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What is smaller government for?

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Why Wall Street, Rush Limbaugh, the Republican Party, Most Democrats and the Koch Brothers Want to Eliminate Organized Labor

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Did Mark Twain Say It Best?

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Our tax systems has been broken by the corrupt US government, which is currently owned by the 1 percent.

“Conservatives like to point out that the richest Americans’ federal tax payments make up a large portion of total receipts. This is true, as well it should be in any tax system that is progressive — that is, a system that taxes the affluent at higher rates than those of modest means. It’s also true that as the wealthiest Americans’ incomes have skyrocketed in recent years, their total tax payments have grown. This would be so even if we had a single flat income-tax rate across the board.”

What should shock and outrage us is that as the top 1 percent has grown extremely rich, via redistributing income from the 99 percent, the effective tax rates they pay have markedly decreased. Our tax system is much less progressive than it was for much of the 20th century. The top marginal income tax rate peaked at 94 percent during World War II and remained at 70 percent through the 1960s and 1970s; it is now 39.6 percent. Tax fairness has gotten much worse in the 30 years since Ronald Reagan lead the revolution of the 1 percent of the 1980s.

Here’s what conservatives and Corporate Democrats don’t want you to know. Citizens for Tax Justice, an organization that advocates for a more progressive tax system, has estimated that, when federal, state and local taxes are taken into account, the top 1 percent paid only slightly more than 20 percent of all American taxes in 2010.

The United States has among the lowest top marginal income tax rates for developed nations. These low rates are not essential for growth. In fact, they destroy growth and jobs. Consider Germany, for instance, which has managed to maintain its status as a center of advanced manufacturing, even though its top income-tax rate exceeds America’s by a considerable margin. And in general, our top tax rate kicks in at much higher incomes. Denmark, for example, has a top tax rate of more than 60 percent, but that applies to anyone making more than $54,900. The top rate in the United States, 39.6 percent, doesn’t kick in until individual income reaches $400,000 (or $450,000 for a couple).

The same is true of US based corporations. General Electric, for instance, has become the symbol for multinational corporations that have their headquarters in the United States but pay almost no taxes — its effective corporate-tax rate averaged less than 2 percent from 2002 to 2012. Many US corporations don’t pay any taxes, yet get rebates and refunds from the government, meaning they have negative tax rates.

One reason for the poor US economic performance is the large distortion caused by the tax system. The one thing economists agree on is that incentives matter — if you lower taxes on speculation, say, you will get more speculation. We’ve drawn our most talented young people into financial shenanigans, rather than into creating real businesses, making real discoveries, providing real services to others. More efforts go into “rent-seeking” — getting a larger slice of the country’s economic pie — than into enlarging the size of the pie. But the rich also use their money to push legislators to enact laws that redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent. That’s precisely why the US economy is performing so badly.

Because this legislatively enacted income redistribution scam is a continuous process, incomes for the middle class have stagnated and declined for the last thirty-three years. Their incomes and wealth are being redistributed to the 1 percent.

The consequences of our broken tax system are not just economic. Our tax system relies heavily on voluntary compliance. But if citizens believe that the tax system is unfair, this voluntary compliance will not be forthcoming. More broadly, government plays an important role not just in social protection, but in making investments in infrastructure, technology, education and health. Without such investments, our economy will be weaker, and our economic growth slower.

Society can’t function well without a minimal sense of national solidarity and cohesion, and that sense of shared purpose also rests on a fair tax system. If Americans believe that government is unfair — that ours is a government of the 1 percent, for the 1 percent, and by the 1 percent — then faith in our democracy will surely perish.

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Wall Street Banks and the Big Government Handout: These banks give out high dividends from the taxpayers to their rich welfare-shareholders and CEOs. The game is rigged against the 99 percent because the 1 percent own the goverment, lock, stock and barrel. Just ask Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden.

Do you want to see how much Wall Street has gotten from the Federal Reserve? Check out this link; https://johnhively.wordpress.com/2011/12/05/breakdown-of-the-26-trillion-the-federal-reserve-handed-out-to-save-rich-incompetent-investors-but-who-purchase-political-power/

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