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Archive for September, 2013

Actually, what Warren asks is, If the minimum wage had been allowed to grow at the same rate as productivity growth since 1960, it would be $22 an hour today. So who got all the money?

The answer is simple. The 1 percent redistributed all the money to themselves using federal legislation, while orchestrating a propaganda campaign via the corporate propaganda machine known as the news media, to ensure public opinion has been for the things that redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent, such as trickle down economics, freely shipping jobs overseas treaties, and tax cuts for the rich. Of course, it helps that legislators such as Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden are so easily bought off.

So today, rather than a robust economy with strong demand because people are earning more money, we have an incredibly bad economy because demand is weak. We also have a massively corrupt federal government, along with state and local politicians that are also corrupted by big money, such as Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. That’s what all the income redistributed from the 99 to the 1 percent over the last 33 years has purchased.

In 1979, the 1 percent received about 7-8 percent of all the income earned in the United States. Nowadays, they’re stealing over 30 percent, which leaves less money for the 99 percent to demand goods and services. And the economy is getting weaker because this thief from the 1 percent continues. They’ve stolen 95 percent of all the income growth in the US since 2009. And all that money they’re stealing goes toward purchasing more government corruption, more Wall Street scams, more income being redistributed from the 99 to the 1 percent, and more propaganda from the misnamed corporate news media to make us stupid and ignornant. Thank you, Senator Wyden, Wall Street’s useful idiot.

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Robert Benmosche is the Chief Executive Officer of AIG. You know that company. US taxpayers bailed it out in 2009 because of the sheer incompetence of their CEO, who happened to be a total nincompoop named Robert Benmosche. This was a guy that decided his company should provide insurance for home mortgage backed bonds during the worst housing bubble in US history. He assumed the value of housing would go up and up, and never come down. Dumb, dumb, dumb. These insurance policies are called credit default swaps. When the economy and housing market tanked, the value of the bonds tanked, and AIG had to pay up on those insurance policies. But it couldn’t.

These credit default swaps represented a $60 trillion dollar market. All of the insurance companies in the world could never have been able to pay this out. So AIG needed a taxpayer bailout of about $180 billion. Using that money, AIG paid its chief officers millions of dollars in bonuses for their utterly stupid investment decisions.

A few days ago, Dumb Robert Benmosche said the public uproar over the bonuses was the same as the lynching of African-Americans a century ago, like he was being persecuted worst than Jesus Christ on the cross. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Totally arrogant and sociopathic. Benmosche showed a total lack of US history, which was not nearly as bad as his business decisions.

Most of the 1 percent are total incompetent sociopaths who rely heavily on public bailouts. Benmosche is just the tip of the ice berg.

Below is a video about a real lynching.

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The editors of the Oregonian Newspaper, the largest newspaper in Oregon, endorsed a bill at the state level that would prohibit the banning of genetically modified (GMO) crops at the county level, except in Jackson County, which already has such a measure on the ballot.

The corporate propagandists at the Oregonian, who erroneously call themselves editors, failed to mention a number of things. One, of which, is that out-of-state multinational GMO corporations, such as Monsanto and Syngenta, are pouring money into Oregon lobbying firms and legislators. The propagandists didn’t mention that Syngenta is a corporation based in Switzerland, and that all GMO products are banned there. There was no mention in the editors (propagandists) endorsement that all independent studies show health hazards to humans from GMOs.

Tests on rats reveal that GMOs cause tumors, shrunken and deformed sexual organs, and other things. There’s no mention in the editorial that more than a decade ago, a USDA study predicted that once GMOs entered the US food chain, the incidence of allergies would rise. In the first six years after GMO’s entered the food chain, food allergies shot up nearly 300 percent and are still rising.

GMO plants either contain the Bt or the Ht toxin. When an insect bites into a plant with the Bt toxin, the toxin causes its stomach to expand until it explodes. Studies show that almost all women, fetuses and newer born children have these toxins in them. See gmo-toxins-are-in-nearly-all-pregnant-women-fetuses.

GMO’s have also been linked to the demise of bees. Whether true or not, the large GMO corporations and the corporate propaganda machine have worked overtime to distract our attention from the possibility that GMO plants are killing the bees. See death-of-the-bees-genetically-modified-crops-and-the-decline-of-bee-colonies-in-north-america.

Furthermore, German cows fed GMO corn have died in large numbers. The deaths and the GMO have been scientifically linked. There’s a large lawsuit for damages against Syngenta. See Syngenta_Charged_for_Covering_Up_Livestock_Deaths_from_GM_Corn

The list goes on and on, but the propagandists at the Oregonian newspaper conveniently ignored all of the massively mounting evidence of the health hazards to humans. What’s more, in any story about GMO’s in the Oregonian, not one has ever mentioned any of these health hazards.

In addition, the propagandists have used the newspaper as a vehicle to oppose the labeling of GMO ingredients so that people won’t know when they’re being poisoned.

None of this can be called investigative reporting, or even reporting the news. It’s called propaganda, pure and simple. It’s a corrupt rigged game.

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For those of you not in the know, Russia’s Vladimir Putin is the guy who last week engineered the deal to force Syria to give up its chemical weapons. That didn’t help the US military-industrial complex create more profits with US military action, which would have resulted in high profits for them at the expense of the 99 percent. The rest  of the world gets the real story, while those of us in the US get bull shit information that has nothing or little to do with the what’s going on in the real world. We don’t have a free press; we have a corporate propaganda machine, far beyond just the Fox Propaganda Network. It works exactly and for the same reason as Noam Chomsky says below.

This is precisely why we don’t hear about the Trans Pacific Partnership, the “Nafta on Steroids of free trade,” which will gut state and local environmental, health and safety laws, drive up prescription drug prices, likely curtail internet freedom, and redistribute political rights and income from the 99 percent to the 1 percent. This treaty will also rob us of precious tax dollars for local and state services, schools, fire and police. That money will be redistributed to the 1 percent.

This is precisely why the press refuses to investigate the obvious; the massive amount of income redistributed from the 99 to the 1 percent over the last thirty-three years is primarily created by these free trade agreements. Politicians such as Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden know this, editors of every major propaganda outlet know this, but we’re not supposed to know this, as well as a lot of other things, so they’re going to keep the debate within the narrow confines of misleading corporate propaganda. But this debate will be lively.

As for the economy, this is just another way the game is rigged for the 1 percent and against the 99 percent.

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Most People Are Getting Screwed

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The average US household pays $6,000 a year in subsidies to big business, which is pretty much the same thing as saying the families of the 99 percent are paying $6,000 a year in subsidies to the families of the 1 percent. Pretty much, and not quite, but close enough.

$6,000 in subsidies? It’s also an understatement.

The Cato Institute estimates the US federal government spends $100 billion a year on corporate welfare. That’s an average of $870 for each one of America’s 115 million families.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) reports US oil subsidies of $502 billion. That’s almost $4,400 per US family by taking into account “the effects of energy consumption on global warming [and] on public health through the adverse effects on local pollution.”

Of course, the Cato Institute didn’t consider war, such as US military expenditures, as well as US mercenaries. Remember, at the height of the occupation of Iraq, when the fighting was the worst, the US employed more mercenaries than it had military personnel in that nation. Those guys were a ton more expensive than US GI’s. At the low end of the pay scale, they cost about $120,000 per. That shows how much money privatization costs, rather than saves the US government since the yearly cost of a GI hovers around $45,000 a year.

As for other subsidies, a New York Times investigation revealed that $696 per family went for business incentives at the state, county and city levels. There is also $722 per family for interest rate subsidies for banks, $350 for retirement fund bank fees, $1,268 for overpriced medications, $870 for corporate tax subsidies, and $1,231 for revenue losses from corporate tax havens, such as the Caymen Islands.

Every family below the 1 percent is paying about $6,000 a year to help corporations push their profits to record levels, year after year, during a time when the middle class can hardly afford these subsidies. This has raised stock prices to record levels, along with dividend payments to the 1 percent. This is called an income redistribution scam, or rather, a series of them. These scams only exist because of the massive corruption of government at all levels in the US, through massive infusions of cash.

Check out the link below for more on the story.

Average American Family Pays $6,000 A Year in Subsidies to Big Business-BIll Moyers.com

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Hows the US rates in terms of income inequality

The distribution of income is determined by the distribution of democracy. The United States is low in both cases. That’s because big money has gutted democracy and used government as a tool to redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent. It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking at Republicans like Wall Street Senator Mitch McConnell, or Democrats like Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden, President Obama or former President Bush. Like all Republicans in Congress, and 80 percent of Democrats, these Wall Street drones will continue to vote against the interests of the people they are theoretically supposed to represent, but they always represent Wall Street and big corporations against the interests of their constituents on all financial matters, such as income redistributing free corporate trade treaties, privatization scams, and more. They will always vote to redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent. This massive US political corruption by the 1 percent is why the distribution of income is so one-sided, unlike say, in Denmark, Sweden and Germany, where some semblence of democracy remains. The US is no longer a democracy; it is a plutocracy, a government of the rich.

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By Joshua Holland

 Sometime in the next week, Congress will either get it together to pass a new budget resolution or the government will shut down (all but essential services). Two weeks after that, the federal government will reach its debt limit. If it is not raised, nobody really knows what will happen. The only sure thing is that it would roil the financial markets and cause some damage to the global economy.So, we have another fiscal cliff. This contrived crisis is even more irrational than those of the past few years because Republicans in Congress have not only taken a hostage that they can’t shoot, but are demanding that Democrats ditch their signature achievement of the Obama presidency: the Affordable Care Act.

Here are seven things you need to understand about how wacky all of this really is.

1. The plan …

Political observers expect to see some serious kabuki theater in the next few weeks. Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) caved in to tea party pressure and passed a budget resolution last week that includes a measure “defunding” the act.

Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT) have been attacking House Republicans for not passing such a bill. In all likelihood, they will now filibuster the bill they have been begging for in order to try to block Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) from stripping out the defunding language, which he can do with a simple majority.

Because many Republican senators think this is all crazy – John McCain referred to Cruz as a “wacko-bird” a few months back, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said he won’t support the effort — the filibuster will only be a delaying tactic. In the final days or hours before the government shuts down, the Senate will send a budget to the House. At that point, Boehner will either attract enough Republican votes by promising a showdown over the debt limit in a couple of weeks and pass the budget with a bunch of Democratic votes or let the government shut down.

Then there’s the debt limit. Boehner has promised his members that they will get another bite of the Obamacare apple, but he faces a big problem: Obama’s insistence that it is Congress’ duty to pay the bills it ran up, and his refusal to negotiate on the matter.

The Washington Post’s Paul Kane reports that Boehner may hold a vote this week on a bill laden down with conservative goodies — including the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, Medicare means testing, tax reform and a one year delay of all the health care act’s provisions — in order to get his caucus to raise the debt limit through 2014, but it is not clear whether any debt limit hike can attract 218 Republican votes, especially one that would be dead on arrival in the Senate.

2. Everyone knows this is all a scam …

Everyone in Washington knows that these budget shenanigans have zero chance of success because the vast majority of the funding for the health care act is “mandatory spending,” which means that a shutdown will have no effect. Only a bill passed by the (Democratically controlled) Senate and signed by Obama could defund the health care law, which is about as likely as the Loch Ness monster singing the national anthem at this year’s World Series.

But as The Washington Post’s conservative blogger Jennifer Rubin notes, the outside groups pushing the effort — Freedomworks, the Heritage Action Committee and the Senate Conservatives Fund – are raising big bucks from all this drama. In fact, according to The Huffington Post, the Senate Conservatives Fund “raised its largest-ever monthly total for a non-election year this August.” Democrats are reportedly getting in on the action as well.

3. Plan B …

Ted Cruz offered an alternative this week when he urged the House to continue sending bills funding various elements of government to the Senate. “If Harry Reid kills this bill in this Senate, I think the House should hold its ground and begin passing smaller continuing resolutions one department at a time,” Cruz told Fox News this week. “It should start with a continuing resolution focused on the military. Let’s see if Harry Reid is willing to shut down the military just because he wants to force Obamacare on the American people.”

As Roll Call noted, the House approved a defense authorization bill back in July.

4. “Clean” budget isn’t that clean …

The goal here is to get a “clean” budget resolution through both chambers of Congress and onto the president’s desk. But largely missing from the discussion is the fact such a budget would maintain the crushing cuts of the sequester, representing a significant victory for conservatives.

Democratic congressional staffers told The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent that they would not pick a fight over the sequester-level funding because the budget resolution is temporary — it will only keep the government afloat for three months — and they do not want to shift blame away from Republicans if a shutdown or default occurs.

5. Republicans are deluding themselves about the public’s opinion of Obamacare.

“The American people don’t want the government shut down, and they don’t want Obamacare,” John Boehner said after the House passed its bill. “The House has listened to the American people.” This is a common refrain from Republicans who support the effort to defund the law, and it is a product of being stuck in the conservative media bubble.

The truth is that while Americans are divided on the health care law – with slightly more opposing it than supporting it – poll after poll shows that large majorities disapprove of the effort to defund it by threatening a shutdown or messing with the credit of the US government.

6. No leverage.

John Boehner has all but begged the White House to enter into negotiations to raise the debt limit. But he has no leverage, for two reasons. First, he is on record saying that not raising the debt ceiling would lead to “a financial disaster, not only for us, but for the worldwide economy.” And second, because more than twice as many Americans would blame Republicans in Congress for that disaster than would blame the president.

It’s a weak hand. But he is really caught between a rock and a hard place: He has got little control over his caucus but is set up to be the fall guy if it all goes badly. It is no wonder that it has been widely rumored that he is not interested in another term as speaker.

7. Not raising the debt limit in a timely manner will increase the national debt …

Former Senator and Senate Finance Committee Chair Judd Gregg, R-N.H., explained this irony in an op-ed urging Republicans not to play “Russian Roulette with all the chambers of the gun loaded”…

A default would lead to some level of chaos in the debt markets, which would lead to a significant contraction in economic activity, which would lead to job losses, which would lead to higher spending by the federal government and lower tax revenues, which would lead to more debt.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said last week that games over the budget and debt ceiling are already hurting the economy.

This article, Seven Things You Should Know About the Wackiest “Fiscal Crisis” Yet, is syndicated from Moyers & Company and is posted here with permission.

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The US credit union regulator has filed an anti-trust lawsuit against 13 major international banks as part of the global crackdown in the Libor raterigging scandal.

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) said it aims to recover some of the funds lost by five corporate credit unions it supervised and which have since failed, according to a statement posted on the NCUA website Monday.

“We have a responsibility to pursue recoveries through every available avenue against those who caused billions of dollars in losses to credit unions,” NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz said.

Click below for the rest of the story.

As for the Libor scandal, it was simply case of major banks illegally rigging interest rates higher than they should have been. That way, CEO’s were able to pay themselves and their rich shareholders more of your money whenever you took out a loan during the scandal. In other words, the Libor scandal was an income redistribution scam putting the money of the 99 percent into the pockets of the 1 percent. It was business, as usual.

Regulator sues 13 banks in Libor rate-fixing case for selling nearly $2.4 billion in ‘faulty securities’ to credit unions–Rawstory.com

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