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Archive for December, 2015

According to the Economic Policy Institute, “The state employment and unemployment figures for October, released today (Dec 4, 2015) by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, were slightly more encouraging than the previous few months. Job growth remained steady in most states and unemployment rates ticked down slightly more, on average, than was the case heading into fall. Still, the U.S. labor market is far from fully healed. In fact, this month’s report marks something of a bittersweet milestone: there are now 25 states that have reached their pre-recession unemployment rates. Only 25 more to go.

These statistics understate the level of unemployment by a fairly hefty margin. The number of full time jobs are at a low level not seen since 1980, when the economy and population were about half of what they are now.

These sobering statistics reveal that this is the worst economic expansion in US history for the middle class. It also is following a trend. The second worst economic expansion was the previous one. As predicted in The Rigged Game: Corporate America and a People Betrayed, the impacts of the next recession will be longer and deeper for the declining middle class, as well as for the working and poor classes. That’s because millions of jobs are being shipped overseas, and the difference between the old US wages and the new lower foreign wages goes straight into the pockets of the super rich via higher corporate profits, rising share prices, and surging dividends. That’s precisely why and how the 1 percent have stolen over 37 percent of all income produced in the United States in 2015, compared to 8 percent in 1980. Those figures are also why job and wage growth are the worst of any economic expansion in US history.

The 99 percent received only 63 percent of all the income in 2015, compared to 92 percent in 1980. This is why demand for goods and services is slack in 2015 compared to 1980, which is precisely why job growth is pathetic more than six years after the last recession ended. These figures are also why the stock markets have surged over the same period. The rich have used their ill gotten gains to bid up the price of stocks and bonds. The price for politicians has also surged, which is why the rich also heavily invest in politicians, which is why the rich have gotten richer at the expense of the 99 percent.

For example, Wall Street senator’s Ron Wyden, Mitch McConnell and Orrin Hatch have led the charge to ship jobs overseas, and redistribute income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent using government power. Nowadays, these scammers for the one percent are championing the Trans Pacific Partnership, the largest income and redistribution scam in US history, although it’s falsely marketed as a trade treaty. If this treachery passes congress, anticipate the middle class, currently 50 percent of all adults (down from 61 percent in 1970), will shrink down to 35-40 percent, and the rich will reach a milestone of stealing 50 percent of all US income by 2017, thanks to their henchmen in congress.

As for the report by the Economic Policy Institute, from July to October, 37 states and the District of Columbia added jobs, with Idaho (+1.5 percent), Nebraska (+1.2 percent), and Arizona (+1.1 percent) posting the largest percentage gains. The gains in Idaho and Arizona exemplify the strong growth experienced in a number of western states of the past year. Since October of 2014, states in the West—particularly those off the coast, such as Utah, Idaho, and Nevada—have had the strongest job growth nationwide. Job totals fell in 13 states from July to October, although only North Dakota’s (-0.7 percent) and Louisiana’s losses (-0.3 percent) seem indicative of a trend.

Unemployment rates fell in 40 states plus the District of Columbia since July. The largest reductions were in Missouri (-0.8 percentage points), South Carolina (-0.8 percentage points), Mississippi (-0.6 percentage points), New York (-0.6 percentage points), Ohio (-0.6 percentage points), South Dakota (-0.6 percentage points), Virginia (-0.6 percentage points), and West Virginia (-0.6 percentage points).”

Check out the whole story by clicking on the following link.

How Strong in the US Economic? Six years after the end of the last recession, unemployment is still higher than it was before the recession–Economic Policy Institute

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A new study by the Pew Research Center shows the US middle class has shrunk from 62 percent of the adult population in 1970 to 50 percent today. In addition, middle class income has shrunk 4 percent since 2000. And all of this has occurred with Democratic Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden, one the architects on the war against the middle class, leading the charge against the middle class on behalf of the 1 percent, first in the US congress, and lately in the US senate.

Every president since Ronald Reagan has been in on this scam. For the past twenty years, Wyden has been the number one congressional champion of income and wealth redistribution scams, such as NAFTA and the Trans Pacific Partnership. The Federal Reserve has bailed out rich investors time after time, and most recently raised interest rates. The latter raised the interest on loans the 99 percent pay to the banks, which will enrich the banks. This action will increase bank profits, raised dividends to the rich folks who own shares of the banks, and raise share prices. Guess who benefits, and guess who loses. And it’s worse than the chart below shows.

ST_2015-12-09_middle-class-03

If you subtract the 1 percent with its 37 percent of total national income, the middle class looks considerably smaller than the above graph shows. The median income would shift to the left considerably, and be smaller in the process. Below is a graph based on actual income distribution in which the 1 percent are stealing 37 percent of all income in 2015 compared to just 8 percent in 1980.

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Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden has led and is still leading the attack of the 1 percent against the middle class, and he is responsible for this because of his support for income redistribution agreements, falsely marketed as trade agreements, which shifts jobs overseas. The difference between the old higher US wages and the new lower Chinese, Vietnamese, Mexican, Pakistani and Indian wages go straight into the pockets of the rich via higher corporate earnings, rising share prices, and surging dividends.

The result of the Wyden attack has been to weaken the demand sector of the US economy, since everybody but the 1 percent purchases the goods and services necessary to keep the economy chugging along. The 1  percent, instead, invest their money in politicians like Wyden, Mitch McConnell, Orrin Hatch, Earl Blumenauer, as well as in stocks and bonds and other assets. And this is precisely why we have an economy twice the size of 1980, with a population also about twice the size, but which produces fewer and fewer jobs with declining real wages compared to 1980.

Wyden, Hatch and McConnell are notorious in that they have assumed the rich are not sufficiently rich, and so they are supporting the most massive income redistribution scam in US history, the Trans Pacific Partnership. This will soon be voted on in congress. See What the Corporate News Media Refuses to Tell the Public About The Trans-Pacific Partnership: It’s a Massive Income Redistribution Agreement That Will Drive the Middle Class Further into Poverty, While Enriching the Already Wealthy, And Driving Millions of People into the United States Illegally to Depress US Wages Even More–JohnHively.wordpress.com

For more on this study by the Pew Research Institute, click on the link below.

The Middle Class Is Losing Ground, and Now the Rich Want to Make Certain they lose more ground with the Trans Pacific Partnership-Pew Research Center

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Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen announced Wednesday, December 16 that the Fed will raise short term interest rates by .25 percent. That means interest rates are going to rise for the 99 percent; from 15 to 17 percent on credit cards, for example. Home mortgage rates, car loans, home equity credit lines, and student loans, among other loans, are going to rise. Home mortgage loans will rise from about 3 percent to roughly 5 percent.

Yet there are no signs of an inflationary spiral, which would in theory spur the Fed into raising rates, which is one of its falsely stated goals. Then there’s high (but not too high) employment, another cherished and false goal of the Fed. For the last six years the US economy has been creating less jobs every year (and with declining wages) than occurred under that alleged dreadful president, Jimmy Carter, whose four years as president also included rising real wages. Carter did this with an economy and population about half of today’s economy.

Preliminary indications are that the US is headed toward a recession deeper and longer than the last one, and we should arrive there somewhere between seven and seventeen months from now. The Fed’s actions exacerbate these indications by redistributing income from the 99 to the 1 percent, curtailing demand, and hurting the economy, such as a US durable goods sector that is clearly in recession. So what gives? What is the Fed up to?

Despite false statements to the contrary, the Fed actually has pretty much followed only two goals throughout its history, and its latest move is a classic example of this. One goal is to protect the profits and share prices of the big banks, and number two is to protect wealthy investors from their own bad investment decisions. Everybody else is expendable when the Fed undertakes its responsibilities. In other words, the 99 percent is expendable, and often the victims, of the Fed’s actions on behalf of its unstated goals, which is to financially protect the rich.

And so in this most recent Fed action, the Fed is doing its first duty; increasing the earnings and share prices of the big banks at the expense of the 99 percent, which makes it seem, quite accurately, that the relationship between the Fed/Big Banks and the 99 percent is akin to parasites unto their hosts.

Your higher credit payments are going toward greater bank profits, which will provide rising dividends to rich shareholders. Share prices might and should rise, at least in the short term. This is pure income redistribution, and the corporate propaganda network wants you to believe the Fed’s increase in interest rates is to stabilize the economy, or limit non-existent inflationary pressures, or who knows what. But the last thing the corporate press wants you to know is that more of your income is being redistributed by the US Federal Reserve Bank to the rich via higher bank profits, rising shares, and soaring dividends. The rich are going to get richer, and you are going to be more poor.

The ten biggest US banks have many things in common, and one of them is declining share prices since last summer. Clearly, the Fed’s action is intended to reverse the decline.

The ten biggest US banks are:

1 JP Morgan Chase
2. Bank of America
3. Citigroup
4. Wells Fargo
5. US Bancorp
6. Bank of New York Mellon Corporation
7. PNC Bank
8. Capital One
9. HSBC North America Holdings
10. TD Bank US Holding Company

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Wage_stagnation

The 2,000-page omnibus spending bill released by the Senate Wednesday morning contains a secret provision that many senators hope unemployed blue-collar workers won’t find out about.

“This provision would quadruple the number of H-2B visas for low-skilled foreign “guest workers.” It would allow more than a quarter-of-a-million foreign workers to enter the U.S. each year and work in the construction industry, hotel-motel services, truck drivers, food processing, forestry and many other fields that don’t require a college education.”

In other words, as wages have declined for the last thirty-five years, members of congress have decided US wages need to decline further. In other words, immigration is largely used by the US government to regulate wages downward. If a job cannot be exported, the US government will make it easier for employers to lower wages.

A vote on the spending bill is expected late Thursday night, possibly after midnight, sources on the Hill told WND.

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According to Ecowatch, “By an overwhelming margin, American voters say consumers should have the right to know if their food is genetically modified, with 89 percent in support of mandatory GMO labeling, according to a new national poll. Nearly the same number of consumers would like to see the labels in an easy to read format.

chartgmolabel

The survey by the Mellman Group confirms previous polls that found heavy support for GMO labeling. The new poll shows labeling is supported by large majorities of Democrats, Republicans and independents, as well as people with favorable or unfavorable views of GMOs. Overall, 77 percent of respondents were strongly in favor of labeling.”

“Everyone needs information to make informed food choices, not just those who have smart phones,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch. “There is no acceptable substitute for mandatory on-package labeling of GMO food.”

The poll, commissioned by a coalition of consumer and environmental groups, comes at a timely moment. In Congress, some lawmakers want to add a provision to the omnibus spending bill that would block states from requiring GMO labels for produce and processed food, as would the so-called DARK Act passed by the House last summer.

In other words, politicians and their GMO masters want to keep you in the dark by stealing your voting rights on the state and national levels, which is a clear violation of your constitutional rights. If the Dark Act fails in the senate, which is unlikely, the politicians have an end run around that. It’s called the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). This international income and voting rights redistribution agreement, fraudulently marketed as a free trade agreement, will, among other things, redistribute massive amounts of income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent, and steal your rights to vote on many issues, including GMO labeling. Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden has guided this monster through the US senate on behalf of his corporate masters.

I should also point out that numerous academic studies on GMO’s have linked them to such things as tumors, cancer, autism, obesity, and much more. For more on this, click scientist-who-discovered-gmos-cause-tumors-in-rats-wins-landmark-defamation-lawsuit-in-paris–Healthnutnews

The fact that all independent studies show health hazards, which the US food Drug Administration dutifully ignores in deference its GMO corporate masters, shows how corrupt to the core the US government has become.

gmochart2750

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved last month the sale of genetically engineered salmon—which grows to maturity twice as fast as normal salmon and is cobbled together from the genes of different species—but the FDA will not require the salmon to be labeled. This demonstrates the corruption.

“Americans have yet again expressed an overwhelming desire to know what’s in their food,” said Jean Halloran, director of food policy initiatives for Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy arm of Consumer Reports. “Shoppers want to see clear labels on food packaging that tell them if products are made with genetically engineered ingredients without having to use confusing codes or smartphone apps. We hope lawmakers hear consumers’ call for meaningful, mandatory national GMO labeling.”

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In Quebec today, 400,000 public workers and teachers went on strike protesting lagging contract talks. In the United States, you’d be lucky to get 40 people to a strike. That’s because the corporate propaganda machine has smeared the labor union name, and too many US citizens have bought into the lies, even as their jobs have been shipped overseas, their wages have been crushed, their benefits eroded, and the value of their lost incomes, in terms of benefits and wages, have been redistributed to the 1 percent. That’s why and how the 1 percent in the United States steal over 37 percent of the income produced yearly, compared to only 10 percent in Canada.

That means the 99 percent earn 90 percent of the income per year in Canada, compared to 63 percent in the US. This gives the Canadian 99 percent more money to purchase goods and services, which creates jobs and stimulates growth in Gross Domestic Product, wages and benefits. In the USA, where the 99 percent earn 92 percent of the income, but receive only 63 percent, because the rich have stolen it from them via federal and state legislation, the demand for goods is considerably slacker than in Canada.

What’s the difference between corporate propaganda in Canada and in the United States?

In Canada, there are rules regarding honesty in public broadcasting. Much of the lying propaganda put out by the US cable and major news (propaganda) networks over the last thirty years has not been broadcast into Canada. This is true as well for the right wing radio talk shows that unofficially operate as a propaganda machine for US corporations. Fox News, for example, cannot be broadcast into Canada because the company would violate the honesty clause governing Canadian news broadcasts. However, you can get Fox in Canada via satellite.

The laws in Canada governing honesty in reporting include the Radio Act and other policies, that prohibit “any false or misleading news.” These “provisions against spreading misinformation used to be part of Canada’s criminal code, according to Canadian media lawyer Paul Schabas. They were famously evoked to send Holocaust denier and neo-Nazi publisher Ernst Zündel to trial in the 1980s. After the Canadian Supreme Court ruled that the code violated freedom of expression rights and thus was unconstitutional, the false news provisions became simply regulations.”

Honesty, in other words, is the key difference as to why the US labor movement is declining in numbers, while the labor movement is growing in Canada.

Click right here for more on the Quebec strikes from Revolution News.

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On Thursday, December 3, 2015, Minnesota government officials announced the state was facing a $1.9 billion surplus. Current Governor Mark Dayton faced a $6.2 billion deficit five years ago when he took office from Republican Trickle-downer Governor Tim Pawlenty. So what happened that such a massive change occurred? The state got the extra cash by raising taxes on the rich by 2 percent. The government also increased the minimum wage, and the jobs keep coming, which is why the state has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation at 3.7 percent. Demand for goods and services have increased, and so have the number of jobs, as more than 172,000 have been created in Dayton’s first term, compared to slightly more than 6,000 in the eight years when Pawlenty’s voo-doo economics ruled the state house.

The rich have gotten wealthier over the last thirty years by paying politicians to pass legislation and international income redistribution agreements (falsely marketed as free trade agreements), which have redistributed income from the 99 to the 1 percent. They’ve done this so much that the 1 percent currently steal 37 percent of the nation’s total income compared to 8 percent in 1980. That means the 99 percent earn only 63 percent of the income produced in the USA compared to 92 percent back in 1980. In 1980, the 99 percent were able to demand more goods and services, which created more jobs and rising real wages, which is the reverse of what’s going on today, except in Minnesota.

The West Central Tribune says Minnesota’s extra cash appears headed toward early childhood education and high-speed internet for Minnesota residents. “Governor Mark Dayton, of Minnesota’s Democrat-Farm Labor Party, ran for office on a call to implement broadband internet “border-to-border” and has called for a $100 million infusion of funds, in conjunction with private investment, to build the initial infrastructure. While the total estimated cost to complete the job is $3.2 billion, Gov. Dayton has plenty of money to work with — the surplus is more than double what the state legislature had on hand by the end of this year’s legislative session in June.”

Governor Dayton decided to discontinue the failed policies of tossing “subsidies at corporations and offering them more tax breaks that would further stifle growth.” Instead, the governor implemented policies to stimulate real financial growth, including  raising income taxes on top earners by 2 percent. That, combined with a scaled increase to the state minimum wage, created an instant injection of money into his state’s stagnant economy that kept local businesses from shutting their doors.”

Once the economy was stabilized, Dayton doubled down on his plan to stimulate growth from the bottom up by paying down the state’s debt and investing in Minnesota’s schools. This created an environment where people actually wanted to live and raise a family, essentially creating demand where before, people were leaving Minnesota to escape the lower quality of life that continues to plague states still clinging to trickle down policies,” which have stifled demand by redistributing income from the 99 percent to the 1 percent. Trickle down policies also gave the rich more money with which to corrupt governments across the nation, as well as both political parties.

“Minnesota’s dramatic comeback provides a sharp contrast to Wisconsin, their neighbor to the east, where Governor Scott Walker has literally driven the state into the ground. Under Walker, Wisconsin broke up labor unions, driving down the average income of working class families that are the lifeblood of any economy. That, combined with his economic strategy of subsidizing industries to set up shop in his state while offering them huge tax-breaks, has bankrupted their once thriving economy.”

Now, even though the national economy is facing uncertainty due to the continuing burden of student debt and flagging exports, Minnesota has almost $2 billion in state budget reserves and is forced to choose between increasing working family tax credits or lowering property taxes.

It is a problem most states would love to have.

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