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Archive for May, 2016

To a remarkable extent, the level of inequality—which fell during the New Deal but has risen dramatically since the late 1970s—corresponds to the rise and fall of labor unionization in the United States; and US labor union participation rates corresponds with the number of free trade agreements the US government enters into, as well as the development of historic levels of income and wealth inequality.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, “As union membership has fallen over the last few decades, the share of income going to the top 10 percent has steadily increased. Union membership fell to 11.1 percent in 2014, where it remained in 2015 (not shown in the figure). The share of income going to the top 10 percent, meanwhile, hit 47.2 percent in 2014—only slightly lower than 47.8 percent in 2012, the highest it has been since 1917 (the earliest year data are available). When union membership was at its peak (33.4 percent in 1945) the share of income going to the top 10 percent was only 32.6 percent.”

As you can see in the graph below, the share of US workers represented by labor unions began to drop in 1960 as electronic jobs, such as manufacturing televisions and radios, began to be exported more and more to places like Taiwan. That process began in the 1950s.

Union membership began to decline even more in 1964 when Mexico and the USA signed a treaty creating the free trade Maquiladora Zone inside Mexico. This zone runs along the US border, and is twelve miles wide and runs from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean. Corporations are allowed to import parts into the zone, assemble things there, and export the finished products into the United States duty free. Tens of thousands of US labor union jobs were exported into Mexico because of this treaty.

Other maquiladora zones have been created throughout Central America since then. What happened to the US textile industry? Much of it is in Central America. Roughly 225,000 former US textile jobs now reside in El Salvador alone.

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US labor union membership dropped from 28.5 to 25.4 percent from 1964 to 1980. Then, of course, Reaganomics and more trade treaties hit US workers. NAFTA struck, and the rest is history. The stock markets shot up as labor union members saw their jobs being exported. You can see the amazing coincidence in the graphs above and below. As the jobs were exported, the stock markets exploded upward. Roughly 35 million US jobs have been exported since 1990.

S&P500_(1950-12)

Nowadays, the top 1 percent are stealing 37 percent of all income produced in the United States, compared to 8 percent in 1980. That’s because when a job is exported the difference between the old higher US pay and the new lower third world country pay goes straight into the pockets of the rich via higher corporate profits, surging dividends, and soaring share prices.

This is the link between income/wealth inequality and trade agreements business leaders, politicians, academics, and the corporate press don’t want you to know about.

Corporate stocks and bonds, by the way, are wealth. Wealth is something of value that you own, while income is money coming in. So the rich get more income by shipping jobs overseas, and in the process, they inflate the value of their wealth, such as stocks and bonds. The rich get richer with every trade agreement.

Now President Obama, and several Wall Street Democrats, such as Hillary Clinton and Ron Wyden, have joined with the majority of Republicans in congress to redistribute more income from the 99 to the 1 percent via the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP is the largest income redistribution scam in US history, and the Wall Street Democrats and most Republicans are falsely marketing it as a free trade agreement. The Guardian News Paper calls the TPP “NAFTA on steroids.”

As more of those labor union jobs are exported, much of the tax base is exported with it. Actually that tax base is redistributed to the rich. As that tax base diminishes, the tax funds for fire, police, Social Security, public schools, slowly evaporates. And unionized public sector employees find themselves under attack.

It’s a big scam folks.

Protect your jobs! Protect your future! Fight against the TPP! Vote for Bernie Sanders!

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Bernie Sanders Surges In California

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Bernie Sanders has surged into a statistical tie with Wall Street’s candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton in the California primary to be held next month.

The survey, conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California, finds Clinton with only a small lead over Sanders, 46 percent to 44 percent, among likely voters in the Democratic primary next month.

This means Bernie will likely win California since Bernie voters turn out in greater numbers than those who will vote for the Wall Street candidate.

The PPIC poll shows the race breaking along familiar lines. Sanders holds a large advantage among younger voters — leading 66 percent to 27 percent among voters under age 45 — while Clinton leads, 59 percent to 28 percent, among voters 45 and older.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/05/poll-clinton-and-sanders-in-dead-heat-in-california-223580#ixzz49nJ6tm68
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A few years ago, congress approved and President Obama signed legislation called Dodd-Frank, which was supposed to regulate the actions of Wall Street banks by curbing the financial crimes and other unethical shenanigans of the big banks. Dodd-Frank was weak legislation, badly watered down by Wall Street lobbyists, so the press told us. What the corporate press didn’t tell us is that it was created to be ineffective.

That’s because of Hedge Funds. Hedge funds are unregulated investment firms not impacted by Dodd-Frank, or any other federal regulations.

The big banks all own hedge funds, which are many times larger than the big banks. So, for example, if Goldman Sachs is worth $20 billion, then its two hedge funds are worth closer to $100 billion each. That means only the front company of these investment banks are being “weakly” regulated.

Under the above scenario, only 8 percent of Goldman Sachs is being weakly regulated by Dodd-Frank and whatever other rules are in the federal books. The same holds true for Citibank, JP Morgan/Chase and all the other big banks that have hired the Clinton’s to give speeches on topics they don’t know much about.

In ballyhooing Dodd-Frank, the Democrats achieved virtually no regulations on Wall Street, but they did create a smokescreen by which they could claim they did something significant. Blow away the smoke screen, and they achieved almost nothing in the way of regulating Wall Street.

Hedge Funds were created in 1940. They were small wealth managing companies that were limited to having 99 clients or less via a loophole in the New Deal Reforms.

“The Investment Company and Investment Advisers Acts of 1940 prohibited firms operating with pools of investor money from engaging in risky practices like short sales (bets that a stock will go down instead of up), leverage (investing with borrowed funds to amplify returns and heighten risk), and corporate takeovers. Meanwhile, investment companies had to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), disclosing their portfolios and their corporate structures. The 1940 laws also restricted certain types of fund manager compensation. The purpose was to eliminate the kind of speculative risks with pools of capital that generated the Great Depression.”

Hedge Funds were never a big player in today’s financial markets until one day in 1996 “President Bill Clinton signed the National Securities Markets Improvement Act (NSMIA), which overhauled state and federal responsibility for securities market oversight. It was part of a series of financial market deregulations in the Clinton era, advanced with broad Wall Street support and almost no resistance in Congress: After bipartisan agreement, the House and Senate finalized NSMIA with a voice vote.”

BarclayHedge now estimates hedge fund assets under management in the third quarter of 2015 at $2.7 trillion, up from about $100 billion in 1995. And that doesn’t count the borrowed money also invested by the same firms, which likely total trillions more.

After Clinton left office, Wall Street investment banks rewarded Bill and Hillary Clinton for their loyalty by paying them millions of dollars in speaking fees. No doubt, President Obama will get the same deal if he can get the Trans Pacific Partnership passed through congress via partnership with the Republican Party.

The game is still rigged and Dodd-Frank is almost completely useless thanks to the big banks and their Hedge Funds.

As for Hedge Funds, they are now the preferred vehicle of ripping people off, manipulating markets via their trillions of dollars, helping the big banks keep millions of homes off the markets so as to create the current (as well as the last) housing bubble, and so much more.

The Clinton’s have exacerbated our current crisis of democracy. Vote Bernie Sanders!

As for the rest of the story, stay tuned.

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The video above tells all that is needed for you to know about what the Wall Street Democratic Establishment is planning for the Democratic convention in July, and for the future of the 99 percent.

Like the Democratic primaries, like the future of the 99 percent, the Democratic Convention is being rigged to the benefit of the 1 percent once again.

In other election news, the folks in Oregon who count the votes from last May 17th election haven’t been able to count them all, and won’t be finished until sometime in mid-June. It appears, however, that Bernie Sanders will have taken 60+ percent of the Oregon vote by then, meaning he has improved his mathematical chances of winning the primary election against Wall Street’s darlin’. It ain’t over yet! See The Real Democratic Primary Election Numbers in Oregon–John Laurits

The Democratic Party is not a political party. Rather it is a business establishment that sells government representation and legislation to the highest bidder, and always at the expense of the 99 percent. In that respect, it is no different than the modern Republican Party.

To differentiate differences between the two political parties, the leaderships create false and sometimes incredibly stupid issues. This is always to rally their grassroots and create a facade of solidarity of interest between the Wall Street factions of each party and their respective grassroots. They’ve been doing this for 35+ years.

feel the bern

These issues include bathrooms for transgender people, guns, religion, abortion, wars against women, wars against Christmas, and so much more. The sheep are easily led astray by manipulating their emotions, and this allows the leaderships of both parties to conspire together behind scenes to steal the livelihoods, income and wealth of the grassroots of both parties, and redistribute those things to the 1 percent. The Trans Pacific Partnership is an obvious example of this conspiracy.

Stop being a sheep. Organize against the tyranny of the 1 percent. For Democrats, don’t vote for the Wall Street candidate. This primary season isn’t over.

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The privatization of water systems throughout the world has led to higher water prices, worse maintenance for water systems, lower wages for employees, far worse service for citizens throughout the world, and higher corporate profits. In other words, privatization of communal properties redistributes income from the 99 to the 1 percent.

This is why it was no surprise that the Swiss corporation Nestle wanted the water at Oxbow Springs in Hood River County Oregon. They wanted the water to bottle via their Arrowhead brand, and they wanted the local water system privatized in its favor. Most folks disagreed.

Activists brought Measure 14-55 before the people to prevent massive bottling of any water source within Hood River County. A yes vote meant Nestle wasn’t going to be able to engage in its water grab.

Though opponents of Nestle’s proposed plant in Cascade Locks in scenic Hood River County were vastly outspent, Measure 14-55 easily passed—roughly 69 percent to 31 percent.

According to Julia DeGraw, an organizer for national watchdog organization Food & Water Watch, which helped lead the opposition to Nestle, voters were very aware of the risks of putting corporate control over the precious resource, despite the purported 50 jobs the plant would provide the job-scarce town.

“When you talk to them about something as crucial as their water, which is necessary for an agricultural economy, right after they have a drought, there is not enough misinformation the opposition can throw at voters to make them buy it,” she said.

As Hood River business owner Michael Barthmus explained, “most people understand that water is a resource and basic human need and not a commodity to be exploited. Shipping water outside of our county seems like poor stewardship, especially during a time of shortage and droughts. Our families, farms and the fish in our rivers should be our top priority.

blue gold

The Guardian newspaper of Great Britain reported ahead of the vote that some residents had said that politicians did not hold full public hearings, accepted trips from Nestlé to California and presented negotiations between Nestlé and the state authorities as a done deal that was now out of ordinary people’s hands. Oregon’s largest corporate propaganda organ, The Oregonian newspaper, failed to report any of these things.

Local Water Alliance is applauding the results as a “landslide victory,” as the group had seen the measure’s implications beyond Nestle “dangerous precedent” proposal. “Protecting our water supply is not about stopping just one project. It’s about setting the precedent that our water and the future of our community are so important and so intertwined that we are not willing to sell them off,” the group’s website states.

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Tuesday night, Bernie Sanders was declared the winner of the Democratic Party primary in Oregon. Bernie won 55 to 45 percent. Sanders won every Oregon county save for one. The tally from Gilliam County: Bernie Sanders 100, Clinton 101. With the outcome in Oregon, the senator from Vermont won his third victory in three weeks and put 20 states in Sanders’ column.

After discovering he won Oregon, Sanders told a rally of 11,168 supporters at California State University, Dominquez Hills, “This is the beginning of the final push to win California…There are a lot of people out there who say Bernie Sanders should drop out, the people of California should not have the right to determine who the next president will be,” he said. “We are in this until the last ballot is counted … and then we’re going to take that fight to Philadelphia,” he added.

Meanwhile, in the other primary taking place that night, Kentucky, Hillary Clinton was declared the winner after nearly 2,000 votes were mysteriously shaved from Sanders tally. Perhaps they were given to Clinton, which would then account for her slim margin of victory. Fraud in Kentucky

Bernie was still ahead by a couple thousand votes with 93 percent of precincts reporting. But then, strange as it may seem, Hillary steamrolled past Bernie and won by the narrowest of margins: 212,500 to 210,626.

There have been numerous examples of voter fraud during this Democratic primary, Arizona, Iowa, Nevada, and New York, to name a few. Clinton won every one of these states. There has not been an iota of voter fraud in any of the state’s won by Sanders.

One has to wonder how much voter fraud the Wall Street Democratic Party leadership has had to use to keep the Wall Street candidate in the lead.

– See more at: http://en.institutomanquehue.org/publications/news/msnbc-hosts-almost-shit-their-pants-when-salem.html#sthash.et1KCCjB.dpuf

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NEW YORK — Over the course of a four-day visit to the Philippines this week, four representatives of Communications Workers of America who are on strike discovered that the extent to which Verizon is offshoring work is far beyond what has previously been reported and what the company publicly has claimed. Verizon is offshoring customer service calls to numerous call centers in the Philippines, where workers are paid just $1.78 an hour and forced to work overtime without compensation.

Terrified that the public might find out about what has happened to the good middle-class jobs the company has shipped overseas, Verizon sent private armed security forces after peaceful CWA representatives and called in a SWAT team armed with automatic weapons.

And despite Verizon’s protestation that the current US strike is not affecting service, it has forced call center workers in the Philippines to work overtime hours since 40,000 highly trained U.S. employees went on strike, including about 13,000 US call center workers. Call center workers said they were forced to commit to 1-2 hours of overtime 5 days a week, plus a full 8-hour 6th day of overtime. Verizon’s subcontractors do not pay workers additional overtime compensation for these hours.

“Verizon is terrified that the public might find out about what has happened to the good middle-class jobs the company has shipped to the Philippines. The truth is that Verizon is destroying middle-class American jobs so that it can pay workers $1.78 per hour and force them to work around the clock, rather than preserve good jobs in our communities. That’s what our strike is about. Instead of profiting off of poverty abroad, Verizon should come back to the table and negotiate a fair contract that protects middle-class jobs,” said Dennis Trainor, President of CWA District One.

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