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Archive for September, 2016

fdr-signs-social-security-act

According to Jack Bogle, founder of Vanguard, the mutual funds investment company, Social Security is in crisis.

Bogle said the system’s finances could get a big boost from changes that may be rejected as “politically sensitive,” including

  1. adopting a less-generous approach to calculating cost-of-living adjustments,
  2. raising the maximum annual earnings subject to Social Security tax,
  3. and raising the age for full retirement benefits further from the current range of ages 66 to 67.

First of all, Social Security is not in a crisis. The Fund has a reserve of $2.5 trillion that earns $180 billion in interest a year. That money is due to be used up by roughly 2036 as more and more baby boomers retire. Then Social Security can still pay 84 percent of everybody’s benefits after that.

This means it won’t take much to make up the shortfall. Currently, nobody pays social security taxes on income above $118,500. Simply eliminating this cap on taxing income would erase the future shortfall. However, we could go farther and with good reason.

Here’s what the corporate media doesn’t want you to know.

Trillions of dollars every decade earmarked for the social security trust fund are redirected from the fund into the already fat wallets of the super rich. The rich don’t pay social security taxes on capital gains and dividends. Every time a job is exported, the wages and social security contributions from that job are transformed into capital gains and dividends.

Millions of jobs have been exported. That’s hundreds of billions of dollars every year no longer heading into the Trust Fund because the difference between the old higher US wages and the new lower third world wages goes straight into the pockets of the ultra wealthy via capital gains and dividends.

Capital gains and dividend income are exempt from paying social security taxes.

So why not establish social security taxes on dividends and capital gains above a certain point, say $100,000 a year in income from those sources?

Then you could increase monthly payments to retirees while simultaneously raising the demand for goods and services, which would strengthen the economy, as well as spur job and wage growth.

Wall Street won’t like it, but millions of older folks could use the money being stolen from social security via international income redistribution scams falsely marketed as “trade agreements.”

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student-loans-2

Nowadays, 43 million Americans owe student loans averaging $35,000. That’s because he or she who has the gold makes the rules in the US federal government.

Twenty years ago, the US Congress privatized the student loan program, which was supposed to give more Americans access to higher education.

In its place, lawmakers created another profit center for Wall Street and a system of college finance that has fed the nation’s cycle of inequality. Step by step, Congress has enacted one law after another to make student debt the worst kind of debt for Americans – and the best kind for banks and debt collectors.

Today, just about everyone involved in the student loan industry makes money off students – the banks, private investors, even the federal government.

For example, student loans made Albert Lord rich. Lord was the CEO who built Sallie Mae into a financial colossus through fees, interest and commissions on billions of dollars of federally guaranteed student loans. For delivering handsome profits to investors, Lord received pay and stock worth hundreds of millions of dollars. He also owns his own private golf course, thanks to everybody else’s student loan payments.

Student Loans

Then we can’t forget the bondholders. That’s right. Like mortgage backed bonds, there are hundreds of billions of dollars of student loan backed bonds. Who owns them? Not the folks who owe student loans. Wall Street investment banks, hedge funds and other assorted super-rich investors own them. When student loan borrowers make payments on their student loans, part of that monthly payment goes to the investors, who, coincidentally, have an incentive to keep pushing government to enact more laws and regulations to ensure that more students take out more debt, and cannot go bankrupt on their current debt.

In other words, the legal structure of student loans was changed back in the 1990’s to ensure that rich investors could suck millions of college students dry. Student loans have become simply another plot to redistribute income from working Americans to the rich.

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the-duck-and-the-tpp

Wall Street President Obama plans to unleash Wall Street’s Democratic Party attack dog against the middle class. Attack Dog Wyden will likely introduce the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) in the senate during the lame duck session, where it will likely pass.

The TPP is a 12 nation trade agreement that will redistribute trillions of dollars and significant political power, including stealing away many of your voting rights on the local and state levels, from the 99 to the 1 percent. That’s why Obama and Wyden are for this agreement.

The entire Republican Party leadership stands behind Obama on the TPP. Yes, Wall Street Senator Mitch McConnell and Wall Street Senator Orrin Hatch are counting on Obama. The TPP will likely pass through the senate, but it’s going to have problems in the US House of Representatives.

The American people are rising up against these income and political power redistribution agreements, which are falsely marketed as international trade agreements.

According to a new poll conducted jointly by Harvard University and Politco.com, “In a stunning reversal, a large majority of Republicans are repudiating their party’s traditional support for free trade, and falling sharply in line with nominee Donald Trump’s insistence that trade costs Americans more jobs than it creates.” Duh! Anybody think Wall Street and the super rich would want these agreements if they created more US jobs than they destroyed? The game is to lower the cost of labor so as to increase corporate profits, dividends and share prices.

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Strangely, grassroots Democrats who have opposed these agreements in the past are now more gullible than Republican grassroots members in some ways, while the Republicans can be more gullible in other ways. “The POLITICO-Harvard poll shows, 85 percent of Republicans say that free trade has cost the U.S. more jobs than it has created, compared to 54 percent of Democrats.”

The poll also showed the 59 percent of Democrats and only 20 percent of Republicans believe income inequality is a problem. Yes it is. Ask anybody from any third world nation. The 1 percent now steal about 36 percent of all income, up from 8 percent in 1980. That means the rest of us have less money with which to demand the goods and services necessary to power the economy, unless, of course, we use credit. Quite naturally, Americans have higher levels of debt than ever before. Anybody think that’s a problem?

According to the poll, some voters are going to cast ballots based on a candidate’s position on trade deals. Many Democrats will vote for Donald Trump for president, while also voting for their Democratic senate and US House candidates.

The polls findings also suggest Trump wiped out the other 16 Republican candidates for president this year since these trade scams were bigger issues with grassroots Republicans than for Democratic voters. This might also explain, in part, why Democrats failed to elect Bernie Sanders as their standard bearer.

The TPP will only make matter worse for the 99 percent. Just check out the links below.

The Trans Pacific Partnership–The Op-ed the corporate media doesn’t want you read–JohnHIvely.Wordpress.com

http://www.citizen.org/documents/TPP-USITC-Study-Press-Release.pdf

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/09/politico-harvard-poll-free-trade-trump-gop-228600#ixzz4LZlNPmyj
Follow us: @politico on Twitter | Politico on Facebook

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Public Citizen is an organization at the forefront of the war against the Tran-Pacific Partnership, the biggest income and political power redistribution scam that Wall Street and its corporate cronies and billionaire investors could think of. This scam will redistribute trillions of dollars from working Americans to the super rich. For more on this, click The Op-ed the Corporate Media Doesn’t Want You To See–JohnHively.Wordpress.com.

Now please read this important message below from Arthur Stamoulis of Citizen’s Trade Campaign:

Dear John

After years of work, we have a real opportunity this fall to stop the job-killing, environment-degrading Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) corporate power grab. But a massive corporate coalition is throwing millions into beating “We the People” and enacting the TPP during the “lame duck” session of Congress immediately after the election.

We need to counter that.

Will you please help one of Citizen Trade Campaign’s founding members — Public Citizen — win additional funding to help us stop the TPP? Public Citizen has been selected as one of the groups eligible to receive funding this month from CREDO. The more votes they get from people like you — the more funds they’ll receive for the anti-TPP campaign.

You don’t need to be a CREDO customer — you just need to vote for Public Citizen online here. It’s quick, it’s easy and it’s free:

Please click here and vote for Public Citizen. Just select “Public Citizen – Stop the TPP” from among the groups listed, enter your email address and hit “Vote Now,” and you’ll be helping fund the next stages in the ongoing campaign.

Public Citizen is a key CTC partner, providing much of the research and economic data on which we all rely as we urge our Members of Congress to oppose the TPP, and helping in countless other ways.

Will you please help fund the trade justice movement by voting for Public Citizen today?

Many thanks,

Arthur Stamoulis, Executive Director
CITIZENS TRADE CAMPAIGN
Online: citizenstrade.org
Twitter: @citizenstrade

By the way, Democratic Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden will lead the charge for the TPP in the US senate. Thank you CREEDO

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Let’s assume that tariffs are raised in the near future to 35 percent on the goods US corporations export to the United States from their manufacturing facilities abroad. What would happen? Think Nike, Ford, United Technologies, Microsoft, Dell, Campbell’s Soups and thousands of other corporations.

The corporate news media will lie to you and say prices would go up, or the economy would tank. Totally wrong. Lies.

If select tariffs were enacted, the stock market bubble would deflate since corporate profits would decline. On the other hand, the Parasites of Wall Street are now so big that they are sucking the life out of the 99 percent. This means the stock markets are going to tank anyway, and sooner than you might expect. See The New Recession Is Knocking at the Door, and It’s Going to Be Worst Than the Last One–JohnHIvely.Wordpress.com.

The things that make up the wealth of nations are the things that are manufactured. The stock markets are a tool to redistribute income from those who actually produce the wealth of nations to those who produce nothing save for political and financial power. A vast decline in the stock markets would redistribute economic and political power back to those who produce the wealth of the United States.

The bond markets would tank too, if select tariffs were enacted. That means wealth inequality would decline in the USA. Currently, the top 1 percent own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent. Wealth are the things that you own, like houses, stocks, bonds, gold, cars, toys, smart phones, etc…. The video above was made years ago and the statistics the moderator uses are skewed even more to the ultrarich now than when the film was produced.

US manufacturing jobs would come home, probably by the millions. Wages would be forced up with so many jobs coming home. Demand for goods and services would accelerate and power the economy forward. The days of the bubble economies would be over. In other words, it would give life to the host that the Parasites of Wall Street, including all those hedge fund managers, have been sucking dry.

wealth-inequality1

Income inequality would decrease because more people would have decent paying jobs, while the rich would see their share of income decline. The rich now steal roughly 36 percent of all the income created every year in the United States, up from 8 percent in 1980. That’s precisely why the current economic expansion is the worst in modern US history in terms of job and wage growth, as well as growth in the Gross Domestic Product.

Our social safety nets, such as social security, medicare and medicaid, as well as our roads, schools, and other infrastructure would be financially strengthened.

The rich would have less money to corrupt government and both political parties. Let’s face it. Income and wealth inequality is produced by political inequality.

Foreign governments would not need to retaliate since the products of their nation’s businesses would not be subject to the tariffs.

The time has come for placing tariffs on the goods of US corporations which have exported jobs to China, Mexico and elsewhere, and then exported the goods those jobs produce to the USA.

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After the Ford Motor Company announced it was exporting thousands of US jobs to Mexico, where it will manufacture all of its small cars, Presidential candidate Donald Trump has forcefully argued that, if elected president, he would slap a 35 percent tax on Ford’s small cars coming into the United States from Mexico. That tax is called a tariff and critics are in an uproar over such a proposal.

According to CNN, “It would immediately make Ford cars more expensive for Americans.” This was dead wrong and intended to distract you from other answers.

Let’s get one thing straight. If the US imposed a 35 percent tariff on Ford’s Mexican made vehicles it wouldn’t make their vehicles more expensive.

Instead, it would force Ford to keep those jobs in the United States and pay middle class wages. That tariff would also do another thing the corporate propaganda machine doesn’t want you to know about.

Ford CEO Mark Fields told investors, “Over the next two to three years, we will have migrated all of our small car production to Mexico and out of the United States.” Notice Fields told investors what they should expect.

Moving small car production to Mexico was a sales pitch to entice investors into purchasing Ford shares in sufficient numbers to prop up the sliding share price. The announcement failed in its objective to appease large institutional investors such as JP Morgan/Chase and a variety of hedge funds.

So moving small car production to Mexico is pointless since it failed to achieve its goal before the first US job was ever exported.

A tariff on these Mexican made Ford vehicles would keep the jobs in the United States and have no impact on Ford’s share price. In addition, this tariff would help in some small way in the battle against income and wealth inequality that has taken place since tens of millions of US jobs have been exported.

The difference between the old higher US wages and the new lower Mexican wages would go straight into the pockets of rich shareholders via rising Ford profits and higher dividends. In this case, it is a unlikely Ford’s exporting jobs south will impact its already crummy share price. Ford is simply a bad investment.

The tariff is the way to go.

Besides, what’s an economy for? Is it for having shared prosperity for everybody, or for just making super rich people wealthier while impoverishing everybody else?

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“It’s gutless leadership,” US Senator Warren told Wells Fargo CEO John Stumft at a senate hearing over how he led the bank to fool investors. Want to get angry? Listen to the video above. We need Warren to be the next US president!

On twelve occasions between 2012 and 2016 Stumpf told investors that Wells Fargo was doing great because the bank had record and increasing numbers of cross-selling, which is the number of accounts opened by the same customers. In this case, approximately two million accounts were opened by customers without their knowledge. Stumpf lied when he denied the bank committed these crimes to fool investors.

The Consumer Financial Protection Agency fined Wells Fargo $185 million for this latest Wall Street scandal, which is a drop in the bucket for the bank, and a small token of doing business-as-usual.

This scam impacted negatively the credit ratings of Wells Fargo customers even if they didn’t use the accounts they didn’t know they had. Meanwhile, Stumpf received over $200 million in stock options in part because of this scam, which drove the bank’s share price upward.

wells-fargo

According to Business Insider, “Carrie Tolstedt, the head of the community banking division, was the executive directly responsible for overseeing the retail banking sector of the company, where the fake accounts were created.

In July, Tolstedt retired from Wells Fargo, holding roughly $96.6 million in various stock awards. Numerous times during the testimony on Tuesday, Stumpf was asked why Tolstedt wasn’t fired and whether the bank would use its clawback provision to take back some of that compensation.”

Warren called for Strumpf to be criminally investigated for the fraud he likely ordered. This wasn’t something engineered by some branch manager, not with two million phony accounts. The order had to come from way up.

Who in the bank is accountable? The CEO hasn’t resigned. He hasn’t fired one senior executive. Instead, Wells Fargo’s definition of “accountable” is to push blame on low-level employees who don’t have the money or PR firms to defend themselves. A bank cashier who steals $20 would be facing theft charges, but the department of justice has failed to hold any Wall Street executives accountable for any of the crimes they’ve committed for decades.

On the other hand, CNN reported that a number of Wells Fargo employees were fired for refusing to open the phony accounts, or if they complained about it to higher bank officials. See Wells Fargo Fired Workers in Retaliation For Reporting Fake Accounts–CNN

I should point out that Wells Fargo unofficial and perhaps under the table employee happens to be Wall Street Senator Mitch McConnell. He is unhappy with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau because it is doing its job, so he’s been trying to defund it since the scandal broke. McConnell and his wife hold more Wells Fargo stock than any other senator. What a sore loser!

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