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Archive for February, 2018

A political coup has taken place and the US Constitution has been overthrown.

On February 26th, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in Janus v. AFSCME, a case that could profoundly affect the ability of public-sector workers to improve their wages and working conditions. This case will make the United States a right-to-work-for-less nation, and it is expected that the corrupt corporate wing of the United States Supreme Court will vote yes, despite the fact that the lower courts have consistently rejected arguments in favor of Janus.

The corporate/rich man’s wing of the court has been waging class warfare against the 99 percent for thirty-five years in violation of the US Constitution and legal precedence. So it is considered a foregone conclusion the corporate wing of the court will vote yes in the Janus case.

The corrupt activist members of the United States Supreme Court who blithely favor conservative money, wealth and power over all else are about to subvert the United States Constitution once again. Those justices corrupted by powerful vested interests are John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, and Anthony M. Kennedy. All claim to be “original intent jurists.” In other words, when they rule on a legal issue, they claim they follow the original intent of the founding fathers. Nothing could be further from the truth.

All five have shown that their job is to rob the 99 percent of their Constitutional rights and to give more legal rights to the rich, which they have done time and again. This legal corruption makes it easier for the rich to steal from the rest of us.

The rich derive most of their political, economic and legal power from their ownership of limited liability corporations. Quite naturally, all five so-called original intent justices argue that publicly traded corporations are persons with all of the legal rights of human citizens. These justices are not ignorant little boys.

They know publicly traded corporations did not come out of a woman’s womb. They know corporations are simply an idea of a form of business structure given life by state legislation. They know the United States Constitution does not even mention the word corporation. They know that not a single one of the founding fathers ever mention “persons” and “corporations” together in any sentence, paragraph, or chapter of any of their voluminous writings. The idea that corporations are people subverts the original intent of the US Constitution, which gives only individual’s legal rights. Ideas of business models were never given any constitutional rights by anybody until corrupt supreme court justices decided it was so.

Since the rich control the mechanisms of corporations, the court’s decision in this regard is to hand greater constitutional rights to a legislatively created tool of the rich, giving the 1 percent greater power than the founding fathers wanted or been able to imagine. Then the corrupt wing of the court issued another class war decision.

The activist Supreme Court declared in its 2010 Citizen’s United ruling that corporations spending money on political advertisements is free speech, but nowhere in the United States Constitution is such power granted or even recognized. And nowhere in any founding fathers writings is such a power to be found. Now corporate advertisements are drowning out the free speech of all others, especially during election season.

In addition, this ruling eliminated one hundred years of campaign financing laws. Two corrupt US Supreme Court justices, Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia, “participated in political strategy sessions” to advance this case, perhaps while the case was pending, with corporate leaders whose political aims were advanced by the decision,” according to Common Cause.

U.S. Supreme Court Cheif Justice John Roberts gave sworn testimony in his confirmation hearings before the US Senate that he would respect legal precedents. He, obviously, lied under oath. Think about it. A known perjurer in now the Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court. His job is to overthrow the US Constitution on behalf of his class solidarity, just like the other corrupt corporate members of the US Supreme Court. He has been doing a marvelous job.

These corrupt activist justices have simply been making up shit in order to give the rich and their business tools called corporations greater Constitutional rights while diminishing the Constitutional rights of the 99 percent in the process.

The lies, the made-up make-believe that ideas are people and that money is free speech, the perjuries, and working with the rich on cases the justices are about to rule on demonstrate without a doubt that the sole purpose of the corrupted members of the court has been to wage class warfare on behalf of the rich by subverting the US Constitution. Doing so has allowed for a greater political rule and constitutional rights for the rich, and these activist class warriors have succeeded against the original intent of our founding fathers.

See the following link for more information https://www.politico.com/story/2011/01/scalia-thomas-and-citizens-united-047855

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The red line in the graph below represents borrowing to buy corporate shares. The blue line represents the growing value of the S&P 500 stock index. Notice the growth in the financial markets is being fueled by record amounts of debt. The growth of both clearly mirrors each other.

Eight months ago, I wrote, “The latest in a long line of stock market bubbles is being fueled by record amounts of debt according to the New York Stock Exchange. This debt is called “buying on margin” (BOM). Notice the acronym of BOM, which is pretty close to bomb, and this current bubble is going to explode. Total BOM hit a record high of $528.2 billion in February 2017.”

By November 2017 (the latest data that is available), total BOM hit nearly $581 billion. Stock prices, in other words, have been bid up with borrowed money, like at an auction.

Once the lunatic Trump tax cuts were passed, the already dangerously obese stock market bubble began expanding even more in anticipation of more after-tax cash going to the rich and corporations, to whom the vast majority of those tax cuts were targeted. This has given corporations and the rich the leverage to borrow on margin even more in anticipation of future increased after-tax earnings.

That is not necessarily always a big problem early in a business expansion when the market is going up, but it’s now late in the ball game. Our economic expansion is 103 months old (as of January 2018), making it the third longest in US history. In terms of numerous indices, such as job, GNP, and wage growth, this is one of the weakest expansions in US history. The vast majority of new income and wealth have gone to the top 1 percent, and not to the 99 percent.

All of this suggests the coming crash is long overdue. When we hit this soon to arrive recession, it should be a train wreck worse than the so-called Great Recession of 2007-09.

November’s total BOM was nearly $80 billion more than twelve months before. This increase is a sign of optimism or foolishness. People and institutions like hedge funds want to get in on the action while the stock markets are rising. What is going to happen when the bubble pops?

Suppose you have $10,000 to invest, so you purchase 100 shares of Home Depot at $100 per share. The market crashes and the share price drops to $40. Now your investment is worth $4,000. That is not a good result, but your investment is still worth something, and can potentially recover if you hang on to it in the long run.

Let’s say you borrow an additional $20,000 from your broker to buy another 200 Home Depot shares at $100 each for a total of 300 shares and at a total cost of $30,000. The market crashes and the share price quickly drops to $40. Now all 300 shares are only worth $12,000 — but you owe your broker $20,000 (plus interest) for borrowing money to buy the stock. The broker calls in his loan. You are forced to sell your shares to get the funds to pay your broker but at the lower share price. You lose $18,000 of your $30,000 investment. But your broker wants the rest of his $20,000 plus interest. You only have $12,000 remaining of your original $30,000 investment, so you owe more than $8,000 to your broker.

So your original $10,000 is wiped out, your loan of $20,000 is annihilated, and you need to come up with $8,000 plus interest to pay back your broker.

During most recessions, it is much more difficult to get credit to pay your broker back, so you may both be out of luck, although you’ll likely be in court defending against him, her or it.

On a massive scale, say trillions of dollars of investments, that’s a recipe for absolute disaster for the whole economy. Corporations of all types (which often borrow to purchase their own shares in order to jack up their share prices), as well as hedge funds, governments, investment banks, commercial banks, small businesses, other wealth management firms, etc…, will likely need to lay off employees in order to pay back the money they owe.

Side Notes

***Let’s also get something straight which the corporate media doesn’t want us to know; tax cuts for corporations are the same as tax cuts for the rich since corporations in great measure pass on their tax cuts to the wealthy via higher after-tax corporate profits, rising share prices and surging dividends.

***As an aside, your government has allowed a conspiracy in restraint of trade in the housing market to be the primary fuel that ignited this current stock market bubble. See The Big Banks Are Manipulating the Housing Market–JohnHIvely.wordpress.com.

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“With its financial contributions and grassroots organizing, the labor movement helped give Democrats full control of the federal government three times in the last four decades. And all three of those times — under Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama — Democrats failed to pass labor law reforms that would bolster the union cause. In hindsight, it’s clear that the Democratic Party didn’t merely betray organized labor with these failures, but also, itself.”

When Bill Clinton became president he took the party straight into the loving arms of Wall Street executives and investors, and the best way to do that was to get rid of labor unions by exporting tens of millions of labor union jobs to poverty wage nations. It began with Clinton and his Wall Street wife, Hillary, and NAFTA. The difference between the old US wages and benefits and the poverty wage workers in poverty-wage nations have always gone straight into the pockets of the rich via higher corporate profits, rising dividends, and surging share prices.

President Barack Obama followed the Clinton’s footsteps in redistributing income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent via this and other legislative paths. Of course, they were assisted in this massive redistribution of income and wealth by such Democrats as Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden, who was ever so happy to join the Republican party stalwarts in doing this. The result was ominous, for the Democratic Party, the nation, and the 99 percent.

Between 1978 and 2017, the union membership rate in the United States fell by more than half — from 26 to 10.7 percent. Naturally, this decline coincides with the redistribution of income and wealth engineered by the entire Republican Party, as well as the Wall Street controlled Democratic Party with such luminaries as Ron Wyden, Earl Blumenauer, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Joe Biden. The decline in labor union membership due to exported jobs also fuels the massive income and wealth inequality the United States suffers from today, thanks in large part to Bill and Hillary, Barack and Wyden and other Democratic Wall Street loyalists as Earl Blumenauer.

In a new study that will soon be released as a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper (NBER), James Feigenbaum of Boston University, Alexander Hertel-Fernandez of Columbia, and Vanessa Williamson of the Brookings Institution examined the long-term political consequences of anti-union legislation by comparing counties straddling a state line where one state is right-to-work and another is not. Their findings should strike terror into the hearts of Democratic Party strategists: Right-to-work laws decreased Democratic presidential vote share by 3.5 percent.

This could have been a golden age for American liberalism. The Democratic Party — and the progressive forces within it — have so much going for them. The GOP’s economic vision has never been less popular with ordinary Americans, or more irrelevant to their material needs. The U.S. electorate is becoming less white, less racist, and less conservative with each passing year. Social conservatism has never had less appeal for American voters than it does today. The garish spectacle of the Trump-era Republican Party is turning the American suburbs — once a core part of the GOP coalition — purple and blue.

If the Democratic Party wasn’t bleeding support from white working-class voters in its old labor strongholds, it would dominate our national politics. Understandably, Democratic partisans often blame their powerlessness on such voters — and the regressive racial views that led them out of Team Blue’s tent. But as unions have declined across the Midwest, Democrats haven’t just been losing white, working-class voters to Republicans — they’ve also been losing them to quiet evenings at home. The NBER study cited by McElwee found that right-to-work laws reduce voter turnout in presidential elections by 2 to 3 percent.

The Democratic leadership had a choice; side with the 99 percent or side against them and with the 1 percent. Obama, the Clintons, Wyden and other Wall Street Democrats chose to side with Wall Street and corporate parasites against their own grassroots. Now many of the grassroots have abandoned the Party that no longer represents them. Who can blame them? Oh, that’s right! The Democratic Leadership and their corporate news media blames the grassroots and calls them “deplorables,” but only after the leadership has exported tens of millions of working-class jobs.

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/01/democrats-paid-a-huge-price-for-letting-unions-die.html?utm_source=fb&utm_medium=s3&utm_campaign=sharebutton-b

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