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Archive for January, 2021

What will occur when the Covid-19 vaccine is fully distributed? What will happen if President Biden gets his stimulus? The assumed answer to both questions is that the economy will enter a business expansion, things will return to normal, and everything will be peachy. Maybe and maybe not.

Nearly 100,000 U.S. businesses disappeared from March to December 2020. Gross domestic product has dropped in the last three quarters. Despite the CARES Act and the last stimulus, the number of people applying for first time unemployment benefits has exploded to nearly one million people during each of the last two weeks, compared to less than 360,000 during the height of the Great Recession.

The underlying economy has been gutted by the billionaires, leaving a dying carcass in the place of a once healthy economy. According to a study by Carter Price of the Rand Corporation, the rich have been redistributing $2.5 trillion from the 99 percent to themselves on average for the last twenty-five years using their hired hands in government, which includes Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul, Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden and Wall Street’s favorite U.S. senator, Ron Wyden, who is appropriately the only U.S. senator to be called a “Useful Idiot” by a Nobel Prize winning economist in an op-ed in the New York Times.

A perfect example of this political corruption is the CARES Act signed into law on March 27, 2020. Congressional leaders made certain the billionaires were due to receive $4.994 trillion from the $2.2 trillion stimulus bill. You read that right. The $2.2 trillion included $454 billion for large corporations, allegedly in loans. The rich receive 66 percent to 100 percent of their income and wealth from, you guessed it, corporations. The bill was written with a proviso that the Federal Reserve could print up to ten times $454 billion and lend the total of $4.994 trillion with a nod and a wink to large corporations ($4.54 trillion + $454 billion = $4.994 trillion). The real total amount of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act was $6.74 trillion ($4.994 trillion + $2.2 trillion – 454 billion). 

The combined profits of all US corporations in 2018 and 2019 were slightly over $4 trillion before taxes. The rich and their corporations, in other words, were getting more than two years’ worth of profits from the stimulus bill. Naturally, the stock market exploded as massive amounts of money was funneled to them through their corporations. The CARES Act, however, failed to authorize the Fed to loan money to those who truly needed it; to stay in the homes and put food on their tables, which would have also strengthened the underlying economy.

The CARES Act gave the 99 percent, numbering about 314,685,000 citizens, $1.75 trillion (about $5500 each on average) to help keep the economy afloat while the roughly 300,000 wealthiest shared close to $5 trillion, which comes out to a little over $16.6 million each.

Nearly 36 million people were thrown out of work from March to May 2020, and the best congress that money has bought saved the billionaires and threw crumbs at the rest of us.

There are numerous political ways the billionaires have used to redistribute income from us to them. Millions of U.S. jobs have been exported over the last forty years, for example, and the difference between the old high U.S wages and benefits and the new lower wages-only compensation in China, Vietnam, Mexico, Pakistan and elsewhere have gone straight into the pockets of the billionaires, thanks to their might-as-well-be-hired employees in the congress, the white house, and the supreme court.

Thus, there is no guarantee the economy will return to normal when the coronavirus is gone and the next stimulus has run its course. The impacts of every recession has gotten worse for the 99 percent because at least $50 trillion has been redistributed from 99 to the 1 percent over the last twenty-five years, depressing the demand for goods and services in the process. The top one percent are now stealing roughly 22 to 39 percent of all income produced in the United States, up from 8 percent in 1979. This trend has not been and will not be reversed with the political corruption in play. In reality, this trend has been exacerbated by the CARES Act.

So when the dust clears, and the virus is gone, there is no guarantee the economy will bounce out of this recession, which may prove to be another Depression. So maybe it will, but then maybe not.

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