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Good news for the middle class has finally arrived. The 99 percent has a real candidate for US president now. On Tuesday, May 26, US middle class Senator Bernie Sanders officially announced his candidacy to be the Democratic nominee for the US presidency.

Former Wall Street Senator Hilliary Rodham Clinton is Bernie’s only competition for the nomination. Clinton has a boat load of money, but she carries a ton of baggage. Most notably, she and her husband, former Wall Street President Bill Clinton, are notorious redistributers of income from the 99 to the 1 percent.

If you listen to Bernie’s announcement speech above, the defining issue of this election is going to be income distribution, and more specifically, how the 1 percent went from stealing 8 percent of all US income in 1980 to 37 percent today. Who loses on this issue? Clinton does.

Sure the Dems will hold debates, and sure the moderator will make sure the debate issues will be about abortion, gun control, and a ton of social issues, and not income and wealth inequality, and yes the moderator will make certain the television camera’s never light upon Bernie’s face by not calling on him to answer any questions or to respond to Clinton’s answers, but Bernie will win this election, and by a fair margin.

One day after he announced that he intended to run for the presidency, back in April, 75,000 people volunteered to work on his campaign. A month later, he has 200,000 volunteers. By election time, Bernie will have half a million plus, perhaps a million plus, volunteers working on his campaign. Hilliary can spend half a billion dollars, but she can’t beat what Bernie has, volunteers and real hope for the 99 percent, rather than the phoney Obama hope and change!

A message from Bernie:

Friend –

For many months I have been traveling from coast to coast across our country, and have had the opportunity to meet with thousands of good, hard-working, and remarkable people. Like you and me, they are deeply concerned about the future of our country.

They wonder why they are working longer hours for lower wages. They worry about whether their kids will be able to afford college or get decent jobs. They fear that they may not have the savings to retire with dignity and security.

The challenges facing our country are enormous.

After a year of travel, discussion and dialogue, I have decided to be a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president. But let’s be clear. This campaign is not about Bernie Sanders. It’s about a grassroots movement of Americans standing up and saying: “Enough is enough. This country and our government belong to all of us, not just a handful of billionaires.”

Our movement needs people like you involved to help it succeed. Add your name now to say you support my campaign for president.

Http://go.berniesanders.com/launch-photos

Bernie Sanders

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According to Vermont Public Radio, US Senator Bernie Sanders will announce his bid for the Democratic nomination for president on Thursday. Sander’s is given little chance of winning the nomination by the corporate press, but there’s a reason why this isn’t so. The senator appeals to Democrats and Republicans on bread and butter issues, and he has a 100 voting score with the National Rifle Association.

Sanders will release a short statement on Thursday and then hold a major campaign kickoff in Vermont several weeks from now.

Sander’s candidacy means the middle class wing of the Democratic Party will challenge the deep pockets of the Wall Street wing of the Party, which is represented by Hilliary Clinton.

“Sanders’ basic message will be that the middle class in America has been decimated in the past two decades while wealthy people and corporations have flourished because the rich have taken over government, and used their control to redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent.

His opposition to a proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal (T.P.P.) shows how he plans to frame this key issue of his campaign.

“If you want to understand why the middle class in America is disappearing and why we have more wealth and income inequality in America than we have had since the late 1920s, you have to address the issue of trade,” Sanders said in a phone interview on April 23.

As the longest-serving Independent member of Congress, Sanders has been a vocal critic of the influence that large corporations have on the political process.

“All of the major corporations want to continue with this trade policy. Wall Street wants to continue this trade policy. The drug companies want to continue this trade policy. But organizations representing American workers and the environment do not want to continue the trade policy. They want new trade policies,” he said. Sanders did not point out that Wall Street’s Democratic hopeful Hilliary Clinton also supports these income redistribution policies falsely marketed as free trade treaties, and especially the TPP.

And Sanders says it is imperative that all the Democratic presidential candidates address the issue of trade and income inequality.

“So, I think that Hillary Clinton and every candidate out there should in fact address whether or not they support this T.P.P.,” Sanders said. So expect Hilliary to lie on the issue time and again in public.

In the past few months, Sanders has been actively visiting many of the early presidential primary states. Just last weekend he traveled to South Carolina to address the state Democratic Party and news reports indicate that his economic message drew a lot of support at the state meeting. The grass roots are rallying to Sanders, not to Hilliary.

The corporate propaganda machine gives Sanders little chance of defeating Clinton. However, that’s part of the propaganda ploy they play on the American people. They’ll label the best chance for America’s middle class (Sanders) as having no chance of winning the nomination, and they’ll tell voters not to waste their vote on Bernie. However, Sanders wouldn’t be running if he didn’t have the grass roots support to win.

The reality is that every vote for Hilliary and every vote for a Republican candidate is a vote to continue the political and economic policies that have been destroying the middle class by redistributing their wealth and income to the super rich for the last thirty-four years.

In other words, a vote for Hilliary or any Republican candidate by any member of the 99 percent is a vote to commit financial suicide. It’s a complete waste of your vote. Vote for real hope and change. Vote for Bernie!

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A new congressional study suggests that massive immigration increases in recent decades have hammered middle-class wages. Whether through taking jobs or casting votes, hyper-immigration is revolutionizing the U.S.

We are a nation of immigrants, it is often reflexively said. But it is a little-known fact that our foreign-born population dropped more than 11% in the quarter century after World War II.

Since 1970, however, we have become a nation of hyper-immigration, as the foreign-born among us have exploded from fewer than 10 million to more than 41 million as of 2013 — a staggering 324.5% increase.

If a job cannot be exported, then immigrants are encouraged by business and government leaders to enter the United States to generate greater competition among middle class workers, which lowers wages and benefits. For example, a recent study shows that three out of four high tech workers are unemployed in their areas of expertise, and wages in the high tech sector are the same as during the early 1990s, and yet congressional leaders want to admit more immigrants via the H1-B visa. In this way wages and salaries will continue to stay artificially low, which benefits the 1 percent at the expense of the middle class.

The difference between the old higher wages (what wages should be under normal immigration increases) and the new lower wages with hyper immigration, goes straight into the pockets of the super rich via higher corporate profits, rising dividends and soaring share prices.

The middle class is getting hammered by the loss of millions of jobs that are exported via international agreements falsely marketed as free trade agreements. But the middle and lower classes are also getting hammered by hyper immigration. These two governmental policies are income redistribution scams perpetrated by the leadership of both major political parties and their billionaire and corporate sponsors, such as the Koch Brothers and Warren Buffett.

How badly has immigration and free trade policies been for the middle and lower classes?

“A new analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service for the Senate Judiciary Committee finds that during this era of free trade and hyper-immigration, incomes of the bottom 90% of Americans flat-lined, then dropped starting in 2000. By comparison, middle-class wages increased between 1945 and 1970.

Last year, Karen Zeigler and Steven Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies found that, according to federal government data, “since 2000 all of the net gain in the number of working-age (16 to 65) people holding a job has gone to immigrants (legal and illegal).”

In the fourteen plus years since 2000, less than six million net jobs have been created in the United States, and all of them have gone to immigrants. On the other hand, according to the Federal Reserve, 28 million jobs were exported from the USA from 1990 to 2010, and several million more have been exported since 2010.

Salaries, wages and benefits would be going up if the United States had six million less working age immigrants. More significantly, however, US wages would be surging and our tepid economy would be booming if those trade agreements hadn’t been conceived. In both cases, trade agreements and immigration, income and wealth inequality in the USA would not be nearly so significant as it is now.

While so-called international trade agreements are the major cause of the income and wealth inequality of the last thirty-five years, with the 1 percent going from taking 8 percent of all income created in the USA in 1980 to 37 percent today, immigration (legal and illegal) is another, though admittedly lesser, but still significant, culprit in the financial war the super rich are waging against the middle class.

The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is the largest income redistribution scam of all time. It is falsely being marketed as a free trade treaty. The Wall Street wing of the Democratic Party, led by President Obama and Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden, have merged with the Wall Street wing of the Republican Party. The TPP will provide incentives for US corporations to ship millions of US jobs overseas, and drive millions of Latin American immigrants illegally into the United States simultaneously, just like NAFTA did.

That’s why the TPP is another income redistribution scam for the 1 percent.

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The magic of the market of goods and services sets neither the lowest wages nor the highest. The corruption of the government is what sets the highest and lowest wages, as well as everything in between. When the government is subsidizing record corporate profits via welfare to corporate employees year after year it’s a good sign government corruption is behind the low wages, whether it’s anti-union labor legislation, legislation that exports US jobs, or immigration policies that lower the wages of US workers whose jobs cannot be exported. This is called income redistribution from the 99 to the 1 percetn. The government has rigged the economic and political games against the 99 percent on behalf of the 0.01 percent.

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The war on the middle class began in 1981 with a well orchestrated anti-labor union message spread throughout all aspects of the national news media. It was a full frontal assault. It still is.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, “As a broad attack on unions continues, with Republican politicians leading efforts to eliminate unions or weaken them in Illinois and Wisconsin, Missouri and West Virginia, and county-by-county in Kentucky, it’s wise to think about what’s at stake. We now know what happens when employers hold most of the cards and employee power is diminished: profits and CEO pay skyrocket, and worker pay flat lines.

It is no coincidence that, as the Figure (above) shows, the share of income going to the broad middle class began to fall as union membership and power were reduced. The middle 60 percent of families depend primarily on wages for their income, so as the unions’ ability to raise wages diminished, so did the ability of middle class families to earn a fair share of the nation’s growing income. Research has shown that as unions were less able to establish wage standards the wages of nonunion workers in the same occupations and sectors were also reduced. Politicians who care about the middle class should be looking for ways to help workers gain access to collective bargaining and restore union strength. They certainly ought not weaken them further and limit or forbid collective bargaining.”

International income redistribution agreements, falsely marketed as free trade agreements, have been the primary tool used by corporate CEOs in their war against labor unions. These agreements allowed US corporations to export nearly 30 million jobs between 1990 and 2010, and millions more since then. See Exporting Jobs–Global Intersection. Millions of these were labor union jobs.

When a job is exported the difference between the old higher wages and the new lower wages is redistributed from the 99 to the 1 percent via higher corporate profits, rising dividends and surging share prices. The citizens who lose their jobs might wind up with unemployment insurance, if they’re lucky.

This is one of the reasons why Thomas Piketty is able to write in his international best seller Capitalism in the Twenty-First Century that the US has the greatest mal-distribution of labor income of any nation in the history of the world. CEO pay has skyrocketed in large measure because they are able to ship millions of jobs overseas and redistribute part of the proceeds into their own pockets.

This is also why the 1 percent have gotten wealthier over the last thirty years. Currently, the 1 percent steal a little over 36 percent of all the income produced in the United States, up from 8 percent in 1978. At the current rate of growth, the 1 percent will steal about 40 percent of the total income produced in the USA by next year.

The economic and political strategy of the 1 percent has been quite sound; destroy the middle class by shipping jobs overseas, while simultaneously attacking labor unions at home. That’s why there is such a vicious assault on public employee labor unions, and such a large push to give Fast Track Authority to President Obama, so that he can sign the Trans Pacific Partnership into law when it is introduced into congressional debate. This is the largest income and political power redistribution scam in US history, and it is falsely being labeled a free trade agreement.

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Editorial by Brian Schweitzer

Ever since I wrote the opinion piece on the Koch brothers and Americans for Prosperity that recently appeared in several Montana newspapers (for example, the February 19 Billings Gazette:Brian Switzer on the Koch Brothers in Montana , I’ve heard from a lot of friends and acquaintances in Montana and other states. Folks were as astonished as I was at the amount of government subsidies the Koch brothers receive from one ranch in one state while they hired 11 staffers to keep healthcare from people in Montana. And others have pointed out that the former state director of AFP, former state Senator Joe Balyeat, happily received generous government-paid healthcare.

I do need to correct one error in my opinion piece. My calculations on the state and federal grazing subsidies enjoyed by the Koch brothers in Montana were wrong. They were too low. I based the number of cattle on the assumption that during the driest year since 1960, the Koch ranch would have reduced cattle numbers down that year. I gave them the extreme benefit of the doubt, but they actually have 6,500 head, not 2,000 head.

That means the Koch brothers government subsidies, on just one ranch in one state, are actually 225% greater than I had calculated, meaning the government aid to run the Koch ranch in Montana is not 12.5 million bucks, but actually $28 million. My bad.

These government subsidies help pay for the AFP’s “political attack on the moderate wing of House Republicans,” – an attack reported on by Troy Carter of the Bozeman Daily Chronicle (Joe Carter on the Welfare Queens Known as the Koch Brothers in Montana). Carter says Americans for Prosperity is spending thousands of dollars on radio and TV ads to attack Republican legislators like Representatives “Geraldine Custer of Forsyth, Doc Moore of Missoula, Christy Clark of Choteau, Frank Garner of Kalispell, Jeff Wellborn of Dillon and Tom Berry of Roundup.”

These are good and honest legislators – some of whom I’ve disagreed with quite a bit in the past – but they are independent Montanans who are being pressured by one of the wealthiest families in the world to deny healthcare to Montanans.

This is the same AFP the Koch brothers announced will spend a “staggering” $889 million on the 2016 elections (National Public Radio, Koch Brothers to Spend More Than a Billion Dollars on 2016 Presidential Election) – more than any political party has ever spent during a presidential election year. This secretive fortune will be spent to ensure that you and I pay for the Koch brothers’ government subsidies while the elderly, students, poor people and working families get little-to-squat. In essence, according to a political scientist quoted in the NPR report linked above, the Koch brothers have bought and paid for a new political party run by the ultra-wealthy for the ultra-wealthy.

When the Koch brothers attacked labor unions, some people stood back because they weren’t in a union. When they attacked the poor, some looked the other way because they were middle class. When they attacked the Democrats, some stood aside because they weren’t a Democrat. Now, they are even attacking Republicans in Montana. Montana, let’s stand together and send the Kochs’ money and message back to Kansas, where they belong!

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“Somebody told us Wall Street fell, but we were so poor that we couldn’t tell–Song of the South by Alabama

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The Trans-Pacific Partnership is an international income and political power redistribution scam falsely marketed as a free trade agreement, which is exactly why President Obama, Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden, as well as most of the Republican Party support this scam. It will redistribute massive amounts of income from the 99 to the 1 percent.

According to economist Thomas Piketty, in his seminal work, Capitalism in the Twenty-First Century, the United States has a record “level of inequality of income from labor (probably higher than in any other society at any time in the past, anywhere in the world, including societies in which skill disparities were extremely large)….”

Don’t let Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden lie to you. If we are going to defeat the job killing, environmentally devastating, Trans-Pacific Partnership from being railroaded through Congress using Fast Track Authority, then we need to get Senator Wyden to oppose it once again. He was against it before he was for it, so he can change his mind on this, but your voice matters, so call now. This time his vote in the senate matters most to all Americans.
Please make the call to 1-866-502-6055 and tell the senator you are against Fast Track Authority and the international income redistribution scam known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
What is Fast Track Authority? What is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)? Why does Senator Wyden support them? I’m happy you asked.
The fast track negotiating authority for trade agreements is the authority of the President of the United States to negotiate international agreements that Congress can approve or disapprove but cannot amend or filibuster. Debate is also limited. Fast track negotiating authority is a temporary and controversial power granted to the President by Congress. The authority was in effect from 1975 to 1994, pursuant to the Trade Act of 1974, and from 2002 to 2007 by the Trade Act of 2002. Although it expired for new agreements on July 1, 2007, it continued to apply to agreements already under negotiation until they were eventually passed into law in 2011. In 2012, the Obama administration began seeking renewal of the authority.

Former Federal Reserve vice chairman Alan Blinder has calculated that 22 percent to 29 percent of all U.S. jobs could potentially be offshored if the TPP is approved by congress. 25 percent would translate to 36 million workers whose wages are in competition with those in largely lower-income nations. Of the 11 nations with which the United States is negotiating the TPP, nine have wage levels significantly lower than ours.

The difference between the old higher US wages of the jobs exported, and the soon to be lower wages overseas, would go straight into the pockets of the super rich via higher dividends, share prices, and soaring corporate profits. In addition, for a job well done in offshoring jobs, CEOs will receive raises and bonuses. Currently, on average, US CEOs receive a record 475 times more in pay than the lowest paid workers in their companies. See The Ratio of CEO to Average Worker Pay

According to Harold Meyerson writing in the Washington Post, “By avoiding discussion of the consequences that trade deals with developing nations have on U.S. workers, not to mention our trade balance, defenders of free trade are indulging in the worst kind of imperviousness to facts. But when the case for free trade is coupled with the case for raising U.S. workers’ incomes, it enters a zone where real numbers, and real Americans’ lives, matter. In that zone, the argument for the kind of free-trade deal embodied by NAFTA, permanent normal trade relations with China and the Trans-Pacific Partnership completely blows up. Such deals increase the incomes of Americans investing abroad even as they diminish the incomes of Americans working at home. They worsen the very inequality against which the president rightly campaigns.

There are ways that a developed nation can trade with the developing world without gutting its own economy. Germany has been able to protect its workers not only through the advantage of having the euro as its currency, but also by requiring its corporations to give their employees a major say in their companies’ investment decisions and by embracing a form of capitalism in which shareholders don’t play a major role. Were the United States to adopt this form of stakeholder capitalism, then its trade accords wouldn’t necessarily come at the expense of its workers. Absent such reforms, however, trade deals will only negate our attempts to diminish inequality.”

If the TPP is approved by congress and signed by the president, only the rich will benefit, and at the expense of our jobs. But there’s more. Those lost jobs pay our taxes, and so the TPP will lower the amount of tax dollars going to schools, fire, police, parks, recreation, road maintenance, and DMV services, among other things.

So we know President Obama, Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden, and the Republican leadership in congress (think Mitch McConnell and Orrin Hatch) are intending to rob from the middle class and give to the super rich, and those are the people they serve.

For more on what Harold Meyerson has to say about the TPP, click on the link below.

Free Trade and the Loss Of US Jobs–Washington Post

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“A network of Republican lawmakers and their rightwing corporate funders are battling behind closed doors to block minimum wage increases in cities across the US, in a step-by-step counter-attack that could cut back the incomes of millions of Americans despite an economic upswing.

According to strategic details obtained by the Guardian, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) – along with its localized sister organization, ACCE – is trying to prevent elected city representatives from raising the minimum wage to levels above those set by their states. The group has launched an aggressive dual-track mission that combines legislation and litigation in what Alec calls a “new battleground” over worker compensation.”

Why would rich people want to stop poor people from earning more money? The answer is simple.

The financial markets are Ponzi schemes. More and more money has to be pumped into the financial markets, or the values of corporate shares that are traded on those markets will crumble into nothingness. For example, if shares of Weyerhauser climb to $50 per share, yet profits go down, more sellers will enter the market than buyers, and the value of the shares go down. However, the process is also true if profits stay the same from one quarter to the next. In which case, there might be exactly as many buyers as sellers of Weyerhauser shares if other stock prices are rising.

Why hold a static stock when when you can sell and purchase shares that are on the rise? The result of static corporate profits (and profits are the key to whether or not share prices rise), is to send share prices down. Weyerhauser’s stock plummeted from $50 to $1 per share from 1929 to 1933, which is when the Ponzi Scheme known as Wall Street collapsed. I demonstrated this in greater detail in The Rigged Game: Corporate America and a People Betrayed.

This is why ALEC opposes increasing the minimum wage anywhere except for shareholders, CEOs and corporate lobbyists. If corporations need to pay workers higher wages, that will reduce profits and potentially send share prices lower. This is also why the 1 percent wage war against the middle class, corrupt government at all levels with their ill-gotten gains, and have their legislators push legislation to redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent. This is also why we have much greater inflation today than the government lets us know about, but that’s another story.

Check out the rest of the story from the Guardian by clicking on the link below.

How a powerful rightwing lobby is plotting to stop minimum wage hikes–the Guardian

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