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Archive for the ‘energy’ Category

“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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Inflation redistributes income from the 99 percent and delivers said income to the 1 percent. This is a no-brainer, making inflation nothing more than an income redistribution scam that those on the right and those on the left lie about, although maybe they just don’t know, which is unlikely. Case in point is a Paul Krugman op-ed below.

Krugman claims there is little inflation nowadays, while his right wing opponents claim there is ton’s of inflation and its caused by the Federal Reserve. They’re both right and they’re both wrong, kind of, but not really.

Krugman claimed in his op-ed that inflation is close to zero, and that’s true, kind of. In reality, inflation is currently closer to 8 percent if it was measured as it was back in 1980. Since then the government has switched the way it measures inflation twenty times, and all of these changes show less and less inflation. That is why inflation as measured today is less than 3 percent when it’s probably slightly above 8 percent. The purpose of doing this was to keep people from protesting and getting mad about their loss of real spending power, such as happened back in the 1970s.

Conservatives rightfully claim the inflation numbers are understated, which is remarkably true. However, Republicans claim this is caused by the Federal Reserve and its massive printing of money, which is perhaps a tad true, but mostly false.

Inflation mostly comes from corporate planning. Publicly traded limited liability corporations must always have rising share prices, which is largely a product of increasing profits and dividends. The best way to ensure these constantly increasing returns on investment is for corporate competitors to gather together and plan price increases. Thousands of corporations plan their prices rises in tandem, for the most part, and that’s why we have inflation.

When corporations raise their prices in tandem, it’s called a conspiracy in restraint of trade, a violation of the law, but the government almost always looks the other way, which is a function of corruption. This is not to suggest that to some degree competition doesn’t exist in the corporate world, because it does, but it’s a minor nuisance to our captains of industry which is quickly eliminated when the competition gets too hot, and saner minds quickly impose a truce on any hostilities since the primary enemy of the corporations are their unwitting customers.

Guess who pays the cost of this non-competition? You do. When the price of tuna, or lettuce, or gasoline, or cars, or airline tickets rise due to corporate planning, the difference between the old prices and the new higher prices goes from your pockets into those of rich shareholders.

That’s what the politicos and corporate fat cats don’t want you to know, so they keep the argument within unrealistic and narrow lines of debate.

See Krugman’s op-ed below.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/07/opinion/paul-krugman-conservative-delusions-about-inflation.html?_r=0

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There is a straight forward relationship between tax cuts for the rich and growing income and wealth inequality. The conduit for financial inequality is the political markets. Tax cuts for the rich allowed them to corrupt the federal and state governments to the core. The rich used their ill gotten gains from Reagan’s tax cuts to purchase legislation in the political markets that redistribute income and wealth from people like you and me and “Aunt Millie” to the CEO’s and shareholders of corporations, namely the 1 percent. This legislation included free trade treaties that shipped jobs overseas, reducing labor costs while increasing profits. The legislation included privatization scams, deregulation schemes, and actions toward war, such as in Iraq, and Afghanistan, both of which are extremely profitable to the one percent. The rich also purchased the No Child Left Behind Act, which benefited only the major publishing corporations of educational books and tests, such as McGraw-Hil, and the McGraws have been neighbors and best friends of the Bush’s since the Great Depression. Yes, that’s precisely how corrupt President George W. Bush was. There are a ton more legislation that has been purchased by the one percent to redistribute income and wealth to themselves from the 99 percent, but I don’t have that much space. That’s why the economic and political markets are a rigged game.

The press has been a tool of the 1 percent, used to mislead and lie us into wars, deregulation, free trade agreements, privatization, anti-labor union tirades, as well as poisoning ourselves with GMOs by claiming they’re harmless, regardless of what all independent studies show. Yes, they lie to us a lot.

All of this corruption has sent the Dow Jones higher, as well as the NASDAQ and other financial markets. All of which benefits the 1 percent.

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Did the US government set up a revolution in Syria to stop an IranianSyrianIraqi natural gas pipeline? Is that what US involvement is all about?

The US has a history of doing this, from Iran in 1953 to Guatemala in 1954 to Nicaraqua in the 1980s and many more. Supposedly, there are billions of dollars being invested in this pipeline, and US corporations have been shut out of the deal. This smells suspiciously like when US corporations were shut out of bids for a natural gas pipeline in Afghanistan in 2001 after much lobbying by the Bush regime. The Northern Front, which controlled 10 percent of Afganistan in 2001, offered the job to an Argentine firm. Just before 9-11, the leader of the Northern Front was assasinated. The Taliban, which controlled the other 90 percent, after much lobbying by the Bush regime, gave the job to a Spanish company. After the US army invaded Afganistan, the government the US set up gave the job to Unocal. It should be pointed out that the president the US installed in Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, is a former CIA informant. That’s an amazing coincidence, isn’t it?

I’m not saying this is the case in Syria, but you got to wonder, especially given US interference in other nations on behalf of US corporte parasetic elites, I also have a friend of sorts from Syria who says most of what we’re getting in the US press about Syria is a lie. I don’t know one way or the other, but the story below is worth a read.

The Geopolitics of Gas and the Syrian Crisis: Syrian “Opposition” Armed to Thwart Construction of Iran-Iraq-Syria Gas Pipeline

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Is Obamacare snake oil?

There is nothing in The Affordable Health Care Act (other than a small penalty) that stops employers from turning full time employees into full time contractors, and forcing them to pay for their own health care insurance, without 100 percent compensation.

The US Supreme Court has ruled that uninsured people must purchase health care policies. A family of four earning $93,700 per year will be forced to pay nearly $17,000 a year for their health insurance premium, and they will not receive any government subsidies. A similar family earning five dollars a year less will receive a subsidy of 1/2 the cost of their premium.

If employers begin morphing employees into contractors, the result will be a huge income redistribution from the middle class to the rich shareholders and CEOs of the health insurance industry.

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By the third quarter of 2012 (which are the latest available data), according to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, corporate profits were on pace to exceed the record earnings of 2011, despite a pathetic economy. How did they do it? It’s simple. They shipped jobs overseas and redistributed the difference between the higher paying jobs in the US and the new lower wage jobs elsewhere into the pockets of the already rich via higher dividends and share prices. But CEO’s have discovered a more sinister way to increase profits at the expense of the 99 percent.

They jacked up their prices, and the government deliberately hides those increases by understating inflation.

Three years ago, I could purchase three cans of generic label tuna for a dollar. Two years ago, I could purchase two cans for a dollar. Now I’m lucky to get one can of the same tuna for a dollar, although sometimes I can get a can for .79 cents. Same thing has occurred with gasoline, lettuce, milk, bread, meat and other items. Okay, it’s true sometimes prices for certain items don’t rise, perhaps I-Phones, but you can’t eat them, nor can you put them in your gas tank.

Just using the tuna as an example, the price per can rose from .34 cents to .50 cents to .79 cents, or roughly 45-50 percent per year. Take a look at most things you purchase. Prices are rising rapidly. The difference between the old, lower, prices and the new, higher, prices go into the pockets of the rich via higher corporate earnings, rising dividends and share prices. And the government is covering it up by understating inflation. that’s because of the massive corruption of the federal government.

The government says the US inflation rate for 2012 was 1.7 percent. On the other hand, the Everyday Price Index calls it closer to eight percent, which is probably closer to the truth, which is something our government and corporate media no longer provide us, unless it is convenient for them.

Last summer, Harper’s Magazine pointed out that the government’s measurement of inflation for 2010 was slightly higher than three percent, but the government has changed the way it measures inflation twenty times since 1980. If the old method of measuring inflation from 1980 was used, inflation for 2010 would be almost 11 percent. We would be outraged and demand the government do something about this serious problem. But we can’t be outraged, so the media and government simply lie to us, thus ensuring that we don’t know there’s a problem since the government is covering it up. We’re like frogs in a slowly heating pot of water.

Below is an example of how the corporate lies to us.

“The combined earnings of the Fortune 500 corporations rose 16 percent from 2010 to a record high of $825 billion in 2011, Fortune magazine said.”

“Given the sluggish recovery and a strapped consumer, you’d expect to see corporate America trudging along, not racing for glory,” Fortune’s senior editor-at-large, said.

“In fact, the Fortune 500 are thriving as a group. Unlike the US economy, they’ve shown quicksilver agility, rapidly shifting their product mix and producing more goods at little new cost.”

That is total bull shit. These corporations haven’t “shown quicksilver agility, rapidly shifting their product mix and producing more goods an little new cost.” That’s a lie. They’ve achieved this result simply by raising prices and shifting jobs overseas. These actions have redistributed income and wealth from the 99 percent to the one percent.

The first duty of the editor of any corporate news media outlet is to lie to the American people. That way they can keep their corporate advertisers happy. That’s precisely what Fortune Magazine does.

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The Guardian of the UK writes that Obama should run on the success of the stimulus because, “Everything you think you know about it is wrong: stimulus saved the US economy, and only Republicans stopped it working better.” And the story goes on.

“…the stimulus measure was “the biggest and most transformative energy bill in history”, and “the biggest and most transformative education reform bill since the Great Society”. It was also a “transformative healthcare bill”, the “biggest foray into industrial policy since FDR”, the “biggest expansion of antipoverty initiatives since Lyndon Johnson”, and – ironically, for a president oft-accused of raising taxes – the “biggest middle-class tax cut since Reagan”. It rebuilt bridges and paved roads; weatherized and retrofitted homes; and spurred the move toward high-speed rail.”

“That, three and a half years after it was passed into law, most Americans simply have no idea what the Recovery Act wrought is a truly damning indictment of the US media.

The other part of this story comes from across the aisle and involves the Republican party, which, with the exceptions of three senators (Collins, Snowe and Specter), voted unanimously against the bill, and which, since it passed, has repeatedly lied about its impact.”
Why Obama Should Campaign on the Success of the Stimulas–The Guardian UK

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