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Archive for the ‘immigration’ Category

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 top two percent do not pay any social security taxes on any amount of income they earn over $110,000. That’s called a cap on contributions. So a person who earns $110,000 a year pays the exact same amount in social security taxes as people who earn $4 billion a year. Currently, the 1 percent steal over 36 percent of the total income produced in the United States, up from 21 percent in 2009, and 8 percent in 1980. The 1 percent are stealing more of your income via federal legislation, such as Fast Track, free trade agreements, privatization scams, and tax cuts for the rich. the-rigged-game-how-much-do-us-corporations-pay-in-taxes?-well-now-how-much-did-bank-of-america-pay-in-taxes-in-2013-on-profits-of-over-4-billion-in-profits?-and-what-does-fast-track-legislation have to do with this?–JohnHively.wordpress.com

To make the social security trust fund more solvent, and it’s pretty solvent right now, the obvious initial thing to do in order to by-pass the government corruption that has brought about this lopsided and non-market related redistribution of income over the last thirty years is to eliminate the cap on social security tax payments. Let Warren Buffett and the Koch Brothers pay their fair share.

The social security trust fund has a surplus of $2.6 trillion that earns nearly $200 billion a year in revenue. Those figures would go way up if the cap were eliminated. If the 1 percent were stealing only 8 percent of the nation’s income, the surplus would be closer to $4 trillion, and collecting $350 billion a year in interest payments.

Obviously, under current circumstances, as income continues to be redistributed to the 1 percent from the 99 percent, less and less money is paid into the social security trust fund because of the cap. This will bring about the program’s insolvency by roughly the year 2042. Some estimates are 2035 or so. In other words, rising inequality brought about by government policies is jeopardizing the social security program.

President Obama and Wall Street Senator’s Ron Wyden, Orrin Hatch and Mitch McConnell want to ensure you and your grandparents live in utter, abject poverty so that the rich can continue to steal more of your grandparents money because they support the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), the largest and most sinister international income and political power redistribution scam in the history of the United States, which is falsely labeled a free trade agreement, and which has virtually nothing to do with trade. See the link above for more information of this.

See the link below for more information of the effect of government sponsored inequality on the social security trust fund.

The Effect of Rising Inequality on Social Security–Center for American Progress

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There is a simple reason major US corporations have one of the highest tax rates in the world, and yet, they often pay no taxes, and they often receive billions of dollars in tax rebates from the government on taxes they never paid, as in the case of Bank of America in 2013.

1. By having a large tax rate on paper, the US media propaganda machine, representatives of US corporations, their lobbyists, and their US politicians can argue US corporations have the largest tax liability in the world, and then they will manipulate this lie to generate public support for changes to the corporate tax laws to lower their tax liabilities, which means US corporations will then receive larger tax rebates on taxes they never paid in the future.

2. US corporations enhance their profits with the rebates, which redistributes income from tax payers, i.e. the 99 percent, to the 1 percent. The 99 percent receive less government services by this redistribution, and the 1 percent receive more income. Taxes, coincidentally, are higher on working folks because somebody has to make up the difference between what the government should have in tax revenues, and what the government gives out in tax rebates to the rich. It should be pointed out that any tax rebates on taxes that aren’t even paid is called welfare for the 99 percent, and tax rebates for the 1 percent.

3. The importance of the rebates are massive for publicly traded limited liability corporations, such as Bank of America. The rebate in 2013 increased the bank’s profits by almost 50 percent. That fueled profits to the tune of $1.9 billion in this case, which provided enhanced dividends, as well as surging stock prices to shareholders, and bonuses to important bank officers.

4. Much of those profits, whether actual profits ($4.4 billion), or tax rebates ($1.9 billion), provides more money for Bank of America to purchase politicians of both major political parties, which fuels legislation that further redistributes income from the 99 to the 1 percent, which will then provide more tax rebates at your expense to Bank of America.

5. Fast Track is a current case in point. Fast Track is legislation pending in congress that will turn over congressional international trade authority to the president of the United States, which is something congressional Wall Street Republicans want to do despite their campaign against President Obama’s imperial presidency, which is, coincidentally, something the Republicans have allowed the presidency to become. That’s because the Wall Street wing of the Republican Party (Orrin Hatch, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, John Boehner, etc….) and the Wall Street wing of the Democratic Party (Ron Wyden, Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama, etc…) are allies when it comes to working on behalf of Wall Street, and against the interests of the American people.

6. Fast Track will limit debate, not allow for any amendments to the looming international income and political redistribution agreement called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and will not allow any filibuster of this income redistribution scam in the senate. In that way, the public will have less time to be informed of the scheme in congress, and it can pass with 50 votes in the senate, since no filibuster will be allowed, and in case of a tie, Vice President Joe Biden will make the decisive vote in favor of TPP. In other words, senators like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Jeff Merkley, Sharrod Brown, David Vitter etc…. will be unable to filibuster the TPP.

7. We know from leaked documents the TPP is a massive income redistribution scam. The TPP has almost nothing to do with international trade. We know that;

* TPP will give incentives for US corporations to export millions of US jobs. The Federal Reserve estimates that 28 million US jobs were exported between 1990 and 2010.

* TPP will increase US income and wealth inequality. The 1 percent have already taken 95 percent of all income growth in the United States since 2009. Currently, the 1 percent are stealing 36+ percent of all income produced in the USA, compared to only 8 percent in 1980. International trade scams and other federal legislation have brought inequality about. For example, when the above jobs were exported, the difference between the old higher US wages and the new lower wages will go straight into the pockets of the 1 percent via higher corporate profits, rising dividends and surging share prices.

* Those lost jobs will no longer be paying the taxes for our infrastructure, social safety nets, schools, fire and police, but those lost jobs will push the stock markets higher.

* TPP will effectively eliminate your voting rights on local and state issues since it will unconstitutionally grant investors of the 0.01 percent special privileges to challenge labeling and health and safety local laws and regulations of the 99 percent, which most people call voter suppression, but in this case it should be called voter elimination,

* TPP will offer new monopolies for Big Pharma to raise medicine prices they charge you (which redistributes income from the 99 to the 1 percent),

* TPP will limit food safety standards (which redistributes and transforms your health into the profits of the 1 percent),

* TPP will block financial regulations aimed at preventing the next financial crisis (which will make it easier for Wall Street to redistribute your income and wealth to the 1 percent). Bank of America Stands to Gain From This. The bank will be able to steal more money from you with less regulations, which will increase its profits, dividends and share prices, not to mention CEO bonuses. Bank of America is also spending millions of dollars on lobbyists in support of Fast Track and TPP.

* TPP will destroy millions of jobs in Latin America (230,000 in the textile industry of El Salvador alone) forcing millions of undocumented immigrants into the United States.

* The result of the above will be to depress wages in both North and South America, all to the benefit of the 1 percent, and all at the expense of the 99 percent.

* And we can’t forget that TPP will increase the already massive US trade deficit with other nations, which is supposed to be a bad thing. The exported jobs will be producing goods overseas rather than here, and then US corporations will export their products from China and Vietnam into the United States, exacerbating the current trade deficit.

In other words, the TPP has almost nothing to do with trade. It’s about taking away your money, your voting rights, and giving them to the 1 percent.

TPP, in other words, is designed to put more of your money in the hands of the 1 percent, and this money will be used to corrupt government even more while impoverishing you, and redistributing your future and the future of your children to the 1 percent.

You can rest assured, if Fast Track passes, and the TPP passes with it, profits, as well as the tax rebates Bank of America receives, will become greater, and at your expense.

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President Obama is now fighting against his own party, by allying himself with the corporate wing of the Republican Party, in his fight to destroy the American middle class. The president does have a few Democratic allies, such as Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden, the only US senator ever called a “useful idiot” by a Nobel Prize economist.

The president is waging war against the middle class with an Income and Political Power Redistribution Scam that he falsely labels a free trade agreement, called the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). The president has made certain the TPP is the most secretive scheme ever called a free trade agreement in US history.

This month, President Obama and the corporate Republican Party leaders are going to push for legislation called Fast Track. They are opposed by progressive Democrats and Tea Party Republicans. See Left and Right United–New York Times.

If passed, Fast Track will allow only limited debate, no amendments, and no filibuster in the senate on the Trans Pacific Partnership. The key is most likely the filibuster. The TPP will export millions of US jobs, redistribute massive amounts of income from the 99 to the 1 percent in the process, eliminate your voting rights on health, safety and labeling issues on the state and local levels, and lots more, and none of it good for you or the environment. That’s only a few things we know about the agreement because it is the most secretive trade agreement in US history. Call your congressional representatives and tell them to represent you in the issue of Fast Track. Tell them to vote no. You can discover your US house and senate representatives and their numbers at ContactingtheCongress.org .

We know from leaked documents the TPP is a massive income redistribution scam. We know that;

* TPP will give incentives for US corporations to export millions of US jobs. The Federal Reserve estimates that 28 million US jobs were exported between 1990 and 2010.

* TPP will increase US income and wealth inequality. The 1 percent have already taken 95 percent of all income growth in the United States since 2009. Currently, the 1 percent are stealing 36+ percent of all income produced in the USA. When the above jobs were exported, the difference between the old higher US wages and the new lower wages will go straight into the pockets of the 1 percent via higher corporate profits, rising dividends and surging share prices.

* Those lost jobs will no longer be paying the taxes for our infrastructure, social safety nets, schools, fire and police, but those lost jobs will push the stock markets higher.

* TPP will effectively eliminate your voting rights on local and state issues since it will unconstitutionally grant investors of the 0.01 percent special privileges to challenge labeling and health and safety local laws and regulations of the 99 percent, which most people call voter suppression, but in this case it should be called voter elimination,

* TPP will offer new monopolies for Big Pharma to raise medicine prices they charge you (which redistributes income from the 99 to the 1 percent),

* TPP will limit food safety standards (which redistributes and transforms your health into the profits of the 1 percent),

* TPP will block financial regulations aimed at preventing the next financial crisis (which will make it easier for Wall Street to redistribute your income and wealth to the 1 percent).

* TPP will destroy millions of jobs in Latin America (230,000 in the textile industry of El Salvador alone) forcing millions of undocumented immigrants into the United States.

* The result of the above will be to depress wages in both North and South America, all to the benefit of the 1 percent, and all at the expense of the 99 percent.

* And we can’t forget that TPP will increase the already massive US trade deficit with other nations, which is supposed to be a bad thing. The exported jobs will be producing goods overseas rather than here, and then US corporations will export their products from China and Vietnam into the United States, exacerbating the current trade deficit.

In other words, the TPP has almost nothing to do with trade. It’s about taking away your money, your voting rights, and giving them to the 1 percent.

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From USA Today

“Business executives and politicians endlessly complain that there is a “shortage” of qualified Americans and that the U.S. must admit more high-skilled guest workers to fill jobs in STEM fields: science, technology, engineering and math. This claim is echoed by everyone from President Obama and Rupert Murdoch to Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates.

Yet within the past month, two odd things occurred: the US Census Bureau reported that only one in four STEM degree holders is in a STEM job, and Microsoft announced plans to downsize its workforce by 18,000 jobs. Even so, the United States House of Representatives is considering legislation that, like the Senate immigration bill before it, would increase to unprecedented levels the supply of high-skill guest workers and automatic green cards to foreign STEM students.

As longtime researchers of the STEM workforce and immigration who have separately done in-depth analyses on these issues, and having no self-interest in the outcomes of the legislative debate, we feel compelled to report that none of us has been able to find any credible evidence to support the IT industry’s assertions of labor shortages.”

In other words, the shortage of US high tech workers is a big lie perpetrated by business leaders, President Obama, Republican Party lawmakers, and many Democratic lawmakers. Keeping wages, salaries and benefit packages low by importing the foreign high tech workers into a market in which only one of four highly qualified US citizens can find a job is nothing short of criminal, but it keeps labor costs down and corporate profits and share prices up. The labor market, in other words, is being manipulated to the benefit of the 1 percent.

Apparently, that’s what the US government is supposed to do. That’s the job of politicians: keep wages, salaries and benefits low by keeping an excess supply of labor flowing into the US job market. Who are these politicians working for? The Koch Brothers and Bill Gates or us? Okay, they work for the rich guys, and to hell with us.

Why would they do this?

According to USA Today, “It is well documented that loopholes enable firms to legally pay H-1Bs below their market value and to continue the widespread age discrimination acknowledged by many in the tech industry.”

That’s why companies are exploiting the large existing flow of guest workers to deny American workers access to STEM careers and the middle-class security that should come with them. Imagine how many more Americans would be frozen out of the middle class if politicians and tech moguls succeed in doubling or tripling the flow of guest workers into STEM occupations.

Click the link below for more on this story from USA Today.

Bill Gates Tech Workers Fantasy–USA Today

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The 1 percent stole about 21 percent of all income produced in the United States in 2009, up from about 8 percent back in 1980. Now the 1 percent are stealing 36.6 percent of all income growth through the third quarter of 2014.

The economic game has been rigged even more by the 0.01 percent via legislation since 2009. Academic studies show that 95 percent of all income since 2009 have gone into the already fat wallets of the 1 percent.

Some simple math shows some interesting things.

According to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, Americans earned a little over $12 trillion of income in 2009. All studies showed the 1 percent were stealing about 21 percent of that total, or about $2.5 trillion of that.

The total income produced by the people of the United States increased to more than $15.2 trillion in 2014.

Take that $15.2 trillion and subtract the $12 trillion produced in 2009. That’s $3.2 trillion. The 1 percent have used legislation to steal 95 percent of that $3.2 trillion, which means they’re stealing more than $3 trillion of that growth.

Now simply add the original 21 percent from 2009, which equals $2.5 trillion, and add the $3 trillion the 1 percent have been getting since 2009.

$2.5 trillion
+ $3.0 trillion

equals

$5.5 trillion going to the 1 percent

That’s out of the $15.2 trillion of total income produced by everybody and every business in the United States. In other words, roughly 36.67 percent of total national income goes to the 1 percent, compared to 8 percent thirty-four years ago.

This inequality is why demand for goods and services are so weak, which is why the economy is so historically weak. The 99 percent has considerably less money to spend on goods and services.

President Obama, along with Wall Street Senators Ron Wyden, Orrin Hatch and Mitch McConnell want to give even more of the national income to the 1 percent via the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the largest income redistribution scam in US history.

Among other things, the TPP will:

* give incentives for US corporations to export millions of US jobs. The Federal Reserve estimates that 28 million US jobs were exported between 1990 and 2010.

* increase US income and wealth inequality. The 1 percent have already taken 95 percent of all income growth in the United States since 2009. When the above jobs were exported, the difference between the old higher US wages and the new lower wages will go straight into the pockets of the 1 percent via higher corporate profits, rising dividends and surging share prices.

* Those lost jobs will no longer be paying the taxes for our infrastructure, social safety nets, schools, fire and police, but those lost jobs will push the stock markets higher.

* TPP will effectively eliminate your voting rights on local and state issues since it will unconstitutionally grant investors of the 0.01 percent special privileges to challenge labeling and health and safety local laws and regulations of the 99 percent, which most people call voter suppression, but in this case it should be called voter elimination,

* TPP will offer new monopolies for Big Pharma to raise medicine prices they charge you (which redistributes income from the 99 to the 1 percent),

* TPP will limit food safety standards (which redistributes and transforms your health into the profits of the 1 percent),

* TPP will block financial regulations aimed at preventing the next financial crisis (which will make it easier for Wall Street to redistribute your income and wealth to the 1 percent).

* TPP will destroy millions of jobs in Latin America (230,000 in the textile industry of El Salvador alone) forcing millions of undocumented immigrants into the United States.

* The result of the above will be to depress wages in both North and South America, all to the benefit of the 1 percent, and all at the expense of the 99 percent.

* And we can’t forget that TPP will increase the already massive US trade deficit with other nations, which is supposed to be a bad thing. The exported jobs will be producing goods overseas rather than here, and then US corporations will export their products from China and Vietnam into the United States, exacerbating the current trade deficit.

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By Bernie Sanders, US Senator, Reader Supported News

03 January 15

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a disastrous trade agreement designed to protect the interests of the largest multi-national corporations at the expense of workers, consumers, the environment and the foundations of American democracy. It will also negatively impact some of the poorest people in the world.

The TPP is a treaty that has been written behind closed doors by the corporate world. Incredibly, while Wall Street, the pharmaceutical industry and major media companies have full knowledge as to what is in this treaty, the American people and members of Congress do not. They have been locked out of the process.

Further, all Americans, regardless of political ideology, should be opposed to the “fast track” process which would deny Congress the right to amend the treaty and represent their constituents’ interests.

The TPP follows in the footsteps of other unfettered free trade agreements like NAFTA, CAFTA and the Permanent Normalized Trade Agreement with China (PNTR). These treaties have forced American workers to compete against desperate and low-wage labor around the world. The result has been massive job losses in the United States and the shutting down of tens of thousands of factories. These corporately backed trade agreements have significantly contributed to the race to the bottom, the collapse of the American middle class and increased wealth and income inequality. The TPP is more of the same, but even worse.

During my 23 years in Congress, I helped lead the fight against NAFTA and PNTR with China. During the coming session of Congress, I will be working with organized labor, environmentalists, religious organizations, Democrats, and Republicans against the secretive TPP trade deal.

Let’s be clear: the TPP is much more than a “free trade” agreement. It is part of a global race to the bottom to boost the profits of large corporations and Wall Street by outsourcing jobs; undercutting worker rights; dismantling labor, environmental, health, food safety and financial laws; and allowing corporations to challenge our laws in international tribunals rather than our own court system. If TPP was such a good deal for America, the administration should have the courage to show the American people exactly what is in this deal, instead of keeping the content of the TPP a secret.

10 Ways that TPP would hurt Working Families

1. TPP will allow corporations to outsource even more jobs overseas.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, if the TPP is agreed to, the U.S. will lose more than 130,000 jobs to Vietnam and Japan alone. But that is just the tip of the iceberg.
Service Sector Jobs will be lost. At a time when corporations have already outsourced over 3 million service sector jobs in the U.S., TPP includes rules that will make it even easier for corporate America to outsource call centers; computer programming; engineering; accounting; and medical diagnostic jobs.

Manufacturing jobs will be lost. As a result of NAFTA, the U.S. lost nearly 700,000 jobs. As a result of Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China, the U.S. lost over 2.7 million jobs. As a result of the Korea Free Trade Agreement, the U.S. has lost 70,000 jobs. The TPP would make matters worse by providing special benefits to firms that offshore jobs and by reducing the risks associated with operating in low-wage countries.

2. U.S. sovereignty will be undermined by giving corporations the right to challenge our laws before international tribunals.

The TPP creates a special dispute resolution process that allows corporations to challenge any domestic laws that could adversely impact their “expected future profits.”

These challenges would be heard before UN and World Bank tribunals which could require taxpayer compensation to corporations.

This process undermines our sovereignty and subverts democratically passed laws including those dealing with labor, health, and the environment.

3. Wages, benefits, and collective bargaining will be threatened.

NAFTA, CAFTA, PNTR with China, and other free trade agreements have helped drive down the wages and benefits of American workers and have eroded collective bargaining rights.

The TPP will make the race to the bottom worse because it forces American workers to compete with desperate workers in Vietnam where the minimum wage is just 56 cents an hour.

4. Our ability to protect the environment will be undermined.

The TPP will allow corporations to challenge any law that would adversely impact their future profits. Pending claims worth over $14 billion have been filed based on similar language in other trade agreements. Most of these claims deal with challenges to environmental laws in a number of countries. The TPP will make matters even worse by giving corporations the right to sue any of the nations that sign onto the TPP. These lawsuits would be heard in international tribunals bypassing domestic courts.

5. Food Safety Standards will be threatened.

The TPP would make it easier for countries like Vietnam to export contaminated fish and seafood into the U.S. The FDA has already prevented hundreds of seafood imports from TPP countries because of salmonella, e-coli, methyl-mercury and drug residues. But the FDA only inspects 1-2 percent of food imports and will be overwhelmed by the vast expansion of these imports if the TPP is agreed to.

6. Buy America laws could come to an end.

The U.S. has several laws on the books that require the federal government to buy goods and services that are made in America or mostly made in this country. Under TPP, foreign corporations must be given equal access to compete for these government contracts with companies that make products in America. Under TPP, the U.S. could not even prevent companies that have horrible human rights records from receiving government contracts paid by U.S. taxpayers.

7. Prescription drug prices will increase, access to life saving drugs will decrease, and the profits of drug companies will go up.

Big pharmaceutical companies are working hard to ensure that the TPP extends the monopolies they have for prescription drugs by extending their patents (which currently can last 20 years or more). This would expand the profits of big drug companies, keep drug prices artificially high, and leave millions of people around the world without access to life saving drugs. Doctors without Borders stated that “the TPP agreement is on track to become the most harmful trade pact ever for ?ccess to medicines in developing countries.”

8. Wall Street would benefit at the expense of everyone else.

Under TPP, governments would be barred from imposing “capital controls” that have been successfully used to avoid financial crises. These controls range from establishing a financial speculation tax to limiting the massive flows of speculative capital flowing into and out of countries responsible for the Asian financial crisis in the 1990s. In other words, the TPP would expand the rights and power of the same Wall Street firms that nearly destroyed the world economy just five years ago and would create the conditions for more financial instability in the future.

Last year, I co-sponsored a bill with Sen. Harkin to create a Wall Street speculation tax of just 0.03 percent on trades of derivatives, credit default swaps, and large amounts of stock. If TPP were enacted, such a financial speculation tax may be in violation of this trade agreement.

9. The TPP would reward authoritarian regimes like Vietnam that systematically violate human rights.

The State Department, the U.S. Department of Labor, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International have all documented Vietnam’s widespread violations of basic international standards for human rights. Yet, the TPP would reward Vietnam’s bad behavior by giving it duty free access to the U.S. market.

10. The TPP has no expiration date, making it virtually impossible to repeal.

Once TPP is agreed to, it has no sunset date and could only be altered by a consensus of all of the countries that agreed to it. Other countries, like China, could be allowed to join in the future. For example, Canada and Mexico joined TPP negotiations in 2012 and Japan joined last year.

—————————————————————————————
Republished with permission from Readersupportednews.org

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At a town hall meeting in Clackamas County Oregon on January 3, 2014, I asked Senator Ron Wyden a simple question and he didn’t provide an answer, which suggests that he was avoiding telling the truth, meaning he lied to his audience, or he finally became a senator for the people of Oregon on economic matters. Don’t get your hopes up since actions speak louder than words, and he is a politician.

My question was, “We know from leaked documents that the free trade treaty known as the Trans Pacific Partnership will grant investors special privileges to challenge labeling and health and safety laws and regulations on the state and local levels, which will effectively eliminate our voting rights for and against such things, the TPP will offer new monopolies for Big Pharma to raise medicine prices, limit food safety standards, block financial regulations aimed at preventing the next financial crisis, and outsource more American jobs. Why are you trying to use something called Smart Track to push this through the senate?”

Wyden immediately talked about enforcing the rules of trade treaties already in existence, and it seemed as though he was going to avoid answering my question forever, and he did. He moved on to transparency. At one point, referring to secret negotiations of trade treaties he said “Folks, those days are over when the congress votes on a trade proposal and people in town hall meetings are in the dark. I’ll tell you point blank. Those days are over! I’m going to make sure the American people are brought into this debate in an unprecedented fashion.”

We’ll see. What Wyden didn’t mention is that he is pushing a proposal called Smart Track, which he didn’t explain, thereby keeping everybody in that town hall meeting in the dark, which is precisely what he said he wasn’t going to do. He also didn’t answer the question at all about why he was using Smart Track to push the Trans Pacific Partnership through the senate. The fact that he danced around the issue suggests he’s still a senator doing the bidding of Wall Street and large, politically, powerful corporations; meaning he’s still a senator of the 1 percent on issues pertaining to redistributing income from the 99 to the 1 percent.

I’ve called him Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden almost since the day I began this blog. That’s because on bread and butter issues he always seems to side with the 1 percent via legislation that redistributes the bread and butter of the 99 percent to the 1 percent, such as free trade treaties.

These treaties can easily be negotiated to benefit everyone involved, by such things as having the negotiators develop common labor standards, such as work rules, environmental rules, minimum wages, health and safety standards, as well as developing common and enforceable regulations of financial markets and financial market transactions, but that doesn’t happen. That’s because the purpose of any free trade agreement is to increase corporate profits, not by expanding markets (although that is a coincidental side effect), but by lowering wages.

As the senator knows, the Trans Pacific Partnership has almost nothing to do with trade. It’s all about changing the rules and laws of nations to benefit the 1 percent at the expense of the 99 percent. It’s a massive, highly secretive income redistribution scam, and there is little doubt, the senator knows this. More than anything, knowing he knows this can cause one to speculate that he evaded the answer to my question above, and that he lied, because he intends to keep pushing this nightmare trade proposal for the 99 percent through the senate, and he’ll continue to evade questions on this issue with his usual talking points.

If the senator was really serious about transparency, and really serious about keeping the voters of Oregon in the loop in “an unprecedented fashion,” then he’d have ten to twenty-five town hall meetings, and the only subject would be on this massive scam called a trade treaty. He’d also make certain the major players of the corporate press were there, and honestly reporting on this issue (which the major state newspaper the Oregonian is unlikely to do), and he’d open the meeting by saying something like this,

“My fellow Oregonians, you have elected me to represent you, and so you should know what’s going to happen if the Trans Pacific Partnership, often known as TPP, becomes law. It’s going to change your lives forever, as well as increase the massive income inequality we already have. We know from leaked documents that the TPP will grant investors of the 0.01 percent special privileges to challenge labeling and health and safety local laws and regulations of the 99 percent; which will effectively eliminate your voting rights on local and state levels for and against such things, the TPP will offer new monopolies for Big Pharma to raise medicine prices they charge you, limit food safety standards, block financial regulations aimed at preventing the next financial crisis, and possibly result in the outsourcing of millions of American jobs. It may also kill the remainder of the US textile industry, destroy millions of jobs in Latin America, drive hundreds of thousands if not millions of undocumented immigrants into the United States, and depress wages in both North and South America, all to the benefit of the 1 percent, and all at the expense of the 99 percent. The TPP will cause the trade deficit to increase as more jobs are outsourced, and the products formerly made here will be made over there, and then shipped back here, and this outsourcing will cause a shortage of tax dollars for your schools, fire, police, roads and other public safety nets and infrastructure. What do you folks think about that?”

Until he does something like this, I’ll call him Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden, because until then, his loyalties are clearly with Wall Street and large corporations owned by the 1 percent.

Of course, the senator says that such a thing as the Trans Pacific Partnership doesn’t exist, although it’s almost completely negotiated and President Obama wants to ram it through congress in January.

So, based on what I saw at the town forum, the senator is still going to help the president and the rest of the 0.01 percent ram the treaty through congress with the least amount of public scrutiny possible, because as US Senator Elizabeth Warren said, “From what I hear, Wall Street, pharmaceuticals, telecom, big polluters and outsourcers are all salivating at the chance to rig the Trans Pacific Partnership in the upcoming trade talks. So the question is why are the trade talks secret? I have actually had supporters of the deal say to me “They have to be secret, because if the American people knew what was actually in them they’d be opposed.”

P.S. There is an economic hurricane coming, three or four years down the road at the most, maybe sooner, which will make the last recession look like the good old days, and Wyden’s votes to redistribute income from the 99 tot he 1 percent have played a large role in creating the coming disaster.

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The Democrats in congress are mostly against the Keystone Pipeline, which will transport crude oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, if approved by congress and not vetoed by President Obama. The Republican senators and representatives are, by and large, for this potential environmental disaster.

If the pipeline doesn’t make it past a veto the Republicans will blame environmentalists that supposedly influence the Democratic members of congress and President Obama. However, one can rightly suspect that there is something more to this than meets the eye.

Perhaps the Democratic position has something to do with billionaire investor Warren Buffett doling out $15 billion to purchase the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad earlier this year, the largest railroad shipper of crude oil in the nation, according to its website. Buffett is a big financial supporter of the Democrats, but he financially dabbles a little bit with some Republicans.

Buffett heads Berkshire Hathaway, one the largest hedge funds in the world. Its stock price is currently over $200,000 per share. A hedge fund is nothing more than an unregulated investment firm that buys and sells stocks and bonds, sort of like a Goldman Sachs without any rules.

The Keystone Pipeline will transport oil from Canada and the United States to the Gulf of Mexico for export elsewhere. If completed, the pipeline may take a lot of business from Burlington Northern Santa Fe. In which case, the share price of Burlington Northern Santa Fe will likely drop as its profits decline. The profits from Burlington that Berkshire Hathaway receives will also fall, which could put downward pressure on its stock price. The result would be less money for all of those Democratic politicians who count on that money.

The billionaire Koch Brothers are a major financial player behind the building of the Keystone Pipeline. They invest billions in the Republican party and its candidates. They stand to make billions from building the pipeline, and the pipeline will service one of their Texas oil refineries.

Quite naturally, the pipeline represents a conduit of future cash for Republican Party candidates, whereas Burlington and Berkshire Hathaway represent a stream of cash for Democratic Party candidates.

There are other perks candidates of both parties receive from big contributors, such as vacations in Scotland and cushy jobs that make them rich after they leave office.

Notice none of the major corporate news media is mentioning issues such as these. That’s because the job of reporters and editors of the corporate news media is to keep you ignorant, and biased against the political party you don’t like.

In government, in legislation, in negotiating trade treaties, the Democrats represent a fraction of the 0.01 percent richest Americans, the Republicans represent another fraction of the 0.01 percent wealthiest Americans, and a third fraction of the richest Americans play both sides, such as Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, both of which are corporations whose primary interests are to increase the amount of income and wealth of the 1 percent at the expense of the 99 percent.

When the president vetoes the legislation approving the Keystone Pipeline, and the Republicans won’t have sufficient votes to override that veto, the press will dutifully quote Republican Party leaders about the alleged jobs lost due to not building the pipeline. They will, conveniently, not mention the jobs that might have been lost because of a decline in Burlington Northern Santa Fe profits had the pipeline been approved.

They will blame the environmentalists, and turn that word into an epithet. Naturally, the environmentalists will have played no role in the failure of government to approve of the pipeline because it’s all about who gets the money. Follow the money folks!

Republican and Democratic Party leaders don’t want the 99 percent to know that the real political battles in Washington D.C., and in state capitals across the nation, are being fought between a small group of billionaires at the expense of everyone else. And the corporate news media will continue to ensure that the debate over this issue is vigorous, but limited enough to deceive the American public. In other words, the corporate media intends to keep us in the dark over this issue, and then lie to us and point their fingers at the environmentalists for the failure of government to approve the Keystone Pipeline.

The battle over the Keystone Pipeline is all about money, and keeping us ignorant of this fact. Because once you know this fact, then you’ll begin to understand how the political and economic games, and the games the corporate media plays with information, are all rigged against the 99 percent.

One last note, the second job of the corporate news media is to keep the 99 percent divided over social issues, such as abortion, gun rights, the war against Christmas, red vs. blue state, gay marriage, and immigration, among many others, while keeping our eyes off the things that really matter, and that is what’s in your wallet. The corporate news media has done a marvelous in this respect.

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