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Archive for the ‘Occupy’ Category

This holiday season, buy the perfect gift for that loved one who took a stand against America’s plutocracy: a large print of the Occupy encampment at Zuccotti Park. The poster is “printed on Premium Heavy Stock Paper which captures all of the vivid…

Click on Wal-Mart Monetizes the Occupy Movement for the complete story.

Wal-Mart Monetizes the Occupy Movement (via Moyers & Company)

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Wealth are the things that you own; cars, homes, furniture, stocks, bonds, politicians of both political parties, such as Wall Street senators Ron Wyden and Mitch McConnell. The maldistribution of wealth you see in the film above is almost entirely a function of income redistribution from the 99 to the 1 percent. Federal, state and local legislation are used to achieve this redistribution. Corruption runs rampant in all levels of government. Such legislation as corporate trade treaties, deregulation and privatization scams are the culprits. Expect income and wealth to continue to be redistributied from the 99 to the 1 percent through the free trade mechanism, the latest of which is the Trans Pacific Partnership. Studies show the bottom 90 percent of US citizens will take pay cuts with the treaty, and the difference between your old wages and your new lower wages will go into the pockets of the rich via higher corporate profits, rising dividends and soaring share prices. They 1 percent will then purchase more mansions, limos, stocks, bonds, politicians and legislation with the money they’re going to steal from you with the Trans Pacific Partnership, then they’ll rig the game more to steal even more of your money.

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Five years ago, Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy. Lehman CEO Dick Fuld was rewarded with half a billion dollars and three mansions for his total mismanagement skills. Another Wall Street investment bank, Bear Stearns, went belly up after its CEO bet heavily on bonds back by home mortgages. CEO Jimmy Cayne walked away with over $300 million for his complete incompetence, and he plays high-stakes bridge in retirement. Charles Prince left Citigroup with a $28 million retirement parachute after losing the firm $11 billion in mortgage-backed gambles. Stan O’Neal was fired by Merrill Lynch the same month, and the firm sent $161.5 million out the door with him as a reward for massive stupidity and total lack of business acument. Incompetent Ken Lewis left Bank of America in 2009 with a parachute payment of $83 million. All three of their corporations were bailed out by taxpayers. In other words, those golden parachutes were paid for by taxpayers. That’s us folks.

Those are also the folks who went on strike against Walmart over pathetically low wages. Those people pay taxes, too, even on their $8 an hour pay. In other words, the Wall Street bailouts were a series of massive income redistribution scams, from the 99 to the 1 percent who finance political campaigns. You can also call it corporate welfare. The economy and the government; they’re completely rigged games against the 99 percent. The government is rotted with corruption through and through, at least as much as is Wall Street, and the electoral process.

Check out the story below from Thinkprogress.org.

Infuriating Facts About Subprime Wall Street CEO’s Who Failed At Their Jobs and Helped Destroy the Economy

Center for Public Integrity

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Contrary to reports of its demise, the Occupy movement is alive and well. Occupy still protests the rule of the 1 percent, and its parasitic qualities vis-a-vis the 99 percent.

Conservatives railed against the video below. Glen Beck and others claimed that Occupy members worship a golden bull, not understanding the sarcasm and the corporate logos  that adorned the bull. In fact, Occupy members used the video to mock Beck and others who worship the almighty dollar and their corporate masters.

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government liesThe destruction of middle class jobs and the rise of massive unemployment supposedly caused by the advance of technology is the latest in a long list of lies fed to us by the corporate press, and with the blessings of high officials of the two major political parties and Wall Street executives, among many other members of the 1 percent.

We’re supposed to believe that 250 years after the beginning of the Industrial Revolution that technological advances are wiping out jobs in the USA to a degree greater than ever before. That’s a big whopper, pure and simple. But it’s also the propaganda the people behind this lie want you to believe. This same lie is also being used by the same people to hide the truth about job losses, historically high unemployment, government corruption, and the sad state of the US economy and how we got here.

Did anybody notice that nobody in China, Germany, Sweden or most other nations are insisting that technology has led to rising unemployment in those nations? Oh, that’s right. Those nations don’t have historically, persistent and high unemployment rates.

Let’s examine just one of those nations.

Despite technological advances, the number of jobs in China continues to increase. Why is it that technology is the cause of massive unemployment in the United States, but not in China? The answer is simple. Technology isn’t the culprit. It’s a lie.

Sure, jobs are always being wiped out by technology, but technology creates jobs, and typically more jobs than are destroyed in its advance. That’s been proven time and time again. Two centuries ago, the economist David Ricardo argued this, as did Karl Marx and thousands of others. In the long-run, this economic situation has never arrived, and it still hasn’t.

Take computers, for example. The rise of computers wiped out the typewriter industry, but created tens, and perhaps hundreds, of millions more jobs than the industry it replaced. It also created new industries, such as the Internet, and everything you can do with that. Computers also expanded old industries, such as surveillance and spying. Computer technologies have been applied to cell phones, the Kindle, the Nook, space technology, car technology and hundreds of other products.

Let’s take another example. Jobs have been eliminated in grocery stores by the rise of technology and its application to self-checking out. Sure this technology has eliminated some jobs, or at the least, allowed store management to not hire as many people as they might have in the absence of the new technology.

Despite of the relatively few jobs lost in retail stores, tens of thousands, and perhaps hundreds of thousands, or even more, people are manufacturing the new self-checkout machines, and tens of thousands of people have been hired and trained to maintain them. Those who are trained for maintenance live reasonably close to where the machines are used. Those who manufacture the machines, as well as the vast majority of parts, live in China and other low wage countries.

Fujitsu Corporation of Japan, for example, makes much of the self-checkout stands used in grocery stores here in the United States, but important component parts are made and assembled in China by Epsom and IBM, which are US corporations. Those are jobs that should be in the US.

The National Cash Register Corporation (NCR), whose stock is traded on Wall Street, has been a US company since 1888. The company used to manufacture cash registers in the United States.Those jobs are long gone.

Nowadays, NCR manufactures its retail and restaurant self-checkout machines in China (which are officially called “Retail and Restaurant Point of Sale hardware and software,” on the company’s website). NCR is the largest manufacturer in the world of ATM machines, and almost all of them are made in China, and well, maybe they’re all still made there. Last year NCR announced that a tiny number of jobs manufacturing ATM’s might be brought back to the USA, but there is no evidence that I’ve been able to find to suggest this has come to pass. So it’s likely that all of NCR’s ATM machines are still made in China. NCR also manufactures Airport Self-Service Kiosks and a bunch of other items in China. In fact, everything it produces (with the possible exception of that small number of ATMs) are manufactured in China.

I’ll cite just a few of the many items the company manufactures in China straight off the company’s website: For gas stations and convenience stores the company manufactures; “POS Terminals, POS Software, POS Printers, Fuel Controller, Back Office Software, Self Checkout.” Under the travel category, “Common Use Self-Service, Airport Kiosk, Hotel Check-In, Car Rental Software, Bus Check-In.” If this was fifty years ago, before the World Trade Organization, before all the free trade treaties, all of the company’s jobs would be in the United States.

NCR has more employees now than ever in its history, and this is especially true when you count the use of contractors and their employees in China. The technology produced by NCR has created more jobs than the old cash register business thirty years ago. Thousands of jobs were wiped out, but hundreds of thousands and perhaps millions more jobs have been created with the new technology.

Technology did not put those jobs in China. Low wages did. The ability to produce massive amounts of pollution did. The ability to use an essential slave labor force six to seven days a week, and up to sixteen hours per day and without overtime pay, put those jobs in China. But something else paved the way to export those jobs.

China’s admission into the World Trade Organization and the push by the US government to make China a recipient of most favored nation trade status helped put those jobs there. In other words, corporate purchases of political favors in the US political markets created the opportunities to take American jobs and place them in China, or created the legal opportunities to establish jobs there, rather than here.

US companies have moved millions of production, call-service centers, computer programming, and a host of other US jobs to China, India, Pakistan, Vietnam and Mexico. That’s one of the truths that the “technology has created higher unemployment by destroying jobs” lie is supposed to distract us from discussing. And this is true for the impact of free trade treaties, which account for tens of millions of lost US jobs. Check out the graph below. It shows the number of US jobs exported since 1990, but free trade treaties had already led to the exportation of millions of jobs before then.

The difference between the old higher wages in the US and the new, lower, wages overseas goes into the pockets of the 1 percent via higher corporate profits, rising dividends and surging share prices. This shows that free trade is an income redistribution scam perpetrated and kept hidden by US government officials, the corporate press, various other corporate interests, and blundering Wall Street executives.

Wall Street investment firms push free trade treaties for a reason. Every publicly traded corporation must fairly consistently increase its profits every quarter. That way its stock price will rise, and this becomes the yardstick by which CEO performance is measured. The best way to keep profits rising is simply to cut wages. So Wall Street investment and corporate executives push this formula via free trade treaties. That’s another story the corporate press doesn’t want you to know.

The real reason for the historic lack of jobs and the lackluster economic recovery of the last five years is that free trade treaties and the exportation of jobs has redistributed massive amounts of income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent.

Currently, the 99 percent receive about 68 percent of all income produced in the US compared to roughly 92 percent thirty-three years ago. That means 99 percent of us have significantly less cash with which to purchase goods and services than three decades ago. The result is less transactions now than then because we can’t afford to buy as much stuff. This means lower job and wage growth. That’s precisely why the economy sucks now compared to when Jimmy Carter was president. During Carter’s four years as president, with an economy with 40 percent of the today’s GNP and 2/3’s the population, the economy averaged 230,000 new net jobs per month, which is considerably higher than any period over the last twelve years.

It’s also why the federal government coordinated (and used the illegal spying on US citizens by National Security Agency to help) the attacks on the Occupy Wall Street encampments a few years back. This is why there was a coordinated campaign to slime the participants of Occupy Wall Street before the police state crackdown. President Obama and other high federal and corporate people didn’t want us thinking about the perverse income and wealth redistribution over the last thirty-three years, so Occupy Wall Street had to go.

The 1 percent invest their cash in things, like political favors, gold, the futures markets, stocks and bonds, all of which tend to be parasitic to the rest of us. Many of these are tools are used to redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent. In other words, this income redistribution scam continues today so that, in the long term, the economy will only get worse for the 99 percent. And that’s another thing the elite of the 1 percent don’t want you to know.

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The US government used the illegal spying on American citizens by the National Security Agency (NSA) to coordinate the attacks by local law enforcement on the Wall Street encampments. President Obama had to have given his okay to this. A new study is out from the Center for Media and Democracy, “Dissent or Terror: How the Nation’s Counter Terrorism Apparatus, in Partnership with Corporate America, Turned on Occupy Wall Street.”

It is highly likely that the US government, with the blessings of Obama, also coordinated the corporate media blitz that smeared the Occupy Wall Street movement, which conveniently and immediately proceeded the government crackdown on constitutionally legal civil dissent. You remember those smears. The occupiers were homeless, drug addicted, thugs, committing petty crimes that focused on the businesses near the Occupy camps. Sure, some of that probably happened, but most of it were outright lies and the editors of these publications knew this, but still reported it as if were everyday facts.

The question is why was there a crackdown against Occupy, why was Occupy viewed as such a threat to national security, and the answer is simple. Occupy thrust the nation’s spotlight on the economic problems of the United States and, especially, the unpunished crimes of Wall Street.

Income had been massively redistributed by government legislation from the 99 to the 1 percent over the last thirty years. The 1 percent currently steal about 32 percent of all the income produced in the USA, compared to roughly 8 percent in 1980. Wealth, which is assets, followed suit. That process continues today. At current rates, the 1 percent should be stealing about 40 percent of the nation’s total income in less than 10 years.

Wall Street’s crimes include massive amounts of fraud, tax evasion, money laundering, and stuff like that. And not a soul on Wall Street has been charged with a crime.

As income has been redistributed over the last thirty-three years to the 1 percent, the 99 percent has less and less money to spend on goods and services. The 1 percent use their money to do things like, buy politicians, buy stocks, buy bonds, rig the housing market so that home prices go up, bid up the prices of goods on the futures markets (which we pay for in the form of inflation, which is another income redistribution scam), and stuff like that. In effect, many of the items purchased by the 1 percent are used to redistribute income from the 99 percent to themselves. These folks are largely parasites, sucking the rest of us financially dry.

Demand is slack because of this situation, so jobs are in short supply, and wage and benefits continue to go down.

Occupy was shining a spotlight on these nasty things. The last thing the Obama administration wanted, especially with its close ties to Wall Street and corporate America, was more and more of the 99 percent paying attention to the Occupy movement. So it acted.

As the NSA and other government agencies illegally picked up information on the movement and the people involved in it, the government coordinated a slimy public relations campaign through the corporate propaganda organs, such as the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and the Oregonian newspaper.

Then local law enforcement struck.

Click the links below for greater information on how the NSA was illegally involved in illegally spying on the US citizens involved in the movement. The first link is an overview. The second link is the report.

How the Government Targeted Occupy A new report reveals the U.S. spent millions spying on Occupiers and other anti-corporate activists–In These Times magazine

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