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George W. Bush was born with a golden spoon in his mouth, and he was pretty stupid, along with being one of the, if not the, worst presidents in U.S. history. As president, he actually had the stupidity to tell a working-class woman how “uniquely American” it is for her to work three jobs. In other words, the guy who took several months of vacation during his first year as the U.S president told the woman how uniquely American it was to be overworked, that is, if you work for a living.

According to a recent study, the people of the United States are the most overworked in the developed world. We are talking about the 99 percent, not the rich. On this matter, their fates are inversely entwined. Anyway, studies show American workers work more hours and have more stress-related illnesses than workers in Europe and Japan.

The authors point to rising economic inequality as one possible reason for the culture of overwork. The United States has the most unequal maldistribution of income and wealth in the developed world. It is not a coincidence that income and wealth inequality and Americans being overworked and overstressed are happening at the same time.

As income and wealth are redistributed by the major political parties from the 99 to the 1 percent since 1980 using state and federal governments, the 99 percent has had to work more and more hours to make ends meet.

That, in a nutshell, is why working folks in the United States are most overworked and overstressed people in the developed world.
The United States is the Most Overworked Nation in the World–Forbes

Here’s How Many Hours the Average American Works per Year-Vox

Why Are Americans Spending So Much Time at Work–The Guardian

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According to Business Insider, the one percent has so much money they don’t know what to do with it.

Top corporations have been engaged in rigging the stock markets by buying their stocks and pushing the price of their stocks higher than would otherwise be the case. As much as 59 percent of all corporate profits have gone to stock buybacks rather than investing in new products or machinery. Until 1982, stock buybacks were illegal in the United States.

One of the more obvious things corporations could do with this money would be to pay their workers more, but “that would be terrible for the stock market,” said Neil Shearing, chief economist at Capital Economics. However, paying their employees more would stimulate the demand for goods and services, but doing so would leave less financial wiggle room for corporations to buy back more of their own shares, which would then depress the value of those shares, while devaluing the stock options received by CEOs.

In other words, stock options are good for CEOs but bad for the rest of the economy as a whole.

Corporations spent $1.1 trillion in stock buybacks in 2018, and they are “on track to surpass that number this year. But they still have record cash holdings of close to $3 trillion.

“Wealthy households and individuals, according to the report, are pouring money into asset managers, betting on companies that lose $1 billion a year, bonds from little-known Middle Eastern republics, and giving hot Silicon Valley start-ups more venture capital than they can handle.

And private equity companies have seen so much cash flow that these firms have $2 trillion of unused capital.

But even that hasn’t been enough to account for all the new money. The top 1% of US households are holding a record $303.9 billion of cash, a quantum leap from the under $15 billion they held just before the financial crisis.”

In other words, the rich are sitting on $303.9 billion and don’t know what to do with it, corporations are sitting on $3 trillion and don’t know what to do with it, private equity firms are sitting on $2 trillion and don’t know what to do with it. Meanwhile, trillions of dollars the rich, corporations and private equity firms have invested have been used to create a large unsustainable financial bubble that will burst with the coming of the next recession.

Given that after-tax corporate profits are down for the last two quarters for which statistics have been fully completed and given the inversion of the yield curve (which has always signaled the coming of recessions since the 1970s), all those trillions of dollars will likely vanish into nothingness when the bubble bursts. However, had the majority of that money gone to pay increases, which would have stimulated demand for goods and services, the economy would likely continue on its growth trajectory with greater Gross Domestic Product growth.

This unequal distribution of income and wealth has been brought about due to inequality in the political markets. The golden rule has been used to bring this about. He who has the gold makes the rules.

The report blames free trade for placing significant pressure downward on wages, the Trump tax cuts for the rich and their corporations which have provided even more money for corporations to buy back their shares, thereby jacking up their share prices and allowing them to give more and higher dividends to shareholders.

Click here for the report from Business Insider.

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Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is calling for a tax on Wall Street to pay for forgiving $1.6 trillion in student loan debt.

Sanders tweeted, “If we can bail out Wall Street (See The $26 Trillion Bailout) we sure as hell can cancel student loan debt,” and “We bailed out Wall Street in 2008. It’s time to tax Wall Street’s greed to help the American people.”

Sanders tweeted who he thought the opponents of his legislation will be: “I am going to make a prediction. The major opponents of our legislation to cancel $1.6 trillion in student debt—mark my words—will be the exact same people who said we had to bail out Wall Street to the tune of billions upon billions of dollars.” In other words, the entire RepubliCON party, most corporate Democrats, Wall Street and major corporate leaders will oppose the legislation.

Tens of millions of US jobs have been exported overseas since the 1970s, especially manufacturing jobs. That is a big chunk of the US tax base that supported such things as universities, K-12 public schools, etc…, and one of the main reasons college has become so expensive in recent decades. The difference between the old higher US wages and benefits and the new considerably less foreign wages with no benefits has gone into the pockets the rich by the trillions of dollars, which clearly represents a redistribution of income, which has fueled massive wealth inequality. Wall Street executives and the affluent have been the beneficiaries of these income redistribution scams.

As for Bernie’s plan to offset decades of the corrupt US government and both corrupt major political parties using trade treaties and legislation to redistribute income from working folks to the rich, he said: “In the wealthiest country in the history of the world, it is simply not acceptable for our younger generation through no fault of their own have a lower standard of living than their parents, more debt, lower wages, and less likelihood of owning their own homes.”

Sanders said this at a Monday news conference detailing the proposal, called the College For All Act.

He added: “That is why this proposal completely eliminates student debt in this country and ends the absurdity of sentencing an entire generation — the millennial generation — to a lifetime of debt for the ‘crime’ of doing the right thing, and that is going out and getting a higher education.”

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Last week, two oil tankers were hit by explosives in the Gulf of Oman. President Trump immediately declared that Iran did it, and without any evidence to support such a statement. Bush, I mean Trump, claimed Iranian mines caused the explosions. According to crew members of both tankers, the tankers were hit from the air by things that looked strangely like drones.

The New York Times, the Washington Post and PBS have all reported this, but the rest of the billionaire owned corporate news outlets continue to report the Bush, I mean, the Trump lies as being fact. They are marching in goosestep formation with the president. The United Kingdom’s Express newspaper put it bluntly, “THE owner of the oil tanker attacked in the Gulf of Oman dismissed the US claims it was hit by a torpedo, saying two “flying objects” struck the ship,” which is precisely what the New York Times reported.

Some people have long memories, especially me. We remember how George W. Bush and the members of his administration lied us into a war, how they were so incompetent as to allow the most horrific attack on US soil in US history despite repeated warnings from the CIA, the FBI, M16, Mossad, and numerous other intelligence agencies of an impending Al Queda attack. Bush and every one of his major administration heads refused to meet with Bush’s own counterterrorism chief, Richard Clark, until September 12th. According to his biography, Clark wanted to warn Bush of the impending attack and take measures to prevent it, but Bush refused to meet with him. Then the attacks of 9/11 occurred, and Bush ordered an attack against the wrong nation in retaliation, but it had a lot of oil, which brings us back to the bombings of the tankers.

Big Oil is a big financial backer of the RepubliCon Party, Trump included. Escalation of tension with Iran will send oil prices, profits, and stock prices higher. The embargo against Iran has already sent oil prices and profits higher; this is the real reason why Trump is against the Iranian nuclear deal. Letting Iranian oil onto the world market pushes oil prices and profits down.

Of course, the presidential election cycle has also begun in earnest. Trump is way behind in virtually every head-to-head poll against literary every candidate in the Democratic primary. Maybe manufacturing a war with Iran is his way of galvanizing his base, which seems to be shrinking more and more.

Americans should not allow themselves to be lied into war again. Don’t let the media goosestep us into war with Iran with contrived evidence. Let Trump and warmongers come up with real evidence as to why we and our sons and daughters should shed our blood so the billionaires can become wealthier in another profitable oil war.

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The 99 percent of the United States need a champion in the White House (and a lot more in Congress) and Joe Biden is not that person. Biden is a virtual employee of the super-rich, Wall Street executives and big corporations.

The corporate news media made a big play for Biden’s candidacy both before and when he entered the Democratic Party primary. This pushed Biden out to a big polling lead over the anti-Wall Street progressive candidates, such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Biden initially polled in the mid-40 percent range after he announced his candidacy.

This was never a good sign for Biden because he needed to poll over 50 percent in order to win the Democratic Party candidacy. As the twenty or so Democratic candidates fall by the wayside during the state primaries, the eventual progressive candidate who will oppose Biden will likely receive the vast majority of votes that otherwise would have gone to the failed progressive candidates.

Biden’s poll numbers have gradually dropped to the mid to late 20s as his record as a representative of the filthy rich and as an opponent of the vast majority of American citizens are exposed.

For example, Biden has proposed cutting Social Security benefits for working Americans on three occasions. He has also proposed cutting Medicare. As a US senator, Biden was one of the few Democrats to vote to export millions of United States jobs, and redistribute hundreds of billions (if not trillions) of dollars from working Americans to the rich, when he voted for NAFTA. The difference between the old higher US pay the new lower Mexican pay goes straight into the pockets of the rich year after year for as long as those former US jobs exist in Mexico.

Likewise, Vice President Biden was a big booster of the ill-fated Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement that would have exported millions more US jobs overseas and redistributed trillions of dollars a year from working Americans to the wealthy in the process.

Many American voters are worried about income and wealth inequality in favor of the affluent. Like Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden, Biden is an architect of these inequalities, and he has the record to prove it, though nobody will hear him brag about it unless it is to the billionaires in private.

Biden is the wrong person at the wrong time for the vast majority of US citizens, and more and more Democratic Party voters can smell the stench of Wall Street all over Joe Biden. Billionaire investors have marked Biden and Wyden the same as cats mark their territory and property.

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Income and wealth inequality continues to rise in favor of the richest 0.5 percent in the United States and throughout the world. This is due solely to political corruption, often presented as making common sense. Former President Bill Clinton, who, like his wife, is owned by billionaires, is a perfect example of such political corruption, as much as any RepubliCon party politician, and that political party is the epidemy of corruption.

Twenty-five years ago, Clinton campaigned on an idea for limiting excessive pay for American CEOs by capping the tax deductibility of top executives’ compensation at $1 million, and corporations, not wanting bigger tax bills, might reel in their pay. Under the Clinton backed legislation, corporations couldn’t deduct CEO pay over $1 million unless it was “performance-based.” So stock options and performance-based bonuses became the norm. We were told this was a good thing, but, like many things the US public has been told by its corrupted political and business leaders, as well as the corrupted news media, this was a lie, and most likely a deliberate lie.

This lie has resulted in chief executive officers earning more money in less than an hour as much as their typical employee earns in an entire year. Notice the corruption of both political parties has decided not to rescind Clinton’s legislation that he signed on behalf of the rich and their corporations. Notice Joe Biden, an old, sleazy Wall Street pawn, hasn’t said a word either.

USA Today reported a month or so ago that “Stock options – which are often indicative of CEO performance – are not taxable, however, and as such, are often a preferred form of CEO compensation reported.”

Clinton’s legislation gone bad is one of the reasons why stock buybacks have become so popular with CEOs. 59 percent of corporate profits in recent years has gone toward stock buybacks, according to a story in the Guardian a few months ago. This is an easy way to manipulate stock prices higher and make an extra buck in the process. Corporations buy their own lousy stock, driving the prices higher, and then turn around and gradually sell their stock at the higher prices. Any high school student in the same position as any CEO would do the same since the result is higher CEO compensation.

Of course, CEO’s also drive wages, salaries, and benefits downward in order to increase their own compensation via stock options and bonuses. The result has been unprecedented income and wealth inequality. Thank you RepubliCon Party, Bill Clinton, and Joe Biden.

According to USA Today’s report, the most overpaid CEOs are:

1. Arthur L. Peck
• Company: The Gap Inc.
• CEO annual pay: $20.8 million (3,566 times the typical employee)
• Median annual employee pay: $5,831
• Annual corporate profit: $1.0 billion

2. Ynon Kreiz
• Company: Mattel Inc.
• CEO annual pay: $18.7 million (3,408 times the typical employee)
• Median annual employee pay: $5,489
• Annual corporate profit: -$531.0 million

3. Joseph M. Hogan
• Company: Align Technology Inc.
• CEO annual pay: $41.8 million (3,168 times the typical employee)
• Median annual employee pay: $13,180
• Annual corporate profit: $400.2 million

4. Kevin P. Clark
• Company: Aptiv PLC
• CEO annual pay: $14.1 million (2,609 times the typical employee)
• Median annual employee pay: $5,414
• Annual corporate profit: $1.1 billion

5. Brian R. Niccol
• Company: Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc.
• CEO annual pay: $33.6 million (2,438 times the typical employee)
• Median annual employee pay: $13,779
• Annual corporate profit: $176.6 million

For a list of the top thirteen, as well as the full story, click on the link below.

CEO’s Made 1000 Times More Than Their Employees

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One of the great lies told by RepubliCon Party stalwarts is that the United States corporations pay the highest corporate taxes in the world. The U.S. has a high corporation tax rate, but it filled with so many loopholes that many major corporations pay no federal taxes, and often receive tax rebates from the federal government on taxes they never paid.

 

Failure to pay federal taxes gives corporations more money to give to their wealthy owners and CEOs via ever rising dividends and share prices. It also gives the CEO’s more money to manipulate the stock prices of their corporations via ever increasing stock buybacks. This, in turn, enriches CEO’s and affluent shareholders since much of their compensation is based on how well their company’s stock performs. This results in greater income and wealth inequality since the rich derive most of their income and wealth through their corporations, and the unearned income they receive, which wield tremendous influence over the United States economic, political and judicial markets.

A corporation is simply an idea of a business structure given a legal framework to exist by state legislatures. The conservative/corporate wing of the United States Supreme Court has decided these ideas that have been given a legal framework to exist are real people deserving of full constitutional rights. In other words, the billionaire wing of the United States Supreme Court has gone out of its way to wage class warfare on behalf of the rich and against the 99 percent by making up stories that corporations are people and have free speech rights; corporate free speech rights mean buying the airwaves and filling it with what the rich want us to believe, most of which are lies or are intended to divert our attention away from the real issues, such as the destruction of the middle class.

The corporations avoiding income taxes in 2018 represent a range of segments of the U.S. economy:

* Computer maker International Business Machines (IBM) earned $500 million in U.S. income and received a federal income tax rebate of $342 million.
* The retail giant Amazon reported $11 billion of U.S. income and claimed a federal income tax rebate of $129 million.
* The streaming service Netflix paid no federal income tax on $856 million of U.S. income.
* Beer maker Molson Coors enjoyed $1.3 billion of U.S. income in 2018 and received a federal income tax rebate of $22.9 million.
* Automaker General Motors reported a negative tax rate on $4.3 billion of income.

Paying no income taxes means rising share prices and higher dividends for the rich. Virtually all the income and wealth stolen by the rich from the rest of us come in the form of UNEARNED INCOME.

See the full story by clicking on the following link.

Corporate Tax Avoidance Remains Rampant Under New Tax Law

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