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A political coup has taken place and the US Constitution has been overthrown.

On February 26th, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in Janus v. AFSCME, a case that could profoundly affect the ability of public-sector workers to improve their wages and working conditions. This case will make the United States a right-to-work-for-less nation, and it is expected that the corrupt corporate wing of the United States Supreme Court will vote yes, despite the fact that the lower courts have consistently rejected arguments in favor of Janus.

The corporate/rich man’s wing of the court has been waging class warfare against the 99 percent for thirty-five years in violation of the US Constitution and legal precedence. So it is considered a foregone conclusion the corporate wing of the court will vote yes in the Janus case.

The corrupt activist members of the United States Supreme Court who blithely favor conservative money, wealth and power over all else are about to subvert the United States Constitution once again. Those justices corrupted by powerful vested interests are John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, and Anthony M. Kennedy. All claim to be “original intent jurists.” In other words, when they rule on a legal issue, they claim they follow the original intent of the founding fathers. Nothing could be further from the truth.

All five have shown that their job is to rob the 99 percent of their Constitutional rights and to give more legal rights to the rich, which they have done time and again. This legal corruption makes it easier for the rich to steal from the rest of us.

The rich derive most of their political, economic and legal power from their ownership of limited liability corporations. Quite naturally, all five so-called original intent justices argue that publicly traded corporations are persons with all of the legal rights of human citizens. These justices are not ignorant little boys.

They know publicly traded corporations did not come out of a woman’s womb. They know corporations are simply an idea of a form of business structure given life by state legislation. They know the United States Constitution does not even mention the word corporation. They know that not a single one of the founding fathers ever mention “persons” and “corporations” together in any sentence, paragraph, or chapter of any of their voluminous writings. The idea that corporations are people subverts the original intent of the US Constitution, which gives only individual’s legal rights. Ideas of business models were never given any constitutional rights by anybody until corrupt supreme court justices decided it was so.

Since the rich control the mechanisms of corporations, the court’s decision in this regard is to hand greater constitutional rights to a legislatively created tool of the rich, giving the 1 percent greater power than the founding fathers wanted or been able to imagine. Then the corrupt wing of the court issued another class war decision.

The activist Supreme Court declared in its 2010 Citizen’s United ruling that corporations spending money on political advertisements is free speech, but nowhere in the United States Constitution is such power granted or even recognized. And nowhere in any founding fathers writings is such a power to be found. Now corporate advertisements are drowning out the free speech of all others, especially during election season.

In addition, this ruling eliminated one hundred years of campaign financing laws. Two corrupt US Supreme Court justices, Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia, “participated in political strategy sessions” to advance this case, perhaps while the case was pending, with corporate leaders whose political aims were advanced by the decision,” according to Common Cause.

U.S. Supreme Court Cheif Justice John Roberts gave sworn testimony in his confirmation hearings before the US Senate that he would respect legal precedents. He, obviously, lied under oath. Think about it. A known perjurer in now the Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court. His job is to overthrow the US Constitution on behalf of his class solidarity, just like the other corrupt corporate members of the US Supreme Court. He has been doing a marvelous job.

These corrupt activist justices have simply been making up shit in order to give the rich and their business tools called corporations greater Constitutional rights while diminishing the Constitutional rights of the 99 percent in the process.

The lies, the made-up make-believe that ideas are people and that money is free speech, the perjuries, and working with the rich on cases the justices are about to rule on demonstrate without a doubt that the sole purpose of the corrupted members of the court has been to wage class warfare on behalf of the rich by subverting the US Constitution. Doing so has allowed for a greater political rule and constitutional rights for the rich, and these activist class warriors have succeeded against the original intent of our founding fathers.

See the following link for more information https://www.politico.com/story/2011/01/scalia-thomas-and-citizens-united-047855

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The red line in the graph below represents borrowing to buy corporate shares. The blue line represents the growing value of the S&P 500 stock index. Notice the growth in the financial markets is being fueled by record amounts of debt. The growth of both clearly mirrors each other.

Eight months ago, I wrote, “The latest in a long line of stock market bubbles is being fueled by record amounts of debt according to the New York Stock Exchange. This debt is called “buying on margin” (BOM). Notice the acronym of BOM, which is pretty close to bomb, and this current bubble is going to explode. Total BOM hit a record high of $528.2 billion in February 2017.”

By November 2017 (the latest data that is available), total BOM hit nearly $581 billion. Stock prices, in other words, have been bid up with borrowed money, like at an auction.

Once the lunatic Trump tax cuts were passed, the already dangerously obese stock market bubble began expanding even more in anticipation of more after-tax cash going to the rich and corporations, to whom the vast majority of those tax cuts were targeted. This has given corporations and the rich the leverage to borrow on margin even more in anticipation of future increased after-tax earnings.

That is not necessarily always a big problem early in a business expansion when the market is going up, but it’s now late in the ball game. Our economic expansion is 103 months old (as of January 2018), making it the third longest in US history. In terms of numerous indices, such as job, GNP, and wage growth, this is one of the weakest expansions in US history. The vast majority of new income and wealth have gone to the top 1 percent, and not to the 99 percent.

All of this suggests the coming crash is long overdue. When we hit this soon to arrive recession, it should be a train wreck worse than the so-called Great Recession of 2007-09.

November’s total BOM was nearly $80 billion more than twelve months before. This increase is a sign of optimism or foolishness. People and institutions like hedge funds want to get in on the action while the stock markets are rising. What is going to happen when the bubble pops?

Suppose you have $10,000 to invest, so you purchase 100 shares of Home Depot at $100 per share. The market crashes and the share price drops to $40. Now your investment is worth $4,000. That is not a good result, but your investment is still worth something, and can potentially recover if you hang on to it in the long run.

Let’s say you borrow an additional $20,000 from your broker to buy another 200 Home Depot shares at $100 each for a total of 300 shares and at a total cost of $30,000. The market crashes and the share price quickly drops to $40. Now all 300 shares are only worth $12,000 — but you owe your broker $20,000 (plus interest) for borrowing money to buy the stock. The broker calls in his loan. You are forced to sell your shares to get the funds to pay your broker but at the lower share price. You lose $18,000 of your $30,000 investment. But your broker wants the rest of his $20,000 plus interest. You only have $12,000 remaining of your original $30,000 investment, so you owe more than $8,000 to your broker.

So your original $10,000 is wiped out, your loan of $20,000 is annihilated, and you need to come up with $8,000 plus interest to pay back your broker.

During most recessions, it is much more difficult to get credit to pay your broker back, so you may both be out of luck, although you’ll likely be in court defending against him, her or it.

On a massive scale, say trillions of dollars of investments, that’s a recipe for absolute disaster for the whole economy. Corporations of all types (which often borrow to purchase their own shares in order to jack up their share prices), as well as hedge funds, governments, investment banks, commercial banks, small businesses, other wealth management firms, etc…, will likely need to lay off employees in order to pay back the money they owe.

Side Notes

***Let’s also get something straight which the corporate media doesn’t want us to know; tax cuts for corporations are the same as tax cuts for the rich since corporations in great measure pass on their tax cuts to the wealthy via higher after-tax corporate profits, rising share prices and surging dividends.

***As an aside, your government has allowed a conspiracy in restraint of trade in the housing market to be the primary fuel that ignited this current stock market bubble. See The Big Banks Are Manipulating the Housing Market–JohnHIvely.wordpress.com.

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“With its financial contributions and grassroots organizing, the labor movement helped give Democrats full control of the federal government three times in the last four decades. And all three of those times — under Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama — Democrats failed to pass labor law reforms that would bolster the union cause. In hindsight, it’s clear that the Democratic Party didn’t merely betray organized labor with these failures, but also, itself.”

When Bill Clinton became president he took the party straight into the loving arms of Wall Street executives and investors, and the best way to do that was to get rid of labor unions by exporting tens of millions of labor union jobs to poverty wage nations. It began with Clinton and his Wall Street wife, Hillary, and NAFTA. The difference between the old US wages and benefits and the poverty wage workers in poverty-wage nations have always gone straight into the pockets of the rich via higher corporate profits, rising dividends, and surging share prices.

President Barack Obama followed the Clinton’s footsteps in redistributing income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent via this and other legislative paths. Of course, they were assisted in this massive redistribution of income and wealth by such Democrats as Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden, who was ever so happy to join the Republican party stalwarts in doing this. The result was ominous, for the Democratic Party, the nation, and the 99 percent.

Between 1978 and 2017, the union membership rate in the United States fell by more than half — from 26 to 10.7 percent. Naturally, this decline coincides with the redistribution of income and wealth engineered by the entire Republican Party, as well as the Wall Street controlled Democratic Party with such luminaries as Ron Wyden, Earl Blumenauer, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Joe Biden. The decline in labor union membership due to exported jobs also fuels the massive income and wealth inequality the United States suffers from today, thanks in large part to Bill and Hillary, Barack and Wyden and other Democratic Wall Street loyalists as Earl Blumenauer.

In a new study that will soon be released as a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper (NBER), James Feigenbaum of Boston University, Alexander Hertel-Fernandez of Columbia, and Vanessa Williamson of the Brookings Institution examined the long-term political consequences of anti-union legislation by comparing counties straddling a state line where one state is right-to-work and another is not. Their findings should strike terror into the hearts of Democratic Party strategists: Right-to-work laws decreased Democratic presidential vote share by 3.5 percent.

This could have been a golden age for American liberalism. The Democratic Party — and the progressive forces within it — have so much going for them. The GOP’s economic vision has never been less popular with ordinary Americans, or more irrelevant to their material needs. The U.S. electorate is becoming less white, less racist, and less conservative with each passing year. Social conservatism has never had less appeal for American voters than it does today. The garish spectacle of the Trump-era Republican Party is turning the American suburbs — once a core part of the GOP coalition — purple and blue.

If the Democratic Party wasn’t bleeding support from white working-class voters in its old labor strongholds, it would dominate our national politics. Understandably, Democratic partisans often blame their powerlessness on such voters — and the regressive racial views that led them out of Team Blue’s tent. But as unions have declined across the Midwest, Democrats haven’t just been losing white, working-class voters to Republicans — they’ve also been losing them to quiet evenings at home. The NBER study cited by McElwee found that right-to-work laws reduce voter turnout in presidential elections by 2 to 3 percent.

The Democratic leadership had a choice; side with the 99 percent or side against them and with the 1 percent. Obama, the Clintons, Wyden and other Wall Street Democrats chose to side with Wall Street and corporate parasites against their own grassroots. Now many of the grassroots have abandoned the Party that no longer represents them. Who can blame them? Oh, that’s right! The Democratic Leadership and their corporate news media blames the grassroots and calls them “deplorables,” but only after the leadership has exported tens of millions of working-class jobs.

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/01/democrats-paid-a-huge-price-for-letting-unions-die.html?utm_source=fb&utm_medium=s3&utm_campaign=sharebutton-b

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Adam Smith, the founder of modern capitalist economics, argued in his 1776 masterpiece The Wealth of Nations that labor created all wealth. This has been hideously distorted by the political golden rule; he who has the power makes the rules. The idle rich are now wallowing in unprecedented wealth according to a new report from the charity Oxfam. The report found that the world’s richest 1 percent raked in 82 percent of the wealth created last year while the poorest half of the world’s population received none.

In addition, the study found “the wealth of billionaires has grown six times faster than that of ordinary workers since 2010, with another billionaire minted every two days between March 2016 and March 2017.”

Oxfam used its findings to paint a picture of a global economy in which the wealthy few amass ever-greater fortunes while hundreds of millions of people are “struggling to survive on poverty pay”.

“The billionaire boom is not a sign of a thriving economy but a symptom of a failing economic system,” Oxfam executive director Winnie Byanyima said in a statement.

Oxfam also emphasized the plight of women workers, who “consistently earn less than men” and often have the lowest paid, least secure jobs. Nine out of 10 billionaires are men, the authors added.

The report, titled “Reward Work, not Wealth”, used data from Credit Suisse to compare the returns of top executives and shareholders to that of ordinary workers.

It found that chief executives of the top five global fashion brands made in just four days what garment workers in Bangladesh earn over a lifetime.

“The people who make our clothes, assemble our phones and grow our food are being exploited to ensure a steady supply of cheap goods, and swell the profits of corporations and billionaire investors,” Byanyima said.

To fight rising inequality, Oxfam called on governments to limit the returns of shareholders and top executives, close the gender pay gap, crack down on tax avoidance and increase spending on healthcare and education.

The study was released on the eve of top political and business figures meeting at a luxury Swiss ski resort for the annual World Economic Forum, which this year says it will focus on how to create “a shared future in a fractured world”. However, nothing will come of this.

“It’s hard to find a political or business leader who doesn’t say they are worried about inequality,” said Byanyima.

“It’s even harder to find one who is doing something about it. Many are actively making things worse by slashing taxes and scrapping labor rights.”

The top 1 percent are able to do these things and increase their wealth and income because of their control over the political processes in most nations. This is particularly true in the United States where corruption on an unprecedented scale in the post-World War II era permeates every sector of government and both major political parties.

Wall Street’s US Senator Ron Wyden is a perfect example of this. Supposedly a liberal Democrat representing the state of Oregon, Wyden has voted nearly every time to redistribute income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent except when the billionaires who control the Democratic party want to appear as though they oppose the billionaires who control the Republican Party and the Republican scams to redistribute income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent, such as Donald Trump’s recent tax cuts for corporations and the rich.

Wyden has voted to export tens of millions US jobs, on the one hand, while voicing support for liberal social issues. The corporate press and Wyden always emphasize what a great liberal he is without never mentioning that Wyden is one of the legislative architects of today’s unprecedented income and wealth inequality in the United States.

When US jobs are exported the difference between the old higher US wages and benefits and the new poverty wage benefits goes straight into the pockets of the rich via higher corporate profits, rising share prices and surging dividends. Wyden knows this, and shows his support for doing this by having a 100 percent record on voting to export tens of millions of US jobs.

The result of Wyden’s actions have been an economic system powered by a variety of bubbles, rather than actual real growth.

The latest stock market bubble will soon pop and with devastating consequences for the nation and the world. Just remember Wyden’s corruption has been a key factor in all of this and is a shining example of most Democrats in power and nearly all Republicans.

The last thing to be said about this issue is why the rich need to get richer. We have an international economic system powered by the link between corporations and high finance. Corporations, as I show in The Rigged Game, need fairly consistent ever-increasing profits in order to keep their stock prices rising. Failure to do this results in declining stock prices, if not an outright collapse in stock prices. In other words, the corporate economic system is something of a Ponzi scheme.

https://www.oxfamamerica.org/static/media/files/bp-reward-work-not-wealth-220118-en.pdf

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“I had a wonderful job,” Craig DiAngelo said of his work in Hartford, Connecticut with Northeast Utilities, New England’s largest electricity and natural gas provider with over 3.4 million customers. “It was like family at work. I would have kept working there until I couldn’t work anymore. It was the best job I ever had.” Then in October 2013, Diangelo and his 219 fellow IT workers learned they were being replaced by less skillful, but cheaper, imported labor through a US program called the H1-B visa.

“The CIO (Chief Information Officer) came down from Boston,” Diangelo said, “and said that she would hold a town hall meeting to discuss the future of IT at our company which was then known as Northeast Utilities. We all got into the room, 220 of us. She proceeded to tell us that, ‘…well folks we are going to outsource IT infrastructure and IT development, and we have chosen two companies Infosys and Tata. And the reason that we’re doing this is because global workers can adjust to change a lot faster than the American worker.’” The CIO lied.

The idea that a worker from India is a global worker and a US worker is not is an absurdity in and of itself, which Diangelo realized immediately.

“Now when you take a look at this,” Diangelo said. “Isn’t the American worker also a global worker? Don’t we have some input into what we say, or what gets said of a global economy? We (the USA) are a very large market.”

The first H1-B visa workers began arriving in mid-December 2013. The soon-to-be-former employees trained their replacements, but management called this “knowledge transfer,” Diangelo said. “The people we trained didn’t have the skills to do our jobs. Management assumed the replacements could be trained in a few weeks, but the people from India were so unskilled the knowledge transfers lasted several months.”

Hundreds of thousands of US high tech workers have been replaced by poverty wage H1-B visa workers. Some estimates place the number of displaced US high tech workers in the low millions. The list of US corporations using this scam is long, Disney, Hewlett-Packard, Google, Xerox, Toys R Us, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, and thousands of other companies.

The AFL-CIO reported in 2009 that as many as 25% of imported workers have fraudulent visas. Today, this translates to as many as 17.5 million foreign employees gaming the system.

The US government, which is controlled by the billionaires bankrolling both major political parties, use a number of ways to redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent. One of these ways is through the H1-B visa.

The H-1 temporary worker visa program was originally established in the 1950s to grant foreign individuals with “distinguished merit and ability” an opportunity to find legal employment inside the United States. It was amended by the Immigration Act of 1990 (IMMACT), a measure that added the specialty occupation requirement – which means the job must require a bachelor’s degree or higher, or equivalent work experience, in a specialized field – and the visa’s dual intent status, which allows petitioners to seek legal permanent residency (a green card) while petitioning for and holding their temporary resident status. With recommendations from industry leaders and academics, the act also established the 65,000-visa cap. The visa became known as the H1-B in 1990.

U.S. corporations use the visa to outsource US high tech jobs to poverty wage nations while some corporations import these temporary low wage workers into the US in order to displace their higher compensated US citizen-employees.

Proponents of the visa say 130,000 to 195,000 H1-B visa workers are necessary every year to meet the “market conditions” of the United States. This is a lie. Pure and simple. The real market conditions in the United States mean higher compensation to US workers, but the H1-B visa distorts salaries and benefits downward. Importing low wage workers via the H1-B visa means artificially increasing the supply of US labor. This is called “distorting the market.”

At any time there are millions of H1-B visa workers in the United States since these workers can apply for the three-year extensions, and then apply for permanent residency via green cards, all of which distorts the labor market of the United States in favor of the billionaire shareholders.

According to the liberal Economic Policy Institute (EPI), US employers pay their H1-B visa workers “up to 40 percent less” than the US employees they replace. The EPI report does not mention most H1-B visa workers do not receive any benefits for their work, and that is particularly true of the US jobs outsourced and taken over by H1-B visa workers in India and elsewhere. This suggests a great amount of H1-B visa workers receive less than 50 percent of the total compensation package US high tech workers earn.

The difference between the higher US employee compensation and the new poverty wages and salaries of the H1-B visa workers goes straight into the pockets of the 1 percent via higher corporate profits, surging share prices, and rising dividends.

The H1-B visa is one of the many perfect examples of how easily income and wealth have been redistributed from the 99 to the 1 percent via government actions. This, in itself, demonstrates how corrupt the US government is. No doubt, our current government is one of the most, if not the most, corrupt in the advanced economies of the world. So, too, are both major political parties.

The corporate press will always lie to you on this issue regardless of whether liberal or conservative. They will tell us the US has a shortage of high tech workers, and that we must import workers to fill jobs. The press will never tell you there are hundreds of thousands (perhaps millions) of US high tech workers unemployed in their field, like Craig DiAngelo, who are ready and raring to go.

As for Craig DiAngelo, he is now running for the US Congress as a Republican, and, as you might expect, one of his key issues has to do with the H1-B visa.

New data on H-1B visas prove that IT outsourcers hire a lot but pay very little

Top 10 H-1B employers are all IT offshore outsourcing firms, costing U.S. workers tens of thousands of jobs–Economic Policy Institute

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The federal government initiated the student loan program in 1958 in response to the launch of Sputnik the year before by the Soviet Union. “High school students who showed promise in mathematics, science, engineering, and foreign language, or those who wanted to be teachers, were offered grants, scholarships, and loans.” In 1965, the government passed The Higher Education Act, which provided more college grants to students, especially lower-income students. The Pell Grant was established for students in 1972 (Citlen).

Then somebody on Wall Street came up with the idea of securitizing student loans, which meant pooling student loans, selling them to investment companies, which would then issue bonds to investors backed by the loans. Student loan payments would primarily go to the investors, with a little to spare to pay for the service providers.

From a Wall Street point-of-view, billions of dollars a year could be made in fees every step of the way with every securitized student loan. Subsequently, Wall Street investors successfully pushed government legislators to reduce grants and to issue more student loans. That is how the US government, as well as politicians of both political parties, has used the student loan program to redistribute billions of dollars of income yearly from the 99 to the 1 percent via the conduit of student loan-backed bonds.

This forced students to borrow more money to help finance their higher education than would otherwise be the case, making loan defaults more likely, especially during economic downturns. The Great Recession hit in December 2007 and lasted until June 2009, but the negative effects of this disaster have continued. The government, of course, is working hard to disguise how bad the situation really is.

Five years ago, fearing an increase of student loan defaults, and a massive devaluing of the student loan backed bonds they owned, investors began selling off their bonds, which resulted in declining values. They couldn’t stand this. Something had to be done to restore investor confidence, and so the federal government doubled student loan interest rates on all new loans from 3.4 to 6.8 percent on July 1, 2013 (Sheehy).

This increased the return on investment while doubling the burden on the 99 percent who take out new loans to finance their college education. The public outcry was so heavily against this increase politicians felt compelled to reduce student loan interest rates within a year. The burden for students and their families had been too great. The US government dropped the rate to 4.9 percent in 2014, which was still a nearly 50 percent increase over 3.4 percent (Lobosco). Doing so, however, stabilized the market for student loan-backed bonds.

Dictionary.com defines “crisis” as “a dramatic, emotional or circumstantial upheaval in a person’s life.” Student loans are a perfect example of such a crisis in the personal lives of borrowers. In 2016, total outstanding student loans represented roughly 7.5 percent of the United States gross domestic product (GDP), up from 3.5 percent only ten years earlier (ACE). Nearly 43 million Americans were chained like slaves to rich bondholders via student loan debt, each with an average balance of $30,000 in 2016 (Friedman).

The cost of university education has grown faster than the value of Federal Pell grants (in current dollars) since 1976. The average Pell grant in 1976 paid 72 percent of the maximum cost of going to a public four-year college or university. This figure grew to 79 percent in 1979. Nowadays, the average Pell grant is less than half of that, hovering inside the 32 to 34 percent range (ACE). Therefore, students have had to increase their borrowing to fund their higher education and Wall Street investment banks and investors of the 1 percent all benefit from this higher student loan debt.

As the negative economic consequences of the Great Recession of 2007-2009 slowly gave ground to better times, student loan defaults fell, from nearly 15 percent in 2013 to 11.8 in 2015 to 11.3 percent in 2016. Defaults occur when former students go 360 days without making a payment. About 593,000 former college students out of 5.2 million total borrowers were in default on their federal debt as of Sept. 30, 2015, the US Department of Education reported. Default rates at public and for-profit colleges dipped, while private, nonprofit schools experienced a slight increase (Nasiripour).

Perhaps the biggest reason the default rate declined was that student loan borrowers deferred their payments at increasing rates, and for longer periods. The default rate, therefore, doesn’t accurately represent the degree to which former students have problems making their loan payments. An Obama White House report said in 2015, “The cohort default rate published by the Education Department is “‘susceptible to artificial manipulation.’”

The share of student borrowers paying down their loans more accurately reflects what is occurring than default rates alone (EPI). The report noted that a rising number of students are unable to make payments on their loans, but manage to avoid defaulting. Because of this, the report stated the actual default rate at four-year institutions is about 12.5 percent, and 25 percent for community colleges. For-profit colleges and universities have a 30 percent default rate. 41.5 million Americans owed more than $1.4 trillion federal student loans by the end of 2016. About one in every four borrowers is either delinquent or in default the report stated. Furthermore, “total indebtedness has doubled since 2009” (Nasiripour).

However, it turns out the White House report understated the numbers by quite a lot. Leaked documents showed only 46 percent of students out of school three years or more are paying down their student loan debt (Obama’s Student Loan Fiasco). This means 54 percent are not paying down their loans. Something else is terribly amiss as well. To be among the 46 percent, you cannot be in default, and you must have paid down the principal of your loan by at least one dollar. So if somebody who has owed $30,000 in student loans since they graduated from college ten years ago paid a dollar on the principal of their loan eight years ago, they have officially paid down their loan and are among the 46 percent. In other words, the bar for those who have not defaulted and are paying down their loans are about as low as one can get.

The government is paying the interest on student loans to bondholders for people who cannot pay down their loans. In other words, the rich are getting richer at the expense of the government and those who are paying down their student loans.

Clearly, tens of millions of people are in a state of personal crisis when it comes to student loans they cannot pay off. In addition, the next economic downturn may bring about a crisis in the financial markets centered on student loans, just as it occurred last time, only it will likely be worse. That economic crisis is looming.

People who have left higher education institutions saddled with an average of $30,000 in debt and limited job prospects are facing a crisis, which will only bring about another crisis in the student loan-backed bonds markets. Student loan debtors have other debts and bills to pay that turn their student loans into tens of millions of individual financial catastrophes, forcing them to spend years postponing payments so they can make their monthly mortgage payments, rent payments, put food on the table, pay their monthly bills, and raise their children.

People go to universities to increase their earning power so as to enjoy greater fruits of their labor. However, the growth of wages and salaries for most people have been flat or in decline for the last thirty-seven years when the official inflation rate is factored in. However, there is significant evidence this official rate is heavily understated, which means people are coming out of college and earning less in real terms than their parents thirty-seven years ago. This is why many people remain mired in student loan debt. Prices are going up faster than their earnings. They simply cannot pay it off and are forced to postpone payments for years and decades.

The remedy to this situation is to increase Pell Grants or simply make college free. According to the nonpartisan Office of Budget Management, the US government is giving the 1 percent and corporations $1.5 trillion dollars over ten years with the new Republican tax cut. Surely the US government can afford to provide such a sum to the middle class via a similar amount, thereby rendering college free. Studies clearly show this would be good for the US economy while there is not one scrap of evidence the tax cuts will do anything positive for the economy.

Student loans are an example of the golden rule of massive US government corruption; he or she who has the gold makes the rules that redistributes income and wealth their way from the less financially well endowed. Nobody knows this better than Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden.

Works Cited
Friedman, Dan. Americans Owe $1.2 Trillion Dollars In Student Loans. New York Daily News, May 17, 2014. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/americans-owe-1-2-trillion-student-loans-article-1.1796606

American Council on Education, (ACE) http://www.acenet.edu/news-room/Documents/FactSheet-Pell-Grant-Funding-History-1976-2010.pdf

Investment Memo. Merganser Capital Management, 2016 http://www.merganser.com/PDF/Memo/2015-Q3.pdf
http://money.cnn.com/2012/09/28/pf/college/student-loan-defaults/

Carrillo, Raul. How Wall Street Profits From Student Debt, Rolling Stone. Rolling Stone Magazine, April 14, 2016).

Sheehy, Kelsey. What the Stafford Loan Rate Hike Means for Students. US News and World Report, March 7, 2013 http://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/paying-for-college/articles/2013/07/03/what-the-stafford-loan-interest-rate-hike-means-for-students

Obama’s Student Loan Fiasco. Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Jan. 22, 2017

Allan, Nicole, Thompson, Derek. The Myth of the Student Loan Crisis. Atlantic Monthly, March 2017

Citlen, Jeff. A Look into the History of Student Loans. http://www.Lendedu.com, August 15, 2016

Lobosco, Katie. Student Loan Interest Rates Are Going Down. CNN Money, June 30, 2016 http://money.cnn.com/2016/06/30/pf/college/student-loan-interest-rates/

Nasiripour, Shahien. Student Loan Defaults Drop, but the Numbers Are Rigged. Bloomberg News, Sept. 28, 2016
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-09-28/student-loan-defaults-fall-but-the-numbers-are-rigged

Kroeger, Teresa; Cooke Tanyell; Gould, Elise. The Class of 2016. Economic Policy Institute. 21/04/2016. http://www.epi.org/publication/class-of-2016/

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The United States Federal Reserve Bank issued a report in September 2017 showing the top 1 percent of US income earners own almost twice as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent of Americans.

According to the Fed’s report, the bottom 90 percent of citizens have seen their wealth fall from nearly 38 percent of total US wealth in 1989 to 23 percent today, a 40 percent drop. Meanwhile, the 1 percent has seen their share of wealth grow from just under 30 percent in 1989 to 38.6 percent today.

In the same report, Federal Reserve researchers reported the rich took a record-high 23.8 percent of the overall US created income in 2016, up from approximately 8 percent in 1980. The report showed the bottom 90 percent of families now make less than half of the country’s income. That figure slipped to 49.7 percent in 2016, down by more than 20 percent since 1989.

A perusal of the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) shows total US corporate profits hit their highest level ever in the third quarter of 2017. The next three highest were during the three quarters preceding the third quarter. Corporate after-tax earnings were also at their highest levels during the past four quarters. This shows US corporations are doing fine without the tax cuts.

According to the BEA, despite record aggregate corporate earnings in 2017, average monthly job growth was lower than in 2016. Rather than increasing jobs, much of those record earnings are providing higher dividends and share buybacks. Both of these are done with the intention of raising share prices, thereby fueling an already dangerous stock market bubble.

There is a good chance that much of the corporate tax cuts will be used to increase dividends and find ways to increase share values, which redounds mainly to the rich.

In a research report for the National Bureau of Economic Research, economist Edward N. Wolff shows that the top 1 percent own 40 percent of all corporate shares, while the 90-99 percent own 44 percent, as of 2016. That means the top ten percent will be the primary beneficiaries of the new tax cuts for corporations, increasing both their income and their wealth relative to everybody else.

Thus, income and wealth inequalities are certain to increase under the newest Republican tax cuts. People may reasonably suspect the tax cuts were written to ensure this result, and with potentially dire results.

The stock market bubble may grow bigger than would otherwise be the case in the absence of the tax cuts. Once the bubble bursts, the 99 percent will likely be the principal victims in the form of higher unemployment, reduced incomes, home foreclosures, increased homelessness, and all the things that historically come with the bursting of stock market bubbles.

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