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Posts Tagged ‘2012’

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The US middle class has been shrinking for decades, but never as rapidly as under the Obama administration. 95 percent of all income growth since 2009 has gone to the super affluent. This means the uber wealthy now steal 37 percent of all income produced in the United States every year, compared to 21 percent in 2009, and 8 percent in 1980. And they’re stealing it from the middle and lower classes. They’re sucking the middle class dry because these rich folks have all the gold, which follows the golden rule. He who has the gold makes the rules. Check out the link below from the Pew Charitable Trust to see how much your senators and congressional representatives have robbed from the middle class and given to the rich. That’s what the rich pay them to do.

The Shrinking Middle Class Mapped State-by-State–Pew Charitable Trust

Take the case of Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden. He is supposed to represent the people of Oregon, rather than the robber barons of Wall Street, but Wyden has led the fight to ship and create jobs overseas, as well as privatization scams. Wall Street Ronnie is no dumb dumb. He knows these things redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent. That shows whose side he is on in the war against the middle class. The senator has a 100 percent voting record for shipping and creating jobs overseas. He calls his efforts free trade treaties, but in reality, these deals are designed and negotiated by multi-national corporations to redistribute income, wealth and political power from the 99 to the 1 percent. The senator has also proposed measures to redistribute Medicare benefits from the 99 to the 1 percent via a privatization scams. He claims he is bipartisan, but he has never led a Republican to successfully support legislation that reverses his shameful income redistribution policies.

Wyden voted for NAFTA and every income redistribution treaty since. He’s the Democratic senator who led the fight in favor of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), the largest income and political power redistribution treaty ever. The result of the senator’s work in the halls of congress are evident:

In Oregon,

  • 47.7 percent of all people live in middle class households as of 2013, compared to 51.4 percent in 2010. Rest assured, when the numbers are compiled for 2014 and 2015, the number of people living in middle class households will be less than in 2013.
  • medium income has declined from $50,251 per household per year in 2013, compared to an inflation adjusted $56,382 in 2000. Worse yet, the medium family income has declined. The senator has voted to redistribute that $6,000 a year to the 1 percent year after year.
  • Poverty is up.
  • The 1 percent now steal 37 percent of all income made in the USA, compared to 10 percent when Wyden entered congress over twenty disastrous years ago.

Luckily, people are organizing in Oregon because they’re fed up with the disastrous policies of one of Wall Street’s favorite employees, that’s Wyden.

Wyden is in a dominant position inasmuch as he and the local corporate propaganda machine hide his economic legislative record by extolling the virtues of his social issues. However, Kevin Stine, a Medford city council member is running in the primary against Wyden. Wyden’s disastrous economic policies, bad for Oregonians and good for Wall Street, have begun to come out and his position is not so secure anymore.

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A friend on the political right wrote me about my support for Bernie Sanders for US president. My friend had some objections about Senator Sanders positions. So I wrote the response below. I should also like to point out that Bernie is a US senator from Vermont, where large pockets of conservatism flourish, and Republicans are elected to statewide offices. Yet Bernie continues to win election after election, campaigning mainly on bread and butter issues.

Anyway, below is my reason why everybody should vote for Bernie, regardless of their political ideology.

“…the Democratic and Republican Party leaderships, and the big money that controls them, also controls the levers of political power. I am against any candidate supported by the leadership of either major political party. That’s why over the years I’ve been a supporter of such diverse independent minded politicians as Ron Paul, Pat Buchanan, Ralph Nader and Bernie Sanders. Besides, it doesn’t matter what Bernie wants, what matters it what he can achieve as president. If Bernie becomes president, with both houses of congress likely to be controlled by the twin party leadership, Bernie will likely only be able to limit their damage to the middle class in terms of economics.”

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With the help of the corporate news media, which can better be described as the corporate propaganda machine, the Democratic and the Republican leadership rip the grassroots of both parties apart and against each other by inventing social issues, while raping the grassroots of both parties financially on behalf their billionaire and millionaire benefactors.

The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Fast Track Authority are classic examples of how the leadership of both political parties team together in their financial rape of the 99 percent.The Federal Reserve estimates the TPP will cost four to five million US jobs. The difference between the old higher US wages, and the new lower overseas wages, will go straight into the pockets of the 1 percent via higher corporate profits, dividends and share prices. That money will be stolen straight out of the pockets of working Americans and redistributed into the already fat bank accounts of the 1 percent, much of which will find its way into the pockets and campaigns of the Democratic and Republican party leadership. The local and state tax dollars paid by the jobs losers will no longer support schools, police, fire, road maintenance and much more. In other words, the TPP will rape our schools and other public services.

The TPP will also steal money that should go to the social security trust fund because the rich only pay social security taxes on the first $118,000 of their income. Worse yet, the TPP will force China to manipulate its currency even more than is already the case, costing the US millions more jobs than the Federal Reserve estimates. This manipulation of currency will compel US corporations to ship more jobs overseas because Chinese currency manipulation increases the profits of those who manufacture in China. (See Four Graphs that Will Make You Boiling Mad About the Trans Pacific Partnership–Or Why President Obama, along with executives from Nike, Microsoft, Apple and other US corporations Steadfastly Support China’s Currency Manipulations–JohnHively.wordpress.com).

In other words, the TPP has been negotiated specifically to redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent, and since 2009, the 1 percent has stolen 95 percent of all US income growth. Their share of the total national income has risen from 8 percent in 1980, to 21 percent in 2008, to 37 percent in 2015.

The TPP has also been negotiated to undermine US laws and democracy.

Hillary Clinton has stated publicly on 45 occasions that she is for the TPP. All of the Republican candidates are for it. Bernie would veto the TPP if he was president. Ergo, damage to the vast majority of US citizens would be limited.

Here’s something to think about. Opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership brought together unusual allies, such as the John Birch Society, the Tea Party, Black Lives Matter, and the AFL-CIO. We need more, not less, of that kind of cooperation among US citizens. Bernie understands this, and his candidacy is encouraging this. That’s precisely what the leadership of both political parties and their billionaire benefactors don’t want: Americans of all colors and political persuasions united together in opposition to the billionaire class and their complete corruption of the US government for their own ends.

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What happened to Unemployment When the Effective Tax Rate Went Down?

Take a look at the graphs above and below. Do you think there’s a relationship between the two? You better believe there is. The more money the rich have, the more money they have to control both political parties, the more money they have to redistribute income and wealth from the 99 percent to themselves. They do this legislatively. That’s precisely what has happened during the last thirty-two years.

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It’s never a good sign, but it’s not always bad. The U.S. economy shrank for the first time in more than three years in the fourth quarter, suggesting massive weakness in the economy caused by the massive redistribution of income during the last 32 years. The strength of consumer spending and business investment may suggest that the economy will grow, albeit slowly, this year.

Gross domestic product—the broadest measure of goods and services churned out by the economy—fell at a 0.1% annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to the government’s initial estimate out Wednesday. However, these early estimates are often revised, so it’s too early to tell if the contraction is ominous.

Some alleged experts suggest the contraction was caused by a curtailment of government spending, which is possible. If true, it goes to show that an economic policy of austerity is blatantly stupid, but Republicans like because it will tank the economy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Fiscal Cliff Apolcalypse

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