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Sen. Elizabeth Warren cited recent Pew Research Center polling that found only 18% of Americans say they can trust the U.S. government to do the right thing to unveil her Anti-Corruption and Public Integrity Act on Tuesday.

It is well known that the rich, their corporations, and their lobbyists have bought almost every member of the United States House of Representatives and almost every member of the Senate since 1981, which include such corrupt blowhards as RepubliCons Orrin Hatch, Mitch McConnell and Democrat Ron Wyden. Since 1981, every United States president has bent to the desires of the well-to-do on all matters having to do with redistributing income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent. Wyden, Hatch, and McConnell have voted to redistribute income and wealth from the 99 percent to the rich and powerful time and time again when they voted to export millions of jobs held by United States citizens via trade agreements.

The difference between the old higher US wages and benefits and the new three dollars a day jobs in foreign nations goes straight into the pockets of the super-rich via higher corporate profits, rising share prices, and surging dividends. The newly unemployed in the U.S. might get unemployment insurance for a few months if they are lucky.

Political corruption is precisely why income inequality has grown from the 1 percent receiving 8 percent of all income produced in the USA in 1980 to 37 percent today, and why three people own more wealth than the bottom 50 percent of the U.S. population, and why the 1 percent owns more wealth than the bottom 90 percent.

Warren’s plan provides a lifetime ban on lobbying by former members of Congress, Presidents, and agency heads and banning foreign lobbying and lobbyists donations to candidates and members of Congress.

Warren’s bill seeks to eliminate both the appearance and the potential for financial conflicts of interest by banning members of Congress, cabinet secretaries, federal judges, and other senior government officials from owning and trading individual stock, including requiring the Supreme Court follow the ethics rules applicable to all other federal judges. One study has found that members of the U.S. Supreme Court rule in favor of companies they invest in.

Warren advocates “locking the government-to-lobbying revolving door” and eliminating the “golden parachutes” that companies pay some executives when they enter public service, citing the instance of Goldman Sachs paying Gary Cohn more than $250 million when he left the firm to lead President Trump’s National Economic Council.

Warren’s legislation also aims to end what she characterizes as the corporate capture of public interest rulemaking by requiring disclosure of funding or editorial conflicts of interest when corporations and special interest groups pay for comments and studies that support rulemaking, as well as requiring elected officials and candidates for federal office to disclose more financial and tax information and making federal contractors – including private prisons and immigration detention centers – comply with federal open records laws.

A lot more can be done to end corruption in the U.S. government. Banning the paid speeches made by former presidents and high officials is a starter. Bill and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama get $250,000 a pop for half-hour paid speeches. Who is to say the lure and promise of future profits do not influence the choices made by people in high office? In addition, the government could limit the amount of funding of political campaigns provided by political action committees, corporations, and individuals. However, the corporate wing of the United States Supreme Court has been so corrupted by the inflow of cash and favors and class warfare mentality in favor of their social and economic class, that they eliminated one hundred years of legal precedent in the Citizens United case of 2010 that limited contributions as outlined in the sentence above. Reversing that, and successfully impeaching the corrupt corporate wing of the Supreme Court would go a long way toward ending the massive wave of political corruption that has swamped the United States governments at all levels like rising tides of overflowing cesspools.

For the complete story, see Elizabeth Warren Proposes Ways to Fight Political Corruption–MarketWatch.

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Elizabeth Warren plans to put an end to Wall Street control of the Democratic Party if she becomes president. The first place she would begin is with international trade policies, drawing sharp contrasts with Wall Street puppet’s Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton in the process, along with Democratic Party Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden and dozens of other Democrats in political office.

Wyden has long been one of the architects of the growing income and wealth inequality in the United States over the last thirty years. He has continuously championed the exporting of tens of millions of American jobs on behalf of Wall Street investment banks and corporate bigwigs. The difference between the old higher U.S. wages and the new much less third world wages goes straight into the already fat wallets of the billionaires. My ex-wife calls Wyden, accurately as it turns out, a RepubliCon on all economic matters.

As for Warren, her plans include nine issues every nation would have to meet before negotiating a trade deal with the United States. Those standards include upholding and enforcing the labor rights laid out by the International Labour Organization, eliminating all domestic fossil fuel subsidies, fulfilling commitments from the Paris Climate Agreement, not running afoul of the State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights, and not being on the Treasury Department’s monitoring list for manipulative currency practices. Warren’s requirements would apply not only to new trade deals but to existing treaties that Warren pledges to renegotiate.

Naturally, RepubliCons and Corporate/Wall Street Democrats, such as Wyden, will be opposed to Warren’s standards. So are the billionaires, Wall Street investors, and the so-called news media they control. Their only standard is to redistribute income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent even if the world burns.

Taken together, Warren’s mandates would fundamentally change American trade policy, potentially excluding many countries that would see the requirements as too onerous for the parasitic elites who control those governments, and who want to continue the maldistribution of income and wealth that existing trade agreements have been negotiated to bring about.

“For decades, big multinational corporations have bought and lobbied their way into dictating America’s trade policy,” Warren wrote, calling the policies across Republican and Democratic administrations a “failed trade agenda.”

“Trade can be a powerful tool to help working families but our failed pro-corporate agenda has used trade to harm American workers and the environment. My plan represents a new approach to trade — one that uses America’s leverage to boost American workers and raise the standard of living across the globe.”

In effect, Warren aims to reverse the income and wealth stolen from 99 percent of Americans and given to the billionaires by Wyden, Clinton, Obama, and the entire RepubliCon Party.

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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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Do you ever wonder how much of your income has been redistributed to the rich since 1980? How much would you be earning now if the rich were only getting the same share of our total national income as they did back in 1980 or so? Back then the 1 percent stole only about 8 to 9 percent. We got the rest.

Now, thanks to the entire corrupt Republican Party, and the vast majority of corrupted Democratic Party politicians, the rich are officially stealing anywhere from 24 to 37+ percent of the total national income, depending on whose figures you are using. This is thanks in large measure to such Democratic Party politicians as Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden, as well as both Clintons’.

We can use Oregon as an approximate gauge for the entire nation since Oregon is only slightly above average in personal income compared to other states.

The figures in the graph above show that the typical Oregonian would be earning “nearly 3 times as much” today “had inequality remained at the 1980 level. Oregon’s actual median income in 2014 was $33,484, compared to $29,150 nationally.

In 2014, the average working Oregonian would have earned about $92,050, or nearly three times as much, had the 1 percent been only stealing from the rest of us at the same rate as they had been back in 1980. That suggests the average US citizen would have been earning around $83,000 a year in 2014, rather than the paltry $29,150.

Imagine how strong the demand for goods and service would be today for the 99 percent if the 1 percent had not rigged each of the three branches of the US government in their favor through corrupt politicians in both major political parties, and their complete corruption of the United States Supreme Court. (See the-editorial-the-rich-dont-want-you-to-read-corruption-of-the-united-states-supreme-court-what-the-rich-and-their-corporate-so-called-news-media-dont-want-you-to-know–JohnHively.Wordpress.com for more on this.)

When inflation is factored into income growth, notice which economic class has gotten the big raises since 1980 in the graph below, and which has not. Note also that the information presented is based on income tax returns, so the US rich have gained quite a bit more than it appears since they have stashed trillions of dollars abroad in Switzerland, Panama and elsewhere.

This means the real income gains of the rich are vastly understated. Thank you Ron Wyden. Thank you Bill Clinton. Thank you Hillary Clinton. Thank you all of you bought off Democrats and Republican politicians. Thank you corrupted US Supreme Court

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The New York Times has lied again. So does most of the corporate news media about certain issues.

The Times has long been a bastion of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), which, since the late 1970s, has been completely dominated by billionaires of Wall Street and big corporations, as well as another group of billionaires, such as Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, George Soros and others. The chief aim of all of these folks and organizations is to keep Wall Street happy, stock prices soaring, and the liberal Democratic grassroots uninformed and keeping their eyes off the real issues.

The Times now officially has endorsed the lie that public employee pensions are the cause of local and state government budget shortfalls. In a story published on April 14 2018, they specifically used the case of Oregon. The Times claimed that funding for public employee pensions is crowding out other government services.

However, there are other things that are causing budget shortfalls in Oregon, and nationally, and the Times editors dare not mention them because it will offend corporate advertisers, the Democratic National Committee, and other billionaires whose plight the Times editors are sympathetic to.

Here is the reality.

Budget shortfalls in Oregon coincide with declining state corporate tax liabilities. A report by the Oregon Center for Public Policy shows that corporations now pay only 6.7 percent of all of Oregon’s income taxes today compared to 18.5 percent in 1970. No budget shortfalls would exist if corporations paid the same percentage of state income taxes as they did in 1970. Corporations have used their financial muscles to force legislators to reduce their state tax liabilities, and this has caused the shortage. (As an aside, some people call the links between cash and legislation corruption.)

In addition, hundreds of thousands of Oregon jobs have been exported since 1994 to third world nations, reducing the state’s tax base, and this has also helped to increase the budget shortfalls. Wall Street politicians, such as Bill and Hillary Clinton, as well as Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden, have led the drive to export tens of millions of US jobs since 1994 (Wyden is supposed to be a US senator from Oregon but his voting record indicates he is in Wall Street’s back pockets as much as the Clintons).

What this really means is that income and wealth inequality have created the shortfalls since corporations are simply tools of the rich which are used to redistribute income and wealth from working Americans to rich investors. Reducing the tax liabilities of corporations has redistributed $2.36 billion dollars from taxpayers to the rich shareholders of corporations during the 2017-19 Oregon state budget. Notice the Times doesn’t mention this.

The same holds true with international income redistribution treaties. The difference between the old higher US wages and benefits of those tens of millions of exported US jobs and the new dirt low third world wages have gone straight into the bank accounts of the billionaires who control both major political parties, and the New York Times.

So redistributing income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent has created local and state budget shortfalls nationwide, as well as in Oregon.

What’s even worse, the Times story only uses examples of overly generous state pensions given to just a few, such as former Oregon Ducks football coach Mike Belotti. Belotti receives $559,000 a year from the public employee’s retirement system (PERS). There is no mention in the Times story that Belotti and these few others are exceptions. There is no mention of the elderly couples who worked thirty-four years each to get a combined $2000 a month in their deferred compensation called a pension, or the many who only receive a few hundred dollars a month, or the vast majority who receive between $400 and $2000 a month. There is no mention that pensions are deferred compensation.

In effect, the Times story was intended to generate public outrage at local and state pensions, and it was also specifically intended to turn our eyes away from the real reasons why there might be local and state budget shortfalls in Oregon and throughout the nation. The Times story was class warfare at its most insidious. No doubt the billionaires loved the story, even if it was a complete lie.

See 8 Key Things About Oregon Corporate Taxes–Oregon Center for Public Policy

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The idea that public school teachers need to go on strike in order to get livable wages and benefits is spreading, much to the dread of the billionaires who control both major political parties.

Early in March 2018, striking West Virginia teachers declared victory with a 5 percent raise and returned to their classrooms. Their organizing and their 13-day strike not only forced the legislature to raise their rock-bottom pay; it backed off corporate-linked education “reformers” on a host of other issues: charter schools, an anti-seniority bill, and preventing payroll deduction of union dues, and the rich who control the corporations that would benefit from these things are not happy state money went to impoverished public school teachers.

Emboldened by the success of the teachers of West Virginia, teachers in Oklahoma, Arizona, and Kentucky are now striking, sicking out, rallying, and Facebooking to push officials to raise their salaries and defend their benefits.

Teachers in Oklahoma are set to strike on April 2 if the legislature doesn’t grant a $10,000 raise for teachers and a $5,000 raise for school support staff. It’s been a decade since Oklahoma teachers got their last raise. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, pay for educators there ranks last in the country, with high school teachers averaging $42,460.

Like the case in West Virginia, Oklahoma teachers are emboldened by a shortage of qualified educators. “Teachers are fleeing the state,” said Molly Jaynes, a third-grade teacher in Oklahoma City. “You can go to Arkansas and make $15,000 more; you can go to Texas and make $20,000 more”—as did Oklahoma’s 2016 Teacher of the Year. The state issues hundreds of emergency certifications every year to anyone with a bachelor’s degree. (It should be pointed out there is a teacher shortage throughout the United States)

Arizona teachers signed up in droves for a new Facebook group, “Arizona Educators United.” Thirty thousand joined in its first 10 days. Teachers there are building a grassroots “Red for Ed” movement, spreading photos of themselves wearing red T-shirts to school every Wednesday and assembling en masse at legislative hearings at the Capitol.

The latest state to join the strike talk is Kentucky, where the fight is about pensions and funding cuts to schools. Having systematically underfunded pensions for over a decade, the legislature is now pushing to cut cost-of-living adjustments for teachers and other employees. Like teachers in 14 other states, Kentucky teachers do not collect Social Security, so they rely entirely on the state pension system.

These four states; Kentucky, Oklahoma, Arizona, and West Virginia are dominated by the Republican Party, which is controlled by billionaires. Strong labor unions can often help defeat the billionaires in state and local elections. Keeping the memberships in poverty and financially starving public education has been a political strategy, effectively waging war against children, the poor and the middle class.

On the other hands, the billionaires of the Democratic and Republican parties have to a large degree gutted the tax base of the United States by voting to export tens of millions of US jobs over the last twenty-five years in order to redistribute the massive difference between the old higher wages and benefits of tens of millions of US workers and the new poverty third world wages of the exported jobs.

Democrat politicians such as Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Ron Wyden and Earl Blumenauer have joined hands with Republicans such as George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, Orrin Hatch, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan and John Boehner to export those jobs, and creating the highest income and wealth inequality in US history.

On the state and local levels, the rich control contracting corporations that feed on useless public projects and services. Giving the teachers raises and higher benefits means that some public money will need to be diverted from those tax guzzling projects to the teachers, which may negatively impact the share prices of corporations.

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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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