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Posts Tagged ‘Class warfare’


Charles Koch wants economic freedom. He has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to reach that end. Hundreds of millions of dollars have gone to universities, politicians, think tanks, political action committees, the Federalist Society, and on and on in order to influence public debate on issues dear to himself and his business, Koch Industries. The money has also gone to elect politicians true to his cause. But what does economic freedom mean?

Economic freedom means Koch wants billionaires and their corporations to be able to take people’s property by using the power of government to force property owners to sell their land so that the Koch pipeline, otherwise known as the KXL pipeline, can be laid.

So what if you develop breast or other cancers because of industrial toxins Koch Industries puts in the air, land and water? Let economic freedom ring by letting the market decide the issue.

Child labor laws are an impediment to economic freedom and must be done away with.

Health and safety laws impede the economic freedom of billionaire investors and must be eliminated.

Rivers that are so polluted they catch fire with a match clearly demonstrate economic freedom. Policies must be enacted to ensure this economic freedom, which corporations once had, and which included the rivers and lakes of fires.

Not being able to pollute lakes so badly with industrial waste you can smell them for thirty miles impedes the economic freedom of billionaire investors.

Workers who combine their primary asset (their labor) into labor unions in order to bargain for higher compensation and better working conditions are impediments to economic freedom, but billionaires who combine their primary asset (their billions) into unions (corporations) ensuring they have less competition and greater profit are the most important of economic freedoms.

Koch’s actions demonstrate that he believes billionaires who control the mechanisms of government and both major political parties know what is best for everyone else, especially if their name is Charles Koch while the collective political actions of the woefully ignorant and lesser humans of the 99 percent to have their democratically elected government enact laws governing issues such as the above is frightfully silly.

Koch wants the market, which is regulated by billionaires and their corporations, to determine how polluted our air and water should be rather than allowing the people within a democracy to decide that issue with their votes.

Our current weak Wall Street regulations curb corporate profits and are therefore an impingement on economic freedom according to Koch’s logic. The real logic is that Koch wants Wall Street to have the legal rights to rip off everybody in the 99 percent and redistribute massive amounts of income and wealth from the 99 percent to themselves. And let the market (Wall Street decides the market rules) decide who the winners and losers will be. The reverse of this, of course, is to have freedom from Wall Street manipulation, and that freedom is something Charles Koch does not want the 99 percent to have.

Income inequality has grown as Koch’s vision as grown. The top 1 percent once received about 8 percent of the total income produced in the USA in 1980, and now they steal anywhere from 24 to 37 percent. That’s what Koch’s economic freedom has brought us. His economic freedom has only been achieved by turning our democracy into a plutocracy, which is a government of, by and for the rich only.

Actions speak louder than words. According to Nancy MacLean, in her book Democracy In Chains, Koch’s well funded proxy army used the threat of “…well-funded primary challenges” to force Republican Party elected officials to do his “…bidding or Lose their seats.” Koch’s well-financed proxy “was pushing out radical right laws ready to bring to the floor in every state through the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). It was selling those laws through the seemingly independent but centrally funded (by Koch) and operationally linked groups of the State Policy Network. it was leveraging the anger of local Tea Party groups (founded with Koch money) to move the legislative agenda of Americans for Prosperity (funded by Koch) and Freedom Works (funded by Koch). Its state affiliates were energizing voter turnout with deceitful direct mail campaigns. Its elected allies were shutting down the federal government; in effect, using its employees and the millions who rely on it as hostages to get what they otherwise could not-and much, much more.”

Former US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, himself a wealthy man, once remarked, “We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”

Our democracy is in shambles with both major political parties being controlled by concentrated wealth. We’ve been attacked by the Koch brothers, by the major news organizations, and by the billionaires who control the Democratic Party. They are winning this class war because of their financial clout to control politicians, such as Mitch McConnell and Ron Wyden, and their financial clout to determine the information we receive from the corporate news media, public and private universities, think tanks, and other sources of information.

The Koch brothers, however, are in the vanguard in waging both class warfare, and war against our United States democracy. The idea that people can limit his economic freedom, and Wall Street’s freedom to plunder and rape the 99 percent, is a horror to him. He does not know that the US government has been created for the common good,” as former President John Adams once wrote, “and not for the profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men.”

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Nowadays, United States middle-class families are making less money in almost every state. Since 1999, median incomes have dropped nationwide and, in states like Indiana, they’ve shrunk by more than 9 percent. This is because trillions of dollars of yearly income have been redistributed from the 99 to the 1 percent by the billionaire controlled US government.

The folks at the financial website GOBankingRates used Pew Research Center and United States Census Bureau data, as well as data from real-estate site Zillow, to find the change in median household income in every state. The incomes are adjusted for inflation and the percentages reflect the increase in incomes from 1999 to 2014.

However, I should point out that the US government has been accused, and probably rightfully so, of deliberately understating inflation. In which case, real median incomes have dropped even further than the study shows.

You need to earn an annual household income of “two-thirds to double the national median, after incomes have been adjusted for household size,” to be considered middle class, according to Pew. The most recent national household median income estimate was $59,039, according to the U.S. Census.

“Although the middle class is shrinking,” the GOBankingRates report says, in some places “middle-income families continue to thrive.” Here’s where the numbers have gone up instead of down:

South Dakota

Median household income of middle-class families : $77,176

Median household income change of middle class : 1.7 percent

“South Dakota has the fifth-highest median household income for middle-class families, and it’s where middle-class incomes increased the most between 1999 and 2014,” according to GOBankingRates. It’s “one of only two states where middle-class incomes actually increased over those years, and it’s one of only four states where the proportion of middle income households has increased from 2010 to 2015.”

Vermont

Median household income of middle-class families : $75,540

Median household income change of middle class : 0.2 percent

Vermont is the only other state where middle-class incomes have risen; however, it’s also “one of the costliest states for an in-state college education,” the report finds, with the second-highest in-state tuition and fees in the country behind New Hampshire.

Middle Class Families Earning Less–Yahoo News

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The billionaire-owned wing of the United States Supreme Court continued to lay siege to the United States Constitution and the legal rights of the 99 percent when it fired another vicious barrage of legalized theft in its latest unconstitutional legal ruling. The class warriors that appear to be owned by the billionaires are John Roberts, Neil Gorsuch, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Anthony M. Kennedy.

As expected, the billionaire wing of the court ruled that non-labor union members cannot be forced in certain states to pay fees to labor unions representing public employees such as teachers and police, shutting off a key labor union revenue source.

The 5-4 ruling overturned a 1977 Supreme Court precedent that had permitted fees which have been collected from workers who decide not to join unions. Still, these people paid fees in lieu of union dues to fund non-political activities such as collective bargaining. The court’s billionaire-worshipping justices were in the majority, with the liberal justices dissenting.

These billionaire justices have consistently altered the meaning of the US Constitution to provide billionaires and millionaires and their corporations with more constitutional, political and economic power that is nowhere in the US Constitution. All of these rulings are unconstitutional. See The Activist Liars, Perjurers and Subverters of the US Constitution Sitting on the United States Supreme Court Are About to Launch Another of their Attacks Against the Middle Class on Behalf of Their Rich Backers.

Note that during his US Senate confirmation hearings, Chief Justice John Roberts swore under oath to respect legal precedence. Whenever an opportunity has come along to enrich conservative billionaires at the expense of the rest of us, and legal precedence has stood in the way, Roberts and the rest of the billionaire wing of the court have tossed it aside. Think about this. We have had a known perjurer as our US supreme court chief justice since the day Roberts was sworn into office.

Anyway, the Corporate wing of the court argued that forcing non-members to pay these fees to unions whose views they may oppose violates their rights to free speech and free association under the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment, the court said in the ruling authored by Justice Samuel Alito. Of course, a labor union is not an individual. It is an organization of people. People who apply for jobs which include labor union membership requirements are free to work elsewhere.

“States and public-sector unions may no longer extract agency fees from non-consenting employees,” billionaire class-warrior non-Justice Samuel Alito wrote. In a dissent, Justice Elena Kagan accused the court’s conservatives of “weaponizing the First Amendment” to intervene in economic and regulatory policy.

“This case was nothing more than a blatant political attack to further rig our economy and democracy against everyday Americans in favor of the wealthy and powerful,” public-sector unions including the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the union directly involved in the case, said in a statement.

That’s precisely why the billionaire controlled Republican Party pushed these class warriors onto the court; to be weapons of mass legal destruction used by the billionaires in their war against the US Constitution and 99.8 percent of US citizens.

Two dozen states had required agency fees. The ruling means that the estimated 5 million non-union workers for state and local governments who have paid them can stop. Agency fees do not involve federal or private-sector employees.

The decision represented a major victory for billionaires who long have sought to curb the influence of public-sector unions, which often support the Democratic Party and liberal causes.

With the U.S. organized labor movement already in a diminished state compared to past decades, the ruling now deprives unions of a vital revenue stream, undercuts their ability to attract new members and retain current members, and undermines their ability to spend in political races.

Republican President Donald Trump, whose administration backed the challenge to the fees, welcomed the ruling, writing on Twitter, “Big loss for the coffers of the Democrats!”

Unions contend that mandatory agency fees are needed to eliminate the problem of what they call “free riders” – non-members who benefit from union representation, for example through salary and working conditions obtained in collective bargaining – without paying for it.

“There is no sugarcoating today’s opinion. The majority overthrows a decision entrenched in this nation’s law – and in its economic life – for over 40 years. As a result, it prevents the American people, acting through their state and local officials, from making important choices about workplace governance,” Kagan said.

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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 Economic Policy Institute (EPI) reports that CEO compensation at major US corporations dropped a bit to 271  times the average annual pay of the average worker. EPI reports that, “While the 2016 CEO-to-worker compensation ratio of 271-to-1 is down from 299-to-1 in 2014 and 286-to-1 in 2015, it is still light years beyond the 20-to-1 ratio in 1965 and the 59-to-1 ratio in 1989.”

Much of CEO compensation is based on stock options. Boards of Directors offer CEOs stocks at certain prices. So, for example, if a CEO is offered stock at $5 a share, and the price rises to $25, the CEO can purchase a high number of shares at $5 and turnaround and sell them at $25 a share. So who signed the legislation that brought this about? Why, none other than Wall Street President Bill Clinton. See Bill Clinton Created Terrible Corporate Loop Hole–New Republic.

Naturally, stock options have led CEOs to outsource and export jobs at higher rates than they normally would, which in turn, has led to much of the income inequality we experience today. Depending on whose figures you use, the 1 percent now steal anywhere from 23 to 37 percent of all income produced in the USA, up from 8 percent in 1980. This inequality of income, and also of wealth, continues to grow. Thank you Bill!

According to the report, “Over the last several decades CEO pay has grown a lot faster than profits, than the pay of the top 0.1 percent of wage earners, and than the wages of college graduates. This means that CEOs are getting more because of their power to set pay, not because they are more productive or have special talent or have more education. If CEOs earned less or were taxed more, there would be no adverse impact on output or employment. Policy solutions that would limit and reduce incentives for CEOs to extract economic concessions without hurting the economy include:

  • Reinstate higher marginal income tax rates at the very top.
  • Remove the tax break for executive performance pay.
  • Set corporate tax rates higher for firms that have higher ratios of CEO-to-worker compensation.
  • Allow greater use of “say on pay,” which allows a firm’s shareholders to vote on top executives’ compensation.

Click here for the complete EPI report.

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The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday turned away a Republican Party challenge to a federal campaign finance restriction that prevents political parties from raising unlimited amounts of cash to spend on supporting candidates.

The Republican Party of Louisiana had argued that a provision of the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act violates free speech rights under the U.S. Constitution. But the justices let stand a lower court’s ruling that rejected the Republican challenge.

Apparently, the Court’s corrupt class warfare corporate wing (John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, Neil Gorsuch, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito) has decided that only corporations and people have constitutionally guaranteed free speech rights and not political parties. This is stunning inasmuch as corporations and political parties are not mentioned in the US Constitution, and the only reason why any court would approve of giving corporations any kind of personhood rights is to shift the balance of political power from individual voters to the rich and powerful via their wealth accumulation legal tools known as corporations.

In other words, the court’s corporate wing, whose members have historically come from well-to-do families, is playing class warfare by perverting the meaning of the great document in favor of the rich. By playing make believe that corporations have constitutionally guaranteed legal rights, the court is able to provide a legal lie that corporations have free speech rights, and then by insisting that spending money is free speech, they’ve effectively and deliberately given the airwaves to the only organizations and people who can afford to take them, which happens to be the corporations and rich people with all the money.

This is precisely why the corporate-leaning court in recent years has rolled back campaign finance restrictions. In 2010, the court paved the way to unlimited outside spending on elections in a case called FEC v. Citizens United that concerned corporate spending. Given its bias toward class warfare against the 99 percent, it is shocking the court turned this new case away.

Since the corporate wing of the Supreme Court is in the majority, the US Supreme Court is now a wholly owned subsidiary of the most powerful US corporations and billionaires. Actually, it has been for quite some time.

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A new study by the Pew Research Center shows the US middle class has shrunk from 62 percent of the adult population in 1970 to 50 percent today. In addition, middle class income has shrunk 4 percent since 2000. And all of this has occurred with Democratic Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden, one the architects on the war against the middle class, leading the charge against the middle class on behalf of the 1 percent, first in the US congress, and lately in the US senate.

Every president since Ronald Reagan has been in on this scam. For the past twenty years, Wyden has been the number one congressional champion of income and wealth redistribution scams, such as NAFTA and the Trans Pacific Partnership. The Federal Reserve has bailed out rich investors time after time, and most recently raised interest rates. The latter raised the interest on loans the 99 percent pay to the banks, which will enrich the banks. This action will increase bank profits, raised dividends to the rich folks who own shares of the banks, and raise share prices. Guess who benefits, and guess who loses. And it’s worse than the chart below shows.

ST_2015-12-09_middle-class-03

If you subtract the 1 percent with its 37 percent of total national income, the middle class looks considerably smaller than the above graph shows. The median income would shift to the left considerably, and be smaller in the process. Below is a graph based on actual income distribution in which the 1 percent are stealing 37 percent of all income in 2015 compared to just 8 percent in 1980.

DSCN0714

Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden has led and is still leading the attack of the 1 percent against the middle class, and he is responsible for this because of his support for income redistribution agreements, falsely marketed as trade agreements, which shifts jobs overseas. The difference between the old higher US wages and the new lower Chinese, Vietnamese, Mexican, Pakistani and Indian wages go straight into the pockets of the rich via higher corporate earnings, rising share prices, and surging dividends.

The result of the Wyden attack has been to weaken the demand sector of the US economy, since everybody but the 1 percent purchases the goods and services necessary to keep the economy chugging along. The 1  percent, instead, invest their money in politicians like Wyden, Mitch McConnell, Orrin Hatch, Earl Blumenauer, as well as in stocks and bonds and other assets. And this is precisely why we have an economy twice the size of 1980, with a population also about twice the size, but which produces fewer and fewer jobs with declining real wages compared to 1980.

Wyden, Hatch and McConnell are notorious in that they have assumed the rich are not sufficiently rich, and so they are supporting the most massive income redistribution scam in US history, the Trans Pacific Partnership. This will soon be voted on in congress. See What the Corporate News Media Refuses to Tell the Public About The Trans-Pacific Partnership: It’s a Massive Income Redistribution Agreement That Will Drive the Middle Class Further into Poverty, While Enriching the Already Wealthy, And Driving Millions of People into the United States Illegally to Depress US Wages Even More–JohnHively.wordpress.com

For more on this study by the Pew Research Institute, click on the link below.

The Middle Class Is Losing Ground, and Now the Rich Want to Make Certain they lose more ground with the Trans Pacific Partnership-Pew Research Center

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