Posts Tagged ‘corporate profits’

My camellia plant warned me about global warming a few decades ago. Forty years ago, Camellia’s flowers began blossoming in April. Around the year 2000, I noticed they were blooming in February. They flowered in early January by 2004. Last year, they bloomed in early December.

The first bud of this season was a tad later than normal during this era of global warming. Pictured above, it began to blossom on January 24th, 2019, which, if historical circumstances are correct, suggests our global warming has slowed a bit from last year when Camellia sent several flowers erupting in full pinkish red in early December. That does not mean or is intended to mean that global warming is stagnant or retreating. Quite the contrary, our Earth continues to get warmer due to human activity, mainly business activity.

Well, folks, it is all about profits. For the billionaires and their politicians, constantly rising corporate earnings are more important than people, even if it jeopardizes the long-term existence of humankind. There is something kind of sick about that. Understand this point; the fight against global warming is heavily linked to the fight against income and wealth inequality. The forces arrayed against each other on these issues are largely the same. More or less, there are about 100 or more billionaires who profit at the expense of everybody else behind the legislative actions that have brought about unprecedented income and wealth inequality, and who, coincidentally, are behind the campaign to deny global warming.

Exxon Mobil knew its products caused global warming by the mid-1970s. The management of the oil giant followed a political/advertising/public relations campaign denying global warming that was modeled on the cigarette corporation’s campaign of denying any link between their product and cancer. Unlike the liars and deniers, Camellia does not lie or deny. She merely blooms when the weather is warm enough, and forty years ago, it was too cold in March for her to send her buds gushing into flowerhood.

Nowadays, here in the Pacific Northwest, the roses and other flowers have begun to bloom in December and January. How much more evidence do we need before we place people ahead of constantly rising profits and share prices for billionaires and multi-millionaires?

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Billionaires on a Bus-Simplified-01 1
According to a new report by the Oxfam Institute, An Economy for the 1 Percent, the richest 62 people in the world own more wealth than the bottom 50 percent of the world’s population.

According to Oxfam, “The gap between rich and poor is reaching new extremes. Credit Suisse recently revealed that the richest 1% have now accumulated more wealth than the rest of the world put together. 

Meanwhile, the wealth owned by the bottom half of humanity has fallen by a trillion dollars in the past five years. This is just the latest evidence that today we live in a world with levels of inequality we may not have seen for over a century. An Economy for the 1% looks at how this has happened, and why, as well as setting out shocking new evidence of an inequality crisis that is out of control. Oxfam has calculated that:

1.  In 2015, just 62 individuals had the same wealth as 3.6
 billion people at the bottom half of humanity. This figure is down from 388 individuals as recently as 2010.
2.  The wealth of the richest 62 people has risen by 44% in the five years since 2010that’s an increase of more than half a trillion dollars ($542 billion), to $1.76 trillion.
3.  Meanwhile, the wealth of the bottom half fell by just over a trillion dollars in the same perioda drop of 41%.
4.  Since the turn of the century, the poorest half of the world’s population has received just 1% of the total increase in global wealth, while half of that increase has gone to the top 1%.
5.  The average annual income of the poorest 10% of people in the world has risen by less than $3 each year in almost a quarter of a century. Their daily income has risen by less than a single cent every year
The Oxfam report doesn’t mention everything the rich have been able to purchase with their ill-gotten robberies, such as both major political parties in the USA, as well as in most other nations. Most government regulatory agencies throughout the world, such as the USDA, and the Securities and Exchange Commission, have also been bought and  managed by the 1 percent.
This corruption of governments is precisely why President Obama and Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden want to continue to redistribute income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent, a process that has been ongoing in the United States since Ronald Reagan became president.

Every US senator, President Obama, and most members of the US house of representatives know, or example, that the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) will force China to manipulate its currency vis-a-vis the US dollar by 15 percent, if this income redistribution agreement is rammed through congress. This will roughly double the profits of US corporations manufacturing things in China who happen to export these items to the United States, such as Dell, Microsoft, Nike, Adidas, Black and Decker, Gerber, and hundreds of others.

By the same process, this will make US exports to China profit losers, costing millions of US export jobs. But this forced currency manipulation will also encourage US companies who manufacture things for sale in the USA, as well as for export to nations other than China, to export millions of US jobs to China. What Corporate Chief Executive Officer wouldn’t export whatever jobs they could to China if their profits would double by doing so?

Every manufacturing job supports three other jobs, like the local waitress, teacher, plant manager, fire fighter, accountant, bookkeeper, retail clerk, plumber, contractor, and more. So that the exportation of say 5 million jobs will result in the loss of another 15 million. However, it is more than likely that the TPP will gut most of whatever is left of the US middle class by tens of millions.

Right now, 50 percent of US adults are considered middle class, down from 61 percent in 1970. Within three years of the enactment of the TPP, only 30-40 percent, or less, of US adults will be considered middle class. And that’s how the rich get richer.

When a corporation exports jobs, the difference between the old higher US pay and the new lower Chinese or Vietnamese pay goes straight into the pockets of the 1 percent via higher corporate earnings, rising share prices and surging dividends. The job losers might get several months of unemployment checks, if they’re lucky.

In other words, the TPP is a massive scam to force US companies to ship millions of US jobs to China, and gutting what remains of the US middle class, in the process. Wall Street senator’s such as Ron Wyden, Orrin Hatch and Mitch McConnell, as well as President Obama, are 100 percent behind this scam.

According to Oxfam, “The global inequality crisis is reaching new extremes. The richest 1% now have more wealth than the rest of the world combined. Power and privilege is being used to skew the economic system to increase the gap between the richest and the rest (such as the TPP). A global network of tax havens further enables the richest individuals to hide $7.6 trillion. The fight against poverty will not be won until the inequality crisis is tackled.”

The TPP will make income and wealth inequality grow. That’s what it’s all about. That’s what is has been negotiated to do.



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Notice in virtually every mention in the so-called news media in reporting or editorials for or against raising the minimum wage, there is never any mention that corporate profits are at historic highs, and that raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour would be easy just because of that. The reason we don’t hear that is because the primary job of the propaganda machine of the 1 percent is to keep us misinformed, even if it means simply lying to us. The Oregonian news paper, Fox News, MSNBC, and the Wall Street Journal are cases in point.

That’s because raising the minimum wage will cut into those historically high corporate profits, possibly putting downward pressure on share prices and corporate bond ratings. That would eliminate some paper wealth of the 0.01 percent.

However, recent studies show increasing the minimum wage creates jobs and spurs economic activity and growth by enhancing the demand for goods and services. In other words, that paper wealth of the 0.01 percent, as well as those massive record corporate profits, drag the economy down.

After a potential decline in value due to a minimum wage increase, the stock markets would rebound with soaring share prices due to more robust demand for goods and services.

Here’s a point the corporate propaganda machine doesn’t want you to especially consider.

The rise of the current US stock markets are nothing more than a series of bubbles, NASDAQ and the Dow Jones Industrials being examples. If the federal minimum wage were to be enacted those bubbles would deflate safely to some degree, possibly curbing the great impending economic disaster, which is on the horizon. That economic holocaust will make the last recession look like a blessing.

Just like the stock market bubble in the 1920s, just like the housing bubble exploded from 1994-2007, this current bubble will burst, and with it, much of the US and world economy will evaporate with it.

There are worker strikes for higher minimum wages going on across the United States. They began last week, although some have been on-going for a while.

Forbes magazine reported six days ago;

“The Fight for $15 movement is growing as more Americans living on the brink decide to stick together to fight for better pay and an economy that works for all of us, not just the wealthy few,” said Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union, which has been backing the protests.

Workers in industries beyond fast food have joined the fight because they face the same struggles, says Arun Ivatury, campaign strategist with the National Employment Law Project. “These are all some of the fastest-growing occupations in the country, and they’re also some of the lowest-paying, as little as $8 or $9 an hour in terms of the median wage in these occupations. These are struggles these workers are facing across these industries — they’re facing the same struggle for respect and decent schedules with advance notice and enough hours to make a decent living.”

Giving these people a raise might actually stave off or at least delay the impending economic crash that’s headed our way. It would be good economic policy in the long run.

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One of the great lies created and perpetuated by the 1 percent, corporate CEOs, and organizations such as the US Chamber of Commerce, and carefully cultivated by the US media, is that wages, benefits and salaries are too high in the United States.

Apparently, the Germans have decided this isn’t true, and this is especially true in this age of globalization.

The truth is that in the USA the need for publicly traded, limited liability corporations to maintain high stock prices via always rising corporate profits have given the incompetent CEO’s of corporations reasons to ship jobs overseas, and in the process, redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent.

The US government helps this process along by negotiating free trade treaties, which always paves the way for corporations to ship jobs overseas.

The Trans Pacific Partnership is the largest free trade agreement in the history of the world, and the most secretly negotiated, making it the latest and biggest assault against the American middle class by the 1 percent. This treaty is supported by such Wall Street supporters as President Barack Obama, Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden, and Wall Street Congressman Earl Blumenauer, all supposed liberals, champions of the people, their reputations in these matters based on lies perpetuated by the media.

In Germany, the people rule; in the United States, Wall Street rules. That’s why German automobile manufactuers produce twice as many cars in Germany than US manufacturers produce in the United States, and this equation also explains why German auto manufacturers pay their employees twice as much as US automakers pay their US employees. BTW, note that globalization hasn’t eroded German lifestyles, like it has in the US. In other words, globalization hasn’t hit Germany like it has the US. This shows that globalization is something that doesn’t need to occur.

Germany is for the Germans; while in the US, the government and its politicians are all (mostly) paid for by the 1 percent. In the USA, the economic and political games are completely rigged against the 99 percent. In the US, the rigged game is all about political corruption; Wall Street Senator Ron “Big Money” Wyden, and Wall Street Congressman Earl Blumenauer are prime examples of this corruption. Both were elected in safe Democratic districts in Oregon. Blumenauer almost always votes with Wall Street on economic issues against the interests of the people of his district, while Wyden has a 100 percent record of voting for Wall Street in the same way.

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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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According to a report by CNN, in 2012, third quarter corporate earnings were $1.75 trillion, up 18.6% from a year ago. Corporations are currently making more as a percentage of the economy than they ever have since such records were kept. That money goes to shareholders and CEO’s, charter members of the 1 percent. But at the same time, wages as a percentage of the economy are at an all-time low, as this chart shows. (The red line is corporate profits; the blue line is private sector wages.)

As CNN Money explained, “a separate government reading shows that total wages have now fallen to a record low of 43.5% of GDP. Until 1975, wages almost always accounted for at least half of GDP, and had been as high as 49% as recently as early 2001.”

As CNN also explained, “businesses with high labor costs have either gone under or moved offshore.” And that’s the real problem. Free trade treaties are really income redistribution treaties. The difference between the old higher pay of US jobs and the new lower pay in other nations goes into the already fat wallets of CEO’s and rich shareholders.

So when somebody loses his or her job on account of an income redistribution trade treaty, that person loses the money year after year. However, the money isn’t really lost. It goes into the fat wallets of the rich year after year. That’s what’s going on right now.

And President Obama plans on redistributing more cash from the middle class to the 1 percent via the Trans Pacific Partnership, the largest free income redistribution trade treaty ever. In other words, Obama is rigging the game even more against the middle class, while simultaneously destroying the economy’s ability to increase the demand for goods and services.

Corporate profits are at an all-time high. Worker pay continues to go down, down, down. The result is an economy that is tilting toward the abyss. This is a no-brainer.

Corporate profits are at an all-time high. Worker pay continues to go down, down, down. The result is an economy that is tilting toward the abyss. This is a no-brainer.

Corporate profits at an all-time high–Thinkprogress.org

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