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Income inequality continues to rise, according to a September 2019 study from the United States Census Bureau. However, it is terribly understated. In Oregon, income inequality continues to grow. This reflects what is happening nationally, as well as internationally.

According to the Oregon Center for Public Policy (OCPP), “Oregonians are facing a scary reality: the income gap separating those Oregonians in the middle of the income ladder and those at the very top has never been wider. In 1980, it took 26 typical (median income) Oregonians to equal the average income of the highest-earning taxpayers — the top one-tenth of 1 percent. By 2017, this had grown to 131 typical Oregonians. That is nearly a five-fold increase.”

“As frightening as income inequality is, inequality by wealth is even scarier. Income refers to how much money you earn in a year, while wealth is the sum total of all of your assets minus all of your debts. No good sources for wealth inequality at the state level exist, but national figures show that wealth is even more concentrated at the top than income. In 2018, the wealthiest 10 percent of Americans together held 70 percent of the nation’s wealth, while the bottom half of Americans together owned only 1 percent of the nation’s wealth.” In addition, three Americans (Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett) hold more wealth than the bottom 50 percent of Americans, and these figures are from two years ago, meaning these figures are most likely understated as of 2020.

With rising inequality, our faith in the “American Dream” is fading, being replaced instead with an American Nightmare. Research from the Center for American Progress found that as income inequality has increased, it has contributed to Americans becoming more pessimistic and less trusting of one another and our political leaders.

Federal policy, and the policy of both major political parties, is to redistribute income and wealth from the 99.5 percent to the 0.5 percent, the multi-millionaires and billionaires.

Quite naturally, the corporate media have now undertaken a campaign of disinformation, questioning what is obvious to the vast majority of Americans, seeking to instill doubt about the extent of income and wealth inequality.

However, both inequalities are far more significant than have been accepted. For example, three economists have examined U.S. income tax returns from the last several decades. These three have determined the top 1 percent receive 22-23 percent of all income produced in the United States nowadays compared to 8 percent in 1979. The Census Bureau’s study shows the top five percent took 23.2 percent of all income in 2018, compared to 22.3 percent in 2017.

On the other hand, there is unreported income, income hidden in Panamanian and Swiss banks, as well as elsewhere. The reality is that the top 1 percent steal closer to 38 percent of all income made in the USA. No doubt their accumulation of wealth mirrors that since you need income to generate wealth.

The results of these growing inequalities have not been kind to the 99 percent. Suicide rates, alcoholism, rates of depression and other maladies have all increased for the 99 percent during this era of inequality and political corruption. The corporate news media has been supportive of the growing inequalities by sowing the seeds of discord, pitting a variety of sectors of the 99 percent against each other in order to divert our eyes from income and wealth inequality. People trust each other less than in decades past because of the media.

In the meantime, the corporate news media, the billionaires who control both major political parties, have waged war against the only two presidential candidates of the people, while supporting the candidates of the billionaires, such as Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg. Buttigieg’s recent attacks on Sanders and Warren suggest the billionaires who control him have unleashed him in order to stop veteran billionaire brown-noser Joe Biden from having to do so and alienating Warren and Sanders voters in the process, which might not be a good thing to do with the general election coming up.

Do not fall for this con if you are tired of working more and earning less so that billionaires can have more of what you earned.

US Census Bureau on Income Inequality

See https://www.ocpp.org/2019/10/30/scary-facts-economic-inequality/

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For the past several years, US job growth has been weaker on a monthly average than when Jimmy Carter was US president. There’s a reason for this and a lot has to do with US corporations exporting jobs. Click here for that story. This brings us to former President Obama.

As a United States senator, Barack Obama demanded President George W. Bush do something to counter Chinese currency manipulation. As president, Obama mentioned Chinese currency manipulation one time. Then some politically powerful billionaires likely placed their arms over Obama’s shoulder and probably said something like, “Don’t mention that again, or we’ll take you behind the wood shed.”

Notice President Trump railed against Chinese currency manipulation as a candidate and hasn’t said a word about it as president. It’s likely some of his fellow billionaires threatened to take him behind the woodshed too if he ever mentioned the issue again.

This is because millions of US jobs have been exported to China; and US corporations have created millions of jobs over there rather than here thanks to President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush, both of whom gave China “most favored nation trade status,” and which allowed US corporations to export US jobs and create jobs in China rather than here.

When China manipulates its currency vis-a-vis the US dollar, it increases the profit margins of US corporations manufacturing in China and exporting to the US, while simultaneously decreasing the profit margins of companies manufacturing in the US and exporting their goods to China. This is why all those Nike, Dell, Apple, Treetop, Campbell’s Soups, and thousands of other things are made nowadays in China and exported to the US rather than in the United States. See the-trans-pacific-partnership-the-op-ed-the-liberal-and-conservative-corporate-media-doesnt-want-you-to-see–JohnHively.wordpress.com

This is one of the reasons why income and wealth inequality has grown so great during the last thirty-five years. In the US, the top 1 percent own more wealth nowadays than the 90 percent lowest Americans, and that gap is growing.

The Federal Reserve Bank and the US Treasury could easily counter Chinese currency manipulation, but those organizations work for the billionaires and not for the rest of us. In the meantime, the US economy weakens over the long haul. That’s because workers wages now represent a smaller portion of US gross domestic product since 1947. That’s because when jobs are exported the difference between the old higher US wages and benefits and the new lower foreign wages with no benefits goes straight into the fat wallets of the billionaires via higher corporate profits, rising dividends, and surging share prices. Trade agreements, nice scams huh?

This is precisely why the rich are now stealing about 37 percent of all income produced in the United States, compared to 8 percent when Carter was president in 1980. This is why job growth was greater under Carter on a per monthly basis than nowadays even though the US economy was only about 40 percent the size of today’s US economy, and the population was only 60 percent the size of today’s US population.

This is something to reflect on when some Wall Street US Senator like Ron Wyden says we need more trade agreements to create more jobs. When Wyden, or Wall Street Senator Mitch McConnell says crap like this, you know it’s a lie.

 

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jon stewart on Bernie Sanders

During this primary season, the first duty of the corporate news media is to mislead and lie to Democratic voters about the chances of Bernie Sanders becoming the next Democratic presidential candidate. The second duty of the corporate media establishment is to paint Wall Street’s choice for president, Hillary Clinton, as the inevitable winner. I’ve been saying this for months; the corporate news media is completely in the tank for Hillary.

This morning, the New York Times headlines blared that “Clinton and Trump win in Mississippi.” You’d think the headline would’ve read, “Sanders Scores Massive Upset in Michigan, Which is Bigger and More Important Than Mississippi.” But no, the politics of the Times is to ensure that Wall Street’s candidate gets the lion’s share of the publicity.

Last night, just as Bernie Sanders was declared the winner in Michigan, Fortune Magazine ran an online story about how Sanders could win the Democratic primary and the presidency. Within an hour, Fortune pulled the story.

The day before the Michigan primary, a Michigan State poll showed Clinton only 5 points ahead of Sanders. Not a single corporate media outlet mentioned that poll. They simply pointed to older polls and asserted that Bernie didn’t have a chance in Michigan.

An analysis of network television news coverage by Politicus.com revealed what supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders have long suspected; the three broadcast television networks are intentionally ignoring the Sanders campaign. That’s probably because most voters rely on name recognition and sounds bites to make their primary voting choices. Keep Bernie off the airwaves, or the headlines, and you only help the person who has name recognition. That’s most likely why the NY Times made certain that Bernie’s win in Michigan (and for that matter, Nebraska, Vermont, Kansas and several other states), off the headlines.

In a span of 16 hours before the primary in Michigan, the Washington Post, a bastion of the Wall Street Democratic Establishment that has been waging war against the 99 percent for decades, published 16 stories slamming Bernie Sanders.

Some of the captions for these stories included:

Bernie Sanders pledges the U.S. won’t be No. 1 in incarceration. He’ll need to release lots of criminals

Clinton is running for president. Sanders is doing something else

This is huge: Trump, Sanders both using the same catchphrase.

Mental health patients to Bernie Sanders: Don’t compare us to the GOP candidates

‘Excuse me, I’m talking’: Bernie Sanders shuts down Hillary Clinton repeatedly

Bernie Sanders’ two big lies about the global economy

Five reasons Bernie Sanders lost last night’s Democratic debate

An awkward reality for Bernie Sanders: A strategy focused on whiter states

Apparently, the Post hasn’t figured out that Hillary, really a regional candidate of the Southeast, has an awkward strategy, which is to take only southern states where large numbers of African-American voters play a large role in determining the outcome of the primary. Beyond that, she doesn’t stand much of a chance against Bernie. That’s because the Vermont senator is growing stronger and stronger, while Wall Street Hillary Rodham Clinton grows weaker, and can’t seem to win much outside of the southeast.

Obviously, like the rest of the Wall Street Democratic Establishment Corporate News Media, the Post is trying generate negative feelings toward Sanders among the voters, while generating positive feelings for Hillary, but this strategy is working less and less.

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Bernieclass-full

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders took questions from the press after speaking to 2,000 people in Dubuque, Iowa. The object of the corporate press is to keep the eyes of the 99 percent off the issues. One blogger asked Senator Sanders if he thought his rumpled hair got as much press time as Hillary Clinton’s hair. Sander’s eloquently explained to the reporter that he was running for president on serious issues, and that the question of hair wasn’t something worth answering. He went on to explain what his campaign was about, and in the video, Bernie explains the issues of the day, which few of the candidates for US president this year want to discuss. While Bernie wants to discuss growing income inequality, Hillary and others want to discuss hair and the dangers of ISIS slipping something into your chips and beer during college football season. It’s a great video and worth a look.

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Education-in-Finland-300x279

Finland has the highest performing K-12 students in the world, year after year.

“Finland’s schools weren’t always so successful. In the 1960s, they were middling at best. In 1971, a government commission concluded that, poor as the nation was in natural resources, it had to modernize its economy and could only do so by first improving its schools. To that end, the government agreed to reduce class size, boost teacher pay, and require that, by 1979, all teachers complete a rigorous master’s program.

They also banned all standardized testing, as they figured out this takes too much time and too much money out of learning; and now they only give standardized exams to statistical samples of students to diagnose and assess school progress.”

For every 45 minutes of study, Finish students get 15 minutes of free time recess.

In the United States, recess has been curtailed, and in some cases, eliminated.

The average class size in Finland is 19. Teachers are highly respected, highly paid, and highly unionized. So what can the United States learn from Finland?

Absolutely nothing.

That’s because education reform in the USA has nothing to do with education. It’s all about corporate profits, campaign contributions, government corruption, and ever rising profits for the publishing industries. Public K-12 students are merely victims in the profit production process through which these aims can be achieved.

This is why the US has the most tested students in the world. The more tests they complete, the more profits for the publishing corporations, such as Pearson Limited and McGraw-Hill.

This is why educational test standards are always raised in the United States. The higher the standards, the more students fail to pass. Then they must retake another profitable test over and over again until they move up a grade or pass it. The more students fail these tests, the more profitable they are for the testing industry.

Tests are changed every few years because it’s more profitable than retaining them. When school districts change tests, each district must purchase new testing materials from the publishers. In the United States, students are part of the production process for producing profits, and keeping share prices of the publishing giants rising constantly, quarter after quarter.

So don’t expect any real educational reform in the US anytime soon since real educational reform by definition means lower profits for the publishing corporations, which means less money with which to corrupt government. So don’t expect anything to change in education in the US anytime soon. The corruption of government at all levels is far too massive.

Just look at Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden who betrayed the voters of Oregon on behalf of Monsanto and Wall Street when he co-sponsored Fast Track legislation in the senate for the massive income redistribution scam called the Trans Pacific Partnership which Wyden falsely markets as a trade agreement. Wyden once wrote a constituent who wrote to him to complain about the Common “Very Profitable” Core Standards. Wyden wrote back, “Please rest assured that I will continue to do all I can on the federal level to ensure Oregon students receive the highest quality education….” Wyden’s letter shows he supports the Common Very Profitable Standards, which demonstrates how corrupt he is in all areas in which income is redistributed from the 99 to the 1 percent. See Wyden’s letter at, http://oregonsaveourschools.blogspot.com/2014/06/sen-ron-wyden-doesnt-get-it-on-common.html .

Wyden’s idea of students receiving “the highest quality education” is to increase the profits of the publishing corporations, which is another way of enriching the 1 percent at the expense of the 99 percent. In other words, less recess, more tests, and higher standards, which is another way of saying the senator wants all students to be on a college track, even if they had no desire to be on such a track.

Income redistribution from the 99 to the 1 percent; that’s precisely what Wyden does as much as anybody ever has in the US senate. That’s why he supports standardized testing of public school students, as well as Fast Track and the Trans Pacific Partnership. http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/06/how-finland-keeps-kids-focused/373544/

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The structure of the propaganda machine in their war against the middle class.

For an example of this propaganda see Why gasoline prices are rising; How the Corporate Propaganda Machine Lies to You

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From USA Today

“Business executives and politicians endlessly complain that there is a “shortage” of qualified Americans and that the U.S. must admit more high-skilled guest workers to fill jobs in STEM fields: science, technology, engineering and math. This claim is echoed by everyone from President Obama and Rupert Murdoch to Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates.

Yet within the past month, two odd things occurred: the US Census Bureau reported that only one in four STEM degree holders is in a STEM job, and Microsoft announced plans to downsize its workforce by 18,000 jobs. Even so, the United States House of Representatives is considering legislation that, like the Senate immigration bill before it, would increase to unprecedented levels the supply of high-skill guest workers and automatic green cards to foreign STEM students.

As longtime researchers of the STEM workforce and immigration who have separately done in-depth analyses on these issues, and having no self-interest in the outcomes of the legislative debate, we feel compelled to report that none of us has been able to find any credible evidence to support the IT industry’s assertions of labor shortages.”

In other words, the shortage of US high tech workers is a big lie perpetrated by business leaders, President Obama, Republican Party lawmakers, and many Democratic lawmakers. Keeping wages, salaries and benefit packages low by importing the foreign high tech workers into a market in which only one of four highly qualified US citizens can find a job is nothing short of criminal, but it keeps labor costs down and corporate profits and share prices up. The labor market, in other words, is being manipulated to the benefit of the 1 percent.

Apparently, that’s what the US government is supposed to do. That’s the job of politicians: keep wages, salaries and benefits low by keeping an excess supply of labor flowing into the US job market. Who are these politicians working for? The Koch Brothers and Bill Gates or us? Okay, they work for the rich guys, and to hell with us.

Why would they do this?

According to USA Today, “It is well documented that loopholes enable firms to legally pay H-1Bs below their market value and to continue the widespread age discrimination acknowledged by many in the tech industry.”

That’s why companies are exploiting the large existing flow of guest workers to deny American workers access to STEM careers and the middle-class security that should come with them. Imagine how many more Americans would be frozen out of the middle class if politicians and tech moguls succeed in doubling or tripling the flow of guest workers into STEM occupations.

Click the link below for more on this story from USA Today.

Bill Gates Tech Workers Fantasy–USA Today

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