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Posts Tagged ‘corruption’

Truer colors have never been more clear. As the economy continues to place more than 800,000 citizens on the unemployment rolls for many weeks in row, as the stock markets have tanked over the entire month of September 2020, as the number of people applying for welfare increase week after week, the Republicans have decided to divert all of their attention toward pushing through a Supreme Court nominee and the Democrat leadership have decided to say they intend do all they can to oppose that nominee.

Sure, there is talk of another stimulus package which lifted the stock market on Friday, but the two sides are so far apart that we can rest assure all discussion about a stimulus package is simply a joke perpetrated on us since the two sides are far apart and have been for months on this issue.

In the meantime, both Dems and Republicon Party leaders are using the Supreme Court issue to divert our attention from all of the above. There is not a whole lot the Dems can do to stop Trump’s choice. They insist if the Republicons go through with the nominee before the election, making 17 Republican senators liars and hypocrites in the process, the Dems will end the filibuster and pack the Supreme Court by pushing its number from 9 to 13 justices, if Biden wins and the Dems take the Senate.

Well, if Biden wins and the Dems take the senate the very last thing they will want to do is end the filibuster. Ending the filibuster means a simple majority vote is all that will be needed for the Dems to push through the agenda the grassroots of the party demand.

However, the billionaires who control the party do not want what the grassroots are demanding, such as a higher federal minimum wage like $15 an hour, greater healthcare coverage (such as Medicare for all or a public option), more legislatively enacted labor rights, a packed court, immigration reform, more paid time off for new parents, higher taxes on the rich and their corporations, enacting other legislation and federal action that would reduce income and wealth inequality, and a host of other things.

These things would drive corporate profits, share prices, and dividend payments down, and neither the billionaires who control the Republican Party and the billionaires who control the Democratic Party want that since this is where all their financial and political power, income and wealth emanate from. So all of the so-called Democratic resistance against Trump’s Supreme Court nominee will never be enacted.

There will not be an end to the filibuster because it allows both parties to not govern on behalf of their grassroots while allowing the billionaires who control both major political parties and the Supreme Court to get everything they want.

Questions about corporate power will not be asked of Trump’s nominee during the soon-to-be senate confirmation hearings. This is because Trump will choose a candidate who supports the billionaires and their corporations, somebody who will not want to say in public, “Yes, I believe that Amazon.com is a person deserving of Constitutional rights, including freedom of speech and religious choice, and yes when Amazon.com and Microsoft and any corporations spend money on politics this is Constitutionally protected free speech and the founding father’s believed it to be true.”

All Republican nominees to the court have pretended to believe this even though corporations are creations of state charters and have no ability to speak or spend money. Some rich person has to do all of this for corporations, and corporations are the center of billionaire financial power. Thus, Trump’s nominee will want to give the billionaires greater Constitutional rights than you and I have via their corporations. The Dem leadership also wants this.

If the nominee was to say in the confirmation hearings corporations (ie General Motors and TESLA) are people she will sound very stupid, and hideously biased in favor of the billionaires and their corporations, and therefore undeserving of the position since you cannot find any founding father who ever said or wrote anything so stupid.

The game is rigged folks, and not for you. It’s a rigged game for the billionaire club only. Divide and conquer the masses using social issues while ensuring the billionaires and their corporations can financially rape the 99 percent via their corporations and their corrupted Supreme Court is the name of the game. The leaders of both major political parties are playing the same game.

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U.S. democracy and the U.S. Constitution will sorely miss Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She was one of the few honest judges fighting against a political coup that has taken place, whereby the US Constitution and U.S. democracy has been overthrown by the billionaires wing of the United States Supreme Court. This vicious attack has been ongoing for several decades now.

Now, one of the great defenders of the Constitution will likely be replaced by a corporate hack willing to say and do anything to deprive the vast majority of citizens of their constitutional rights by giving more to the rich and their corporations.

The corporate/billionaire wing of the court has been waging class warfare against the 99 percent for forty years in violation of the US Constitution and legal precedence. The corrupt activist members of the Court who blithely favor billionaire money, wealth and power over all else will now find it easier to subvert the United States Constitution once again by whatever corrupt means is necessary. Those justices corrupted by powerful vested interests are John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, and Brent Kavanaugh. 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 the vast majority 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. Imagine, these corrupt justices believe General Motors, Amazon, Microsoft, Exxon and Apple Inc. are people. These justices are not ignorant little boys. They know exactly what they are doing. Time and again they have given more Constitutional rights to the billionaires via their corporations and this diminishes the Constitutional rights of all others. The corrupt members of the court know this.

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 and are made up of inanimate objects (like computers, buildings and desks) glued together by state charters. 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 mentioned “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 U.S. Constitution, which gives only individual person’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 decisions in this regard is to hand greater constitutional rights to this legislatively created tool of the rich, giving the 1 percent greater power than the founding fathers wanted or been able to imagine.

For example, 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. Ginsberg knew this was not true and that is why she dissented against Citizens United. She knew that nowhere in any founding father’s writings is such a power to be found. Nowadays, and as planned by the Justice Roberts and his corrupt collaborators, 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 with corporate leaders whose political aims were advanced by the decision,” according to Common Cause.

The idea of conservative judges being original intent judges is a fairy tale used to substantiate their other fairy tales that justify rulings with the deliberate intention of redistributing income, wealth, constitutional rights and political power from the 99 percent to the billionaires and their corporations. The fairy tale lies that properties, and only properties which are united under a state issued corporate charter, is a person with constitutional rights takes far greater imagination than even a genius fairy tale creator such as J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series. Our guns, bullets, teddy bears, cars, as well as our self-owned businesses, and our houses do not have constitutional rights, but the collective property we call shares in corporations gives that property constitutional rights, and the billionaires far greater constitutional rights through their corporations.

As for the argument that the constitution provides associations of people with constitutional rights, and corporations are associations of people and that somehow ownership of a corporation makes you an association with hundreds of thousands and perhaps millions of other shareholders you will never meet and never know, much less associate wirh, is a complete made-up lie since the constitution only provides individual rights.

One of the great enemies of the Constitution and U.S. democracy is U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. He gave sworn testimony in his confirmation hearings before the US Senate that he would respect legal precedents. Other than abortion issues, he, obviously, lied under oath. Think about it. A known perjurer in now the Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court. He has shown that his job is to overthrow the US Constitution on behalf of his class solidarity, on behalf of the billionaires, just like the other corrupt corporate members of the U.S. 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, such as corporations, 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 five and soon to be six 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 billionaires, generated massive income and wealth inequalities, and these activist class warriors have succeeded against the original intent of our founding fathers.

We the people will sorely miss you Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as the dictatorship of the billionaires use their Supreme Court, which is their primary weapon in their class war against the rest of us, to tighten their grip on both major political parties, as well as government at all levels.

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The news media has touted Kamala Harris as a good selection by Joe Biden. She will rally African-American supporters to vote in greater numbers for Biden, the press has touted. In reality, the very existence of Donald Trump will rally African-American supporters. Harris was selected by Biden because that is who the billionaires that control Biden wanted. The last person they wanted was Elizabeth Warren, who Biden could never seriously consider to be his running mate, because the billionaires opposed her.

The Guardian recently reported that “Harris was the early frontrunner for the VP slot in part precisely because her political record reveals only spotty and inconsistent ideological commitments. During her own presidential bid in the primary cycle, she moved left on Medicare for All, Bernie Sanders’ signature issue, but then backtracked right. She claimed to have evolved her thinking on law enforcement and incarceration in one instance, then touted her record as a prosecutor in another. Harris was by no means alone in this ideological shape shifting: she was no more willing to alter her positions for the sake of convenience than, say Mayor Pete Buttigieg. But the shifts signaled that what Harris was selling to the American people was not so much an ideological commitment, like Sanders and Elizabeth Warren to her left, or Amy Klobuchar to her right. What Harris was running on was more cultural and affective. She was not selling a policy platform. She was selling her character; namely, the carefully projected impression that she was thick skinned, intelligent and unwilling to suffer fools.”

Like Biden, Harris is the choice of the billionaires who control the Democratic Party, willing to sell her soul to do whatever it takes, and for whomever it is necessary, to feed her ambitions. She has not been selected to be Biden’s VP because of her commitment to the welfare of the vast majority of Americans.

The selection of Harris may decrease Democratic turnout at the polls in closely fought states as progressive voters shun Biden, who has voted to export millions of American jobs, and redistributed trillions of dollars from working Americans to the idle rich during his time in Washington, and Harris, who appears to bend to the whims of the idle rich.

As such, Biden’s best campaign issue is Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The Supreme Court Justice is ailing and may not make it past the next four years. A conservative nominee under Trump will provide more constitutional rights to the mouse clicking rich and perhaps overturn Roe Vs. Wade. No doubt, Biden and Harris prefer the rich receive more constitutional rights than everybody else, but progressives do not.

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In the 1920s, Argentina was a nation with one of the great middle classes in the world, equal with most Europe nations. Then corruption sunk in and now Argentina is a nation filled with desperate people. We may be at such a tipping point in the United States.

The rich learned a valuable lesson from the Great Depression. Never let the stock market drop in value for too long. Otherwise, their economic and political clout will falter and open up the door for allowing democracy for the vast majority of citizens. Political corruption is so massive in the United States that members of both major political parties enacted the CARES Act in March 28, 2020. This was a $2.2 trillion economic rescue package that was actually a rescue package of over $6 trillion, most of which is making the top 0.01 percent of the U.S. population richer, while keeping political and judicial corruption at elevated levels.

The rich are receiving $4.95 trillion from the $2.2 trillion stimulus bill. You read that right. The $2.2 trillion includes more than $450 billion for large corporations, allegedly in loans. The bill includes a proviso that the Federal Reserve can print up to ten times that amount and lend that $4.5 trillion with a nod and a wink to large corporations. The combined profits of all US corporations in 2018 and 2019 were slightly over $4 trillion before taxes. The rich and their corporations, in other words, are getting more than two years’ worth of profits from the stimulus bill. This money will mainly go to the the 100 to 150 largest corporations, which will then funnel the money to the billionaires and multi-millionaires.

The Fed has been buying corporate bonds by the truckload every day. This money has been used in a large degree to providing dividend payments and keeping share prices up, which enriches the billionaires.

The primary purpose of this program has been to stifle democracy for the vast majority of citizens. If the stock markets had been allowed to continue falling in March 2000, the political, judicial and economic power of the rich would have evaporated and opened the door for democracy for the rest of us.

With the coming of the Great Depression and the New Deal programs of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR), Kim Phillips-Fein writes in her book Invisible Hands: The Businessmen’s Crusade Against the New Deal, “Many of these programs were measures that American’s business class had resisted for a generation, and the government enacted them at a moment when the power and prestige of business was at its nadir. The employer’s paradise had been lost.” The rich wanted it back in a big way. So they organized over a few generations and brought us to the economic disaster that has been unleashed upon us now.

The 1 percent derive 2/3rds to 100 percent of their income and wealth from owning shares of corporations. During the Depression, they had lost their power and prestige because corporate profits and the stock market had dropped 90+ percent from 1929 to 1933. This opened the door for FDR’s innovative socialist programs, such as Social Security, unemployment insurance, the minimum wage, controlling Wall Street’s depravity with the Securities and Exchange Commission, raising tax rates on the rich so they had less money with which to corrupt all three branches of the federal government and which also functioned to set maximum take-home wages, etc…. The rich appear to have learned a lesson the rest of us have plainly not learned.

The stock market must not be allowed to fall in value for the billionaires to continue their dictatorship of the United States. Both major political parties, the Federal Reserve, the United States Supreme Court, they’re all corrupted to the bone and the only thing allowing the 1 percent to continue corrupting government at all levels is the stock market, the fortunes of which have been disconnected from the real economy for at least a dozen years, and probably more. So long at the rich can use the Fed and the federal government to keep the value of the stock market disconnected from real world economic fundamentals, the door is open to enter that Argentine moment for the vast majority of United States citizens. We will become a nation of desperate people, if we have not already become so.

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Divide and conquer; nobody has done it better than the billionaires who have controlled the United States via their two major political parties and their Supreme Court for the last forty years. But first a few comments.

I wonder if the downturn of the stock market on June 9-11, 2020 was just a correction, although I am suspicious it marks an increase in market volatility on its way toward the intersection where the real downtrodden economy meets the robust Wall Street market. In which case, we could be looking at a rapid or slow and long-term decline in share prices.

I do not think a lot of people understand that we are at the beginning of a recession and not at the end. I suspect that many people were buying the stocks of corporations for the last two weeks that are going bankrupt (think Hertz) because of desperation of their financial situations since 40 percent of US adults do not have $400 to cover an emergency, not in savings, not in credit cards or other assets, if I remember correctly.

I have read and listened to many experts on the rise of the stock market since March while the economy has tanked, but I have not heard how income and wealth inequality has driven the stock markets to record highs by redistributing trillions of dollars from the 99 to the 1 percent over the last forty years, nor do I hear how financially desperate many people are; not even those who are buying bankrupt Hertz and J.C. Penny shares. Those subjects are not allowed by the billionaires who own all the major news sources.

I have a good neighbor and he just got laid off from his job and fears losing his house. I see desperation written all over his face and in the tone of his voice when I speak with him. I see the middle class families in nice cars and wearing nice clothes rummaging through the recycle bins the night before the trucks pick that stuff up. Most, but not all of these folks, did not begin their rummaging pilgrimages until March. I watched videos a few days ago of the first food lines for the middle class since the Great Depression of 1929-40, a line of 600+ cars deep, people in their new Toyota Lexus’s, and other high end newer cars, who needed to gather free food in order to feed themselves. 20 to 40 million people are unemployed and all the congress would do was save the billionaires. See The CARES Act; the Rich get $4.75 Trillion and We Get the Crumbs.

We are at the beginning of a recession that will be severe because 40 years of the greed of sociopathic rich folks who control both major political parties and the Supreme Court, and who can never get enough money, and far more than they could ever spend, and who derive almost, and in many cases, all, of their income and wealth from the ownership of corporate shares, either through capital gains, dividends or corporate bonds.

Then you have the gullible grassroots on the political right who have been led to think the communists are controlling things; and then you have the gullible on the left who think the Democratic Party leaders actually give a rat’s ass about them; for the grassroots of both the left and right, the reality is unhidden and staring straight into their eyes.

All you need to do is look at Nancy Pelosi’s Heroes Act, the fifth stimulus since coronavirus shut down the U.S.; this legislation extends the government’s extra $600 unemployment insurance per week through the end of the year, and provides other income to the 99 percent too, although much of the money in the proposed legislation will still go to the rich. Pelosi waited to push the Heroes Act through the Democratic controlled House after both Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Trump said they were not interested in a fifth stimulus. Pelosi knew the Heroes Act was grand theatre for the blind faithful even though she could have easily negotiated more money for the 99 percent with McConnell and Trump during the first, second, and third bailouts, when McConnell and Trump were desperate to save the billionaires who pull their strings, which happen to be the same strings they use to pull Nancy Pelosi with. She did not negotiate for us little folks. Did she?

The billionaires pulled the strings of Pelosi, McConnell and Trump to come up with the notorious CARES Act, which bailed out the rich and their corporations to the tune of $4.75 trillion while throwing crumbs at the masses, which made for good theatrical effect. The billionaire’s corporate news media did their duty and only reported on the crumbs and how great they were.

As for the grassroots on the right, the CARES ACT alone should tell them how insanely wrong they are to assume Democratic Party politicians are controlled by communists, and the CARES Act should tell them that Republican politicians would not give a snail’s fart to help them out during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. And you would think the blind followers of the Democrats could figure out that the Democratic Party politicians have not cared about them since Jimmy Carter was president.

The voters of both sides, you would think, would by now figure out that both Democratic and Republican Party politicians threw them overboard forty years ago. It only takes one thing: using your brains to put two and two together.

Billionaires own this nation, both political parties, they have at least five United States Supreme Court judges in their back pockets, along with a lot of other judges; they own the media and only tell you what they want you to believe, and most of you believe the propaganda and the lies used to turn the grassroots of the right and the left against each other.

No, this economic crisis will not be over soon. This is going to be a long economic nightmare. The rich have gotten richer while the rest of us have been drained financially dryer during the last few months alone.

We have to figure out how, as a people and as a nation, we want to come out of this crisis. Lurching forward into another economic wasteland like Argentina is for the vast majority of its people; or with a strong political change that reins in the obvious corruption at all levels of the U.S. government, and ensuring a government of, by and for the people, rather than just continuing to impoverish ourselves under the dictatorship of the billionaires.

We have a collective choice to make and the time has come to cast aside our petty differences and organize. The 1 percent were taking at least 37 percent of the income produced in this nation in 2019, up from 8 percent in 1980. They are probably raking in over 40 percent so far this year. Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates owned more wealth than the bottom 50 percent of Americans, and that was before the crisis began. They are richer now.

If our situation continues on this path, the rich will steal even more income and wealth than is currently the case. Then we will be a nation like Argentina, once boasting a prosperous middle class on a level with the best European nations, and now with a population of mostly desperate people.

In the USA, the dictatorship of the billionaires will continue and become stronger unless the grassroots of both sides come together and realize they have economic issues that bind them. Until that day, the dictatorship of the billionaires will continue to impoverish us all even more so than today.

The billionaires will continue to use their corporate media to divide us and make permanent their conquest and subversion of our democracy, our Constitution, and our governments at all levels, local, state and federal.

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Many corporations pay no taxes, and actually receive tax rebates from the government, and much of this tax avoidance is passed on to rich investors in the form of capital gains, dividends and bond interest. Corporate tax avoidance is only one way the rich get richer at the expense of the rest of us. There are a ton of others ways this occurs. Amazon paid no federal income tax in 2018 and received a $129 million tax refund on taxes it did not pay. That $129 million and the unpaid tax money goes straight into the pockets of billionaire shareholders. Click here for other ways the government is making the rich wealthier at your expense.

Reuters reported last week that the US government is “giving millions of dollars in American taxpayer money via the CARES Act to a number of corporations that have avoided paying U.S. tax.

“In all, Reuters’ analysis of public data found around 110 publicly traded companies have each received $4 million or more in emergency aid from the program.

Of those subject to taxes,” which means profitable, “12 of the companies recently used offshore havens to cut their tax bills, the analysis found. All together, these 12 received more than $104 million in loans from U.S. taxpayers. Seven of them paid no U.S. tax at all for the past year.

The program, which provides low-interest loans that are forgivable if companies use most of the money to pay employees, has been widely criticised for problems ranging from early bottlenecks that prevented small businesses from receiving money, to confusion that led millions of dollars to be handed out to relatively affluent firms.

The Treasury Department declined to comment.

Of the almost 110 recipients of $4 million or more, Reuters found 46 paid no U.S. corporate tax for the last year.”

This is just another example of the massive corruption of both major political parties, the Supreme Court, and the Federal Reserve. The billionaires control them all.

 

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As I mentioned back in March 2020, the economy is in free fall but the billionaires are thriving, and stocks of big private equity firms are soaring dramatically higher. As usual, the billionaires have been the real beneficiaries of the federal government’s massive rescue efforts. 

Ten weeks into the worst crisis in 90 years, the government’s effort to save the economy has been both a spectacular success and a tremendous failure.

Two events showed this better than anything. On Friday, May 8th, 2020, the government reported that 20.5 million people had lost their jobs in April. That is massive damage to the middle class. The rich receive 2/3rds to 100 percent of their income from holding corporate stock. The stock market rallied with the news of the 20.5 million lost jobs. They are likely expecting trillions more from the Federal government and the Federal Reserve. 

The second event happened on Thursday, May 14th. The government reported the middle class lost another 3.8 million jobs, and the stock market rallied again both that day and the following day. 

If you’re looking for the billionaire’s decision on who has won the four government and Federal Reserve bailouts, consider these returns: Shares of Apollo Group, the giant private equity firm, have soared 80 percent from their lows. The stock of Blackstone, another private equity behemoth, has risen 50 percent. The Nasdaq Composite Index has gotten back nearly all of its losses. 

 

ProPublica reports that billionaire clubs such as “Apollo and Blackstone, disproportionately the wealthiest and most influential, have been insured by the world’s most powerful central bank. This largess is boundless and without conditions. “Even if a second wave of outbreaks were to occur,” JPMorgan economists wrote in a celebratory note on May 9th, “the Fed has explicitly indicated that there is no dollar limit and no danger of running out of ammunition.”

“Many aspects of the coronavirus bailout that assist individuals or small businesses, meanwhile, are short-term or contingent. Aid to small businesses comes with conditions on what they can do with the money. The sums allocated by the CARES Act for stimulus and expanded unemployment insurance are vast by historical standards. But the relief they provide didn’t prevent tens of millions from losing their jobs. The assistance runs out in weeks, and the jobless live at the mercy of a divided Congress, which will decide whether that help gets extended and, if so, for how long.”

Meanwhile, the billionaire’s investment clubs can expect additional trillions of dollars from the Federal Reserve and U.S. government. Picture the CEOs of these firms manipulating puppets by a string, then picture Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell and you’ll understand how politics work. 

ProPublica went on, “The Fed’s efforts, universally praised for their boldness and speed, have come in two stages. First, in February and March, the central bank shored up the capital market “liquidity,” which marks how willing investors are to buy and sell. The central bank’s role is to be a “lender of last resort,” working through banks so they can get money to companies and people.

The second stage of the Fed’s extraordinary rescue goes beyond liquidity. It has said it will buy assets it has never bought before. For almost 100 years, the Fed purchased only government bonds. Now it has announced a wide variety of programs to buy various forms of corporate and other debt, either by direct lending, by buying bonds, or buying loans.”

The mere announcement that the Fed would do this had an immediate effect, spurring the boom in corporate borrowing. For example, if Amazon issued a bond costing $1 trillion at face value and it comes due in five years. The Fed simply buys the bond and Amazon gets $1 trillion from the Fed. When the bond comes due in five years,  the Fed will simply print up the money and pay itself. Meanwhile, Amazon and its mostly billionaire and multi-millionaire shareholders divvy up the trillion dollars among themselves. 

ProPublica reported, “The Fed didn’t stop with the most solid, safest corporate stalwarts. In early April, it also announced something unprecedented. The central bank said it would buy junk bonds, debt issued by fragile companies, many of which already have crushing debt loads. Sure enough, junk bonds roared back and their cousins, leveraged loans, revived.

In doing so, the Fed backstopped the riskiest markets in the world. The most dangerous investments in the world, it should go without saying, are not owned by middle- and working-class Americans, to whom every politician pledges fealty. No, they are owned by the most risk-seeking investors in the world, the ones that need the highest returns: private equity firms and hedge funds.

The Fed has to work through the credit markets. The House and Senate have much greater powers, the power of the purse and of legislation. Congress could have passed laws that directed help in different ways. Europe has essentially nationalized payrolls, a much more direct form of aid to people who have lost the ability to work. However, the rotted corruption of the U.S. Federal government has seen it reluctant to use sufficient fiscal measures going back to the 2008 rescue.

What happens if the economy doesn’t come back soon? If the health crisis does not pass quickly, or if the economy does not roar back, the Fed’s actions might prove inadequate. But investors shouldn’t be too worried. They have been taught they can count on the government to rescue them from their bad investment decisions, and so they can make plenty of bad investment decisions. 

The Bailout is Working for the Rich-ProPublica

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The United States Federal Reserve Bank (the Fed) is bailing out the billionaires again. This time the Fed is making certain that losses suffered by hedge funds are reversed. Hedge funds are not banks. They are private billionaire investment clubs which manage investments for clients and which cannot have more than 99 clients. This is why many hedge funds will not take on clients who are unwilling or unable to invest $10 million or more with them.

On March 16, 2020 the Wall Street Journal reported Hedge Funds Hit by Losses in “‘Basis Trade.’ A wide swath of hedge funds was hit by the recent unwinding of the so-called basis trade last week. The basis trade is a long-running investment that seeks to exploit pricing gaps between Treasury securities and futures.” This is a useless activity in which nothing is made, no services and no goods are produced.

The Journal went on, “The Federal Reserve rushed to repair disorderly trading conditions in the Treasury market last Thursday.” Translated, that means the Fed rushed in to make certain these billionaire investor Hedge Funds did not lose money. Not until 2008 did the Fed rush in to save billionaires from their stupid investment losses through banks and other forms of business, like hedge funds.

The Journal went on, “The Fed’s intervention Thursday and over the weekend ended up aiding Citadel and many (hedge) funds deploying the basis trade, said people familiar with the matter.” That means whatever the Fed did made certain rich folks did not lose money. Citadel manages about $30 billion for 99 or less clients.

Guess who works for Citadel. None other than Ben Bernanke, the former Chairman of the Fed, and the person who turned the Fed into a money laundering organization for billionaires back in 2008-09. The New York Times reported back in 2015, “For eight years, Ben S. Bernanke, the former Federal Reserve chairman, was steward of the world’s largest economy. Now he has signed on to advise one of Wall Street’s biggest hedge funds. Mr. Bernanke will become a senior adviser to Citadel, the $25 billion hedge fund founded by the billionaire Kenneth C. Griffin. He will offer his analysis of global economic and financial issues to Citadel’s investment committees. He will also meet with Citadel’s investors around the globe. It is the latest and most prominent move by a Washington insider through the revolving door into the financial industry.”

“In an interview, Mr. Bernanke said he was sensitive to the public’s anxieties about the “revolving door” between Wall Street and Washington and chose to go to Citadel, in part, because it “is not regulated by the Federal Reserve and I won’t be doing lobbying of any sort.”

It is odd that this billionaire investor club and other hedge funds are getting bailed out by the Fed since the Fed does not regulate them. The Fed is simply printing up money by the billions and rescuing them and their clients from their losses. Why is the Federal Reserve ensuring that billionaire investor clubs do not lose money, and how does Bernanke’s employment depend on the Fed’s actions?

Hedge funds, like Citadel, do not make produce anything that you use, such as machines, food and water. They simply gamble with other people’s billions.

Why is it that when rich people make incredibly stupid investment decisions the government and or the Fed is always there to bail them out? The answer is we do not have a democracy. We have plutocracy in which the rich rule via both of their major political parties.

The billionaires reap the benefits of the financial markets when the markets are going up but do not have to share in the losses with the 99 percent when the markets are heading down.

Historically, the Fed was supposed to serve as a central bank by providing short term loans to banks when necessary and only if the needy banks had “good collateral.” Its job is also to keep inflation and unemployment low using interest rates, and buy U.S. debt when nobody else wants to buy them. That changed in 2008 when the bank under the direction of Ben Bernanke gave $26 trillion to twelve banks, four of them foreign. That is when the Fed became a money laundering criminal enterprise for the wealthy. For that report click The CoronaVirus Stimulus Bill: The Rich Get 5 Trillion, We Get Crumbs

 

 

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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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I paid my wealth tax of almost $3000 earlier this month. Doing so left me broke for a couple of weeks. This wealth tax is called a property tax, but the land you own is part of your wealth and my property tax could just as easily be called a wealth tax since it taxes part of my wealth.

Until recently, progressive taxation had been part of the fabric of American democracy for over a century. The idea the rich can pay more is quite biblical, just ask Jesus. Somebody who has $100 billion in wealth is going to pay $3 billion or so in tax, and some of them are acting as though the taxman is going to swing an ax into their billion-dollar genitals if the tax legislation is enacted.
These billionaires have rigged the economy in their favor by using their billions to corrupt both major political parties and the federal government in the process. They have used corruption to redistribute trillions of dollars from working folks to themselves in the process. This is why three people (Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Jeff Bezos) own more wealth than the bottom half of the U.S. population. This is why the 1 percent have gained $21 trillion since 1989 and the bottom half of U.S. citizens have lost $900 billion (See  the-corrupting-billionaires-have-gotten-richer-by-21-trillion-since-1989)

Exporting millions of jobs via trade agreements alone sent trillions of dollars from working people to the billionaires over the last forty years. The difference between the old higher US pay and the new lower third world pay goes straight into the pockets of the billionaires via higher corporate profits, rising dividends, and surging share prices.

Corruption and class warfare against the 99 percent are running wild in all three branches of government, and that tiny progressive tax is a step in the right direction that might help put an end to it and restore U.S. democracy in the process.

I do not agree with everything Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders propose. However, I agree with former President Barack Obama when he said: “Income inequality is the defining challenge of our time.” He said it one time. Then somebody likely took him to the side, told him never to say it again, and he never did. Now he makes $400,000 a speech, which is $150,000 more than Bill and Hillary Clinton make.

We can put an end to this type of revolving-door corruption and other forms of political corruption. The wealth tax is just a tiny step in the right direction.

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