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Posts Tagged ‘corruption’

The golden rule is at work; he who has the gold makes the rules that determine income and wealth distribution. That is why income inequality has grown so enormous worldwide. The rich are getting wealthier while the rest of us toil in financial purgatory, even the European and US middle class.

The golden rule is also why the global economy created a record number of billionaires last year, exacerbating inequality amid a weakening of workers’ rights and a corporate push to maximize shareholder returns, charity organization Oxfam International said in a new report.

The folks at Oxfam define severe poverty as those people living on $1.25 or less a day. and according to Oxfam estimates, about 1/3 of the world’s population lives at or below that level.

The world’s 2043 billionaires saw their wealth surge by $762 billion, which is enough money to end extreme poverty seven times over, according to Oxfam.

According to separate data compiled by Bloomberg, the top 500 billionaires’ net worth (wealth) grew 24% to $5.38 trillion in 2017, while the world’s richest person, Amazon.com Inc.’s Jeff Bezos, saw a gain of $33.7 billion.

“The billionaire boom is not a sign of a thriving economy but a symptom of a failing economic system,” said Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam International. “The people who make our clothes, assemble our phones and grow our food are being exploited.” Those people are also the folks without the gold with which to purchase political power in the so-called democracies of the world.

Oxfam had published the report as global leaders, chief executives and bankers arrived in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting. This is an event in which the rich of the world share plans of how to rip the rest of us off. A spokesperson for Oxfam, however, noted “that many of the world’s elite say they’re concerned about income inequality, but most governments are “shamefully failing” to improve the matter. That’s because the politicians managing the affairs of those governments are being paid to do nothing to rectify growing poverty throughout the world, and they are being paid to ensure the billionaires gain more and more of the world’s income and wealth. This is called corruption.

Oxfam called on governments to limit shareholder and executive returns while ensuring workers receive a living wage. It also recommended eliminating the gender pay gap and raising taxes on the wealthy, among other suggestions.”

“People are ready for change,” Byanyima said. “They want a limit on the power and the wealth which sits in the hands of so few.” In addition, p0eople want to limit the effects of the golden rule which allows the rich to control the distribution of income and wealth and send into their bank accounts the vast majority of income and wealth created.

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Infamous Drug Cartels

USA Today reported in its February 13, 2018, edition that “The five biggest opioid manufacturers shelled out more than $10 million to patient advocacy groups, professional medical societies and affiliated individuals – who then “echoed and amplified” messages that encouraged use of those highly addictive drugs, which set the stage for the opioid epidemic.

That is according to a Senate committee investigation, released Monday, that examined the financial ties between the pharmaceutical industry and outside groups from 2012 through 2017.”

The five corporations investigated by the committed were Purdue Pharma, Jassen Pharmaceuticals, Mylan, Depomed and Insys Therapeutics. In terms of global sales in 2015, these are the world’s biggest opioid drug makers.

These corporations gave their millions to such recipients as U.S. Pain Foundation, the National Pain Foundation and the Academy fo Integrative Pain Management. The report finds that the American Academy of Pain Medicine and American Pain Society “…promoted opioids as safe and effective for treating chronic pain and minimized the risk of addiction.” The report also points out that “…the Academy of Pain Medicine and the Center for Practical Bioethics spoke out against federal efforts to limit opioid prescribing.” Apparently, the bioethics of those who receive industry money is on the side of the industry. The industry and all their paid flunkies and flunkie organizations are as corrupt as the representatives of the US government, which is the most corrupt government in the industrialized world.

Note in the very first quote above listed “affiliated individuals” as recipients who received some of that $10 million in cash. Those folks are called medical doctors. Apparently, they are being paid to prescribe opioids to patients.

The day the report was released, bad citizen and opioid manufacturer Purdue announced: “…its employees will no longer visit doctors’ offices to pitch opioids, and it will cut its sales force by half to 200.” We will never know how many pharmaceutical salespeople offered thousands of doctors a little under the table money on behalf of their employers to prescribe opioids with abandon and without common sense to unsuspecting patients, and all for a little extra and perhaps unreported cash.

Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill, who launched the investigation, “called Purdue’s announcement “‘a major step forward’ but said the Senate report is ‘the tip of the iceberg’ in terms of how drug company money shapes health care policy debates and legislative outcomes.” In other words, Big Pharma is still calling the shots in the halls of Congress and in the white house, as well as determining what is said in the corporate news media and what politicians of both major political parties say.

The greater the opioid crisis in fueling addiction, the greater are the profits of the big drug manufacturers. Affluent shareholders and millionaire top executive officers would be far less wealthy without the opioid addictions they have created through the use of their money and corruption.

Mylan’s share price rose from $6.26 in 2008 to $42.14 on February 16, 2018. Depomed’s share price rose from $1.49 in 2008 to $7.44 on February 16, 2018. Isays has dropped 400+ percent since 2008. Janssen and Purdue are privately held companies. Without the sale of opioids, these companies would be in far worse financial positions nowadays.

The rich have corrupted your government, disarmed the US Constitution in the process, and created an addiction that redistributes the health of members of the 99 percent straight into their own pockets via greater corporate profits, rising share prices and surging dividends. The affluent and their corporations have fueled the crisis, and not a soul that I am aware of is going to prison for bribery or conspiracy to create a public health crisis.

That is how corrupt your government has become over the last thirty-five years. Corporate profits, share prices, and dividends are more important than human health. Just ask any Republican politician in Washington D.C. and most Democratic Party members, as well.

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The corporate news media does not want you to know a lot of things, and this includes such liberal media outlets as the Washington Post and the New York Times, as well as all of the conservative media, such as the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post. Democratic and Republican Party politicians also do not want you to know certain things.

When Supreme Court Cheif Justice John Roberts went through his Senate confirmation hearings, Democratic senators grilled him on his abortion stance, but never on his insistence that “corporations are people” and “spending corporate money is free speech.” There was never any question asked about the latter two issues, although both are significantly more important to the vast majority of citizens than the abortion issue. The same was true of the confirmation hearings for Justice Neil Gorsuch. The abortion issue was just a distraction, and deliberately so.

The rich, as well as their news media and their politicians of both major political parties, do not want you to know how your legal system and the US Constitution have been undermined in their favor by the so-called justices of the United States Supreme Court. It is all about massive corruption and redistributing income, wealth and political power from the 99 to the 1 percent. They do not want you to know these things.

Below is the editorial the rich, their corporate media, and their politicians don’t want you to see.

A political coup has taken place and much of the US Constitution has been overthrown. Now the corporate wing of the court appears ready to bury more constitutional rights of the 99 percent under a flurry of lies and make-believe.

On February 26, of 2018 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. If successful, 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 unanimously 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 that the majority corporate wing of the court will vote yes in the Janus case.

These corrupt activist members of the United States Supreme Court blithely favor conservative money, wealth and power over all else, and they 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 legal issues, they claim they follow the original intent of the founding fathers. Nothing could be further from the truth.

All five have shown that their jobs are to rob the 99 percent of as many of their constitutional rights as possible by giving more constitutional 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, which is why their rulings have coincided and aided the massive redistribution of income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent in the United States over the last four and half decades.

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, but they are corrupt to the bone.

They know publicly traded corporations did not come out of the wombs of women. They know corporations are simply an idea of a form of business structure given legal rules to exist 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 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 US Constitution, which gives only human individual’s legal rights. Ideas of business models were never given any constitutional rights by anybody until conservative Supreme Court justices decided it was so.

Since the rich control the mechanisms of publicly traded corporations, the court’s decision in this regard is to hand greater constitutional rights to these legislatively created tools of the rich, giving the 1 percent greater power than the founding fathers wanted or were ever able to imagine. Then the corrupt wing of the court issued another class war decision.

The activists of the Supreme Court declared in its 2010 Citizen’s United ruling that corporations were exercising their constitutionally protected free speech rights when they spent money on political advertisements, but nowhere in the United States Constitution was such power granted or even recognized. Nowhere in any founding father’s writings was such power to be found. Now corporate advertisements are drowning out the free speech of all others, especially during election seasons.

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. These two so-called justices were clearly biased in this case, and they voted accordingly, rather than recuse themselves.

In addition, Citizen’s United eliminated one hundred years of campaign finance laws. United States Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who voted in favor of Citizen’s United, 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; the Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court is a well-known perjurer. His job appears to be to overthrow the US Constitution on behalf of the rich, just like the other corrupt corporate members of the US Supreme Court.

These activist justices have been creating make-believe stuff up 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 numerous 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 against the 99 percent on behalf of the rich by subverting the US Constitution. Doing so has allowed for greater political power and additional constitutional rights for the wealthy and the court’s activist class warriors have succeeded against the original intent of our founding fathers.

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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 United States Federal Reserve Bank issued a report in September 2017 showing that the top 1 percent of US income earners now own almost twice as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent of Americans. Notice the corporate media did not cover this report. They did not want us to know this stuff.

Anyway, wealth is defined as assets, such as stocks, bonds, futures options, houses, cars, clothes, trinkets and such.

The graph above is straight from the Federal Reserve Bulletin. Notice the bottom 90 percent have seen their wealth drop from nearly 38 percent of the total wealth in 1989 to 23 percent today, a 40 percent drop. Meanwhile, the 1 percent has seen their wealth grow from just under 30 percent in 1989 to 38.6 percent today. The 1 percent also own more wealth than those people among the 90 to 99 percent, but just barely.

The reason the 1 percent has gained so much wealth while the 90 percent has lost it is that the rich are stealing it from everybody else via their corruption of both major political parties, and such corrupt politicians as Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, Orrin Hatch, Paul Ryan, and Ron Wyden.

In the same report, Federal Reserve researchers discovered the rich stole a record-high 23.8% of the overall US created income in 2016 (See graph below), up from 8 percent in 1980. However, the current figure appears to be understated. At least one report shows the rich are stealing 37+ percent of the total income produced in the United States. The Fed’s report showed the bottom 90% of families now make less than half of the country’s income. That figure slipped to 49.7% in 2016, down by more than 20% since 1992 (It is likely the drop is greater according to another study).

The reason why the billionaires are getting wealthier and the rest of us are becoming poorer is because of such things as trade agreements via political corruption, privatization scams, tax cuts for the rich, unrestricted campaign finance donations, mandatory testing of public school students K-12, student loans, Federal Reserve and US government rescue of mortgage-backed bondholders by the tens of trillions of dollars (See The $26 Trillion Dollar Bailout to Save the 1 Percent, a totally corrupt corporate wing of the US Supreme Court (John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, and Anthony Kennedy),  etc…. Corruption in US politics have not been this bad since the Gilded Age, and this is how the rich are getting richer by stealing from the rest of us.

Millions of US jobs have been exported since 1992, thanks to trade treaties negotiated to ensure US corporations can export jobs to low wage nations, as well as create jobs in these poverty-wage nations rather than here. The difference between the old higher US wages and the new lower extreme poverty wages in Mexico (where the minimum wage is $4.70 a day), China, Bangladesh, Vietnam and elsewhere goes straight into the already fat wallets of the well-to-do parasites of the millionaire and billionaire classes.

The job losers (the producers) might get unemployment insurance if they are lucky. The rich take their stolen loot and purchase wealth, such as stocks and bonds. The job losers often have to sell their assets to cover their expenses as they search for new jobs that typically pay less than what they once earned.

This is a nice income and wealth redistribution scam that every Democratic and Republican senator and member of the House of Representatives know very well. Every president since and including Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama have known this scam.

The billionaires continued their war against the 99 percent when the US Senate passed their tax cut for the rich and their corporations. And so the war continues against the 99.5 percent. This is class warfare at its most one-sided.

You can find the report from the Federal Reserve at https://www.federalreserve.gov/publications/files/scf17.pdf. The graphs are located on pages 11 and 12 if I remember correctly.

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Monsanto has released evidence of corporate corruption on a massive scale.

Newly released internal Monsanto documents are creating tremendous controversy outside the United States (cause it isn’t being reported here), providing fresh fuel for a heated global debate over whether or not the agricultural chemical giant suppressed information about the potential dangers of its Roundup herbicide and relied on U.S. regulators for help.

More than seventy-five documents, including discussions about payments to scientists, were posted for public viewing early Tuesday morning by attorneys who are suing Monsanto on behalf of people alleging Roundup caused them or their family members to become ill with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a type of blood cancer. The attorneys posted the documents, which total more than 700 pages, on the website for the law firm Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, one of many firms representing thousands of plaintiffs who are pursuing claims against Monsanto.

When reached for comment, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., one of the plaintiffs’ lawyers said, “This trove marks a turning point in Monsanto’s corporate life. They show Monsanto executives colluding with corrupted EPA officials to manipulate and bury scientific data to kill studies when preliminary data threatened Monsanto’s commercial ambitions, bribing scientists and ghostwriting their publications, and purchasing peer review to conceal information about Roundup’s carcinogenicity, its toxicity, its rapid absorption by the human body, and its horrendous risks to public health and the environment.”

Click here or more on this Monsanto scandal from Ecowatch.

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The billionaires David and Charles Koch now own the Republican Party, which should be called the Death Panel Party for wanting to steal the health care insurance from 23 million US citizens, but that’s another story. These two people have driven the United States out of the Paris Climate Accords, which will prove to be financially beneficial to them, and against the overwhelming majority of US citizens who support the Pact. Think about it.

Two billionaires have overwhelmed the will of a hundred million non-billionaires, which is the majority of voters. That’s how corrupt government has become. Of course, the Koch’s had help, some of which they bought with their dollars.

Twenty-two Republican Senators sent a letter to President Donald Trump last week urging US withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement. Together, these skunks received more than $10 million dollars in campaign funds from fossil fuel interests. In the old days, these campaign contributions would have been called bribes. My how words matter!

The two-page letter was signed by a number of Republican heavyweights from coal/gas/oil-rich states, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Roy Blunt of Missouri, Orrin Hatch of Utah, Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma and Ted Cruz of Texas.

The Guardian newspaper calculated the oil, gas and coal industries bribed the twenty-two senators with a total of $10,694,284 during the last five years. See Death Panel Party Senators Paris Climate Deal Energy Donations-the Guardian

However, that sum does not even come close to a number of undisclosed funds coming from the deep pockets of Charles and David Koch’s coal, oil and gas conglomerate, Koch Industries, and other outside groups.

As the Guardian explains:

“Visible donations to Republicans from those industries exceeded donations to Democrats in the 2016 election cycle by a ratio of 15-to-1, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. And that does not include so-called dark money passed from oil interests such as Koch Industries to general slush funds to re-elect Republicans such as the Senate leadership fund.

“At least $90m in untraceable money has been funneled to Republican candidates from oil, gas and coal interests in the past three election cycles, according to Federal Election Commission disclosures analyzed by the Center for Responsive Politics.”

Jeffrey Sachs, a professor of economics and director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, told his views on Trump’s climate walkout in an interview with Bloomberg News. Sachs referenced the senators’ letter and specifically cast blame on the billionaire oil barons for pulling the strings of Republican party leaders, like they were Koch puppets, who both supported exiting the Paris accord.

“This is the victory paid and carried out for 20 years by two people, David and Charles Koch,” Sachs said. “They have bought and purchased the top of the Republican party. Trump is a tool in this.” In other words, Trump is officially now a puppet of the Koch Brothers in their war against the 99 percent according to Sachs and many others.

The Death Panel Republican Party is funded by the Koch brothers, and it’s funded by the coal industry. The Kochs and Big Coal insisted that Scott Pruitt, the Attorney General of Oklahoma that sued the EPA 19 times on clean air, clean water, soot, mercury issue, become the head of the EPA in our country. They got what they paid for.

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