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Posts Tagged ‘corruption’

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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President Donald Trump admitted on national television a couple days ago that Australia’s universal health care system was vastly superior to the private for profit system of the United States. If Trump knows that, then every major US politician in both major political parties know this, and yet, the US still does not have universal health care. This suggests the only reason the US doesn’t have universal health care is because of the massive US government corruption, which is a function of the corruption of the two major US political parties who dominate the US federal, state and local governments. We in the US have an inefficient but profitable system, though it’s only profitable for a relative few. The rest of us pay the price in higher costs, while the rich profit from it via higher profits, rising share prices, and surging dividends.

How superior is the Australian universal health care system to the USA?

1. Australian life expectancy is over 82 years, compared with 78.5 years in the USA.

2. Australians spend 8.9 percent of their GDP on healthcare compared to 17.7 percent in the USA. The USA has the highest healthcare costs in the entire Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development nations.

I could, of course, go on and on. One thing is clearly certain. The US has the most inefficient healthcare system in the entire developed world, and that is mainly due to political corruption and the financial abilities of those who benefit from this bloated system to control the corrupt US corporate media establishment, allowing them to effectively hide the truth from most of us and play on our fears.

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Last Friday, Brazilian unions ratcheted up the pressure on president Michel Temer Last Friday, Brazilian unions ratcheted up the pressure on president Michel Temer with a nationwide general strike that closed schools, disrupted transport networks and led to clashes with public security in several cities. Thirty-five million Brazilians took part in the strike out of 208 million. Now if only we could get US citizens so united against the massive corruption of both major political parties and the corrupt US government.

Demonstrators in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo blocked key roads with barricades of burning tires on. Riot police used teargas and percussion grenades to try to disperse the crowds and open the routes.

Brazilian media reported protests in 26 states and strikes by teachers, bus drivers, healthcare providers, oil industry workers and public servants.

As night fell on Friday, there were multiple clashes in central Rio between protesters, who set fire to a bus, and riot police, who fired dozens of rounds of tear gas.

The reason for the protests is simple. The corrupt Brazilian government wants to redistribute income from the 99 percent to the 1 percent by cutting pensions and new labor laws that weakened workers rights. This is called a policy of austerity, which is well known to be a failure at economic stimulus. Since austerity is a proven failure, there is no reason to attempt such a remedy of the economic downturn Brazil has fallen into.

According to the Guardian, “Many voters are furious that politicians are insisting on the need for cuts in benefits and public services even as evidence grows that they benefited personally from illegal kickbacks on overinflated contracts.”

Cutting pensions and benefits will only make the economic downturn worse, and this President Temer must know, otherwise he is ignorant, stupid or corrupt. Obviously, we’re looking at “corrupt.”

The Guardian went on, “Eight cabinet ministers have been implicated in the Lava Jato (Car Wash) investigation into corruption at the country’s two biggest companies, Petrobras and Odebrecht. Temer’s approval ratings have slipped into single digits, similar to the level of his predecessor, Rousseff, when she was impeached last year.”

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More than 200,000 people took to the streets in Washington, DC, Saturday April 29th for the People’s Climate March. Tens of thousands more joined via sister marches across the globe, including Japan, the Philippines, New Zealand, Uganda, Kenya, Germany, Greece, United Kingdom, Brazil, Mexico, Costa Rica and more.

In the U.S., more than 370 marches in nearly all 50 states took place, from the town of Dutch Harbor in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands to the streets of Miami, Denver, Los Angeles, Chicago and other major American cities.

A coalition of communities, faith leaders, labor activists, civil rights champions and climate justice advocates led the march while demanding commonsense protections for the air we breathe, the water we drink and the health of the vulnerable communities who have the most to lose under President Trump’s administration.

The battle over climate change is a sticky one. The fossil fuel industry which own plenty of politicians in both major political parties spends millions of dollars a year denying it’s happening, but my rhododendron is now blooming in early December. Twenty-five years ago, it began blooming in late March and early April. Fifteen years ago, it began blooming in January. I also have roses blooming in snowy December, and that is something that never happened in the forty years I’ve lived in this house.

Quite naturally, the war over climate change is a battle over ever increasing profits and share prices. Major corporations and their shareholders, as well as Wall Street (which controls the Democratic Establishment like puppets), want ever increasing profits because this produces ever increasing share prices and dividends. Getting rid of fossil fuels will force the oil corporations out of business, and cut into the profits and share prices of other manufacturers.

This means the battle over climate change is a battle between ultra rich shareholders and millionaire and billionaire CEO’s on the one hand, and the rest of the world’s people on the other. Naturally, the rich and their corporations fund bogus studies showing global warming in not real in order to influence the voters of the 99 percent to believe climate change is a communist plot to destroy the American way of life, when it is really the rich destroying the US middle class way of life. My roses and rhododendron tell me climate change is real, but then, so is the class warfare the rich are waging on the rest of us.

I should point out that the folks at Exxon now admit fossil fuels are causing global warming. The company denied it for decades, but knew as early as the middle of the 1970s that it was happening.

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The fastest growing food segment is organic. More and more people are buying organic foods. That’s because they’re healthier than the GMO garbage the major food companies are selling you.

Costco has been crowned the new king of organic groceries. The company’s sales of organic foods increased by a whopping $1 billion in just 6 months. It’s mind boggling. If that’s not enough, Costco is committed to continue the expansion of their organic offerings. Costco has been quietly beefing up its offerings of organic foods for years.

GMO foods have been linked to a number of health issues, such as tumors and allergies. They’ve also been linked with autism, obesity and a variety of cancers. So more people are making the choice to eat healthy, and Costco is leading the way.

The US Food and Drug Administration first approved allowing GMO’s into the US food chain back in the mid 1990s even though they’d been tested a whopping three months for safe human consumption. That is how corrupt your government was back then, and it’s even more corrupt nowadays.

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