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According to Jack Bogle, founder of Vanguard, the mutual funds investment company, Social Security is in crisis.

Bogle said the system’s finances could get a big boost from changes that may be rejected as “politically sensitive,” including

  1. adopting a less-generous approach to calculating cost-of-living adjustments,
  2. raising the maximum annual earnings subject to Social Security tax,
  3. and raising the age for full retirement benefits further from the current range of ages 66 to 67.

First of all, Social Security is not in a crisis. The Fund has a reserve of $2.5 trillion that earns $180 billion in interest a year. That money is due to be used up by roughly 2036 as more and more baby boomers retire. Then Social Security can still pay 84 percent of everybody’s benefits after that.

This means it won’t take much to make up the shortfall. Currently, nobody pays social security taxes on income above $118,500. Simply eliminating this cap on taxing income would erase the future shortfall. However, we could go farther and with good reason.

Here’s what the corporate media doesn’t want you to know.

Trillions of dollars every decade earmarked for the social security trust fund are redirected from the fund into the already fat wallets of the super rich. The rich don’t pay social security taxes on capital gains and dividends. Every time a job is exported, the wages and social security contributions from that job are transformed into capital gains and dividends.

Millions of jobs have been exported. That’s hundreds of billions of dollars every year no longer heading into the Trust Fund because the difference between the old higher US wages and the new lower third world wages goes straight into the pockets of the ultra wealthy via capital gains and dividends.

Capital gains and dividend income are exempt from paying social security taxes.

So why not establish social security taxes on dividends and capital gains above a certain point, say $100,000 a year in income from those sources?

Then you could increase monthly payments to retirees while simultaneously raising the demand for goods and services, which would strengthen the economy, as well as spur job and wage growth.

Wall Street won’t like it, but millions of older folks could use the money being stolen from social security via international income redistribution scams falsely marketed as “trade agreements.”

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According to the Economic Policy Institute, “The state employment and unemployment figures for October, released today (Dec 4, 2015) by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, were slightly more encouraging than the previous few months. Job growth remained steady in most states and unemployment rates ticked down slightly more, on average, than was the case heading into fall. Still, the U.S. labor market is far from fully healed. In fact, this month’s report marks something of a bittersweet milestone: there are now 25 states that have reached their pre-recession unemployment rates. Only 25 more to go.

These statistics understate the level of unemployment by a fairly hefty margin. The number of full time jobs are at a low level not seen since 1980, when the economy and population were about half of what they are now.

These sobering statistics reveal that this is the worst economic expansion in US history for the middle class. It also is following a trend. The second worst economic expansion was the previous one. As predicted in The Rigged Game: Corporate America and a People Betrayed, the impacts of the next recession will be longer and deeper for the declining middle class, as well as for the working and poor classes. That’s because millions of jobs are being shipped overseas, and the difference between the old US wages and the new lower foreign wages goes straight into the pockets of the super rich via higher corporate profits, rising share prices, and surging dividends. That’s precisely why and how the 1 percent have stolen over 37 percent of all income produced in the United States in 2015, compared to 8 percent in 1980. Those figures are also why job and wage growth are the worst of any economic expansion in US history.

The 99 percent received only 63 percent of all the income in 2015, compared to 92 percent in 1980. This is why demand for goods and services is slack in 2015 compared to 1980, which is precisely why job growth is pathetic more than six years after the last recession ended. These figures are also why the stock markets have surged over the same period. The rich have used their ill gotten gains to bid up the price of stocks and bonds. The price for politicians has also surged, which is why the rich also heavily invest in politicians, which is why the rich have gotten richer at the expense of the 99 percent.

For example, Wall Street senator’s Ron Wyden, Mitch McConnell and Orrin Hatch have led the charge to ship jobs overseas, and redistribute income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent using government power. Nowadays, these scammers for the one percent are championing the Trans Pacific Partnership, the largest income and redistribution scam in US history, although it’s falsely marketed as a trade treaty. If this treachery passes congress, anticipate the middle class, currently 50 percent of all adults (down from 61 percent in 1970), will shrink down to 35-40 percent, and the rich will reach a milestone of stealing 50 percent of all US income by 2017, thanks to their henchmen in congress.

As for the report by the Economic Policy Institute, from July to October, 37 states and the District of Columbia added jobs, with Idaho (+1.5 percent), Nebraska (+1.2 percent), and Arizona (+1.1 percent) posting the largest percentage gains. The gains in Idaho and Arizona exemplify the strong growth experienced in a number of western states of the past year. Since October of 2014, states in the West—particularly those off the coast, such as Utah, Idaho, and Nevada—have had the strongest job growth nationwide. Job totals fell in 13 states from July to October, although only North Dakota’s (-0.7 percent) and Louisiana’s losses (-0.3 percent) seem indicative of a trend.

Unemployment rates fell in 40 states plus the District of Columbia since July. The largest reductions were in Missouri (-0.8 percentage points), South Carolina (-0.8 percentage points), Mississippi (-0.6 percentage points), New York (-0.6 percentage points), Ohio (-0.6 percentage points), South Dakota (-0.6 percentage points), Virginia (-0.6 percentage points), and West Virginia (-0.6 percentage points).”

Check out the whole story by clicking on the following link.

How Strong in the US Economic? Six years after the end of the last recession, unemployment is still higher than it was before the recession–Economic Policy Institute

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A friend on the political right wrote me about my support for Bernie Sanders for US president. My friend had some objections about Senator Sanders positions. So I wrote the response below. I should also like to point out that Bernie is a US senator from Vermont, where large pockets of conservatism flourish, and Republicans are elected to statewide offices. Yet Bernie continues to win election after election, campaigning mainly on bread and butter issues.

Anyway, below is my reason why everybody should vote for Bernie, regardless of their political ideology.

“…the Democratic and Republican Party leaderships, and the big money that controls them, also controls the levers of political power. I am against any candidate supported by the leadership of either major political party. That’s why over the years I’ve been a supporter of such diverse independent minded politicians as Ron Paul, Pat Buchanan, Ralph Nader and Bernie Sanders. Besides, it doesn’t matter what Bernie wants, what matters it what he can achieve as president. If Bernie becomes president, with both houses of congress likely to be controlled by the twin party leadership, Bernie will likely only be able to limit their damage to the middle class in terms of economics.”

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With the help of the corporate news media, which can better be described as the corporate propaganda machine, the Democratic and the Republican leadership rip the grassroots of both parties apart and against each other by inventing social issues, while raping the grassroots of both parties financially on behalf their billionaire and millionaire benefactors.

The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Fast Track Authority are classic examples of how the leadership of both political parties team together in their financial rape of the 99 percent.The Federal Reserve estimates the TPP will cost four to five million US jobs. The difference between the old higher US wages, and the new lower overseas wages, will go straight into the pockets of the 1 percent via higher corporate profits, dividends and share prices. That money will be stolen straight out of the pockets of working Americans and redistributed into the already fat bank accounts of the 1 percent, much of which will find its way into the pockets and campaigns of the Democratic and Republican party leadership. The local and state tax dollars paid by the jobs losers will no longer support schools, police, fire, road maintenance and much more. In other words, the TPP will rape our schools and other public services.

The TPP will also steal money that should go to the social security trust fund because the rich only pay social security taxes on the first $118,000 of their income. Worse yet, the TPP will force China to manipulate its currency even more than is already the case, costing the US millions more jobs than the Federal Reserve estimates. This manipulation of currency will compel US corporations to ship more jobs overseas because Chinese currency manipulation increases the profits of those who manufacture in China. (See Four Graphs that Will Make You Boiling Mad About the Trans Pacific Partnership–Or Why President Obama, along with executives from Nike, Microsoft, Apple and other US corporations Steadfastly Support China’s Currency Manipulations–JohnHively.wordpress.com).

In other words, the TPP has been negotiated specifically to redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent, and since 2009, the 1 percent has stolen 95 percent of all US income growth. Their share of the total national income has risen from 8 percent in 1980, to 21 percent in 2008, to 37 percent in 2015.

The TPP has also been negotiated to undermine US laws and democracy.

Hillary Clinton has stated publicly on 45 occasions that she is for the TPP. All of the Republican candidates are for it. Bernie would veto the TPP if he was president. Ergo, damage to the vast majority of US citizens would be limited.

Here’s something to think about. Opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership brought together unusual allies, such as the John Birch Society, the Tea Party, Black Lives Matter, and the AFL-CIO. We need more, not less, of that kind of cooperation among US citizens. Bernie understands this, and his candidacy is encouraging this. That’s precisely what the leadership of both political parties and their billionaire benefactors don’t want: Americans of all colors and political persuasions united together in opposition to the billionaire class and their complete corruption of the US government for their own ends.

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A new congressional study suggests that massive immigration increases in recent decades have hammered middle-class wages. Whether through taking jobs or casting votes, hyper-immigration is revolutionizing the U.S.

We are a nation of immigrants, it is often reflexively said. But it is a little-known fact that our foreign-born population dropped more than 11% in the quarter century after World War II.

Since 1970, however, we have become a nation of hyper-immigration, as the foreign-born among us have exploded from fewer than 10 million to more than 41 million as of 2013 — a staggering 324.5% increase.

If a job cannot be exported, then immigrants are encouraged by business and government leaders to enter the United States to generate greater competition among middle class workers, which lowers wages and benefits. For example, a recent study shows that three out of four high tech workers are unemployed in their areas of expertise, and wages in the high tech sector are the same as during the early 1990s, and yet congressional leaders want to admit more immigrants via the H1-B visa. In this way wages and salaries will continue to stay artificially low, which benefits the 1 percent at the expense of the middle class.

The difference between the old higher wages (what wages should be under normal immigration increases) and the new lower wages with hyper immigration, goes straight into the pockets of the super rich via higher corporate profits, rising dividends and soaring share prices.

The middle class is getting hammered by the loss of millions of jobs that are exported via international agreements falsely marketed as free trade agreements. But the middle and lower classes are also getting hammered by hyper immigration. These two governmental policies are income redistribution scams perpetrated by the leadership of both major political parties and their billionaire and corporate sponsors, such as the Koch Brothers and Warren Buffett.

How badly has immigration and free trade policies been for the middle and lower classes?

“A new analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service for the Senate Judiciary Committee finds that during this era of free trade and hyper-immigration, incomes of the bottom 90% of Americans flat-lined, then dropped starting in 2000. By comparison, middle-class wages increased between 1945 and 1970.

Last year, Karen Zeigler and Steven Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies found that, according to federal government data, “since 2000 all of the net gain in the number of working-age (16 to 65) people holding a job has gone to immigrants (legal and illegal).”

In the fourteen plus years since 2000, less than six million net jobs have been created in the United States, and all of them have gone to immigrants. On the other hand, according to the Federal Reserve, 28 million jobs were exported from the USA from 1990 to 2010, and several million more have been exported since 2010.

Salaries, wages and benefits would be going up if the United States had six million less working age immigrants. More significantly, however, US wages would be surging and our tepid economy would be booming if those trade agreements hadn’t been conceived. In both cases, trade agreements and immigration, income and wealth inequality in the USA would not be nearly so significant as it is now.

While so-called international trade agreements are the major cause of the income and wealth inequality of the last thirty-five years, with the 1 percent going from taking 8 percent of all income created in the USA in 1980 to 37 percent today, immigration (legal and illegal) is another, though admittedly lesser, but still significant, culprit in the financial war the super rich are waging against the middle class.

The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is the largest income redistribution scam of all time. It is falsely being marketed as a free trade treaty. The Wall Street wing of the Democratic Party, led by President Obama and Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden, have merged with the Wall Street wing of the Republican Party. The TPP will provide incentives for US corporations to ship millions of US jobs overseas, and drive millions of Latin American immigrants illegally into the United States simultaneously, just like NAFTA did.

That’s why the TPP is another income redistribution scam for the 1 percent.

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What a difference a year makes! How is the United States going to create jobs over there, like the president says above?

The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a treaty with 11 other Pacific rim nations, will make it easier to export jobs from the USA to those nations, especially extremely low wage, anti-labor union, Vietnam. That’s how President Obama plans to help them create jobs.

The difference between the higher US wages and the future extremely low Vietnamese wages will go into the already massively fat wallets of the 1 percent via higher corporate profits, soaring share prices, and rocketing dividends.

This will make worse the income and wealth inequality that has already been legislatively engineered during the last thirty years, and which has left the US economy tottering.

These economy and middle class destroying treaties have been supported by such generals in the war against the middle class as Wall Street President George W. Bush, Wall Street President Bill Clinton, Wall Street Secretary of State Hilliary Clinton, Wall Street Senators Ron Wyden, Orrin Hatch and Mitch McConnell, and we can’t forget Wall Street Congressman John Boehner.

Likewise, a similar treaty is being negotiated by the US with the European Union, and its low wage nations, such as Spain, Greece, Slovakia and Poland. It’s called the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Guess where US jobs will be exported to due to this treaty? But that will help those nations create jobs, just like the president says above.

These legislative assaults on the middle class will eviscerate the tax bases around the nation for public goods, such as schools, roads and police.

The real purpose of both treaties is to override US laws, raise prices, export jobs to wherever the cheapest labor is located, and numerous other things, all of which will redistributed income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent. These actions will boast stock prices, and boost dividends of the 1 percent.

Rigging the economic and political game against the 99 percent; that’s what these treaties are all about. It also shows how immensely corrupt the US government has become.

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It should be pointed out that food stamps go to feed people, and that corporate subsidies go toward redistributing income from the 99 to the parasites of the 1 percent via higher corporate profits, rising share prices and surging dividends, and all at the expense of the 99 percent. It’s a rigged game against the 99 percent via corrupt US governments at most levels and a corrupt corporate US Supreme Court.

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