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Adding to the mountain of statistical evidence showing the severity of U.S. inequality, an analysis by of the United States Federal Reserve Bank showed that the top one percent of Americans have gained, or rather stolen using political and media corruption, $21 trillion in wealth since 1989 while the bottom 50 percent lost $900 billion.

Matt Bruenig, founder of the left-wing think tank People’s Policy Project, broke down the Federal Reserve’s newly released “Distributive Financial Accounts” data series and found that, overall, “the top one percent owns nearly $30 trillion of assets while the bottom half owns less than nothing, meaning they have more debts than they have assets.”

Wealth is made up of assets, such as stocks, bonds, and houses. Income is the money that comes to you either via government programs, your jobs, or from your assets, such as dividends.

The growth of wealth inequality over the past 30 years, Bruenig found, is “eye-popping.” This income and wealth inequality has been brought about by the political corruption of all three branches of the United States government by the 1 percent using their control of both major political parties.

“Between 1989 and 2018, the top one percent increased its total net worth by $21 trillion,” Bruenig wrote. “The bottom 50 percent actually saw its net worth decrease by $900 billion over the same period.”

Much of the increase in inequality is due to international trade agreements, which have allowed U.S. corporations to export millions of American jobs to third world nations. The difference between the old higher US pay and other compensation goes straight into the pockets of the 1 percent via higher corporate profits, dividends and share prices.

This suggests you ought to vote for Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren for presidents.

Wall Street executives already have Joe Biden and Donald Trump, along with the corrupt corporate wing of the United States Supreme Court, and such US Senators as Ron Wyden and Mitch McConnell tucked away in their back pockets. These folks do not represent you.

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Last week, two oil tankers were hit by explosives in the Gulf of Oman. President Trump immediately declared that Iran did it, and without any evidence to support such a statement. Bush, I mean Trump, claimed Iranian mines caused the explosions. According to crew members of both tankers, the tankers were hit from the air by things that looked strangely like drones.

The New York Times, the Washington Post and PBS have all reported this, but the rest of the billionaire owned corporate news outlets continue to report the Bush, I mean, the Trump lies as being fact. They are marching in goosestep formation with the president. The United Kingdom’s Express newspaper put it bluntly, “THE owner of the oil tanker attacked in the Gulf of Oman dismissed the US claims it was hit by a torpedo, saying two “flying objects” struck the ship,” which is precisely what the New York Times reported.

Some people have long memories, especially me. We remember how George W. Bush and the members of his administration lied us into a war, how they were so incompetent as to allow the most horrific attack on US soil in US history despite repeated warnings from the CIA, the FBI, M16, Mossad, and numerous other intelligence agencies of an impending Al Queda attack. Bush and every one of his major administration heads refused to meet with Bush’s own counterterrorism chief, Richard Clark, until September 12th. According to his biography, Clark wanted to warn Bush of the impending attack and take measures to prevent it, but Bush refused to meet with him. Then the attacks of 9/11 occurred, and Bush ordered an attack against the wrong nation in retaliation, but it had a lot of oil, which brings us back to the bombings of the tankers.

Big Oil is a big financial backer of the RepubliCon Party, Trump included. Escalation of tension with Iran will send oil prices, profits, and stock prices higher. The embargo against Iran has already sent oil prices and profits higher; this is the real reason why Trump is against the Iranian nuclear deal. Letting Iranian oil onto the world market pushes oil prices and profits down.

Of course, the presidential election cycle has also begun in earnest. Trump is way behind in virtually every head-to-head poll against literary every candidate in the Democratic primary. Maybe manufacturing a war with Iran is his way of galvanizing his base, which seems to be shrinking more and more.

Americans should not allow themselves to be lied into war again. Don’t let the media goosestep us into war with Iran with contrived evidence. Let Trump and warmongers come up with real evidence as to why we and our sons and daughters should shed our blood so the billionaires can become wealthier in another profitable oil war.

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In 2018, the world’s billionaires saw their wealth grow by $2.5 billion every day while the world’s poorest 3.8 billion people experienced an 11 drop in their wealth, according to a new report by Oxfam, a charity organization that tracks income and wealth inequality throughout the world.

The report noted the wealth of the rich grew by 12 percent last year. Much of that growth was because the billionaires extracted it from the lower 99 percent using their levers of political and judicial power, having corrupted democratic institutions in most nations of the world, most notably in the United States. So yes, the wealth of the rich grew at the expense of the lower 5O percent of the world’s population and most everybody else.

“Since the global economy collapsed, we have learned nothing—the number of billionaires has nearly doubled, with a new billionaire being minted every other day,” said Paul O’Brien, Oxfam America’s Vice President for Policy and Campaigns. “While corporations and the super-rich enjoy lower tax bills, millions of girls around the world have no access to a decent education and women are dying due to a lack of maternal health care.”

In the United States, 30 people hold as much wealth as the poorest half of the population. The Trump/Republican Party tax cuts favoring the wealthy and their corporations predominantly benefit men, who own 50 percent more wealth than women globally and control over 86 percent of corporations.

“The recent US tax law is a master class on how to favor massive corporations and the richest citizens,” O’Brien said. Corporations, coincidently, much like the corrupt corporate wing of the United States Supreme Court, are tools of the rich and are used to tilt the economic, financial and political markets in their favor, and against the interests of the 99 percent.

Globalization is a primary conduit for redistributing income from the 99 to the 1 percent. Exporting US jobs via free trade treaties, for example, is a perfect example. Income and wealth are redistributed by these government negotiated treaties as US jobs are exported; the difference between the old higher U.S. wages and benefits and the new poverty wages in third world nations is redistributed to the rich via higher corporate earnings, rising dividends, and surging share prices. The US workers, if they are lucky, might qualify for unemployment insurance for a few months.

Our economy has been broken by the rich using their ill-gotten gains to purchase the favor of politicians and US Supreme Court Justices, either with legalized bribes called campaign contributions, jobs for spouses, and/or their political and judicial actions are guided with a strong belief in class solidarity. Meanwhile, hundreds of millions of people live in extreme poverty while huge rewards go to those at the very top. The number of billionaires has doubled since the financial crisis and their fortunes grow by $2.5 billion a day, yet the super-rich and their corporations are paying lower rates of tax than they have in decades. The human costs, such as children without teachers, clinics without medicines, are huge. Piecemeal private services punish poor people and benefit the so-called global elites, who should be more accurately known as the global parasites.

“According to the report, “Women suffer the most and are left to fill the gaps in public services with many hours of unpaid care. We need to transform our economies to deliver universal health, education and other public services. To make this possible, the richest people and corporations should pay their fair share of tax. This will drive a dramatic reduction in the gap between rich and poor and between women and men.”

https://www.oxfamamerica.org/static/media/files/bp-public-good-or-private-wealth-210119-en.pdf

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When Donald Trump became US president, he set about to undo three things former President Obama had succeeded in doing. That is because many billionaire Republican donors were opposed to Trump, most notably Charles and David Koch, who are heavily invested in the energy industry. Trump did not want enemies inside his own party, and he had plenty of them when he was first elected.

Quite naturally, the Paris Climate Agreement had to go since it is an attack on the oil industry, which primarily, though not exclusively, supports Republicans. Ending world oil dependency and thereby reversing course on global warming means terminating the industry or greatly reducing it. as well as ending or significantly reducing corporate oil profits, share prices, and dividends. In effect, the Paris Climate Agreement is an attack on the billionaires of the Republican Party. That is precisely why Trump pulled the US out of the accord, regardless of the false excuses that came out of his mouth.

Trump had to get rid of the Iranian nuclear deal since it allowed Iranian oil back on the world market during Obama’s presidency. This placed downward pressure on the profits, dividends and share prices of the fossil fuel corporations because the increased supply put downward pressure on the prices of all sorts of things we pay for, such as oil and gasoline. The best way for Trump to get oil and gasoline prices moving upward again was simply pulling the United States out of the nuclear deal with Iran. Since the USA pulled out, notice the price we pay for gasoline has risen.

By pulling the US out of the nuclear deal using lies and distortions, Trump knowingly and deliberately was redistributing income from the 99 to the 1 percent via higher oil and gasoline prices. But, the billionaires behind the Republican Party were happier with Trump because of it.

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-B) bought Burlington Northern Santa Fe for $26.5 billion back in 2010. It was his biggest acquisition ever. The railroad is the largest transporter of crude oil in the United States. If the Keystone pipeline is completed, it will compete directly with Buffett’s railroad. The pipeline will transport oil from the Canadian Tar Sands to the Gulf of Mexico. The Republican Koch brothers are heavily invested with the Tar Sands.

Koch Industries is a major player in the Canadian oil market. The Washington Post identified the company in April 2014 as the largest foreign leaseholder of acres of Canadian oil sands.

According to EcoWatch in 2018, “A leaked memorandum published by The Intercept and Documented Investigations shows that a Koch Industries’ donors network, known as the Seminar Network, has taken credit for Donald Trump approving the permits for both the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines during the first months of his presidency.” (Click here for the original story.)

Needless to say, Warren Buffett is a big supporter of the Democratic Party and the Koch’s basically control the Republican Party. Buffett’s loss is the Democratic Party’s loss while it is the Koch brothers and Republican Party’s gain.

These political games are being played pitting billionaires against the 99 percent (as well as other billionaires), and the US corporate news media wants to keep you ignorant of these facts.

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‘He was a grateful man…just not in a good way.’

The citizens of Florida may have dealt President Trump a death blow to any reelection success when they voted yes to Amendment 4, which restored voting rights to 1.5 million former felons. Naturally, this proved to be a great disturbance within the minds of the Republican Party leadership who prefer to reduce the number of people voting, which enhances their opportunities to win, along with electoral fraud, such as rigging voting machines.

According to Vox, “Black people, who are disproportionately arrested and incarcerated, will benefit the most. In 2016, more than 418,000 black people out of a black voting-age population of more than 2.3 million, or 17.9 percent of potential black voters in Florida, had finished sentences but couldn’t vote due to a felony record, according to the Sentencing Project. (Again, this includes some people convicted of murders and felony sex offenses.)”

Donald Trump won the state of Florida on November 8, 2016, with a plurality of 49.0% of the popular vote that included a 1.2% winning margin over Hillary Clinton, who had 47.8% of the vote.

Amendment 4 might very well turn the presidential election to the Democratic candidate, especially if that candidate is Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, or Jeff Merkley, all of whom are progressive Democrats, the antithesis of such corporate and Wall Stree Democrats as Hillary Clinton and Ron Wyden.


The final word about the election is that it was not a blue wave. Instead, it was a progressive wave against the corruption of both major political parties by the billionaires and major corporations. This suggests that the end of billionaire rule in the United States may be nearing an end, with the restoration of democracy clearly in sight.

The only thing missing is something to provide a big push, such as a major recession, but that is coming. It is just a question of when.

Once both houses of Congress are restored to the people, only the corrupted US Supreme Court will remain in the hands of the billionaires and their corporations. The corrupted justices (John Roberts, Brent Kavanaugh, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, and Clarence Thomas) will continue to make rulings against the U.S. Constitution whenever the financial interests of the billionaires run up against it, and whenever the interests of the 99 percent may reduce the continued accumulation of wealth, income and political power on the part of the billionaires, and at the expense of the 99.9 percent.

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It’s not quite what you imagine it to be. President Trump is right to shout to the Twitterverse about how its trade deficit with China is costing the United States trillions of dollars and millions of jobs every year.

According to a recent study by the progressive Economic Policy Institute (EPI), which is hated by the conservatives and corporate Democrats alike, “…the growing trade deficit with China…has cost the U.S. millions of jobs throughout the economy since China entered the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, a finding validated by numerous studies.”

Of course, EPI did not report a few things that are important to their study, and for our interests. So, as you read through a few of the EPI highlights below, I will make comments here and there in bolded letters. However, let me state there are a few things in this report that are not mentioned, and the corporate news media do not want you to know.

  • The U.S. trade deficit with China does not really exist in the sense that it is a trade deficit between China and the United States. In reality, the trade deficit is really between US corporations that manufacture their goods and services in the U.S.A. and U.S. corporations that have exported U.S. jobs to China and then exported their-made-in-China goods and services to the USA.
  • Another thing not mentioned is that a variety of studies show the export of every 100 manufacturing jobs from the United States results in the loss of an additional 300 to 1700 U.S. jobs.
  • The difference between the old higher wage exported U.S. jobs and the new lower wage Chinese jobs goes straight into the pockets of the billionaires who control both major political parties via higher corporate earnings, rising share prices, and surging dividends. Thus, much of the income and wealth inequality of recent history is the deliberately negotiated end result desired by corporate-backed U.S. politicians and U.S. negotiators.
  • Currently, three people (Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, and Bill Gates) own more wealth than the bottom fifty percent of US citizens. Much of this is caused by the so-called trade deficit with China.
  • Trade treaties are negotiated so that US corporations can export jobs, as well as create them over there rather than over here, and this also helps to manufacture U.S. income and wealth inequality.
  • Pretty much 100 U.S. billionaires control both major U.S. political parties and quite naturally they have rigged the economy using the corrupted U.S. government, and especially a remarkably corrupt corporate wing of the United States Supreme Court, which includes two well-known perjurers in Brent Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John Roberts.
  • In other words, the income and wealth inequality we experience has been caused by the corruption of all three branches of the federal government, which could not have occurred without the complete corruption of the corporate news media.
  • Currently, the 1 percent steal somewhere between 22 to 38 percent of all the income produced in the United States, up from roughly 8 percent in 1980.

Here are a few of the highlights of the recent EPI report:

1. U.S. jobs lost are spread throughout the country but are concentrated in manufacturing, including in industries in which the United States has traditionally held a competitive advantage. Think Nike, Microsoft and Apple.

2. The growth of the U.S. trade deficit with China between 2001 and 2017 was responsible for the loss of 3.4 million U.S. jobs, including 1.3 million jobs lost since 2008 (the first full year of the Great Recession, which technically began at the end of 2007). Nearly three-fourths (74.4 percent) of the jobs lost between 2001 and 2017 were in manufacturing (2.5 million manufacturing jobs lost).

3. The growing trade deficit with China has cost jobs in all 50 states and in every congressional district in the United States.

4. The trade deficit in the computer and electronic parts industry grew the most: 1,209,000 jobs were lost in that industry, accounting for 36.0 percent of the 2001–2017 total jobs lost. (Think Dell Computers, Apple, Microsoft and a lot more.)

5. Surging imports of steel, aluminum, and other capital-intensive products threaten hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs in key industries such as primary metals, machinery, and fabricated metal products as well.

6. Global trade in advanced technology products—often discussed as a source of comparative advantage for the United States—is instead dominated by China. This broad category of high-end technology products includes the more advanced elements of the computer and electronic parts industry as well as other sectors such as biotechnology, life sciences, aerospace, and nuclear technology. (This is because Dell, Apple and Microsoft, among many other US high-tech corporations, have exported millions of US jobs to China, or created them there rather than here, and then exported their Chinese made products to the USA.)

7. In 2017, the United States had a $135.4 billion trade deficit in advanced technology products with China, and this deficit was responsible for 36.1 percent of the total U.S.–China goods trade deficit that year. In contrast, the United States had a $24.5 billion trade surplus in advanced technology products with the rest of the world in 2017. (See number six in bolded letters above.)

8. Growing trade deficits are also associated with wage losses (in the USA) not just for manufacturing workers but for all workers economywide who don’t have a college degree.

9. Between 2001 and 2011 alone, growing trade deficits with China reduced the incomes of directly impacted workers by $37 billion per year, and in 2011 alone, growing competition with imports from China and other low wage-countries reduced the wages of all U.S. non–college graduates by a total of $180 billion. Most of that income was redistributed to corporations in the form of higher profits and to workers with college degrees at the very top of the income distribution through higher wages.

The China toll deepens–Economic Policy Institute

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Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has proposed legislation in which United States presidential and vice presidential candidates must legally disclose eight years worth of tax returns and place any assets that could present a conflict of interest into a blind trust to be sold off (neither of which President Donald Trump has done). Warren’s bill is part of new legislation she’s introducing to reduce the power and influence of big corporations and banks. Last week, Warren introduced the Accountable Capitalism Act, which would require corporations to be more accountable to their workers, communities, and less accountable to shareholders.

To Warren, the Trump administration’s nepotism is emblematic of everything that is wrong with Washington. But she doesn’t just want to replace Trump and his administration with better actors; she wants to blow up the existing system and start from scratch.

“Let’s face it,” Warren said. “There’s no real question that the Trump era has given us the most nakedly corrupt leadership this nation has seen in our lifetimes,” Warren said to an audience at the National Press Club. “But they are not the cause of the rot — they’re just the biggest, stinkiest example of it. Corruption is a form of public cancer, and Washington’s got it bad.”


Then again, think about what Warren is not saying. Both major political parties are corrupt to the bone. Big money owns the important politicians of both major political parties. The politicians of these two parties and their billionaire owners are what has corrupted our federal, state and local governments, as well as the corporate wing of the United States Supreme Court. Quite naturally, Warren is a member of the Democratic Party and understandably does not want to offend the billionaire-controlled leadership.

Warren wants a federal government in which the US president, vice president, Cabinet members, and congressional lawmakers have a lifetime ban on becoming lobbyists, and other federal workers have restrictions — albeit less severe — on entering lobbying firms. The act would also bar federal judges from owning individual stocks or accepting gifts or payments that could potentially influence the outcome of their rulings. Conservatives Supreme Court members, such as Clarence Thomas and the laste Antonin Scalia are perfect examples of court justices ruling on issues in which they have a vested interest.

And in Warren’s plan — laid out in a new bill called the Anti-Corruption and Public Integrity Act — this would all be overseen by a new US Office of Public Integrity, which would go after violators and usher in a new era of ethics law enforcement.

As expected, the Republican Party, the Koch Brothers controlled Tea Party, and the Wall Street controlled Democratic National Committee will oppose Warren’s proposed legislation.

Billionaires, Wall Street, Big Oil and other major vested interests have rigged politics for decades in their favor, and at the expense of the 99 percent. They will fight to the death to maintain the current corrupt system.
The idea is to “isolate and quarantine the ability of big money to infect the decisions made every day by every branch of our government,” Warren said in a speech on Tuesday. That means all three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial.

“Inside Washington, some of these proposals will be very unpopular, even with some of my friends,” she said. “Outside Washington, I expect that most people will see these ideas as no-brainers and be shocked they’re not already the law.”

Warren, one of the top potential 2020 presidential candidates who is staking out an early position for herself as a voice of working people, is laying out exactly how she would drain the swamp — in detail. She’s long railed against corruption in Washington, but she’s clearly setting herself up as the anti-Trump, proposing drastic reforms to prove it.

The Anti-Corruption and Public Integrity Act is a wide-ranging bill that focuses on getting money and lobbying out of politics in all three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial. Here are the key parts:
• A lifetime ban on lobbying for presidents, vice presidents, members of Congress, federal judges, and Cabinet secretaries.
• Multi-year lobbying bans for federal employees (both Congressional staffers and employees of federal agencies). The span of time would be least two years, and six years for corporate lobbyists.
• Requiring the president and vice president to place assets that could present a conflict of interest — including real estate — in a blind trust and sell them off.
• Requiring the IRS to release eight years’ worth of tax returns for all presidential and vice presidential candidates, as well as requiring them to release tax returns during each year in office. The IRS would also have to release two years’ worth of tax returns for members of Congress, and require them to release tax returns for each lawmaker’s year in office.
• Banning members of Congress, Cabinet secretaries, federal judges, White House staff, senior congressional staff, and other officials from owning individual stocks while in office.
• Changing the rulemaking process of federal agencies to severely restrict the ability of corporations or industry to delay or influence rulemaking.
• Creating a new independent US Office of Public Integrity, which would enforce the nation’s ethics laws, and investigate any potential violations. The office would also try to strengthen open records laws, making records more easily accessible to the public and the press.

“Yes,” Warren said, “public servants should be able to use their expertise when they leave government,” she said. “But we’ve gone way past expertise and are headed directly into graft. Padlock the revolving door.”

Warren wants to create an Office of United States Corporations inside the Department of Commerce and require any corporation with revenue over $1 billion — only a few thousand companies, but a large share of overall employment and economic activity — to obtain a federal charter of corporate citizenship.

The charter tells company directors to consider the interests of all relevant stakeholders — shareholders, but also customers, employees, and the communities in which the company operates — when making decisions. That could concretely shift the outcome of some shareholder lawsuits but is aimed more broadly at shifting American business culture out of its current shareholders-first framework and back toward something more like the broad ethic of social responsibility that took hold during WWII and continued for several decades.

More concretely, United States Corporations would be required to allow their workers to elect 40 percent of the membership of their board of directors.
In this Warren is wrong. 50 percent of the board members should be workers, like in Germany.

Taken together, the Accountable Capitalism Act and the Anti-Corruption and Public Integrity Act are a return to Warren’s bread-and-butter issues, ones that she’s been hammering home since she was a Harvard Law School professor who helped establish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau after the 2008 financial crisis.

https://www.vox.com/2018/8/21/17760916/elizabeth-warren-anti-corruption-act-bill-lobbying-ban-president-trump

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