Posts Tagged ‘economic’

Bill Moyers says that Eric Holder has a mixed record as attorney general of the United States. Moyers gives Holder an A on civil rights, but an F on the frauds of Wall Street. Bill Black, a former bank regulator, calls the latter, “the greatest failure in the history of the department of justice.”

No banking executives have been criminally prosecuted for their role in causing the biggest financial disaster since the Great Depression.

“I blame Holder. I blame Timothy Geithner,” Black told Bill last week. “But they are fulfilling administration policies. The problem definitely comes from the top. And remember, Obama wouldn’t have been president but for the financial contribution of bankers.”

“While large banks have been penalized for their role in the housing meltdown, the costs of those fines will be largely borne by shareholders and taxpayers as the banks write off the fines as the cost of doing business. And by and large these top executives got to keep their massive bonuses and compensation, despite the fallout.”

But the story gets even more infuriating, the more Black laid out the culture of corruption that led to the meltdown.

“The Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations all could have prevented [the financial meltdown],” Black tells Moyers. And what’s worse, Black — who exposed the so-called Keating Five — believes the next crisis is coming: “We have created the incentive structures that [are] going to produce a much larger disaster.”

According to Black, that’s because the bankers have not been proscecuted for their crimes, thanks to Obama and Holder, and federal law prohibits people with criminal records to be in charge of banks. So the same people that brought the economic meltdown are doing the same thing with a nod, a wink, and a helping hand from the white house and both houses of congress.

Check out Moyers interview with Black by clicking on the link below.

Full Show: Too Big to Jail? | Moyers & Company | BillMoyers.com.


Read Full Post »

Read Full Post »

“As Ben S. Bernanke walks away from the Federal Reserve’s marble headquarters on the Mall here after presiding over his last policy meeting on Wednesday, he will leave behind a bittersweet legacy.

On one hand, his unprecedented efforts to drive down interest rates and stimulate the economy are widely credited by his peers with saving the nation from a second Great Depression, strengthening the economic recovery and leaving the nation’s financial condition poised to take off this year.

Yet those same policies have added momentum to one of the greatest surges in economic inequality in US history, helping the wealthiest Americans add to their enormous riches while the incomes of almost everyone else stagnated.”

What isn’t mentioned in Bernanke’s legacy is the probable wholesale corruption going on at the Federal Reserve. The primary purpose of the Fed appears to be to shield rich investors from any market forces they encounter that lessons their wealth. In other words, the Feds primary responsibility appears to be to rescue the rich from their own foolish decisions. This has opened the door to what appears to be a massive amount of corruption, both in the Fed and in the US government. See Breakdown of the $26 Trillion the Federal Reserve Handed Out to Save Incompetent, but Rich Investors–Johnhively.wordpress.com

As for the rest of Bernanke’s dubious legacy, click on the link below.

Ben Bernanke Leaves Legacy of Stimulus and Stagnation–The Sydney Morning Herald

Read Full Post »

According to Bill Moyers, “As we near the end of 2013, it suddenly seems everyone’s talking about inequality. Earlier this month, Barack Obama spoke of a “relentless decades-long trend” of “dangerous and growing inequality and lack of upward mobility.” Around the same time, in a papal exhortation, Pope Francis wrote, “Just as the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills.” And a month earlier in New York — the most unequal big city in the USMayor-elect Bill de Blasio won a landslide victory campaigning on the issue.

But just how bad is American inequality? How did we arrive at this new Gilded Age? And how might we create an economy of broadly shared prosperity?

If you’ve got questions, we’ve (hopefully) got the answers in this Essential Reader…”

One thing that needs to be addressed when it comes to inequality is what nobody seems to be talking about. Inequality has been brought about government legislation that redistributes income from the 99 to the 1 percent. This process of corrupting government at all levels began with a variety of tax cuts to the rich and corporations under President Ronald Reagan, and which has enabled them to buy the legislation that redistributes income from the 99 to the 1 percent, and resulted in the complete  corruption of federal and state governments and politicians, such as Wall Street Senators Ron Wyden, Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul. This includes legislation that has weakened union organizing efforts, such as the passing of right-to-work-for-less laws, as well as free trade treaties, privatization scams, and other vicious attacks against the 99 percent.

Check out the link below for the complete story.

Inequality: An Essential Reader | The Poverty Line, What Matters Today | BillMoyers.com.

Read Full Post »

Income and wealth inequality is a big concern throughout, as a poll by the Pew Research Center shows. It should be pointed out that income and wealth inequality is growing because so many politicians have been purchased by the 1 percent to achieve this inequality.

Income and wealth distribution is a function exclusively of political power. Government’s sets the rules, and then reset them, mostly to benefit the 1 percent over the 99 percent.

People throughout the world have serious concerns about income and wealth inequality, according to a new poll conducted by the Pew Research Center, and as the graph to the side shows. Notice in Greece 84 percent of the population are concerned about this issue. Also note that government corruption is a massive problem in Greece, and note that it’s the 1 percent that does the corrupting and receives all the benefits of this corruption, and all at the expense of the 99 percent.

The same corruption, and at the same or similar scale, is occurring in the United States government, and at all levels, but the people of the US are less concerned about income and wealth inequality than the folks in Greece. That’s because the US corporate media is also corrupted, and it serves its owners and shareholders, who are members of the 1 percent. So the US corporate propaganda media dutifully keeps the American public ignorant. The other reason why citizens of the US are less concerned about inequality and government corruption that brings it about is because the 1 percent has not sucked them as dry as the 1 percent of Greece has sucked the 99 percent as dry there.

As of 2011, the United States rated as the 75th worse nation in the world in terms of income distribution. Greece was rated 39th. Why are the Greeks protesting in the streets and Americans are not? Who knows? We can throw a few guesses out there. As mentioned above, Americans are starved for information and kept, for the most part, deliberately ignorant by the corporate propaganda machine about these issues compared to the their Greek counterparts.

Of course, the US is larger in territory and greater in natural resources than relatively tiny Greece, and these factors may play a role in giving Americans a higher standard of living than the people of Greece. So, in a way, income in the US can be legislatively redistributed from the 99 to the 1 percent, as has been the case for the last thirty-two years, and Americans can still have a higher standard of living than the Greeks. Of course, it is possible the US social safety nets might be stronger, as well.

Most likely it is a combination of these and other factors that see Greeks rise up while overweight Americans sit in their chairs, a GMO loaded hotdog in one hand and a beer in the other, while watching the television shows, and sports and news programs intended to distort their reality.

Notice when it comes to inequality, Canadians have as much concern about this issue as US citizens, and yet Canada ranks 30th in the world in income inequality, way ahead of the US. It’s interesting that Fox News was banned in Canada because of a law there that makes it a crime for a news organization to lie to the public. Currently, Fox has a limited broadcast area in Canada. It is much bigger in the US where Fox is the most glaring example of a propaganda machine for the 1 percent. That is, in fact, the sole reason for its existence, or, at least, it seems to be.

This suggests perception is very important, and the US propaganda machine (we erroneously call the news media) plays a big role in suppressing dissent in the US by keeping our minds off certain subjects, such as income and wealth distribution and redistribution. This also suggests the US propaganda machine has done its job well.

Read Full Post »

Ultimately, the difference between the German and United States economic and political systems is simple. Germany is for all the Germans, and has a functioning democracy, while the United States government is rotted with corruption and its economic system are for the 1 percent at the expense of the 99 percent. The US government has been primarily corrupted by big corporate money.

The demand for goods and services is strong in Germany because it is heavily unionized. This enables the German 99 percent to spend a lot more money, creating jobs via demand. More importantly, Germany has an export driven economy, mainly with high value added products. Whereas the US primarily exports jobs rather than goods and services via free trade treaties. The products produced by Nike, Microsoft and others are then exported to the United States from their factories in China, Vietnam and elsewhere, which is why the US has a massive trade deficit while Germany has a massive trade surplus.

In the United States, the economic and political game has been rigged against the 99 percent. In Germany, the 99 percent are holding their own against big corporate interests.

Read Full Post »

The US senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill several days ago. The bill calls for amnesty for somewhere between eleven and twenty-five million undocumented immigrants in the US, which will be granted over a period of thirteen years. Some of the provisions of the bill include the payment of back taxes, increased border security (such as more fences) and an end to family ties as a determining factor for future immigrants.

The bill looks like it was written by Wall Street and the 1 percent, most likely because it was. Wall Street and the 1 percent derive all the benefits; undocumented immigrants and the rest of the 99 percent will pay the price. The propaganda machines of the proponents of immigration reform, some of which are non-Wall Street, are on the march.

A study released by the Center for American Progress says, “Once they (undocumented immigrants) attain legal status, immigrants will be able to contribute to the increased consumption of goods and services that boosts business sales and raises the earnings of all Americans. They will pay taxes on their higher wages and increase the gross state product (GSP). Additionally, immigrants will be able to use their new legal status by integrating their skill set and education into creating jobs and raising productivity.”

Common sense tells us that once undocumented immigrants receive legal status, they will consume approximately what they consume today. It is possible that with higher wages they will consumer more. That will be offset, however, because the rest of us will be consuming less, according to an analysis of the bill by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO). According to the CBO, everybody’s wages and job opportunities will decline with the deal. That means the impact of immigration reform will have little, or no, or perhaps even negative, net impact on the consumption of goods and services. It could even result in a decline of GNP. How could the consumption of goods and services go up if everybody’s wages and salaries are going down? They can’t and so the claim by the Center for American Progress is patently wrong.

According to the CBO, the senate bill will depress wages of all workers for the next twelve years, “raise the unemployment rate,” and “result in higher interest rates.” Notice the corporate news media hasn’t reported these things to you.

Immigration reform will also push the unemployment rate higher than it would otherwise be through 2031. Currently, the real unemployment is somewhere between 13 and 15 percent, which is higher than the official rate of nearly 8 percent. In other words, the 99 percent is living during a low grade depression and the government intends to increase unemployment. Immigration reform will force more and more people to compete for a smaller number of jobs, and this will drive wages down.

This same process also occurred after the amnesty granted undocumented immigrants in December 1986. Wages immediately began to plummet for the next six years and didn’t recover to their 1986 level until 11 years later.

The CBO also reported, “Capital investment would rise primarily because the return that investors would earn on a given amount of investment would be higher under the legislation than under current law.” The rationale for this is given with economic jargon, but basically it boils down to this; lower wages will increase profit margins, and so members of the 1 percent will purchase more corporate stocks and bonds.

In other words, immigration reform has been written to ensure Wall Street and the 1 percent benefit by pushing down wages, salaries and other compensation and redistributing the difference between the old rates and the new lower rates into the hands of the 1 percent. Nice scam, but it gets worse.  That issue will be taken up in part two.

All the government really has to do is enforce the laws written in 1986, or it could pass out green cards to legalize the undocumented, place them in line for legal immigration status, and when their number comes up, grant them citizenship.  That, however, is too easy, and not all that profitable for Wall Street and the 1 percent.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »