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Posts Tagged ‘income inequality’

Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is calling for a tax on Wall Street to pay for forgiving $1.6 trillion in student loan debt.

Sanders tweeted, “If we can bail out Wall Street (See The $26 Trillion Bailout) we sure as hell can cancel student loan debt,” and “We bailed out Wall Street in 2008. It’s time to tax Wall Street’s greed to help the American people.”

Sanders tweeted who he thought the opponents of his legislation will be: “I am going to make a prediction. The major opponents of our legislation to cancel $1.6 trillion in student debt—mark my words—will be the exact same people who said we had to bail out Wall Street to the tune of billions upon billions of dollars.” In other words, the entire RepubliCON party, most corporate Democrats, Wall Street and major corporate leaders will oppose the legislation.

Tens of millions of US jobs have been exported overseas since the 1970s, especially manufacturing jobs. That is a big chunk of the US tax base that supported such things as universities, K-12 public schools, etc…, and one of the main reasons college has become so expensive in recent decades. The difference between the old higher US wages and benefits and the new considerably less foreign wages with no benefits has gone into the pockets the rich by the trillions of dollars, which clearly represents a redistribution of income, which has fueled massive wealth inequality. Wall Street executives and the affluent have been the beneficiaries of these income redistribution scams.

As for Bernie’s plan to offset decades of the corrupt US government and both corrupt major political parties using trade treaties and legislation to redistribute income from working folks to the rich, he said: “In the wealthiest country in the history of the world, it is simply not acceptable for our younger generation through no fault of their own have a lower standard of living than their parents, more debt, lower wages, and less likelihood of owning their own homes.”

Sanders said this at a Monday news conference detailing the proposal, called the College For All Act.

He added: “That is why this proposal completely eliminates student debt in this country and ends the absurdity of sentencing an entire generation — the millennial generation — to a lifetime of debt for the ‘crime’ of doing the right thing, and that is going out and getting a higher education.”

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The 99 percent of the United States need a champion in the White House (and a lot more in Congress) and Joe Biden is not that person. Biden is a virtual employee of the super-rich, Wall Street executives and big corporations.

The corporate news media made a big play for Biden’s candidacy both before and when he entered the Democratic Party primary. This pushed Biden out to a big polling lead over the anti-Wall Street progressive candidates, such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Biden initially polled in the mid-40 percent range after he announced his candidacy.

This was never a good sign for Biden because he needed to poll over 50 percent in order to win the Democratic Party candidacy. As the twenty or so Democratic candidates fall by the wayside during the state primaries, the eventual progressive candidate who will oppose Biden will likely receive the vast majority of votes that otherwise would have gone to the failed progressive candidates.

Biden’s poll numbers have gradually dropped to the mid to late 20s as his record as a representative of the filthy rich and as an opponent of the vast majority of American citizens are exposed.

For example, Biden has proposed cutting Social Security benefits for working Americans on three occasions. He has also proposed cutting Medicare. As a US senator, Biden was one of the few Democrats to vote to export millions of United States jobs, and redistribute hundreds of billions (if not trillions) of dollars from working Americans to the rich, when he voted for NAFTA. The difference between the old higher US pay the new lower Mexican pay goes straight into the pockets of the rich year after year for as long as those former US jobs exist in Mexico.

Likewise, Vice President Biden was a big booster of the ill-fated Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement that would have exported millions more US jobs overseas and redistributed trillions of dollars a year from working Americans to the wealthy in the process.

Many American voters are worried about income and wealth inequality in favor of the affluent. Like Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden, Biden is an architect of these inequalities, and he has the record to prove it, though nobody will hear him brag about it unless it is to the billionaires in private.

Biden is the wrong person at the wrong time for the vast majority of US citizens, and more and more Democratic Party voters can smell the stench of Wall Street all over Joe Biden. Billionaire investors have marked Biden and Wyden the same as cats mark their territory and property.

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Income and wealth inequality continues to rise in favor of the richest 0.5 percent in the United States and throughout the world. This is due solely to political corruption, often presented as making common sense. Former President Bill Clinton, who, like his wife, is owned by billionaires, is a perfect example of such political corruption, as much as any RepubliCon party politician, and that political party is the epidemy of corruption.

Twenty-five years ago, Clinton campaigned on an idea for limiting excessive pay for American CEOs by capping the tax deductibility of top executives’ compensation at $1 million, and corporations, not wanting bigger tax bills, might reel in their pay. Under the Clinton backed legislation, corporations couldn’t deduct CEO pay over $1 million unless it was “performance-based.” So stock options and performance-based bonuses became the norm. We were told this was a good thing, but, like many things the US public has been told by its corrupted political and business leaders, as well as the corrupted news media, this was a lie, and most likely a deliberate lie.

This lie has resulted in chief executive officers earning more money in less than an hour as much as their typical employee earns in an entire year. Notice the corruption of both political parties has decided not to rescind Clinton’s legislation that he signed on behalf of the rich and their corporations. Notice Joe Biden, an old, sleazy Wall Street pawn, hasn’t said a word either.

USA Today reported a month or so ago that “Stock options – which are often indicative of CEO performance – are not taxable, however, and as such, are often a preferred form of CEO compensation reported.”

Clinton’s legislation gone bad is one of the reasons why stock buybacks have become so popular with CEOs. 59 percent of corporate profits in recent years has gone toward stock buybacks, according to a story in the Guardian a few months ago. This is an easy way to manipulate stock prices higher and make an extra buck in the process. Corporations buy their own lousy stock, driving the prices higher, and then turn around and gradually sell their stock at the higher prices. Any high school student in the same position as any CEO would do the same since the result is higher CEO compensation.

Of course, CEO’s also drive wages, salaries, and benefits downward in order to increase their own compensation via stock options and bonuses. The result has been unprecedented income and wealth inequality. Thank you RepubliCon Party, Bill Clinton, and Joe Biden.

According to USA Today’s report, the most overpaid CEOs are:

1. Arthur L. Peck
• Company: The Gap Inc.
• CEO annual pay: $20.8 million (3,566 times the typical employee)
• Median annual employee pay: $5,831
• Annual corporate profit: $1.0 billion

2. Ynon Kreiz
• Company: Mattel Inc.
• CEO annual pay: $18.7 million (3,408 times the typical employee)
• Median annual employee pay: $5,489
• Annual corporate profit: -$531.0 million

3. Joseph M. Hogan
• Company: Align Technology Inc.
• CEO annual pay: $41.8 million (3,168 times the typical employee)
• Median annual employee pay: $13,180
• Annual corporate profit: $400.2 million

4. Kevin P. Clark
• Company: Aptiv PLC
• CEO annual pay: $14.1 million (2,609 times the typical employee)
• Median annual employee pay: $5,414
• Annual corporate profit: $1.1 billion

5. Brian R. Niccol
• Company: Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc.
• CEO annual pay: $33.6 million (2,438 times the typical employee)
• Median annual employee pay: $13,779
• Annual corporate profit: $176.6 million

For a list of the top thirteen, as well as the full story, click on the link below.

CEO’s Made 1000 Times More Than Their Employees

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One of the great lies told by RepubliCon Party stalwarts is that the United States corporations pay the highest corporate taxes in the world. The U.S. has a high corporation tax rate, but it filled with so many loopholes that many major corporations pay no federal taxes, and often receive tax rebates from the federal government on taxes they never paid.

 

Failure to pay federal taxes gives corporations more money to give to their wealthy owners and CEOs via ever rising dividends and share prices. It also gives the CEO’s more money to manipulate the stock prices of their corporations via ever increasing stock buybacks. This, in turn, enriches CEO’s and affluent shareholders since much of their compensation is based on how well their company’s stock performs. This results in greater income and wealth inequality since the rich derive most of their income and wealth through their corporations, and the unearned income they receive, which wield tremendous influence over the United States economic, political and judicial markets.

A corporation is simply an idea of a business structure given a legal framework to exist by state legislatures. The conservative/corporate wing of the United States Supreme Court has decided these ideas that have been given a legal framework to exist are real people deserving of full constitutional rights. In other words, the billionaire wing of the United States Supreme Court has gone out of its way to wage class warfare on behalf of the rich and against the 99 percent by making up stories that corporations are people and have free speech rights; corporate free speech rights mean buying the airwaves and filling it with what the rich want us to believe, most of which are lies or are intended to divert our attention away from the real issues, such as the destruction of the middle class.

The corporations avoiding income taxes in 2018 represent a range of segments of the U.S. economy:

* Computer maker International Business Machines (IBM) earned $500 million in U.S. income and received a federal income tax rebate of $342 million.
* The retail giant Amazon reported $11 billion of U.S. income and claimed a federal income tax rebate of $129 million.
* The streaming service Netflix paid no federal income tax on $856 million of U.S. income.
* Beer maker Molson Coors enjoyed $1.3 billion of U.S. income in 2018 and received a federal income tax rebate of $22.9 million.
* Automaker General Motors reported a negative tax rate on $4.3 billion of income.

Paying no income taxes means rising share prices and higher dividends for the rich. Virtually all the income and wealth stolen by the rich from the rest of us come in the form of UNEARNED INCOME.

See the full story by clicking on the following link.

Corporate Tax Avoidance Remains Rampant Under New Tax Law

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“I worked for Walmart as a shift manager,” twenty-nine-year-old Emily said. “I barely earned enough money to be able to share an apartment and drive an old beater car.” At Walmart, Emily told me her health insurance came from the state of Oregon’s health plan, which is for low-income people. In other words, Walmart’s medical benefits package is welfare from the state. This benefits the billionaire owners of Walmart while impoverishing state tax coffers.

Emily is a millennial. She now works as a waitress, but still owns the same beater car, and she needs to share a home. Emily has a friend she did not care to name, but whom we will call Ken. He works for Starbucks and under the same financial restraints as Emily, who obviously, is not alone in her financial and career situation.

Emily earned a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication from Portland State University. Her story is not atypical.

According to a new study, millennials still suffer from the effects of the Great Recession. Their earnings have barely budged as they enter their mid-30s, making it even harder for them to cope with the economic pressures of having a family, a leading think tank has warned.

Their pay has suffered by far the biggest squeeze of any age group since the 2008 crash, according to a study by the Resolution Foundation. While the wages of the over-50s have recovered to levels above those seen a decade ago, it found the typical salary for workers in their 30s was still 7% below its pre-crisis peak last year.

As young workers in their 20s during the financial crisis, millennials were by far the worst affected as salaries failed to keep up with inflation. Their pay fell by 11% from 2009 to 2014 before recovering some lost ground after that.

There are a number of reasons for this. Political corruption is one of them.
That corruption has brought us;

Tens of millions of U.S. jobs have been exported over the last three decades. Hundreds of thousands of U.S. high tech jobs have been outsourced to foreign workers by the H1-B visa. The difference between the old U.S. wages and the new lower wages goes straight into the pockets of the billionaires, who control the entire Republican Party, and most of the Democratic Party representatives in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden is a perfect example of a Democratic party politician who serves the billionaires in their war to redistribute income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent. Currently, depending on whose sources you use, the 1 percent steal anywhere from 24 to 38 percent of the total income produced yearly in the United States, up from 8 percent in 1980. That leaves the 99 percent with only 62 to 76 percent of the total yearly income produced in the U.S., down from 92 percent in 1980.

Nowadays, three people (Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, and Bill Gates) own more wealth than the bottom 50 percent of United States citizens.

The financial game is rigged folks, both major political parties are rotted with corruption to the core. The corporate wing of the United States Supreme Court is rotted with corruption to the core.

The last bastion of financial defense and defense of uncorrupted democracy for the people of the United States is the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, represented by folks like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. The progressives get most of their campaign money via small donations. That wing of the Democratic party is the last best hope for uncorrupted democracy and leveling the financial playing field in

America.https://www.theguardian.com/money/2019/feb/03/millennials-pay-still-stunted-by-financial-crash-resolution-foundation

 

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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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My camellia plant warned me about global warming a few decades ago. Forty years ago, Camellia’s flowers began blossoming in April. Around the year 2000, I noticed they were blooming in February. They flowered in early January by 2004. Last year, they bloomed in early December.

The first bud of this season was a tad later than normal during this era of global warming. Pictured above, it began to blossom on January 24th, 2019, which, if historical circumstances are correct, suggests our global warming has slowed a bit from last year when Camellia sent several flowers erupting in full pinkish red in early December. That does not mean or is intended to mean that global warming is stagnant or retreating. Quite the contrary, our Earth continues to get warmer due to human activity, mainly business activity.

Well, folks, it is all about profits. For the billionaires and their politicians, constantly rising corporate earnings are more important than people, even if it jeopardizes the long-term existence of humankind. There is something kind of sick about that. Understand this point; the fight against global warming is heavily linked to the fight against income and wealth inequality. The forces arrayed against each other on these issues are largely the same. More or less, there are about 100 or more billionaires who profit at the expense of everybody else behind the legislative actions that have brought about unprecedented income and wealth inequality, and who, coincidentally, are behind the campaign to deny global warming.

Exxon Mobil knew its products caused global warming by the mid-1970s. The management of the oil giant followed a political/advertising/public relations campaign denying global warming that was modeled on the cigarette corporation’s campaign of denying any link between their product and cancer. Unlike the liars and deniers, Camellia does not lie or deny. She merely blooms when the weather is warm enough, and forty years ago, it was too cold in March for her to send her buds gushing into flowerhood.

Nowadays, here in the Pacific Northwest, the roses and other flowers have begun to bloom in December and January. How much more evidence do we need before we place people ahead of constantly rising profits and share prices for billionaires and multi-millionaires?

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