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Posts Tagged ‘income inequality’

Well, here we go again. A viciously anti-Democracy, anti-US Constitution Supreme Court nominee named Brett Kavanaugh can easily be stopped from wreaking more havoc to the US Constitution by the outnumbered Senate Democrats. And they will not do it.

The Democrats simply do not need to show up for the full Senate vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation, now that US Senator John McCain has died. Article I, section 5 of the Constitution requires that a quorum (51 senators) be present for the Senate to conduct business.

The Republicans hold 50 Senate seats, and the Democrats plus their independent allies, such as Senator Bernie Sanders, hold forty-nine. If all the Democrats show solidarity and simply do not show up for business, as usual, Kavanaugh cannot be confirmed to sit as a justice on the Supreme Court.

However, it is highly unlikely the Wall Street controlled Democratic National Committee will allow this because Wall Street executives want Kavanaugh on the court. Kavanaugh says he is an original intent jurist. That means as a judge, Kavanaugh claims to rule on issues as the founding fathers intended. Nothing could be further from the truth. He is a liar.

The billionaires who control both major political parties want a supreme court justice who is dishonest enough to say that the founding fathers of the United States believed corporations are people, trade treaties are not trade agreements, and money is free speech.

None of our founding fathers uttered such a thing in any of their writings. So all of the conservative supreme court justices (John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch) are simply lying in order to alter the meaning of the US Constitution.

This fundamental alteration based on lies gives the billionaires via their corporations’ significantly more constitutional rights while simultaneously diminishing the Constitutional rights of the vast majority of United States citizens, the 99.5 percent.

In the meantime, the US corporate news media, on behalf of their corporate and billionaire advertisers and owners, are keeping the eyes of the 99 percent on the abortion issue rather than the increase of constitutional rights the billionaires will achieve with the successful nomination of Kavanaugh and his lies, and the lies of the other conservative justices.

So do not expect the billionaires who control the Democratic Party to do the right thing, stopping a quorum and stopping Kavanaugh in the process, by uniting 49 US senators behind a common cause to prevent the US Constitution from the further perversion that Kavanaugh will insist upon with lies.

Expect income and wealth inequality to continue to grow as the billionaires continue to control the United States Supreme Court.

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Nowadays, United States middle-class families are making less money in almost every state. Since 1999, median incomes have dropped nationwide and, in states like Indiana, they’ve shrunk by more than 9 percent. This is because trillions of dollars of yearly income have been redistributed from the 99 to the 1 percent by the billionaire controlled US government.

The folks at the financial website GOBankingRates used Pew Research Center and United States Census Bureau data, as well as data from real-estate site Zillow, to find the change in median household income in every state. The incomes are adjusted for inflation and the percentages reflect the increase in incomes from 1999 to 2014.

However, I should point out that the US government has been accused, and probably rightfully so, of deliberately understating inflation. In which case, real median incomes have dropped even further than the study shows.

You need to earn an annual household income of “two-thirds to double the national median, after incomes have been adjusted for household size,” to be considered middle class, according to Pew. The most recent national household median income estimate was $59,039, according to the U.S. Census.

“Although the middle class is shrinking,” the GOBankingRates report says, in some places “middle-income families continue to thrive.” Here’s where the numbers have gone up instead of down:

South Dakota

Median household income of middle-class families : $77,176

Median household income change of middle class : 1.7 percent

“South Dakota has the fifth-highest median household income for middle-class families, and it’s where middle-class incomes increased the most between 1999 and 2014,” according to GOBankingRates. It’s “one of only two states where middle-class incomes actually increased over those years, and it’s one of only four states where the proportion of middle income households has increased from 2010 to 2015.”

Vermont

Median household income of middle-class families : $75,540

Median household income change of middle class : 0.2 percent

Vermont is the only other state where middle-class incomes have risen; however, it’s also “one of the costliest states for an in-state college education,” the report finds, with the second-highest in-state tuition and fees in the country behind New Hampshire.

Middle Class Families Earning Less–Yahoo News

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Why have US wages and salaries remained stagnate or even in decline during this economic boom? For one thing, there is the massive exporting of US white collar jobs to poverty wage nations. Then, of course, there is the outsourcing of US white collar jobs. Then again, there is the H1-B Visa program, among other issues. All of the above redistribute income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent of US citizens.

According to Bloomberg News, the United States Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs determined tech giant Cisco Systems secured visas for foreign workers instead of hiring U.S. citizens for certain jobs and paid the visa holders at a lower rate than their American counterparts. Indian corporations are the conduit whereby cheaper Indian workers use the H1-B visa to displace higher paid US workers. Indian corporations provide Cisco with the low wage contract workers who replace higher paid US workers.

The probe is one of several ongoing investigations into possible discrimination by federal contractors against visa holders. It is stunning there is a federal probe going on about how the billionaires who control US corporations routinely displace US workers with lower-paid Indian workers since this has been a common practice for over three decades, and is a primary conduit for redistributing income from the 99 to the 1 percent.

This is because the difference between the old higher US salaries and compensation and the new lower with no other H1-B visa compensation goes straight into the pockets of the rich via higher corporate share prices and profits that would otherwise not be so high.

“The usual punishment is a fine and disbarment from the H-1B program for a while,” said John Miano, an immigration lawyer and a former computer programmer, who is now working at the Immigration Reform Law Institute. “Want a bet that Cisco does not get barred from the H-1B program?” he added.

The leak comes as voters recognize that salaries for college-grads remain flat, despite the high-pressure economy, amid large-scale white-collar outsourcing and immigration. In contrast, blue-collar wages are rising slowly.

The anti-American discrimination at Cisco is also a political problem for GOP Rep. Kevin Yoder.

On July 25, Yoder used his political clout to get initial approval in the United States House of Representatives for legislation that would put roughly 300,000 Indian visa-workers on a fast-track to green-cards and citizenship.

Yoder’s H.R. 392 legislation is a gamble for him because it puts visa-worker Indians in his Kansas district ahead of the many young Americans who are losing jobs to the huge population of foreign visa-workers in the United States. Many polls show that Americans strongly oppose legislation which helps foreign companies displace Americans.

The population of foreign college-graduate visa-workers adds up to roughly 1.5 million — each of whom is holding a job that would otherwise have gone to the roughly 800,000 young men and women who graduate each year with skilled college-degrees in business, healthcare, science, software, math or design.

Yoder’s legislation will also allow Americans and Indian companies to annually award up to 140,000 fast-track green cards to Indian workers if they take Americans’ jobs at low wages by using H-1B or L-1 visas.

GOP leaders — including President Donald Trump — will decide in the next few months of Yoder’s pro-outsourcing measure becomes law.

Like many other Internet companies, Cisco employs many cheap-labor visa-workers. In 2017, for example, the company asked for 713 three-year visas to hire foreign college graduates from overseas. Roughly one-third of those applications were approved via a lottery.

The company also asked for 249 L-1 visas to transfer foreign employees to jobs in the United States. The approval rate for L-1s is unknown, but that large number suggests that the company may have imported more workers via L-1 visas than H-1B visas.

Nearly all of Cisco’s H-1Bs are from India.

Tech Giant Cisco Discriminated Against US Citizens Using H1-B Visa Workers — Bloomberg News

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A blue wave is supposed to be upon us come November. The Democrats seem poised to possibly take back the US Senate and or the US House of Representatives. This is scaring the crap out of the Wall Street controlled Democratic National Committee (DNC). A democratic tidal wave may be coming, but it may very well be a progressive wave within the Democratic Party that sweeps the elections come November.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old Latina running her first campaign, and who worked as a waitress in her most recent job, beat Wall Street controlled and twenty-year congressional veteran Joe Crowley in the Democratic primary in New York’s 14th congressional district last month.

Ocasio-Cortez’s stunning win came on the back of an unapologetically progressive, grassroots campaign pledging “economic, social, and racial justice” for working-class Americans. “This is the start of a movement,” she tweeted after winning.

Ocasio-Cortez ran a progressive campaign, calling for the abolition of ICE, Medicare for all, criminal justice reform, a universal jobs guarantee, and tuition-free college funded by taxes on Wall Street, and this later issue scares the crap out of the billionaires.

Bernie Sanders recently campaigned with Ocasio-Cortez. He wrote of their adventures,

“On Friday, along with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, I went to Kansas and held rallies with two great progressive candidates who are running for Congress. In Wichita, according to local media reports, more than 4,000 people joined us at a rally with James Thompson.

Then in Kansas City, at our rally for Brent Welder, the convention center was so crowded the staff had to remove a wall in the middle while the event was going on to let more people in. These were incredible crowds coming out in more than 100-degree weather to participate in our political revolution. And, yes, this was Kansas where Republicans control almost everything.

There was quite a different event in Columbus, Ohio. Two hundred and fifty wealthy invited Democratic donors and Wall Street insiders came together at a gathering hosted by a real estate billionaire. Why were they there? The headline on an NBC News story tells it all:

“Sanders’ wing of the party terrifies moderate Dems. Here’s how they plan to stop it. Party members and fundraisers gathered for an invitation-only event to figure out how to counteract the rising progressive movement.”

What are they concerned about? That our ideas, such as Medicare for all, tuition-free public colleges and universities, a $15/hr minimum wage and progressive taxation are now mainstream positions.

Make no mistake about it. The gathering in Columbus was not simply a social event. The corporate Democrats are plotting how to defeat progressives the only way they know how — with big money. But you’ve shown that, together, we can overcome their brand of pay-to-play politics.”

The big money controls the Democratic Party, as Sanders points out above. That money controls the Clintons’, and such politicians as US House Representative Earl Blumenauer and Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden. The big money boys and girls are scared, not of a November blue wave, but of a progressive blue wave that will sweep them out of the levers of power within the Democratic Party.

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Racism is something the billionaires have us talking about rather than such mundane things as income, wealth and political inequality, as well as the disintegrating middle class. It’s easy for us to look at videos on Youtube of ordinary people being racist or to keep our eyes on things like cultural appropriation. Those things can hit us emotionally like a cruise missile, but keeping our eyes on those things is precisely what the billionaires and their political elite employees want us to do.

The last things the billionaires want us discussing among ourselves are bread and butter issues, like ever-growing income and wealth inequality and the obvious political corruption of both major political parties, as well as the corporate corruption of all three branches of the US government.

For the billionaires, it is as if the people who divert our attention from income, wealth and political inequality and toward issues like racism and cultural appropriation are on the payroll of the billionaires. It certainly makes me wonder. They have billions of dollars and can certainly pay people to post about racism and fire up people on Internet social networks.

It is easy to see the billionaire-owned corporate media focuses our attention on issues like racism, cultural appropriation and immigration and almost nothing on real issues such as income, political and wealth inequality. However, I am amazed so many people fall for this ruse, but they do.

Below is what the billionaires are protecting:

Currently, the 1 percent own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent of Americans, and six men possess more wealth than the bottom half of humanity on Earth. Worldwide, the 1 percent stole 82 percent of all new wealth produced in 2017. Those numbers are historical records and are still growing at the expense of the rest of us.  (Click here and click here for additional information on those statistics and sources).

Our record-breaking wealth inequality is fueled by record-breaking income inequality. Today, the 1 percent steal anywhere from 24 to 38 percent of all income produced in the USA, depending on which study you choose to use. This is up from 8 percent in 1980, and it is still growing at the expense of the rest of us.

But, hey, let’s talk about racism, and, we need to talk about transgender bathrooms, wars against Christmas, the war against women, Obama’s continuous war against guns and bullets, and don’t forget we desperately need to talk about the war against dirty diapers! And no! I am not on the payroll of the billionaires! Yet, I would be surprised if others were not.

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The people of the United States lead the world in many categories, most of them, however, are not things to brag about. This is where the corruption of both major political parties, all three branches of the US government (that includes the corporate wing of the US Supreme Court) by the rich and their corporate dollars has brought us to during the last forty years.

All three branches of the government and both major political parties have fought tooth and nail to redistribute income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent during the last four decades. The corporate news media has been complicit in this rape and plunder of their fellow citizens by the 1 percent.

Studies show that the top 1 percent of the US now own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent. The top 1 percent stole only 8 percent of all income produced in the USA in 1980, while studies show they are now robbing the rest of us blind by stealing anywhere from 23 to 37+ percent of the total income created in the United States. The shares of wealth and income of the 1 percent are still growing and at the expense of the rest of us.

Below are some of the findings from the United Nations study.

By most indicators, the US is one of the world’s wealthiest countries. It spends more on national defense than China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, the United Kingdom, India, France and Japan combined.
US healthcare expenditures per capita are double the OECD average and much higher than in all other countries. But there are many fewer doctors and hospital beds per person than the OECD average. (OECD = Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, which includes 37 nations)

  • US infant mortality rates in 2013 were the highest in the developed world.
  • Americans can expect to live shorter and sicker lives, compared to people living in any other rich democracy, and the “health gap” between the US and its peer countries continues to grow.
  • US inequality levels are far higher than those in most European countries
  • Neglected tropical diseases, including Zika, are increasingly common in the USA. It has been estimated that 12 million Americans live with a neglected parasitic infection. A 2017 report documents the prevalence of hookworm in Lowndes County, Alabama.
  • The US has the highest prevalence of obesity in the developed world.
  • In terms of access to water and sanitation, the US ranks 36th in the world.
  • America has the highest incarceration rate in the world, ahead of Turkmenistan, El Salvador, Cuba, Thailand and the Russian Federation. Its rate is nearly five times the OECD average.
  • The youth poverty rate in the United States is the highest across the OECD with one-quarter of youth living in poverty compared to less than 14% across the OECD.
  • The Stanford Center on Inequality and Poverty ranks the most well-off countries in terms of labor markets, poverty, safety net, wealth inequality, and economic mobility. The US comes in last of the top 10 most well-off countries and 18th amongst the top 21.
  • In the OECD, the US ranks 35th out of 37 in terms of poverty and inequality.
  • According to the World Income Inequality Database, the US has the highest Gini rate (measuring inequality) of all Western Countries
  • The Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality characterizes the US as “a clear and constant outlier in the child poverty league”.
  • US child poverty rates are the highest amongst the six richest countries – Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden and Norway.

Free trade policies that have made it easy for the billionaires and their corporations to export tens of millions of United States jobs to third world nations and the pocket the difference between the old high US wages and benefits and the super low third world wages with no benefits have caused much of the US crisis outlined in the UN Report. These same trade scams also pave the legal road for US corporations to create tens of millions of jobs overseas rather than here at home with the same result of increasing income and wealth inequality. There are other culprits in the current state of US political corruption; deregulation, monopolies, lawlessness on Wall Street, a US Department of Justice unwilling to take on Wall Street corruption, unfettered campaign contributions leading to the political corruption of both major political parties, a Supreme Court corrupted by the influence of the billionaires, such as the Koch Brothers.

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Income inequality and genetically modified foods (GMOs) are interrelated. Just like tumors and other health maladies, GMOs help income and wealth inequalities grow.

GMO’s entered the US food chain in 1994. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had approved GMO’s for the US food chain for humans in 1992. The GMO corporations provided the evidence of its safety, which, reportedly, were tests demonstrating that rats fed GMO food for three months did not develop health problems.

The folks at the FDA apparently did not care what happened to GMO fed rats after three months. What mattered is that pesticides and herbicides were genetically placed within the seeds of food plants, such as corn, canola, and soy. As the seeds grow into plants, so, too, do the pesticides and herbicides. When you eat corn, canola, and soy, you eat the pesticides and herbicides. More than 80 percent of corn, canola, and soy grown in the US today are GMOs. So are large amounts of many other crops.

Numerous studies show GMOs cause health issues. For example, a study in France found that rats fed GMO foods for over three months developed all sorts of health issues, such as tumors and other organ damage (Click here for more information). Also, see the video above.

Why are we eating this poison on such a massive scale? The answer is simple. GMO plants have the herbicides and pesticides in them. The pesticides kill bugs that bite into the plant, while the herbicides kill weeds that might otherwise grow within a few feet of the plant. That makes GMO crops less labor intensive, thereby reducing labor costs, and raising profit margins.

Increased profit margins mean higher corporate earnings and share prices than would otherwise be the case in the absence of GMOs. That’s why many corporations use GMOs, such as Kelloggs, McDonalds, Purina, Quaker Oats, PepsiCo, Swansen, Heinz, and on and on. The list is almost endless.

GMO’s are one of the reasons why income and wealth inequality are at such high levels. The rich disproportionately benefit from rising corporate profits and share prices. Currently, the top 1 percent own more wealth in the United States than the bottom 90 percent. For more information see The 1 Percent Own More Wealth Than the Bottom 90 Percent. The top 1 percent are stealing up to 37 percent of all income created in the United States nowadays, compared to just 8 to 10 percent in 1980. See The rich are now getting more than 36 percent of all income.

There is one more advantage the rich derive from GMO foods. Profits can be increased on GMO foods without raising prices. In some cases, prices might even decline while profits rise. In the face of rising inequality, the increase in food prices is slowed by using GMO crops. Otherwise, prices might rapidly increase, resulting in consumer dissatisfaction and even perhaps food riots. Cheap food depresses the discontent of the masses, helping to keep them in line even as the rich rob them of their health and money.

Ultimately, your health is being redistributed to the rich via GMOs, increased corporate profits, and rising share prices, and your government has approved this health and income redistribution scam.

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