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Posts Tagged ‘income inequality’

“‘When the top 10 percent gets 100 percent of the income growth over the course of a generation, then the America of opportunity is vanishing.’

With that simple sentence, delivered Wednesday afternoon at a small celebration in honor of the 25th anniversary of the American Prospect, Elizabeth Warren cut through a dilemma that has proved surprisingly bedeviling to Democrats for years. The party’s leading thinkers, you see, want to talk about economic inequality, and have wanted to for some time. But polls and focus groups consistently show that the public is more interested in questions of opportunity and mobility than in questions of distribution per se.”

What Warren has discovered is that most of the Democratic Party in D.C. doesn’t care about opportunities for all Americans. They only care, for the most part, on raising large sums of cash and marketing themselves as a better and more sane alternative to the Republican Party. In many respects, the Democratic Party doesn’t actually exist as a political party. It is more of a convoluted marketing machine whose primary purpose is to redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent (which is what the Republican Party is for), collect large sums of money from the big money boys, and convince its overly educated and rapidly declining base that it is working for them, which is, in fact, the opposite of what the party actually does. Support for the Trans Pacific Partnership and Fast Track Authority, which are massive schemes to redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent, prove the point to a tee.

See the rest of the story Elizabeth Warren has the best answer to a dilemma that’s puzzled Democrats for years–Voxat

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Why do Nike executives want the US congress to pass the Trans Pacific Partnership?

The answer is simple, they want to offshore more jobs, which the corporation will be able to do once the TPP becomes law. But first let me explain a few things.

The folks at Nike declared that the notorious jobs exporter would create 10,000 new manufacturing jobs in the US if the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is passed by congress. President Obama repeated this lie when he gave a speech at Nike headquarters on May 8. I should point out that 10,000 jobs represents less than 1 percent of Nike’s total manufacturing labor force. So it’s a drop in the bucket.

So how is it that the president is willing to share information from his top secret trade negotiations with Nike executives, but not with the rest of us?

This willingness to create jobs in the United States defies both logic and Nike’s history.

Nike is one of the top jobs exporters in all of US history, if not number one of all time. And the defining issue for Nike in the TPP, that we know of via leaked documents, is the desire of Nike executives to reduce or eliminate the tariff on Nike products the company exports to the United States from Vietnam, which swells the US trade deficit, and ask anybody, the latter is a bad thing.

If the TPP becomes law, we can count on tens of thousands of Nike jobs to be relocated from China to Vietnam because the wages in Vietnam are much lower than in China. This will increase Nike’s profits and stock price. Take a look at the history of Nike’s stock price below.

Nike’s stock price was barely over $4 a share in November 1994, just before the implementation of NAFTA in December 1994. It more than doubled between 1994 and 2000, because the company was able to export more jobs. Then China was given most favored nation status. The price of Nike stock has jumped more than a thousand percent since then because the company was able to export even more jobs. If you owned 1000 shares of Nike in 1994, your stock was worth $4000. Now it would be worth $100,000, and that doesn’t even count the yearly dividend payment.

Nike’s stock growth was a result of exporting jobs. When a job is exported from the US, the difference between the old higher US wage and the new lower Vietnam wage increases profits, which drives stock prices and dividends higher, but leaves everybody else in poverty.

So it’s more than likely that Nike will not shift production to the United States with or without the Trans Pacific Partnership. This suggests that people should rightly be suspicious of the dubious claim by Nike executives that they will create 10,000 US manufacturing jobs in the US if only the TPP passes through congress. Nike could do it right now. And the lowering of US tariffs on imports from Vietnam via the TPP gives Nike absolutely no incentive to create production jobs in the US. Rather, it gives Nike incentives to export the few production jobs in the US and the hundreds of thousands in China to Vietnam.

On the other hand, these executives want the TPP in the worst sort of way, which suggests they have had the privilege of seeing the text of the TPP, a right which is being denied to the rest of us.

So what is the president and his chief Wall Street henchman in the senate (Ron Wyden) hiding?

We know from leaked documents that the TPP will:

* TPP will give incentives for US corporations to export millions of US jobs. The Federal Reserve estimates that 28 million US jobs were exported between 1990 and 2010. Wyden wants to increase this number. Jobs are the biggest US export product. Wyden likes this.

* TPP will increase US income and wealth inequality. The 1 percent have already taken 95 percent of all income growth in the United States since 2009. Currently, the 1 percent are stealing 36+ percent of all income produced in the USA, compared to only 8 percent in 1980. International trade scams and other federal legislation have brought inequality about. For example, when the above jobs were exported, the difference between the old higher US wages and the new lower wages will go straight into the pockets of the 1 percent via higher corporate profits, rising dividends and surging share prices. Wyden is a principle architect of this inequality.

* Those lost jobs will no longer be paying the taxes for our infrastructure, K-12 education, higher education (tuition and fees will go up), social safety nets, schools, fire, police, public transportation, social security taxes, but those lost jobs will push the stock markets higher.

* TPP will effectively eliminate your voting rights on local and state issues since it will unconstitutionally grant investors of the 0.01 percent special privileges to challenge labeling and health and safety local laws and regulations of the 99 percent, which most people call voter suppression, but in this case it should be called voter elimination.

* TPP will eliminate millions of jobs in Latin America, which will drive millions of more people illegally into the United States and depress wages here. See How the Trans Pacific Partnership Will Destroy American Jobs and Exports

* TPP will jack up pharmaceutical prices by extending the patents of the pharmaceutical corporations. Hmm, that doesn’t sound like free trade. It sounds like they’re rigging the game against the 99 percent.

These things we know only from leaked documents, and they’re only a tiny bit of what’s been negotiated. It doesn’t seem like the stuff we don’t know about in the TPP is going to be very good for the majority of citizens, otherwise, the president would let us know what is in the TPP, which is precisely what the president doesn’t want us to know. If the TPP is so good for the majority of American citizens, as the president claims, then why don’t the rich folks want us to know what’s in it?

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Stunningly, on Friday, President Obama falsely accused Democratic opponents of the Trans Pacific Partnership of being “dishonest” and spreading “misinformation” about the largest international income and political power redistribution scam in the history of humankind, which is called the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). In their opposition, Obama’s opponents are relying on leaked documents from the negotiations, which can be accessed at Wikileaks. That means it’s the president who is lying about the TPP.

On Saturday, Warren and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) responded with a letter essentially telling Obama to put up or shut up. If the deal is so great, Warren and Brown wrote, the administration should make the full negotiation texts public before Congress votes on a “fast track” bill that would strip the legislative branch of its authority to amend it.

“Members of Congress should be able to discuss the agreement with our constituents and to participate in a robust public debate, instead of being muzzled by classification rules,” Warren and Brown wrote in the letter obtained by The Huffington Post.

“Your Administration has deemed the draft text of the agreement classified and kept it hidden from public view, thereby making it a secret deal,” the letter reads. “It is currently illegal for the press, experts, advocates, or the general public to review the text of this agreement. And while you noted that Members of Congress may ‘walk over … and read the text of the agreement’ — as we have done — you neglected to mention that we are prohibited by law from discussing the specifics of that text in public.”

Warren and Brown appeared particularly miffed at being accused of lying.

“We respectfully suggest that characterizing the assessments of labor unions, journalists, Members of Congress, and others who disagree with your approach to transparency on trade issues as ‘dishonest’ is both untrue and unlikely to serve the best interests of the American people,” the letter reads.

Then they proceeded with a withering attack on the president’s motives for supporting Fast Track Authority. The letter also asked the president to release the text of the TPP so the public can be informed about its contents, and public debate about the merits of the treaty can take place.

See the full letter at http://big.assets.huffingtonpost.com/WarrenBrownTPPLetter.pdf.

We know from leaked documents that,

* TPP will give incentives for US corporations to export millions of US jobs. The Federal Reserve estimates that 28 million US jobs were exported between 1990 and 2010. Wyden wants to increase this number. Jobs are the biggest US export product. Wyden likes this.

* TPP will increase US income and wealth inequality. The 1 percent have already taken 95 percent of all income growth in the United States since 2009. Currently, the 1 percent are stealing 36+ percent of all income produced in the USA, compared to only 8 percent in 1980. International trade scams and other federal legislation have brought inequality about. For example, when the above jobs were exported, the difference between the old higher US wages and the new lower wages will go straight into the pockets of the 1 percent via higher corporate profits, rising dividends and surging share prices. Wyden is a principle architect of this inequality.

* Those lost jobs will no longer be paying the taxes for our infrastructure, K-12 education, higher education (tuition and fees will go up), social safety nets, schools, fire, police, public transportation, social security taxes, but those lost jobs will push the stock markets higher.

* TPP will effectively eliminate your voting rights on local and state issues since it will unconstitutionally grant investors of the 0.01 percent special privileges to challenge labeling and health and safety local laws and regulations of the 99 percent, which most people call voter suppression, but in this case it should be called voter elimination.

* TPP will eliminate millions of jobs in Latin America, which will drive millions of more people illegally into the United States and depress wages here. See https://johnhively.wordpress.com/2015/04/21/how-the-trans-pacific-partnership-will-destroy-american-jobs-by-destroying-us-exports/

* TPP will raise pharmaceutical prices by extending patents forcing the 99 percent to pay more for big pharma’s products.

* TPP will override Wall Street regulations, as if the mostly ineffective US regulations inhibit Wall Street profits and illegal activities.

Stunningly, Democrats such as Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden support doing all of the above to the American people.

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Yesterday, Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden voted to increase the already lopsided income and wealth inequality in the US when he introduced Fast Track legislation to the US Senate. Fast Track Authority paves the way for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) to sail through congress with little debate, no amendments, and no filibuster in the senate. Fast Track is the only way the TPP will get through congress. TPP is a massive income and political power grab on behalf of the 0.01 percent. Here’s what the senator voted for;

* TPP will give incentives for US corporations to export millions of US jobs. The Federal Reserve estimates that 28 million US jobs were exported between 1990 and 2010. Wyden wants to increase this number. Jobs are the biggest US export product. Wyden likes this.

* TPP will increase US income and wealth inequality. The 1 percent have already taken 95 percent of all income growth in the United States since 2009. Currently, the 1 percent are stealing 36+ percent of all income produced in the USA, compared to only 8 percent in 1980. International trade scams and other federal legislation have brought inequality about. For example, when the above jobs were exported, the difference between the old higher US wages and the new lower wages will go straight into the pockets of the 1 percent via higher corporate profits, rising dividends and surging share prices. Wyden is a principle architect of this inequality.

* Those lost jobs will no longer be paying the taxes for our infrastructure, K-12 education, higher education (tuition and fees will go up), social safety nets, schools, fire, police, public transportation, social security taxes, but those lost jobs will push the stock markets higher.

* TPP will effectively eliminate your voting rights on local and state issues since it will unconstitutionally grant investors of the 0.01 percent special privileges to challenge labeling and health and safety local laws and regulations of the 99 percent, which most people call voter suppression, but in this case it should be called voter elimination.

* TPP will eliminate millions of jobs in Latin America, which will drive millions of more people illegally into the United States and depress wages here.

* TPP will raise pharmaceutical prices by extending patents forcing the 99 percent to pay more for big pharma’s products.

* TPP will override Wall Street regulations, as if the mostly ineffective US regulations inhibit Wall Street profits and illegal activities.

Yes, believe it or not, Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden supports this massive income and political power redistribution scam, and it’s not because the TPP will create a lot of export jobs, and he’s not the dummy he pretends to be in public. He know it won’t create jobs. And he knows the TPP will mainly destroy US jobs.

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Groups in the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) are opposed to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) because past similar deals have caused crippling poverty in many countries. Within six years after the implementation of NAFTA, for example, wages in Mexico dropped nearly thirty percent, unemployment shot up, and drove millions of people illegally into the United States, helping to depress wages there. The TPP will do exactly the same.

“The current trade negotiations for TPP would not be an exception to this. In these deals, the U.S. government is de-emphasizing labor and human rights, while lifting up corporate rights through Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions, meaning extra-legal tribunals where corporations may pursue claims of lost profits,” said FIRM spokesperson Kica Matos.

“Like NAFTA and other trade agreements, TPP risks offshoring millions of jobs overseas forcing more and more people to lose their livelihood here and in other countries,” added Matos. “If TPP is passed, it could not only undermine work opportunities and protections for workers here and abroad, but it could also dramatically increase the number of economic refugees to this country. Millions could be subjected to poverty and will inevitably be forced to leave to seek opportunity elsewhere, risking their lives coming to the U.S. only to face our broken immigration system.”

“Worse yet, the Administration wants to “fast track” a vote on new trade agreements. Instead, we should fast track an immigration bill. We should fast track a jobs bill, unemployment benefits, climate change legislation, and voting rights. We must fast track solutions for children who have been forced to migrate and arrive at our border,” Matos said.

Among the groups that have signed the statement are CASA, Center for Community Change, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), Michigan United, Promise Arizona, One America, Workers’ Defense Project, Alliance for a Just Society, Voces de la Frontera, and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.

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And Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden wonders why I call him Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden!

If we are going to defeat the job killing, environmentally devastating, Trans-Pacific Partnership from being railroaded through Congress using Fast Track Authority, then we need to get Senator Wyden to oppose it once again. He was against it before he was for it, so he can change his mind on this, but your voice matters, so call now. This time his vote in the senate matters most to all Americans.

Please make the call to 1-866-502-6055 and tell the senator you are against Fast Track Authority and the international income redistribution scam known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

What is Fast Track Authority? What is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)? Why does Senator Wyden support them? I’m happy you asked.

The fast track negotiating authority for trade agreements is the authority of the President of the United States to negotiate international agreements that Congress can approve or disapprove but cannot amend or filibuster. Debate is also limited. Fast track negotiating authority is a temporary and controversial power granted to the President by Congress. The authority was in effect from 1975 to 1994, pursuant to the Trade Act of 1974, and from 2002 to 2007 by the Trade Act of 2002. Although it expired for new agreements on July 1, 2007, it continued to apply to agreements already under negotiation until they were eventually passed into law in 2011. In 2012, the Obama administration began seeking renewal of the authority.

As for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), we know from leaked documents the TPP is a massive income redistribution scam. The TPP has almost nothing to do with international trade. We know that;

* TPP will give incentives for US corporations to export millions of US jobs. The Federal Reserve estimates that 28 million US jobs were exported between 1990 and 2010.

* TPP will increase US income and wealth inequality. The 1 percent have already taken 95 percent of all income growth in the United States since 2009. Currently, the 1 percent are stealing 36+ percent of all income produced in the USA, compared to only 8 percent in 1980. International trade scams and other federal legislation have brought inequality about. For example, when the above jobs were exported, the difference between the old higher US wages and the new lower wages will go straight into the pockets of the 1 percent via higher corporate profits, rising dividends and surging share prices.

* Those lost jobs will no longer be paying the taxes for our infrastructure, K-12 education, higher education (tuition and fees will go up), social safety nets, schools, fire, police, public transportation, social security taxes, but those lost jobs will push the stock markets higher.

* TPP will effectively eliminate your voting rights on local and state issues since it will unconstitutionally grant investors of the 0.01 percent special privileges to challenge labeling and health and safety local laws and regulations of the 99 percent, which most people call voter suppression, but in this case it should be called voter elimination,

* TPP will offer new monopolies for Big Pharma to raise medicine prices they charge you (which redistributes income from the 99 to the 1 percent),

* TPP will limit food safety standards (which redistributes and transforms your health into the profits of the 1 percent),

* TPP will block financial regulations aimed at preventing the next financial crisis (which will make it easier for Wall Street to redistribute your income and wealth to the 1 percent). Bank of America Stands to Gain From This. The bank will be able to steal more money from you with less regulations, which will increase its profits, dividends and share prices, not to mention CEO bonuses. Bank of America is also spending millions of dollars on lobbyists in support of Fast Track and TPP.

* TPP will roll back the limited environmental regulations negotiated with other nations by the administration of President George W. Bush, which will give President Obama a worse environmental record than his predecessor, according to the Sierra Club.

* TPP will destroy millions of jobs in Latin America (230,000 in the textile industry of El Salvador alone) forcing millions of undocumented immigrants into the United States.

Yes, believe it or not, Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden supports this massive income and political power redistribution scam, as well as Fast Track, and corporate plutocrats such as Oregon Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici, and Congressmen Earl Blumenauer and Kurt Schrader keep saying they haven’t made up their minds. What a corporate plutocrat shocker! Listen below to the video showing Senator Wyden using more than six minutes during a town hall to avoid the question of why he supports the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

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The one percent are set to own over 50 percent of the world’s wealth sometime next year if current trends continue, according to a new report by Oxfam, a poverty fighting group. The report notes that this extreme inequality “is the consequence of political choices. Extreme poverty and inequality are the result of a skewed economic and political system that favors the few at the expense of everyone else.”

Basically, the folks at Oxfam are saying that the golden rule is the cause of inequality; “he who has the gold makes the rules.”

Currently, the top 1 percent own about 48 percent of the world’s wealth, up from slightly above 44 percent in 2010. Much of this rapid growth is due to free trade treaties which place downward pressure on wages.

Wealth, by the way, are things that you own. It’s different than income, which is money you have coming in, either in the form of income, or capital gains.

There is an important connection between income and wealth. You cannot accumulate wealth without getting the income to do so. So in that sense, the massive difference between the wealth owned by the 1 and the 99 percent is caused by a massive income inequality, which is nothing more than a function of inequality of political power, which is the root cause of wealth inequality.

The Oxfam report notes that the wealth of the world’s 80 richest people has doubled from 2009 to 2014. Most of the world’s billionaires get their money primarily from industries such as investments, banking and pharmaceuticals, which coincidentally, amazingly, are industries that will prosper even more if the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) becomes law. We know this because of leaked documents. 600 corporate lobbyists are helping the negotiators secretly construct this deal, and it’s literally a done deal. The TPP is a perfect example of how the rich use their political clout to redistribute income from the 99 percent to themselves.

For more on the Oxfam report, click the link below.

http://www.oxfamamerica.org/static/media/files/Wealth_Having_it_all_and_wanting_more.pdf

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