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Posts Tagged ‘income inequality’

incomeq

The US government has been redistributing income from the 99 to the 1 percent for the last thirty-five years. The result of this government created income and wealth inequality has been an economy far weaker in virtually all measurements than any of the last century. That’s because the underlying economic factors have been weakened.

According to a study by the Pew Charitable Trust,

“Although income and earnings have increased over the past 30 years, they have changed little in the past decade. The typical worker had wage growth of 22 percent between 1979 and 1999 but just 2 percent from 1999 to 2009. (This is not in inflation adjusted wages, in which case, wages would’ve been stagnant or declining over the last thirty-five years).

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• The Great Recession eroded 20 years of consumption growth, pushing spending back to 1990 levels. Over the 22 years before the start of the downturn, household expenditures grew by 16 percent. But households tightened their purse strings after the start of the recession in 2007, and spending has yet to recover. As a result, the net increase in average annual household spending is just 2 percent since 1990. That’s despite twenty-six years of inflation growth.

• The majority of American households (55 percent) are savings-limited, meaning they can replace less than one month of their income through liquid savings. Low-income families are particularly unprepared for emergencies: The typical household at the bottom of the income ladder has the equivalent of less than two weeks’ worth of income in checking and savings accounts and cash at home.

• Even when pooling all of its resources—including from accounts that are potentially costly to access, such as retirement accounts and investments—the typical middle-income household can replace only about four months of lost income.

• Most families face financial strain across all balance sheet elements: income, expenditures, and wealth. In addition to being savings-limited, households face other financial challenges; just under half of families are “income-constrained,” reporting household spending greater than or equal to their income; and 8 percent are “debt-challenged,” with payments equal to 41 percent or more of their gross monthly income. Fully 70 percent of households face at least one of these problems, with many confronting two or even all three.

http://www.pewtrusts.org/~/media/assets/2015/01/fsm_balance_sheet_report.pdf

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fredgraph

As you can see from the graph via the Federal Reserve Bank, real family income is still down below the level of 2007 eighty-eight months into the newest economic expansion. The median is the number of families in the middle of any series of numbers.

The top 1 percent received 99 percent of all income growth from 2010 to 2014, which was an historic record. Although incomes rose in 2015, the typical household is still worse off today than it was in 2000, adjusted for inflation. The assets of the typical family today are worth 14 percent less than the assets of the typical family in 1984. And the typical job is less secure than at any time since the Great Depression.

That’s all because the 1 percent has used its financial control over both major political parties to wage war against the 99 percent. Waging war in this case means redistributing income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent via the actions of the federal government.

We are now fast approaching the newest recession, which should hit by June 2017. It’ll be worse than the Great Recession in any number of ways. This will be because trillions of dollars have been redistributed to the wealthy over the last thirty-five years. This epoch is about to end.

Enough people will finally be aroused for working folks to take back control over both major political parties as the reality of the severity of the next financial crisis takes hold. Then real middle class incomes can grow again.

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nafta-protest

The US corporate false-news media is reporting one-half of a story, but not the other half.

It’s true Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said last Thursday he is willing to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which US President-elect Donald Trump has said he wants to change or scrap.

During the campaign, Trump called NAFTA the worst trade deal the United States has ever signed, while proposing protectionist measures to repatriate American jobs lost to free trade.

Now here’s what the right and left corporate news media doesn’t want you to know.

The US NAFTA problem isn’t with Canada. It’s with Mexico. Ultra-rich US campaign donors corrupting the politicians of both major political parties, as well as Wall Street executives, hedge fund managers, and other CEOs, like exporting US jobs to Mexico, rather than to higher paying, more unionized, Canada. So while this is big news that Trudeau is willing to renegotiate NAFTA, it isn’t that big of a deal since Canada isn’t where US jobs are being exported to.

When the Mexican president says he is willing to renegotiate NAFTA, then that’s news worth reporting, but only if any new agreement includes enforceable high minimum wages equal to about $10 an hour in the USA, as well as high labor, health, and environmental standards. That’s not likely to happen because corporate profits will suffer, meaning stock and bond prices will fall.

In which case, don’t count on any serious re-negotiation of NAFTA that might benefit the 99 percent of the United States. And certainly don’t look for such a re-negotiation like this, because it would help Mexican workers.

Neither the US or Mexican governments represents the vast majority of the 99 percent. NAFTA, as is, redistributes income from the 99 to the 1 percent, and that’s what it was negotiated to do.

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WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 03: Activists hold a rally to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in front of the White house on February 3, 2016 in Washington, DC. The TPP trade pact is expected to be signed in New Zealand on February 4. (Photo by Olivier Douliery/Getty Images)

White House officials conceded on Friday that the president’s hard-fought-for Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal would not pass Congress.

Earlier this week, congressional leaders in both parties said they would not bring the trade deal forward during a lame-duck session of Congress, before the formal transition of power on 20 January.

The Democratic senator Chuck Schumer, who will be minority leader in the next Congress, told union leaders the trade deal would not pass. Senator Mitch McConnell, the chamber’s Republican majority leader, told reporters “no” when asked if Congress would consider the TPP.

The deal has supporters in both parties but became a campaign symbol for lost manufacturing jobs, especially in the rust belt states. The TPP would’ve cost the US millions of jobs, and redistributed trillions of dollars from working folks to the rich billionaires who control both major political parties.

The TPP was negotiated to redistribute income and political power from the 99 to the 1 percent.

Over the last three years, a variety of labor, progressive, environmental, human rights groups have organized and pushed back hard against the TPP, and quite successfully.

The TPP would have included the US and 11 countries in Asia, South America and the south Pacific, and was designed in large part to curb the growing economic influence of China.

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manufacturing-jobs-exported-cummulative

How could Hillary have lost? Maybe she lacked credibility? She is a noted jobs exporter with intensely close personal and financial ties to Wall Street, which benefits from exporting jobs. Maybe those folks in the rust belt were sending a message to the Wall Street controlled Democratic Party by voting for Trump. Maybe enough of those folks in the rust belt were tired of seeing their jobs, as well as their friends and neighbors jobs, exported to Mexico and China and Vietnam and India.

When a job is exported, the difference between the old higher US wages and benefits and the new lower Chinese wages and non-existent benefits goes straight into the already fat wallets of the super rich via higher corporate earnings, rising dividends and surging share prices.

Like many Republican lawmakers, Hillary and President Obama and Democratic Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden are noted job exporters, which means they like to redistribute income from hard working people to politically and financially powerful people.

As a member of the Wall Street Democratic Establishment, Hillary Clinton lacks credibility as a woman of the people. So does the Democratic Party Establishment.

In poll after poll during the presidential primaries, Bernie Sanders defeated Donald Trump by much wider margins than did Hillary. Why? Because the public perceived Bernie as being far more honest than Hillary or Donald Trump, and he has a history of fighting hard for the 99 percent against the rapacity of Wall Street and hedge fund CEOs.

My take is simple. Hillary lost because she lacked the history of fighting for working people, and had a long history of fighting to redistribute income from working people to the rich and powerful, and she was correctly perceived as less honest.

This suggest that the Democratic Party Establishment, which is owned lock, stock and barrel by Wall Street investment banks and hedge funds, is as out of touch with its base as is the Republican Party Establishment out of touch with its base.

Perhaps the two bases should unite and throw the bums out.

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tpp-trade-deal-what-now-500

Get ready to fight once more against Wall Street. President Obama plans to introduce the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) after the elections. The TPP is a massive income and political power redistribution scam falsely marketed by its Wall Street supporters as a trade agreement. Elizabeth Swager of Citizen’s Trade Campaign is organizing an effort to defeat Obama’s scheme. Below is her letter and how you can help defeat this Wall Street plot.

Dear Fair Trade Supporters:

The White House has given every indication that they still plan to introduce the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in Congress next month during the Lame Duck session. The corporations behind the TPP power grab understand that 2016 is their best shot of ever getting the pact approved, so, unfortunately, they’re going all-in on this and a mighty struggle will be upon us very soon.

The good news is that, if we each do our part, we can defeat this thing. Here are some easy ways you can help…

Please Join the National Call-In Days Against the TPP. A broad coalition of online, labor, environmental, consumer and other groups will be participating in the National Call-In Days Against the TPP from November 15 – 17. Last month, nearly 100 groups joined together to generate tens of thousands of calls into Congress against the TPP. With your help, we’re going to top that effort the first week of the Lame Duck session. We need you to please…

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Sign up to participate in the Call-In Days by clicking here, and we’ll make sure you receive template email blasts, tollfree numbers, click-to-call tools and unbranded memes that will make you’re participation easy. Each group is asked to send at least one email out to their supporters about the TPP on whatever day of their choosing on November 15, 16 or 17. Sign up to participate in the Thunderclap about the Call-In Days by clicking here.

Thunderclap is an online tool through which you can authorize your Facebook and Twitter account to automatically post one message about the Call-In Days on November 15th. If enough people sign up, we’ll reach millions of Americans through social media that day. You can do this on behalf of your group and as an individual. You just need to be on Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr.

Other Ways to Make a Difference:

A number of groups are flying and bussing in members from throughout the country to participate in a National Lobby Day Against the TPP in Washington, DC on Wednesday, November 30th. If you can personally make it — or your organization can send even just one or two supporters — let’s coordinate!

While we can’t fund people’s travel, we may be able to identify home stays and carpooling options, and we’ll definitely keep you in the loop about a planned morning breakfast briefing, an afternoon press event and rally, and a free Rock Against the TPP concert in DC with 1,500 of your new closest friends that evening. Please let us know you’re interested by clicking here.

Can’t make it to DC? No problem. Have you checked in with your U.S. Representative about his or her TPP position recently? This is perhaps the most important thing each of us can do right now. Members of Congress are back home, in-district now through the election, and we need each and every one of them to commit to oppose the TPP. Please either meet with them, call them or attend one of their public events and ask them: “Will you commit to oppose the TPP before the election?”

Please share any updates on your outreach and conversations you have with me, so that we can track each members’ position closely. This whole thing could come down to just a handful of votes, so every conversation matters.

The TPP’s chances of passage this year are too close for comfort, but, by working together, I’m confident we can win. The Call-In Days are one incredibly easy way to make a real contribution.

In solidarity,
Elizabeth Swager
Citizens Trade Campaign

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airbnb

Governments at all levels are under mounting pressure by the corporate hotel industry and their shareholders to stop middle class people from using and renting homes on the AirBnB network. It should be pointed out that the US government onesidedly redistributed income from the 99 to the 1 percent via legislation and regulations so much that the economy could no longer create the jobs necessary to sustain the people of the middle class, so some of those folks had to find ways to sustain themselves, and viola! Suddenly, you had Uber, Lift and AirBnB.

The corporate big boys aren’t happy that middle class folks are paying middle class folks cash to crash for the night in their homes. The big boys want your cash. They want all the money to go to themselves. AirBnB has got to go, if only to keep their profits and share values rising.

The share prices of some of the largest hotel chains in the nation have been sagging for a year and half. Think Marriot, Wyndham and Hilton. Got to get those profits up in order for share prices to rise. The best way to do that is eliminate the competition from AirBnB (and all those working stiffs with extra rooms to rent). The best way to eliminate the competition is in the legislative markets on the local, state and federal levels.

According to the Guardian UK:

New York governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill that will fine tenants or landlords who rent unoccupied apartments for less than 30 days.

In Dublin, the owners of one apartment were recently prohibited from using it as an Airbnb rental without planning permission, raising the prospect of copycat actions elsewhere.

In Berlin, people who rent more than half of their home “short-term without obtaining permission from the city council now risk a fine of €100,000. And in London, a 90-day rule was introduced last year under which no property can be rented out on Airbnb, or any similar service, for more than three months a year without planning permission.”

In other words, the corporate hotel chains are busy convincing lawmakers to steal your right to rent rooms you own, which people have been doing for thousands of years. Quite naturally, the corporate news media is against AirBnB because those folks don’t advertise their products, so you hear only bad stories about AirBnB with the media. That’s because the big hotel chains do advertise with the corporate media.

Click AirBnB Backlash–The Guardian UK for the rest of the story.

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