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Posts Tagged ‘income inequality’

From the Citizen’s Trade Campaign:

TPP - Investor State Dispute Settlement

TPP – Investor State Dispute Settlement

The TPP covers 40 percent of the global economy, yet it was negotiated in secret with hundreds of corporate advisors while the public was locked out. The key provision in TPP grants new rights to thousands of foreign corporations to sue the U.S. government before a panel of 3 corporate lawyers. These lawyers can award the corporations unlimited sums to be paid by America’s taxpayers, including for the loss of expected future profits. These foreign corporations need only convince the lawyers that a U.S. law or safety regulation violates their TPP rights. Their decisions are not subject to appeal and the amount awarded has no limit. This agreement is not good for American taxpayers. It means higher drug prices. It makes it easier to send jobs overseas, means fewer jobs and lower wages, and a government that doesn’t work for us. It’s also unconstitutional, and should not be upheld in a legal challenge. Italics mine

Shameless and valueless Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden supports this illegal international trade agreement because it will lower US wages by pitting Americans against workers making 65 cents an hour in countries like Vietnam. Wyden also wants us to import food that does not meet U.S. safety standards, limit policies to combat climate change, and raise drug prices. This TPP trade agreement is not good for American taxpayers and workers. That’s why Wyden, Obama, and the entire Republican leadership supports it. Mainly the TPP will redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent. Wyden and the rest of its supporters know this.

The TPP means that government will not work for working families and the middle class.

The most impactful arguments against the TPP in order of voter opposition generated:

FOOD SAFETY: The U.S. currently rejects a significant portion of food imports from TPP countries like Vietnam and Malaysia as unsafe, but TPP would require us to accept food imports that do not meet U.S. safety standards.

ISDS LAWYERS: TPP will allow foreign corporations to sue the U.S. government in private tribunals/ corporate courts run by three corporate lawyers who rotate between judging these cases and representing corporations, which is a conflict of interest, and there is no outside appeal

ISDS FUTURE PROFITS: Under TPP, the American taxpayers could be forced to pay foreign corporations compensation for any American law or safety rule. They can sue for their current losses but also future expected profits, and there is no limit to the amount they can win from U.S. taxpayers. This clause will likely eliminate your voting rights on state and local issues if it conflicts with foreign corporations, such as food labeling laws. I should point out that many of these foreign companies have US investors, which means they’re circumventing US laws using the TPP. Wall Street Ronnie Wyden knows this all too well.

LOWER WAGES/FEWER JOBS: TPP will pit American workers against workers in Vietnam making less than 65 cents an hour. Economists who have looked at this deal say it will lower wages for 90 percent of Americans and gives corporations more incentives to move American jobs overseas

ISDS CORPORATE RIGHTS: TPP gives foreign corporations that come to the U.S. even more rights and privileges than the American people and our businesses, and elevates foreign corporations to the status of the U.S. government by allowing them to sue our country in special tribunals/corporate courts.

SECRET CORPORATE NEGOTIATIONS: The terms of the new TPP trade agreement were negotiated in secret with over 500 corporate advisors, but the people, the press, and even the U.S. Congress were shut out so it favors corporations, not working families.

BIPARTISAN DISAPPROVAL: For the first time, the presidential nominees of both parties, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, oppose this new trade agreement because it does nothing to stop currency manipulation, will hurt U.S. wages and jobs, and means higher drug prices

BAD FOR CLIMATE: All of the countries in the world are working to combat climate change, but TPP would forbid many of the policies we need to stop the climate crisis.

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NAFTA is not a treaty! The Trans Pacific Partnership is not a treaty. The 1 percent doesn’t want you to know this.

Section 2 of Article II of the US Constitution clearly states that the US president “….shall have the Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make treaties provided two thirds of the Senators present concur.” Only 61 of 100 senators voted for NAFTA. That means NAFTA is not a treaty under the US constitution. In addition, the TPP would require 67 yes votes, which makes it highly unlikely that it will pass treaty status.

The US constitution does not give any branch of the US government the power to negotiate international trade agreements (as opposed to treaties)  with other nations. It only gives the president the power to negotiate “treaties,” and only with the 2/3rds requirement. International agreements are not mentioned in the US constitution. All other powers not given the federal government redound to the individual states, which are prohibited from negotiating treaties with other nations. Therefore, such an agreement is only fiction, make-believe to fool us into believing the legality of such things.

A treaty is not required to pass through the House of Representatives. It must only pass through the US senate. NAFTA was forced to pass through the House because it is an illegal fictional agreement that could not probably resist a court challenge through honest judges.

In other words, these international income redistribution agreements, which are falsely marketed as international trade agreements, most likely cannot withstand a court challenge.

nafta

Now the US Supreme court has ruled that if your government is doing something illegal, you cannot challenge that law unless you can prove it has harmed you. In other words, the court has ruled the US government can illegally spy on you, burglarize your homes and businesses, and even kill you, but unless you can prove the US government is behind these things, you cannot challenge the law that allows this in court. That, of course, means the Supreme Court has ruled that the US government can do anything it wants outside of the law, just so long as it doesn’t get caught. There’s something corrupt there. Don’t ya think?

Now we have a special case coming up. TransCanada Corporation made its intention clear that it is going to sue the US government through an unconstitutional secret tribunal because President Obama refused to give the company a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline. It is filing its claim for $15 billion in damages under North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) provisions, which is through an illegal secret tribunal.

A secret tribunal made up of corporate lawyers will determine if US taxpayers have to ante up $15 billion in order to not allow an environmentally hazardous pipeline to cut across the USA. Only corporations can use this secret tribunal to sue governments over alleged damages and the loss of alleged future profits.

Some of the biggest US investors in TransCanada include JP Morgan/Chase, Vanguard Corporation, and Prudential. You can bet there’s a bunch of rich US citizens cheering on TransCanada executives in this case. These companies are circumventing US law via the unconstitutional secret tribunal.

If the US government loses, there is no reason why we as taxpayers should not launch a class action lawsuit challenging these secret tribunals as unconstitutional, since they are. Since the US Supreme Court has ruled that corporations are people, a challenge can be issued under the equal protection clause of the US Constitution, which should render illegal the secret tribunal provision of NAFTA, depending on how corrupt the US courts are. In addition, of course, the US constitution says the establishment of any “tribunal” must originate in the US house of representatives, and NAFTA clearly did not. There are several other ways that provisions of NAFTA violate the constitution.

In other words, the secret tribunals of NAFTA cannot withstand a legal challenge the moment the US government spends a penny of our hard earned tax dollars on defending the US government in this unconstitutional tribunal.

Perhaps it’s time for some legal action? What do you think fellow citizens? Anybody want to join me?

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Brexit-10-650
Let’s look at what the EU commissioners call the sacred “four freedoms”: the free movement of goods, capital, services and people. Notice something strange about the list? Goods are manufactured things, capital is money, services are transactions, but people are of a different category, are they not?

Human beings have cultural ties, feelings, attitudes, patterns of behaviour, social assumptions and… add all the other obvious words you can think of. But to CEO’s of corporations, or hedge fund managers, they’re all inputs into the production process.

Not only does the free movement of labor in unlimited numbers in the European Union present a much more complex and potentially delicate problem, but it seems quite wrong to lump people in with manufactured goods and commercial services. Is this the dream of conservative and liberal politicians of Europe: to build an economic and political system that shunts people around a continent to fill whatever quotas big business requires at any given moment?

The answer is yes. And so British corporations have exported jobs to lower wage EU nations, like Hungary. In turn, Eastern European labor has been given unrestricted access to immigrate anywhere in the EU they desire, and for many, that means higher wage nations, which includes Great Britain.

As jobs leave Britain for lower wages elsewhere, hundreds of thousands of immigrants have entered Great Britain and placed downward pressure on wages and benefits there. That puts upward pressure on corporate earnings, stocks prices and dividends, which go mostly to the rich.

The EU is politically constructed so as to ensure the rich get wealthier by redistributing income from the 99 percent to themselves.

That’s precisely what globalization is all about.

The United States has followed this pattern with hyper-immigration over the last thirty-five years, and with massive international income redistribution scams falsely marketed as international trade agreements, which have lead to the exportation of tens of millions of US jobs. Notice real US wages have stagnated during these years while the stock markets have exploded, and the rich have gone from stealing 8 percent of all income produced in the US to 37+ percent today. That’s precisely what globalization has brought us.

In the meantime, the corporate press of both the US and Great Britain cry out against the success of Brexit on behalf of their fellow corporations and advertisers. However, the people of Great Britain knew what they were doing.

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There’s a coming economic storm the likes of which we haven’t seen since the Great Depression. This disaster has been brought on by a government corrupted by the money of the 1 percent, and the legislation and international agreements they’ve bought in the political markets that make up the US senate, US house of representatives, and the White House.

Obviously, a New Deal for all Americans is coming within the next five years. As I’ve been predicting, the disaster will officially strike most likely between October 2016 and June 2017. The full impacts will not be felt for many months afterward. The corporate propaganda machine will, quite naturally, try to distract our attention from the economic tsunami by claiming that the victims were the perpetrators of this heinous mess. The American Enterprise Institute knowingly and falsely blamed the last disaster on the victims.

The question now is, “What should this new deal look like?”

a 20131216-99-1percent

Obviously we want to halt the rise of income and wealth inequality that has been ongoing for the last thirty-five years. The first thing that needs to be done is stop the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP is an international income and political power redistribution scam on steroids. Tens of millions of US jobs will be exported because of this Wall Street scheme. See The TPP-The Op-ed the Corporate Press Doesn’t Want You to See–JohnHively.wordpress.com

The difference between the higher US pay and the new lower overseas pay will go straight into the pockets of the rich via higher corporate profits, rising dividends and a stock market bubble.

The Economic Policy Institute also has some ideas.

* Use the levers of macroeconomic policy (monetary, fiscal, and exchange-rate policy) to target genuine full employment.
* Make investments that markets are not making—in early childhood education, infrastructure, school construction, energy efficiency, and public health care.
* Strengthen antitrust regulations and look for other opportunities to introduce competition to private markets, such as public options for health insurance and retirement savings. Why is this important? Check out The Big Banks are Manipulating the Housing Market–JohnHively.wordpress.com.
* Reregulate many activities of the financial sector to squeeze out the activities that don’t enhance productivity or create efficiency but simply enrich well-placed actors within finance. A financial transactions tax is the clearest example of a policy that can stop this income skimming.
* Enact climate-change mitigation measures—realizing that policies beyond simply increasing the market price of greenhouse gas emissions can play large and useful roles.
* Strengthen regulations and institutions that help shift bargaining leverage from capital-owners and corporate managers to low- and middle-income workers. Key examples include higher minimum wages and labor law reform that allows willing workers to join unions and bargain collectively.

We should also,

  • Strengthen laws making it easier for labor unions to form and negotiate.
  • Boost the maximum minimum wage to $15 an hour.
  • Put a progressively higher tax rate on income of up to 90 percent, end tax loop holes that allow individuals and corporations to hide money from the tax collector in overseas tax havens.
  • Pass legislation allowing for government funding of political campaigns rather than allowing the highest bidders determine the candidates we choose, or reenact campaign finance laws which stood for over a hundred years until the corrupt corporate wing of the US Supreme Court overturned them with Citizen’s United.
  • End the nonsense that corporations are somehow people via an honest Supreme Court or a Constitutional amendment.

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Brexit-39-650
In other news about Brexit from the June 27, 2016 Investor’s Business Daily, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in journalism in 2009, the editors laid out the case for Brexit.

British citizens will enjoy “higher wages.”The editors didn’t explain why wages would rise, but reduced immigration means fewer workers to compete with British workers, which means a lower labor supply, which typically translates into higher wages.  That means corporate profits will decline, or not grow as briskly. That means three things; dividends, stock prices, and income inequality will all slow or decline in Britain.

The editors also claim British citizens will have “lower food costs” with Brexit. That’s good for working people, and bad for rich shareholders.

In addition, European Union regulations cost “5% of the UK’s GDP. That’s to say nothing of the loss of control that the country faces to increasingly arrogant bureaucrats in Brussels.”

The editors didn’t mention that the lower value of the British pound vis-a-vis other currencies will lower the profits of British companies that have exported British jobs overseas to lower wage nations, and then export these goods into the UK. This may force some jobs exporters to bring jobs back to Britain.

Finally, the fall of the British pound acts as an incentive for British corporations to not export any more jobs.

All of these things are bad for rich investors, but they are good for the 99 percent of Britain. Perhaps this is why British politicians and mega investors weren’t happy with Brexit.

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quote-what-my-campaign-is-about-is-a-political-revolution-millions-of-people-standing-up-and-bernie-sanders-137-66-80 (1)

A Reuter’s poll last week showed that 44 percent of all Democratic party voters want Bernie Sanders to run for president as an independent. 20 percent of Republicans would vote for Sanders, and he’d sweep more than 50 percent of all independent voters. In other words, the polls show American voters would send Bernie Sanders to the White House by a significant margin over the other four candidates if he ran as an independent.

There is an economic hurricane coming down the pike. It should hit somewhere between October and next June. It will be worse than the last one. See The Coming Recession: It’s Going to be a Big One–JohnHively.wordpress.com.  The only person who will save the US economy is Bernie Sanders. We need a New Deal for all Americans, not just the rich ones. Bernie Sanders is still a Democratic candidate for president. Run Bernie Run!

Our government is controlled by a handful of billionaires who have been driving the US economy over a cliff for the last thirty-five years by using government to redistribute trillions of dollars of income from the 99 to the 1 percent. Bernie will stop this. Hillary, Wall Street’s darling, will not. It’s unlikely a billionaire like Donald Trump will stop this madness, but who knows given the looming crisis?

Run! Bernie! Run!

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globalization
There is a great right-wing Republican conspiracy to rewrite history, And there is a Democratic Party conspiracy to rewrite history. All of this is to misinform us, to divide the 99 percent, making it easier to financially rape us on behalf of the 1 percent.

The first duty of each major political party is to listen to their respective voter bases and tell them what they want to hear in terms of social issues. The second duty of the respective leadership of each political party is to reach relatively secretly across the aisle to each other, and use the levers of government to financially rape and pillage the 99 percent on behalf of the 1 percent.

The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a massive income redistribution scam the political big boys call an international trade agreement is the most recent case in point. The TPP has almost nothing to do with trade.

The leading parasites of the Republican Party want us to believe that fewer governmental regulations and tax cuts for the rich will unleash greater prosperity. And it does, for the rich. The leadership doesn’t want you to know that the big money boys exercise quite a bit of market and political power, and they use this to rape and pillage the rest of us financially.

When this era tax cuts for the rich and fewer regulations began in 1981, the rich went from capturing 8 percent of all the income in the USA to 37 percent today. The US middle class has declined from 61 percent of the population in 1970 to 49 percent today. That’s what occurs when the government redistributes income from the 99 to the 1 percent. But the Republicans are not alone in causing these numbers. Far from it.

The Democratic Party has a different voter constituency than the Republican Party, such as labor unions. So the Democratic leadership has unleashed a rainstorm of misinformation over the last several years about how technology is destroying jobs, thereby creating a job shortage. Economists have been predicting this result for over two hundred years, and they’re still wrong. What we’ve discovered over those 20 decades is that technology creates more jobs than it destroys, but the leadership doesn’t want us to know this.

Think about how the computer industry displaced the typewriter industry and created tens of millions more jobs than the old industry supported. The same thing is also true of the auto industry transplanting the horse and buggy manufacturers. Notice nobody is suggesting that technology is replacing workers in China, Vietnam or Germany, for that matter. To see how this propaganda works, chech out A Review of Robert Reich’s AfterShock–JohnHively.wordpress.com

The news media always falls in line and prints whatever lies the leadership’s present, depending on the biases of the editors, and their advertisers.

The Dems and their allies point to technology as the primary culprit because the leadership has continuously supported exporting tens of millions of US jobs since Democratic President Bill Clinton caved in to Wall Street and signed NAFTA. Wall Street has since prospered, while main street is eviscerated, along with the American dream.

Like the Republican leadership, the Democratic leadership hide their real motives behind patently false propaganda in order to rape us financially. In the meanwhile, both leadership’s will issue proclamations about wars against women, and wars against Christmas, and rally the base around bathrooms for transgender people or wars against guns.

Don’t fall for this propaganda. Instead of remaining divided on social issues, unite on economic issues, like the Trans Pacific Partnership.

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