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Posts Tagged ‘income inequality’

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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The time has come to stand up and be counted. You can make a difference, but only if you let your voices be heard. There’s still time to stop the largest redistribution of income and political power from the 99 to the 1 percent in the history of our nation. Lots of voices can still defeat lots of corporate money! The time to act is now! Here is a link that will help you contact your senators Telephone numbers of US Senators. So what am I talking about?

President Obama is demanding the US senate enact Fast Track legislation. Doing so will make it easy for the senate to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a scam falsely marketed as a trade agreement, which if approved, will arguably redistribute more income and political power from the 99 to the 1 percent than any other thing in the history of the United States.

By approving Fast Track, the senate will limit debate, and not allow any amendments to the TPP.

The TPP is the most secret trade treaty ever in USA history, but some portions of it have been leaked and can be accessed at Wikileaks. Here’s the bad news.

* 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. 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, social safety nets, schools, fire and police, 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).

* 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.

* The result of the above will be to depress wages in both North and South America, all to the benefit of the 1 percent, and all at the expense of the 99 percent.

* And we can’t forget that TPP will increase the already massive US trade deficit with other nations, which is supposed to be a bad thing. The exported jobs will be producing goods overseas rather than here, and then US corporations will export their products from China and Vietnam into the United States, exacerbating the current trade deficit.

* In other words, this scam is the largest income redistribution treaty of all time from the 99 to the 1 percent.

Sounds like a great deal for the 1 percent. And we barely know any of the details.

So call your senators! Let them know you don’t like this scam! Let your voice be heard!

BTW, please share this with your facebook and twitter and any other friends and ask them to act on it.

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A new study by Oxfam shows that the 85 richest people in the world have more assets (own more stuff) than the bottom 50 percent of the world’s population. There was nothing inevitable about this inequality. It was planned and carried out via legislation, and such things as free trade treaties. These treaties are nothing more than income redistribution agreements, which redistributes income from people who work for a living to unproductive people who pull the levers of political power. The report from OXFAM “asserts that two powerful economic and political drivers are the cause of present inequality – market fundamentalism and the capture of power by economic elites.

The report, which is loaded with top notch data, argues that inequality is growing across the world, threatening to push more people into poverty, heighten gender inequalities and cause increasing social strife. Absurd levels of wealth exist alongside desperate poverty around the world, the report, called ‘Even It Up”, says and calls it “one of the biggest economic, social and political challenges of our time”. The report quotes no less a person than Warren Buffet, the fourth richest man in the world, who famously said, “There’s been class warfare going on for the last 20 years and my class has won,” which Buffet said in a TV interview in 2011.

Tonight President Obama will give his state of the union address. He is expected to argue a case for congress to pass Fast Track legislation, which will then limit debate in congress and eliminate possible changes to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) the largest income redistribution scam in world history.

In other words, the president and other supporters of the TPP, such as Wall Street Senator’s Ron Wyden, Orrin Hatch and Mitch McConnell, want to increase increase income inequality. These people are not stupid little boys still pooping in their diapers. They know exactly what they’re doing as they push Fast Track and the Trans Pacific Partnership through congress.

Fight back. Call your congressmen and congresswomen and let them know you’re not happy about this latest scam to redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent. Then if they do vote for either, spread the word that they’re waging class warfare against you and your neighbors, and get them out of office. Talk to church groups. I have.

They’re stunned to discover that Senator Ron Wyden is a servant of Wall Street, constantly pushing to redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent.

Check out more on this at what-do-income-redistribution-treaties-called-trade-treaties-have-to-do-with-the-rising-cost-of-us-education-lets-take-a-look-at-the-trans-pacific-partnership–JohnHively.wordpress.com

Click link below for full report.

Wealth-of-85-tycoons-equals-poorest-half–Oxfam

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According to the Economic Policy Institute, “The year 2014 saw policy address one aspect of labor market dysfunction—the enormous erosion in employer-sponsored health insurance coverage. Like wage stagnation, this problem was not confined to non-college-educated workers. The share of young college graduates who have employer-sponsored health insurance coverage fell from 60.7 percent in 1989 to 30.9 percent by 2012. For high-school graduates, the decline was even steeper, from 23.5 percent in 1989 to just 6.6 percent in 2012. This rapid unraveling of employer-sponsored insurance, even for recent college graduates, was a key impetus for health reform in 2009, and 2014 was the first year that the coverage provisions went into effect.”

Notice from the graph below that the declining number of employer provided health care policies coincided with rising income inequality. In addition, more and more people could not afford to purchase individual health insurance plans.

You will notice that as jobs were shipped overseas, as income was legislatively shifted to the top income earners, as real income stagnated since 1980 for 90 percent of Americans, as the health insurance industry jacked up the prices of their policies in illegal defiance of market forces, the abilities and willingness of employers to provide health care insurance as part of their employee compensation package declined.

People can rightly suspect that one of primary incentives for the Obama Administration and the health insurance industry to fight for and enact the Affordable Care Act was to provide more profits to the industry via government provided subsidies that boosted profits for the industry because ncome inequality had placed tremendous financial strains of the industry.

Which is why, perhaps, the health insurance executives who wrote the Affordable Care Act squashed the idea of a competitive public option off the negotiating table long before negotiations even began, and President Obama went for it.

The profits of the five largest health insurance companies have risen thanks to the Affordable Health Care Act, because the number of government subsidized individual health care plans they offer has soared since 2012. This suggests that keeping profits rising with government subsidies was a major and perhaps the primary reason the health insurance industry decided to support the enactment of the Affordable Health Care Act.

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By Carl Gibson, Reader Supported News

26 December 14

If Ronald Reagan were alive today, he would be one of Barack Obama’s biggest fans. In the six years he’s been president, Obama has managed to turn our country’s economy, at its worst point since the Great Depression, into one booming along with the greatest quarterly GDP growth in 11 years. The Dow Jones closed above 18,000 this week – the highest ever. And yet, despite an apparently surging economy, 95 percent of income gains since 2009 have gone to the richest 1 percent. Not even Ronald Reagan’s economic policies created inequality on that scale.

Since his first inauguration, President Obama has masterfully steered the benefits of the recovery to only the wealthy, while the net worth of average working Americans has dropped by 40 percent since before the recession. Today’s middle class is actually poorer than it was in 1989, when Reagan left the White House. Even though the most recent unemployment rate is 5.8 percent, most of the new jobs that have been created since the recession have been in low-paying sectors, like retail and fast food. The current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, which most workers in those industries earn, has less buying power than the minimum wage in 1968.

According to a study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, if the minimum wage had kept up with worker productivity since then, it would be $16.54 an hour today. This means Americans are working harder than ever, but aren’t getting a penny ahead. When you use that data to paint a picture with the most recent quarterly GDP growth surge and the new record-high closing on the Dow Jones, the image is actually quite ugly. The insane growth our economy is experiencing, combined with the fact that 99 percent of Americans aren’t seeing 95 percent of the income gains from that rapid economic surge, means that our hard work is simply feathering the nest of the ownership class. Income inequality hasn’t been this severe since right before the crash that caused the Great Depression.

President Obama could be pushing for the pitifully-low minimum wage for tipped workers to be increased from $2.13 an hour, where it has stayed since 1991. He could sign executive orders to pay all federal workers $15 an hour, to allow government contracts to go only to model employers who pay a living wage, and to allow all government workers to have the right to collectively bargain for better wages and working conditions. He could be investing billions of tax dollars into in creating public sector jobs aimed at rejuvenating American infrastructure – which American engineers have given a D+ in their most recent assessment – rather than lowering the deficit with cruel austerity like the continued budget sequester.

At the very least, President Obama could have vetoed the federal budget “cromnibus” bill that was recently passed, sparing low-income women, infants, and children from another $93 million in cuts to their food assistance. But we’re talking about the president who already approved $8.7 billion in cuts to food stamps in the latest farm bill. Even the last lifelines of help for the most desperate Americans have been slashed to pieces and put on hold by the Obama administration. Even if Republicans are singlehandedly holding social safety nets like food stamps and unemployment extensions for the long-term jobless hostage, the fact that President Obama hasn’t even fought that hard for these programs speaks volumes. Republicans applauded Clinton when he cut welfare in the 1990s, but there’s been nothing but silence from today’s crop of Congressional Republicans for Obama’s cuts to the welfare state.

Instead of fortifying his legacy with economic populism, Obama has presided over an economic “recovery” where only the rich have benefited – the first “recovery” of its kind. If Obama were a Republican instead of a Democrat, Republicans would be singing his praises. Instead, liberals and partisan Democrats are celebrating the news of growth they don’t benefit from, and are the first to shout from mountaintops about lower deficit numbers. In terms of economic policy, Obama and his most diehard supporters are Reagan Republicans. But despite their similarities in economic policy, Reagan would be even more proud of Obama for his foreign policy.

As Glenn Greenwald has pointed out, President Obama has extended George W. Bush’s War on Terror from just Iraq and Afghanistan to Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, Libya, and even the Philippines. The U.S. military has more of a presence than ever in the Middle East since Obama took office, with the Iraq War alone costing as much as $4 trillion. Obama has been just as steadfast a supporter of Israel as any of his predecessors – standing by them even as they bombed civilian targets in Gaza earlier this year. He recently signed off on supplying the Israeli weapons stockpile with another $200 million infusion; this is the same stockpile that Israel used to bomb Gaza. And thanks to Obama’s signature, Israel will now have the capability to refuel fighter jets in mid-air, which would be necessary if Israel wanted to launch airstrikes in Iran.

It speaks volumes that President Obama agreed to cut food stamps by $8.7 billion and WIC by $93 million, but committed to spending $1 trillion over the next 30 years to upgrade our nuclear weapons stockpile. Even while Obama has supported the idea of equipping police officers with body cameras, his defense department stands by the Pentagon’s 1033 program that allows military equipment like grenade launchers, sniper rifles, and apache helicopters to flow to local and county police departments. And despite his historic move to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba, Obama is still stuck in a cold war mentality of the U.S. having to command the widest array of nuclear weapons. Obama’s record on foreign policy and the military-industrial complex puts Reagan’s to shame. The ludicrous “Star Wars” program and the 1983 invasion of Grenada don’t hold a candle to the current administration’s imperialist worldview.

From a policy standpoint, it makes no logical sense for Republicans to hate Obama as much as they do. He’s simultaneously expanded the worst economic policies we saw under Reagan and the worst foreign policy we saw under George W. Bush. The rich are richer than ever before, the middle class is becoming poorer, and the poor have had their already razor-thin social safety nets cut to the barest of margins. On top of all of that, the U.S. military is engaged in permanent wars all over the Middle East, and the cold war mentality that drove Reagan and George H. Bush is still very much alive in the current White House. The only reasonable explanation left for Republicans’ fervent opposition to everything Obama says and does is that he’s black.

Carl Gibson, 26, is co-founder of US Uncut, a nationwide creative direct-action movement that mobilized tens of thousands of activists against corporate tax avoidance and budget cuts in the months leading up to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Carl and other US Uncut activists are featured in the documentary “We’re Not Broke,” which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. He currently lives in Madison, Wisconsin. You can contact him at carl@rsnorg.org, and follow him on twitter at @uncutCG.

Reprinted with permission from Readersupportednews,org.

Get more stories like this at Readersupportednews.org

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In 2014, rising income inequality became a front-burner political issue. This figure shows that the stakes of rising inequality for the broad American middle-class are enormous. In 2007, the last year before the Great Recession, incomes for the middle 60 percent of American households would have been roughly 23 percent (nearly $18,000) higher had inequality not widened (i.e., had their incomes grown at the overall average rate—an overall average buoyed by stratospheric growth at the very top). The temporary dip in top incomes during the Great Recession did little to shrink that inequality tax, which stood at 16 percent (nearly $12,000) in 2011.

The difference in income between what should have been for middle income households and what it actually is has been redistributed to the 1 percent over the last thirty years via such legislation as income redistribution treaties, which the propaganda machine of the 1 percent, often called the free press, calls free trade treaties.

Corrupt politicians of both parties push these treaties via lies to the American people. Most American know these arguments are lies, which is why trust in the corporate media is at an all time low.

When jobs are shipped overseas, or created there by US corporations, due to free trade treaties, the difference between the old higher US wages and the new lower wages goes into the pockets of the 1 percent via higher corporate profits, rising dividends, and surging share prices.

Once these jobs are shipped or created overseas, more and more US citizens have to compete for a smaller number of jobs, which puts downward pressure on wages, benefits and salaries. The difference between the old wages in the US and what should have been is redistributed to the 1 percent via the same mechanisms alluded to in the preceding paragraph.

The result of free trade is an economic game rigged against the middle class.

President Obama is pushing the Trans Pacific Partnership, the largest income redistribution treaty of all time. It is also the secretly negotiated treaty of all time. A total lack of transparency over the deal’s components and some emerging details have created unlikely allies on the issue. Details from negotiations have been leaked against the wishes the president.

From these documents, which can be found on Wikileaks, we know the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership will 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 will effectively eliminate your votes on local and state levels for and against such things (which most people call voter suppression, but in this case it should be called voter elimination), outsource millions of jobs, offer new monopolies for Big Pharma to raise medicine prices they charge you (which redistributes income from the 99 to the 1 percent), limit food safety standards (which redistributes and transforms your health into the profits of the 1 percent), and 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). It will also kill the remainder of the US textile industry, destroy millions of jobs in Latin America, drive millions of undocumented immigrants into the United States, and depress wages in both North and South America, all to the benefit of the 1 percent, and all at the expense of the 99 percent. And we can’t forget that it will increase the already massive US trade deficit with other nations, which is supposed to be a bad thing. In other words, this scam is the largest income redistribution treaty of all time from the 99 to the 1 percent. And we barely know any of the details.

President Obama supports this treaty, as does Wall Street senator’s Ron Wyden, Orrin Hatch and Mitch McConnell. The game is corruption, and the game is rigged.

The Trans Pacific Partnership is the biggest assault on the middle class by the 1 percent since they launched the war on the middle class back in 1981.

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