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Posts Tagged ‘income redistribution’


President Donald Trump has proposed tax cuts for the rich and corporations, which is another way of saying Trump wants tax cuts for the rich and then more tax cuts for the rich. In other words, the person who will most likely benefit from the Donald Trump tax cuts is billionaire Donald Trump. The 99 percent will get virtually nothing. In other words, Trump’s tax plan is designed to create greater income and wealth inequality in a nation that already has the most income and wealth inequality among the industrialized nations.

You will note in the video above, while they make some good points about Trump’s tax cuts for the rich, the folks at MSNBC fail to mention growing income and wealth inequality because the Wall Street controlled Democratic leadership doesn’t want its station MSNBC to mention it any more than the billionaires who control the Republican Party want their news outlets to mention it. Currently, the rich steal anywhere from 24 to 38 percent of all income produced in the United States, compared to 8 percent in 1980. In addition, the richest 10 percent of Americans own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent, a historic and still growing record.

As corporations get tax cuts, much of those tax savings will go to the rich via higher corporate profits, rising dividends, and surging stock prices. The rest of us will suffer the consequences. In addition, of course, corporations will have more money to invest, supposedly to create jobs, as if giving corporations tax cuts will magically increase consumer demand. That’s not likely. So what will they invest in?

Historically, US corporations buy other corporations, especially rivals, when they receive tax cuts or higher profits. This, of course, creates redundancies in a variety of job areas, such as accounting and computer technicians. When mergers occur, employees are the first thing to go in order to eliminate those redundancies. Of course, to help pay for these mergers, jobs will be exported to low-wage nations and the difference between the higher paying US jobs and the new lower wage jobs in China, India and elsewhere will fuel corporate profits, and push up dividends and share prices. That’s what those free trade treaties have been negotiated to do, and Democrats, like Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden, are not stupid little boys and girls who are ignorant of this fact.

This is one of the reasons why there is not a shred of evidence that supply-side economics, otherwise known as tax cuts for the rich, has ever created a single job, but there is plenty of evidence tax cuts for the rich and corporations have destroyed US jobs. Under President George W. Bush, tax cuts were enacted for the rich, making certain that the growth in jobs and real wages were negative, the only time in US history that has occurred under a single president since Republican Herbert Hoover.

Naturally, there are other things the Republicans are refusing to mention.

Gary Markstein / Creators Syndicate

There will be an increased federal deficit of $2.5 trillion, which is typical under irresponsible Republican administrations and Congress, just like the Reagan years, and the other twelve years under the Bush presidents. Naturally, cutbacks in federal spending will be proposed.

Republicans and some Democrats will insist the US is not spending a sufficient number of dollars on its military, so that will not be subject to reductions. The US spends more on the military than the next 25 nations combined, 24 of whom are US allies, but clearly, that’s insufficient because US military spending is quite profitable. However, social security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other less profitable programs that help the politically powerless will be on the table for cuts if Trump’s tax cuts for the rich sails through Congress.

The rich, of course, have stolen just about all real income and wealth increases over the last thirty-five years, thanks to their financial abilities to corrupt both major political parties and the federal government in the process. Naturally, their dirty money has also corrupted most state and city governments. So, obviously, the financial and political deck is completely stacked against the 99 percent.

Luckily, the Democrats in the US Senate will object to this irresponsible behavior because the billionaires of Wall Street who control the party will object to it. That’s the only reason why Democratic senators like Ron Wyden will likely oppose the legislation. Even some Republicans may oppose Trump’s tax plan because it is completely against the national interest, that is if one assumes the citizens of the United States who make up 99 percent of the population are a part of that national interest.

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Citizens of the United States spend more per capita for healthcare than another high wage nation. This suggests the US healthcare system is mighty inefficient compared to other systems, both in terms of price and in services provided. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders introduced a bill in the US Senate on

Sanders introduced a bill in the US Senate on Wednesday September 13, 2017 that would provide “cost” and “services provided” efficient “Medicare for All.” 57 percent of Americans support Medicare for All, according to Kaiser Health News. Fifteen Democratic Party legislators support the bill, which is up from 1 (Sanders) a few years ago.

Fifteen Democratic Party legislators support the bill, which is up from 1 (Sanders) a few years ago. “Medicare for All,” but that’s more of a handy slogan than reality, as this plan would greatly expand Medicare and overhaul it — for example, it would greatly expand the type of coverage offered and also eliminate deductibles.

“Medicare for All” would greatly expand Medicare and overhaul it.  For example, it would greatly expand the type of coverage offered and also eliminate deductibles, copays and premiums. Private insurance companies are also currently a part of the Medicare system. That wouldn’t be the case under Sanders’ plan.”

Under the current US system, premiums, copays, and deductables have constantly increased for decades, long before Obamacare came into being. Medical services have been cut back, even as costs (and profits) have risen. Much of this cost increase (if not all of it) is so publicly traded limited liability health care corporations can increase profits, which tend to push up share prices and dividends. In effect, health care provided by publicly traded corporations is really an income redistribution scam perpetrated on the 99 percent by shareholders of the 1 percent. Such corporation distort the market through collusions.

Sanders plan would be phased in over four years and would cover more things than Medicare currently does. His plan would cover dental and vision care, for example, which are for the most part not covered by Medicare.

So how does Sanders propose to pay for this system that covers all Americans? First of all, it would reduce employer and self-employed healthcare costs by eliminating the need for businesses and self employed people to purchase health care for themselves and their employees. According to PBS, “Sanders proposed a 7.5 percent payroll tax on employers, a 4 percent individual income tax and an array of taxes on wealthier Americans, as well as corporations. In addition, Sanders’ plan says the end os f big health insurance-related tax expenditures, like employers’ ability to deduct insurance premiums, would save trillions of dollars.”

The cost would, obviously, be less expensive and more efficient than the profit motived health care system we now have in the United States.

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The Wall Street Democratic National Committee (DNC), arch supporters of the presidential candidate of Wall Street, Hillary Rodham Clinton, want us to believe their lie that automation killed US manufacturing and created greater income and wealth inequality over the last thirty-five years. They don’t want us to believe US corporations have exported millions of jobs because of Bill Clinton’s trade treaties like NAFTA. Hillary, being a good Wall Street pawn, supported income redistribution scams like Nafta and the Trans Pacific Partnership. These Wall Street DNC folks even have people trolling the web looking for stories with Hillary Clinton tags showing automation did not kill millions upon millions of manufacturing jobs, and that they’ve been instead exported to China, Vietnam, Mexico and elsewhere.

The trolls are reading from the same basic script. It goes something like this; “I worked in high tech for (take your pick – 30, 35, 40) years and I witnessed whole categories of jobs being eliminated through automation. Automation has created joblessness and income inequality, not trade treaties. You progressives are all the same. You don’t know what you’re talking about. You need to get your facts straight!”

First of all, there is not a shred of evidence that automation causes joblessness or inequality because advances in technology tend to create more jobs than it displaces. For example, the computer industry wiped out the typewriter industry and created tens of millions more jobs in the process than the old typewriter industry ever created. As a 2017 study from the Economic Policy Institute points out, “Yes, automation has led to job displacements in particular occupations and industries in the past, but there is no basis for claiming that automation has led—or will lead—to increased joblessness, unemployment, or wage stagnation overall.”

Trade treaties are the primary cause of the growth in income and wealth inequality in the United States and throughout the world. This is a no-brainer: When jobs are exported the difference between the old higher US wages and benefits and the new lower Mexican, Chinese and Vietnamese wages go into the already fat wallets of the super rich via higher corporate profits, surging dividends, and soaring share prices. So yes, since Hillary supports trade treaties, she also clearly supports redistributing income from the 99 to the 1 percent.

So Hillary wrote a new book that blames Bernie Sanders for her presidential defeat to Donald Trump, and her trolls are roaming around the Internet advancing her cause with lies, half-truths, and distortions. This suggests Hillary may be getting ready for another run at the presidency. It also suggests the Wall Street Democratic National Committee is behind her possible candidacy.

In 2020, she’ll be the wrong candidate at the wrong time for 99 percent of the people of this nation. We’re heading into an already overdue recession that should be worse than the last one in many respects. Unemployment, for example, will likely be higher than last time. We need a champion of the people, such as Bernie Sanders, Sherrod Brown, Jeff Merkley, or Elizabeth Warren. The last thing the people of the United States will need in 2020 is another brown-nosing Wall Street pawn in the White House.

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For the past several years, US job growth has been weaker on a monthly average than when Jimmy Carter was US president. There’s a reason for this and a lot has to do with US corporations exporting jobs. Click here for that story. This brings us to former President Obama.

As a United States senator, Barack Obama demanded President George W. Bush do something to counter Chinese currency manipulation. As president, Obama mentioned Chinese currency manipulation one time. Then some politically powerful billionaires likely placed their arms over Obama’s shoulder and probably said something like, “Don’t mention that again, or we’ll take you behind the wood shed.”

Notice President Trump railed against Chinese currency manipulation as a candidate and hasn’t said a word about it as president. It’s likely some of his fellow billionaires threatened to take him behind the woodshed too if he ever mentioned the issue again.

This is because millions of US jobs have been exported to China; and US corporations have created millions of jobs over there rather than here thanks to President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush, both of whom gave China “most favored nation trade status,” and which allowed US corporations to export US jobs and create jobs in China rather than here.

When China manipulates its currency vis-a-vis the US dollar, it increases the profit margins of US corporations manufacturing in China and exporting to the US, while simultaneously decreasing the profit margins of companies manufacturing in the US and exporting their goods to China. This is why all those Nike, Dell, Apple, Treetop, Campbell’s Soups, and thousands of other things are made nowadays in China and exported to the US rather than in the United States. See the-trans-pacific-partnership-the-op-ed-the-liberal-and-conservative-corporate-media-doesnt-want-you-to-see–JohnHively.wordpress.com

This is one of the reasons why income and wealth inequality has grown so great during the last thirty-five years. In the US, the top 1 percent own more wealth nowadays than the 90 percent lowest Americans, and that gap is growing.

The Federal Reserve Bank and the US Treasury could easily counter Chinese currency manipulation, but those organizations work for the billionaires and not for the rest of us. In the meantime, the US economy weakens over the long haul. That’s because workers wages now represent a smaller portion of US gross domestic product since 1947. That’s because when jobs are exported the difference between the old higher US wages and benefits and the new lower foreign wages with no benefits goes straight into the fat wallets of the billionaires via higher corporate profits, rising dividends, and surging share prices. Trade agreements, nice scams huh?

This is precisely why the rich are now stealing about 37 percent of all income produced in the United States, compared to 8 percent when Carter was president in 1980. This is why job growth was greater under Carter on a per monthly basis than nowadays even though the US economy was only about 40 percent the size of today’s US economy, and the population was only 60 percent the size of today’s US population.

This is something to reflect on when some Wall Street US Senator like Ron Wyden says we need more trade agreements to create more jobs. When Wyden, or Wall Street Senator Mitch McConnell says crap like this, you know it’s a lie.

 

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Source: Economic Policy Institute, http://www.epi.org/publication/charting-wage-stagnation/

More than 40 million US workers would get a raise if the US minimum wage was raised to $15 an hour. Doing so would do five important things to help the US economy.

1. It would increase the demand for goods and services and create jobs in the process. Currently, we are in the worst post World War II economic expansion in US history, except for the last one, you know, that negative job growth under the economic policies of the worst president in US history, George W. Bush! Outside of that expansion, the current expansion is the worst, with the lowest job growth, the least GNP growth, and lots more historically weak statistics.

2. Every US economic expansion since 1981 has been caused by artificial bubbles which have created artificial stock market bubbles, which have almost completely benefited only the rich, and mostly the super rich, at the expense of everyone else. The Bill Clinton presidency saw the creation of 22 million jobs, which came about because of simultaneous housing, tech, stock and telecommunications bubbles. The tech and telecommunication bubbles were created by Clinton’s signature on legislation. The current economic bubble has been created by an illegal housing bubble created by the big banks. See The fix is In! The Banksters are Manipulating the rise in housing prices: Mortgage applications are down for home sales–Johnhively.wordpress.com Raising the minimum wage would create more demand, possibly creating the first demand inspired economic expansion since the Great President Jimmy Carter.

3. Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour would steer money away from the stock market bubble because it would decrease corporate profits, and perhaps gently deflate the current bubble that is due to burst in a few months anyway. The other option is to allow the bubble to run its course and essentially ruin the US economy like what occurred from 2007 to 2012 and from 1929-1933. The next recession will be worst than the last one, and it’s just around the bend.

4. Income inequality is at an all-time US high with the 1 percent stealing about 37 percent of all income produced in the USA every year compared with only 8 percent in 1980. That means the 99 means we have less money to buy things, while the rich primarily purchase things like stock options, stock, bonds and politicians. This inequality is stifling the demand sector and weakening the economy which is why the US economic expansions since 2000 are the weakest in history. This is, of course, unless, the creation and functioning of the US and worldwide economies are solely for the benefit of the 1 percent, and always at the expense of the 99 percent. You can see from the graph above the rich are stealing $17,867 from every working American, and they do this year after year after year. I think it’s time we get a little of our money back.

5. Wealth inequality is also near an all time high in the USA, and this means (along with income inequality) the rich can afford to buy the services of more politicians, which has already effectively turned our democracy into both an illusion and a myth, and this occurred perhaps as early as 1981. Raising the minimum wage would cut away a bit of the economic cancers known as wealth and income inequality.

The corporate talking heads will also insist raising the minimum wage will result in lost jobs, but there are plenty of studies showing not a whole lot on this issue. Most studies on this subject during the last twenty years show a rise in the minimum wage has a negligible impact on job loss, or jobs experience slight growth. On the other hand, most minimum wage increases that have been studied have been minimal and very local.

However, all of this is irrelevant because there is one gigantic study that shows that when the real wages of the 99 percent go up, so too does the US economy, and not just for the benefit of the few. This study is called the history of the US economy. Notice in the graph below real wages grew in the US economy from 1948 to 1978. In reality, you can go back to 1938 and see the same stuff. Inflation was low and job growth was high during the years 1938 to 1980. The middle class was strongest then, and demand for US goods was incredibly strong, especially the demand from US citizens. Even the rich got richer, although the percentage of income and wealth they could steal from the rest of us was small compared to today.

Source: Economic Policy Institute, http://www.epi.org/publication/charting-wage-stagnation/

Corporate talking heads will always lie and say raising the minimum wage will increase inflation. In reality, allowing the financial markets to rise in bubbles creates inflation, as I pointed out in my book, The Rigged Game.

Now some people will say inflation was fairly high during the 1970s, and yes that is kind of true, and then kind of not. That’s because the US government has changed the way it measures inflation twenty times since 1981, and every change has the intended effect of lowering the rate of inflation. In other words, if inflation is 1.5 percent nowadays, using the methodology of 1975, today’s inflation would be about 6 percent. Average yearly inflation during the 1970s was 7 percent, and so using today’s inflation methodology, inflation during the 1970s would have averaged about 2.5 percent, which isn’t all that much.

You can also see from the graph above how real hourly wages have stagnated since 1978, but of course, that’s a lie since real wage increases are measured against inflation, and we know inflation is no longer measured like it used to be. If inflation over the last 35 years was measured with the methodology used by the US government in 1975, US inflation would be significantly higher each of those years, and real US wage growth during this period would be negative, year after year after year for the last thirty or more years. This means real wages are significantly lower nowadays than the available statistics will allow us to measure, and this, of course, is one of the reasons why the government changed the way it measured inflation: it stops us from seeing how much we of the 99 percent are getting screwed by our corrupt government in redistributing our income and wealth to the 1 percent.

I don’t know about you, but I want my money back! Raise the minimum wage!

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Research by the Insured Retirement Institute suggests trouble for retiring Boomers. The study shows 24% of Baby Boomers have no retirement savings. Only 55% of Baby Boomers have some retirement savings and, of those, 42% have less than $100,000. Thus, approximately half of retirees are, or will be, living off of their Social Security benefits.

The corporate news media wants you to believe the reason for this situation includes “poor preparation.” Other reasons given include the stock market crash of 2008-09, which was caused by the criminal activities of the big banks and government corruption. Many 401Ks haven’t recovered from this debacle. The disaster allegedly scared some older adults out of the markets, causing them to miss the subsequent rebound.

What the corporate news (really propaganda) media doesn’t want to tell you is that most of the retirements of the baby boom generation have been redistributed to the uber wealthy over the last thirty-five years.

* Most pensions are gone, and even government employees now have weakened pensions or less lucrative 401Ks that have replaced pensions, due to the political and news media power of the billionaires. Most corporate pensions have been reduced or eliminated, with the difference between the old former pensions and the new little or nothing pensions placed directly into the pockets of hedge fund managers and other big investors through rising corporate profits, the newest stock market bubble, and surging dividends.

* Average real wages and benefits have been reduced over the last thirty-five years due to tens of millions of jobs being exported, union busting, and hyper-immigration, all of which have placed downward pressure on wages, salaries, and benefits. Think H1-B visas, among other programs.

* More baby boomer money goes toward paying housing as rents and home prices have rapidly risen due to the illegal collaboration of the big banks in holding over 50 percent of the vacant housing off the market beginning in 2008. This is called a conspiracy in restraint of trade, and it is illegal, but the corrupt US government won’t do anything about it.

There are more reasons why baby boomers are less prepared than their parents for retirement, but ultimately it all comes down to the US government policy of redistributing income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent, which, not so coincidentally, is also the same policy embraced by the leadership of both major political parties. Nowadays, the 1 percent steals around 37 of all income produced in the United States, compared to 8 percent in 1980.

In other words, the baby boomer retirements have been stolen by the 1 percent using their corruption of government, and those stolen retirement benefits are part of the difference between the 8 percent in 1980 and the 37 percent the rich are stealing today. By the way, that 37 percent is growing daily.

 

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On behalf of the Wall Street Democratic Party, hundreds of thousands of people have called for the impeachment of President Donald Trump, and some of them called for impeachment even before he was sworn into office. Here’s what I think of them; Sore losers and misguided Wall Street pawns being used by the Wall Street Democratic Gold Plated Leadership.

The Democratic Party abandoned working people decades ago.

Several thousand of us fought on the front lines in the battles against the massive income redistribution scam promoted by a Democratic president and called the Trans-Pacific Partnership. This scam would have exported millions of jobs and redistributed trillions of dollars of income from the 99 to the 1 percent while most of those now calling for Trump’s impeachment stood on the sidelines and shouted hooray for their team on social issues.

For the past 40 years, the Democratic Party as a national organization has systematically abandoned its historic representation of the working class in favor of a wholesale embrace of Wall Street’s and other corporate principles that squash workers’ representation at all levels of political and workplace engagement, and enhance the power of the wealthy few to govern all aspects of our lives.

It was a Democratic president supported by the Republican Party who unleashed Wall Street by signing legislation repealing Glass-Steagal, legislation which had forced a separation of commercial and investment banking and had protected the US economy for sixty years.

It was a Democratic president supported by the Republican Party who signed the Telecommunications Act which allowed the monopolization of the supposed news you receive. Nowadays, six major corporations control 90 percent of the supposed news we absorb, and much of it is Republican and Democratic Party propaganda.

It was a Democratic president who signed a free trade pact that allowed Mexico to officially swallow almost two million US jobs, and most likely much more. The difference between the old US wages and the new lower Mexican wages goes straight into the pockets of the already super-rich via higher corporate profits, surging dividends, and rising share prices. This is called income redistribution. Thank you, Bill and Hillary!

It was a Wall Street Democratic president (with Republican support) who acquiesced to demands to gut welfare programs that had for decades helped workers build their lives without an ax of abject poverty constantly hanging over their heads.

Wall Street Democrats watched (and frequently voted for) the gutting of pensions, the wars we were lied into which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of human beings, the ability of the executive branch to assassinate US citizens without trial, the militarization of police, the fall of worker wages and skyrocketing compensation for the wealthy, the deregulation of Wall Street, and the ongoing privatization of public education. In effect, Wall Street Democrats such as Ron Wyden, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama led the charge to create the still growing massive income and wealth inequality we experience today, as well as override the US Constitution in the process.

Eric Ethington, writing the Salt Lake City Tribune, perhaps said it best.

“The idea that Trump is somehow unique, or distinctly worse than other conservatives in his policies is laughable. If Trump were to be impeached today, the same agenda would continue rolling forward without a moment’s pause, because for all the posturing of House Speaker Paul Ryan, or Sen. Orrin Hatch or Rep. Mia Love, the ideas Trump is pushing is exactly what they have been advocating for years — albeit with much more disguised and sophisticated rhetoric. The only difference seems to be the more overtly authoritarian, racist and sexist rhetoric Trump uses and the boneheaded clumsiness of his incompetent staff.”

“What good is getting rid of one bombastic fool if there’s no legitimate voice of the workers to step in? Pretending everything was fine before Trump is lunacy.”

Stop allowing yourself to be mad at Trump. We all know the Republican Party is the party of the rich folks, and nothing has changed with Trump at its helm. The real enemy of the people is the Democratic leadership which fought tooth and nail to ensure Bernie Sanders, the people’s representative, did not get the Democratic Party presidential nomination in 2016, so that the Wall Street representative named Hillary Clinton would.

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