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Posts Tagged ‘income redistribution’

French President Emmanuel Macron is called “The President of the Rich” for a reason.

Paris has been in flames over Macron’s insistence to shift much of the tax burden from the rich and corporations to the 99 percent. Much of the US corporate news media would have you believe the riots are simply being played out because of an increase in fuel taxes of which the stated purpose is to cut greenhouse gas emissions by reducing consumption.

Now here is what much of the US news media does not want you to know.

Macron reduced taxes on the wealthy and corporations and then increased government investments, which included spending to reduce school class sizes, improve instruction in poor neighborhoods, add services for the learning-disabled, and bolster vocational training for the unemployed. Macron is also helping out his rich corporate buddies by having the government increase subsidizing research in the burgeoning field of artificial intelligence that promises to revolutionize transportation, health care, and defense, as well as increase corporate profits, dividends and share prices, most of which will redound to the richest of investors at public expense, and especially at the expense of the poor and working class who are now paying higher taxes to fund these programs.

Needless to say, reducing tax revenues while increasing government spending meant Macron had to do something to staunch the bleeding government coffers by increasing taxes on the 99 percent. He did this by raising taxes on fuel, allegedly to accelerate the shift from carbon-emitting fossil fuels that cause global warming. He also increased other taxes paid by the 99 percent.

“You are committing violence with your policy. It’s you that are going after the poor to give to the rich!” thundered François Ruffin, a firebrand of the leftist France Unbowed party.

Mr. Macron was guilty of a “heavy moral, economic, and historical sin,” the best-selling economist Thomas Piketty wrote in the newspaper Le Monde.

Notice the massive difference between what occurs when the tax burden is shifted from the rich to the poor in France and in the USA. We in the USA have become quite docile with our GMO sodas, beer, and cupcakes as our income and wealth has been redistributed to the 99 percent over the last forty years. The US affluent now steal around 37 percent of the total income produced in the USA compared to 8 percent forty years ago, and government policies have been the conduit by which the rich have achieved this at the expense of the rest of us. We in the USA do nothing about it but lazily buy into these policies.

Macron Economic Reforms Stronger Than Trump Tax Cuts–CNBC

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The people of the United States lead the world in many categories, most of them, however, are not things to brag about. This is where the corruption of both major political parties, all three branches of the US government (that includes the corporate wing of the US Supreme Court) by the rich and their corporate dollars has brought us to during the last forty years.

All three branches of the government and both major political parties have fought tooth and nail to redistribute income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent during the last four decades. The corporate news media has been complicit in this rape and plunder of their fellow citizens by the 1 percent.

Studies show that the top 1 percent of the US now own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent. The top 1 percent stole only 8 percent of all income produced in the USA in 1980, while studies show they are now robbing the rest of us blind by stealing anywhere from 23 to 37+ percent of the total income created in the United States. The shares of wealth and income of the 1 percent are still growing and at the expense of the rest of us.

Below are some of the findings from the United Nations study.

By most indicators, the US is one of the world’s wealthiest countries. It spends more on national defense than China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, the United Kingdom, India, France and Japan combined.
US healthcare expenditures per capita are double the OECD average and much higher than in all other countries. But there are many fewer doctors and hospital beds per person than the OECD average. (OECD = Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, which includes 37 nations)

  • US infant mortality rates in 2013 were the highest in the developed world.
  • Americans can expect to live shorter and sicker lives, compared to people living in any other rich democracy, and the “health gap” between the US and its peer countries continues to grow.
  • US inequality levels are far higher than those in most European countries
  • Neglected tropical diseases, including Zika, are increasingly common in the USA. It has been estimated that 12 million Americans live with a neglected parasitic infection. A 2017 report documents the prevalence of hookworm in Lowndes County, Alabama.
  • The US has the highest prevalence of obesity in the developed world.
  • In terms of access to water and sanitation, the US ranks 36th in the world.
  • America has the highest incarceration rate in the world, ahead of Turkmenistan, El Salvador, Cuba, Thailand and the Russian Federation. Its rate is nearly five times the OECD average.
  • The youth poverty rate in the United States is the highest across the OECD with one-quarter of youth living in poverty compared to less than 14% across the OECD.
  • The Stanford Center on Inequality and Poverty ranks the most well-off countries in terms of labor markets, poverty, safety net, wealth inequality, and economic mobility. The US comes in last of the top 10 most well-off countries and 18th amongst the top 21.
  • In the OECD, the US ranks 35th out of 37 in terms of poverty and inequality.
  • According to the World Income Inequality Database, the US has the highest Gini rate (measuring inequality) of all Western Countries
  • The Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality characterizes the US as “a clear and constant outlier in the child poverty league”.
  • US child poverty rates are the highest amongst the six richest countries – Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden and Norway.

Free trade policies that have made it easy for the billionaires and their corporations to export tens of millions of United States jobs to third world nations and the pocket the difference between the old high US wages and benefits and the super low third world wages with no benefits have caused much of the US crisis outlined in the UN Report. These same trade scams also pave the legal road for US corporations to create tens of millions of jobs overseas rather than here at home with the same result of increasing income and wealth inequality. There are other culprits in the current state of US political corruption; deregulation, monopolies, lawlessness on Wall Street, a US Department of Justice unwilling to take on Wall Street corruption, unfettered campaign contributions leading to the political corruption of both major political parties, a Supreme Court corrupted by the influence of the billionaires, such as the Koch Brothers.

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Income inequality and genetically modified foods (GMOs) are interrelated. Just like tumors and other health maladies, GMOs help income and wealth inequalities grow.

GMO’s entered the US food chain in 1994. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had approved GMO’s for the US food chain for humans in 1992. The GMO corporations provided the evidence of its safety, which, reportedly, were tests demonstrating that rats fed GMO food for three months did not develop health problems.

The folks at the FDA apparently did not care what happened to GMO fed rats after three months. What mattered is that pesticides and herbicides were genetically placed within the seeds of food plants, such as corn, canola, and soy. As the seeds grow into plants, so, too, do the pesticides and herbicides. When you eat corn, canola, and soy, you eat the pesticides and herbicides. More than 80 percent of corn, canola, and soy grown in the US today are GMOs. So are large amounts of many other crops.

Numerous studies show GMOs cause health issues. For example, a study in France found that rats fed GMO foods for over three months developed all sorts of health issues, such as tumors and other organ damage (Click here for more information). Also, see the video above.

Why are we eating this poison on such a massive scale? The answer is simple. GMO plants have the herbicides and pesticides in them. The pesticides kill bugs that bite into the plant, while the herbicides kill weeds that might otherwise grow within a few feet of the plant. That makes GMO crops less labor intensive, thereby reducing labor costs, and raising profit margins.

Increased profit margins mean higher corporate earnings and share prices than would otherwise be the case in the absence of GMOs. That’s why many corporations use GMOs, such as Kelloggs, McDonalds, Purina, Quaker Oats, PepsiCo, Swansen, Heinz, and on and on. The list is almost endless.

GMO’s are one of the reasons why income and wealth inequality are at such high levels. The rich disproportionately benefit from rising corporate profits and share prices. Currently, the top 1 percent own more wealth in the United States than the bottom 90 percent. For more information see The 1 Percent Own More Wealth Than the Bottom 90 Percent. The top 1 percent are stealing up to 37 percent of all income created in the United States nowadays, compared to just 8 to 10 percent in 1980. See The rich are now getting more than 36 percent of all income.

There is one more advantage the rich derive from GMO foods. Profits can be increased on GMO foods without raising prices. In some cases, prices might even decline while profits rise. In the face of rising inequality, the increase in food prices is slowed by using GMO crops. Otherwise, prices might rapidly increase, resulting in consumer dissatisfaction and even perhaps food riots. Cheap food depresses the discontent of the masses, helping to keep them in line even as the rich rob them of their health and money.

Ultimately, your health is being redistributed to the rich via GMOs, increased corporate profits, and rising share prices, and your government has approved this health and income redistribution scam.

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Do you ever wonder how much of your income has been redistributed to the rich since 1980? How much would you be earning now if the rich were only getting the same share of our total national income as they did back in 1980 or so? Back then the 1 percent stole only about 8 to 9 percent. We got the rest.

Now, thanks to the entire corrupt Republican Party, and the vast majority of corrupted Democratic Party politicians, the rich are officially stealing anywhere from 24 to 37+ percent of the total national income, depending on whose figures you are using. This is thanks in large measure to such Democratic Party politicians as Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden, as well as both Clintons’.

We can use Oregon as an approximate gauge for the entire nation since Oregon is only slightly above average in personal income compared to other states.

The figures in the graph above show that the typical Oregonian would be earning “nearly 3 times as much” today “had inequality remained at the 1980 level. Oregon’s actual median income in 2014 was $33,484, compared to $29,150 nationally.

In 2014, the average working Oregonian would have earned about $92,050, or nearly three times as much, had the 1 percent been only stealing from the rest of us at the same rate as they had been back in 1980. That suggests the average US citizen would have been earning around $83,000 a year in 2014, rather than the paltry $29,150.

Imagine how strong the demand for goods and service would be today for the 99 percent if the 1 percent had not rigged each of the three branches of the US government in their favor through corrupt politicians in both major political parties, and their complete corruption of the United States Supreme Court. (See the-editorial-the-rich-dont-want-you-to-read-corruption-of-the-united-states-supreme-court-what-the-rich-and-their-corporate-so-called-news-media-dont-want-you-to-know–JohnHively.Wordpress.com for more on this.)

When inflation is factored into income growth, notice which economic class has gotten the big raises since 1980 in the graph below, and which has not. Note also that the information presented is based on income tax returns, so the US rich have gained quite a bit more than it appears since they have stashed trillions of dollars abroad in Switzerland, Panama and elsewhere.

This means the real income gains of the rich are vastly understated. Thank you Ron Wyden. Thank you Bill Clinton. Thank you Hillary Clinton. Thank you all of you bought off Democrats and Republican politicians. Thank you corrupted US Supreme Court

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The rich and Wall Street executives have been quaking in their boots recently. Their Ponzi Schemes and bubbles known as the financial markets are in danger of collapsing. And it’s all because of President Donald Trump.

Trump is threatening to levy taxes on products made in China and exported to the USA. These taxes are called tariffs, and here’s what the corporate news media doesn’t want you to know. By doing this, Trump is also threatening to deflate the recent stock market bubble, which is the same thing as saying Trump is threatening to decrease by significant margins the income and wealth of the billionaires who control both major political parties in the United States.

Tariffs are taxes on goods being imported into the USA from foreign nations. US corporations export into the USA tens of billions of products manufactured in China, Vietnam, Mexico and other third world nations. Increased tariffs mean US corporations will need to raise the prices of their Chinese and other third world products, or lower their profit margins.

The profits of corporations are the primary component determining the prices of shares. When profits drop, especially in the long term, share prices fall. So the share price of say, Home Depot could fall from $176 a share to $14 a share. If you own millions of shares you lose quite a lot of money. This is why the threat of tariffs in steel and aluminum has roiled the US financial markets as of late. A lot of paper wealth is going to evaporate as stock prices drop should the tariffs be enacted. Dividends may decline, as well.

Tens of millions of US jobs have been exported from the US to China, Vietnam, India, Pakistan, Mexico, Honduras and elsewhere over the last twenty-five years. This has been done in order to jack up corporate profits by significantly reducing US labor and environmental costs. The difference between the old higher US wages and benefits and the new lower wages without benefits has gone straight into the already fat wallets and bank accounts of the superrich. They have used their ill-gotten gains to bid up the prices of corporate shares, gold, housing, commodities futures, and other investments.

President Trump’s threat to use tariffs against China and other nations means fewer dollars will go into the pockets of the rich if the tariffs are enacted. It also means potentially massive losses in the stock and maybe even bond markets.

Some corporations may even be inclined to export their jobs in China back to the United States if the tariffs are enacted. The middle class will benefit with additional jobs should this come about. In other words, the tariffs could redistribute income from the rich back into the pockets of the 99 percent, and this is something the billionaires will not allow their corporate media outlets to tell you. The proposed tariffs are limited, and therefore will not have much of an impact, but they will have some positive benefits to the US 99 percent.

Currently, six men own more wealth than the bottom 50 percent of the world’s people (See https://johnhively.wordpress.com/2017/02/23/six-men-own-more-wealth-than-the-bottom-50-percent-of-human-kind/). In the USA, the 1 percent own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent for the first time in US history (See https://johnhively.wordpress.com/2017/12/03/in-the-united-states-the-1-percent-now-own-more-wealth-than-the-bottom-90-percent-for-the-first-time-in-us-history/). In the United States, the 1 percent steal as much as 35 percent of the income produced in the USA every year, up from 8 percent in 1979.

Trump’s tariffs will likely put tiny brakes on the continuously growing inequality of wealth and income produced by free trade agreements. Those brakes will likely only slow down the growing income and wealth inequality rather than halting or reversing them. But the tariffs would be a beginning to reversing the massive income and wealth inequality which the rich have successfully conspired to produce over the last thirty-seven years.

A few other things are in order. The USA has the fifteen to twenty largest trade deficits in world history. That means the US imports more goods than it exports. Our largest trade deficit is not with China, as the media claims. In reality, the largest US trade deficit is with US corporations that have exported tens of millions of US jobs overseas. The purpose of exporting tens of millions of US jobs has been to redistribute trillions of dollars from US workers to the rich, avoid US pollution controls (thereby increasing profits),  and avoid US health and safety regulations.

What American Presidents Have To Say About Tariffs:

“America’s growth and future depend on trade. But we would insist on trade that is fair and free. We are always willing to be trade partners but never trade patsies”. President John F. Kennedy.

“Protection, which guards and develops our industries, is a cardinal policy of the Republican Party. The measure of protection should always at least equal the difference in the cost of production at home and abroad.” President Theodore Roosevelt

“A wise tariff protects American industries and manufacture. It encourages growth and enterprise among our own people. It opens our mines, it erects our machine shops, our furnaces and factories”.
President William Mckinley

It Was Good Enough For Kennedy, Roosevelt & McKinley. Why Isn’t It For Congress?

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There is a lot of talk out of Republican Party circles about the left and its plots to take away our freedoms, such as our guns. However, this is a lie. The left has been dead for decades. There are no popular parties of communists and socialists. Sure, there are a few remaining members of these old parties, but they are hardly a threat to the status quo. Most of them may be FBI informants anyway.

Nowadays, the left is the old political right on bread and butter issues, the environment, and much more. Remember President Richard Nixon? Over forty years ago he was a hard-line conservative who hated communism but made peace with China, ended the war in Vietnam by withdrawing all US troops, signed legislation creating the Environmental Protection Agency, and offered a public option on national health care which was rejected by the Democrats. Nowadays Nixon would be considered politically far to the left. He would be a big letter “COMMUNIST!”

So when we hear talk about the left from say, Fox News, especially on economics and politics, those folks really mean the 99 percent. That’s right! They mean us! In poll after poll the 99 percent want a $15 minimum wage, higher taxes on the rich, an end to free trade agreements that are designed to export millions of US jobs but which benefits the 1 percent almost exclusively, Medicare for all, greater worker and environmental protections, legislation that will strengthen labor unions, and a lot more stuff that would be in interest of the 99 percent, but which would not necessarily be in the interests of the billionaires who control your government, both major political parties, and all of the major news media that keep you blinded to the things the billionaires don’t want you to know about.

So when you hear somebody on television talking about how the left is out to steal your freedoms, like a powerful gang of communists, that really is not true. These groups don’t exist in any serious way. That somebody on television is really out to steal your freedoms by distracting you from the real economic bread and butter issues by focusing your attention on the social issues. That person on the news is a paid employee of the billionaires on the political right. That person has little credibility.

By today’s political right standards, even old arch-conservative Richard Nixon would be a hard-line communist. Nixon was, of course, also a crook who resigned under the very real threat of impeachment. Nowadays, the political servants of the 1 percent can commit all sorts of crimes and get away with it, like torture, waging wars against humanity, and on and on.

Oh my! How things have changed.

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The golden rule is at work; he who has the gold makes the rules that determine income and wealth distribution. That is why income inequality has grown so enormous worldwide. The rich are getting wealthier while the rest of us toil in financial purgatory, even the European and US middle class.

The golden rule is also why the global economy created a record number of billionaires last year, exacerbating inequality amid a weakening of workers’ rights and a corporate push to maximize shareholder returns, charity organization Oxfam International said in a new report.

The folks at Oxfam define severe poverty as those people living on $1.25 or less a day. and according to Oxfam estimates, about 1/3 of the world’s population lives at or below that level.

The world’s 2043 billionaires saw their wealth surge by $762 billion, which is enough money to end extreme poverty seven times over, according to Oxfam.

According to separate data compiled by Bloomberg, the top 500 billionaires’ net worth (wealth) grew 24% to $5.38 trillion in 2017, while the world’s richest person, Amazon.com Inc.’s Jeff Bezos, saw a gain of $33.7 billion.

“The billionaire boom is not a sign of a thriving economy but a symptom of a failing economic system,” said Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam International. “The people who make our clothes, assemble our phones and grow our food are being exploited.” Those people are also the folks without the gold with which to purchase political power in the so-called democracies of the world.

Oxfam had published the report as global leaders, chief executives and bankers arrived in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting. This is an event in which the rich of the world share plans of how to rip the rest of us off. A spokesperson for Oxfam, however, noted “that many of the world’s elite say they’re concerned about income inequality, but most governments are “shamefully failing” to improve the matter. That’s because the politicians managing the affairs of those governments are being paid to do nothing to rectify growing poverty throughout the world, and they are being paid to ensure the billionaires gain more and more of the world’s income and wealth. This is called corruption.

Oxfam called on governments to limit shareholder and executive returns while ensuring workers receive a living wage. It also recommended eliminating the gender pay gap and raising taxes on the wealthy, among other suggestions.”

“People are ready for change,” Byanyima said. “They want a limit on the power and the wealth which sits in the hands of so few.” In addition, p0eople want to limit the effects of the golden rule which allows the rich to control the distribution of income and wealth and send into their bank accounts the vast majority of income and wealth created.

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