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Eight billionaires possess the same amount of wealth, and probably more, as the lower half of the world’s population, according to an analysis from the charity Oxfam released last Sunday.

Six of these billionaires, from Forbes’ list of the world’s richest people, are American entrepreneurs: Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO Warren Buffett, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Rounding out the list are Carlos Slim, the Mexican tycoon, and Amancio Ortega, the Spanish founder of a retail conglomerate that includes clothing chain Zara. Together their net wealth ― assets minus debts ― amounts to $426 billion.

“Left unchecked, growing inequality threatens to pull our societies apart,” Oxfam writes in its report, citing Brexit, the rise of President Donald Trump and a rise in the widespread disillusionment with the absolute corruption of mainstream politics, which has been provided by, and benefitted, the rich at the expense of everybody else.

In 2016, the richest 1 percent of the world held slightly more than half of the wealth of the entire planet, Oxfam noted. While the 1,810 billionaires on Forbes’s list, 89 percent male, hold $6.5 trillion, as much wealth as 70 percent of humanity.

In other words, 70 percent of the world’s population is fighting among themselves over crumbs the rich have yet to scoop up.

All of the corruption is used to tilt the economic game in favor of the billionaires allowing them via the government to redistribute income and wealth from the 99 percent to themselves. Some of the corruption in the United States have included the successful negotiation of trade agreements with an eye toward lowering wages worldwide, suppression of federal minimum wage increases, Supreme Court decisions that have nearly eliminated 100+ years of campaign finance laws, the war against labor unions waged by the rich via their helpful federal government and their corrupt United States Supreme Court, lowering the tax rates of the rich to the point where billionaires now pay a lower rate than middle-class income earners. and the privatization of public services.

Last year, when Oxfam did its report, it took 62 billionaires to equal the bottom half of the world. The change this year seems drastic because of improvements in the quality of the data Credit Suisse was able to get. If Oxfam had used that improved data last year, it would’ve taken just 9 billionaires to reach parity with the world’s bottom half, Kripke said.

Rising inequality causes more than a sense of moral outrage and the election of reality TV stars. There’s a wide body of research that shows inequality adversely affects the health of those at the bottom, raising the risk of cardiovascular disease, increasing suicide rates and shortening lifespans. Some attribute the rise in the death rate of white people and the heroin epidemic to inequality.

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It’s not quite what you imagine it to be. President Trump is right to shout to the Twitterverse about how its trade deficit with China is costing the United States trillions of dollars and millions of jobs every year.

According to a recent study by the progressive Economic Policy Institute (EPI), which is hated by the conservatives and corporate Democrats alike, “…the growing trade deficit with China…has cost the U.S. millions of jobs throughout the economy since China entered the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, a finding validated by numerous studies.”

Of course, EPI did not report a few things that are important to their study, and for our interests. So, as you read through a few of the EPI highlights below, I will make comments here and there in bolded letters. However, let me state there are a few things in this report that are not mentioned, and the corporate news media do not want you to know.

  • The U.S. trade deficit with China does not really exist in the sense that it is a trade deficit between China and the United States. In reality, the trade deficit is really between US corporations that manufacture their goods and services in the U.S.A. and U.S. corporations that have exported U.S. jobs to China and then exported their-made-in-China goods and services to the USA.
  • Another thing not mentioned is that a variety of studies show the export of every 100 manufacturing jobs from the United States results in the loss of an additional 300 to 1700 U.S. jobs.
  • The difference between the old higher wage exported U.S. jobs and the new lower wage Chinese jobs goes straight into the pockets of the billionaires who control both major political parties via higher corporate earnings, rising share prices, and surging dividends. Thus, much of the income and wealth inequality of recent history is the deliberately negotiated end result desired by corporate-backed U.S. politicians and U.S. negotiators.
  • Currently, three people (Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, and Bill Gates) own more wealth than the bottom fifty percent of US citizens. Much of this is caused by the so-called trade deficit with China.
  • Trade treaties are negotiated so that US corporations can export jobs, as well as create them over there rather than over here, and this also helps to manufacture U.S. income and wealth inequality.
  • Pretty much 100 U.S. billionaires control both major U.S. political parties and quite naturally they have rigged the economy using the corrupted U.S. government, and especially a remarkably corrupt corporate wing of the United States Supreme Court, which includes two well-known perjurers in Brent Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John Roberts.
  • In other words, the income and wealth inequality we experience has been caused by the corruption of all three branches of the federal government, which could not have occurred without the complete corruption of the corporate news media.
  • Currently, the 1 percent steal somewhere between 22 to 38 percent of all the income produced in the United States, up from roughly 8 percent in 1980.

Here are a few of the highlights of the recent EPI report:

1. U.S. jobs lost are spread throughout the country but are concentrated in manufacturing, including in industries in which the United States has traditionally held a competitive advantage. Think Nike, Microsoft and Apple.

2. The growth of the U.S. trade deficit with China between 2001 and 2017 was responsible for the loss of 3.4 million U.S. jobs, including 1.3 million jobs lost since 2008 (the first full year of the Great Recession, which technically began at the end of 2007). Nearly three-fourths (74.4 percent) of the jobs lost between 2001 and 2017 were in manufacturing (2.5 million manufacturing jobs lost).

3. The growing trade deficit with China has cost jobs in all 50 states and in every congressional district in the United States.

4. The trade deficit in the computer and electronic parts industry grew the most: 1,209,000 jobs were lost in that industry, accounting for 36.0 percent of the 2001–2017 total jobs lost. (Think Dell Computers, Apple, Microsoft and a lot more.)

5. Surging imports of steel, aluminum, and other capital-intensive products threaten hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs in key industries such as primary metals, machinery, and fabricated metal products as well.

6. Global trade in advanced technology products—often discussed as a source of comparative advantage for the United States—is instead dominated by China. This broad category of high-end technology products includes the more advanced elements of the computer and electronic parts industry as well as other sectors such as biotechnology, life sciences, aerospace, and nuclear technology. (This is because Dell, Apple and Microsoft, among many other US high-tech corporations, have exported millions of US jobs to China, or created them there rather than here, and then exported their Chinese made products to the USA.)

7. In 2017, the United States had a $135.4 billion trade deficit in advanced technology products with China, and this deficit was responsible for 36.1 percent of the total U.S.–China goods trade deficit that year. In contrast, the United States had a $24.5 billion trade surplus in advanced technology products with the rest of the world in 2017. (See number six in bolded letters above.)

8. Growing trade deficits are also associated with wage losses (in the USA) not just for manufacturing workers but for all workers economywide who don’t have a college degree.

9. Between 2001 and 2011 alone, growing trade deficits with China reduced the incomes of directly impacted workers by $37 billion per year, and in 2011 alone, growing competition with imports from China and other low wage-countries reduced the wages of all U.S. non–college graduates by a total of $180 billion. Most of that income was redistributed to corporations in the form of higher profits and to workers with college degrees at the very top of the income distribution through higher wages.

The China toll deepens–Economic Policy Institute

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When you vote November 6th for the Republican or Democratic Party candidates for the US House of Representatives and the US Senate, with few exceptions, you will be voting to increase income and wealth inequality in the United States and the world.

Below are some of the recent statistics on income and wealth inequality from Inequality.com. Wealth are the things that you own, such as homes, cars, stocks, bonds, businesses, etc…. Income is money you have coming in, such as unearned income like dividends and capital gains; while earned income is derived by actually doing something productive, like working at a job or starting and operating a business. Entrepreneurial folks are different from corporate folks inasmuch as the folks who manage corporations are often employees without clues as to how to make the businesses operate efficiently.

I should point out that control of the government via ownership of both major political parties has brought about an unceasing increase in wealth and income inequality in the USA and throughout the world. In other words, political corruption and corruption of the all major corporate news networks have been used to bring about unprecedented income and wealth inequality in the United States and the rest of the world.

Below are some of the most recent findings.

1. Three dynastic wealth families—the Waltons, the Kochs, and the Mars—have seen their wealth increase nearly 6,000 percent since 1982. Meanwhile, median household wealth over the same period went down by 3 percent. Notice they all inherited great wealth. Note that the rich have used their political power to redistribute income and wealth from the 99 percent to themselves.

2. These three wealth dynasties own a combined fortune of $348.7 billion. That’s more than four million times the median wealth of U.S. families. The dynastic wealth of the Walton family grew from $690 million in 1982 (or $1.81 billion in 2018 dollars) to $169.7 billion in 2018, a mind-numbing increase of 9,257 percent.

3. Three individuals—Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffett—still own more wealth than the bottom half of the country combined.

4. A third of the members of the Forbes 400 own fortunes derived from companies that were founded by earlier generations.

5. The 15 wealthiest multi-generational dynastic families on the Forbes 400 own a combined $618 billion. Their parents or other ancestors founded all of the companies from which their wealth is derived.

6. The Forbes 400 combined own $2.89 trillion dollars, more than the combined wealth of the bottom 64 percent of the United States. It’s also more than the GDP of Britain, the 5th-largest economy in the world. Just 45 individuals own half of this wealth.

7. The median family in the United States owns just over $80,000 in household wealth. The richest person in the United States (and the world), Jeff Bezos, has accumulated a fortune nearly 2 million times that amount.

8. The Bezos fortune expanded by $78.5 billion just in the last year to $160 billion. Even at the recently increased wage of $15/hour, a full-time Amazon worker would need to toil for 2.5 million years to generate this much money.

And so it goes. The entire Republican Party leadership has been bought by the billionaires as well as the entire Democratic Party leadership. In other words, the battle between the Democrats and the Republicans is a battle between billionaires. A few relatively honest major politicians remain in the Democratic Party, but they are not in leadership positions. Think Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Jeff Merkley, and a few others.

Think Elizabeth Warren for president in 2020.

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