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Posts Tagged ‘Political corruption’

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The economic and political game is clearly rigged in favor of wealthy, and its getting worse. This is a recipe for economic disaster, and which has been closely followed by major Wall Street politicians, such as Ron Wyden, Barack Obama, Mitch McConnell, Orrin Hatch, and George W. Bush.

The richest are getting richer, and their doing so quickly, and at the expense of the rest of us. For the most part, control of the levers of political power is how they have gained their money. It’s that simple. The rich control the Republican and Democratic parties, and with them, they control all three branches of the federal government, as well as most state and local governments. And that’s just in the USA.

In early 2016 Oxfam reported that just 62 individuals had the same wealth as the bottom half of humanity. About a year later Oxfam reported that just eight men had the same wealth as the world’s bottom half. Based on the same methodology and data sources used by Oxfam, that number is now down to six.

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There is a reason why the rich, and in particular the super rich, continue to get richer. The politicians of both major political parties work as agents on behalf of their billionaire benefactors, whether its Republicans such as Mitch McConnell, or Democrats like Ron Wyden.

This is why the poorest half (and more) of the world has continued to lose wealth; and the very richest individuals—especially the top thousand or so—continue to add billions of dollars to their massive fortunes. Inequality deniers and apologists say the Oxfam methodology is flawed, but they’re missing the big picture. Whether it’s six individuals or 62 or 1,000 doesn’t really matter. The data from the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Databook (GWD) and the Forbes Billionaire List provide the best available tools to make it clear that inequality is extreme and pathological and getting worse every year.

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As of Feb. 17 of 2017, the world’s six richest individuals (all men) had $412 billion. Just a year ago, on March 1, 2016, the world’s six richest men had $343 billion. They’re the same men today, although slightly rearranged as they play “king of the hill”: Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos, Amancio Ortega, Mark Zuckerberg, Carlos Slim Helu (with Larry Ellison jockeying for position). The wealth of these six men increased by $69 billion in just one year.

According to a new report, which can be accessed below, the poorest 50 percent of the population has seen their share of wealth decline. And the richest 500 people own more wealth that the bottom 70 percent.

Six Men Own More Wealth Than the Bottom 50 Percent of the World’s Population–EcoWatch.org

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Income and wealth inequality is a big concern throughout, as a poll by the Pew Research Center shows. It should be pointed out that income and wealth inequality is growing because so many politicians have been purchased by the 1 percent to achieve this inequality.

Income and wealth distribution is a function exclusively of political power. Government’s sets the rules, and then reset them, mostly to benefit the 1 percent over the 99 percent.

People throughout the world have serious concerns about income and wealth inequality, according to a new poll conducted by the Pew Research Center, and as the graph to the side shows. Notice in Greece 84 percent of the population are concerned about this issue. Also note that government corruption is a massive problem in Greece, and note that it’s the 1 percent that does the corrupting and receives all the benefits of this corruption, and all at the expense of the 99 percent.

The same corruption, and at the same or similar scale, is occurring in the United States government, and at all levels, but the people of the US are less concerned about income and wealth inequality than the folks in Greece. That’s because the US corporate media is also corrupted, and it serves its owners and shareholders, who are members of the 1 percent. So the US corporate propaganda media dutifully keeps the American public ignorant. The other reason why citizens of the US are less concerned about inequality and government corruption that brings it about is because the 1 percent has not sucked them as dry as the 1 percent of Greece has sucked the 99 percent as dry there.

As of 2011, the United States rated as the 75th worse nation in the world in terms of income distribution. Greece was rated 39th. Why are the Greeks protesting in the streets and Americans are not? Who knows? We can throw a few guesses out there. As mentioned above, Americans are starved for information and kept, for the most part, deliberately ignorant by the corporate propaganda machine about these issues compared to the their Greek counterparts.

Of course, the US is larger in territory and greater in natural resources than relatively tiny Greece, and these factors may play a role in giving Americans a higher standard of living than the people of Greece. So, in a way, income in the US can be legislatively redistributed from the 99 to the 1 percent, as has been the case for the last thirty-two years, and Americans can still have a higher standard of living than the Greeks. Of course, it is possible the US social safety nets might be stronger, as well.

Most likely it is a combination of these and other factors that see Greeks rise up while overweight Americans sit in their chairs, a GMO loaded hotdog in one hand and a beer in the other, while watching the television shows, and sports and news programs intended to distort their reality.

Notice when it comes to inequality, Canadians have as much concern about this issue as US citizens, and yet Canada ranks 30th in the world in income inequality, way ahead of the US. It’s interesting that Fox News was banned in Canada because of a law there that makes it a crime for a news organization to lie to the public. Currently, Fox has a limited broadcast area in Canada. It is much bigger in the US where Fox is the most glaring example of a propaganda machine for the 1 percent. That is, in fact, the sole reason for its existence, or, at least, it seems to be.

This suggests perception is very important, and the US propaganda machine (we erroneously call the news media) plays a big role in suppressing dissent in the US by keeping our minds off certain subjects, such as income and wealth distribution and redistribution. This also suggests the US propaganda machine has done its job well.

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