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Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has proposed legislation in which United States presidential and vice presidential candidates must legally disclose eight years worth of tax returns and place any assets that could present a conflict of interest into a blind trust to be sold off (neither of which President Donald Trump has done). Warren’s bill is part of new legislation she’s introducing to reduce the power and influence of big corporations and banks. Last week, Warren introduced the Accountable Capitalism Act, which would require corporations to be more accountable to their workers, communities, and less accountable to shareholders.

To Warren, the Trump administration’s nepotism is emblematic of everything that is wrong with Washington. But she doesn’t just want to replace Trump and his administration with better actors; she wants to blow up the existing system and start from scratch.

“Let’s face it,” Warren said. “There’s no real question that the Trump era has given us the most nakedly corrupt leadership this nation has seen in our lifetimes,” Warren said to an audience at the National Press Club. “But they are not the cause of the rot — they’re just the biggest, stinkiest example of it. Corruption is a form of public cancer, and Washington’s got it bad.”


Then again, think about what Warren is not saying. Both major political parties are corrupt to the bone. Big money owns the important politicians of both major political parties. The politicians of these two parties and their billionaire owners are what has corrupted our federal, state and local governments, as well as the corporate wing of the United States Supreme Court. Quite naturally, Warren is a member of the Democratic Party and understandably does not want to offend the billionaire-controlled leadership.

Warren wants a federal government in which the US president, vice president, Cabinet members, and congressional lawmakers have a lifetime ban on becoming lobbyists, and other federal workers have restrictions — albeit less severe — on entering lobbying firms. The act would also bar federal judges from owning individual stocks or accepting gifts or payments that could potentially influence the outcome of their rulings. Conservatives Supreme Court members, such as Clarence Thomas and the laste Antonin Scalia are perfect examples of court justices ruling on issues in which they have a vested interest.

And in Warren’s plan — laid out in a new bill called the Anti-Corruption and Public Integrity Act — this would all be overseen by a new US Office of Public Integrity, which would go after violators and usher in a new era of ethics law enforcement.

As expected, the Republican Party, the Koch Brothers controlled Tea Party, and the Wall Street controlled Democratic National Committee will oppose Warren’s proposed legislation.

Billionaires, Wall Street, Big Oil and other major vested interests have rigged politics for decades in their favor, and at the expense of the 99 percent. They will fight to the death to maintain the current corrupt system.
The idea is to “isolate and quarantine the ability of big money to infect the decisions made every day by every branch of our government,” Warren said in a speech on Tuesday. That means all three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial.

“Inside Washington, some of these proposals will be very unpopular, even with some of my friends,” she said. “Outside Washington, I expect that most people will see these ideas as no-brainers and be shocked they’re not already the law.”

Warren, one of the top potential 2020 presidential candidates who is staking out an early position for herself as a voice of working people, is laying out exactly how she would drain the swamp — in detail. She’s long railed against corruption in Washington, but she’s clearly setting herself up as the anti-Trump, proposing drastic reforms to prove it.

The Anti-Corruption and Public Integrity Act is a wide-ranging bill that focuses on getting money and lobbying out of politics in all three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial. Here are the key parts:
• A lifetime ban on lobbying for presidents, vice presidents, members of Congress, federal judges, and Cabinet secretaries.
• Multi-year lobbying bans for federal employees (both Congressional staffers and employees of federal agencies). The span of time would be least two years, and six years for corporate lobbyists.
• Requiring the president and vice president to place assets that could present a conflict of interest — including real estate — in a blind trust and sell them off.
• Requiring the IRS to release eight years’ worth of tax returns for all presidential and vice presidential candidates, as well as requiring them to release tax returns during each year in office. The IRS would also have to release two years’ worth of tax returns for members of Congress, and require them to release tax returns for each lawmaker’s year in office.
• Banning members of Congress, Cabinet secretaries, federal judges, White House staff, senior congressional staff, and other officials from owning individual stocks while in office.
• Changing the rulemaking process of federal agencies to severely restrict the ability of corporations or industry to delay or influence rulemaking.
• Creating a new independent US Office of Public Integrity, which would enforce the nation’s ethics laws, and investigate any potential violations. The office would also try to strengthen open records laws, making records more easily accessible to the public and the press.

“Yes,” Warren said, “public servants should be able to use their expertise when they leave government,” she said. “But we’ve gone way past expertise and are headed directly into graft. Padlock the revolving door.”

Warren wants to create an Office of United States Corporations inside the Department of Commerce and require any corporation with revenue over $1 billion — only a few thousand companies, but a large share of overall employment and economic activity — to obtain a federal charter of corporate citizenship.

The charter tells company directors to consider the interests of all relevant stakeholders — shareholders, but also customers, employees, and the communities in which the company operates — when making decisions. That could concretely shift the outcome of some shareholder lawsuits but is aimed more broadly at shifting American business culture out of its current shareholders-first framework and back toward something more like the broad ethic of social responsibility that took hold during WWII and continued for several decades.

More concretely, United States Corporations would be required to allow their workers to elect 40 percent of the membership of their board of directors.
In this Warren is wrong. 50 percent of the board members should be workers, like in Germany.

Taken together, the Accountable Capitalism Act and the Anti-Corruption and Public Integrity Act are a return to Warren’s bread-and-butter issues, ones that she’s been hammering home since she was a Harvard Law School professor who helped establish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau after the 2008 financial crisis.

https://www.vox.com/2018/8/21/17760916/elizabeth-warren-anti-corruption-act-bill-lobbying-ban-president-trump

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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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income inequality

A new study by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) shows that income inequality grew again last year, continuing a thirty-five year trend of rising income and wealth inequality that has been the defining feature of the American economy.

According to the study, “The way rising inequality has directly affected most Americans is through sluggish hourly wage growth in recent decades, despite an expanding and increasingly productive economy. For example, had all workers’ wages risen in line with productivity, as they did in the three decades following World War II, an American earning around $50,000 today would instead be making close to $75,000. A hugely disproportionate share of economic gains from rising productivity is going to the top 1 percent and to corporate profits, instead of to ordinary workers—who are more productive and educated than ever.”

As I show in The Rigged Game: Corporate America and a People Betrayed, our rising inequality is mostly the result of big corporations and the wealthy rewriting the rules of the economy via federal legislation to stack the deck in their favor. They’ve bought everybody from Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, from Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden to Wall Street Senator’s Mitch McConnell and Orrin Hatch. The rich, in other words, are the monopolists who own the political markets on the federal and most state levels.

This government corruption has prevented the benefits of productivity growth from “trickling down” to reach most households.

A few years ago, President Obama called wage and income inequality the “greatest issue of our time.” Then some Wall Street hacks must have called him to their throne room and gave him a tongue lashing. So the president has never mentioned the “greatest issue or our time” ever again. And he’s done nothing about it either.

That’s why wage inequality continued to increase during 2015.

Among EPI’s findings:

* Wage growth occurred fastest in states with higher minimum wages.

* Overall, 2015 saw overall real wage gains driven only by a dip in inflation.

* Wage growth was faster for male workers and white workers, particularly at the top of the wage distribution, which continued to exacerbate racial, ethnic, and gender wage gaps.

* If the Federal Reserve makes decisions based on the data, it is clear that the United States is not in a period of inflation-spurring wage growth. (Editors note: So the Fed should not raise rates in June, although they likely will, but for other than inflation is on the horizon reasons)

* To see strong broad-based wage growth outside of the tightest of labor markets, policymakers could strengthen labor standards, such as by raising the minimum wage, expanding eligibility for overtime pay, and protecting and strengthening workers’ right to bargain collectively for higher wages and benefits.

Income inequality is destroying the US economy. It’s turning us into a third world nation, with a corrupt federal government, and corrupt corporate news media as bad as in any third world nation.

The less money the 99 percent has, the less demand there is for goods and services. This is why the last two economic expansions are the worst in recorded history for US job growth, as well as other economic indices. The more money the rich steal via government corruption, the more the stock markets roar. Currently, 1 percent of the population steal 37 percent of all income produced in the USA, up from 8 percent in 1980.

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Ultimately, it is political corruption that plays the biggest role in creating income and wealth inequality. The Reagan tax cuts gave the rich and powerful the money to craft legislation, purchase politicians, such as Wall Street Senator’s Ron Wyden, Orrin Hatch and Mitch McConnell, and then use their corrupt corporate news media to sell the legislation using lies to the public. Now that the public has begun to see reality, the news media, such as ABC News, Fox Propaganda Network, and the Oregonian newspaper, among many others, have continued the lies about how free trade treaties are good for the economy even though the US trade deficit continues to explode more and more with each treaty. That’s because US corporations are shipping more and more jobs overseas, and then they ship the products that used to be manufactured in the USA straight back to the USA, creating the trade gap and a few longshoremen jobs along the way.

Trade treaties are perhaps the principal reason the US economy is historically weak, and why job creation and wage and salary growth are also his historically bad.

The difference between the old wages and the new lower overseas wages goes into the pockets of the rich via higher corporate profits, surging dividends and soaring share prices. That’s why the same process in terms of inequality, political corruption and news media corruption are also in play with most government actions, whether it’s war in Iraq, education loans, public school testing, privatization scams, and deregulation schemes, keeping secret the negative health impacts of GMOs, among many others, it’s all about redistributing your income, your children’s income, and your neighbor’s income, as well as your health, to the 1 percent. The US government is a total cesspool of corruption, as is the corporate news media.

Now the Obama regime is trying to pass through congress the largest income redistribution treaty of them all, the Trans Pacific Partnership. Obama’s primary ally is this corrupt scam is Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden, who is crafting legislation that hasn’t been crafted yet, but he assures those who are listening that it will be fair and balanced. This legislation is called “smart track.” It’s job is to replace fast track legislation. Fast track allowed trade treaties to be voted on with little or no debate in congress, making it difficult for the public to discover what was going on and to muster opposition. Wyden’s smart track is just another scam to redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent on behalf of his wall street masters.

Fight back, protest, inform and organize your neighbors. Don’t let social issues get in the way of economic solidarity with your neighbors, because that’s what the corrupt news media, the political class, and the 1 percent have been doing to the 99 percent for forty years, and that’s solely to achieve their objective of income redistribution.

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