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Posts Tagged ‘privatization’

A new report released this week by the Institute for Policy Studies looks at the fortunes of the Forbes 400, and compares their wealth to the much more meager assets of the rest of America.

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Among their most significant findings:

* America’s 20 wealthiest people — a group including Warren Buffett, Charles and David Koch, Mark Zuckerberg, Michael Bloomberg and Sheldon Adelson — now own more wealth than the bottom half of the American population combined, a total of 152 million people in 57 million households.

* The Forbes 400 now own about as much wealth as the nation’s entire African-American population — plus more than a third of the Latino population — combined.

* With a combined worth of $2.34 trillion, the Forbes 400 own more wealth than the bottom 61 percent of the country combined, a staggering 194 million people.

* The median American family has a net worth of $81,000. The Forbes 400 own more wealth than 36 million of these typical American families.

* Furthermore, the report authors note that they “believe that these statistics actually underestimate our current national levels of wealth concentration.” They say the “growing use of offshore tax havens and legal trusts has made the concealing of assets much more widespread than ever before.”

The folks at the Institute for Policy Studies appeared to be clueless as to how this historically massive unequal distribution of income came about. Those who control the state and federal government engineered this inequality, through such income redistribution programs as;

1. International income redistribution scams falsely marketed as free trade treaties. The latest scam is the Trans Pacific Partnership, a so-called trade treaty involving 12 nations of the Pacific Rim. Such wealthy class warriors as George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Mitch McConnell, Orrin Hatch, and Ron Wyden support this, the largest, income redistribution scam in US history. It will also diminish the voting rights of the 99 percent on local and state levels. These agreements pave the legal route for US corporations to ship US jobs overseas. It also paves the way for US corporations to create jobs over there, rather than over here. The difference between the old higher US pay and the new lower overseas pay goes straight into the pockets of the super rich via higher corporate profits, rising dividends and surging share prices. The job losers may get some unemployment insurance, if they are lucky. These agreements are the biggest income redistribution scams, but there are other significant scams of this nature. According to the Federal Reserve Bank, Wyden voted to export 28 million US jobs overseas from 1990 to 2010, and millions more since.

2. Privatization scams, which enrich the wealthy.

3. Tax breaks for the rich, which allow them to purchase politicians, who then do their bidding in the halls of congress, in the white house, and in state houses across the nation. That bidding usually consists of legislation that redistributes income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent, such as Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden’s Trans Pacific Partnership.

In spite of their ignorance of how we got here, the folks of the Institute for Policy Studies did come up with some good suggestions to curtail wealth accumulation by a few people, which has come about at the expense of the many.

“First, we must close wealth escape routes. 
Wealthy individuals are moving quickly to shift wealth into offshore tax havens and bury it in private trusts, avoiding accountability and taxation every step of the way. This hidden wealth now totals in the trillions. Our first step must be to close these escape routes and tax dodges.

Second, we need to implement policies to reduce concentrated wealth. 
Without action to directly reduce private concentrations of wealth, inequality will continue to grow. By seriously taxing our wealthiest households, we could raise significant revenues and invest these funds to expand wealth-building opportunities across the economy.”

The next installment on this story, Why Wealth and Income Inequality Matters: Especially Since the Rich Are Stealing From the Rest of Us, will be within two days.

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The governors of the Federal Reserve Bank voted to keep interest rates at historic lows in their September 17, 2015 meeting. The bank has not raised interest rates in nearly a decade. Lucky us, or maybe unlucky us.

Chairwoman Janet Yellen cited a number of reasons why the bank decided to keep rates low. She mentioned, for example, the weakness of manufacturing in China.

However, she didn’t mention that nearly 50 percent of US manufacturing is done in China, which, quite naturally, indicates a slowing down of US outsourced manufacturing, which certainly impacts the US. Like a good politician, she also did not mention that the evil US trade deficit is fueled by US manufacturers exporting jobs overseas, like Microsoft, Apple, Nike and Adidas. These and hundreds of other companies manufacture their products in China and elsewhere, and export their stuff to the US.

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This is precisely and the only reason why the US has a trade deficit. The US trade deficit, in other words, is with US job exporters, not with China, Pakistan, Mexico or elsewhere.

Anyway, keeping interest rates low was a good thing for the US economy. Typically, the Fed waits to raise interest rates until just after the US economy begins to slide into recession.

That process begins when US corporations see a slowdown in their earnings growth, in the aggregate. These businesses begin to lay people off, which jacks up their profits. Perhaps the folks running the Fed take this as some sort of sacred signal that everything is all right. However, laying enough people off throughout the economy ignites recessions in the process of jacking up those profits, because the demand for goods and services slackens, jobs and profits decline, and a recession begins even while corporate earnings expand.

This is why I mentioned the slowdown of Chinese manufacturing, which in all likelihood, represents something of a slowdown of US manufacturing abroad. Profit growth has been shaky the last two years, though still growing in fits and spurts with sudden quarterly declines followed by rapid growth.

In other words, the US and world economies are still quite weak, especially since the rich have stolen 95 percent of all income growth in the US since 2009, an historic high by a wide margin. This has meant sluggish US and world economic growth since the more money the 1 percent steal in the US and elsewhere, the weaker the demand for goods and services by the 99 percent.

Yellen has the brains to understand all of this. This is likely why the Fed has kept interest rates at historic lows for years. To maintain their standards of living, the 99 percent had to keep borrowing because they haven’t gotten a raise in 35 years on average and in real terms. Raise interest rates and the demand for goods and services begins to die.

Raising interest rates will likely be the straw that sends the world economy into the monstrous fangs of the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression. This crisis may already be in its early less visible stages.

Not a single world leader has learned the lesson from the last Recession. The current US economic expansion is fueled by the same artificially created housing and stock market bubbles as the last recession. Wall Street executives are calling the economic shots in the White House, on Capital Hill and the US Supreme Court. That’s why nobody who could do anything did squat about the corrupt forces that brought about last recession, and now the bill is coming due.

The last recession was the worst since the Great Depression. The next one, as I have pointed out in my book, The Rigged Game: Corporate America and a People Betrayed, will be far more hideous.

The Fed has literally no tools to fight off this coming Great Depression, but it will print trillions of dollars to save billionaires and others from their foolish investment decisions. See breakdown-of-the-26-trillion-the-federal-reserve-handed-out-to-save-rich-incompetent-investors-but-who-purchase-political-power–JohnHively.wordpress.com

The federal government will be forced to expand the deficit, and instead of having 48 million people permanently on food stamps, the US will have 60 to 100 million, unless the madness of redistributing income from the 99 to the 1 percent via job exporting trade treaties, unsustainable and illogical immigration policies (both legal and illegal, HB1 visas), and privatization scams.

Much of this can be reversed simply by amending income redistribution schemes known as international trade agreements, limiting immigration by restricting the flow of people moving into the USA at least until wages begin to rise, enforcing current immigration laws, and putting a halt and reversing many privatization follies.

All three of these policies have stolen jobs from American citizens, while enriching the politically and financially affluent in the process, all at the expense of people who produce goods and services.

Of course, that is precisely what the corrupt US government (all three branches), and both corrupt major political parties, have been driven to do by the money unleashed in the political markets since and because of the Reagan tax cuts for the rich.

The ultimate end game of Reaganomics is coming to its ugly conclusion.

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Where are the indictments?

Lots of US contractors helped out with a ton of torture. In other words, much of the process of torture has been privatized for profit. Nice scam. Huh?

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The Reagan tax cuts for the rich unleashed a ton of money that corrupted government, which launched the war against the middle class by passing legislation that redistributes income from the 99 to the 1 percent, such as deregulation, privatization scams, and income redistribution treaties. The result is a massive redistribution of income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent, drops in real income for the middle class, the elimination of retirement for a large percentage of the population, the weakening of the social safety net, historically weak job growth, historically non-existent real wage growth, historically weak growth of US Gross Domestic Product, underfunded schools, and on and on.

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Data from the US Census Bureau shows that US income from 2013 stayed stagnate from 2012, as well as the previous thirty-three years of domination by the 1 percent. Median income has dropped by $5,000 per year since 2007. That money has been redistributed to the 1 percent via free trade treaties, deregulation scams, privatization schemes, and artificially keeping the minimum wage down, rather than allowing it to grow with inflation and productivity. The difference between what wages should be, and what they are, are redistributed to the 1 percent via higher corporate earnings, surging dividends, and rising share prices. That includes the thirty plus million jobs that have been shipped overseas via free trade treaties since 1990.

Thank you Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden who has voted to ship jobs overseas and redistribute the income of hard working Americans to the 1 percent in the process every time he has had the opportunity to do so.

For more on the story, click the following link from Reuters, New Data Shows Wages in 2013 Remain Stagnate–Reuters

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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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