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Posts Tagged ‘trade agreements’

Sen. Elizabeth Warren cited recent Pew Research Center polling that found only 18% of Americans say they can trust the U.S. government to do the right thing to unveil her Anti-Corruption and Public Integrity Act on Tuesday.

It is well known that the rich, their corporations, and their lobbyists have bought almost every member of the United States House of Representatives and almost every member of the Senate since 1981, which include such corrupt blowhards as RepubliCons Orrin Hatch, Mitch McConnell and Democrat Ron Wyden. Since 1981, every United States president has bent to the desires of the well-to-do on all matters having to do with redistributing income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent. Wyden, Hatch, and McConnell have voted to redistribute income and wealth from the 99 percent to the rich and powerful time and time again when they voted to export millions of jobs held by United States citizens via trade agreements.

The difference between the old higher US wages and benefits and the new three dollars a day jobs in foreign nations goes straight into the pockets of the super-rich via higher corporate profits, rising share prices, and surging dividends. The newly unemployed in the U.S. might get unemployment insurance for a few months if they are lucky.

Political corruption is precisely why income inequality has grown from the 1 percent receiving 8 percent of all income produced in the USA in 1980 to 37 percent today, and why three people own more wealth than the bottom 50 percent of the U.S. population, and why the 1 percent owns more wealth than the bottom 90 percent.

Warren’s plan provides a lifetime ban on lobbying by former members of Congress, Presidents, and agency heads and banning foreign lobbying and lobbyists donations to candidates and members of Congress.

Warren’s bill seeks to eliminate both the appearance and the potential for financial conflicts of interest by banning members of Congress, cabinet secretaries, federal judges, and other senior government officials from owning and trading individual stock, including requiring the Supreme Court follow the ethics rules applicable to all other federal judges. One study has found that members of the U.S. Supreme Court rule in favor of companies they invest in.

Warren advocates “locking the government-to-lobbying revolving door” and eliminating the “golden parachutes” that companies pay some executives when they enter public service, citing the instance of Goldman Sachs paying Gary Cohn more than $250 million when he left the firm to lead President Trump’s National Economic Council.

Warren’s legislation also aims to end what she characterizes as the corporate capture of public interest rulemaking by requiring disclosure of funding or editorial conflicts of interest when corporations and special interest groups pay for comments and studies that support rulemaking, as well as requiring elected officials and candidates for federal office to disclose more financial and tax information and making federal contractors – including private prisons and immigration detention centers – comply with federal open records laws.

A lot more can be done to end corruption in the U.S. government. Banning the paid speeches made by former presidents and high officials is a starter. Bill and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama get $250,000 a pop for half-hour paid speeches. Who is to say the lure and promise of future profits do not influence the choices made by people in high office? In addition, the government could limit the amount of funding of political campaigns provided by political action committees, corporations, and individuals. However, the corporate wing of the United States Supreme Court has been so corrupted by the inflow of cash and favors and class warfare mentality in favor of their social and economic class, that they eliminated one hundred years of legal precedent in the Citizens United case of 2010 that limited contributions as outlined in the sentence above. Reversing that, and successfully impeaching the corrupt corporate wing of the Supreme Court would go a long way toward ending the massive wave of political corruption that has swamped the United States governments at all levels like rising tides of overflowing cesspools.

For the complete story, see Elizabeth Warren Proposes Ways to Fight Political Corruption–MarketWatch.

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According to Jack Bogle, founder of Vanguard, the mutual funds investment company, Social Security is in crisis.

Bogle said the system’s finances could get a big boost from changes that may be rejected as “politically sensitive,” including

  1. adopting a less-generous approach to calculating cost-of-living adjustments,
  2. raising the maximum annual earnings subject to Social Security tax,
  3. and raising the age for full retirement benefits further from the current range of ages 66 to 67.

First of all, Social Security is not in a crisis. The Fund has a reserve of $2.5 trillion that earns $180 billion in interest a year. That money is due to be used up by roughly 2036 as more and more baby boomers retire. Then Social Security can still pay 84 percent of everybody’s benefits after that.

This means it won’t take much to make up the shortfall. Currently, nobody pays social security taxes on income above $118,500. Simply eliminating this cap on taxing income would erase the future shortfall. However, we could go farther and with good reason.

Here’s what the corporate media doesn’t want you to know.

Trillions of dollars every decade earmarked for the social security trust fund are redirected from the fund into the already fat wallets of the super rich. The rich don’t pay social security taxes on capital gains and dividends. Every time a job is exported, the wages and social security contributions from that job are transformed into capital gains and dividends.

Millions of jobs have been exported. That’s hundreds of billions of dollars every year no longer heading into the Trust Fund because the difference between the old higher US wages and the new lower third world wages goes straight into the pockets of the ultra wealthy via capital gains and dividends.

Capital gains and dividend income are exempt from paying social security taxes.

So why not establish social security taxes on dividends and capital gains above a certain point, say $100,000 a year in income from those sources?

Then you could increase monthly payments to retirees while simultaneously raising the demand for goods and services, which would strengthen the economy, as well as spur job and wage growth.

Wall Street won’t like it, but millions of older folks could use the money being stolen from social security via international income redistribution scams falsely marketed as “trade agreements.”

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the-duck-and-the-tpp

Wall Street President Obama plans to unleash Wall Street’s Democratic Party attack dog against the middle class. Attack Dog Wyden will likely introduce the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) in the senate during the lame duck session, where it will likely pass.

The TPP is a 12 nation trade agreement that will redistribute trillions of dollars and significant political power, including stealing away many of your voting rights on the local and state levels, from the 99 to the 1 percent. That’s why Obama and Wyden are for this agreement.

The entire Republican Party leadership stands behind Obama on the TPP. Yes, Wall Street Senator Mitch McConnell and Wall Street Senator Orrin Hatch are counting on Obama. The TPP will likely pass through the senate, but it’s going to have problems in the US House of Representatives.

The American people are rising up against these income and political power redistribution agreements, which are falsely marketed as international trade agreements.

According to a new poll conducted jointly by Harvard University and Politco.com, “In a stunning reversal, a large majority of Republicans are repudiating their party’s traditional support for free trade, and falling sharply in line with nominee Donald Trump’s insistence that trade costs Americans more jobs than it creates.” Duh! Anybody think Wall Street and the super rich would want these agreements if they created more US jobs than they destroyed? The game is to lower the cost of labor so as to increase corporate profits, dividends and share prices.

manufacturing-jobs-exported-per-year

Strangely, grassroots Democrats who have opposed these agreements in the past are now more gullible than Republican grassroots members in some ways, while the Republicans can be more gullible in other ways. “The POLITICO-Harvard poll shows, 85 percent of Republicans say that free trade has cost the U.S. more jobs than it has created, compared to 54 percent of Democrats.”

The poll also showed the 59 percent of Democrats and only 20 percent of Republicans believe income inequality is a problem. Yes it is. Ask anybody from any third world nation. The 1 percent now steal about 36 percent of all income, up from 8 percent in 1980. That means the rest of us have less money with which to demand the goods and services necessary to power the economy, unless, of course, we use credit. Quite naturally, Americans have higher levels of debt than ever before. Anybody think that’s a problem?

According to the poll, some voters are going to cast ballots based on a candidate’s position on trade deals. Many Democrats will vote for Donald Trump for president, while also voting for their Democratic senate and US House candidates.

The polls findings also suggest Trump wiped out the other 16 Republican candidates for president this year since these trade scams were bigger issues with grassroots Republicans than for Democratic voters. This might also explain, in part, why Democrats failed to elect Bernie Sanders as their standard bearer.

The TPP will only make matter worse for the 99 percent. Just check out the links below.

The Trans Pacific Partnership–The Op-ed the corporate media doesn’t want you read–JohnHIvely.Wordpress.com

http://www.citizen.org/documents/TPP-USITC-Study-Press-Release.pdf

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/09/politico-harvard-poll-free-trade-trump-gop-228600#ixzz4LZlNPmyj
Follow us: @politico on Twitter | Politico on Facebook

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98604121_USA_03_233179c

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.

a-group-of-economists-wrote-an-open-letter-in-favor-of-janet-yellen-and-the-list-of-names-is-stacked

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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