Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘United States’


The gap between the richest and the poorest U.S. households is now the largest it’s been in the past 50 years according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

U.S. income inequality was “significantly higher” in 2018 than in 2017, the Census Bureau says in its latest American Community Survey report. Since the rich in the United States possess earnings and investments abroad, it is likely the income and wealth gaps are much larger than the Census Bureau measures.

The gap grew despite a surging national economy that has seen low unemployment and more than 10 years of consecutive GDP growth.

The most troubling thing about the new report, says William M. Rodgers III, a professor of public policy and chief economist at the Heldrich Center at Rutgers University, is that it “clearly illustrates the inability of the current economic expansion, the longest on record, to lessen inequality.”

That is because the rich are using their political power to create income inequality in their favor.

When asked why the rising economic tide has raised some boats more than others, Rodgers lists several factors, including the decline of organized labor and competition for jobs from abroad. He also cites tax policies that favor businesses and higher-income families.

To understand even a little of how labor unions have been weakened you only need to look at a few of the legal decisions made by the corrupt corporate wing of the United States Supreme Court when it sided with the billionaires and their corporations in the Janus vs. AFSCME case. The corrupt wing of the court, lead by Cheif Justice John Roberts, decided to put an end to decades of legal precedent in which labor union members who did not want to pay union dues were required to pay a lesser fee to their unions to cover the cost of negotiating new contracts with management. Now labor unions are the only organizations in the United States that must provide free services to members who do not wish to pay. The corrupt wing of the court’s intention in making this decision was to weaken the power of labor unions, and working people in general, vis-a-vis the billionaires and their corporations.

Everybody knew the corrupt corporate wing of the court was going to vote in favor of Janus and end four decades of legal precedent in the process. Everybody knew the billionaires had the corporate wing in their hip pocket.

Income inequality is measured through the Gini index, which measures how far apart incomes are from each other. To do that, the index assigns a hypothetical score of 0.0 to a population in which incomes are distributed perfectly evenly and a score of 1.0 to a population where only one household gets all of the income.

The United States has been one of the most unequal of nations in the world using the Gini coefficient. The U.S. is ranked 103 in the world by the World Bank for income inequality, behind every major industrialized country, and up there with such nations as Haiti and Uganda. The U.S. was ranked at 73 ten years ago, so inequality continues to worsen here.

The billionaires’ control the corrupt corporate wing of the United States Supreme Court, the entire Republican Party, and most Democratic politicians at the national level. Therefore, you can expect income and wealth inequality will continue to get worse in the United States.

In other words, vote for Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren for president.

US Census Bureau Report

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

A few years ago, I mentioned that the conservative/corporate wing of the United States Supreme Court would never vote to end abortion rights. Click here for that story.

The billionaire owned New York Times reported last month, “At Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.’s confirmation hearings 14 years ago, the first dozen questions were about whether he would respect the Supreme Court’s abortion precedents.” Well, last month Roberts voted with the court’s honest wing to strike down a Louisiana law that would have severely crippled abortion rights in the state.

The Times explained Roberts decision this way, “Although he offered no reason for his vote, there is little doubt that he wanted to avoid sending the message that the court was ready to discard a 2016 decision, a precedent, in which it struck down a similar Texas law.”

The Times explanation can be considered pure blather. Roberts does not care about “legal precedent” at all and never has. He has voted against legal precedent numerous times. For example, Roberts voted to unleash the financial power of the rich and their corporations by voting against campaign finance laws that curbed the ability of the rich to buy politicians and elections with overwhelming financial might, including the notorious Citizens United v. FEC case of 2010. That decision overturned 100 years of legal precedent. So the New York Times explanation for why Roberts elected to protect abortion rights is absurd, if not a downright lie intended to deceive its readers.

The real reason why the conservative/corporate United States Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts cast his vote to maintain abortion rights is more likely to continue to keep the Republican Party grassroots voters in line and their eyes only on one thing; abortion and the dying unborn.

Those rights won’t be significantly impeded legally because doing so would raise the hopes of the Republican faithful that their dreams of saving tens of thousands of the unborn every year would be fulfilled, and this great wedge issue would be legally resolved. Perhaps then many of the faithful would begin to clamor for a more equitable distribution of income, wealth, and political power, just like Jesus once did, and the leadership cannot have that.

Read Full Post »

‘He was a grateful man…just not in a good way.’

The citizens of Florida may have dealt President Trump a death blow to any reelection success when they voted yes to Amendment 4, which restored voting rights to 1.5 million former felons. Naturally, this proved to be a great disturbance within the minds of the Republican Party leadership who prefer to reduce the number of people voting, which enhances their opportunities to win, along with electoral fraud, such as rigging voting machines.

According to Vox, “Black people, who are disproportionately arrested and incarcerated, will benefit the most. In 2016, more than 418,000 black people out of a black voting-age population of more than 2.3 million, or 17.9 percent of potential black voters in Florida, had finished sentences but couldn’t vote due to a felony record, according to the Sentencing Project. (Again, this includes some people convicted of murders and felony sex offenses.)”

Donald Trump won the state of Florida on November 8, 2016, with a plurality of 49.0% of the popular vote that included a 1.2% winning margin over Hillary Clinton, who had 47.8% of the vote.

Amendment 4 might very well turn the presidential election to the Democratic candidate, especially if that candidate is Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, or Jeff Merkley, all of whom are progressive Democrats, the antithesis of such corporate and Wall Stree Democrats as Hillary Clinton and Ron Wyden.


The final word about the election is that it was not a blue wave. Instead, it was a progressive wave against the corruption of both major political parties by the billionaires and major corporations. This suggests that the end of billionaire rule in the United States may be nearing an end, with the restoration of democracy clearly in sight.

The only thing missing is something to provide a big push, such as a major recession, but that is coming. It is just a question of when.

Once both houses of Congress are restored to the people, only the corrupted US Supreme Court will remain in the hands of the billionaires and their corporations. The corrupted justices (John Roberts, Brent Kavanaugh, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, and Clarence Thomas) will continue to make rulings against the U.S. Constitution whenever the financial interests of the billionaires run up against it, and whenever the interests of the 99 percent may reduce the continued accumulation of wealth, income and political power on the part of the billionaires, and at the expense of the 99.9 percent.

Read Full Post »

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

Read Full Post »

Now that Right Wing Political Hack and Noted Perjurer Brett Kavanaugh is a US Supreme Court Justice, politicians, such as Republican US Senator from Alaska Lisa Murkowski, worry that the Supreme Court will lack credibility for impartiality when making decisions on cases. She need not worry.

The corporate wing of the US Supreme Court has been extremely partial toward Republican billionaires whenever their interests happen to be the case in front of them, so much so that one might rightly suspect the five judges are on the payroll of the billionaires or expect to receive some payback once they leave the court.

Perjurer Brett Kavanaugh now joins Perjurer Chief Justice John Roberts in ensuring the rollback of labor rights, voting rights, civil rights, environmental regulations, health and safety regulations, consumer protections against Wall Street investment banks and other large corporations, and anything else that might impede the growth of billionaire profits.

These corporate plutocrats (John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Clarence Thomas, and now Brett Kavanaugh) have raped and plundered the US Constitution with lies in order to ensure the billionaires who control the Republican Party are granted greater political and economic power at the expense of everybody else.

No better example exists than Chief Perjurer John Roberts. When referring to Roe vs. Wade during his Supreme Court confirmation hearings Roberts said, “There is nothing in my personal view…that would prevent me from applying precedents under stare decisis,” which is the legal principle of determining points in litigation according to precedent. Roberts also said, “I do think that it is a jolt to the legal system when you overrule a precedent. Precedent plays an important role in promoting stability and evenhandedness.” Roberts also testified he would act as an “honest umpire” when making decisions. It turns out all of these were lies. The so-called honest umpire threw evenhandedness and legal precedents out the window years ago.

In Citizens United vs the FCC, Roberts and the rest of the corporate wing of the court wiped out 100 years of legal precedent that allowed regulation of campaign finances. Conservative backers of Citizens United lost in lower courts repeatedly but always appealed, knowing that the conservative wing of the US Supreme Court would side with them. The same process occurred with Janus vs AFSCMC. Conservative supporters of Janus lost time and again in the lower courts, but knew, as did their liberal opponents, that once the case reached the Supreme Court it was a done deal. Forty years of legal precedents were eliminated by Robert’s utterly corrupt billionaire court.

Repeatedly, the Roberts corporate/billionaire court has rolled back voting rights, labor rights, campaign finance laws, all to the benefit of their billionaire backers and against the interests of the 99 percent, while eliminating legal precedents in the process.

Now we have Brett Kavanaugh on the court, a Republican political hack and even more notorious perjurer on the court than is Roberts.

How has the corporate wing of the court been able to do this? They have made up fables, things like corporations are people, international trade treaties are not international trade agreements, money is free speech, etc…. They have simply lied about all this stuff and used this make-believe to advance the Constitutional rights of the billionaires and their corporations while simultaneously pushing back the rights of the 99 percent, which would have stunned our founding fathers.

So do not believe it when you read about how Kavanaugh will change the court into a political hack organization. It has been for a long time already. It may be the most politicized branch of government, but one whose decisions are law, even if total corruption is behind these laws. We may need to begin ignoring Supreme Court rulings since corruption is the primary factor determining cases.

You will not be able to find a greater political hive of villainy and corruption than the corporate wing of the United States Supreme Court, which is nothing more than an arm of the billionaire controlled Republican Party.

Read Full Post »

In the video above, was comedian George Carlin right about the US being a cesspool of political corruption? You better bet he was. Your vote is meaningless, and an academic study shows how true this is.

It is pretty obvious, isn’t it? We didn’t need an academic study to tell us the rich are using the government to financially bleed the rest of us dry. They’ve used the government to redistribute trillions upon trillions of dollars from the 99 to themselves over the last forty years.

Our democracy has been hijacked. Both major political parties have been hijacked. The United States Supreme Court has been hijacked, bought off really. Click here for more on this issue.

This is a no-brainer. The United States has one of the most corrupt governments in the world, aided and abetted by one of the most corrupt corporate news systems in the world if you can call it news. (Click here for how the media lies to us.) The billionaires use their corporate news media to manufacture public opinion in favor of whatever they want, regardless of how it might hurt average citizens (See Trans-Pacific Partnership below). If they can’t manufacture consent, most of the time they still get what they want, with rare exceptions.

Despite the obvious, academic research was conducted on this issue by political scientists Martin Gilens of Princeton and Benjamin Page of Northwestern. The study has received lots of attention because the authors conclude that the US is a corrupt oligarchy where ordinary voters barely matter. Or as they put it, “economic elites and organized interest groups play a substantial part in affecting public policy, but the general public has little or no independent influence.”

The authors discovered that politicians, such as Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden, will be happy to fight in the halls of the US Congress for legislation that is desired by citizens of average means, but they “only get what they want if economic elites or interest groups also want it.”

You can see in the graph below that as the percent of average citizen’s who want something from government rises from 0 to 100 percent the odds of them getting it remains tiny.

On the other hand, the graph below shows that as the economic elites and organized interest groups that control both major political parties form ranks behind legislation they want, politicians happily respond to them.  Nobody knows this better than Wall Street’s Senators Wyden, Mitch McConnell, the entire Republican Party, and the majority of the Democratic Party politicians.

Sometimes, to avoid raising the political awareness of the masses, the oligarchs who control the US and many state and local governments will decide not to do something the rich want, such as when then President Obama decided he did not have the votes in the US house and senate to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a massive trade treaty that would have redistributed trillions of dollars a year from the 99 to the 1 percent. Public resistance was too significant, but that was a rare defeat for the economic elite.

Why is income and wealth inequality so unequal? Political corruption is the answer. Why is this so? It is the golden rule in action: He who has the gold makes the rules. The US is not democracy except in illusion only. Instead, it is an oligarchy of the rich.

Read Full Post »

The people of the United States lead the world in many categories, most of them, however, are not things to brag about. This is where the corruption of both major political parties, all three branches of the US government (that includes the corporate wing of the US Supreme Court) by the rich and their corporate dollars has brought us to during the last forty years.

All three branches of the government and both major political parties have fought tooth and nail to redistribute income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent during the last four decades. The corporate news media has been complicit in this rape and plunder of their fellow citizens by the 1 percent.

Studies show that the top 1 percent of the US now own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent. The top 1 percent stole only 8 percent of all income produced in the USA in 1980, while studies show they are now robbing the rest of us blind by stealing anywhere from 23 to 37+ percent of the total income created in the United States. The shares of wealth and income of the 1 percent are still growing and at the expense of the rest of us.

Below are some of the findings from the United Nations study.

By most indicators, the US is one of the world’s wealthiest countries. It spends more on national defense than China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, the United Kingdom, India, France and Japan combined.
US healthcare expenditures per capita are double the OECD average and much higher than in all other countries. But there are many fewer doctors and hospital beds per person than the OECD average. (OECD = Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, which includes 37 nations)

  • US infant mortality rates in 2013 were the highest in the developed world.
  • Americans can expect to live shorter and sicker lives, compared to people living in any other rich democracy, and the “health gap” between the US and its peer countries continues to grow.
  • US inequality levels are far higher than those in most European countries
  • Neglected tropical diseases, including Zika, are increasingly common in the USA. It has been estimated that 12 million Americans live with a neglected parasitic infection. A 2017 report documents the prevalence of hookworm in Lowndes County, Alabama.
  • The US has the highest prevalence of obesity in the developed world.
  • In terms of access to water and sanitation, the US ranks 36th in the world.
  • America has the highest incarceration rate in the world, ahead of Turkmenistan, El Salvador, Cuba, Thailand and the Russian Federation. Its rate is nearly five times the OECD average.
  • The youth poverty rate in the United States is the highest across the OECD with one-quarter of youth living in poverty compared to less than 14% across the OECD.
  • The Stanford Center on Inequality and Poverty ranks the most well-off countries in terms of labor markets, poverty, safety net, wealth inequality, and economic mobility. The US comes in last of the top 10 most well-off countries and 18th amongst the top 21.
  • In the OECD, the US ranks 35th out of 37 in terms of poverty and inequality.
  • According to the World Income Inequality Database, the US has the highest Gini rate (measuring inequality) of all Western Countries
  • The Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality characterizes the US as “a clear and constant outlier in the child poverty league”.
  • US child poverty rates are the highest amongst the six richest countries – Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden and Norway.

Free trade policies that have made it easy for the billionaires and their corporations to export tens of millions of United States jobs to third world nations and the pocket the difference between the old high US wages and benefits and the super low third world wages with no benefits have caused much of the US crisis outlined in the UN Report. These same trade scams also pave the legal road for US corporations to create tens of millions of jobs overseas rather than here at home with the same result of increasing income and wealth inequality. There are other culprits in the current state of US political corruption; deregulation, monopolies, lawlessness on Wall Street, a US Department of Justice unwilling to take on Wall Street corruption, unfettered campaign contributions leading to the political corruption of both major political parties, a Supreme Court corrupted by the influence of the billionaires, such as the Koch Brothers.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: