Posts Tagged ‘Wall Street Journal’

As expected, since the Trump and Republican Party tax cuts were written to benefit the rich and their corporations, only the rich and their corporations are benefiting from them, for the most part. The tax cuts were intended to increase income and wealth inequality in favor of the billionaires and multi-millionaires, and that is precisely what they have done, according to a perusal of a story in the May 11, 2018 issue of the Wall Street Journal (Buybacks Surge, Steadying Market, Wall Street Journal).

The Journal reported “U.S. companies are buying back their shares at a record pace, providing fresh support during a rocky stretch for the stock market when many investors have rushed for the exits. S&P 500 companies that have reported earnings for the first three months of 2018 bought $158 billion of their own stock in the quarter…. About 85% of S&P 500 components (companies which are also known as corporations) have reported so far.”

The Journal reports corporations can do this since the “new tax law” is “freeing up cash.” This is something corporations badly need since total US corporate profits fell during the fourth quarter of 2017. One can be reasonably suspicious that before-tax corporate profits during the first quarter of 2018 might also have fallen, especially since the US and world economies are at the tail end of an economic expansion. Those first quarter statistics are not yet available.

One can be reasonably suspicious that, as I pointed out in a previous story, much of the tax cut money would be used by corporations and the rich to fuel the stock market higher, rather than create jobs building products for which there is no demand.

The S&P 500 peaked at $2853.53 on January 26 of this year. It has been down ever since, influenced to a large degree by the fall in fourth-quarter profits. The Dow also peaked in January and has been down since then. This is likely why investors are fleeing the stock market.

When the Journal reporters write about “investors,” they are not writing about you and me. They are writing about billionaires, multi-millionaires, Wall Street Banks like Goldman Sachs, hedge funds, wealth fund managers, and other financial institutions that invest mostly for rich people.

So corporate managements are buying their own shares and taking them off the market. This is done in order to push share prices higher, which is a simple case of supply and demand. Reduce the supply of shares on the market, and this should jack up prices, so long as no other variables happen to come along. One of which is the decline in corporate profits.

Of course, there is something else CEO’s of corporations are doing to entice investors into the market.

They are taking the savings from tax cuts and offering higher dividends, which are payments made to shareholders. Notice these payments will go mostly to billionaires and millionaires, along with the higher priced shares due to the buybacks.

So the stock market bubble continues thanks to the Trump/Republican tax cuts for the rich and their corporations. Naturally, this only increases income and wealth inequality. Worst yet, with a recession right around the corner, all that money in buybacks and increased dividends is simply throwing good money after bad.

As a final note, I should point out that the Journal reporters (Ben Eisen and Akane Otani) are either stupid, poor reporters, or liars. They write, “The S&P 500 is up only modestly for the year.” Apparently, they do not count the month of January as being part of the year 2018 because that is when the S&P 500 reached its peak value, at least according to Yahoo. On the other hand, they write, “…many analysts believe major indexes would have suffered losses without the support of buybacks.” This is, of course, the purpose of the buybacks.

There is no doubt about the purpose of the tax cuts for the rich; increase income and wealth inequality in their favor and at the expense of the 99 percent. The federal government is now looking at reducing programs for the infirmed, the needy, the elderly, children, and others, in large measure due to the tax cuts. The federal deficit is now growing, thanks to the tax cuts. Fewer taxes collected mean fewer dollars for government programs that benefit anybody except the rich.

The federal government and the United States Federal Reserve Bank will only print up trillions of dollars to save the rich. The rest of us, being cannon fodder for the rich, are expendable.

For more information on this see Breakdown-of-the-26-trillion-the-federal-reserve-handed-out-to-save-rich-incompetent-investors-but-who-purchase-political-power–JohnHively.Wordpress.com

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Sub-contracted retail janitors picket the downtown Minneapolis Target store Tuesday morning February 26, 2013. The workers are not currently organized through a union. (Pioneer Press: John Doman

Sub-contracted retail janitors picket the downtown Minneapolis Target store Tuesday morning February 26, 2013. The workers are not currently organized through a union. (Pioneer Press: John Doman

Employees of a Target Store in Brooklyn, NY organized a labor union at a Target store, which was once considered impossible.

According to the Wall Street Journal:

“A group of less than a dozen pharmacy employees in Brooklyn, N.Y., passed the measure on Sept. 8 after the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) approved a request to conduct a vote.”

Target had argued against the vote, saying it shouldn’t have been allowed given the pending sale of the company’s pharmacy business to CVS Health for $1.9 billion. Target plans to appeal the NLRB’s decision to allow the vote, said spokeswoman Molly Snyder.

“Although we are disappointed by the results of the election, and believe that our team members do not need paid third-party representation, Target respects the rights of its team members to make this choice,” Ms. Snyder said.Target plans to appeal the NLRB’s decision to allow the vote, said spokeswoman Molly Snyder.”

Then Ms. Synder proceeded to say that Target plans to appeal the NLRB’s decision to allow the vote, said spokeswoman Molly Snyder.

“The union would be the first such group among Target’s nearly 350,000 employees. There have only been two votes to unionize at Target stores since 1990, according to Ms. Snyder: at Valley Stream, N.Y., in 2011, and in the Detroit area in 1990. Both were rejected.

The Brooklyn employees decided to pursue a union vote after CVS agreed to buy Target’s pharmacy business, according to a pharmacy employee at the location who asked not to be named. Staffers were worried about potential layoffs, reductions in their hourly wages or other labor changes after the CVS deal, the employee said.”

In other words, the employees were worried that part of their future income would be redistributed to CVS shareholders and or management compensation, or their lost future earnings would be applied toward paying for the purchase, or a combination of all. In effect, the employees were worried this purchase was an income redistribution scam.

See more at workers-unionize-at-target-for-the-first-time-in-the-chain-s-history

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Notice in virtually every mention in the so-called news media in reporting or editorials for or against raising the minimum wage, there is never any mention that corporate profits are at historic highs, and that raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour would be easy just because of that. The reason we don’t hear that is because the primary job of the propaganda machine of the 1 percent is to keep us misinformed, even if it means simply lying to us. The Oregonian news paper, Fox News, MSNBC, and the Wall Street Journal are cases in point.

That’s because raising the minimum wage will cut into those historically high corporate profits, possibly putting downward pressure on share prices and corporate bond ratings. That would eliminate some paper wealth of the 0.01 percent.

However, recent studies show increasing the minimum wage creates jobs and spurs economic activity and growth by enhancing the demand for goods and services. In other words, that paper wealth of the 0.01 percent, as well as those massive record corporate profits, drag the economy down.

After a potential decline in value due to a minimum wage increase, the stock markets would rebound with soaring share prices due to more robust demand for goods and services.

Here’s a point the corporate propaganda machine doesn’t want you to especially consider.

The rise of the current US stock markets are nothing more than a series of bubbles, NASDAQ and the Dow Jones Industrials being examples. If the federal minimum wage were to be enacted those bubbles would deflate safely to some degree, possibly curbing the great impending economic disaster, which is on the horizon. That economic holocaust will make the last recession look like a blessing.

Just like the stock market bubble in the 1920s, just like the housing bubble exploded from 1994-2007, this current bubble will burst, and with it, much of the US and world economy will evaporate with it.

There are worker strikes for higher minimum wages going on across the United States. They began last week, although some have been on-going for a while.

Forbes magazine reported six days ago;

“The Fight for $15 movement is growing as more Americans living on the brink decide to stick together to fight for better pay and an economy that works for all of us, not just the wealthy few,” said Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union, which has been backing the protests.

Workers in industries beyond fast food have joined the fight because they face the same struggles, says Arun Ivatury, campaign strategist with the National Employment Law Project. “These are all some of the fastest-growing occupations in the country, and they’re also some of the lowest-paying, as little as $8 or $9 an hour in terms of the median wage in these occupations. These are struggles these workers are facing across these industries — they’re facing the same struggle for respect and decent schedules with advance notice and enough hours to make a decent living.”

Giving these people a raise might actually stave off or at least delay the impending economic crash that’s headed our way. It would be good economic policy in the long run.

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In the video above, Fox‘s Goldberg admits there are no long-term studies on human beings, but that all independent lab tests involving animals are showing atrocious liver damage, kidney problems, and after just three generations of being fed a GMO diet, hamsters are basically sterile. And those are just a few of the health hazards that independent studies are showing. The hosts of the show point out that the main problem isn’t just that GMOs are not labeled, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. Even if labeling were to occur, it doesn’t change the fact that GMOs are spreading uncontrollably around the world, contaminating non-GM crops and wild plants.

So what gives? The Democratic Party is strong supporter of Monsanto and other manufacturers of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO). The most notable example is President Barack Obama. However, many Republicans in congress also support the industry. This Fox report ends a planned virtual black out by the propaganda news organizations, such as Fox itself, the Wall Street Journal, the Oregonian, the Washington Post and all the other US members of the propaganda network that are erroneously called news organizations. Perhaps the Fox report signifies a breach in the ranks of the 1 percent on this issue. Maybe a member of the 0.05 percent has been denied the opportunity of getting in on the profitable end of the GMO industry. Could this report be their revenge? Who knows?

The important point of this report is that a few more Americans now know that GMOs are poisons, and that the US people are guinea pigs in this not so grand experiment.

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The US government used the illegal spying on American citizens by the National Security Agency (NSA) to coordinate the attacks by local law enforcement on the Wall Street encampments. President Obama had to have given his okay to this. A new study is out from the Center for Media and Democracy, “Dissent or Terror: How the Nation’s Counter Terrorism Apparatus, in Partnership with Corporate America, Turned on Occupy Wall Street.”

It is highly likely that the US government, with the blessings of Obama, also coordinated the corporate media blitz that smeared the Occupy Wall Street movement, which conveniently and immediately proceeded the government crackdown on constitutionally legal civil dissent. You remember those smears. The occupiers were homeless, drug addicted, thugs, committing petty crimes that focused on the businesses near the Occupy camps. Sure, some of that probably happened, but most of it were outright lies and the editors of these publications knew this, but still reported it as if were everyday facts.

The question is why was there a crackdown against Occupy, why was Occupy viewed as such a threat to national security, and the answer is simple. Occupy thrust the nation’s spotlight on the economic problems of the United States and, especially, the unpunished crimes of Wall Street.

Income had been massively redistributed by government legislation from the 99 to the 1 percent over the last thirty years. The 1 percent currently steal about 32 percent of all the income produced in the USA, compared to roughly 8 percent in 1980. Wealth, which is assets, followed suit. That process continues today. At current rates, the 1 percent should be stealing about 40 percent of the nation’s total income in less than 10 years.

Wall Street’s crimes include massive amounts of fraud, tax evasion, money laundering, and stuff like that. And not a soul on Wall Street has been charged with a crime.

As income has been redistributed over the last thirty-three years to the 1 percent, the 99 percent has less and less money to spend on goods and services. The 1 percent use their money to do things like, buy politicians, buy stocks, buy bonds, rig the housing market so that home prices go up, bid up the prices of goods on the futures markets (which we pay for in the form of inflation, which is another income redistribution scam), and stuff like that. In effect, many of the items purchased by the 1 percent are used to redistribute income from the 99 percent to themselves. These folks are largely parasites, sucking the rest of us financially dry.

Demand is slack because of this situation, so jobs are in short supply, and wage and benefits continue to go down.

Occupy was shining a spotlight on these nasty things. The last thing the Obama administration wanted, especially with its close ties to Wall Street and corporate America, was more and more of the 99 percent paying attention to the Occupy movement. So it acted.

As the NSA and other government agencies illegally picked up information on the movement and the people involved in it, the government coordinated a slimy public relations campaign through the corporate propaganda organs, such as the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and the Oregonian newspaper.

Then local law enforcement struck.

Click the links below for greater information on how the NSA was illegally involved in illegally spying on the US citizens involved in the movement. The first link is an overview. The second link is the report.

How the Government Targeted Occupy A new report reveals the U.S. spent millions spying on Occupiers and other anti-corporate activists–In These Times magazine

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The housing recovery seems to be just another stage of the foreclosure crisis. Or is it?

Note that the areas where house prices have risen the most – Arizona, Las Vegas and California – are all areas that were hurt most deeply by the housing crash. So pry between the boards of the housing recovery and the termites start crawling out. Here, you’ll find some old villains of the last housing bubble, crawling on the same properties. There are the house-flippers and the financial institutions, the foreclosure players that regenerate whenever there is a boom.

In this case, they may be creating the boom themselves. House-flipping in California has reached levels not seen since 2005, according to the Wall Street Journal. This rise in price is, by all accounts, artificial. Housing, like all products, responds to the laws of supply and demand. When supply decreases – when there are fewer homes on the market – then prices will rise. This is what is happening now.

There is evidence that lenders are controlling the housing supply by reducing the number of houses for sale. Last year, AOL Real Estate’s reporting suggested that as many as 90% of available properties were not even really on the market, but just polished for sale and being held back to keep supply low.

Then, last month, three major banks, including Citigroup and Wells Fargo, halted all their sales of homes in foreclosure; this also reduced the supply of homes on the market. The reduction in housing supply, then, is largely artificial, designed by the banks and institutions that hold thousands of houses and thus have the most to gain from higher house prices.

The result is what looks like a housing recovery to the rest of us, but is, in fact, something of a trap. Fitch, the ratings firm, issued a warning that the alleged recovery in housing is moving too fast and could reverse.

This means one thing; conspiracy in restraint of trade in order to jack up the prices of houses, not to mention interest rates. When demand is static while supply decreases, prices rise, and profits per home rise, as well. The price of mortgages, interest rates, also rise. The result is a redistribution of income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent, which, in this case, is mostly the banksters and their shareholders.

Don’t expect the Obama man and Wall Street’s US Attorney General Eric Holder to go after the illegal price fixers. They’ve been on the financial and or ideological payroll of the big banks since day one, and so there will be no investigation in these violations of US law.

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The Wall Street Journal continued its role of propaganda machine for the 1 percent by issuing a story about how our current economic recovery is the weakest since the Great Depression.

The Journal picked up the story from the Associated Press, another piece of the propaganda machine of the 1 percent. Other parts of the machine picked up the story, including the Oregonian newspaper, one of the most viciously anti-middle class mouthpieces of the 1 percent.

The purpose of these corporate propaganda machines is to keep any discussion having to do with income redistribution from the 99 percent to the 1 percent under raps. And so, the story of our economic recovery went like this:

“Economic growth has never been weaker in a postwar recovery. Consumer spending has never been so slack. Only once has job growth been slower.

More than in any other post-World War II recovery, people who have jobs are hurting: Their paychecks have fallen behind inflation.

Many economists say the agonizing recovery from the Great Recession, which began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009, is the predictable consequence of a housing bust and a grave financial crisis.

Credit, the fuel that powers economies, evaporated after Lehman Brothers collapsed in September 2008. And a 30 percent drop in housing prices erased trillions in home equity and brought construction to a near-standstill.”

Note that the authors blame the “housing crisis and a grave financial crisis” for our lame economy. There is no mention of the redistribution of income that began during the reign of the “Great Liar,” President Ronald Reagan.

For example, politicians of both political parties know that free trade treaties are vehicles for redistributing income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent. These treaties make it easy for US corporations to ship, or create, jobs overseas. The difference between the old, higher wages in the US and the new, lower wages overseas are directed into the bulging wallets of the super rich via higher corporate profits, rising dividends and soaring share prices.

That’s precisely why the 1 percent have been able to rob the 99 percent of much of their income, curtailing the demand for goods and services, making the current recovery the weakest on record.

The 1 percent received about 7 percent of the total income produced in the US thirty-two years ago, but now their ability to purchase legislation (free income redistribution trade treaties, for example) from their plutocrats in public office, such as Wall Street Senator Ron “Hedge Fund Lover” Wyden, have allowed the 1 percent to steal between 27 and 30 percent of the total national income.

Nowadays, the 99 percent receive between 70 and 73 percent of the total national income compared to about 93 percent 32 years ago. By any statistical measurement, the economy was much stronger way back then and the most significant difference between then and now is that a ton of income has been legislatively redistributed from the 99 to the 1 percent. Demand for goods and services is weak now compared to then. It’s obvious. That’s how we have such a weak economy.

And that’s why consumer spending is so weak. That’s also why there was a housing bubble, and that’s why there was a “financial crisis.” In other words, the propaganda machine is working overtime to distance their readers and listeners from the reality of income redistribution to pure bull shit. We’re frogs in the water that is slowly heating up, but now the water is near to boiling. Wake up!

One behalf of the 1 percent, the corporate propaganda organs, such as the Wall Street Journal and the Oregonian newspaper, lied to us about Trickle Down Economics, deregulation, free trade and numerous other income redistribution scams. They’re still up to it. Don’t let them lie to you any more.

Related stories

US economic recovery is weakest since World War II–Wall Street Journal

Where Have All the Good Jobs Gone?– Johnhively.wordpress.com

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