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Posts Tagged ‘wealth inequality’

One of the main components of Nazi Germany was the collusion between industry and government against the interests of the German public. Historians have long noted that the rise of Adolf Hitler in Germany could not have occurred without the consent of Germany’s rich folks and powerful corporations.

The rise of Ronald Reagan to the US presidency marked the most important inroad into political power by the rich in the USA since the 1920s. By the 1990s, the rich controlled both major political parties. Since then, we’ve had nothing but bubbles fueling US economic expansions. So in this corruption and collusion, we clearly have a fascist government of the rich, with spokespeople whose jobs are to divide us along a large number of lines, including race, ethnicity, guns, abortion, transgender bathrooms, etc….

One of the best examples of the power of this corruption is with Genetically Modified Foods (GMOs). They have been linked to tumors, asthma, obesity, liver damage, cancer, and other health issues since they entered the US food chain during President Bill Clinton’s reign of error; Clinton, many Republicans, and Democrats such as Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden, obviously considered corporate profits more important than the health of the US people.

Our health is a product to be redistributed to major corporations, such as Monsanto (now owned by Bayer),  and morphed into corporate profits, higher share prices and surging dividends.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved placing GMO foods into the US food chain despite limited testing, and the only testing that was accepted by the FDA was provided by the GMO corporations, like Monsanto. Needless to say, the CEO and rich shareholders at Monsanto had wonderful incentives to limit testing and any scientists whose research showed the harm of GMOs would be smeared with GMO corporate lies.

A recent posting on GMO Free USA (Facebook) recounts one of the victims of corporate smears and lies.

“1998: The year Biotech launched its war on science. Arpad Pusztai, an impeccably qualified scientist, received a grant to develop standard animal feeding trial testing methods to assess possible toxicological effects arising from the GMO plant transformation process. The rats fed the GMO potatoes in his feeding study developed organ damage, immune defects, and other health problems. Dr. Pusztai’s response to the study finding was to say… “If I had the choice, I would certainly not eat it. I find it’s very unfair to use our fellow citizens as guinea pigs.”

Dr. Pusztai was humiliated, discredited, fired and legally silenced. Biotech’s anti-science campaign continues to this day. Feel like eating one of those Simplot GMO potatoes? Or how about some GMO Arctic apple slices?”

READ: http://www.psrast.org/pusztai.htm
READ: http://www.theguardian.com/…/academicexperts.highereducatio…
READ: http://gmofreeusa.org/research/gmo-science-research/

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President Donald Trump has proposed tax cuts for the rich and corporations, which is another way of saying Trump wants tax cuts for the rich and then more tax cuts for the rich. In other words, the person who will most likely benefit from the Donald Trump tax cuts is billionaire Donald Trump. The 99 percent will get virtually nothing. In other words, Trump’s tax plan is designed to create greater income and wealth inequality in a nation that already has the most income and wealth inequality among the industrialized nations.

You will note in the video above, while they make some good points about Trump’s tax cuts for the rich, the folks at MSNBC fail to mention growing income and wealth inequality because the Wall Street controlled Democratic leadership doesn’t want its station MSNBC to mention it any more than the billionaires who control the Republican Party want their news outlets to mention it. Currently, the rich steal anywhere from 24 to 38 percent of all income produced in the United States, compared to 8 percent in 1980. In addition, the richest 10 percent of Americans own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent, a historic and still growing record.

As corporations get tax cuts, much of those tax savings will go to the rich via higher corporate profits, rising dividends, and surging stock prices. The rest of us will suffer the consequences. In addition, of course, corporations will have more money to invest, supposedly to create jobs, as if giving corporations tax cuts will magically increase consumer demand. That’s not likely. So what will they invest in?

Historically, US corporations buy other corporations, especially rivals, when they receive tax cuts or higher profits. This, of course, creates redundancies in a variety of job areas, such as accounting and computer technicians. When mergers occur, employees are the first thing to go in order to eliminate those redundancies. Of course, to help pay for these mergers, jobs will be exported to low-wage nations and the difference between the higher paying US jobs and the new lower wage jobs in China, India and elsewhere will fuel corporate profits, and push up dividends and share prices. That’s what those free trade treaties have been negotiated to do, and Democrats, like Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden, are not stupid little boys and girls who are ignorant of this fact.

This is one of the reasons why there is not a shred of evidence that supply-side economics, otherwise known as tax cuts for the rich, has ever created a single job, but there is plenty of evidence tax cuts for the rich and corporations have destroyed US jobs. Under President George W. Bush, tax cuts were enacted for the rich, making certain that the growth in jobs and real wages were negative, the only time in US history that has occurred under a single president since Republican Herbert Hoover.

Naturally, there are other things the Republicans are refusing to mention.

Gary Markstein / Creators Syndicate

There will be an increased federal deficit of $2.5 trillion, which is typical under irresponsible Republican administrations and Congress, just like the Reagan years, and the other twelve years under the Bush presidents. Naturally, cutbacks in federal spending will be proposed.

Republicans and some Democrats will insist the US is not spending a sufficient number of dollars on its military, so that will not be subject to reductions. The US spends more on the military than the next 25 nations combined, 24 of whom are US allies, but clearly, that’s insufficient because US military spending is quite profitable. However, social security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other less profitable programs that help the politically powerless will be on the table for cuts if Trump’s tax cuts for the rich sails through Congress.

The rich, of course, have stolen just about all real income and wealth increases over the last thirty-five years, thanks to their financial abilities to corrupt both major political parties and the federal government in the process. Naturally, their dirty money has also corrupted most state and city governments. So, obviously, the financial and political deck is completely stacked against the 99 percent.

Luckily, the Democrats in the US Senate will object to this irresponsible behavior because the billionaires of Wall Street who control the party will object to it. That’s the only reason why Democratic senators like Ron Wyden will likely oppose the legislation. Even some Republicans may oppose Trump’s tax plan because it is completely against the national interest, that is if one assumes the citizens of the United States who make up 99 percent of the population are a part of that national interest.

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For the past several years, US job growth has been weaker on a monthly average than when Jimmy Carter was US president. There’s a reason for this and a lot has to do with US corporations exporting jobs. Click here for that story. This brings us to former President Obama.

As a United States senator, Barack Obama demanded President George W. Bush do something to counter Chinese currency manipulation. As president, Obama mentioned Chinese currency manipulation one time. Then some politically powerful billionaires likely placed their arms over Obama’s shoulder and probably said something like, “Don’t mention that again, or we’ll take you behind the wood shed.”

Notice President Trump railed against Chinese currency manipulation as a candidate and hasn’t said a word about it as president. It’s likely some of his fellow billionaires threatened to take him behind the woodshed too if he ever mentioned the issue again.

This is because millions of US jobs have been exported to China; and US corporations have created millions of jobs over there rather than here thanks to President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush, both of whom gave China “most favored nation trade status,” and which allowed US corporations to export US jobs and create jobs in China rather than here.

When China manipulates its currency vis-a-vis the US dollar, it increases the profit margins of US corporations manufacturing in China and exporting to the US, while simultaneously decreasing the profit margins of companies manufacturing in the US and exporting their goods to China. This is why all those Nike, Dell, Apple, Treetop, Campbell’s Soups, and thousands of other things are made nowadays in China and exported to the US rather than in the United States. See the-trans-pacific-partnership-the-op-ed-the-liberal-and-conservative-corporate-media-doesnt-want-you-to-see–JohnHively.wordpress.com

This is one of the reasons why income and wealth inequality has grown so great during the last thirty-five years. In the US, the top 1 percent own more wealth nowadays than the 90 percent lowest Americans, and that gap is growing.

The Federal Reserve Bank and the US Treasury could easily counter Chinese currency manipulation, but those organizations work for the billionaires and not for the rest of us. In the meantime, the US economy weakens over the long haul. That’s because workers wages now represent a smaller portion of US gross domestic product since 1947. That’s because when jobs are exported the difference between the old higher US wages and benefits and the new lower foreign wages with no benefits goes straight into the fat wallets of the billionaires via higher corporate profits, rising dividends, and surging share prices. Trade agreements, nice scams huh?

This is precisely why the rich are now stealing about 37 percent of all income produced in the United States, compared to 8 percent when Carter was president in 1980. This is why job growth was greater under Carter on a per monthly basis than nowadays even though the US economy was only about 40 percent the size of today’s US economy, and the population was only 60 percent the size of today’s US population.

This is something to reflect on when some Wall Street US Senator like Ron Wyden says we need more trade agreements to create more jobs. When Wyden, or Wall Street Senator Mitch McConnell says crap like this, you know it’s a lie.

 

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Several decades ago Professor Mark Naison, eventual chair of the African-American studies department at Fordham University, wrote something to the effect that the corporate press divides us along racial lines by boldly reporting on the negative encounters among people of different races that happen now and then while ignoring the tens of thousands of positive encounters that happen every day in the United States among people of different races.

By stressing our differences, and ignoring the positive encounters, the corporate news media keeps us divided as a people, and our eyes and attention off of the financial issues the 99 percent have in common; 1 percent of US citizens now own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent of Americans (an historic record), and the 1 percent now steals roughly 37 percent of all income (another record) produced in the USA every year compared to 8 percent in 1980. That means the 99 percent now earn about 62 percent of all income produced in the United States compared to 92 percent in 1980. You bet they don’t want us to know this stuff, or to ever think about it.

Instead, the corporate news media wants us to think as intensely as possible about racism, guns, violence, bad police officers, public bathrooms and transgender folks, and anything except income and wealth inequality and what brings this about.

So here are a few things to think about in the violent encounter that occurred in Charlottesville.

  1. Out of 310 million people, about 500 showed up in the largest white supremacist gathering in decades, and that’s after six months of publicity.
  2. The thousand people opposed to the white supremacist meeting were multiracial.
  3. Tens of millions of people went to church the next day, many in multi-racial congregations, and prayed to the same God.
  4. Tens of millions US citizens went to work the following Monday and collaborated with their co-workers of different races, ethnicities, and religions.
  5.  Tens of millions of US citizens gather together in small and often diverse groups and cheer on the same sports teams.
  6. Tens of millions of Americans of all races will come together to cheer on the US Olympic team.
  7.  Thousands of people in interracial groups build houses for Habitat for Humanity.
  8. Tens of thousands of people of all colors, sexual orientations and political persuasions, from Tea Party and John Birch Society members to labor unions and Black Lives Matter, came together to successfully fight the massive income redistribution scam known as The Trans Pacific Partnership, which was championed by the first African-American president and some of the most politically and financially powerful members of society.
  9. No, the corporate news media doesn’t want you to know about this stuff.

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Source: Economic Policy Institute, http://www.epi.org/publication/charting-wage-stagnation/

More than 40 million US workers would get a raise if the US minimum wage was raised to $15 an hour. Doing so would do five important things to help the US economy.

1. It would increase the demand for goods and services and create jobs in the process. Currently, we are in the worst post World War II economic expansion in US history, except for the last one, you know, that negative job growth under the economic policies of the worst president in US history, George W. Bush! Outside of that expansion, the current expansion is the worst, with the lowest job growth, the least GNP growth, and lots more historically weak statistics.

2. Every US economic expansion since 1981 has been caused by artificial bubbles which have created artificial stock market bubbles, which have almost completely benefited only the rich, and mostly the super rich, at the expense of everyone else. The Bill Clinton presidency saw the creation of 22 million jobs, which came about because of simultaneous housing, tech, stock and telecommunications bubbles. The tech and telecommunication bubbles were created by Clinton’s signature on legislation. The current economic bubble has been created by an illegal housing bubble created by the big banks. See The fix is In! The Banksters are Manipulating the rise in housing prices: Mortgage applications are down for home sales–Johnhively.wordpress.com Raising the minimum wage would create more demand, possibly creating the first demand inspired economic expansion since the Great President Jimmy Carter.

3. Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour would steer money away from the stock market bubble because it would decrease corporate profits, and perhaps gently deflate the current bubble that is due to burst in a few months anyway. The other option is to allow the bubble to run its course and essentially ruin the US economy like what occurred from 2007 to 2012 and from 1929-1933. The next recession will be worst than the last one, and it’s just around the bend.

4. Income inequality is at an all-time US high with the 1 percent stealing about 37 percent of all income produced in the USA every year compared with only 8 percent in 1980. That means the 99 means we have less money to buy things, while the rich primarily purchase things like stock options, stock, bonds and politicians. This inequality is stifling the demand sector and weakening the economy which is why the US economic expansions since 2000 are the weakest in history. This is, of course, unless, the creation and functioning of the US and worldwide economies are solely for the benefit of the 1 percent, and always at the expense of the 99 percent. You can see from the graph above the rich are stealing $17,867 from every working American, and they do this year after year after year. I think it’s time we get a little of our money back.

5. Wealth inequality is also near an all time high in the USA, and this means (along with income inequality) the rich can afford to buy the services of more politicians, which has already effectively turned our democracy into both an illusion and a myth, and this occurred perhaps as early as 1981. Raising the minimum wage would cut away a bit of the economic cancers known as wealth and income inequality.

The corporate talking heads will also insist raising the minimum wage will result in lost jobs, but there are plenty of studies showing not a whole lot on this issue. Most studies on this subject during the last twenty years show a rise in the minimum wage has a negligible impact on job loss, or jobs experience slight growth. On the other hand, most minimum wage increases that have been studied have been minimal and very local.

However, all of this is irrelevant because there is one gigantic study that shows that when the real wages of the 99 percent go up, so too does the US economy, and not just for the benefit of the few. This study is called the history of the US economy. Notice in the graph below real wages grew in the US economy from 1948 to 1978. In reality, you can go back to 1938 and see the same stuff. Inflation was low and job growth was high during the years 1938 to 1980. The middle class was strongest then, and demand for US goods was incredibly strong, especially the demand from US citizens. Even the rich got richer, although the percentage of income and wealth they could steal from the rest of us was small compared to today.

Source: Economic Policy Institute, http://www.epi.org/publication/charting-wage-stagnation/

Corporate talking heads will always lie and say raising the minimum wage will increase inflation. In reality, allowing the financial markets to rise in bubbles creates inflation, as I pointed out in my book, The Rigged Game.

Now some people will say inflation was fairly high during the 1970s, and yes that is kind of true, and then kind of not. That’s because the US government has changed the way it measures inflation twenty times since 1981, and every change has the intended effect of lowering the rate of inflation. In other words, if inflation is 1.5 percent nowadays, using the methodology of 1975, today’s inflation would be about 6 percent. Average yearly inflation during the 1970s was 7 percent, and so using today’s inflation methodology, inflation during the 1970s would have averaged about 2.5 percent, which isn’t all that much.

You can also see from the graph above how real hourly wages have stagnated since 1978, but of course, that’s a lie since real wage increases are measured against inflation, and we know inflation is no longer measured like it used to be. If inflation over the last 35 years was measured with the methodology used by the US government in 1975, US inflation would be significantly higher each of those years, and real US wage growth during this period would be negative, year after year after year for the last thirty or more years. This means real wages are significantly lower nowadays than the available statistics will allow us to measure, and this, of course, is one of the reasons why the government changed the way it measured inflation: it stops us from seeing how much we of the 99 percent are getting screwed by our corrupt government in redistributing our income and wealth to the 1 percent.

I don’t know about you, but I want my money back! Raise the minimum wage!

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USA Today reported in last weekend’s edition that “Low-wage jobs are expected to grow the fastest over the next five years while occupations that support a middle-class living will lag.” The newspaper cited a survey by CareerBuilder.

“Globalization” is the culprit according to the survey. In other words, factory and office jobs will continue to be exported, and the difference between the higher US wages and benefits and the new third world wages with no benefits will go straight into the pockets of the richest via higher corporate profits, rising dividends, and surging share prices. Neither the study nor USA today mentioned this part. Reporter Paul Davidson only mentioned “globalization,” and deliberately so to keep you ignorant.

Just as important, trade treaties also establish the rules by which US corporations can also create jobs overseas, rather than in the USA. This redistributes income from the 99 to the 1 percent, as well.

So expect income and wealth inequality to grow throughout the USA, as well as the rest of the world. And, contrary to the lying corporate press and the World Bank, poverty throughout the world has grown during the last thirty-seven years.

The report clearly shows that more of the middle class will be disappearing as those middle-class jobs are exported and the wages and benefits transformed into dividends and higher share prices for the rich. In other words, the rich are eating the middle class.

When those factory jobs operating machines that sustain a middle-class life style are exported, jobs in accounting, bookkeeping, management, law, computer technology, and more are exported. These are all middle-class jobs.

It doesn’t need to be this way. Globalization is not inevitable. It never has been inevitable. But the policy of globalization enriches the wealthy at the expense of the everybody else throughout the world, and this is the inevitable result of globalization, as well as its purpose as US public and economic policy. And this is why the corporate news media keeps pounding this idea into our heads, and we meekly accept this bull shit lie.

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The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) reports that CEO compensation at major US corporations dropped a bit to 271  times the average annual pay of the average worker. EPI reports that, “While the 2016 CEO-to-worker compensation ratio of 271-to-1 is down from 299-to-1 in 2014 and 286-to-1 in 2015, it is still light years beyond the 20-to-1 ratio in 1965 and the 59-to-1 ratio in 1989.”

Much of CEO compensation is based on stock options. Boards of Directors offer CEOs stocks at certain prices. So, for example, if a CEO is offered stock at $5 a share, and the price rises to $25, the CEO can purchase a high number of shares at $5 and turnaround and sell them at $25 a share. So who signed the legislation that brought this about? Why, none other than Wall Street President Bill Clinton. See Bill Clinton Created Terrible Corporate Loop Hole–New Republic.

Naturally, stock options have led CEOs to outsource and export jobs at higher rates than they normally would, which in turn, has led to much of the income inequality we experience today. Depending on whose figures you use, the 1 percent now steal anywhere from 23 to 37 percent of all income produced in the USA, up from 8 percent in 1980. This inequality of income, and also of wealth, continues to grow. Thank you Bill!

According to the report, “Over the last several decades CEO pay has grown a lot faster than profits, than the pay of the top 0.1 percent of wage earners, and than the wages of college graduates. This means that CEOs are getting more because of their power to set pay, not because they are more productive or have special talent or have more education. If CEOs earned less or were taxed more, there would be no adverse impact on output or employment. Policy solutions that would limit and reduce incentives for CEOs to extract economic concessions without hurting the economy include:

  • Reinstate higher marginal income tax rates at the very top.
  • Remove the tax break for executive performance pay.
  • Set corporate tax rates higher for firms that have higher ratios of CEO-to-worker compensation.
  • Allow greater use of “say on pay,” which allows a firm’s shareholders to vote on top executives’ compensation.

Click here for the complete EPI report.

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