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Posts Tagged ‘wealth inequality’

Well, here we go again. A viciously anti-Democracy, anti-US Constitution Supreme Court nominee named Brett Kavanaugh can easily be stopped from wreaking more havoc to the US Constitution by the outnumbered Senate Democrats. And they will not do it.

The Democrats simply do not need to show up for the full Senate vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation, now that US Senator John McCain has died. Article I, section 5 of the Constitution requires that a quorum (51 senators) be present for the Senate to conduct business.

The Republicans hold 50 Senate seats, and the Democrats plus their independent allies, such as Senator Bernie Sanders, hold forty-nine. If all the Democrats show solidarity and simply do not show up for business, as usual, Kavanaugh cannot be confirmed to sit as a justice on the Supreme Court.

However, it is highly unlikely the Wall Street controlled Democratic National Committee will allow this because Wall Street executives want Kavanaugh on the court. Kavanaugh says he is an original intent jurist. That means as a judge, Kavanaugh claims to rule on issues as the founding fathers intended. Nothing could be further from the truth. He is a liar.

The billionaires who control both major political parties want a supreme court justice who is dishonest enough to say that the founding fathers of the United States believed corporations are people, trade treaties are not trade agreements, and money is free speech.

None of our founding fathers uttered such a thing in any of their writings. So all of the conservative supreme court justices (John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch) are simply lying in order to alter the meaning of the US Constitution.

This fundamental alteration based on lies gives the billionaires via their corporations’ significantly more constitutional rights while simultaneously diminishing the Constitutional rights of the vast majority of United States citizens, the 99.5 percent.

In the meantime, the US corporate news media, on behalf of their corporate and billionaire advertisers and owners, are keeping the eyes of the 99 percent on the abortion issue rather than the increase of constitutional rights the billionaires will achieve with the successful nomination of Kavanaugh and his lies, and the lies of the other conservative justices.

So do not expect the billionaires who control the Democratic Party to do the right thing, stopping a quorum and stopping Kavanaugh in the process, by uniting 49 US senators behind a common cause to prevent the US Constitution from the further perversion that Kavanaugh will insist upon with lies.

Expect income and wealth inequality to continue to grow as the billionaires continue to control the United States Supreme Court.

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Racism is something the billionaires have us talking about rather than such mundane things as income, wealth and political inequality, as well as the disintegrating middle class. It’s easy for us to look at videos on Youtube of ordinary people being racist or to keep our eyes on things like cultural appropriation. Those things can hit us emotionally like a cruise missile, but keeping our eyes on those things is precisely what the billionaires and their political elite employees want us to do.

The last things the billionaires want us discussing among ourselves are bread and butter issues, like ever-growing income and wealth inequality and the obvious political corruption of both major political parties, as well as the corporate corruption of all three branches of the US government.

For the billionaires, it is as if the people who divert our attention from income, wealth and political inequality and toward issues like racism and cultural appropriation are on the payroll of the billionaires. It certainly makes me wonder. They have billions of dollars and can certainly pay people to post about racism and fire up people on Internet social networks.

It is easy to see the billionaire-owned corporate media focuses our attention on issues like racism, cultural appropriation and immigration and almost nothing on real issues such as income, political and wealth inequality. However, I am amazed so many people fall for this ruse, but they do.

Below is what the billionaires are protecting:

Currently, the 1 percent own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent of Americans, and six men possess more wealth than the bottom half of humanity on Earth. Worldwide, the 1 percent stole 82 percent of all new wealth produced in 2017. Those numbers are historical records and are still growing at the expense of the rest of us.  (Click here and click here for additional information on those statistics and sources).

Our record-breaking wealth inequality is fueled by record-breaking income inequality. Today, the 1 percent steal anywhere from 24 to 38 percent of all income produced in the USA, depending on which study you choose to use. This is up from 8 percent in 1980, and it is still growing at the expense of the rest of us.

But, hey, let’s talk about racism, and, we need to talk about transgender bathrooms, wars against Christmas, the war against women, Obama’s continuous war against guns and bullets, and don’t forget we desperately need to talk about the war against dirty diapers! And no! I am not on the payroll of the billionaires! Yet, I would be surprised if others were not.

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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.

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Income inequality and genetically modified foods (GMOs) are interrelated. Just like tumors and other health maladies, GMOs help income and wealth inequalities grow.

GMO’s entered the US food chain in 1994. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had approved GMO’s for the US food chain for humans in 1992. The GMO corporations provided the evidence of its safety, which, reportedly, were tests demonstrating that rats fed GMO food for three months did not develop health problems.

The folks at the FDA apparently did not care what happened to GMO fed rats after three months. What mattered is that pesticides and herbicides were genetically placed within the seeds of food plants, such as corn, canola, and soy. As the seeds grow into plants, so, too, do the pesticides and herbicides. When you eat corn, canola, and soy, you eat the pesticides and herbicides. More than 80 percent of corn, canola, and soy grown in the US today are GMOs. So are large amounts of many other crops.

Numerous studies show GMOs cause health issues. For example, a study in France found that rats fed GMO foods for over three months developed all sorts of health issues, such as tumors and other organ damage (Click here for more information). Also, see the video above.

Why are we eating this poison on such a massive scale? The answer is simple. GMO plants have the herbicides and pesticides in them. The pesticides kill bugs that bite into the plant, while the herbicides kill weeds that might otherwise grow within a few feet of the plant. That makes GMO crops less labor intensive, thereby reducing labor costs, and raising profit margins.

Increased profit margins mean higher corporate earnings and share prices than would otherwise be the case in the absence of GMOs. That’s why many corporations use GMOs, such as Kelloggs, McDonalds, Purina, Quaker Oats, PepsiCo, Swansen, Heinz, and on and on. The list is almost endless.

GMO’s are one of the reasons why income and wealth inequality are at such high levels. The rich disproportionately benefit from rising corporate profits and share prices. Currently, the top 1 percent own more wealth in the United States than the bottom 90 percent. For more information see The 1 Percent Own More Wealth Than the Bottom 90 Percent. The top 1 percent are stealing up to 37 percent of all income created in the United States nowadays, compared to just 8 to 10 percent in 1980. See The rich are now getting more than 36 percent of all income.

There is one more advantage the rich derive from GMO foods. Profits can be increased on GMO foods without raising prices. In some cases, prices might even decline while profits rise. In the face of rising inequality, the increase in food prices is slowed by using GMO crops. Otherwise, prices might rapidly increase, resulting in consumer dissatisfaction and even perhaps food riots. Cheap food depresses the discontent of the masses, helping to keep them in line even as the rich rob them of their health and money.

Ultimately, your health is being redistributed to the rich via GMOs, increased corporate profits, and rising share prices, and your government has approved this health and income redistribution scam.

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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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The rich and Wall Street executives have been quaking in their boots recently. Their Ponzi Schemes and bubbles known as the financial markets are in danger of collapsing. And it’s all because of President Donald Trump.

Trump is threatening to levy taxes on products made in China and exported to the USA. These taxes are called tariffs, and here’s what the corporate news media doesn’t want you to know. By doing this, Trump is also threatening to deflate the recent stock market bubble, which is the same thing as saying Trump is threatening to decrease by significant margins the income and wealth of the billionaires who control both major political parties in the United States.

Tariffs are taxes on goods being imported into the USA from foreign nations. US corporations export into the USA tens of billions of products manufactured in China, Vietnam, Mexico and other third world nations. Increased tariffs mean US corporations will need to raise the prices of their Chinese and other third world products, or lower their profit margins.

The profits of corporations are the primary component determining the prices of shares. When profits drop, especially in the long term, share prices fall. So the share price of say, Home Depot could fall from $176 a share to $14 a share. If you own millions of shares you lose quite a lot of money. This is why the threat of tariffs in steel and aluminum has roiled the US financial markets as of late. A lot of paper wealth is going to evaporate as stock prices drop should the tariffs be enacted. Dividends may decline, as well.

Tens of millions of US jobs have been exported from the US to China, Vietnam, India, Pakistan, Mexico, Honduras and elsewhere over the last twenty-five years. This has been done in order to jack up corporate profits by significantly reducing US labor and environmental costs. The difference between the old higher US wages and benefits and the new lower wages without benefits has gone straight into the already fat wallets and bank accounts of the superrich. They have used their ill-gotten gains to bid up the prices of corporate shares, gold, housing, commodities futures, and other investments.

President Trump’s threat to use tariffs against China and other nations means fewer dollars will go into the pockets of the rich if the tariffs are enacted. It also means potentially massive losses in the stock and maybe even bond markets.

Some corporations may even be inclined to export their jobs in China back to the United States if the tariffs are enacted. The middle class will benefit with additional jobs should this come about. In other words, the tariffs could redistribute income from the rich back into the pockets of the 99 percent, and this is something the billionaires will not allow their corporate media outlets to tell you. The proposed tariffs are limited, and therefore will not have much of an impact, but they will have some positive benefits to the US 99 percent.

Currently, six men own more wealth than the bottom 50 percent of the world’s people (See https://johnhively.wordpress.com/2017/02/23/six-men-own-more-wealth-than-the-bottom-50-percent-of-human-kind/). In the USA, the 1 percent own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent for the first time in US history (See https://johnhively.wordpress.com/2017/12/03/in-the-united-states-the-1-percent-now-own-more-wealth-than-the-bottom-90-percent-for-the-first-time-in-us-history/). In the United States, the 1 percent steal as much as 35 percent of the income produced in the USA every year, up from 8 percent in 1979.

Trump’s tariffs will likely put tiny brakes on the continuously growing inequality of wealth and income produced by free trade agreements. Those brakes will likely only slow down the growing income and wealth inequality rather than halting or reversing them. But the tariffs would be a beginning to reversing the massive income and wealth inequality which the rich have successfully conspired to produce over the last thirty-seven years.

A few other things are in order. The USA has the fifteen to twenty largest trade deficits in world history. That means the US imports more goods than it exports. Our largest trade deficit is not with China, as the media claims. In reality, the largest US trade deficit is with US corporations that have exported tens of millions of US jobs overseas. The purpose of exporting tens of millions of US jobs has been to redistribute trillions of dollars from US workers to the rich, avoid US pollution controls (thereby increasing profits),  and avoid US health and safety regulations.

What American Presidents Have To Say About Tariffs:

“America’s growth and future depend on trade. But we would insist on trade that is fair and free. We are always willing to be trade partners but never trade patsies”. President John F. Kennedy.

“Protection, which guards and develops our industries, is a cardinal policy of the Republican Party. The measure of protection should always at least equal the difference in the cost of production at home and abroad.” President Theodore Roosevelt

“A wise tariff protects American industries and manufacture. It encourages growth and enterprise among our own people. It opens our mines, it erects our machine shops, our furnaces and factories”.
President William Mckinley

It Was Good Enough For Kennedy, Roosevelt & McKinley. Why Isn’t It For Congress?

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The golden rule is at work; he who has the gold makes the rules that determine income and wealth distribution. That is why income inequality has grown so enormous worldwide. The rich are getting wealthier while the rest of us toil in financial purgatory, even the European and US middle class.

The golden rule is also why the global economy created a record number of billionaires last year, exacerbating inequality amid a weakening of workers’ rights and a corporate push to maximize shareholder returns, charity organization Oxfam International said in a new report.

The folks at Oxfam define severe poverty as those people living on $1.25 or less a day. and according to Oxfam estimates, about 1/3 of the world’s population lives at or below that level.

The world’s 2043 billionaires saw their wealth surge by $762 billion, which is enough money to end extreme poverty seven times over, according to Oxfam.

According to separate data compiled by Bloomberg, the top 500 billionaires’ net worth (wealth) grew 24% to $5.38 trillion in 2017, while the world’s richest person, Amazon.com Inc.’s Jeff Bezos, saw a gain of $33.7 billion.

“The billionaire boom is not a sign of a thriving economy but a symptom of a failing economic system,” said Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam International. “The people who make our clothes, assemble our phones and grow our food are being exploited.” Those people are also the folks without the gold with which to purchase political power in the so-called democracies of the world.

Oxfam had published the report as global leaders, chief executives and bankers arrived in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting. This is an event in which the rich of the world share plans of how to rip the rest of us off. A spokesperson for Oxfam, however, noted “that many of the world’s elite say they’re concerned about income inequality, but most governments are “shamefully failing” to improve the matter. That’s because the politicians managing the affairs of those governments are being paid to do nothing to rectify growing poverty throughout the world, and they are being paid to ensure the billionaires gain more and more of the world’s income and wealth. This is called corruption.

Oxfam called on governments to limit shareholder and executive returns while ensuring workers receive a living wage. It also recommended eliminating the gender pay gap and raising taxes on the wealthy, among other suggestions.”

“People are ready for change,” Byanyima said. “They want a limit on the power and the wealth which sits in the hands of so few.” In addition, p0eople want to limit the effects of the golden rule which allows the rich to control the distribution of income and wealth and send into their bank accounts the vast majority of income and wealth created.

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