Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Shady Legacy of Sen. Dianne Feinstein - America's Great Whore and Looter


 

RALPH NADER CHARACTERIZES HER AS A “CLOSET REPUBLICAN”.


 

SHE HAS ONLY ONE AGENDA: SELF-ENRICHMENT!

FEINSTEIN’S STATE OF CALIFORNIA IS IN MELTDOWN DUE TO THE STAGGERING CORRUPTION OF POLITICIANS LIKE FEINSTEIN, AND HER SISTERS, BARBARA BOXER and NANCY PELOSI. ALL OF THESE WOMEN HAVE BECOME RICH OFF ELECTED OFFICE. NO ONE IN AMERICAN HISTORY HAS LOOTED HER OFFICE MORE THAN FEINSTEIN.

FEINSTEIN IS AN ADVOCATE FOR OPEN BORDERS TO KEEP WAGES DEPRESSED.

THREE (3) TIMES FEINSTEIN AND BOXER PUSHED ON BEHALF OF HER BIG AG BIZ DONORS, A “SPECIAL AMNESTY” FOR 1.5 MILLION MORE ILLEGAL FARM WORKERS…. DESPITE THE FACT THAT ONE-THIRD OF ALL ILLEGAL FARM WORKERS END UP ON WELFARE (see the anchor baby case stud below)!

FOR FEINSTEIN, IT’S ALL ABOUT SERVICING THE SPECIAL INTEREST THAT ENABLE HER TO BUY HERSELF TERM AFTER STAGGERINGLY CORRUPT TERM.

 *

 

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN, AND HER LAP BITCH BARBARA BOXER, HAVE VOTED FOR ANY AND ALL WARS FOR MUSLIM DICTATORS, WHILE THEY DEMAND THAT OUR OWN BORDERS BE LEFT OPEN AND UNDEFENDED AGAINST NARCOMEX.

KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT ABOUT MY WAR PROFITEERING WHORE WIFE’S MANSIONS! HERE’S A BRIBE TO DO SO!

“Since the 2000 election cycle, Blum has contributed over $75,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Committee, and thousands more to individual Democrats, including John Kerry, Robert Byrd, Joe Lieberman, Ted Kennedy, and Barbara Boxer.”

March 1, 2006 The Democrats' Daddy Warbucks

 

Feinstein family war profits, part II

 

Sen. Dianne Feinstein's husband, Richard Blum, could well be called the Democrats' Daddy Warbucks. He's scored bundles from war contracts. He has recently purchased a $16.5 million crib in San Francisco and along with his wife has handed hundreds of thousands of dollars over to fellow Democrats. Since the 2000 election cycle, Blum has contributed over $75,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Committee, and thousands more to individual Democrats, including John Kerry, Robert Byrd, Joe Lieberman, Ted Kennedy, and Barbara Boxer. Richard Blum's history as an entrepreneur began at the ripe age of 23 when he began to work for the San Francisco brokerage firm Sutro & Company. Blum quickly climbed the ranks and became a partner by the age of 30. According the San Francisco Chronicle, "Blum proved that he had an eye for fixer-upper properties when he led a partnership that acquired the struggling Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus for $8 million – then sold it to Mattel Inc. four years later for $40 million." In 1975, Blum went out on his own and formed a brokerage agency. Today, Blum's lofty firm, Blum Capital, holds positions in more than 20 companies, including real estate giants, credit bureaus, and yes, even military contractors. Blum sees himself as an altruistic capitalist, claims one of his ex-employees: "He likes to go after companies that are down and out, and bring their stock back to life. He thinks he's doing good." Blum shares a large stake in Perini, a civil construction company that is happily employed in Iraq and Afghanistan. But not all of Blum's war profits come from Perini. In 1975, his venture capital firm went after fledging construction and design company URS when the business was about to be bought out by another corporation. Since then, Blum has increased his stock in URS, capitalizing on its recent military contracts. Unlike Blum's dabbling with Barnum & Bailey, his current profits aren't so safe for child consumption. Here are the basics to date: Blum currently holds over 111,000 shares of stock in URS Corporation, which is now one of the top defense contractors in the United States. Blum is an acting director of URS, which bought EG&G, a leading provider of technical services and management to the U.S. military, from The Carlyle Group in 2002. Carlyle's trusty advisers, past and present, include former President George H.W. Bush, James Baker, and ex-SEC Commissioner Arthur Levitt, among other prominent neoconservatives and Washington power brokers. URS and Blum have since banked on the Iraq war, scoring a phat $600 million contract through EG&G. As a result, URS has seen its stock price more than triple since the war began in March 2003. Blum has cashed in over $2 million on this venture alone and another $100 million for his investment firm. "As part of EG&G's sale price," reports the San Francisco Chronicle, "Carlyle acquired a 21.74 percent stake in URS – second only to the 23.7 percent of shares controlled by Blum Capital." The Carlyle Group has long been accused of exploiting its political connections to turn a profit. And if Carlyle can come under the microscope for its government ties and war profiteering, as it did in Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11, than surely Blum's URS ought to be subject to the same scrutiny. Owen Blicksilver, Blum's spokesman, claims his boss and Sen. Feinstein have never talked shop at home in their gated mansion: "Mr. Blum and Sen. Feinstein have never had any discussions about outsourcing, government contracts, or URS." If this were a Republican senator's spouse scoring bundles off the spoils of war and passing it along to fellow Republicans, the liberals would be up in arms. But since Dianne Feinstein is a leading Democrat, mum's the word. Partisanship trumps ethics. The Byrne Report Hawk Tale By Peter Byrne ON JAN. 18, California senator Dianne Feinstein introduced Dr. Condoleezza Rice at a Senate nomination hearing for Secretary of State in terms so saccharine that molasses seemed to ooze out of her mouth. She was a precocious child, Feinstein purred. She has skill, judgment and poise. She loves football. Bush loves her. "The problems we face abroad are complex and sizable. If Dr. Rice's past performance is any indication, though, we can rest easy." That very same day, Feinstein's husband, Richard Blum, took advantage of a spike in the price of his URS Corporation stock. He sold a third of his holdings in the defense contractor for $57 million, according to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. With Rice confirmed, the business of death and occupation looks rosy as hell for Feinstein, who--let's get real--benefits tremendously from sharing community property with Blum. URS' largest customer is the U.S. Army, which accounted for 17 percent ($587 million) of its cash revenue in 2004. In 2001, URS enjoyed a mere $169 million in defense contracts. Now, its war contracts total more than $2 billion. According to its annual report, the San FranciscoÐbased URS anticipates that profits will rocket up in 2005, because "operations in the Middle East are expected to generate increased work related to the development of weapons systems, the training of military pilots and the maintenance, upgrade and repair of military vehicles." Provided, of course, that our hawkish leadership remains as poised and lovable as the new Secretary of State. Feinstein, who sits on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, is an advocate of first-strike warfare, even though it flouts international law and the standards of common decency. Interestingly, her Financial Disclosure Report for 2003 was more than three times the size of her 2002 disclosure (Feinstein's 2003 disclosure numbers 133 pages, compared to Sen. Barbara Boxer's six-page report). The Feinstein-Blum portfolio is crammed with multimillion dollar investments in the military-industrial-financial complex and corporations that heavily exploit Third World peoples. The senator has a lot to lose should the neoconservative war machine falter. Hubby holds a controlling interest in another engineering firm, Perini Corporation of Framingham, Mass. Perini ranks No. 6 by dollar amount in war-related government contracts in the Middle East. According to its annual report, "Perini proudly supports the U.S. government with global rapid response capabilities for defense, reconstruction and security." Perini builds military facilities and roads in Afghanistan, electrical infrastructure in Iraq and U.S. embassies around the world. After the Senate, Feinstein included, approved Bush's war plans in 2002, Perini's defense contract awards soared from negligible to $2.52 billion. But, as with many of the sole-source, open-ended contracts awarded to politically connected firms, there are problems with accountability. Last summer, Department of Defense auditors determined that Perini could not adequately justify its costs in Iraq as fair and reasonable. That's government-speak for: They're gouging the #!$% out of us. Perini is heavily engaged in military and municipal public works projects inside the United States; at least two are also under investigation for contract fraud. For example, the city of San Francisco has sued general contractor Perini--which was in a joint venture with the Tutor-Saliba construction firm--for $100 million in cost overruns at a San Francisco International Airport project. The lawsuit alleges that the joint venture engaged in "a sophisticated pattern of fraud," including inflating costs, fabricating delays and setting up minority front companies to exploit affirmative-action preferences. The attorney general of Massachusetts is looking into alleged false claims made by a Perini joint venture in the "Big Dig" urban highway construction boondoggle in Boston. Ron Tutor, owner of Tutor-Saliba and CEO of Perini, bought into the latter company, along with Blum, as it teetered on the edge of solvency in the mid- 1990s due to a bad real estate investment. It rebounded, thanks to the firm's sudden ability to obtain lucrative U.S. military and government contracts, which, of course, had nothing to do with the fact that Blum's powerful wife has her hands on the military's purse strings. Remarkably, Perini grossed $1.37 billion in 2003, up 27 percent from the previous year, before the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq. Perini attributes its rocketing profits to "increased volume of work in Iraq and Afghanistan." As a risk factor, the firm notes that continued demand for its military services depends upon "the political situation in Iraq," which, logically, means that it desires the bloody war and useless occupation to continue indefinitely--a wish that hawktails with the foreign policy positions of Bush, Rice, Rumsfeld and Feinstein. I almost forgot: Perini Corp. is the nation's most active builder of Indian-fronted casinos. That explains a few things about Sen. Feinstein and the politics of gambling, soon to be revealed in greater detail in this space.
Richard C. Blum and Dianne Feinstein: The Power Couple of California

From FoundSF

Historical Essay

by Laurence H. Shoup

 

Senator Dianne Feinstein with her husband Richard Blum at a Democratic election party in San Francisco, November 7, 2006.


On January 20, 1980, in San Francisco, California, finance capitalist Richard C. Blum (born in 1936) and the ambitious Democratic Party politician
Dianne Feinstein (born 1933) were married in a wedding ceremony at San Francisco City Hall. This marriage created a family economic and political alliance that in a little over a decade would allow them to become the top power couple in the state of California with a place on the national and world stages. They remain at the pinnacle of power today, he as a billionaire financier, speculator, real estate executive and deal maker; she as the senior Senator (California’s highest federal official), from the largest and most powerful state in the United States. They exemplify power as it is now wielded in the higher circles of the class system of the U.S. today, and illustrate well the dismal results of this system. This system is best characterized as a plutocratic kleptocracy, completely lacking in authentic democracy, operated by and for corporate racketeers, in short, a dictatorship of big capital, the top 1% of wealth holders, which makes up a ruling class.

 

Richard Blum at his swearing in for a city commission post, January 22, 1996.


Blum is finance capital personified, and Feinstein precisely illustrates the corrupt, war-mongering, pro-corporate politicians who inhabit the upper reaches of the U.S. ruling class. To fully comprehend their rise to power, vast wealth and socio-political stance, one needs to understand the key developmental trends in the U.S. and world political economy during Blum-Feinstein’s rise during the last few decades. Also necessary is a comprehension of how Blum-Feinstein have both adapted to and helped quicken these developmental trends.

The Financialization of Capital Accumulation

The financial capitalist now plays the leading role in capitalist development, this type of capitalist has taken over from the formerly dominant industrial capitalist. This process also has financialized class and class relations; these are more and more characterized by extreme differences in wealth and income from the top to the bottom of the class system. The top 1% of U.S. wealth holders, Blum and Feinstein among them, currently hold about 35% of the total wealth of the nation (43% of the financial wealth), and the top 20% have 85% of the total wealth. Conversely, the bottom 80% of the population owns only 15% of the wealth, the bottom 40% of the population owns only 0.3% of the nation’s wealth (basically nothing), and about one in six Americans (almost 50 million people) live in poverty, with no wealth and lacking even a minimal income.

In the case of Blum-Feinstein, we can see what being in the top 1% means. They currently own a private jet, a Gulfstream G650, worth $55 million in 2008. Blum-Feinstein also own an entire 161 room San Francisco hotel (The Carlton) and at least six other homes. At a low estimate, including their hotel, their personal real estate holdings, together with their private jet, are likely worth well over $100 million today.

Blum’s empire begins with his ownership of Blum Capital Partners, a firm he founded in 1975. In its 2005 edition, one standard industry source, Pratt’s Guide to Private Equity Sources, lists Blum Capital Partners as a firm “investing own capital” and having $1.589 billion under management. Two other, more recent sources, list the assets of Blum Capital at the higher levels of $2.8 billion and $4.5 billion. Blum’s firm’s clients reportedly include some of America’s wealthiest people and largest corporations, like oil heir Gordon Getty and Bank of American. Blum Capital Partners also has a joint venture with a much larger firm, The Texas Pacific Group (TPG) and Blum Capital Newbridge Capital to conduct this joint venture. Blum has been a Co-Chairman of both Newbridge and TPG.

 

Feinstein and Blum at a Lawrence Livermore Lab event in 2006.


Corporate Neoliberalism

Neoliberalism is a version of extreme free market thinking, putting forth the pure logic of capital. Neoliberalism’s critique and actions aim not only at ending the regulatory and welfare states, it wants to shrink government’s role in economic and political life down to the point where the wealthy corporate ruling class will totally control economy, society, and political life with no interference.

Long theorized by right wing thinkers, neoliberalism came into vogue during the 1980s as a way to open up more economic living space for capital, “opening new markets.” As these areas are opened up, one result is an increase in the commodification of various aspects of life. Neoliberalism also opposes the former Keynesian consensus that fostered aspects of the welfare state, that is, offering some government benefits to the working class to pump up effective economic demand. According to neoliberal ideology, government should be weak and market/commodity relations dominant, so the Keynesian approach should be scrapped.

Neoliberalism as an ideology is completely hypocritical however, because virtually all of the government welfare, sweetheart contracts, tax cuts, subsidies and bailouts given to major corporations continue under neoliberal governance, only the Keynesian type benefits to workers are really cut. In actual practice, therefore, it is a philosophy meant to make workers and their unions pay for the crisis tendencies of capitalism, making the capitalist crisis actually a working class crisis. Under corporate neoliberal thinking over the past thirty years, all aspects of the New Deal reforms of the 1930s have been under increasing attack.

Another aspect of neoliberal ideology is the ongoing attacks on unions, since union organizing and action to protect workers distorts the operations of the “free” market. Corporations are free to export jobs and income to low wage nations, but workers are often unjustly prevented from organizing unions both at home and in repressive nations abroad.

Blum and Feinstein’s policies and actions promote neoliberalism. Blum’s field of operation is worldwide, exporting jobs overseas to capture surplus value in areas of the world that are expanding rapidly at a time when there is stagnation in mature capitalist economies. Blum’s foreign investments have focused on Asia, including China, Australia, and Korea, often through the TPG and Newbridge Capital.

Feinstein and Blum are also major investors in two private educational corporations, the Career Educational Corporation, and ITT Educational Services. At the same time, Blum donated heavily to the political campaigns of California Governor Gray Davis, amounting to at least $75,000 in a two-year period beginning about 2000. As a result, Davis, following his “pay to play” politics, appointed Blum to be a member of the University of California Board of Regents. Within a few years, Blum became the Chairman of this Board while it raised tuition for the University’s students again and again, increases that amounted to 32% in only one year. Students have had to take out massive loans to attend school. One source indicates that the amount of debt loaded on all U.S. students has jumped from $90 billion in 1999 to $550 billion in 2011. As students were priced out of an increasingly expensive public university system, the inferior, privately operated correspondence type diploma mills where Blum had major investments became increasingly attractive. Not to be left out of the drive to weaken public education and teachers unions in order to open space for private capital accumulation, Feinstein had become a supporter of school vouchers by 2003, undermining public schools by allowing parents to use public money to pay for tuition at private or parochial schools in Washington, D.C. (San Francisco Chronicle July 23, 2003:A3).

Senator Dianne Feinstein speaking at the annual gala of the Human Rights Campaign, October 22, 2011.


A final aspect is cutting taxes on the wealthy, and, of course, Feinstein consistently favors such cuts. One example is Feinstein’s support for a phase-out of inheritance taxes on large estates. In July of 2000, she was one of a small group of Democratic Senators defending and voting for a Republican sponsored bill to repeal an estate tax law first passed in 1916, a law that applied to only the top 2% of taxable estates.

Imperialism, Militarism and War

The imperialist policies to be followed by the U.S. and NATO are discussed and developed by think tanks and policy forming organizations the leading U.S. private, (closely connected to official circles), such as the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), and the Brookings Institute. A similar organization, only international in membership is the Trilateral Commission, which draws its members from many countries in Europe, North America and Asia. Blum-Feinstein are closely connected with all three of these private foreign planning organizations and their imperialist policies. Both Blum and Feinstein have been members of the CFR for a number of years (membership is by invitation only). Blum has been a trustee of and part of the power structure of the Brookings Institute for years (Brookings regularly hosts the “Brookings-Blum Roundtable” discussion series) and Feinstein currently serves on the North American branch of the Trilateral Commission, after having first become involved with this organization in 1988. One result of these close connections is the fact that Feinstein is an enthusiastic war hawk and strongly supports all the current wars and occupations of U.S. imperialism, from Iraq and Afghanistan to Libya.

Feinstein also chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee. She approved of the appointment of General David Petraeus to head the CIA, saying that she had “enormous respect” for him, and that the U.S. should “…put all of our eggs in the Petraeus basket…” This illustrates that Feinstein has embraced the dangerous and illegal new method of warfare now being waged by the CIA under Petraeus. This new way of war is to send robotic machines (drones) over borders to kill thousands of people, even American citizens who are viewed as enemies.

Managed “Democracy”: A Corporate Dominated Political System

In recent decades the level of corporate domination of American politics has clearly increased. The pathways to intensified corporate control have been through the candidate selection process, campaign finance, massive lobbying, favorable media coverage to corporate ruling class linked candidates, expert advisers from ruling class think tanks and vote rigging through exclusion of people and through computers. Corporations claiming to be human beings can now purchase unlimited “free speech”, while real citizens are often denied such rights by their relative poverty, lack of access to media, or by police repression. Collectively, this has resulted in making the U.S. political system mostly a managed “democracy.”

Blum and Feinstein are key players in what can best be called the San Francisco Democratic Party political machine. Feinstein conducted Jerry Brown’s wedding (to a former Vice President of the Gap) where the entire Bay Area political machine was present, and hosted a wedding shower for Gavin Newsom at her Pacific Heights mansion, illustrating her close personal, economic and political ties to key members of this group. The group obviously also has important national level connections as well, former Vice President Al Gore is a long time friend and business partner of Blum.

While pretending to represent the interests of the rank and file, once in office, Feinstein and other corporate ruling class supported politicians payoff their partners with policies favorable to their interests, including government contracts. Again Blum and Feinstein are prime examples of how this corrupt system really works. Senator Feinstein, who was already in October of 1994 called “… the most prolific fund-raiser among all federal candidates” by the Los Angeles Times (October 28, 1994: A1), has received large campaign donations (in the thousands from each one) from a truly amazing list of top California and national level corporations.

The daughter of a wealthy doctor, educated at elite private schools, including Stanford University, Feinstein spent her way to political power, breaking records for campaign fundraising and spending beginning with her early campaigns for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Serving the wealthy, first and foremost herself and her husband, has marked her career. As the Los Angeles Times (October 28, 1994: A24) expressed it after observing only her actions for only a short time in office:

“A review of the senator’s first two years in office found that Feinstein supported several positions that benefited Blum, his wealthy clients and their investments. She was a vocal proponent of increased trade with China while Blum’s firm was planning a major investment there. She also voted for appropriations bills that provided more than $100 million a year in federal funds to three companies in which her husband is a substantial investor.”

In 2007 investigative reporter Peter Byrne published a series of reports that showed that her actions in the early 1990s was only the beginning of Feinstein’s aiding her husband’s firms. As chairperson of the Senate’s Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee from 2001-2007, Feinstein supervised and supported the appropriation of over $1.5 billion for two military contractors, URS Corporation and Perini Corporation, both companies that Blum had a controlling interest in. Blum later sold URS for a reported personal profit of $57 million. When Feinstein’s actions were exposed in early 2007, she abruptly quit her post on this subcommittee.

Blum returns the favor, raising more money for his politician wife than any other individual. He arranges contributions and loans to her campaigns in the millions. At least sometimes this got the power couple into trouble, even with the weak campaign finance laws that exist. In Feinstein’s failed 1990 Governor campaign for example, the Feinstein campaign failed to disclose a series of bank loans arranged by Blum that amounted to at least $2.9 million. Her campaign was fined a total of $190,000 by California’s state watchdog agency, the largest such cash settlement in state history, for an “outrageous case of gross negligence” (Los Angeles Times December 22, 1992: A1, A29).

A more recent example of gross negligence and incompetence in the area of campaign finance on the part of Feinstein and her staff was exposed when the FBI arrested her campaign treasurer, Kinde Durkee for stealing funds from a number of campaign accounts that she managed, including Feinstein’s (S.F. Chronicle September 14, 2011:A9).

As is the case on every other key question involving our collective future, Feinstein has been and is against the people’s interest in having a just and free society. In a 2011 editorial, the San Francisco Chronicle (May 26, 2011:A15) called her “one of the biggest cheerleaders for renewing…” Bush’s Patriot Act, which allows roving wiretaps, snooping into personal records and permits the unwarranted surveillance of people without having to show probable cause. The Chronicle said that Feinstein and other supporters of renewal were going “too far” and were “erasing bedrock guarantees” of the Constitution. This action is part of a pattern of spying favored by Feinstein. In 2007 she voted for immunity for telecommunications companies who illegally spied on their customers. Some of these, such as ATT, were also heavy donors to her political campaigns. As Chairperson of the Senate Intelligence Committee she also recently criticized the CIA for not spying enough on the Egyptian people, stating that “the CIA should have monitored Facebook more closely.”

The Ecological Crisis

The ongoing and accelerating global ecological crisis is deeply rooted in the anti-ecological imperatives of capitalist production and exchange for profit and accumulation. Corporate capitalism is a system requiring constant “expand or die” growth, a system whose main measure of success is how much capital is accumulated. This results not only in human alienation, it also results in the alienation from and destruction of entire natural ecosystems, such as forests, rivers, and grasslands.

Blum and Feinstein routinely undercut ecological needs in favor of the accumulation of wealth and power. One example is Feinstein’s relationship to wealthy corporate farmer Stewart Resnick, the owner of over one hundred thousand acres of prime farmland in the San Joaquin Valley. He has written big check after big check to her political campaigns, as well as hosted her at least two of his mansions. Over the past few decades he has also given several million dollars to the Democratic and Republican Parties and their candidates. Then, when Resnick called Feinstein in 2009 to weigh in on the side of corporate agribusiness in a drought fueled ecological dispute over water to big landowners or water for the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta’s ecological needs, Feinstein jumped in, pushing the agribusiness viewpoint onto two Cabinet level secretaries and calling for a sweeping review of the science to allow more water to go to Resnick and other big operators. Due largely to excessive water diversions, the Delta’s ecology is in serious trouble, with fish populations in catastrophic decline.

Blum and Feinstein also favor and work for “wilderness,” she in the Senate sponsoring legislation to set aside public lands as preserves, and he as a member of the Governing Council of the Wilderness Society. The nature and politics of Blum’s Wilderness Society can be seen by looking at its Governing Council and one of its “corporate partners.” The Governing Council is filled with the super rich like Blum and includes a member of the Getty oil family, a member of the Roosevelt family, a Rockefeller family in-law, a Texas Pacific Group private equity billionaire, an adviser to Clinton-Gore White House and a past chairman of Recreational Equipment Company, which sells products for outdoor activities. Its leading corporate partner is Bank of America, which, for years financed mountain top removal to mine coal by Massey Energy and International Coal Group. Under the pressure of direct action against it, the Bank of America cut back on but did not end such financing. The Blum-Feinstein-Wilderness Society approach of creating a few islands of non-development in a sea of life destroying capitalist ecocide is clearly inadequate as a strategy of ecological and human survival.

Conclusion: Blum-Feinstein and the Corporate State

The five interrelated waves of our age, and Blum-Feinstein’s role, illustrate that the Democratic Party and its leaders are every bit against the people’s interest as the Republican Party. Both favor the corporate state and capitalist austerity, imperialism, war and capitalist ecocide. Blum-Feinstein stand solidly for the financialization of accumulation and the private use of this wealth to benefit a small group of wealthy owners (the 1%); they stand for neoliberal ideology; for imperialism, militarism and war; for undemocratic corporate political rule; and for weak and inadequate measures to confront the ecological crisis.

Historian, author and activist Laurence H. Shoup lives in Oakland, California. His most recent book is "Rulers and Rebels: A People’s History of Early California, 1769-1901".

GET THIS BOOK!


The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future


 

Book Description

Publication Date: June 11, 2012

A forceful argument against America's vicious circle of growing inequality by the Nobel Prize–winning economist.

The top 1 percent of Americans control 40 percent of the nation’s wealth. And, as Joseph E. Stiglitz explains, while those at the top enjoy the best health care, education, and benefits of wealth, they fail to realize that “their fate is bound up with how the other 99 percent live.”

Stiglitz draws on his deep understanding of economics to show that growing inequality is not inevitable: moneyed interests compound their wealth by stifling true, dynamic capitalism. They have made America the most unequal advanced industrial country while crippling growth, trampling on the rule of law, and undermining democracy. The result: a divided society that cannot tackle its most pressing problems. With characteristic insight, Stiglitz examines our current state, then teases out its implications for democracy, for monetary and budgetary policy, and for globalization. He closes with a plan for a more just and prosperous future.



 Editorial Reviews


Review

“Joseph E. Stiglitz's new book, The Price of Inequality, is the single most comprehensive counterargument to both Democratic neoliberalism and Republican laissez-faire theories. While credible economists running the gamut from center right to center left describe our bleak present as the result of seemingly unstoppable developments—globalization and automation, a self-replicating establishment built on "meritocratic" competition, the debt-driven collapse of 2008—Stiglitz stands apart in his defiant rejection of such notions of inevitability. He seeks to shift the terms of the debate.” (Thomas B. Edsall - New York Times Book Review )

“Stiglitz writes clearly and provocatively. He’s the kind of economist who can talk about terms such as 'rent-seeking' and the 'euro crisis' and bring readers along for the ride... Stiglitz isn’t just writing about people being hurt by inequality, he is also writing about the system itself being in jeopardy and what needs to be done to fix it.” (Dante Chinni - Washington Post )

“Concise and clearly argued.” (Publishers Weekly )

“An impassioned argument backed by rigorous economic analysis.” (Kirkus Reviews )

About the Author

Winner of the 2001 Nobel Memorial Prize for Economics, Joseph E. Stiglitz is the best-selling author of Making Globalization Work; Globalization and Its Discontents; and, with Linda Bilmes, The Three Trillion Dollar War. He was chairman of President Clinton's Council of Economic Advisers and served as senior vice president and chief economist at the World Bank. He teaches at Columbia University and lives in New York City.






Product Details
·         Hardcover: 448 pages
·         Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (June 11, 2012)
·         Language: English
·         ISBN-10: 0393088693
·         ISBN-13: 978-0393088694

*

ACCORDING TO CA ATTORNEY GENERAL KAMALA HARRIS (LA RAZA DEM FOR AMNESTY), NEARLY HALF OF ALL MURDERS IN CA ARE BY MEX GANGS!

BOOK: Mexifornia: SHATTERING OF AN AMERICAN DREAM (illegals call it their DREAM ACT)


                       

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California spending annually $22 billion to support illegals


Going To the Top!

By Susan Tully

I've been at the immigration reform and enforcement table for about 20 years. I've worked with activists during all those years. But last week, in Los Angeles, I had a first-time-ever experience at an activist brain storming session.

Gathered for an update on Stop AB131, the petition drive to gather signatures to force a ballot initiative as to whether the California taxpayers should fund college grants to illegal aliens, I asked the top activist leaders from Southern California how the signature drive was going.

They started updating me with the positive response from California residents who signed the petitions, but then admitted about 500,000 more signatures were still needed. When I said there was only a little more than three weeks to go to meet the January 5th deadline, suddenly their faces dropped at once, and the room went completely silent.

It was easy to read on each of their faces; the task was nearly impossible! Without big money to pay signature gatherers or a tsunami of petitions flooding in, the taxpayers of California will be forced to give grant money to illegal aliens for college, on top of the $22 billion they are spending annually in California to support the illegal alien population.

While all of our minds were racing and searching for suggestions as to how to accomplish this daunting task of gathering signatures, Lupe Moreno, long time Hispanic leader from Santa Ana, said "Can we have a prayer?" Everyone agreed to pray.

As the prayer went around the table, people expressed their sorrow for the lack of leadership in the State of California and in the nation to protect the interest of American citizens, and asked for divine guidance in helping them understand the harm their policies are inflicting on millions of innocent people in the state. In all the years I have worked on this issue, I had not witnessed the sort of sincere emotion that was expressed in that room.

(THE FASTEST GROWING POLITICAL PARTY IN AMERICA IS THE MEXICAN FASCIST PARTY of LA RAZA! AND WE ARE FORCED TO FUND IT!)

You see, the politicians in California are happy to give money the state doesn't have to illegal aliens to attend college, while they cut the budgets and slash programs for public safety, right and left. The American citizen's interests and safety are simply collateral damage for seeking and appealing to the illegal alien lobby.

These activists in California have already learned what the rest of the nation is about to learn. We the people. . . are the only ones looking out for the best interest of American citizens. With few exceptions, we have no national leadership on the issue of stopping the illegal migration flow into our nation.

American citizenship or the benefits thereof have become a commodity for politicians to pander and barter away. They will grant de facto citizenship through sanctuary policies, in-state tuition, non-compliance with Secure Communities, grants for college, etc., etc., etc. President Obama and most the Republican presidential hopefuls are peddling various versions of amnesty proposals if they are elected next year.

What do these politicians want in return? They are hoping to leverage enough votes in key states to put them over the top in 2012, no matter what it costs the American people. This is futures betting: The politicians are gambling the nation's future in hopes of winning the next election.

So while the state can't afford to pay its bills or provide decent services to citizens, these California activists watch their elected leaders lavish still more benefits for people who don't have a legal right to be in the country. And while their child might have to pay out-of-state tuition to go to college in another state, thousands of illegal aliens are going to college at in-state tuition rates in California that they are subsidizing.

In addition they know that millions of other illegal alien parents are receiving food stamps, Medicaid, housing assistance and dozens of other state and local benefits for their American-born children, while they have to decide which bills will be paid this month and which will have to wait.

It's not hard to understand why the activist of California need all the help they can get. Please go to www.stopAB131.com and lend a hand to our friends and family and the people of California to do what needs to be done for the good of our children first.

THESE FIGURES ON WELFARE FOR ILLEGALS IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY ARE DATED. IT NOW EXCEEDS $600 MILLION PER YEAR!!! (source: Los Angeles County & JUDICIAL WATCH)

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1949085/posts

THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION:

WILL THE MEXICAN INVASION BANKRUPT AMERICA?


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Slow path to progress for U.S. immigrants

43% on welfare after 20 years

 

Bottom of Form

Immigrants lag behind native-born Americans on most measures of economic well-being — even those who have been in the U.S. the longest, according to a report from the Center for Immigration Studies, which argues that full assimilation is a more complex task than overcoming language or cultural differences.

The study, which covers all immigrants, legal and illegal, and their U.S.-born children younger than 18, found that immigrants tend to make economic progress by most measures the longer they live in the U.S. but lag well behind native-born Americans on factors such as poverty, health insurance coverage and homeownership.

The study, based on 2010 and 2011 census data, found that 43 percent of immigrants who have been in the U.S. at least 20 years were using welfare benefits, a rate that is nearly twice as high as native-born Americans and nearly 50 percent higher than recent immigrants.

The report was released at a time when both major presidential candidates have backed policies that would make it easier to immigrate legally and would boost the numbers of people coming to the U.S.

Steven A. Camarota, the center’s research director and author of the 96-page study, said it shows that questions about the pros and cons of immigration extend well beyond the sheer numbers and touch on the broader consequences of assimilating a population defined by tougher socioeconomic challenges.

“Look, we know a lot of these folks are going to be poor, we get it. But don’t tell the public it’s all going great, which is the story line I think a lot of people want to sell,” Mr. Camarota said. “There is progress over time. Every measure shows improvement over time, but still, the situation does not look like we’d like it to look, particularly for the less-educated. They lag well behind natives even when they’ve been here for two decades, and that is very disconcerting.”

Federal law requires that the government deny immigrant visas to potential immigrants who are likely to be unable to support themselves and thereby become public charges.

On Tuesday, a handful of Republican senators wrote to the Homeland Security and State departments asking them to explain why they don’t consider whether potential immigrants would use many of the nearly 80 federal welfare programs when they evaluate visa applications.

Neither department responded to messages Tuesday seeking a response to the senators’ letter.

Expanding legal immigration is a contentious issue for voters, the vast majority of whom tell pollsters that they want the levels either retained or decreased.

But most politicians want legal immigration expanded.

During his time in the U.S. SenateBarack Obama backed bills that would have dramatically boosted legal immigration, potentially by hundreds of thousands a year. As president, he has called for the same thing.

 “We need to provide our farms a legal way to hire workers that they rely on, and a path for those workers to earn legal status. And our laws should respect families following the rules — reuniting them more quickly instead of splitting them apart,” Mr. Obama said in a major speech on the subject in El Paso, Texas, in 2011.

His presumed Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, in June called for increasing legal immigration for students who study in high-tech fields and admitting unlimited family members of those who hold green cards.

“Our immigration system should help promote strong families as well — not keep them apart. Our nation benefits when moms and dads and their kids are all living together under the same roof,” Mr. Romney told the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials.

Mr. Camarota’s report took a broad look at the immigrant population and found that immigrants are contributing to major changes in American society, including that one-fourth of public school students now speak languages other than English at home.

It also found that immigrants as a population lead complex economic lives that aren’t easily put into one category or another.

Immigrants made up more than half of all farmworkers, 41 percent of taxi drivers and 48 percent of maids and housecleaners, but they also represented about one-third of all computer programmers and 27 percent of doctors.

The statistics varied greatly by geography. In Massachusetts, native-led households averaged $89,000 in income while immigrant households averaged $66,000.

In Virginia, immigrant-led households averaged $93,000 in income, far outstripping native households’ $80,000 average. Likewise, immigrant families averaged a larger tax burden in Virginia — though they also had higher rates of use of welfare or Medicaid.

The center found that use of public benefits varied dramatically based on where immigrants originated.

WE ARE MEXICO’S JOBS, JAILS and WELFARE SYSTEM!

Mexicans were most likely to use means-tested benefit programs, with 57 percent, while 6 percent of those from the United Kingdom did. The rate for native-born Americans is 23 percent.

Mr. Camarota said a key dividing line is educational attainment. Immigrants who have been in the U.S. 20 years and who have bachelor’s degrees or higher make slightly more than the average native-born American. But immigrants with only high school educations make less no matter how long they have been in the U.S.

“The fact is the less-educated in particular — they don’t do well over time,” he said. “It’s not reasonable to expect an immigrant who comes to America with only a high school education to close the gap with the native-born.”

Scholars debate whether the current wave of immigrants will assimilate differently from those in the 1800s and at the start of the 20th century.

George Borjas, a Harvard University professor, has argued that second-generation Americans — the children of today’s immigrants — will fall behind in wages by about 10 percent by 2030.

(THE BELOW STATS HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH ASSIMILATION! COME TO MEXIFORNIA WHERE 90% OF ALL SERVICE SECTOR AND CONSTRUCTION JOBS ARE HELD BY MEXICANS. YOU WON’T HEAR THEM SPEAKING ENGLISH!)

But in “Assimilation Tomorrow,” a report released in November, Dowell Myers and John Pitkin said immigrants of the 1990s eventually will attain high rates of homeownership and 71 percent will become U.S. citizens by 2030.

Those authors said immigrants were set back by the recent recession but were still on track to follow the same assimilation path as previous waves of immigrants.

(THE THING IS… MOST SOURCES PUT THE NUMBER OF ILLEGALS AT 40 MILLION AND BREEDING FAST! THERE ARE 12 MILLION OF THESE “11 MILLION” ILLEGALS IN SOUTHERN CA ALONE!)

They also said a program to legalize the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. would be critical to helping assimilation.

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LA RAZA DEMS BUILD THE "DREAM ACT" LIFE FOR LA RAZA OFF THE AMERICANS BACK! NOT ONE AMERICAN VOTED FOR ONE DREAM ACT HANDOUT!

http://mexicanoccupation.blogspot.com/2012/01/mexifornia-la-raza-supremacy-legals.html

 

A CASE STUDY OF WHAT BEING MEXICO’S “FREE” BIRTHING CENTER COSTS:

 

Jose Herria emigrated illegally from Mexico to Stockton, Calif., in 1997 to work as a fruit picker. He brought with him his wife, Felipa, and three children, 19, 12 and 8 – all illegals. When Felipa gave birth to her fourth child, daughter Flor, the family had what is referred to as an "anchor baby" – an American citizen by birth who provided the entire Silverio clan a ticket to remain in the U.S. permanently. But Flor was born premature, spent three months in the neonatal incubator and cost the San Joaquin Hospital more than $300,000. Meanwhile, oldest daughter Lourdes married an illegal alien gave birth to a daughter, too. Her name is Esmeralda. And Felipa had yet another child, Cristian. The two Silverio anchor babies generate $1,000 per month in public welfare funding for the family. Flor gets $600 a month for asthma. Healthy Cristian gets $400. While the Silverios earned $18,000 last year picking fruit, they picked up another $12,000 for their two "anchor babies." While President Bush says the U.S. needs more "cheap labor" from south of the border to do jobs Americans aren't willing to do, the case of the Silverios shows there are indeed uncalculated costs involved in the importation of such labor – public support and uninsured medical costs. In fact, the increasing number of illegal aliens coming into the United States is forcing the closure of hospitals, spreading previously vanquished diseases and threatening to destroy America's prized health-care system, says a report in the spring issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons. "The influx of illegal aliens has serious hidden medical consequences," writes Madeleine Pelner Cosman, author of the report. "We judge reality primarily by what we see. But what we do not see can be more dangerous, more expensive, and more deadly than what is seen." According to her study, 84 California hospitals are closing their doors as a direct result of the rising number of illegal aliens and their non-reimbursed tax on the system. "Anchor babies," the author writes, "born to illegal aliens instantly qualify as Disability Income." citizens for welfare benefits and have caused enormous rises in Medicaid costs and stipends under Supplemental Security Income and

 

WELFARE FOR ILLEGALS IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY ALONE IS UP TO $600 MILLION PER YEAR… HOW MUCH OF THAT DOES MEXICO PAY US BACK ON?

JUDICIAL WATCH

SANCTUARY COUNTY LOS ANGELES SPENDS $600 MILLION ON WELFARE FOR ILLEGALS

County Spends $600 Mil On Welfare For Illegal Immigrants

Last Updated: Thu, 03/11/2010 - 3:14pm

For the second consecutive year taxpayers in a single U.S. county will dish out more than half a billion dollars just to cover the welfare and food-stamp costs of illegal immigrants.  

Los Angeles County, the nation’s most populous, may be in the midst of a dire financial crisis but somehow there are plenty of funds for illegal aliens. In January alone, anchor babies born to the county’s illegal immigrants collected more than $50 million in welfare benefits. At that rate the cash-strapped county will pay around $600 million this year to provide illegal aliens’ offspring with food stamps and other welfare perks.

The exorbitant figure, revealed this week by a county supervisor, doesn’t even include the enormous cost of educating, medically treating or incarcerating illegal aliens in the sprawling county of about 10 million residents. Los Angeles County annually spends more than $1 billion for those combined services, including $500 million for healthcare and $350 million for public safety. 

About a quarter of the county’s welfare and food stamp issuances go to parents who reside in the United States illegally and collect benefits for their anchor babies, according to the figures from the county’s Department of Social Services. In 2009 the tab ran $570 million and this year’s figure is expected to increase by several million dollars. 

Illegal immigration continues to have a “catastrophic impact on Los Angeles County taxpayers,” the veteran county supervisor (Michael Antonovich) who revealed the information has said. The former fifth-grade history teacher has repeatedly come under fire from his liberal counterparts for publicizing statistics that confirm the devastation illegal immigration has had on the region. Antonovich, who has served on the board for nearly three decades, represents a portion of the county that is roughly twice the size of Rhode Island and has about 2 million residents.

His district is simply a snippet of a larger crisis. Nationwide, Americans pay around $22 billion annually to provide illegal immigrants with welfare benefits that include food assistance programs such as free school lunches in public schools, food stamps and a nutritional program (known as WIC) for low-income women and their children. Tens of billions more are spent on other social services, medical care, public education and legal costs such as incarceration and public defenders. 

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THE BREEDERS – MEXICO “ANCHORS” THEIR OCCUPATION AND EXPANDS THE LA RAZA WELFARE STATE BY BREEDING IT AT OUR COST!

 

NEXT TO DRUGS AND CRIMINALS, MEXICO’S BIGGEST EXPORTS IS PREGNANT WOMEN!

 

 

“Through love of having children, we are going to take over.”  AUGUSTIN CEBADA, BROWN BERETS, THE LA RAZA FASCIST PARTY



Anchor Babies Grab One Quarter of Welfare Dollars in L.A. County


The anchor baby scam has proven lucrative for illegal aliens in Los Angeles County, at considerable cost to our own poor and downtrodden legal citizenry.

The numbers show that more than $50 million in CalWORKS benefits and food stamps for January went to children born in the United States whose parents are in the country without documentation. This represents approximately 23 percent of the total benefits under the state welfare and food stamp programs, Antonovich said.


"When you add this to $350 million for public safety and nearly $500 million for health care, the total cost for illegal immigrants to county taxpayers far exceeds $1 billion a year -- not including the millions of dollars for education," Antonovich said.


I love children and I'm all for compassion -- smart, teach-them-to-fish compassion. But when laws, the Constitution, and enforcement allow illegal aliens (the operative word here being "illegal") to insinuate themselves into our nation and bleed us of our precious financial resources, then laws, the Constitution and enforcement need to be changed.
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JUDICIAL WATCH.org

 

County’s Monthly Welfare Tab For Illegal Aliens $52 Million

09/07/2010

 

As the mainstream media focuses on a study that reveals a sharp decline in the nation’s illegal immigrant population, monthly welfare payments to children of undocumented aliens increased to $52 million in one U.S. county alone.

The hoopla surrounding last week’s news that the annual flow of illegal immigrants into the U.S. dropped by two-thirds in the past decade overlooked an important matter; the cost of educating, incarcerating and medically treating illegal aliens hasn’t decreased along with it, but rather skyrocketed to the tune of tens of billions of dollars annually.

 

THIS FIGURE DOES NOT INCLUDE EXTRA MILLIONS PAID FOR ANCHOR BABIES

 

Those figures don’t even include the extra millions that local municipalities dish out on welfare payments to the U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants, commonly known as anchor babies. In Los Angeles County alone that figure increased by nearly $4 million in the last year, sticking taxpayers with a whopping $52 million tab to provide illegal immigrants’ offspring with food stamps and other welfare benefits for just one month.

That means the nation’s most populous county, in the midst of a dire financial crisis, will spend more than $600 million this year to provide families headed by illegal immigrants with welfare benefits. In each of the past two years Los Angeles County taxpayers have spent about half a billion dollars just to cover the welfare and food-stamp costs of illegal immigrants. Additionally, the county spends $550 million on public safety and nearly $500 million on healthcare for illegal aliens.

About a quarter of the county’s welfare and food stamp issuances go to parents who reside in the United States illegally and collect benefits for their anchor babies, according to the figures from L.A. County’s Department of Social Services. Nationwide, Americans pay around $22 billion annually to provide illegal immigrants with welfare perks that include food assistance programs such as free school lunches in public schools, food stamps and a nutritional program (known as WIC) for low-income women and their children.

latimes.com

Opinion

California must stem the flow of illegal immigrants

The state should go after employers who hire them, curb taxpayer-funded benefits, deploy the National Guard to help the feds at the border and penalize 'sanctuary' cities.

Illegal immigration is another matter entirely. With the state budget in tatters, millions of residents out of work and a state prison system strained by massive overcrowding, California simply cannot continue to ignore the strain that illegal immigration puts on our budget and economy. Illegal aliens cost taxpayers in our state billions of dollars each year. As economist Philip J. Romero concluded in a 2007 study, "illegal immigrants impose a 'tax' on legal California residents in the tens of billions of dollars."