Saturday, April 23, 2016

AMERICAN'S GIVE UP ON LIFE - Sharp rise in US suicide rate

Sharp rise in US suicide rate


Sharp rise in US suicide rate

Eighty percent increase among middle-aged white women

By Kate Randall
23 April 2016
The suicide rate in the United States has increased sharply since the beginning of the current century, according to federal data released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The increase is led by a particularly sharp rise in suicide among middle-aged white people, especially women.
The study by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics follows recent reports documenting a decline in life expectancy among whites and sharp increases in lifespan divergences between rich and poor in America. As with life expectancy, the incidence of suicide is a key barometer of the health of a society. The rise in the rate at which people choose to take their own lives is yet another indication of the social crisis gripping America.

The new data shows that the age-adjusted suicide rate in the US jumped 24 percent between 1999 and 2014, from 10.5 per 100,000 people to 13 per 100,000 people. The figures show a 1.0 percent annual increase in suicide between 1999 and 2006 and a 2 percent yearly rise from 2007 to 2014. In total, 42,773 people died from suicide in 2014 compared to 29,199 in 1999.

The accelerated rise in the suicide rate from 2007 to 2014 coincides with the Great Recession and its aftermath and demonstrates the tragic impact of economic distress on significant layers of the population. Other contributing factors cited by the study’s authors include rising drug addiction and overdoses, growing divorce rates among older Americans, increased social isolation and a health care system ill-equipped to deal with mental health issues and suicide prevention.

Over the period of the study, the suicide rate for women aged 45-64 jumped by 63 percent and by 43 percent for men in the same age range. White middle-aged women had a shocking 80 percent increase in suicide during this period, three to four times higher than for females in other racial and ethnic groups.

Suicide rates for non-Hispanic black females rose by 0.8 percent among women 45-64; the rate for Hispanic women in this age group rose by 0.7 percent. Non-Hispanic black males were the only racial and ethnic group of either sex to have a lower suicide rate in 2014 than in 1999, declining by 8 percent.

The suicide rate in the American Indian and Alaska Native population surged from 1999 to 2014, rising by 90 percent for women and 38 percent for men. Among this group, 188 women and 348 men took their own lives in 2014.

Suicides among men were still more than three times the rate among women in 2014, but the study shows that the gap between the genders is closing. The higher rate among men is in part attributed to a higher suicide success rate through the use of firearms, fatal jumps and other methods.

Although based on a small number of suicides when compared to other age groups (150 in 2014), the suicide rate for females aged 10-14 had the largest percentage increase, tripling from 0.5 per 100,000 in 1999 to 1.5 per 100,000 in 2014. The suicide rate increased for women in all age groups except those 75 and above, where it declined by 11 percent.

Suicide rates for males were also higher in 2014 than in 1999 for all age groups under 75 years. However, despite an 8 percent decline for men 75 and older, this age group saw the highest rate of suicide in 2014, with 38.8 per 100,000, or 3,106 male seniors, taking their own lives.

The data shows that from 1999 to 2014, the percentages of suicides involving firearms and poisoning declined, while those involving suffocation increased. For both males and females, about one in four suicides in 2014 was attributable to suffocation, which includes hanging, self-strangulation and other methods of asphyxia. Experts note that such suicides are difficult to prevent as almost all people have the means to carry them out.

Poisoning was the most common method of suicide for women in 2014, making up about one-third of all female suicides. Poisoning agents include prescription opioids, heroin and other toxic substances. While accidental overdoses from opioids have skyrocketed in recent years, purposeful fatal overdoses have also increased.

The most frequent “other” suicide methods for females in 2014 were falls (2.8 percent) and drowning (1.4 percent). For males, “other” methods included falls (2.2 percent) and cutting or piercing (1.9 percent).
According to the CDC data, 33,113 people committed suicide in 2014. Suicide is one of the 10 leading causes of death for Americans. While death rates for major killers such as some cancers and heart disease have seen a long-term decline in recent decades, the suicide rate is rising precipitously.

Psychiatric conditions--including depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia--as well as other chronic medical problems undeniably play a role in suicide. The lack of access to high quality, affordable medical care leads to isolation and marginalization for increasing numbers of those in need of counseling and treatment.

The intersection of these very real medical and mental health issues with the economic devastation faced by millions in 21st century America is pushing increasing numbers of people over the brink. While the Obama administration declared economic “recovery” from the recession in mid-2009, the reality is starkly different for the vast majority of Americans today.

The new CDC study does not break down the incidence of suicide by income level, but its victims are undoubtedly predominantly poor, working class and lower middle class, similar to those in recent studies on US life expectancy.

America is a society in which growing numbers of people survive on low-wage, part-time, temporary and contingent jobs, often holding down two or more jobs to make ends meet. Working families are burdened by soaring medical costs and rising mortgage or rent payments. Many college graduates are saddled with debt and unable to find secure and decent-paying work. Veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome. Retirees are unable to survive on paltry Social Security benefits. Millions have been driven out of the labor market and subsist at the margins of society.

This reality does not enter into the current presidential campaign debate. While “democratic socialist” Bernie Sanders rails against the “billionaire class,” the main aim of his campaign is to divert growing anti-capitalist sentiment among workers and young people back into the confines of the Democratic Party. A longtime ally of the Democrats and defender of capitalism, he has pledged to support the Democratic frontrunner, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a personification of militarism and corruption, should she secure the nomination.

Billionaire businessman Donald Trump, the likely Republican candidate, promotes a fascistic and anti-working class agenda, scapegoating immigrants and Muslims. None of the candidates of the political establishment have answers to the economic and social crisis and the personal toll it takes on working people and youth.


U.S. suicides have soared since 1999, CDC report says

Driven by stark increases in the numbers of white women and Native Americans who are taking their own lives, suicide rates in the United States jumped 24% in the years between 1999 and 2014, a new government report says.

Following a slow-but-steady rise in suicides from 1999, the yearly increase accelerated after 2006, as Americans' financial woes mounted and a battering recession settled in. Between 2006 and 2014, the report shows, the annual rise in the U.S. suicide rate jumped from 1% to 2%. Suicide rates climbed among men and women, and in all age groups between 10 and 74 years old.
Suicide rates among non-Latino American Indians and Alaska Natives were, in 1999, already the highest of any ethnic group, despite being widely underreported. By 2014, roughly 1 in 2,000 men in this ethnic group committed suicide, a 60% increase over the suicide rate among male American Indians and Alaska Natives that prevailed in 1999.

Among all men under 75, suicides surged. In the age group most prone to suicide -- 45 to 64 -- almost 30 in 1,000 men took their lives in 2014, a 43% increase over 1999's rate. Non-Latino black males were the only racial or ethnic group of either gender to have a lower suicide rate in 2014 than in 1999.

All told, 42,773 Americans died of suicide in 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That made suicide the 10th leading cause of death for all ages.
"This is definitely harrowing: The overall massiveness of the increase is to me the biggest shocker--the fact that it touched pretty much every group," said Katherine A. Hempstead, who recently published an analysis of U.S. suicide trends in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
Hempstead, director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, noted that the surging suicide rate among women--a group that has traditionally committed suicide at a far lower rate than men--was especially significant. Though nearly four times as many men as women kill themselves, suicide rates among women grew much faster than those among men.
"That we've started to see the gender gap close is shocking," said Hempstead, who was not involved in the current study.
Among all women younger than 75, suicide rates grew across the age spectrum. But in the age group of greatest vulnerability--women between 45 and 64--the rate of suicide in 2014 vaulted 80% over 1999's rates.
Among girls 5 to 15 years old--a segment of the population among whom suicide was a rare phenomenon in 1999--rates of suicide tripled between 1999 and 2014, with one suicide yearly for every 6,660 of these girls.

Hempstead's earlier published study of American suicide rates ended with 2010, and had documented a steep rise that appeared strongly related to financial distress and job problems. That that trend continued for four more years may reflect that "the benefits of the recovery have not been shared by all," said Hempstead. Recent reports that nonlethal forms self-harm--drug overdoses and alcohol-related diseases--have begun to erode Americans' life expectancy also underscore the lingering effects of economic hardship on many, she added.

The new report, issued Thursday by the CDC's Center for Health Statistics, also offers a grim look into the changing means by which American suicide victims took their lives. Among both men and women, the 1999-2014 period saw a shift away from the use of firearms, pills and poisons. In 2014, 1 in 4 suicides was by suffocation (hanging, strangulation or suffocation), up from 1 in 5 in 1999.
Firearms continued to be the preferred means of suicide by male victims, occurring in 55.4% of the cases in 2014. Among women, firearms followed close behind poisoning as a favored means of suicide, accounting for 31% of female suicides in 2014.

These facts underscore the importance of coaxing from those in crisis the pills, poison or guns they might use to carry out a suicide, said Catherine Barber, director of the Means Matter Campaign at Harvard's School of Public Health.

Research suggests that many who attempt suicide act on impulse--and when a gun is available, their attempts are vastly more likely to succeed. By contrast, 9 out of 10 people who attempt suicide and survive will not go on to die by their own hand, suggesting that removing the means to commit such an act is not a gesture doomed to fail.

"Often, the moment for a friend to intervene is related to a crisis that is going to resolve, like a divorce," said Barber. "A friend can offer optimism: 'We'll get through this,'" said Barber.  "A friendly way of showing concern" would be to offer to hold a distressed person's firearms until the crisis has passed, she added.

"Emmanuel Saez, a professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley, estimates that the top 1 percent of American households now controls 42 percent of the nation’s wealth, up from less than 30 percent two decades ago. The top 0.1 percent accounts for 22 percent, nearly double the 1995 proportion."



"To this, we say: we hear you.

The system is corrupt. The economy is rigged.
Big campaign contributors do pull the strings in Washington. Working people are right to be angry about trade policy and the betrayal of the middle class, working families, and the poor by an elite establishment that profits from the status quo."

Whiteout Press

Independent news at its best. If it's blacked-out, covered-up or censored, you can find it here!

March 23, 2016

Statistic of the Week: The amount of assets/wealth the average adult has in each country:
Belgium - $150,348
UK - $126,472
Norway - $119,634
Japan - $96,071
France - $86,156
Canada - $74,750
Netherlands - $74,659
USA - $49,787
-from Credit Suisse via Institute for Policy Studies

In an Age of Privilege,
Not Everyone Is
in the Same Boat

Companies are becoming adept at identifying
wealthy customers and marketing to them,
creating a money-based caste system.
              IAMI — Behind a locked door aboard Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ship is a world most of the vessel’s 4,200 passengers will never see. And that is exactly the point.
In the Haven, as this ship within a ship is called, about 275 elite guests enjoy not only a concierge and 24-hour butler service, but also a private pool, sun deck and restaurant, creating an oasis free from the crowds elsewhere on the Norwegian Escape.
If Haven passengers venture out of their aerie to see a show, a flash of their gold key card gets them the best seats in the house. When the ship returns to port, they disembark before everyone else.
“It was always the intention to make the Haven somewhat obscure so it wasn’t in the face of the masses,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian’s former chief executive, who helped design the Escape with the hope of attracting a richer clientele. “That segment of the population wants to be surrounded by people with similar characteristics.”
With disparities in wealth greater than at any time since the Gilded Age, the gap is widening between the highly affluent — who find themselves behind the velvet ropes of today’s economy — and everyone else.

Room for a Dip While crowds mill around the pool elsewhere on the Escape, there’s space to stretch out in the Haven. Edward Linsmier for The New York Times
It represents a degree of economic and social stratification unseen in America since the days of Teddy Roosevelt, J. P. Morgan and the rigidly separated classes on the Titanic a century ago.
What is different today, though, is that companies have become much more adept at identifying their top customers and knowing which psychological buttons to push. The goal is to create extravagance and exclusivity for the select few, even if it stirs up resentment elsewhere. In fact, research has shown, a little envy can be good for the bottom line.
When Royal Caribbean ships call at Labadee, the cruise line’s private resort in Haiti, elite guests get their own special beach club away from fellow travelers — an enclave within an enclave.
“We are living much more cloistered lives in terms of class,” said Thomas Sander, who directs a project on civic engagement at the Kennedy School at Harvard. “We are doing a much worse job of living out the egalitarian dream that has been our hallmark.”
Emmanuel Saez, a professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley, estimates that the top 1 percent of American households now controls 42 percent of the nation’s wealth, up from less than 30 percent two decades ago. The top 0.1 percent accounts for 22 percent, nearly double the 1995 proportion.
But even as income inequality and the wealth gap stoke the discontent that has emerged as a powerful force in this year’s presidential election, for American business it represents something else entirely. From cruise ship operators and casinos to amusement parks and airlines, the rise of the 1 percent spells opportunity and profit.
 The Velvet Rope Economy

The first in an occasional series on how growing disparities in wealth are leading to privileged treatment of the rich.

Today, ever greater resources are being invested in winning market share at the very top of the pyramid, sometimes at the cost of diminished service for the rest of the public. While middle-class incomes are stagnating, the period since the end of the Great Recession has been a boom time for the very rich and the businesses that cater to them.
From 2010 to 2014, the number of American households with at least $1 million in financial assets jumped by nearly one-third, to just under seven million, according to a study by the Boston Consulting Group. For the $1 million-plus cohort, estimated wealth grew by 7.2 percent annually from 2010 to 2014, eight times the pace of gains for families with less than $1 million.

The High Life

For the affluent, spending on high-end experiences like travel and dining now nearly equals outlays on luxury goods like cars and fashion.

Luxury spending
$307 billion
total in 2012
(yachting, spas etc.)
Travel and hotels
$67 bil.
$135 bil.
Alcohol and food
Home decoration
Skin care, makeup
$40 bil.
Watches, jewelry
$27 bil.
$105 bil.

“You go where the money is,” said Steven Fazzari, a professor of economics at Washington University in St. Louis. “This is where companies are innovating and where there is demand.”

Class Divisions

In many ways, the rise of the velvet rope reverses the great democratization of travel and leisure, and other elements of American life, in the post-World War II era. As the Jet Set gave way to budget airlines, in places like airports and theme parks even the wealthiest often rubbed shoulders with hoi polloi.
These days, whether the provider is a private company or a public agency, special treatment for the very rich isn’t personal, it’s business. Late last year, public officials in Los Angeles agreed to lease a separate facility at LAX to a private firm that would serve celebrities or anyone else willing to pay $1,800 to skip the traffic jams and lines at the main terminals.
Of course, it could be more extreme, and in the past it was.
The Titanic, in the early 20th century, separated the different classes of travelers with metal gates. In the 19th century, French railways refrained from putting roofs on third-class wagons so that passengers who could afford more expensive second-class seats would not hesitate to spend a few extra francs.

Unsinkable The caste system in travel isn’t new – classes were kept rigidly apart on the Titanic – but companies have gotten much more adept at targeting the rich. Father Browne S.J. Collection
What is new is just how far big American companies are now willing to go to pamper the biggest spenders.
For example, as luggage-toting guests boarded Norwegian’s Breakaway ship in New York recently, cramming into a handful of elevators, there was ample room in one bank. But it was off-limits to anyone but Haven guests going to the top decks. Not far away, in the ship’s theater, red velvet ropes cordoned off a section up front for Haven passengers.
At SeaWorld, a family of four can jump to the front of the line and score the best seats for rides and shows for an extra $80, in addition to the basic $320 admission. For people in the market for something more exclusive, there is Discovery Cove, next door to SeaWorld’s traditional park in Orlando.
Forget merely swimming with the dolphins. Today, parents can relax at a cabana and beach of their own, while their budding marine biologists spend the day with a trainer, feed the park’s birds, otters, nurse sharks and other creatures and, of course, frolic with the dolphins as well.
There are no lines to cut here: Daily attendance is capped at 1,300. A day at Discovery Cove can easily cost $1,000 for a family of four.

How Close Can You Get? At SeaWorld, guests watch from afar, but next door at Discovery Cove they can swim with the dolphins or spend the day shadowing a trainer. Edward Linsmier for The New York Times
Next year, Crystal Cruises will begin an airborne version of one of its luxury ships: a customized Boeing 777 that ferries passengers on 14- or 28-day trips around the world.
In theory, according to Steve Tadelis, a professor of economics at the Haas School of Business at Berkeley, “when an industry is able to create a richer line of products for people looking to spend their money, that makes everybody happier. But getting it right in reality is very, very hard.”
As companies separate their clientele, a debate has developed over just how obvious the distinctions should be. Some experts, like David Clarke, who works with leisure industry giants as a principal at PricewaterhouseCoopers, say that it is best to be open about what amounts to a money-based caste system.
“It’s about transparency,” he said. “What customers hate is when you’re trying to hide stuff and are not being honest with them.”
Many companies, though, have discovered that offering ordinary customers just a whiff of the rarefied air can actually enhance the bottom line, even if it stirs a certain amount of envy and resentment.
As coach passengers pile into giant 747s and A380s, for example, “a glimpse of a shower or private suite creates a marker in people’s minds,” said Alex Dichter, a director at McKinsey who works with major airlines. “A lot of brands use products like these as an aspirational tool, and class segregation can create something to which people can aspire.”

Choice, for a Price

While choices for the rich are expanding, poorer Americans are benefiting less from product innovation, according to new research by Xavier Jaravel, a graduate student in economics at Harvard. Whether they are selling fancy cookware, natural cheeses or single malt Scotch, purveyors of goods aimed at the wealthy are competing more and offering new products. Downscale items like canned meat or tobacco aren’t drawing as many new entrants into the market.
There is also increasing demand from the most affluent shoppers. Spending by the top 5 percent of earners rose nearly 35 percent from 2003 to 2012 after adjusting for inflation, according to a study by Mr. Fazzari and Barry Z. Cynamon of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. For everyone else, spending grew less than 10 percent.

A Growing Divide

In recent decades, spending by those at the top of the income scale has sharply outpaced consumption gains by everyone else.

Spending by:
Top 5 percent
95 percent

And with the rise of the Internet and Big Data, companies can pinpoint and favor these wealthiest customers in ways unimaginable even a decade ago. “At the high end, we can get into real psychographics and know who spends more time at the concierge or goes skiing in February,” said Bjorn Hanson, who teaches courses on tourism and hospitality management at New York University.
For companies trying to entice moneyed customers, that means identifying and anticipating what they want. “The premium customer doesn’t want to be asked questions,” said Mr. Clarke of PricewaterhouseCoopers. “


The biggest tax dodger is technology giant Apple, with $181 billion held offshore. General Electric had the second-largest stash, at $119 billion, enough to repay four times over the $28 billion GE received in federal guarantees during the 2008 Wall Street crash. Microsoft had $108 billion in overseas accounts, with companies like Exxon Mobil, Pfizer, IBM, Cisco Systems, Google, Merck, and Johnson & Johnson rounding out the top ten.

US corporate tax cheats hiding $1.4 trillion in profits in offshore accounts

US corporate tax cheats hiding $1.4 trillion in profits in offshore accounts

By Patrick Martin
15 April 2016
A report issued Thursday by the British charity Oxfam found that the 50 largest US corporations are hiding $1.4 trillion in profits in overseas accounts to avoid US income taxes, much of it in tax havens like Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.

The biggest tax dodger is technology giant Apple, with $181 billion held offshore. General Electric had the second-largest stash, at $119 billion, enough to repay four times over the $28 billion GE received in federal guarantees during the 2008 Wall Street crash. Microsoft had $108 billion in overseas accounts, with companies like Exxon Mobil, Pfizer, IBM, Cisco Systems, Google, Merck, and Johnson & Johnson rounding out the top ten.

Overseas tax havens have been the focus of recent revelations about tax scams by wealthy individuals, based on the leak of the “Panama Papers,” documents from a single Panama-based law firm, Mossack Fonseca, involving 214,000 offshore shell companies. The firm’s clients included 29 billionaires and 140 top politicians worldwide, among them a dozen heads of government.

But the sums involved in corporate tax scams dwarf those hidden away by individuals. According to the Oxfam report, the offshore manipulations by the 50 largest US corporations cost the US taxpayer $111 billion each year, while robbing another $100 billion annually from countries overseas, many of them desperately poor.

The $111 billion a year in US taxes evaded would be sufficient to eliminate 90 percent of child poverty in America, effectively wiping out that social scourge. It is more than the annual cost of the food stamp program, or unemployment benefits, or the total budget of the Department of Education.
Oxfam timed the release of its report for the April 15 income tax deadline in the United States (actually Monday, April 18 this year), when tens of millions of working people must file their income tax returns or face federal penalties. Working people could face additional tax penalties of up to 2 percent of household income, to a maximum of $975, under the Obamacare “individual mandate,” if they have not purchased private health insurance.

There is a stark contrast between the IRS hounding of working people for relatively small amounts of money—but difficult or impossible to pay for those on low incomes—and the green light given to corporate tax cheats who evade taxation on trillions in income.

“As Americans rush to finalize tax returns, multinational corporations that benefit from trillions in taxpayer-funded support are dodging billions in taxes,” said Raymond C. Offenheiser, President of Oxfam America. “The vast sums large companies stash in tax havens should be fighting poverty and rebuilding America’s infrastructure, not hidden offshore in Panama, Bahamas, or the Cayman Islands.”

The Oxfam report, titled “Broken at the Top,” expresses concern that “tax dodging by multinational corporations…contributes to dangerous inequality that is undermining our social fabric and hindering economic growth.”

It continues: “This inequality is fueled by an economic and political system that benefits the rich and powerful at the expense of the rest, causing the gains of economic growth over the last several decades to go disproportionately to the already wealthy. Among the most damning examples of this rigged system is the way large, profitable companies use offshore tax havens, and other aggressive and secretive methods, to dramatically lower their corporate tax rates in the United States and developing countries alike.”

Oxfam collected figures available from the 10-K reports and other financial documents issued by the 50 largest US companies, covering the period since the Wall Street crash, 2008 through 2014, and presented them in an interactive table. The figures included total profits, federal taxes paid, total US taxes paid (including state and local), lobbying expenses, tax breaks, money held in offshore accounts, and benefits received from the federal government, including loans, loan guarantees and bailouts.

Among the most important findings:

* The top 50 companies made nearly $4 trillion in profits globally, but paid only $412 billion in federal income tax, for an effective tax rate of barely 10 percent, compared to the statutory rate of 35 percent.

* The 50 companies spent $2.6 billion to influence the federal government, while reaping nearly $11.2 trillion in federal support, for an effective return of 400,000 percent on their lobbying expenses.

* The overseas cash stashed by the 50 companies, nearly $1.4 trillion, is larger than the Gross Domestic Product of Russia, Mexico, Spain or South Korea.

* US multinationals reported 43 percent of their foreign earnings from five tax havens, countries that accounted for only 4 percent of their foreign workforce and 7 percent of foreign investment. All told, US companies shifted between $500 billion and $700 billion in profits from countries where economic activity actually took place to countries where tax rates were low.

* In the year 2012 alone, US firms reported $80 billion in profits in Bermuda, more than their combined reported profits in the four largest economies (after the US itself): China, Japan, Germany and France. This figure was nearly 20 times the total GDP of the tiny island country.

The Oxfam report also pointed to an estimated $100 billion in taxes evaded in foreign countries, many of them rich in natural resources extracted by such global giants as Exxon, Chevron and Dow Chemical. According to the report, “Taxes paid, or unpaid, by multinational companies in poor countries can be the difference between life and death, poverty or opportunity. $100 billion is four times what the 47 least developed countries in the world spend on education for their 932 million citizens. $100 billion is equivalent to what it would cost to provide basic life-saving health services or safe water and sanitation to more than 2.2 billion people.”

The report cited former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s assessment that “Africa loses more money each year to tax dodging than it receives in international development assistance.”

Oxfam offered no solution to the growth of inequality and the systematic looting by big corporations that its report documents, except to urge governments around the world to close tax loopholes. The group also pleads with the corporate bosses themselves not to be quite so greedy. Neither capitalist governments nor the CEOs will pay the slightest attention. But the working class should take note of these figures, which provide ample evidence of the bankrupt and reactionary nature of capitalism, and the urgent necessity of building a mass movement, on a global scale, to put an end to the profit system.



OBAMA-CLINTONOMICS: Serve the Rich, Obama's Crony 

Banksters, and the Mexican Fascist Party of LA RAZA to 

keep wages depressed and corporate profits even greater!



Whiteout Press

Independent news at its best. If it's blacked-out, covered-up or censored, you can find it here!

March 23, 2016

Statistic of the Week: The amount of assets/wealth the average adult has in each country:
Belgium - $150,348
UK - $126,472
Norway - $119,634
Japan - $96,071
France - $86,156
Canada - $74,750
Netherlands - $74,659
USA - $49,787
-from Credit Suisse via Institute for Policy Studies

New study says entire regions of US will

remain in slump until the 2020s

By Jerry White 

 21 March 2016
A new study by a University of California-Berkeley economist says that at current sluggish levels of job growth, entire regions of the United States, which were hit hardest by the Great Recession will not return to “normal” employment levels until the 2020s. This amounts, to “more than a ‘lost decade’ of depressed employment” for “half of the country,” wrote economist Danny Yagan.

The new study is one of many showing that the fall of the official unemployment rate, touted by the Obama administration and the news media as proof of a robust economic recovery, if not a return to “full employment,” is largely based on the fact that millions of workers fell out of the labor force in the years preceding and following the 2008 financial crash.

The labor-force participation rate fell to a 38-year low of 62.4 percent last fall, and only climbed up to 62.9 percent in February. According to the Economic Policy Institute, February’s official jobless rate of 4.9 percent—the lowest since the pre-recession level of 4.7 percent in November 2007—would really be 6.3 percent if the country’s “missing workers” were included. These include 2.4 million workers who have given up actively looking for work.

Yagan based his findings on a detailed study of some 2 million, similarly paid workers in the retail industry in order to calculate employment patterns across different local areas and to account for occupations that might have been particularly hard hit in one region.

He found that the areas hardest hit by the recession, which began in December 2007 and officially ended in June 2009, continued to have high levels of joblessness in 2014. His map of these distressed areas includes all of Florida and parts of Arizona, Nevada, California, Colorado, New Mexico, the Dakotas, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Georgia, Connecticut, New Hampshire and other states.

While different areas of the country are often hit differently by an economic downturn, an article in the Wall Street Journal on Yagan’s study noted, these economically distressed areas generally return to normal levels of employment chiefly because workers move to find work in areas with a higher demand for labor. In the case of the “Great Recession,” however, the mass layoffs resulted in “muted migration,” according to other studies cited by the Journal, and workers simply fell out of the labor market.
“Unlike the aftermath of the 1980s and 1990s recessions,” Yagan wrote, “employment in hard-hit areas remains very depressed relative to the rest of the country.” Living in areas like Phoenix, Arizona, or Las Vegas, Nevada means confronting “enduring joblessness and exacerbated inequality,” Yagan wrote. “If the latest convergence speed continues, employment differences across the United States are estimated to return to normal in the 2020s—more than a decade after the Great Recession.”
The lack of decent job opportunities in large swathes of the country has created a reserve army of unemployed and underemployed workers who are competing for a shrinking number of jobs in areas that are more or less permanently distressed. Last month’s Labor Department employment report noted that the average annual unemployment rate in 36 states, plus Washington, D.C. was higher in 2015 than the average unemployment rate for those states in 2007.

The majority of unemployed people in the US do not receive unemployment insurance benefits, according to the National Employment Law Project, with just over one in four jobless workers (27 percent), a record low, receiving such benefits in 2015.

The details of these studies will come as no surprise for tens of millions of workers across the United States who face unprecedented levels of economic insecurity, ongoing mass layoffs, and more than a decade of stagnating or falling real wages. This has fueled the growth of enormous discontent and the initial stirrings of class struggle by American workers, which the trade unions and both big business parties have sought to channel in the direction of economic nationalism and hostility to workers in China, Mexico and other countries.

In fact, US workers are being subjected to the same attacks as workers around the world. The reports on the employment situation in the US coincide with a continual massacre of jobs in the world’s steel, oil and mining industries, with 1.2 million steel and coal mining jobs targeted for destruction in China alone.

Continual layoffs in the US have been driven by the plunging price of steel, petroleum, coal and other commodities, which has been generated in large measure by the fall in demand from China and other so-called emerging economies. Last week, St. Louis, Missouri-based Peabody Energy, the largest coal mining company in the world, announced it could soon file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, after its share values fell 46 percent over the last six months.

Peabody has already cut 20 percent of its global workforce since 2012, while spinning off large sections of its operations in order to cheat retirees out of their pensions. The company’s announcement follows bankruptcy filings by both Arch Coal and Alpha Natural Resources and a similar threat from coal mining giant Foresight Energy. In its press release, Peabody pointed to the collapse in the coal market, where the price per ton has fallen to $40 from $200 in 2008.

The steel industry continues to wipe out jobs, with 12,000 steelworkers already laid off or facing imminent job cuts. The largest US steelmaker, US Steel, has slashed thousands of jobs in Texas, Illinois, Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania. The aluminum giant Alcoa is just weeks away from closing its smelter in Warrick County, Indiana, wiping out another 600 jobs. Meanwhile, the United Steelworkers (USW) union is pushing for protectionist measures against China, Brazil, Russia and other countries, even as it pushes through concession-laden contracts at US Steel, Allegheny Technologies and now ArcelorMittal.

Early last year, the USW betrayed the strike by thousands of oil refinery workers, blocking any struggle against the brutal restructuring of the industry that is now underway. The plunging of oil prices triggered more than 258,000 layoffs in the global energy industry in 2015—with the number of active oil and gas rigs in the US falling 61 percent. Analysts anticipate a new round of job cuts and bankruptcies in early 2016.

Texas has lost 60,000 energy-related jobs alone, or one-fifth of the workforce in that sector in the state, with North Dakota and Pennsylvania also being hard hit. The current US unemployment rate for the oil, gas and mining sector is 8.5 percent, but could top 10 percent by February, double the national jobless rate.

Last month, the air conditioner maker Carrier announced it was eliminating 1,400 jobs at its Indianapolis plant and a nearby facility, and shipping production to Monterrey, Mexico where wages are approximately $6 an hour. A video shot by a worker, capturing the explosive anger at a meeting of plant workers when a manager makes the announcement, has been viewed millions of times.
Far from organizing any resistance to the closure of the factory and destruction of jobs, however, the USW is collaborating with United Technologies Carrier management to carry out an orderly shutdown and the retraining of displaced workers for lower-paying jobs.

The USW is hostile to any fight to unite American workers with their brothers and sisters in Mexico, who have been engaging in growing resistance to the exploitation by the transnational corporations. USW officials are telling workers to rely on the Democratic Party to implement protectionist trade measures to “save jobs” and “take our country back.” Local and regional union officials have had nothing but kind words about Donald Trump’s efforts to swindle workers with economic nationalist appeals.

The unions have long used economic nationalism to undermine the class-consciousness of workers and to promote the corporatist outlook of “labor-management partnership.” In the name of making the corporations “competitive,” the USW and other unions have suppressed every struggle against plant closings, job cuts and the destruction of wages and benefits.

This has coincided with the political subordination of workers to the Democratic Party, which under the Obama administration has spearheaded the attack on workers’ jobs and wages and the historic transfer of wealth from the bottom to the top.

USW Local 1999, which claims to represent Carrier workers, is urging them to support Democrat John Gregg for Indiana governor. A former land agent for Peabody Coal and lobbyist for Amax Coal Company, Gregg served as the honorary chair of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign in Indiana, and was a proponent of austerity and corporate tax cuts while Speaker of the state Legislature.










Strike 2: Bill Clinton again hits Obama and his 'awful legacy':

For the second time this month, 

Bill Clinton has slammed President Obama's economy, the latest a 

junking of his whole seven-plus years in office as an awful legacy. 

In comments video-captured and distributed by the Republican 

National Committee, Hillary Clinton's hubby said, If you believe 

we've finally come to the point where we can put the awful legacy

 of the last eight years behind us, and the seven years before 

that...then you should vote for her. A quick calculation of his years 

would mean that the gravy years were when he was president.



The strangled American middle class


Wall Street's Looters, the Mexican Fascist 

Party of LA RAZA "The Race", and both 

corporate bought and owned political parties!

more here:





Why Washington’s Political Class Is Losing Control

Unless the political establishment is willing to learn from the anger felt by millions of Americans who feel left behind, this will not end in November. (Photo: istockphoto)

The Washington political establishment has hit the panic button. Not because they are afraid of any one individual or candidate, but because they are afraid of losing their own political power.

The Washington political establishment
has hit the panic button.

This town is filled with well intentioned people who believe they are doing the right thing, but far too many have lost their way after years in Washington. Politicians pay more attention to special interests groups and powerful lobbyists writing checks to their next campaigns than listening to the people back home who sent them here in the first place.

This dangerous power vacuum has fueled frustration and 

created an entirely new breed of disenfranchised voters who 

are fed up with the status quo. These are real people, their 

anger is palpable, and it’s not going away anytime soon.

The Daily Signal is the multimedia news organization of The Heritage Foundation.  We’ll respect your inbox and keep you informed.

A recent survey of likely Republican primary voters showed that 86 percent believe that “people like me don’t have any say about what the government does.” Another recent exit poll in my home state of Georgia showed that six in ten Republicans felt “betrayed” by their political party.

This sentiment is something I heard countless times during my campaign for the United States Senate just over a short year ago. It is what pulled me to get involved personally to try and make a difference. But this is not just happening in Georgia. People across America are angry, frustrated, and scared because they feel as though Washington is not listening to them.
A growing number of Americans are more motivated by this feeling of frustration than any individual political ideology.
A growing number of Americans are more motivated by this feeling of frustration than any individual political ideology. The rise of career politicians has completely shifted the political paradigm from just liberal versus conservative. There is now a disconnect between the Washington political class and everybody else—the insiders versus the outsiders.

When most Americans look at the federal government, all 

they see is years of failed policies that have made life harder 

for them and their families, and a political class that is well 

connected and uninterested in giving them a say in how to 

right the ship.

People are still hurting, and they are weary of Washington’s penchant for business as usual.

Georgians sent me—someone who had never run for elected office—to the United States Senate to try and do something about it and change the system. In state after state this year, voters have voiced support for presidential candidates who are not part of the political class.

This is a growing movement, and it is bigger than any one candidate or election victory. Unless the political establishment is willing to learn from the anger felt by millions of Americans who feel left behind, this will not end in November.

True to form, though, political elites prefer tearing down individuals to understanding what created this movement. This movement of Americans wants nothing to do with Washington, and neither endorsements nor criticisms are going to change that.

No matter who our Republican presidential nominee is at the end of this process, one thing is clear: We cannot allow Democrats to double down on the failed policies of the last seven years.
A better course of action would be a candid examination of what can be done to regain the trust of the American people. Let’s start with simply listening to them.

 "Let’s start with simply listening to them"
















More free stuff for people who violate our immigration laws! Hillary Clinton and her daughter have teed up a ball for the Republican nominee, whether Trump or Cruz, to hit 400 yards down the fairway.  Just over a week ago, Hillary reversed her f...





Drug prices have also been a theme in the presidential campaign. The 

Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, for example, released a campaign 

advertisement earlier this month attacking the “predatory pricing” of 

Valeant Pharmaceuticals. Like the congressional hearing, this is all for 

show. Of all the presidential candidates, Clinton is the top recipient of 

donations from the pharmaceutical and health products industry, 

taking in $410,460 according to data from the Center for Responsive 




US drug prices doubled since 2011

By Brad Dixon
18 March 2016
According to a new report by the pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts, the average price of brand-name drugs increased by 16.2 percent last year. Between 2011 and 2015, branded prescription drug prices have nearly doubled, rising 98.2 percent. Since 2008, the prices have increased by a whopping 164 percent.

Drug spending rose by 5.2 percent in 2015. This was about half the increase seen in 2014, the year of the largest hike since 2003.

The report is based upon prescription use data for members with drug coverage provided by Express Scripts plan sponsors. In assessing changes in plan costs, the report distinguishes between the relative  contributions from changes in patient utilization (e.g. more patients being prescribed the drug) and changes in the unit price of the drug (e.g., price hikes).

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, most drug spending was on traditional drugs (small-molecule, solid drugs) to treat conditions such as heartburn, depression and diabetes. The recent trend has been a shift to specialty drugs. Still, within traditional therapy categories there were significant increases in spending on medications to treat diabetes, heartburn and ulcers, and skin conditions.

Diabetes medications remain the most expensive of the traditional drug categories. Drug spending in this category increased by 14 percent, with the hike being equally influenced by increased utilization of the drugs and rise in unit cost. Three diabetes treatments—Lantus, Januvia and Humalog—were among the top five drugs in terms of spending across all traditional therapy classes.

Although not discussed in the report, an investigation by Bloomberg News last year found evidence of “shadow pricing” by drug manufacturers, where companies raise their prices immediately after their competitors do so. The investigation found that the prices of diabetes drugs Lantus and Lemivir had increased in tandem 13 times since 2009, and evidence of similar shadow pricing for the drugs Humalog and Novolog.

Heartburn and ulcer drugs saw a 35.6 percent increase in spending, almost solely due to the rise in unit cost. Although 92.3 percent of the medications filled in this category were generic, the price unit trend was heavily influenced by the increase in prices of branded drugs such as Nexium, Dexilant and Prevacid.

Treatments for skin conditions also saw a significant increase of 27.8 percent in spending, again due almost completely to rises in the unit costs of the medications. The report notes that these increases occurred for both generic and branded therapies, largely due to industry consolidation through mergers and acquisitions leading to less competition in the market. While 86.3 percent of the drugs filled were generic, many of the generic versions saw sharp increases in unit cost, including the two most widely used corticosteroids, clobetasol (96.2 percent) and triamcinolone (28 percent).

While the overall spending increase for traditional therapy classes was nominal (0.6 percent), the primary factor for the increase in spending came from specialty medications. Specialty medications require special education and close patient monitoring, such as drugs to treat cancer, multiple sclerosis or cystic fibrosis. Spending on specialty drugs rose by 17.8 percent in 2015. The report found that 37.7 percent of drug spending was for specialty drugs in 2015, and the figure is expected to rise to 50 percent by 2018.

Spending in this category was topped by inflammatory conditions—such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel diseases and psoriasis—which rose by 25 percent, driven by a 10.3 percent increase in utilization and 14.7 percent rise in unit cost. The average cost per prescription in 2015 was $3,035.95. The medications Humira Pen and Enbrel, which captured more than 66 percent of the market share for this class, saw unit cost increases of more than 17 percent.

Spending on oncology therapies increased by 23.7 percent, due to both increased use (9.3 percent) and increased unit cost (14.4 percent). New cancer therapies average $8,000 per prescription and the average cancer regimen is around $150,000 per patient. Between 2005 and 2015, the anti-cancer drug Gleevec, manufactured exclusively by Novartis, has seen its price more than triple, with an annual cost of $92,000. In 2015, the year prior to the drug’s patent expiration, Novartis increased the unit cost of the drug by 19.3 percent. This is a common practice for companies facing patent expiration.
Drug spending on cystic fibrosis treatments rose by a significant 53.4 percent, largely based on increases in unit cost (40.9 percent vs. 13.3 percent from patient utilization). This rise was largely due to use of the new oral combination therapy, Orkambi, which became available in mid-2015. The drug costs more than $20,000 per month.

The report forecasts that between 2016 and 2018 spending will increase annually by 7-8 percent for traditional drugs and around 17 percent for specialty drugs.

The prices of generic drugs have on average decreased, although there are notable exceptions. Pharmaceutical companies like Horizon Pharma, Turing Pharmaceuticals, and Valeant Pharmaceuticals have purchased generic drugs and then significantly hiked their prices.

The report notes the emergence of “captive pharmacies” in 2015 as another factor responsible for higher drug spending. Captive pharmacies are owned or operated by pharmaceutical manufacturers and tend to promote their manufacturer’s drugs, rather than generic or other low-cost alternatives. The report gives as examples the arrangements between Valeant Pharmaceuticals and Philidor Rx Services, and between Horizon Pharma and Linden Care Pharmacy.

The Express Scripts data matches the findings released earlier this year by the Truveris OneRx National Drug Index, which found that branded drugs rose by 14.8 percent in 2015.

Despite the widespread media publicity of the notorious drug price hikes by companies like Turing and Valeant, pharmaceutical companies have continued to inflate prices in 2016, with Pfizer leading the way with an average price hike of 10.6 percent for 60 of its branded drugs.

Workers are rightly outraged at the skyrocketing price of drugs. A Kaiser Family Foundation poll conducted last year found that 74 percent of respondents felt that the drug companies put profits before people.

The political establishment, however, has sought both to exploit this anger for electoral support and to direct it into safe channels that do not disrupt the status quo.

A congressional hearing held in January placed a spotlight on the price-gouging practices of HYPERLINK Valeant Pharmaceuticals and Turing Pharmaceuticals, whose dubious activities were highlighted in a pair of congressional memos. The purpose of the hearing, however, was not probe the underlying causes of the sharp rise in drug prices. Instead, legislators sought to safeguard the profits of the pharmaceutical industry as a whole through a verbal lambasting of the industry’s most notorious culprits.

Drug prices have also been a theme in the presidential campaign. 

The Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, for example, released 

a campaign advertisement earlier this month attacking the 

“predatory pricing” of Valeant Pharmaceuticals. Like the 

congressional hearing, this is all for show. Of all the presidential 

candidates, Clinton is the top recipient of donations from the 

pharmaceutical and health products industry, taking in $410,460 

according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics.

Clinton’s rival, Bernie Sanders, who has stated that he will support Clinton if he loses the Democratic nomination, received $82,094 in donations from the industry. Sanders has proposed a series of minor reforms to address drug prices, such as the re-importation of drugs from Canada, allowing Medicare to negotiate prices with drug manufacturers, and decreasing the patent life of branded drugs.
None of the candidates, including the “democratic socialist” Sanders, challenge the private ownership of the pharmaceutical industry in which everything from research and development and clinical testing to drug pricing and promotion are subordinated to the profit interests of corporations.

.............. what would have happened to this once great nation if  

instead of handing billions in welfare to criminal banksters, and 

millions of our jobs to illegals.... we handed free education to 

America's youth.

but then we wouldn't need to import boatloads of educated people 

to take our tech jobs!!!





“My greatest worry is working all my life, constantly chasing debt 

and never being to own a house or have children,” writes a 

millennial named “Gemma” in a section of the series entitled 

#Itsnotjustyou: Millenials share their secret fears.” Continuing, 

she states: “The cost of renting privately is rising, the cost of 

travelling is rising, the cost of living is rising and yet the salaries 

don’t reflect this rise. … I am worried that capitalism is pushing 

this and creating a greater wealth inequality gap. It seems 

unsustainable and to be driving people apart—a recent example is 

the demonization of our own NHS service and the junior doctors.”

Study: Worsening conditions for young people throughout the developed world

Study: Worsening conditions for young  

people throughout the developed world

By Nick Barrickman
15 March 2016
Incomes for young people born between 1980 and 1994 have hit unprecedented low levels in the aftermath of the 2008 financial collapse, according to a recent investigative series conducted by the UK’s Guardian publication titled “Millenials: The Trials of Generation Y.” The study draws on income statistics from eight of the world’s 15 most advanced economies, including the US, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, France, Italy, Spain and Germany to paint a picture of dimming social prospects for young people throughout the developed world.

The Guardian cites as contributing factors “a combination of

debt, joblessness, globalization, demographics and rising

house prices” which “have grave implications for everything

from social cohesion to family formation.” Whereas during the

1970s and 1980s people in their 20s averaged more than the

national income, the study found that young couples and 

families in five of the eight countries listed made 20 percent

less than the rest of the population today.

“It is likely to be the first time in industrialized history, save for periods of war or natural disaster, that the incomes of young adults have fallen so far when compared with the rest of society,” the British newspaper states.

In the US and Italy, incomes were lower in actual figures than they were a generation ago, with Americans averaging a yearly salary of $27,757 in 2010 compared to $29,638 in 1979. The study notes that young US workers currently make less than those in retirement. In France, households headed by individuals under the age of 50 made less disposable income than recent retirees. In Italy, an 80-year-old pensioner possesses more income than someone under the age of 35.

In many cases, the 2008 financial collapse simply accelerated trends that were already underway. Housing prices in Great Britain and Australia are among the most expensive in the developed world. The average price for a home in Sydney, Australia, is $1 million in Australian dollars, more than 12 times the median household income in the city. The average home loan for first-time buyers in New South Wales is A$424,000. This figure has increased by 43 percent in the past four years alone.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, housing prices have increased more sharply and for a longer period in the past 20 years than at any time since 1880. The Guardian notes that housing costs in the UK and Australia have been increasing at a “neck and neck” pace ahead of the average household income. “We’re heading for a world where rates of home ownership among young people are below 50 percent for the first time,” states Alan Milburn of the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, adding that the UK is heading toward becoming “a society that is permanently divided.” Income for those in their late 20s in the UK remain below levels seen in 2004-2005.

A recent survey by British polling firm Ipsos Mori found that 54 percent of those questioned thought the next generation was or would be worse off than the previous. “It’s the highest we’ve measured—it’s completely flipped around from April 2003,” stated Bobby Duffy, managing director of Ipsos Mori’s Social Research Institute of the findings.

In addition, more than a quarter of individuals in this age group live with their parents. An average woman in this age group today waits 7.1 years longer to become married than in 1981; and the average age of childbirth for young families is nearly four years later than those in 1974.

“My greatest worry is working all my life, constantly chasing

debt and never being to own a house or have children,”

writes a millennial named “Gemma” in a section of the series

entitled “#Itsnotjustyou: Millenials share their secret fears.”

Continuing, she states: “The cost of renting privately is rising,

the cost of travelling is rising, the cost of living is rising and

yet the salaries don’t reflect this rise. … I am worried that

capitalism is pushing this and creating a greater wealth

inequality gap. It seems unsustainable and to be driving

people apart—a recent example is the demonization of our

own NHS service and the junior doctors.” Many others share similar nightmares.

The study comes amid other findings revealing similar declines in living standards for youth in the developed world. A 2013 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report found nearly 30 million youth in the developed capitalist countries without a job or an education, the basic requirements for functioning in society.

The circumstances faced by young people throughout the world speak to a systemic breakdown of the social order in both the so-called developing and advanced countries, which has been compounded by war and militarism, consecutive attacks on living standards and cuts to social programs, which invariably hit the youngest and most vulnerable the hardest. Though not covered by the study, European nations such as Greece have been reduced to conditions unseen in the developed world, with youth unemployment at over 60 percent due to attacks on living standards demanded by the European Union and enforced by consecutive governments, both right and “left,” under Syriza.
The authors of the Guardian investigation, in an effort to divert rising anger away from the social system responsible for the poverty, destruction of living standards and attendant social misery, single out the relatively-better off living conditions of retirees in order to make a case for attacking pensions and other benefits accruing to the older generation. The publication quotes a recently published interview with Mario Draghi, head of the European Central Bank (ECB), who states “in many countries the labor market is set up to protect older ‘insiders’—people with permanent, high-paid contracts and shielded by strong labor laws. … The side-effect is that young people are stuck with lower-paid, temporary contracts and get fired first in crisis times.”

Rather than receiving expanded employment, pay and 

access to better living conditions, it is proposed that the 

young and the old fight over the rapidly diminishing 

resources made available by bourgeois public officials and 

the wealthy. While Draghi advocates attacking the pay and benefits of older workers, the ECB head has funneled billions into the hands of European banking institutions; recently upping the monthly total of cash infusions to €80 billion from €60 billion previously and adding to the wealth of the financial elite.

The fate of retirement benefits and wages under the profit-system is pointed to when the newspaper notes “pensioners’ incomes are likely to rise for at least the next decade, after which future generations will be unlikely to benefit [due to] a drop in home ownership, weaker private sector pension schemes and the expectation that state pensions will be less generous in the future.”





Then hand what is left of the American middle

 class the tax bills for bailouts and Mexico's 

crime wave in our open borders and LA 

RAZA "The Race" welfare state on our backs!

"The Clinton family charities have outsourced many U.S. white-collar jobs to foreign college graduates instead of hiring American college graduates."

Oops! Clinton Foundation outsourced tech jobs to

H-1B visa holders

The Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, which does “wonderful work” (if you ask Hillary), also has sought to hire a lot of foreign tech workers brought to the country under the H-1B visa program to fill jobs Americans supposedly can’t be found to perform.  Breitbart reports:

The Clinton family charities have outsourced many U.S. white-collar jobs to foreign college graduates instead of hiring American college graduates.

The outsourcing started in 2004 and it continues to this year. When asked if the foundation is still hiring foreign white-collar workers via the controversial H-1B visa program, Vena Cooper, one of the foundation’s  personnel officers, responded “We do.”

The foundations declined to answer questions from Breitbart News, but available data shows they sought to hire up to 130 foreign graduates.  That’s roughly half the number of 250 jobs outsourced by Disney last October, which has reignited political criticism of the middle-class outsourcing program. 

The 130 foreign graduates sought by the Clinton’s foundations were and are not immigrants. Instead, they’re temporary “guest” workers who fill outsourced professional jobs for up to six years. 

The Clintons’ foreign graduates have been hired via the H-1B visa program that also is used by Disney and U.S. corporations and universities to employ a population of roughly 650,000 young and cheap foreign professionals in businessdesignhealthcaresoftwarescienceeducationp.r. and media and pharmaceutical jobs. After their six years in the United States, most H-1Bs return
home with the work-experience and connections that help them compete against U.S. professionals in the global marketplace. 

The young foreign H-1B professionals are also used to push down average salaries earned by experienced and older American professionals. In turn, those salary cuts boost profit margins and company values on Wall Street.

Hey, those private jets and 5-star luxury hotels favored by the traveling Clintons don’t come cheap, so they’ve got to pinch pennies wherever they can.  And besides, a lot of their money comes from foreign sources, so
they’re just returning it to some of the home countries.

Read more:

Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Faceboo

US employment report: Payrolls rise, 

wages fall


By Barry Grey
5 March 2016
President Barack Obama seized on the February employment report, released Friday morning by the Labor Department, to tout the supposed “success” of his economic policies and paint a picture of a thriving US economy. The report, which showed a larger-than-predicted growth in private nonfarm payrolls of 242,000 jobs, confirmed that the US economy was “the envy of the world,” Obama told reporters at a White House appearance.

“The fact of the matter is that the plans that we have put in place to grow the economy have worked,” he boasted.” He derided “an alternative reality out there from some of the political folks that America is down in the dumps.” He countered, “America is pretty darn great right now.”

He did not attempt to explain why the “alternative reality,” which his labor secretary, Thomas Perez, attributed to “fear-mongers and fact-deniers,” is believed by tens of millions of Americans, whose anger over economic injustice is dramatically reflected in the current election campaign.

One does not have to look too closely at the Labor Department’s report, however, to get an idea of what is fueling the social indignation of working people in the eighth and final year of the Obama administration. Behind the top-line number for new jobs and the quasi-fictional official unemployment rate of only 4.9 percent, ongoing trends with disastrous consequences for the working class are evident. They account for two other important indices in the report: a decline in average earnings from the previous month of 3 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $25.35, bringing the increase for the year down to just 2.2 percent, and a fall in the average private-sector workweek of 0.2 hours to 34.4 hours, a two-year low.

These two figures arise from the fact that the vast bulk of new jobs created in February were low-wage and a huge percentage were part-time. The low-paying service sector—retail, bars and restaurants, health care—accounted for 245,000 jobs. The reality of recession in basic production was reflected in a 16,000 decline in manufacturing and the loss of another 19,000 mining jobs, bringing to 171,000 the total decline in mining since September 2014. The only better-paying industrial sector that saw an increase was construction, which recorded a gain of 19,000.

Another figure highlights the hollow and socially regressive character of Obama’s so-called “recovery.” The financial cable network CNBC pointed out that according to the Labor Department’s household survey, which is the basis for the unemployment rate figure (the figure on payroll growth is derived from a separate survey of business establishments), full-time jobs increased in February by only 65,000, while part-time positions increased by 489,000. This means that a mere 11.7 percent of new jobs in February were full-time!

These statistics point to the fact that the American ruling class, through its instrument, the Obama administration, has utilized the financial crash of 2008, for which it was responsible, to fundamentally reorganize the US economy, transforming it into a low-wage system. The millions of decent-paying jobs that were destroyed have been largely replaced by poverty-wage, part-time and temporary jobs.

The median household income has fallen sharply. Pensions and health benefits have been gutted, schools closed by the thousands, teachers and other public workers laid off by the millions. At the other end, the Federal Reserve and the US Treasury have pumped trillions of dollars into the financial markets, driving up the stock market and bringing the concentration of wealth at the very top to unprecedented levels. This is what Obama lauds as “success.”

Meanwhile, millions of Americans remain mired in long-term unemployment. The number of long-term unemployed, defined as without work for 27 weeks or more, was essentially unchanged at 2.2 million in February. This number has not shifted significantly since last June. The long-term jobless accounted last month for 27.7 percent of the unemployed, a far higher percentage than in any previous period categorized as an economic recovery.

A broader measure of unemployment that includes people working part-time but wanting full-time work and those too discouraged to seek employment registered 9.7 percent last month, nearly double the official jobless rate. There are, in addition, millions of people who have dropped out of the labor market and are not even counted in government employment reports.

While the employment-to-population ratio edged up to 59.8 percent and the labor force participation rate rose slightly to 62.9 percent, both measures remain extraordinarily low by historical standards.
The impact of soaring social inequality and falling living standards for broad sections of the population is reflected in a growing crisis in the retail sector. This week, sporting goods chain The Sports Authority filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and announced it was closing at least 140 of its 463 stores and laying off 3,400 of its 13,000 employees. This follows recent announcements by Walmart, Sears/Kmart and Macy’s of hundreds of store closures and thousands of layoffs.

Hillary Clinton repeatedly claims that she is the

champion of the little guy.  It has always been a

risible claim, but if any of her supporters 

(including at the Post) are actually paying 

attention to the scoundrel, this latest gambit ought

to disabuse them of the notion.  

The last refuge of the scoundrel Hillary

Samuel Johnson’s aphorism that patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel doesn’t apply to Hillary Clinton in her email scandal, because nobody – not even her die-hard supporters – would believe her if she said that she set up the private email server in the interests of the United States.  Rather, the last refuge of this scoundrel is to blame everybody else she dealt with at the State Department, in the process impugning not only her own close aides, but career diplomats and other nonpolitical professionals who deserve better.  

This strategy is reflected in the campaign’s current mantra that “everybody,” including former secretaries Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, at one time or another sent emails that were later determined to be classified.  A recent Washington Post analysis of Hillary’s released classified emails demonstrates that she directly sent at least 104 to various aides and officials, and that they too, including the current secretary of state, John Kerry, occasionally sent out emails through nonsecure servers that were later deemed classified.  However, what the analysis also shows is that these government officials, when they did use unsecured servers, at least used government accounts, which provide a measure of security, not a private home-brewed server like Mrs. Clinton’s.
The Post’s news editors must be popping a lot of Thorazine, because their coverage of Clinton is increasingly schizophrenic.  As longtime readers of the paper know, the news operation is considerably more left-leaning than the editorial side (which occasionally takes a more centrist view).  News stories are routinely slanted to present the most favorable liberal perspective and mock or demean opposing outlooks.  This tendency is apparent in the Clinton case as well.  The Post has broken some important stories in the email scandal, like the recent revelation that the Justice Department granted former Clinton I.T. aide Bryan Pagliano immunity.  And the Post’s most heroic figures, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, have separately suggested that the Clinton scandal is the real thing.  But since Hillary is the Post’s gal, they seeded the Pagliano report with expert liberal analysis that suggested that the immunity deal is either nothing to get excited about (a weird way to promote a scoop) or actually a good thing for Clinton, while omitting contrary interpretations

The Post’s analysis of her emails follows the same pattern.  On the one hand, the news that Clinton herself personally authored over 100 classified items cuts against her chosen narrative that she got a lot of emails and that she can hardly have been expected to actually read and analyze them all for security issues as she received them or passed them on.  On the other hand, the article goes out of its way to suggest that this was an endemic problem at State.  And strangely again, the explanation is rather contradictory.  We are told that the sending and receipt of classified information was the result of poor security procedures that preceded Clinton’s arrival.  But we are also told (in line with claims made by Clinton and her campaign) that there is a culture of “over-classification” in the government.  So which is it?  Were officials at State too lax about security procedures or too anal?  If nothing else, one thing this controversy demonstrates is that the Clinton State Department was pretty much a mess. 

But besides the country itself, which is now enduring yet more Clintonian malfeasance in the midst of a critical election, are many individuals that Clinton is cold-bloodily demeaning in an attempt to exonerate herself with the “everybody did it” canard.  This rests on the weak premise that other government officials – aides, ambassadors, career officials – occasionally misidentified information as innocuous or insufficiently sensitive to merit security classification.  There is little doubt this happened, and continues to happen, as government employees do their best to protect sensitive information but not bog the government down in layers of unnecessary security protocol.  But none of the officials identified in the Post analysis did this deliberately by establishing a private home-brewed email system to avoid State Department classification procedures entirely – and this no less, by the head of the State Department itself. 

The Post article anonymously quotes one poor soul (identified as a former senior official) whose good name has now been impugned as a careless operator: “I resent the fact that we are in this situation – and we’re in this situation because of Hillary Clinton’s decision to use a private email server.”      

Hillary Clinton repeatedly claims that she is the 

champion of the little guy.  It has always been a 

risible claim, but if any of her supporters 

(including at the Post) are actually paying

attention to the scoundrel, this latest gambit ought 

to disabuse them of the notion.  

Read more:

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The Hillary Clinton emails: A record of imperialist crimes

visit judicial watch org for more on hillary's 

crimes and corruption


















ILLEGALS.... cash in on speech fee bribes for

services well rendered to the 1%.

New study says entire regions of US will 

remain in slump until the 2020s

imperialist crimes

The Hillary Clinton emails: A record of imperialist crimes

By Tom Hall

7 March 2016
Last Monday, the US State Department published the last batch of declassified emails from a private, unsecured server used by Democratic

presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during her tenure as secretary of state. This latest release draws to a close a year-long review by US intelligence agencies of 52,000 pages of Clinton emails, ostensibly motivated by concerns over possible leaks of classified material.

To date, more than 30,000 emails dating from Clinton’s four-year tenure as secretary of state have been released to the public. Clinton played a central role in the prosecution of aggressive wars in Afghanistan, Syria and Libya as well as the carrying out of drone assassinations and other
illegal actions in a number of additional countries, including Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. Yet in its extensive reporting of the email scandal, the American media has virtually ignored the actual content of these emails, which contain a wealth of information about the day-to-day functioning of the Clinton State Department.

A review of even a small sampling of the emails, which are available on the State Department’s web site, reveals the reason why: the emails are a damning indictment of the criminal activities of not only Hillary Clinton herself, but the entire imperialist state apparatus, with the corporate-controlled media in tow. The emails could easily serve as evidence in future war crimes trials of Clinton and other top US officials.

One particularly revealing email from 2010, cited by the Interceptn web site but not picked up by the national media, recounts the experiences of former ambassador Joseph Wilson (whose CIA agent wife
Valerie Plame was outed by the Bush administration in retaliation for his criticisms of the war in Iraq) during a recent trip to Iraq in his capacity as an executive for a US engineering firm. The Obama
administration, elected by exploiting mass anti-war sentiment, continued the US occupation of Iraq for three years during Obama’s first term in office, when Clinton was secretary of state, prolonging a conflict that claimed more than 1 million lives. Since then, US troops have returned to Iraq, ostensibly to fight ISIS, as part of the US war for regime-change in neighboring Syria.

Wilson’s email begins: “My trip to Baghdad (September 6-11) has left me slack jawed. I have
struggled to find the correct historical analogy to describe a vibrant,historically important Middle Eastern city being slowly bled to death.Berlin and Dresden in World War II were devastated, but they and their populations were not subjected to seven years of occupation.”

Describing the rampant racism and sadism among US occupation troops, Wilson writes, “Shirts with mushroom clouds [for sale at a gift shop on a US military base at the Baghdad airport] conveyed the Baghdad weather as 32,000 degrees and partly cloudy. Others referred to Arabs as camel
jockeys and those were the least offensive… The service people don’t see themselves there to bring peace, light, joy or even democracy to Iraq. They are there to kill the ‘camel jockeys.’”

Hundreds more emails deal with the US-led proxy war in Libya, in which Clinton played a
leading role. As a recent series of articles in the New York Times confirmed, Clinton was the leading advocate in the White House for the clandestine arming of “rebel” militias comprised largely of Islamic fundamentalists, which comprised the main fighting force against the regime of Muammar Gaddafi.

One email from February 2011, written by a veteran diplomat before the launching of the US-NATO war that ended with the murder of Gaddafi, lays out proposals for the construction of a future “post-Gaddafi” political order in Libya. The memo recommends the use of the United Nations to lend political legitimacy to the imperialist carve-up of the country.

“A UN ‘hat’ for multinational/international assistance efforts could be effective,” the author states bluntly. However, the extensive involvement of Italy, whose participation in the war marked a return to the scene of its bloody colonial occupation, should, the author recommends, be “kept relatively low-profile.” Another email chain discusses how to disburse the tens of billions of dollars of frozen Libyan assets stolen by the imperialist powers during the regime-change operation.

Many other emails concern the organization and coordination of the Obama administration's drone assassination program, which has killed thousands in Afghanistan and Pakistan alone. “Twenty-two of the emails on Mrs. Clinton’s server have now been classified as ‘top secret’ at the demand
of the CIA because they discuss the program to hunt and kill terrorist suspects using drone strikes, as well as other intelligence operations and sources,” the New York Times noted two weeks ago, prior to
the latest release. “The emails [also] contain direct and indirect references to secret programs,” the newspaper added obliquely.

One such secret program was the bribing of high-ranking officials in the Afghan government by the CIA. “[The US embassy in Afghanistan's] line has been and will be the standard approach--that we refrain from comment on stories discussing intelligence matters,” one embassy official
writes in a 2010 email, in response to an impending New York Times story revealing that Muhammad Zia Salehi, head of the Afghan National Security Council, was on the CIA payroll. Later reports by the Times revealed that former President Hamid Karzai for years received shopping bags full of cash from the CIA on a regular basis.

Dozens of emails document the collusion between the corporate-controlled media and the State Department in containing the fallout from the release of US diplomatic cables by Wikileaks. In one
2010 exchange, Washington Post writer Craig Whitlock reaches out to the State Department to request “a mechanism to receive [the] State [Department's] input” before running a series of articles based on cables revealing the existence of a secret US drone base in the Seychelles Islands, off the coast of Somalia.

The exchange demonstrates that the major newspapers, including the Washington Post and the New York Times, provided the State Department with advance printed copies of every cable about which they planned to write, along with drafts to the White House, to be redacted or censored at their discretion. In a conversation between Whitlock’s State Department handlers, they note approvingly
that the practice “was extremely helpful in preparing our redaction requests, as well as anticipating what damage control we’d need to do in diplomatic channels.” Another email describes an editorial by the Washington Post calling for the prosecution of Wikileaks editor Julian Assange and
Chelsea (then Bradley) Manning as “helpful,” adding, “We’ll try and get pickup in [the] international media.”

Clinton also received hundreds of emails via her private server from Sidney Blumenthal, a
former advisor in the Bill Clinton administration, who served as the head of Hillary’s 2008 presidential campaign. Blumenthal, then an employee of the Clinton Family Foundation, functioned as a de facto back channel intelligence gatherer and advisor for Clinton, despite not
officially being a member of her staff. It was Blumenthal’s 2015 testimony to the House Select Committee on Benghazi, the Republican-controlled body set up for the purpose of torpedoing the
likely presidential run of Clinton, which revealed the existence of Clinton’s private email server.

Blumenthal sent Clinton a wide array of intelligence reports from foreign countries targeted by US
imperialism. In one email, he passes on concerns that Islamist militias in Libya might retaliate against the assassination of Osama bin Laden,using weapons obtained from the United States. In another, he recounts the furtive dealings between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Egyptian military to smother the Egyptian revolution, writing that the two will “continue to work together secretly in an effort to establish a stable government” and create “a secure environment throughout the country” for

In another email, Blumenthal advises Clinton on how to orchestrate the cover-up of the circumstances surrounding the assassination of bin Laden in a cross-border raid into Pakistan by US Special Forces. As a report by investigative journalist Seymour Hersh later made clear, the official version of bin Laden’s death was a collection of lies from start to finish.

“Show [the pictures of bin Laden’s body] to members of Congress in a special secure room,
something like when members were permitted to view Abu Ghraib pictures,” Blumenthal writes. “Each of them will emerge speaking to the national and local press on what they have seen… Having members of Congress testify to the reality of the photos will suppress any potential ‘Deather’ movement, that the administration has either fabricated the event or suppressed some aspect of it.”

What the ultimate out come of the Clinton email scandal will be is not yet clear. An FBI criminal
investigation into the emails is ongoing, with signs that the case might be headed to a grand jury. On Wednesday, a former employee of Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, Bryan Pagliano, who set up the private email server in Clinton’s home, was granted immunity by federal investigators as part of the investigation.

"As alarming as those numbers are, it's gotten a whole lot worse. 

It's the reason why in both 2013 and 2015 I introduced legislation, 

the "Remittance Status Verification Act," to fix this. I call this the 

"Wire Act" for short."

"My bill would require a fee on remittances for customers who 

wire money to another country but cannot prove that they are in the

United States legally. The fee would be used to enhance border 

security. Basically, we would be able to dramatically improve 

border security while making illegal immigrants pay for it."

"We also have evidence that many of those illegals who are 

remitting money are more likely to be illegal immigrant 

households receiving Social Security, health care benefits, 

unemployment insurance and/or stimulus money. Is it really fair for

those individuals to live off our tax dollars but send untaxed, under-

the-table money abroad?"









There are the billions of taxpayer dollars used to 

subsidize illegal immigrants' health care and education. 

There's the revenue we lose out on when illegal 

immigrants don't pay income taxes. And there's a less 

recognized pot of billions — the billions of dollars of 

earnings that illegal immigrants wire out of the United 

States with no tax or penalty.

more here:

We need to crack down on illegal immigrants 

wiring money out of the U.S.: We need to 

crack down on illegal immigrants wiring 

money out of the U.S.

"As alarming as those numbers are, it's gotten a whole lot worse. 

It's the reason why in both 2013 and 2015 I introduced legislation, 

the "Remittance Status Verification Act," to fix this. I call this the 

"Wire Act" for short."

"My bill would require a fee on remittances for customers who 

wire money to another country but cannot prove that they are in the

United States legally. The fee would be used to enhance border 

security. Basically, we would be able to dramatically improve 

border security while making illegal immigrants pay for it."

"We also have evidence that many of those illegals who are 

remitting money are more likely to be illegal immigrant 

households receiving Social Security, health care benefits, 

unemployment insurance and/or stimulus money. Is it really fair for

those individuals to live off our tax dollars but send untaxed, under-

the-table money abroad?"









There are the billions of taxpayer dollars used to 

subsidize illegal immigrants' health care and education. 

There's the revenue we lose out on when illegal 

immigrants don't pay income taxes. And there's a less 

recognized pot of billions — the billions of dollars of 

earnings that illegal immigrants wire out of the United 

States with no tax or penalty.

more here:

We need to crack down on illegal immigrants 

wiring money out of the U.S.: We need to 

crack down on illegal immigrants wiring 

money out of the U.S.
TSA Airport Credentialing Process 

Overlooks Terrorists, Criminals, and Illegal

Aliens on a Large Scale

By Dan Cadman
CIS Immigration Blog, February 16, 2016
. . .
Calculating those figures, it means that more than 16 percent of the individuals who were subjected to these secondary inquiries (which represent only a small fraction of the workforce) — and, as Roth notes, already recipients of airport clearances — were illegal aliens with no right to work. What's more, Roth also notes that airport authorities routinely fail to annotate their security credentials with the expiration date of aliens' employment authorization documents, meaning that such persons are routinely employed in sterile areas long past their legally authorized right to work.

Which raises the question: Why have rules not been written that simply preclude individuals with limited time authorizations on their work permits or, better yet, who are not legally authorized to live in the United States on a permanent basis, from being employed in secure areas of airports? Is this so onerous, given the importance of securing the safety of the traveling public?

But back to the immediate issue of TSA and its oversight of airport authorities doing the credentialing. There is obviously something seriously amiss.

Why, for instance, is E-Verify not being used in each and every application for credentialing?
. . .



Schools Undergo Comprehensive Immigration Reform

By John Wahala
CIS Immigration Blog, February 19, 2016
. . .
Given the obstacles they face, the poor academic performance of immigrant students is not surprising and has been well documented. English-language fluency, test scores, and graduation rates lag far behind. Some researchers have even called the situation a crisis that threatens democracy itself. But more troubling than slow academic progress is the way mass immigration is shifting the educators' focus. When resources and time are diverted from teaching, the quality of education deteriorates. Learning becomes secondary when teachers are trying to keep children safe and well-adjusted.
. . .

Border Surge Solution: Send ‘Em to Camp 

By Michelle Malkin

Human Events Online, February 17, 2016
. . .
As Brandon Judd of the National Border Patrol Council testified on Capitol Hill recently: “The cartels understood that the unaccompanied minors would force the Border Patrol to deploy Agents to these crossing areas in order to take the minors into custody. I want to stress this point because it has been completely overlooked by the press,” he told the House Judiciary Committee. The unaccompanied minors could have walked right up to the port of entry and requested asylum if they were truly escaping political persecution or violence. “Why did the cartels drive them to the middle of the desert and then have them cross over the Rio Grande only to surrender to the first Border Patrol Agent they came across?” Judd challenged.

“The reason is that it completely tied up our manpower and allowed the cartels to smuggle whatever they wanted across our border.”

This is just another maddening example of Obama’s warped priorities at work. Instead of building effective walls and enforcing our borders to prevent the coming illegal immigration waves manufactured by criminal racketeers, this administration rushes to build welcome center magnets that shelter the next generation of Democrat voters.
. . .

U.S. Failed Three Times to Deport Illegal 

Alien Who Murdered Woman

Judicial Watch Corruption Chronicles, 

February 18, 2016
. . .
Here’s what we already know from local media reports in Norwich, the city of about 40,000 residents where the murder occurred; the DHS agency responsible for deporting illegal immigrants, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), failed to remove Jacques at least three times dating back to 2002. As if this weren’t atrocious enough, Jacques spent 17 years in prison for attempted murder before authorities released him—instead of deporting him—in January of 2015, the Norwich Bulletin reports. Six months later the 41-year-old illegal alien convict stabbed 25-year-old Casey Chadwick to death. Police said Chadwick died of sharp forced injuries to the head and neck. Jacques is being held on a $1 million bond.

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated case. In the last few years illegal immigrants with lengthy criminal histories have been allowed to remain in the U.S. despite being repeat offenders. Judicial Watch has investigated several of the cases and obtained public records from the government. For instance, back in 2008 JW launched a California public records request with the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department to obtain he arrest and booking information on Edwin Ramos, an illegal alien from El Salvador who murdered three innocent American citizens. Ramos was a member of a renowned violent street gang and had been convicted of two felonies as a juvenile (a gang-related assault on a bus passenger and the attempted robbery of a pregnant woman) yet he was allowed to remain in the country.
. . .


"The Race" FASCISM

Univision News Howls 'Anti-Immigrant' at 

Proposed Wisconsin Laws

By Jorge Bonilla, February 12, 2016

Univision News' national broadcast continues to howl at any legislative attempt to protect local communities by enforing our immigration laws. The latest instance comes from efforts in Wisconsin.

Wednesday evening's newscast featured a story about two enforcement proposals recently filed in Wisconsin: one to ban sanctuary city policies, and the other to ban local governments from issuing official alternate ID's to illegal immigrants.

Anchor María Elena Salinas' introduction to the story was less incendiary than her late-night counterpart, which we covered last week. The "anti-immigrant" framing was presented indirectly ("activists say"...), as opposed to Ilia Calderón's direct indictment of Florida's HB675 (which overwhelmingly passed the House but seems destined to die in the Senate). Nonetheless, the screengrab above (which reads "anti-immigrant proposals") reflects a reversion to classic form.
. . .

Largest Civil Disobedience Action of the Century isn’t Anti-Trump, It’s Pro-Democracy


In an article published here Wednesday, Aaron Klein wrongly characterized Democracy Spring as an “Anti-Trump” campaign organized by “radicals…involved in shutting down Donald Trump’s Chicago rally.”

We want to set the record straight, make it clear where we stand on Trump, and reach out to the all the conservatives who agree with us that big money is corrupting our political system.
First, setting aside any opinions on it, the assertion that the Chicago disruption was the work of Democracy Spring is simply untrue. Over 100 organizations have endorsed Democracy Spring. Their independent actions (and funders – George Soros hasn’t given us a dime) are distinct from our collective effort.
Second, while the leaders, organizations, and the vast majority of participants in Democracy Spring have profound and severe disagreements with Donald Trump, our nonviolent, non-partisan campaign is not a response to him.
Nor is it a response to any single candidate, party, or election. Democracy Spring is a response to the corruption of our entire political system, a system dominated by big money and inaccessible to many Americans who face growing barriers to the ballot box.
No matter who you support for president this year, surely we can all agree that our elected officials should work for all of us – not just wealthy special interests and big campaign contributors. In fact, we know many voters support Trump because he calls out this corrupt system and claims to stand outside of it as a self-financing candidate.
To this, we say: we hear you. The 
system is corrupt. The economy is rigged. Big 
campaign contributors do pull the strings in 
Washington. Working people are right to be 
angry about trade policy and the betrayal of 
the middle class, working families, and the 
poor by an elite establishment that profits 
from the status quo.
But we also challenge Trump supporters to consider a few things. Our corrupt campaign finance system goes far beyond presidential races and will not change by simply electing a president who supposedly can’t be bought. Without serious policy solutions, whoever we elect Commander-in-Chief will still have to deal with 435 members of Congress who are more eager to appease their donors than their own constituents.
Trump has yet to propose any solutions that would ensure every member of Congress and candidate for local and state office in America are elected in a way that makes them, as James Madison wrote, “solely dependent upon the People as whole – not the rich more than the poor.” If our system only allows us to choose between candidates who are bought by billionaires and billionaires themselves, then it is not a democracy. It is plutocracy.
That is why more than 2,600 American patriots have pledged to risk arrest in Democracy Spring, a massive nonviolent sit-in at the U.S. Capitol this April. The campaign will force Congress to choose between putting hundreds of peaceful defenders of the republic in handcuffs, or simply doing their job and passing reforms to fix our broken system.
It’s true Democracy Spring is led by many organizations associated with the left. But there’s no reason it must remain that way. We are a nonpartisan campaign open to all. And conservatives and liberals agree when it comes to the urgent need for solutions to rebalance the system.
Last year, John Pudner, the political strategist who helped lead 
Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA)
’s 2014 upset over former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, launched Take Back our Republic to advance conservative solutions to the problem of money in politics. For example, Take Back supports tax credits for small donations to political candidates to encourage more people to become involved in the political process. The group also supports more disclosure of large donors to ensure voters’ right to know who is trying to influence their vote and their lawmakers.
In a recent column, Richard Painter, President George W. Bush’s chief White House ethics lawyer, explained why the current system fails to address the needs and concerns of conservatives. He wrote, “campaign contributions drive spending on earmarks and other wasteful programs — bridges to nowhere, contracts for equipment the military does not need, solar energy companies that go bankrupt on the government’s dime and for-profit educational institutions that don’t educate.” Moreover, he writes, “campaign contributions breed more regulation” as companies use campaign cash to win special legal advantages over their competitors.
Progressives would disagree on public funding to spur clean energy innovation and the characterization of more regulations as necessarily bad, but we stand fully with Painter on his core point: “[Today’s] system is a betrayal of the vision of participatory democracy embraced by the founders of our country.”
Indeed, there is an opportunity today for progressives and conservatives to stand together to defend our republic and win reform that will let us settle our other differences on an even, open playing field where the best ideas and the broadest support are what count – not the backing of a moneyed elite.
Yet – and allegiance to the values that truly make America a great country demand that we make this crystal clear – Donald Trump’s candidacy is making this kind of unity across differences incredibly difficult. We are a nonpartisan campaign but not an amoral one. We are compelled to speak (and I am confident that I can speak for us all) when I say that Trump’s statements, proposed policies, and threats of violence concerning undocumented immigrants, Muslims, the KKK, protesters exercising their First Amendment rights, and others have crossed a very serious line into the territory of fascism and hate speech.
America is better than this. Conservatives are better than this.
Democracy Spring is a nonviolent campaign and, in the tradition of the civil rights movement, will strive to reach out to our most bitter opponents. We will seek unity with all who agree that every American deserves an equal voice and a government of, by, and for the people. Rather than letting our differences divide us, conservatives and progressives of conscience should come together on this common ground and renew our republic.
Politicians from both parties broke the system. It’s going to take voters from both parties — and independents committed to neither — to force our representatives to fix it.
It’s time to demand that Congress listen to the people and pass common-sense solutions to return our government to us all.
Kai Newkirk is lead organizer of Democracy Spring.