Wednesday, January 18, 2017

AMERICA'S COLLAPSE INTO POVERT AND THIRD-WORLD CRIME TIDAL WAVES BORDER TO OPEN BORDER - Wealth distribution in the United States and the politics of the pseudo-left

THE IMPACT OF CRONY CAPITALISM AND OBAMA-CLINTON-TRUMPERNOMICS TO SERVE THE SUPER RICH


Wealth distribution in the United States and the politics of the pseudo-left

Wealth distribution in the United States and the politics of the pseudo-left

By Eric London
18 January 2017
A report published in December by University of California at Berkeley economists Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman reveals unprecedented levels of social inequality in the United States.
The report documents an immense redistribution of wealth over a period of several decades from the working class to the rich. The bottom 50 percent’s pre-tax share of national income has fallen from 20 percent in 1970 to 12 percent in 2014, while the income share of the top one percent has almost doubled to 20 percent. The wealthiest 1 percent now owns over 37 percent of household wealth, while the bottom 50 percent—roughly 160 million people—owns almost nothing, a mere 0.1 percent.
Though the Piketty, Saez and Zucman report focuses on the top 1 percent, the underlying data sheds light on another phenomenon that is essential to understanding American society: the role of the 9 percent of the population that falls below the 1 percent (the “next 9 percent”). This layer consists, broadly speaking, of more affluent sections of the middle class.
Among the pseudo-left organizations that orbit the Democratic Party, it has become popular to refer to the need to build a “party of the 99 percent.”
The call for a party of the 99 percent conflates the interests of the 9 percent of the population that falls just below the top 1 percent with those of the bottom 90 percent. In fact, a chasm separates these two social layers. The World Socialist Web Site has defined the pseudo-left as denoting “political parties, organizations and theoretical/ideological tendencies which utilize populist slogans and democratic phrases to promote the socioeconomic interests of privileged and affluent strata of the middle class.”
The material position of the next 9 percent
The next 9 percent is comprised of privileged individuals who possess net wealth of between $1 million and $8 million and whose household incomes are between $155,000 and $430,000. They are business executives, academics, successful attorneys, professionals, trade union executives and trust fund beneficiaries. Their social grievances are the product of their privileged position. In every index of quality of life—access to health care, life expectancy, water and air quality, housing and home location, college degrees, vacation time, etc.—they live a different existence from the bottom 90 percent.
Data from the UC Berkeley report shows that the next 9 percent owns more wealth than the bottom 90 percent combined. The next 9 percent’s share of national income increased from 23.1 in 1970 percent to 27.6 percent in 2014. Over the same period, the national income of the bottom 90 percent decreased from 65.9 percent to 52.8 percent. The share of national income of the bottom 50 percent was cut in half over this period, from 19 percent to 10.3 percent. (These figures refer to “pre-tax factor income,” defined as the sum of all income flows before pensions, taxes and transfers. These are the only value sets for which data on the next 9 percent is available.)
In terms of net wealth (that is, total possessions, as opposed to annual income), the next 9 percent has also seen an increase since 1970. However, its share of household wealth is declining, but that is due entirely to the immensity of the increase in the share going to the top 1 percent. The share of household wealth of the next 9 percent has declined from 42.5 percent in 1970 to 34.9 percent today. Over this same period, the share of household wealth of the top 1 percent has increased from 22.5 percent to 37.2 percent. The bottom 90 percent’s share of wealth has declined to just over one quarter.
The next 9 percent acquires its wealth in a manner that increasingly parallels the parasitic and speculative methods of the top 1 percent. From 1970 to 2014, the next 9 percent’s share of total fiscal income increased from 24 percent to 28.6 percent.
This increase parallels the financialization of the top 1 percent’s earnings profile (though at a slower rate), but contrasts with the bottom 90 percent, which relies less and less on stocks and capital gains. While the top 1 percent owns about 40 percent of all stock, about 70 percent is owned by the top 5 percent. In contrast, 53 percent of households own no stock.
The economic foundation of pseudo-left politics
The political outlook of the next 9 percent is based on this economic reality. In aggregate, this social layer owes its position to rising share values, the exploitation of the working class and the dominant global position of American capitalism. At the same time, it regards the 1 percent as having acquired an unfair portion of the spoils. The ideology and politics of the next 9 percent dominate at the universities, where many members of this social layer serve as professors, administrators and department heads.
The extent of the chasm separating the bottom 90 percent from the top 10 percent endows the next 9 percent’s struggle for privilege with a ferocious character. Figures from prior studies show that in the United States, the gross income of a member of the 90th percentile (i.e., the lowest end of the next 9 percent group) is nearly 60 percent higher than a member of the 50th percentile. The gap in terms of net wealth is much higher. The margin in the United States has expanded significantly in recent decades and far outpaces similar statistics in other advanced countries.
Brookings Senior Fellow Richard Reeves noted in his September 2015 article titled “The dangerous separation of the American upper middle class:”
“The American upper middle class is separating, slowly but surely, from the rest of society… For many, the most attractive class dividing line is the one between those at the very, very top and everybody else. It is true that the top 1 percent is pulling away very dramatically from the bottom 99 percent. But the top 1 percent is by definition a small group. It is not plausible to claim that the individual or family in the 95th or 99th percentile is in any way part of mainstream America.” Two further studies co-authored by Reeves provide insight into how this social distance has produced a high degree of social anxiety among the privileged next 9 percent:
“America is becoming a more class-stratified society… This separation of the upper middle class by income, wealth, occupation and neighborhood has created a social distance between those of us who have been prospering in recent decades, and those who are feeling left behind, angry and resentful, and more likely to vote for To-Hell-With-Them-All populist politicians,” one report notes.
Another study titled “Why rich parents are terrified their kids will fall into the ‘middle class’” explains: “As the income gap has widened at the top, the consequences of falling out of the upper middle class have worsened. So the incentives of the upper middle class to keep themselves, and their children, up at the top have strengthened.”
Identity politics and the next 9 percent
In the face of these powerful pressures, identity politics becomes an important mechanism for increasing status and financial position.
The main impact of racial politics, including affirmative action, has been the elevation of a small layer of minority groups into the next 9 percent and the top 1 percent. A study from the Pew Research Center showed that from 2005 to 2009, the share of total wealth held by the top ten percent of households among different racial groups increased drastically across races. The concentration of wealth is most acute among Hispanics, where the share of wealth controlled by the top ten percent rose from 56 percent to 72 percent over this period, and among blacks, where the figure rose from 59 percent to 67 percent.
The Piketty, Saez and Zucman report also shows that among the top 10 percent, the share of women has risen steadily over the past four decades to roughly 27 percent. But women make up only about 16 percent of the employed population in the top 1 percent. Among the most affluent, the authors write, “the glass ceiling is not yet close to being shattered.” This helps explain why women in the next 9 percent saw Hillary Clinton’s pro-war, pro-Wall Street presidential campaign as a vehicle for advancing their own struggle for wealth and privilege.
The party of the 99 percent vs. socialism
The pseudo-left opposes any politics based on an analysis of economic class. This is the political basis for the call by pseudo-left organizations for a “party of the 99 percent.” Socialist Alternative, for example, has called for the building of a “multi-class” party. It published an article in the aftermath of the US presidential election titled “We need mass resistance to Trump and a new party of the 99 percent,” which read: “We must start today to build a genuine political alternative for the 99 percent against both corporate dominated parties and the right so that in 2020 we will not go through this disaster again.”
The International Socialist Organization (ISO) has also called for “a mass, left alternative” comprised of “unions, movements and left parties.” It regularly advances the slogan of the “99 percent,” writing in 2014: “[W]e need a new party for the 99 Percent to confront the two parties of the 1 percent.” Other pseudo-left groups and publications like Jacobin and New Politics have echoed these slogans.
The use of this language is not accidental. The pseudo-left’s call for a “party of the 99 percent” serves two interrelated purposes.
First, the pseudo-left is seeking to subordinate the working class to the interests and grievances of the most affluent sections of the middle class, closest to the bourgeoisie. They are opposed to a socialist reorganization of society and even any measures that would significantly impact the distribution of wealth. Second, by employing empty “left” phraseology devoid of class content, the next 9 percent attempts to politically disarm the working class and channel social opposition behind the Democratic Party.
The pseudo-left’s orientation toward the Democratic Party is an essential component of its fight to advance its social interests. The Democratic Party is receptive to the use of race, gender and sexual orientation because it has rejected any program of social reform and instead appeals to the roughly 21 million people who comprise the next 9 percent as the constituency for a broader base. 
Clearly, the vast majority of the population does not have the same economic interests as those whose net worth is over $1 million. The wealthiest ten percent has acquired its wealth through the exploitation of the working class in the US and internationally. Vast levels of social inequality are not the product of an accidental process, but of definite policies implemented by both the Democratic and Republican parties and by their bourgeois counterparts around the world. Private profit is the product of the exploitation of the working class, and this is the rule under capitalism.
Extreme social polarization is an international phenomenon. A report published January 16 by Oxfam shows that 8 billionaires own the same amount of wealth as the poorest half of the world’s population, some 3.6 billion people. The wealthiest 1 percent own more wealth than the bottom 99 percent combined. A November 2016 Credit Suisse report showed that the top ten percent controlled 89 percent of international wealth.
The class analysis made here with regard to the “party of the 99 percent” applies to similar populist appeals by the pseudo-left in countries all over the world.
The working class comprises the vast majority of the world’s 7 billion inhabitants and produces all of the world’s wealth. It possesses immense potential power. But it can advance its own interests only if it is armed with an anticapitalist and socialist program based on the class struggle. In advancing the slogan for a party of the 99 percent, the pseudo-left is perpetrating a fraud aimed at preventing the development of such a struggle and preserving the capitalist system.

TIME TO DEAL WITH REALITY?


AMERICA UNRAVELS:


The Road to Revolution or Civil War II





“Behind this year’s surge is a toxic mix of cuts to social services, unemployment, hopelessness…”



DID BARACK OBAMA SERVE HIS CRONY BANKSTERS PAYMASTERS WELL?


"The US stock market is now valued at $26 trillion, the highest in history."




"Overall, share prices and profits of the big Wall Street banks are soaring, fueled by expectations of sharply higher profits under a new administration pledged to dismantle the 2010 Dodd-Frank bank regulatory overhaul and remove virtually all regulations restricting speculative activity and protecting investors and the general public from Wall Street fraud."
US banks report massive fourth quarter profits
By Gabriel Black
16 January 2017
Profits for the two largest US banks by assets surged in the fourth quarter, reflecting a rise in trading activity following the election victory of Donald Trump.
JPMorgan Chase profits increased 24 percent to $6.7 billion, while the bank’s revenue rose two percent to $24.3 billion, according to the quarterly earnings report released by the bank on Friday. The bank reported its best-ever fourth quarter trading business. It net income jumped 96 percent from a year earlier.
Bank of America’s fourth quarter profit shot up by 42 percent to $4.7 billion. The second largest US bank’s revenue climbed 2.1 percent to $20 billion, the result of a gain in interest income and loan growth.
Earnings for the country’s fourth largest bank by assets, Wells Fargo, fell 5.4 percent to $5.3 billion and revenue remained flat in the wake of a scandal over the bank’s practice of opening unauthorized customer accounts in order to meet aggressive sales targets.
Combined 2016 profits for Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo totaled $64.6 billion, some two percent higher than in 2015.
Overall, share prices and profits of the big Wall Street banks are soaring, fueled by expectations of sharply higher profits under a new administration pledged to dismantle the 2010 Dodd-Frank bank regulatory overhaul and remove virtually all regulations restricting speculative activity and protecting investors and the general public from Wall Street fraud.
The incoming Trump administration is also promising to sharply cut corporate taxes and personal income taxes for the wealthy. Its key economic posts are filled with Wall Street insiders, including Goldman Sachs alums named to at least five top positions. These include Steven Mnuchin as treasury secretary, Gary Cohn as director of the National Economic Council, and longtime Goldman lawyer Jay Clayton to head the Securities and Exchange Commission.
US financial stocks have been on a tear since the November 8 election, with total gains for the 63 largest groups hitting $459 billion. The financial sector has headed up a general surge in stock prices, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average increasing 8.9 percent since Election Day and nearing the 20,000 mark. The US stock market is now valued at $26 trillion, the highest in history.
The Dodd-Frank law is a largely token measure that has done virtually nothing to rein in the type of speculative and fraudulent activity that led to the 2008 Wall Street crash. Nevertheless, the big US banks have denounced it and lobbied against provisions that require them to maintain a bigger capital reserve and others that minimally restrict their ability to gamble with depositors’ money.
And while the Obama administration worked systematically to bail out the banks and make the financial oligarchy richer than ever, shielding the architects of the Great Recession from criminal prosecution, it did impose fines for some of the banks’ grossest swindles, including the sale of worthless subprime mortgage-backed securities, the rigging of key global interest rates such as the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor), drug money laundering, illegal home foreclosures and other illicit activities.
Now the banks are confident they will not even face such token reprimands for their reckless and often criminal pursuit of super-profits.
Trump is also expected to offer massive tax breaks to companies that invest in government-sponsored infrastructure projects. A spurt in growth and an anticipated rise in interest rates promise to increase the opportunities for the banks to realize higher returns.
This Trump boom will make the inevitable bursting of the stock bubble that much more violent. The fundamentals of the European, East Asian and American economies remain weak, with very low rates of reinvestment.
The massive profits reported by the American banks contrast sharply with the situation in Europe. The total profits of the three largest US banks for 2016, $65 billion, exceeds the combined market value of Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse, two of the largest European banks.
This reflects a sharp decline in the position of European banks relative to their US rivals in the aftermath of the 2008 crisis. Share prices for major European banks such as the Royal Bank of Scotland, Deutsche Bank, Barclays and UniCredit are below their pre-2008 levels.


BARACK OBAMA , HIS CRIMINAL BANKSTERS 

AND THE LA RAZA MEXICAN DRUG CARTELS….



There’s more than one way to destroy America’s 

white middle class!




HSBC laundered hundreds of millions and perhaps 

billions of dollars for drug cartels responsible for 

the deaths of tens of thousands of people over the 

past two decades. The bank transferred at least 

$881 million of known drug trafficking 

proceeds, including money from the Sinaloa Cartel 

in Mexico, which is known for dismembering 

its victims and publicly displaying their body parts.

THE DEMISE AND ULTIMATE DESTRUCTION of HILLARY CLINTON

"Hillary Clinton is a known liar, a criminal of monstrous proportions; others have gone to prison for crimes she has committed over and over: lying to Congress, lying to the FBI, violating national security laws by which she was bound as Secretary of State, etc. It's a long list."


Clinton, the candidate favored by most of Wall Street and the corporate elite and large sections of the Republican Party establishment, is seeking to assemble something akin, within the framework of the US political setup, to a grand coalition between the Democratic Party and the Republican leadership.

http://mexicanoccupation.blogspot.com/2016/10/clinton-preparing-bipartisan-government.html

Transcripts released by WikiLeaks of Clinton 

speeches to Wall Street bankers, for which she

received six-figure paychecks, show her 

praising the recommendations of the 2010 

Simpson-Bowles deficit-reduction 

commission, which called for sweeping cuts to

Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid; the 

elimination of 200,000 federal jobs; a tax on 

employees’ health benefits; and huge cuts in 

income taxes for the wealthy and corporate 

taxes.


“But what the Clintons do is criminal because they do it wholly at the expense of the American people. And they feel thoroughly entitled to do it: gain power, use it to enrich themselves and their friends. They are amoral, immoral, and venal. Hillary has no core beliefs beyond power and money. That should be clear to every person on the planet by now.”



Wikileaks exposes Obama’s bankster-infested

 

administration!


BARACK OBAMA …… the banksters’ RENT BOY!

 “Citigroup’s recommendations came just three days after then-President George W. Bush signed into law the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which allocated $700 billion in taxpayer money to rescue the largest Wall Street banks. The single biggest beneficiary was Citigroup, which was given $45 billion in cash in the form of a government stock  purchase, plus a $306 billion government guarantee to back up its worthless mortgage-related assets.”

MUCH MORE HERE:


“As president, Obama not only funneled trillions of dollars to the banks, he saw to it that not a single leading Wall Street executive faced prosecution for the orgy of speculation and swindling that led to the financial collapse and Great Recession, and he personally intervened to block legislation capping 
executive pay at bailed-out firms.”

“So when Clinton was hobnobbing with  Goldman Sachs CEO Blankfein in 2013, while  investigations of wrongdoing by Goldman and the other Wall Street banks were still ongoing, she was consorting with a man who belonged in prison.”


Report to Davos summit: Rising inequality threatens “market capitalism”
By Nick Beams
14 January 2017
The year 2016 was characterised politically by the emergence of deep hostility to the official political and economic establishment as a result of rising social inequality. This was manifested most sharply in the Brexit vote in Britain and the election of Donald Trump to the US presidency, with right-wing nationalist forces being the main beneficiaries to date due to the reactionary anti-working class policies of what passes for the political “left.”
This shift has found expression in a warning sounded by the World Economic Forum, which hosts its annual gathering of world business and political leaders in Davos, Switzerland next week. The annual “risks report” prepared for the meeting concludes that the growing concentration of income and wealth at the very top of society is the biggest single risk to the stability of the economic and political order over which the millionaires and billionaires assembling in Davos preside. The report identifies “rising income and wealth inequality” as the most significant force driving global politics over the next decade.
The report cites the weakness of the economic “recovery” following the financial crisis of 2008 as one of the reasons for the anti-establishment backlash, but warns that boosting growth is not sufficient to shore up the credibility of the capitalist system.
There is a need to revive growth, “but the growing mood of anti-establishment populism suggests we may have passed the stage where this alone would remedy fractures in society: reforming market capitalism must also be added to the agenda,” the report states.
It continues: “The combination of economic inequality and political polarization threatens to amplify global risks, fraying the social solidarity on which the legitimacy of our economic and political systems rest.”
The report notes that the policy of quantitative easing by the world’s central banks—the pumping of trillions of dollars into the global financial system—has “exacerbated income inequality” by boosting “the returns enjoyed by the owners of financial assets, while workers’ real earnings have been growing very slowly.”
Productivity growth has been slow to recover from the crisis and structural rates of unemployment remain high, particularly among young people in Europe, while in the United States there has been a marked decline in the labour participation rate, signifying that large numbers of workers are dropping out of the workforce.
The report points out that “in contrast to the pre-crisis era, when China’s rapid expansion bolstered overall growth rates, there is no market game-changer on the horizon,” with China in a gradual slowdown as its economy moves away from investment-led growth.
“In sum, it is difficult to identify routes that will lead back to robust global rates of economic growth,” the Davos report concludes.
In line with other studies, the report points to rising inequality in the US, with the incomes of the top 1 percent rising by 31 percent between 2009 and 2012 compared to less than 0.5 percent for the rest of the population.
“Middle-class income stagnation,” it states, “is particularly affecting youth; recent research shows that 540 million young people across advanced economies face the prospect of growing up to be poorer than their parents.”
In examining longer-term trends, the report dwells on the impact of new technologies associated with the advance of computerisation and the Internet. According to one study it cites, some 47 percent of jobs in the United States are at risk from automation, affecting more than 80 percent of low-income work.
“Technology is also contributing to the changing nature of work, with secure and predictable jobs giving way to more sporadic and short-term self-employment,” with research suggesting that the number of people in so-called “alternative work arrangements” in the US increased faster than overall employment between 2005 and 2015.
In fact, the rate at which this is taking place is increasing. A recent study has found that 94 percent of the 10 million jobs created during the Obama administration were temporary, contract or part-time positions, with the proportion of the workforce engaged in such occupations rising from 10.7 percent to 15.8 percent. The number of full-time jobs today is 1 million below the level at the start of the recession.
The increased use of technology provides the material foundation for the advance of living standards. But under the profit system, it is the means for driving down the living standards of the mass of the population.
According to statistics prepared by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and cited in the World Economic Forum report, up to 80 percent of the decline in labour’s share in national income between 1990 and 2007 was the result of the impact of technology. This trend will only have accelerated in the past decade.
The report warns that one way in which technological change could prove disruptive is via the labour market, with incomes pushed down and unemployment pushed up in affected sectors and regions, leading to “disruptive” social conditions. This is in line with the overall finding of the report that “the most important of global risks is the pairing of unemployment and social instability.”
While pointing to the rise of populist and nationalist movements, the report does not offer much in the way of in-depth analysis. But it does at least indicate one of the most significant factors, noting that “the economic policies of historically mainstream parties from the right and the left have converged in recent decades,” making it possible for “once-fringe movements” to rise by “portraying the established parties as part of the same technocratic political class, focused on self-enrichment.”
The overriding fear of the World Economic Forum, though not stated explicitly in the report, is that popular opposition will shift to the left. As other commentators have noted in this, the centenary year of the Russian Revolution, there is a parallel between the conditions that prevailed a century ago and those of today.
Summing up its findings, the report concludes that it is a “febrile time for the world,” where “deep-rooted social and economic trends are manifesting themselves disruptively across the world,” and “persisting inequality, particularly in the context of comparative economic weakness, risks undermining the legitimacy of market capitalism.”
The World Economic Forum, which begins in the alpine resort of Davos, Switzerland on Tuesday, will involve the usual round of networking by business chiefs, political leaders and the heads of NGOs, as lucrative deals are made and relationships established. Of course, it will produce no solutions to the deepening social, political and economic malaise. How could it, as the forces gathered there preside over the very social order that has produced the crisis?
But for the global elites, the taste of the champagne, the delicacy of the canap├ęs and the flavour of the haute cuisine may be somewhat tainted by the smell of death wafting up from the grave opening up before them.

TRUMP SIGNALS OBAMA’S  CRONY BANKSTERS THAT BETTER LOOTING IS UP AHEAD.


The chief motivating factor behind the rise on Wall Street is the understanding that the incoming Trump administration will not only carry out policies to benefit the financial elites, but that responsibility for implementing this agenda will be in the hands of some its foremost representatives.

TRUMP VOWS TO KEEP OBAMA’S CRONY BANKSTERS LOOTING
MNUCHIN: THE  FORECLOSURE  MACHINE!

The FDIC paid OneWest $1 billion, which Stein said went to “billionaire investors … to cover the close of foreclosing on working class, everyday American folks.”
“But the bank came under fire for its foreclosure practices as housing advocacy groups accused it of being too quick to foreclose on struggling homeowners. In 2011, dozens of demonstrators descended on Mnuchin's $26.5 million home in he wealthy Bel Air neighborhood to protest OneWest's eviction tactics, according to the Los Angeles Times.”

TRUMP VOWS TO SERVE THE RICH WITH SUPER OBAMA-CLINTONIMCS!

There is a vast chasm between this empty populist rhetoric and the personnel that Trump has selected to populate his government. The speech followed a series of cabinet picks, including billionaire asset strippers, Wall Street bankers, and dedicated opponents of financial and corporate regulations, public education and Medicare and Medicaid, to lead the Treasury, Commerce, Education and Health and Human Services departments.

THE TWISTED ROAD TO REVOLUTION CAME DOWN WALL STREET

FIRST

 OBAMA –CLINTONOMICS FOR THE SUPER RICH

"Between 2002 and 2015 annual earnings for the bottom 90 percent of Americans rose by only 4.5 percent, while earnings for the top 1 percent grew by 22.7 percent, according to the Economic Policy Institute. Under the Obama administration, more than 90 percent of 
income gains since the so-called “recovery” began have gone to the top one percent."

 http://mexicanoccupation.blogspot.com/2016/11/comes-revolution-class-struggle-in-us.html

  “Our entire crony capitalist system, Democrat and Republican alike, has become a kleptocracy approaching par with third-world hell-holes.  This is the way a great country is raided by its elite.” ---- Karen McQuillan THEAMERICAN THINKER.com

Eight men own same as poorest half of world: Oxfam
1
The wealth of the world's poorest 3.6 billion people is the equivalent to the combined net worth of six American businessmen, one from Spain and another from Mexico
by AFP16 Jan 2017

London (AFP) – Eight men own the same wealth as the poorest half of the world’s population, a level of inequality which “threatens to pull our societies apart”, Oxfam said on Monday ahead of the World Economic Forum opening in Davos.
The wealth of the world’s poorest 3.6 billion people is the equivalent to the combined net worth of six American businessmen, one from Spain and another from Mexico.
Picked from Forbes’ billionaires list, they include Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg who co-founded Facebook, and Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.
Oxfam pointed to a link between the vast gap between rich and poor and growing discontent with mainstream politics around the world.
“From Brexit to the success of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, a worrying rise in racism and the widespread disillusionment with mainstream politics, there are increasing signs that more and more people in rich countries are no longer willing to tolerate the status quo,” Oxfam said in its new report, “An economy for the 99 percent”.
The charity said new data on wealth distribution from countries such as India and China had prompted it to revise its own calculation, having said a year ago the wealth of half the world’s population was in the hands of 62 people.
Inequality will be among the issues topping the agenda as the world’s political and business elite meet in Davos from Tuesday until Friday, when 3,000 people will gather for the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum. 
“Responsive and responsible leadership” has been chosen as the theme of the summit, which organisers said was a response to a “backlash against globalisation leading to two surprising vote results and a rise in populism in the West”.
In its report Oxfam called for an increase in tax rates targeting “rich individuals and cooperations”, as well as a global agreement to end competition between countries to lower corporate tax rates. 
The charity also condemned lobbying by corporations and the closeness of business and politics, calling for mandatory public lobby registries and stronger rules on conflicts of interest.
http://www.breitbart.com/news/eight-men-own-same-as-poorest-half-of-world-oxfam/

 and the banksters suck the blood out of anything that moves!

"Food stamps have also become a major moneymaking market for some of America’s biggest banks."
"Profiting from poverty was apparently an 'important business' for JP Morgan."

Food Stamps: $1.3 Billion Spent on Junk Food, Soft Drinks, Says Study

8
food stamps





AP

Overall, food stamps worth nearly $1.3 billion were spent on “sweetened drinks, desserts, salty snacks, candy, and sugar,” which accounted for about 20 cents of every dollar spent on food items purchased by 26.5 million households in 2011, said the report.
The USDA administers the $74 billion food stamp program, also known as SNAP or the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program.
The report compared spending patterns between SNAP and non-SNAP households and found that “sweetened beverages,” which includes fruit juices, energy drinks, and sweetened teas, accounted for nearly 10 percent of the total amount of money spent on food.
“In this sense, SNAP is a multibillion-dollar taxpayer subsidy of the soda industry,” Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University told the New York Times. “It’s pretty shocking.”
Overall, SNAP users spent 22.8 percent of their benefit on sugary drinks, desserts, salty snacks, candy, sugar, plus jams and sweets, and only 11.9 percent on fruits and vegetables. Families that don’t use the SNAP program spent 20 percent of their funds on those sweet items, and 16.3 percent on fruits and vegetables.
The multi-billion dollar, taxpayer funded food stamps program has become increasingly controversial thanks, in part, to its massive growth under President Obama.
More than 10.7 million more Americans — a 32 percent jump — have become reliant on food stamps to feed themselves since Obama took office in 2009, according to data released by the Department of Agriculture (USDA).
And in that time, countless studies have been published and health experts have warned that restrictions are needed to curtail food stamp use to purchase unhealthy foods. Government watchdog groups have also called for tighter regulations as food stamp fraud remains a common and costly problem.
Food stamps have also become a major moneymaking market for some of  America’s biggest banks.
Hundreds of millions of dollars have been made by a handful of banks that help the U.S. government process payments to food stamps recipients.
“Three companies – J.P. Morgan EFS, Affiliated Computer Services, and eFunds – provide EBT services for 49 states and 3 US territories,” an investigation by the Government Accountability Institute (GAI) found.
“Since 2004, 18 of 24 states who contract with J.P. Morgan to provide welfare benefits have contracted to pay $560,492,596.02,” the GAI investigation revealed. “New York alone has a seven-year contract worth $126,394,917.”
Profiting from poverty was apparently an “important business” for JP Morgan.
“This business is a very important business to JP Morgan,” Christopher Paton, the company’s former managing director of treasury services, told Bloomberg News in 2011. “It’s an important business in terms of its size and scale. We also regard it as very important in the sense that we are delivering a very useful social function. We are a key part of this benefit delivery mechanism. Right now volumes have gone through the roof in the past couple of years or so … The good news from JP Morgan’s perspective is the infrastructure that we built has been able to cope with that increase in volume.”
The president-elect has indicated that he wants to make cuts to various welfare programs and the Republican platform promises to separate the food stamps program from the Farm Bill, where SNAP funding is currently derived
Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter @jeromeehudson
ttp://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/01/15/food-stamps-billions-spent-junk-food/
Eight billionaires control as much wealth as the bottom half of the world’s population

Oxfam issues report on eve of Davos conference
Eight billionaires control as much wealth as the bottom half of the world’s population
By Nick Beams
17 January 2016
Eight billionaires, six of them from the United States, own as much combined wealth as the bottom half of the world’s population, some 3.6 billion people, according to the latest report on global inequality from the British-based advocacy group Oxfam.
The report was released Monday, on the eve of the annual World Economic Forum in the mountain resort of Davos, Switzerland, at which many of the ultra-rich will converge this week. The Oxfam document contains a range of figures that highlight the staggering growth of social inequality, showing that the income and wealth gap between a tiny financial elite and the rest of the world’s people is widening at an accelerating rate.
New data made available to Oxfam reveals that wealth is even more concentrated than the organization had previously believed. Last year, Oxfam reported that 62 people controlled as much wealth as the bottom half of humanity. In its latest report, the charity notes that “had this new data been available last year, it would have shown that nine billionaires owned the same wealth as the poorest half of the planet.”
Oxfam writes that since 2015, the richest 1 percent of the world’s population has owned more than the rest of the world put together, and that over the past quarter century, the top 1 percent has gained more income than the bottom 50 percent combined.
“Far from trickling down, income and wealth are being sucked upwards at an alarming rate,” the report states. It notes that the 1,810 dollar billionaires on the Forbes 2016 rich list own $6.5 trillion, “as much wealth as the bottom 70 percent of humanity.”
Over the next 20 years, some 500 people will hand over to their heirs more than $2.1 trillion, an amount larger than the gross domestic product of India, a country of 1.3 billion people.
Oxfam cites recent research by the economist Thomas Piketty and others showing that in the United States, over the past 30 years the growth in incomes of the bottom 50 percent has been zero, while the incomes of the top 1 percent have risen by 300 percent.
The same process is taking place in the world’s poorest countries. Oxfam notes that Vietnam’s richest man earns more in a day than the country’s poorest person earns in 10 years.
The report points to the systematic character of the siphoning of global wealth to the heights of society. The business sector is focused on delivering “ever higher returns to wealthy owners and top executives,” with companies “structured to dodge taxes, drive down workers’ wages and squeeze producers.”
This involves the most barbaric and criminal practices. Oxfam cites a report by the International Labour Organisation estimating that 21 million people are forced labourers, generating $150 billion in profits every year. The world’s largest garment companies all have links to cotton-spinning mills in India that routinely use the forced labour of girls.
Small farmers are also being driven into poverty: in the 1980s, cocoa farmers received 18 percent of the value of a chocolate bar, compared to just 6 percent today.
The extent of corporate power is highlighted in a number of telling statistics. In terms of revenue, 69 of the world’s largest economic entities are now corporations, not countries. The world’s 10 largest companies, including firms such as Wal-Mart, Shell and Apple, have combined revenue greater than the total government revenue of 180 countries.
Although the authors avoid any condemnation of the profit system per se, the information provided in their report amounts to a stunning verdict on the capitalist system. It highlights in facts and figures two central processes delineated by Karl Marx, the founder of modern socialism.
In Capital, Marx explains that the objective logic of the capitalist system, based on the drive for profit, is to produce ever greater wealth at one pole and poverty, misery and degradation at the other. In the Communist Manifesto, he explains that all governments are but the executive committee for managing the affairs of the capitalist class.
This is exemplified in the tax policies and other “business-friendly” measures undertaken by governments around the world. The Oxfam report notes that technology giant Apple is alleged to have paid a tax of just 0.005 percent on its European profits.
Developing countries lose around $100 billion a year as a result of outright tax dodging and the exemptions granted to companies. In Kenya, $1.1 billion is lost to government revenue every year because of exemptions, an amount nearly twice the country’s annual health budget.
Government tax policies work hand in hand with tax dodging and criminality. The report cites economist Gabriel Zucman’s estimate that $7.6 trillion of global wealth is hidden in offshore tax havens. Africa alone loses $14 billion in annual revenues because of the use of tax havens: enough to pay for health care that would save the lives of four million children and employ enough teachers to ensure that every African child went to school.
There is one significant omission from Oxfam’s discussion of accelerating inequality. It makes no mention of the critical role of the policies of the world’s major governments and central banks in handing over trillions of dollars to the banks, major corporations and financial elites through bank bailouts and the policies of “quantitative easing” since the eruption of the global financial crisis in 2008.
A discussion of these facts would raise uncomfortable political issues. The report opens by favourably citing remarks by US President Barack Obama to the UN General Assembly in 2016 that a world in which 1 percent of the population owns as much as the other 99 percent can never be stable.
But the very policies of the Obama administration have played a key role in creating this world. After rescuing the financial oligarchs from the results of their own criminal actions with massive bank bailouts, the Obama administration and the US central bank ensured their further enrichment by providing a supply of ultra-cheap money that boosted the value of their assets.
Under Obama, the decades-long growth of inequality accelerated, along with the descent of the ruling class into parasitism and criminality. He paved the way for the financial oligarchy to directly seize the reins of power, embodied in the imminent presidency of casino and real estate billionaire Donald Trump, to whom Obama will hand over the keys to the White House on Friday.
The overriding motivation behind the Oxfam report is fear of the political consequences of ever-rising inequality and a desire to deflect mounting anger over its consequences into harmless channels. It advances the perspective of a “human economy,” but maintains that this can be achieved on the basis of the capitalist market, provided corporations and governments change their mindsets.
The absurdity of this perspective, based on the long-discredited outlook of British Fabianism, which has dominated the thinking of the English middle classes for well over a century, can be seen from the fact that the report is directed to the global financial elites gathered at the Davos summit this week, with a call for them to change their ways.
The bankruptcy of this outlook is demonstrated not only by present-day facts and figures, but by historical experience. A quarter century ago, following the liquidation of the Soviet Union, the air was filled with capitalist triumphalism. Freed from the encumbrance of the USSR, and able to dominate the globe, liberal capitalist democracy was going to show humanity what it could do.
And it certainly has, creating a world marked by ever-rising inequality, the accumulation of wealth to truly obscene levels, oppression and anti-democratic forms of rule, criminality at the very heights of society, and the increasingly ominous prospect of a third world war.
This history brings into focus another anniversary: the centenary of the Russian Revolution. Despite its subsequent betrayal at the hands of the Stalinist bureaucracy, the Russian Revolution demonstrated imperishably, and for all time, that a world beyond capitalism and all its social ills and malignancies is both possible and necessary. Its lessons must inform the guiding perspective for the immense social struggles that are going to erupt out of the social conditions detailed in the Oxfam report.

Eight men own same as poorest half of world: Oxfam
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The wealth of the world's poorest 3.6 billion people is the equivalent to the combined net worth of six American businessmen, one from Spain and another from Mexico

by AFP16 Jan 2017

London (AFP) – Eight men own the same 
wealth as the poorest half of the world’s 
population, a level of inequality which 
“threatens to pull our societies apart”, Oxfam 
said on Monday ahead of the World Economic 
Forum opening in Davos.
The wealth of the world’s poorest 3.6 billion people is the equivalent to the combined net worth of six American businessmen, one from Spain and another from Mexico.
Picked from Forbes’ billionaires list, they include 
Microsoft founder Bill Gates (A LA RAZA 
FASCIST PARTY DONOR FOR OPEN 
BORDERS) , Mark Zuckerberg (A LA RAZA 
FASCIST PARTY DONOR FOR OPEN 
BORDERS) who co-founded Facebook, and Jeff 
Bezos,  founder of Amazon.
Oxfam pointed to a link between the vast gap between rich and poor and growing discontent with mainstream politics around the world.
“From Brexit to the success of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, a worrying rise in racism and the widespread disillusionment with mainstream politics, there are increasing signs that more and more people in rich countries are no longer willing to tolerate the status quo,” Oxfam said in its new report, “An economy for the 99 percent”.
The charity said new data on wealth distribution from countries such as India and China had prompted it to revise its own calculation, having said a year ago the wealth of half the world’s population was in the hands of 62 people.
Inequality will be among the issues topping the agenda as the world’s political and business elite meet in Davos from Tuesday until Friday, when 3,000 people will gather for the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum. 
“Responsive and responsible leadership” has been chosen as the theme of the summit, which organisers said was a response to a “backlash against globalisation leading to two surprising vote results and a rise in populism in the West”.
In its report Oxfam called for an increase in tax rates targeting “rich individuals and cooperations”, as well as a global agreement to end competition between countries to lower corporate tax rates. 
The charity also condemned lobbying by corporations and the closeness of business and politics, calling for mandatory public lobby registries and stronger rules on conflicts of interest.

 and the banksters suck the blood out of anything that moves!

"Food stamps have also become a major moneymaking market for some of America’s biggest banks."
"Profiting from poverty was apparently an 'important business' for JP Morgan."

Food Stamps: $1.3 Billion Spent on Junk Food, Soft Drinks, Says Study

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food stamps




AP

Overall, food stamps worth nearly $1.3 billion were spent on “sweetened drinks, desserts, salty snacks, candy, and sugar,” which accounted for about 20 cents of every dollar spent on food items purchased by 26.5 million households in 2011, said the report.
The USDA administers the $74 billion food stamp program, also known as SNAP or the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program.
The report compared spending patterns between SNAP and non-SNAP households and found that “sweetened beverages,” which includes fruit juices, energy drinks, and sweetened teas, accounted for nearly 10 percent of the total amount of money spent on food.
“In this sense, SNAP is a multibillion-dollar taxpayer subsidy of the soda industry,” Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University told the New York Times. “It’s pretty shocking.”
Overall, SNAP users spent 22.8 percent of their benefit on sugary drinks, desserts, salty snacks, candy, sugar, plus jams and sweets, and only 11.9 percent on fruits and vegetables. Families that don’t use the SNAP program spent 20 percent of their funds on those sweet items, and 16.3 percent on fruits and vegetables.
The multi-billion dollar, taxpayer funded food stamps program has become increasingly controversial thanks, in part, to its massive growth under President Obama.
More than 10.7 million more Americans — a 32 percent jump — have become reliant on food stamps to feed themselves since Obama took office in 2009, according to data released by the Department of Agriculture (USDA).
And in that time, countless studies have been published and health experts have warned that restrictions are needed to curtail food stamp use to purchase unhealthy foods. Government watchdog groups have also called for tighter regulations as food stamp fraud remains a common and costly problem.
Food stamps have also become a major moneymaking market for some of  America’s biggest banks.
Hundreds of millions of dollars have been made by a handful of banks that help the U.S. government process payments to food stamps recipients.
“Three companies – J.P. Morgan EFS, Affiliated Computer Services, and eFunds – provide EBT services for 49 states and 3 US territories,” an investigation by the Government Accountability Institute (GAI) found.
“Since 2004, 18 of 24 states who contract with J.P. Morgan to provide welfare benefits have contracted to pay $560,492,596.02,” the GAI investigation revealed. “New York alone has a seven-year contract worth $126,394,917.”
Profiting from poverty was apparently an “important business” for JP Morgan.
“This business is a very important business to JP Morgan,” Christopher Paton, the company’s former managing director of treasury services, told Bloomberg News in 2011. “It’s an important business in terms of its size and scale. We also regard it as very important in the sense that we are delivering a very useful social function. We are a key part of this benefit delivery mechanism. Right now volumes have gone through the roof in the past couple of years or so … The good news from JP Morgan’s perspective is the infrastructure that we built has been able to cope with that increase in volume.”
The president-elect has indicated that he wants to make cuts to various welfare programs and the Republican platform promises to separate the food stamps program from the Farm Bill, where SNAP funding is currently derived.

Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter @jeromeehudson

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