Tuesday, August 8, 2017


"The top 10 percent of Americans now own roughly three-quarters of all household wealth."

"While telling workers there is “not enough money” for wage increases, or to fund social programs, both parties hailed the recent construction of the U.S.S. Gerald Ford, a massive aircraft carrier that cost $13 billion to build, stuffing the pockets of numerous contractors and war profiteers."

Devastating toll of hunger on US school children

By Patrick Martin 

8 August 2017
Hunger is a growing problem for US children and increasingly affects their performance in school, making it more difficult for them to focus on their classes or do homework. It also contributes to behavior and discipline problems.
This was the finding of a report issued last week by the anti-hunger charity Share Our Strength, based on a survey of 500 low-income parents and their teenage children in public schools. Some 325 teachers were also interviewed. “Low-income” was defined as at or below 185 percent of the official poverty line, or $45,417 a year for a family of four.
Among children in low-income families, 59 percent said they had gone to school hungry. In the richest country in the world, with the largest concentration of billionaires, one in six children faces hunger, some 13 million in all.
The survey found that 59 percent of the parents reported that their food ran out before they could buy more; 48 percent couldn’t afford to buy enough food each month; and 23 percent had been forced to cut the size of their children’s meals because of a lack of money.
Children were under increasing stress from hunger. Some 55 percent of children knew their parents were worried about running out of money for food, while 35 percent shared their parents’ fear. Among those teenagers in low-income families, 42 percent experienced sadness caused by hunger and 41 percent experienced anger for the same reason. Many teenagers reported deliberately going hungry to make sure that younger siblings could have enough to eat.
One 15-year-old told the survey, “I feel like real hungry is different. It’s like when your stomach growls. It’s like when your stomach is almost in pain for me. That’s what real hungry is.” A 16-year-old said, “My focus is different when I’m hungry. I’m gonna be thinking about which one of my classmates has food. I’m gonna be thinking about which one of them might share.”
Among low-income families, 92 percent had at least one adult in the household working full-time, part-time or in multiple jobs. Hunger is thus the byproduct not only of poverty, but of the precarious and contingent character of so many jobs and the lack of any meaningful social safety net. Among low-income parents, 64 percent said that a single unexpected large bill—a $1,500 car repair or medical expense—would make it difficult to feed their children.
Hunger is an increasingly serious obstacle to learning. Among teachers questioned in the survey, 92 percent said that hunger had an impact on their students’ learning, 80 percent saw loss of concentration, 62 percent saw behavior problems, and 47 percent saw students suffering additional health problems.
Nearly three out of four teachers regularly saw students come to school hungry, and nearly two-thirds of teachers reported regularly buying food for students who were not getting enough to eat at home, spending an average of $300 a year of their own money.
Children had an overwhelmingly positive response to their schools providing breakfasts and lunches. Three quarters said school meals helped them feel better, pay more attention, behave in the classroom and get better grades.
Brian Minter, a spokesman for Share Our Strength’s “No Kid Hungry” campaign, said, “Hunger exists in nearly every community in America today. It’s an urban problem, it’s a rural problem, and it has come to our suburbs. It is also a solvable problem.”
He noted that programs like food stamps, school meals and WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children) had a major impact in alleviating hunger. But these programs are targeted for severe cuts, if not outright destruction, in the budget proposals of the Trump administration and congressional Republicans.
According to a report published Thursday by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), the House Republican budget plan, scheduled for a vote in early September, would slash $2.9 trillion from programs for low-income and moderate-income families over the next ten years.
This includes a cut of $150 billion from food stamps alone, a reduction of 40 percent. According to the CBPP, “A funding reduction of this magnitude would end food assistance for millions of low-income families, reduce benefits for tens of millions of such families, or some combination of the two.”
State governments would be enlisted to do the dirty work, by transferring to them the authority to reduce benefits and increase eligibility standards. The budget would also limit “community eligibility,” which allows schools in high-poverty areas to provide free school meals to all students without documenting the income of each individual student’s family. Cuts in low-income entitlement and discretionary programs account for half of all the cuts in nonmilitary programs proposed by the House Budget Committee, although these programs make up only one quarter of the federal budget.
The CBPP estimated that the Republican budget would cut the proportion of gross domestic product devoted to social spending for low-income and moderate-income families from 2.1 percent to only 1.0 percent in 2027, the lowest percentage figure since 1966, when the Johnson administration launched its so-called “War on Poverty.”
While the Trump administration and the congressional Republicans propose to deal with the deepening poverty and social misery by deliberately making the conditions worse, the Democratic Party offers no alternative. The Democrats are not demanding hearings over hunger or the impact of the proposed budget cuts.
During the month-long legislative recess, when senators and representatives sponsor political events in their states and districts to highlight issues of concern, the Democrats are focusing on allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 elections and alleged collusion by the Trump campaign as part of a broader effort to whip up a war fever directed against targets of the Pentagon and CIA, in the first instance Russia.
There are no events spotlighting the dire conditions of life for tens of millions of working people. As for the Democrats’ latest political offering, the so-called “Better Deal” program unveiled last week, it makes no mention of poverty, hunger, homelessness or even unemployment, proposing to use the power of the federal government to boost the interests of “small business and entrepreneurs” and defend “Main Street” against “Wall Street”—i.e., favor one section of business against another.






"La Voz de Aztlan has produced a video in honor of the millions of babies that have been born as US citizens to Mexican undocumented parents. These babies are destined to transform America. The nativist CNN reporter Lou Dobbs estimates that there are over 200,000 (dated) "Anchor Babies" born every year whereas George Putnam, a radio reporter, says the figure is closer to 300,000 (dated) . La Voz de Aztlan believes that the number is approximately 500,000 (dated)  "Anchor Babies" born every year."

 The NAS estimated the lifetime fiscal impact (taxes paid minus services used) of immigrants based on their educational attainment. Averaging those estimates and applying them to the education level of illegal immigrants shows a net fiscal drain of $65,292 per illegal — excluding any costs for their children.2

As city officials pontificate on the virtues of illegal immigration and vow to defy the sanctuary city warnings from Washington, follow the money. A few days ago, Fox News ran an exclusive about how illegal aliens cost the county of Los Angeles&nb...

August 8, 2017

As sanctuary cities fight Trump, follow the money




As city officials pontificate on the virtues of illegal immigration and vow to defy the sanctuary city warnings from Washington, follow the money.
A few days ago, Fox News ran an exclusive about how illegal aliens cost the county of Los Angeles $1.3 billion in handouts from the taxpayers over two years.
Illegal immigrant families received nearly $1.3 billion in Los Angeles County welfare money during 2015 and 2016, nearly one-​quarter of the amount spent on the county's entire needy population, according to data obtained by Fox News.
The data was obtained from the county Department of Public Social Services – which is responsible for doling out the benefits – and gives a snapshot of the financial costs associated with sanctuary and related policies.
The sanctuary county of Los Angeles is an illegal immigration epicenter, with the largest concentration of any county ​in the nation, according to a study from the Migration Policy Institute. ​The county also allows illegal immigrant parents with children born in the United States to seek welfare and food stamp benefits.
To say the least, it's a huge amount, and it points to the extent that Los Angeles has made itself a magnet for illegal aliens.
County officials and leaders often babble on about how everyone is welcome and the county serves people "no matter where they came from," as the mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, more or less put it the other day.  In other words, they do it because they are virtuous.  They do it out of the goodness of their hearts.  They do it because they are nice people.
A more astute observation from the right is that they do it to win the Latino vote, which generally goes Democrat.
But more importantly, they do it for money.
Going back to Los Angeles and its $1.3-billion fork-out to illegals, it's important to note where the lion's share of that money is actually ending up as illegals claim their benefits.
In the state of California, of which Los Angeles is a large part, most payouts to illegals go first to educate them, and then to jail them after they commit crimes, and then to pay for their medical care as they clog up emergency rooms and help themselves to Medi-Cal benefits from funds they never paid into.  Welfare itself rates a distant fourth.  The Los Angeles Times analyzes it this way:
Q: What about illegal immigrants? Could the state fix its deficit problem by cutting benefits to illegal residents?
No. State officials have estimated that services which go to California's illegal population add between $4 billion and $6 billion to state spending. The lion's share of that money goes to provide public education to children who are here illegally. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1982 that states must provide public school education to all children, regardless of citizenship, and the state has no option but to abide by that decision. The second-largest cost is for imprisoning convicts who are illegal immigrants. The budget-balancer includes an option for trying to save money by shifting those prisoners to federal custody, although past attempts to do that have failed. The third-largest cost is for medical care in emergency rooms, a portion of which is paid by the state. Federal law requires emergency rooms to treat all patients, regardless of citizenship. The state also provides welfare benefits to some U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants. In 2009, state officials estimated that denying those benefits would save about $640 million, but state lawyers said the move would probably be illegal because the U.S.-born children are U.S. citizens.
That said, the welfare benefits, at $640 million (the Times figure is a few years old), or $1.3 billion over two years, in Los Angeles County today alone, are not insignificant.  Supervisor Mike Antonovich, the rare right-winger found in those parts, has decried the welfare handouts to illegals that constrain the county's budget.
If the money is going to illegals for education, jailing, medical care, and welfare, each and every one of those handouts has a bureaucrat or other county employee behind it – many, in fact, administering and delivering services.  Los Angeles County's employees are among the highest paid in the nation, and the highest payouts go to medical and prison (sheriff) officials, as this chart shows here.  More illegals, more welfare, more bureaucrats employed.  So don't imagine that cities aren't making money off the misery of illegals  as they act to succor them.  The name of the game is drawing more of them in.
What's more, federal funding is often tied to how much a county spends on whatever it spends to deliver a service.  More services, more federal funds.  As the Times describes it:
The federal government pays up to 80% of the cost of some health and welfare programs, but in return sets minimum levels of state payments. If the state cuts below those minimums, it loses federal money. Other federal laws require the state to spend money on everything from prisons to universities.
The budget has some built in assumptions about the amount of money the state government will receive from Washington. If federal aid comes in above or below that assumed amount, that will alter the deficit projection. And most importantly, the deficit fluctuates with changes in the economy. California government depends heavily on income tax receipts from upper-income residents, and those tend to be volatile. State officials will release an official update on the deficit in May, but even before then, any of those factors could shift the projections by several billion dollars although not by enough to avoid either deep spending cuts or revenue increases.
What's needed now is a comprehensive study on how much money directly and indirectly counties make on illegal immigration.  It would explain why Los Angeles and Chicago are working so hard to attract illegals, and it's not the goodness of their leaders' hearts – it's money, big money, big government expansion, rolling federal dollars, and votes for Democrats.  Think of that next time you hear some mayor, bishop, or sheriff pontificate on the virtues of succoring illegal immigration at your expense.

LA made $1.3B in illegal immigrant welfare payouts in just 2 years

By Tori Richards
·        Illegal immigrant families received nearly 
$1.3 billion in Los Angeles County welfare 

money during 2015 and 2016, nearly one-​quarter of the 

amount spent on the county’s entire needy 

population, according to data obtained by Fox 


The data was obtained from the county Department of Public Social Services -- which is responsible for doling out the benefits -- and gives a snapshot of the financial costs associated with sanctuary and related policies.
The sanctuary county of Los Angeles is an illegal immigration epicenter, with the largest concentration of any county ​in the nation, according to a study from the Migration Policy Institute. ​The county also allows illegal immigrant parents with children born in the United States to seek welfare and food stamp benefits.
Robert Rector, a Heritage Foundation senior fellow who has written extensive studies on poverty and illegal immigration, said the costs represent “the tip of the iceberg.” 
He said the costs of education, police and fire, medical, and subsidized housing can total $24,000 per year in government spending per family, much more than would be paid in taxes.
“They get $3 in benefits for every $1 they spend,” Rector said.
The Trump presidency’s hardline immigration policies, though, may be playing some role in curtailing the population seeking welfare payments in recent months.
The same stats show Los Angeles County is expected to dole out $200 million less this year than in 2016, and several thousand fewer families are collecting benefits.
“The number of entrants nationwide is going down. The population is static if not shrinking,” Rector said.  
The welfare benefit data from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services shows:
·         More than 58,000 families received a total of $602 million in benefits in 2015.
·         More than 64,000 families received a total of $675 million in 2016.
·         During the first five months of 2017, more than 60,000 families received a total of $181 million.
·         Welfare and food stamp costs for the county’s entire population were $3.1 billion in 2015, $2.9 billion in 2016 and $1.5 billion so far in 2017.
Roughly a quarter of California’s 4 million illegal immigrants reside in Los Angeles County.
In 2013, California spent a total of $25.3 billion on illegal immigrants – or $2,370 per U.S. citizen household, according to a 2013 study by the Federation for American Immigration Reform. Texas and New York were second and third, at $12.1 billion and $9.5 billion, respectively. 
Former state Republican Party Chairman Shawn Steel blasted Los Angeles policies but credited Immigration and Customs Enforcement with stepping up deportations.
“The amazing thing is that everyone was expecting a big wall to stop [illegal immigration],” he said. “The decrease has been enhanced dramatically by ICE agents just doing their job.”
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, a proponent of the city’s sanctuary status, is a driving factor behind expanding immigrant benefits. He founded the Office of Immigrant Affairs shortly after taking office in 2013 to help immigrants navigate the maze of government benefits.
“Immigration is at the heart of LA’s story,” he said in a written statement. “LA’s become one of the world’s great cities by embracing immigration and diversity and we’ll continue supporting anyone who wants to work hard and invest in our future – no matter who they are, where they came from or what language they speak.”

Tori Richards is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles.

L.A.County's $48 Million Monthly Anchor Baby Tab
Last Updated: Wed, 08/12/2009 - 11:24am
Taxpayers in the nation’s most populous county dished out nearly $50 million in a single month to cover only the welfare costs of illegal immigrants, representing a whopping $10 million increase over the same one-month period two years ago.
In June 2009 alone Los Angeles County spent $48 million ($26 million in food stamps and $22 million in welfare) to provide just two of numerous free public services to the children of illegal aliens, which will translate into an annual tab of nearly $600 million for the cash-strapped county.
The figure doesn’t even include the exorbitant cost of educating, medically treating or incarcerating illegal aliens in the sprawling county of about 10 million residents. Los Angeles County annually spends more than $1 billion for those combined services, including $400 million for healthcare and $350 million for public safety.
The recent single-month welfare figure was obtained from the county’s Department of Social Services and made public by a county supervisor (Michael Antonovich) who assures illegal immigration continues to have a “catastrophic impact on Los Angeles County taxpayers.” The veteran lawmaker points out that 24% of the county’s total allotment of welfare and food stamp benefits goes directly to the children of illegal aliens—known as anchor babies—born in the United States.
A former fifth-grade history teacher who has served on the county’s board for nearly three decades, Antonovich has repeatedly come under fire for publicizing statistics that confirm the devastation illegal immigration has had on the region. Antonovich represents a portion of the county that is roughly twice the size of Rhode Island and has about 2 million residents.
Numerous other reports have documented the enormous cost of illegal immigration on a national level. Just last year a renowned economist, who has thoroughly researched the impact of illegal immigration, published a book breaking down the country’s $346 billion annual cost to educate, jail, medically treat and incarcerate illegal aliens throughout the U.S.
August 11, 2009—Figures from the Department of Public Social Services show that children of illegal aliens in Los Angeles County collected nearly $22 million in welfare and over $26 million in food stamps in June, announced Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich. Projected over a 12 month period – this would exceed $575 million dollars.
Annually the cost of illegal immigration to Los Angeles County taxpayers exceeds over $1 billion dollars, which includes $350 million for public safety, $400 million for healthcare, and $500 million in welfare and food stamps allocations. Twenty-four percent of the County’s total allotment of welfare and food stamp benefits goes directly to the children of illegal aliens born in the United States.
“Illegal immigration continues to have a catastrophic impact on Los Angeles County taxpayers,” said Antonovich. “The total cost for illegal immigrants to County taxpayers exceeds $1 billion a year – not including the millions of dollars for education.”

County Spends $600 Mil On Welfare For Illegal Immigrants
Last Updated: Thu, 03/11/2010 - 3:14pm
For the second consecutive year taxpayers in a single U.S. county will dish out more than half a billion dollars just to cover the welfare and food-stamp costs of illegal immigrants.
Los Angeles County, the nation’s most populous, may be in the midst of a dire financial crisis but somehow there are plenty of funds for illegal aliens. In January alone, anchor babies born to the county’s illegal immigrants collected more than $50 million in welfare benefits. At that rate the cash-strapped county will pay around $600 million this year to provide illegal aliens’ offspring with food stamps and other welfare perks.
The exorbitant figure, revealed this week by a county supervisor, doesn’t even include the enormous cost of educating, medically treating or incarcerating illegal aliens in the sprawling county of about 10 million residents. Los Angeles County annually spends more than $1 billion for those combined services, including $500 million for healthcare and $350 million for public safety.
About a quarter of the county’s welfare and food stamp issuances go to parents who reside in the United States illegally and collect benefits for their anchor babies, according to the figures from the county’s Department of Social Services. In 2009 the tab ran $570 million and this year’s figure is expected to increase by several million dollars.
Illegal immigration continues to have a “catastrophic impact on Los Angeles County taxpayers,” the veteran county supervisor (Michael Antonovich) who revealed the information has said. The former fifth-grade history teacher has repeatedly come under fire from his liberal counterparts for publicizing statistics that confirm the devastation illegal immigration has had on the region. Antonovich, who has served on the board for nearly three decades, represents a portion of the county that is roughly twice the size of Rhode Island and has about 2 million residents.
His district is simply a snippet of a larger crisis. Nationwide, Americans pay around $22 billion annually to provide illegal immigrants with welfare benefits that include food assistance programs such as free school lunches in public schools, food stamps and a nutritional program (known as WIC) for low-income women and their children. Tens of billions more are spent on other social services, medical care, public education and legal costs such as incarceration and public defenders.

Anchor Baby Power

La Voz de Aztlan has produced a video in honor of the millions of babies that have been born as US citizens to Mexican undocumented parents. These babies are destined to transform America. The nativist CNN reporter Lou Dobbs estimates that there are over 200,000 "Anchor Babies" born every year whereas George Putnam, a radio reporter, says the figure is closer to 300,000. La Voz de Aztlan believes that the number is approximately 500,000 "Anchor Babies" born every year.

The video below depicts the many faces of the "Anchor Baby Generation". The video includes a fascinating segment showing a group of elementary school children in Santa Ana, California confronting the Minutemen vigilantes. The video ends with a now famous statement by Professor Jose Angel Gutierrez of the University of Texas at Austin.

 The NAS estimated the lifetime fiscal impact (taxes paid minus services used) of immigrants based on their educational attainment. Averaging those estimates and applying them to the education level of illegal immigrants shows a net fiscal drain of $65,292 per illegal — excluding any costs for their children.2

Book Review: Another Day in the Death of America
A Chronicle of Ten Short Lives

Imagine that you did not grow up amid America’s gun culture but are still a member of the race which suffers the most from U.S gun violence? As Gary Younge, a black reporter who grew up in England demonstrates in a moving new book, it might cause you to ask hard questions other reporters duck.
Why are the deaths of poor or minority children all but ignored by society—as the 10 profiled in the book?
Why is “justice” seldom served–with half the perpetrators in the book’s deaths not even identified and others barely punished?
Why does discussion of U.S gun violence always center on human factors like bad parenting when other countries with the same problems have a fraction of our gun violence?
Nation Books">better-cover
Another day in the death of America by Gary Younge Nation Books
Fifty-three years after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy by a perpetrator who bought a mail order carbine rifle for $19.95, Younge chronicled the story of 10 young men who randomly were shot and killed on November 23, 2013. It was not easy reporting. Requesting an interview with bereaved and vigilant families is hard for any reporter, but people were especially suspicious of a black man “with an English accent,” Younge recounts.
Still, Younge fleshes together his stories from interviews with friends and families, police reports, social media and a reporter’s eye for location and detail. (In one neighborhood, there’s so much gunfire, the dogs don’t even bark anymore, he writes.)
The stories are unsettling and eerily similar. In several, families hold their loved ones while they die, sometimes awaiting paramedics. In several, there is no clear reason for the shooting or victims die from mistaken identities. In all stories, friends and family are tormented and mobilized for further violence, receive little support from authorities  and blame themselves, others, bad parenting, gangs, poverty, drugs–everything but the guns themselves.

Younge cautions at the beginning of Another Day the book is not about “gun control” but is about “what happens when you don’t have gun control,” and laws are blocked by the gun lobby. For example, when Smith & Wesson inked a “smart gun technology” deal in 2000, the NRA demonized them as “the first gun maker to run up the white flag of surrender” and blocked smart gun legislation. Smart gun technology could open “the door to a ban on all guns,” warns the NRA and sellers of smart guns have been threatened with death.
And consider what happened to the father of a young man who provided the gun in one death in the book. Though the father was a convicted felon and drug dealer legally barred from owning guns (including the one his son used to kill a playmate), he was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor and released on $2,500 bail.
Younge correctly pinpoints the self-defense, “frontier” narratives that fuel the gun rights movements. “Pick up a rifle, a pistol, a shotgun, and you’re handling a piece of American history,” he quotes Chris Kyle, the “American Sniper,” saying.  Kyle boasted of 160 confirmed “combat kills” in Iraq. “Take the gun up now, and the smell of black powder and saltpeter sting the air. Raise the rifle to your shoulder and look into the distance. You are not a target but a whole continent of potential, of great things to come, a promising future,” rhapsodized Kyle.
Yet the 10 deaths in Another Day and the 30,000 other U.S. gun deaths each year have nothing to do with self-defense, a “continent” under siege or a “promising future.” They reflect a nation awash in guns and gun deaths and a gun lobby that ensure both will continue by blocking gun laws.
Martha Rosenberg is author of the award-cited food exposé “Born With a Junk Food Deficiency,” distributed by Random House. A nationally known muckraker, she has lectured at the university and medical school level and appeared on radio and television.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Epoch Times.

"The top 10 percent of Americans now own roughly three-quarters of all household wealth."

"While telling workers there is “not enough money” for wage increases, or to fund social programs, both parties hailed the recent construction of the U.S.S. Gerald Ford, a massive aircraft carrier that cost $13 billion to build, stuffing the pockets of numerous contractors and war profiteers."

Ten facts Amazon workers must know about the corporation:

  1. Slave wages for Indian Amazon workers: Indian Amazon workers are paid as little as $233 a month. No wonder Bezos said he was “energized by optimism and invention in India” when he met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June. A 28-year-old Indian Amazon worker told the IAWV: “Multinational companies are exploiting workers as cheap labour in this country.” Amazon has 41 fulfillment centers in India. Read more: Amazon pays warehouse workers $233 per month in India

  2. Workers stuck in a freezer: AmazonFresh workers report that the company illegally keeps them in freezers for nearly three hours, with temperatures between 30 to -22 degrees Fahrenheit (-1 to -30 Celsius). “There are no clocks in the freezer,” one worker said. “Stopping to check for the time [on your cell phone] also slows you down—they never stop monitoring your pick rate.” Read more: AmazonFresh worker reveals: Amazon illegally keeps workers in a freezer for over two hours at a time

  3. Bezos’ wealth grows: Jeff Bezos is about to become the richest man in the world. With a total net wealth of nearly $90 billion, he needs just a few billion more to top Bill Gates. Bezos has made $22.4 billion so far in 2017, more than anyone else on earth. Read more: Amazon CEO Bezos makes $1.4 billion Thursday morning, briefly becoming world’s richest person

  4. Amazon’s empire expands: Amazon’s monopoly and domination of the world market is growing. Former Amazon executive Brittain Ladd told The Street that other corporations “will have a challenging future if they don’t embrace Amazon…That’s what will determine the winners and losers—who decides to work with Amazon.” This means conditions will worsen for workers across all industries, who will be subject to the same exploitation as Amazon workers.

  5. Amazon robs the elderly of their land: A Virginia power company is seeking to seize land from elderly black residents to build transmission lines for an Amazon data center. Amazon will not contribute a dollar to the construction—the proposed $62 million project would be paid entirely by residents. A spokesperson for the residents said, “No community should be made to sacrifice so much for one multibillion-dollar corporation.” Read more: Amazon to seize the land of freed slaves’ descendants to lay power lines

  6. Worker run over by truck: Workers reported to the IAWV that an Amazon worker in Tennessee died when he was run over by a semi-truck. “The Amazon Associates and the truckers share a parking lot at my plant,” a worker told the IAWV. “I think an accident is going to happen eventually.”

  7. Sweatshops and Warehouses: Nike has made an agreement to sell their apparel company’s goods on Amazon. The deal links Nike sweatshops, where workers in South East Asia make shoes and clothing for near-slave wages, with Amazon’s network of exploited workers at fulfillment centers worldwide.

  8. Speculating on Whole Foods-Amazon deal: Financial speculators are cashing in on the Whole Foods-Amazon deal. Jana Partners, an investment firm that owned a large chunk of Whole Foods, sold off its ownership share and made $320 million on the Amazon deal. The Street reported: “A Jana Partners official declined to comment.”

  9. Selling short on Wall Street:  According to a June article in Business Insider, “The ever-expanding juggernaut Amazon’s $13.7 billion deal to acquire Whole Foods spurred share losses in the likes of Kroger, Target, and Walmart, amounting to about $500 million of gains for short speculators last week alone.”

  10. Truckers fight back: In June, truck drivers and warehouse workers transporting Amazon packages went on strike against trucking companies that skirt minimum wage and insurance and benefits regulations by classifying them as “independent contractors.” The Teamsters union shut the strike down with no benefits won to placate Los Angeles’ Democratic Party mayor. Read more: The way forward for West Coast port truck drivers

Amazon Jobs Day: A Tale of Two Americas

By Eric London
2 August 2017
All across the US today, tens or hundreds of thousands of people will line up looking for work as part of the largest job fair in US history.
“Amazon Jobs Day” tells a tale of two Americas.
On the one hand there is Amazon, a corporation awash in cash, always expanding its monopoly, producing ever greater dividends for shareholders. Its stock value has tripled in the last two years, and CEO Jeff Bezos (net worth=$90 billion) is making $23,000 per minute, about the same as the average Amazon warehouse worker in the US earns each year. The financial oligarchy agrees with what Barack Obama said in 2016: “Now is the greatest time to be alive.”
On the other hand, living conditions are deteriorating for the working class. The net worth of the average working class family has nearly fallen in half since the 2007-2008 financial crash, and most workers don’t have enough savings to cover a moderate expense like new tires or new medication.
The job fairs are being held in some of the most economically distressed regions of the country.
Urban centers like Baltimore, Maryland and Buffalo, New York have been hollowed out by decades of job losses and population decline. Suburban areas like Etna, Ohio; Whitestown, Indiana; Romeoville, Illinois; and Hebron, Kentucky are among the most heavily impacted by an opioid crisis that killed roughly 60,000 people last year. Former industrial hubs like Fall River, Massachusetts; Robbinsville, New Jersey; and Kenosha Wisconsin were once home to better-paid manufacturing jobs, but are now being transformed into industrial parks for low-pay, low-benefit warehouse work.
The fact that many workers view Amazon warehouse jobs that net $15,000 to $25,000 per year as a step up from the minimum wage service industry is itself a sign that corporations exercise an unprecedented degree of domination over the lives of hundreds of millions of workers. Today, workers no longer have the eight-hour day, pensions, employer-provided health care, or cost of living adjustments in contracts.
The growth in poverty and economic hardship in the working class means the accumulation of wealth and privilege by the ruling class. The top 10 percent of Americans now own roughly three-quarters of all household wealth. The poorest half of the population—roughly 160 million people, own nothing—just 0.1 percent of US wealth.
The growth of inequality is the product of deliberate policies enacted by both capitalist parties, the Democrats and Republicans, which have carried out the same policies of bank bailouts, cuts to social programs, tax cuts for the rich, mass surveillance, the deportation of immigrant workers, and never-ending war abroad.
Trump and his cabal of fascist advisers, generals, and family members did not emerge from nowhere—his administration is the product of decades of war, reaction, and decay within the ruling class and all its official institutions. The present crisis within the administration, marked by high profile cabinet member firings and resignations and unproven allegations of “Russian hacking,” is a fight among the Democratic and Republican factions of the ruling class to control the government and dictate the foreign policy of US imperialism.
The fact that the working class has no allies in this fight is proven by where the two parties agree.
While telling workers there is “not enough money” for wage increases, or to fund social programs, both parties hailed the recent construction of the U.S.S. Gerald Ford, a massive aircraft carrier that cost $13 billion to build, stuffing the pockets of numerous contractors and war profiteers. In the name of the fraudulent “war on terror,” the ruling class has drained trillions of dollars on wars fought for corporate profit that have left millions dead and destroyed whole countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen.
Both parties have also expressed their desire to “cooperate” on a health care law aimed at boosting the profits of the insurance, hospital, and pharmaceutical corporations. Under the Democrats’ disastrous Obamacare program, millions are paying skyrocketing premiums for barebones coverage. The Republican proposals use Obamacare as a jumping-off point to make further cuts to workers’ coverage, including by gutting billions from Medicaid subsidies.
ions over the The wealth gap that separates the ruling class from the vast majority of the poplast 40 years. The primary role of the AFL-CIO today is to block strikes and prevent workers from linking up with one another in a common struggle for social equality.
Amazon and other corporations want workers to view one another—including those in line with one another at Amazon’s job fair—as competition. In reality, workers in the US and all over the world are linked by common class interests, regardless of their race, gender, nationality, religion, immigration status, or sexual orientation.
Amazon’s vast international supply chains, spurred by advancements in the areas of communication, transportation and engineering, are transforming social relations, linking the international working class in different industries together in the process of production like never before.
The conditions for bringing the world economy into harmony with the needs of the human race are already present. But under capitalism, these progressive tendencies are turned against the working class and society as a whole. The advances in technology and the global integration of production become weapons in the hands of the capitalist class to destroy jobs and living standards for the broad masses of people, while the conflict between the global character of economic life and the nation-state system of capitalism erupts in the form of militarism and war.
What is required is the socialist transformation of the world economy, expropriating the wealth of corporations like Amazon and turning them from for-profit exploitative giants into international public services, organized and directed democratically by the workers themselves.
Voice (Facebook.com/AmazonWorkersVoice), which exposes exploitative working conditions in Amazon fulfillment centers around the world and serves as a platform for organizing opposition among Amazon workers internationally.

Amazon’s Bezos passes Bill Gates as world’s richest person


July 27 (UPI) — Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Internet retail giant Amazon, overtook Microsoft founder Bill Gates as the world’s richest person on Thursday, according to a real-time ranking compiled by Forbes magazine.
A 1 percent surge in the price of Amazon shares accounts for the wealth Bezos has accumulated, at least on paper, enabling him to surpass Gates with $91 billion in assets on the Forbes list Thursday. Gates was listed with $90 billion.
Shares of Amazon have increased about 40 percent in the last year and have traded at over $1,000 per share during that time. According to regulatory filings, Bezos owns about 81 million shares of Amazon, accounting for roughly 17 percent of the company he founded.
Bezos also owns The Washington Post and the space exploration company Blue Origin, which he founded and funds with the sale of $1 billion in Amazon stock each year, according to The New York Times.
Gates’ wealth has also increased as Microsoft stock has enjoyed recent success. He still owns 191 million shares of the company, a 2.46 percent stake worth $14 billion.
Gates has diversified his wealth since stepping away from day-to-day leadership at Microsoft and now oversees Cascade Investments, the company he formed to manage his vast fortune. Cascade has a wide array of business interests, including private equity, public stock holdings and real estate.
The Forbes list does not count the money Gates has donated to his charitable organization, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, as part of his personal fortune.
Gates has been ranked No. 1 on the Forbes richest person list in 18 of the last 23 years.

Government gives Amazon millions in free money for Romulus, Michigan warehouse

By Robert Verdine
25 July 2017
Amazon has announced that it plans to move forward on the construction of a new warehouse in Romulus, Michigan after being confirmed for a grant by the State of Michigan’s “Strategic Fund Board” to the tune of $5 million in public city funds. This comes on the heels of the recent decision to give $7.5 million in corporate welfare for another Amazon construction project in the Detroit suburb of Livonia.
The new site plans on utilizing the existing metropolitan airport, which will also see large sums of capital invested as part of an economic partnership between the state and major corporate entities known as the Detroit Region Aerotropolis (DRA).
In addition, Amazon has its sights set on a third location in the Detroit Metro area in Shelby Township at the site of an old Visteon plant, an auto parts maker for Ford. The board of trustees for the Macomb County Brownfield Redevelopment authority and the township’s planning commission gave approval for the project last week. As stated on the township’s web site, a main component of the plan will be the granting of various tax incentives.
This past week, the Livonia City Council furnished Amazon with an industrial facilities exemption certificate approved unanimously by the board. The certificate would “provide an exemption from ad valorem real and/or personal property taxes on the property. The application turned in to the city earlier this summer requests the certificate for 12 years, the maximum amount allowed by the state,” hometimelife.com reports.
Other cities in the US rust belt are also making similar deals. The city of Cleveland is considering a similar package of tax and other various financial incentives for the redevelopment by Amazon of the Randall Park Mall site, formerly a major shopping hub whose retail anchors have been the main retailers put out of business by Amazon. Sears, Macy’s, JCPenney and Burlington Coat Factory were all former tenants.
This kind of economic arrangement is similar to deals Amazon has extorted all over the world. In 2013, the UK newspaper the Independent reported that “Amazon’s corporate tax bill was just £2.44 million – less than the £2.5 million it received from the Scottish Government in inducements to build a new distribution warehouse in Dunfermline.” The report goes on to detail some of the methods that Amazon and other multinationals use to avoid paying taxes on profits to government authorities.
“Amazon manages to pay only a tiny fraction of its profits in corporation tax because all sales to British customers are routed through a Luxembourg affiliate, Amazon EU Sarl,” the Independent writes. “It is funded by fees it receives from Amazon EU and since these only just cover operating costs, little is left over for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to tax. Amazon EU pays little tax in Luxembourg because it pays hundreds of millions of euros each year in fees to a tax exempt affiliate, also registered in Luxembourg.”
The company that Jeff Bezos founded in 1995 as an online bookstore now increasingly controls the fundamental infrastructure of the economy. Its Amazon Web Services division currently provides the computing backbone for much of the country, including the CIA. Its massive network of distribution centers and warehouses in every major US city has displaced local shipping industries. Amazon sales also increased 23 percent in the first quarter of 2017, climbing to $35.7 billion. On one day alone, July 11, 2017, the company reported that it sold $2.9 billion worth of goods.
While the ruling class claims that there is no money available to meet the most critical social needs of working people, state and local governments engage in a bidding war seeking to attract lucrative deals from large capitalist enterprises like Amazon and in the process drive down pay, benefits, and overall working conditions.
The online retail giant has received innumerable public grants from states seeking to lure the company into investing in capital in their regions. Fairfax County, Virginia has recently given a massive handout of $43 million for construction of a new distribution center. Last year, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf submitted a similar proposal, which was accepted by Amazon on behalf of Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development. The proposal included a $5 million dollar “First Program” grant and $15 million in tax credits. Massachusetts announced its own deal in April 2015 which included $14.8 million incentives and credits for Amazon warehouses.
Financial papers and journals have meanwhile touted the deals by Romulus and Livonia as a supposed boon to job creation. The reality is that Amazon is notorious globally for paying poverty wages and severely exploiting and abusing its workforce. Workers are given a stick-and-carrot routine, promised bonuses and education assistance when signing on, promises which are postponed and then reneged on time and time again. Ironically, the repurposed former auto plants that are being purchased and refitted by Amazon will provide jobs that pay less than half as much in starting wages as were formerly paid to autoworkers at these facilities.

Amazon CEO Bezos makes $1.4 billion Thursday morning, briefly becoming world’s richest person

By Evan Blake
28 July 2017
Around the time Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos woke up Thursday, he became the richest person in the world after making roughly $1.4 billion shortly following the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange. With an estimated net worth of $90.9 billion, Bezos briefly surpassed Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who had been the world’s richest person since May 2013.
Bezos’s fortune stems almost entirely from being the largest shareholder of Amazon stock, of which he owns roughly 17 percent. With the company slated to report strong earnings and growth in its quarterly earnings report released Thursday evening, its stock surged 1.6 percent shortly after the NASDAQ opened Thursday morning, reaching a high of $1,083.31 per share at mid-day.
The released earnings report, however, differed from what analysts had predicted and caused Amazon’s stock price to fall 3 percent to $1,012.68 in after-hours trading Thursday evening. The company reported earnings per share of only $0.40 cents per share, far below the predicted $1.42 per share. Bezos finished the day as the second richest person, trailing Gates by just $1.1 billion.
Under capitalism, the daily fluctuations of the market cause figures such as Bezos and Gates to win or lose hundreds of millions—or even billions—of dollars on an hourly basis, while the vast majority of the population struggles to survive.
The obscene amounts of money that Bezos accrued early Thursday and in recent years contrasts sharply with the low wages earned by Amazon’s global workforce. While Bezos netted $1.4 billion in his sleep, it would take 54,280 years for a graveyard shift worker in one of Amazon’s warehouses in the US to earn the same amount.
As the International Amazon Workers Voice (IAWV) reported last month, super-exploited Amazon warehouse workers in India make just $233 per month. Thus, it would take an Indian Amazon warehouse worker 500,715 years to earn the same amount that Bezos did overnight.
Coinciding with the rise of the stock market, Amazon’s stock value has skyrocketed over 40 percent this year alone. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Bezos has cashed in with $24.5 billion since January. In the past five years, a period of almost uninterrupted stock market boom, Bezos has made an astounding $70.4 billion.
Bezos’s wealth is so vast that it would be enough to end homelessness in the US and provide access to water and sanitation for the entire global population, according to figures from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
After a summer of skyrocketing share value, the company’s market capitalization surpassed $500 billion for the first time on Wednesday, joining the exclusive set of fellow tech giants Apple, Google and Microsoft.
Earlier this summer, Amazon began acquisition negotiations with Whole Foods, which also propelled Amazon stock and netted Bezos another $2.88 billion in a single day. The deal portends a massive shift in the grocery industry, as Amazon aims to introduce technology to make superfluous jobs that currently employ millions of people, including cashier positions.
On July 11, Amazon held its annual Prime Day event, a sales bonanza in which numerous items were discounted, including Amazon-produced technology like the Echo Dot. The company afterwards announced that the sales event was their “biggest day ever” in terms of overall sales—a 60 percent increase over Prime Day 2016. In the 30-hour time frame of the event, they surpassed their combined sales for Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2016 and added more Prime members than ever before.
The rise of Amazon and the billions accumulated by Bezos have been built upon the exploitation of its workforce worldwide, which faces brutal working conditions. Over the past few weeks, building up to and after Prime Day, workers at Amazon’s immense distribution warehouses have been under intense pressure to meet productivity requirements. Thousands of workers have been forced to work mandatory overtime, often at least 60 hours per week.
At most “fulfillment centers” across the US, inbound workers are already stocking up for the “peak” holiday shopping season and have continued to work mandatory overtime. Inbound workers have told the IAWV that they come home so stressed out from the thought of having to go back to work overtime the next day that they cannot fall asleep, creating a grueling feedback loop of overwork, stress and sleep deprivation.
Inside the facilities, workers are forced to labor under the intense summer heat. Workers frequently collapse from heat exhaustion, at which point they are simply advised to take a break and then get back to work.
This brutal exploitation is the real source of Amazon’s climbing stock value and Bezos’s soaring wealth. Without the labor of Amazon workers, there would be no profits. The wealth that Bezos has extracted from Amazon workers must be seized and redirected to meet social needs, not hoarded away in his private bank accounts and stock portfolio.
The way forward for Amazon workers requires that they form links with their coworkers internationally and fight to build independent rank-and-file committees, which will be used to unite with the international working class more broadly.






Amnesty would add 100 million more illegals and 

cost Legals trillions!

“The watchdogs at Judicial Watch discovered documents that reveal how the Obama administration's close coordination with the Mexican government entices Mexicans to hop over the fence and on to the American dole.”  Washington Times

 "A Mexican illegal alien allegedly raped a girl in Kansas in September after being deported ten times in the past six years alone, according to reports."

"Republicans should call for lower immigration to stop the Democrat voter recruitment.  But more importantly, all Americans should call for lower immigration in order to offer a better opportunity of finding jobs for those millions of their fellow Americans of all political persuasions who would like to work."

“What we're seeing is our Congress and national 

leadership dismantling our laws by not enforcing them. 

Lawlessness becomes the norm, just like Third World 

corruption. Illegal aliens now have more rights and privileges

than Americans. If you are an illegal alien, you can drive a car

without a driver's license or insurance. You may obtain 

medical care without paying. You may work without paying 

taxes. Your children enjoy free education at the expense of 

taxpaying Americans.”

“Part of the problem, Santorum said, has been the arrival of 

millions of unskilled immigrants — legal and illegal — in the 

United States. "American workers deserve a shot at [good] jobs," 

Santorum said. "Over the last 20 years, we have brought into this 

country, legally and illegally, 35 MILLION  mostly unskilled 

workers. And the result, over that same period of time, workers' 

wages and family incomes have flatlined." SEN. RICK SANTORUM

In the July/August version of the Atlantic, columnist Peter Beinart wrote an article titled, “How the Democrats Lost Their Way on Immigration.

“The next Democratic presidential candidate should say again and again that because Americans are one people, who must abide by one law, his or her goal is to reduce America’s undocumented population to zero.”

Peter Beinart, a frequent contributor to the New York TimesNew York Review of BooksHaaretz, and former editor of the New Republic, blames immigration for deteriorating social conditions for the American working class: The supposed “costs” of immigration, he says, “strain the very welfare state that liberals want to expand in order to help those native-born Americans with whom immigrants compete.”

llustration by Lincoln Agnew*


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