Tuesday, December 18, 2018


At the same time the top earners seem to accumulate all the wealth: in 2017 Oxfam reported that the top one percent secured 82 percent of all wealth while the bottom 3.7 billion who make up the poorest of the world saw no increase in their wealth. Favorable tax policies for the rich in the U.S. and France’s recently approved budget show signs of exacerbating wealth inequality in those countries, leaving people with scarce resources contributing greater amounts of their income to basic necessities like housing, food, health care, education, and transportation. 

"To secure these rights, the working class must be organized in a political struggle that takes direct aim at the wealth and prerogatives of the financial aristocracy. Capitalism, which ensures the inalienable right of the rich to profit, must be overthrown and replaced with socialism, the reorganization of society on the basis of equality and social need."



"The tax overhaul would mean an unprecedented windfall for the super-rich, on top

of the fact that virtually all income gains during the period of the supposed

recovery from the financial crash of 2008 have gone to the top 1 percent income


Macron Losing Police: Interior Minister Meets Unions as Cops Complain of Cuts, Strain, Threaten ‘Go Slow’


PARIS (AP) – France’s interior minister is to meet with representatives of police unions, following complaints about strained resources in the wake of five straight weekends of violent protests.

Christophe Castaner has said on Twitter that he is to meet union representatives Tuesday evening.
Two police unions complained Monday about working conditions and strained resources in light of the past few weeks of protests, which have seen officers sent in to clear road blockades and control demonstrations.
The Alliance union has urged the government to invest in law enforcement while calling for a work slowdown Wednesday to protest planned cuts in the national police budget.
Another union, UNSA, said its members would only provide minimum services Tuesday and has asked to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron.

Why Don’t We Riot Over Wealth Inequality?

by Alvaro Sanchez | December 8, 2018 

Tell people their gas taxes are going up and they will riot, literally. Tell people that 62 individuals hold the same amount of wealth as the 3.7 billion people who make up the poorest half of the world’s population and we don’t blink an eye. Okay, maybe we do a hard blink but 

we certainly don’t riot. Or perhaps gas tax 

riots are actually severe wealth inequality 

riots in disguise?
France has been embroiled in mass and violent protests to proposed diesel and gas tax increases that have forced France’s government to suspend its plans to increase taxes and to also immediately freeze prices on electricity and home heating fuel. The proposed taxes, meant to curb climate change by weaning motorists off petroleum products and to generate funding for renewable energy projects, were received negatively by several sectors of the French population. Their message carried out by the “gilets jaunes” (yellow vest) movement resulted in violent protests in Paris and caused four deaths.
A number of U.S. publications chimed in on the French protests claiming they show a Global Carbon Tax Revolt, claiming that people from Washington to Ontario to France are saying no to taxing carbon. But what they conveniently portray as a revolt on carbon taxes (which happens to match their ideological opposition to climate action) I see as a sign of frustration and impotence over massive wealth inequality.
Let me explain.
Wealth inequality has widened all over the world, leaving many people struggling who previously enjoyed more secure prosperity. In the U.S. and France the cost of living continues to increase while wages and earnings stagnate for most. At the same time the top earners seem to accumulate all the wealth: in 2017 Oxfam reported that the top one percent secured 82 percent of all wealth while the bottom 3.7 billion who make up the poorest of the world saw no increase in their wealth. Favorable tax policies for the rich in the U.S. and France’s recently approved budget show signs of exacerbating wealth inequality in those countries, leaving people with scarce resources contributing greater amounts of their income to basic necessities like housing, food, health care, education, and transportation. And when government needs to step in to rescue someone from economic collapse, it seems to only bail out corporations like banks, automakers, and utilities. Regular citizens do not seem to enjoy the same level of concern from decision makers about our economic well being.
But why do people riot over gas taxes and not massive wealth inequality? Because we feel the economic pain from a gas tax increase more intensely and immediately than structural systems that help a very small set of people to accumulate wealth. All people can understand a gas tax increase. Very few people can explain the income ramifications from the 2017 tax reform approved in the U.S., the largest tax reform of last 31 years.
In my opinion, the French gas tax riots stem from the same place as growing resentment towards immigrants globally, increased scrutiny over social welfare and entitlements, and growing right wing populist movements: scarcity. People wouldn’t riot over a gas tax if they could afford it. Instead, people in France are rioting and some media outlets in the U.S. blame it on the French elite supposedly pushing their climate agenda on the people. They are wrong.
My proof is California. In the world’s fifth largest economy, residents of California have made it abundantly clear that we want our state government to act on climate. We’ve been pricing carbon since 2013, collecting over $8 billion from polluters to invest in our state to fight climate change. In our most recent election we also soundly defeated an effort to repeal a gas tax approved by the California legislature in 2017, which has invested almost $10 billion to improve the state transportation infrastructure. And there is no sign of our residents slowing down our ambition and urgency to combat climate change, having recently approved an effort to generate 100% renewable energy by 2045.
And while all these actions are good news for climate policy and California, there are warning signs from France’s gas tax riots. California has not been able to address our own income inequality challenges, and while our residents continue to support ambitious government action to fight climate change we have to be very intentional about implementing strategies that fight poverty and pollution at the same time. In fact, we are not pricing carbon nearly high enough to ramp down our use of fossil fuels; so if we want California residents to continue to support our fight against climate change we must address income inequality. We must do this not so people can afford to pay higher taxes on fossil fuels but so that people can afford to live, work, play, learn, and prosper in a world that is healthy, resilient, equitable and thriving. Meaning a world free of fossil fuels.
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“Kansas City is getting more liberal now. The cancer is 

spreading everywhere!” Yesterday, a Townhall columnist 

wrote a steadied piece on the full-on Democratic takeover 

of Virginia in the last decade, too. I visited there last year—it 

felt like Los Angeles, only worse. Americans are finding 

that there are fewer places where they can flee from 

state’s oppressive governments. 

But Benioff’s cheap-labor importation plan would also shrink the income and careers sought by millions of American college graduates, many of whom will vote in 2020 for or against Trump. 

The nation’s workforce now includes roughly

1.5 million foreign college-graduate contract-

workers who are imported via the H-1B, L-1, 

OPT, O-1, J-1, and other visa programs. These

outsourcing workers are not immigrants, but 

instead, they are contract workers hired for 

one to six years, at lower wages, to take jobs 

that would otherwise go to American 


The Americans’ salary loss, however, would be a gain for the CEOs who see their profits rise and their stock options spike as middle-class salaries decline. 

"Vast popular hardship and suffering, on the one hand, and almost indescribable wealth and social indifference, on the other. Two parties of the corporate oligarchy, dedicated to war and political reaction. The impossible economic and political conditions must produce sooner rather than later the greatest social upheavals in American history."

"A series of recent polls in the US and Europe have shown a sharp growth of popular disgust with capitalism and support for socialism. In May of 2017, in a survey conducted by the Union of European Broadcasters of people aged 18 to 
35, more than half said they would participate in a 
“large-scale uprising.” Nine out of 10 agreed with the statement, “Banks and money rule the world.”

"A defining expression of this crisis is the dominance of financial speculation and parasitism, to the point where a arrow international financial aristocracy plunders society’s resources in order to further enrich itself."


It will more likely come on the heels of economic dislocation and dwindling wealth to redistribute.”

"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."
 “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

"A defining expression of this crisis is the dominance of financial speculation and parasitism, to the point where a narrow international financial aristocracy plunders society’s resources in order to further enrich itself."




the true cost of all that “cheap” labor is passed along to the middle class.


"This doesn't include the costs of illegal immigration to society, which provides health care, housing, education, child care, and legal services to illegal aliens.  Even though immigration advocates claim that illegal aliens do indeed pay taxes, the dollar amount pales in comparison to the cost of the many services they receive."




Meanwhile, despite the highest taxes in the nation, California is $1.3 trillion in debt – unemployment is at a staggering 11%.  California's wacko giveaways to illegals include in-state tuition, amounting to $25 million of financial aid.  Nearly a million illegals have California driver's licenses.  L.A. County has 144% more registered voters than there are residents of legal voting age.  Clearly, illegals are illegally voting


"A series of recent polls in the US and Europe have shown a sharp growth of popular disgust with capitalism and support for socialism. In May of 2017, in a survey conducted by the Union of European Broadcasters of people aged 18 to 35, more than half said they would participate in a “large-scale uprising.” Nine out of 10 agreed with the statement, “Banks and money rule the world.”

"The ruling class was particularly terrified by the teachers’ walkouts earlier this year because the biggest strikes were organized by rank-and-file educators in a rebellion against the unions, reflecting the weakening grip of the pro-corporate organizations that have suppressed the class struggle for decades."

“The yearly income of a typical US household dropped by a massive 12 percent, or $6,400, in the six years between 2007 and 2013. This is just one of the findings of the 2013 Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances released Thursday, which documents a sharp decline in working class living standards and a further concentration of wealth in the hands of the rich and the super-rich.”

"The American phenomenon of record stock values fueling an ever greater concentration of wealth at the very top of society, while the economy is starved of productive investment, the social infrastructure crumbles, and working class living standards are driven down by entrenched unemployment, wage-cutting and government austerity policies, is part of a broader global process."

"A defining expression of this crisis is the dominance of financial speculation and parasitism, to the point where a narrow international financial aristocracy plunders society’s resources in order to further enrich itself."

Americans, Learn From The Yellow Jackets: Stop Running And Start Fighting Back

In France, the Yellow Jackets (or “Gilets Jaunes” in French) have rushed into the streets in massive numbers. They are not protesting cuts in the generous entitlements. They are not throwing fits because they fear losing one-month paid vacations. The fight is about the increased fuel taxes—exorbitant taxes on top of the already high cost of fuel
But it’s more. The Macron government, an aloof, elitism regime, is pushing a globalist, pro-EU agenda, one which is crippling the quality of life for working Frenchmen, especially in rural areas and small towns. Mass migration, bureaucratic wrangling, massive crime and unemployment with minimal police presence are raving the country. Sadly, this is history repeating itself as farce. Like now, Western and Northern France rebelled during the French revolution. The bloodthirsty Jacobins, lead by cat-like Robespierre, seized power from the French King, but their so-called reforms in the name of social justice ended up hurting the very working people they claimed to care about.  
The unrest is also targeting the inflexible, unaccountable EU bureaucracy. Belgian Yellow Jackets are protesting the main offices in Maastricht and Brussels. Europeans have started to realize that the federalization of the continent is not working out as they had hoped. A common currency, a common market has turned into communistic micromanaging. The economically stronger countries are expected to carry the costs of the fiscally weaker nations. The central planners want open borders, cheap labor, and the resolute silencing of any disagreement to their plans. A federalized Europe is not working out. A Frenchman cannot run to Portugal, Spain, or Italy to escape the moral and fiscal ruin of his home country. French voters have no choice but to fight back for their rights and dignity in their home countries. 
France’s Yellow Jacket revolt is spreading into the Netherlands as well. The Dutchmen are just as animated, but less violent, expressing pent-up outrage over similar issues: excessive taxes, open borders, but also a stifling culture of political correctness. This subtle anti-free speech tyranny has inhibited a healthy exploration of difficult issues, but has hindered public safety. Islamic militants among the teeming masses of refugees are overwhelming Europe, undermining the tenuous social fabric of the Western World and bringing rampant acts of terrorism in their wake. Islamic preachers call publicly for full-on conquest Europe, the imposition of Sharia law, and with it the casting out of freedom, the democratic process, and civil rights for all. However, law-abiding citizens face criminal penalties for criticizing Islam, Allah, or for calling out the violent tendencies advocated for in the Koran. This injustice cannot stand any longer, so the people are taking to the streets. 
Even in Canada, a small yet growing contingent of Yellow Jacket protests are gathering in different urban centers, including Calgary, Alberta and Ottawa, Ontario: the federal seat of the national government. They are protesting Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s carbon tax scheme. They are also rising up against Trudeau’s lax defense and border control policies. Seven conservative provincial premiers are pushing back against the federal government’s insistence on taking in large numbers of Middle Eastern refugees, but refusing to pick up the costs for this program. 
Throughout the Western World, people are clamoring for the freedom to speak out against Islam, against the aggressive secular agenda invading their schools and the government. In general, they are forcefully denouncing the rogue cult of progressivism. As the taxes and dead bodies pile up, as the degradation of the public square becomes more prominent, the citizens are pushing back.  
Contrast these European uprisings with the United States. Instead of fighting big statism, Americans are fleeing their home state in droves. Californians are in mass exodus, including members of my own family. If they don’t like the blue state bureaucracy, American citizens enjoy the luxury of moving to a red state. And yet, this intra-migration process is hitting a brick wall. Some reliably red states have been trending blue over the last ten years. After Election 2018, progressives are targeting more of them. 
One contact from New Mexico just witnessed this Democratic resurgence. The lone Republican Congressman, Steve Pearce, lost his bid for governor, and his seat flipped blue (likely due to voter fraud, but no one’s fighting it). “I am planning on moving out of here,” she told me. But I had to ask: “Where do you plan to go?” Arizona suffered some Democratic wins. Wisconsin and Michigan will have Democrats installed in statewide offices next year. Republicans still control those state legislatures for now, but for how much longer? Even ruby-red Kansas just elected a Democratic Governor. Another friend (who had relocated to the Sunflower State) expressed shock and disdain, even though he enjoys the much lower cost of living. “Kansas City is getting more liberal now. The cancer is spreading everywhere!” Yesterday, a Townhall columnist wrote a steadied piece on the full-on Democratic takeover of Virginia in the last decade, too. I visited there last year—it felt like Los Angeles, only worse. Americans are finding that there are fewer places where they can flee from state’s oppressive governments. 
Americans better learn the lesson and follow the example of their Yellow Jacket peers: assert your rights in your home states. Running to Texas is not the final answer. Texas is combatting a blue undercurrent already. The seduction of socialism, which gives way to the specter of communism, has possessed the minds of college students there as well as in California, Oregon, and Washington State. Don’t flee, fight back, Americans. It’s time to Make America Great Again, not just find a redder state to retire in.  
The Founding Fathers didn’t pull up stakes and flee west of the Appalachian Mountains when the British Empire exacted higher taxes while denying the American colonists’ equal representation in parliament. If American citizens don’t like what they see happening at the local level or the state level in their home states, they need to start fighting back, because there are fewer places to run to.
Another day, another horror in
America: Five children killed in "

Youngstown, Ohio, house fire

11 December 2018
Daybreak Monday brought news of yet another horrific tragedy in the United States. Fire officials in Youngstown, Ohio, confirmed that five children had been killed, and their 26-year-old mother, America “Amy” Negron-Acevedo, severely injured after fire engulfed their home late Sunday night.

Negron-Acevedo has been transferred to the MetroHealth Burn Center in nearby Cleveland. She survived the fire by jumping out of a second-floor window. Residents on the block were alerted to the fire as Negron-Acevedo ran down the street, injured, screaming for help to save her children.

The five deceased children have been identified as Aleysha Rosario, 9; Charles Gunn, 3; Ly’Asia Gunn, 2; and Brianna and Arianna Negron, one-year-old twins. Two of the children were found dead by firefighters who rushed into the house at 434 Parkcliffe Avenue, while three died later at the hospital.

According to neighbors, the family had only been living in the house for less than half a year. Negron-Acevedo works for Century Container, a plastic container manufacturer half an hour’s drive outside Youngstown, where the average wage for a shift supervisor is less than $13 an hour. Even if she were making this amount, at full time it would have placed Negron-Acevedo and her children well below the poverty line, leaving her with the only option of renting substandard housing.

Two firefighters were injured in the rescue effort, one serious enough to be taken to the hospital for treatment. Youngstown City Fire Chief Barry Finley told reporters that the tragedy had also taken a heavy emotional toll. “It’s extremely hard. We have a relatively young department, and most the guys have children. So, it hits pretty hard, and the fact that it’s so close to Christmas hits even harder.”

While the immediate cause of Sunday’s fire remains under 
investigation, temperatures in Youngstown fell into the low 20s 
Fahrenheit over the weekend. During the winter months, families often turn to unsafe space heaters to avoid high heating bills or to keep warm when utilities have been shut off over unpaid bills, contributing to a higher number of house fires.

The tragedy that struck Negron-Acevedo’s family is not an isolated event. More than 3,400 people were killed in structure fires across the US in 2017. The majority died in their homes. Earlier this year, a blaze that consumed a house in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood killed ten children between the ages of three months and 16 years old. In that case, there were no functional smoke alarms in the home to alert the sleeping children to the fire.

Whatever the specific causes and circumstances, such tragedies arise out of definite social, economic and political processes.

Youngstown is one of many cities across the Midwest that has been devastated by four decades of deindustrialization and the destruction of tens of thousands of decent paying jobs in steel mills and machine shops. Since the day in September 1977, known as Black Monday, when the Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company announced its closure, the city’s population has been reduced by more than half.

Today, nearly 40 percent of Youngstown’s residents live below the poverty line. A 2014 report found that more than 63 percent of children in the city were growing up in poverty, placing the city just behind Flint, Michigan, with the worst child poverty rate in the country. The destruction of jobs and the explosion in poverty that followed the economic crisis a decade ago has fueled an opioid overdose crisis across the US, with the region around Youngstown a center of the crisis in Ohio. Last year, 245 people died of drug overdoses, an increase of 23 percent over the previous year.

With its property tax base wiped out by factory closures and ensuing depopulation, the city has struggled to cover the cost of basic social services, including the fire department. Earlier this year, the city removed one firetruck from service and demoted nine firefighters in order to cut their pay, as part of an effort to cover a projected $15 million budget shortfall for the city over the next five years. “We all have to tighten our belt to be more fiscally responsible with the city’s money,” Fire Chief Finely told media at the time.

That such sums could constitute a financial crisis is exposed as absurd by the fact that Ohio’s richest man, Les Wexner (net worth $6.1 billion), owns a $100 million yacht, enough to pay the salaries of more than 2,200 firefighters for an entire year. The vessel, which goes by the name Limitless, is one of the world’s largest private superyachts, specially built in 1997 by German ship maker L├╝rssen for Wexner, the chairman and CEO of L Brands corporation (Victoria’s Secret).

Indeed, limitless sums are made available for the whims of the corporate and financial elite, while basic social services are decimated—with the inevitable consequences.

The destruction of Youngstown has been overseen by Democrats and Republicans at the state and local level, with the city being hollowed out over the last 40 years under the control of Democratic mayors. Nationally, under Obama and now Trump, there has been an intensification of the assault on the working class. Whatever their conflicts, both parties agree on the transfer of wealth from the working class to the rich, while hundreds of billions are allocated every year to finance the weapons of destruction and war.

The United Auto Workers, United Steelworkers and other unions have facilitated the destruction of jobs, working hand in hand with the Democrats. For decades, the increasingly wealthy executives that control these organizations have collaborated in the decimation of living standards for the workers they claim to represent.

The social crisis that has ravaged Youngstown and the surrounding Mahoning Valley is set to worsen as GM, the largest industrial employer in the area, is planning to shutter its Lordstown assembly plant just 17 miles west of Negron-Acevedo’s home.

GM’s plans to close Lordstown along with plants in Detroit, Michigan and Oshawa, Ontario, will be a death sentence for countless workers and their children, tearing apart families and social networks. For the company’s executives, board members and investors, the social inferno they are preparing will pad their bottom line, while funneling millions to wealthy investors.
This underscores the crucial importance of the meeting hosted by the World Socialist Web Site Autoworker Newsletter on Sunday, which adopted a resolution for the formation of rank-and-file factory, workplace and neighborhood committees, independent of the unions. The resolution stressed that the consequences of the job cuts would be felt far beyond the workers immediately impacted. The struggle of autoworkers to defend their jobs and wages must be connected to a broad struggle of the working class.

Such tragedies as that which befell the Negron-Acevedo family, and many more like it, are entirely preventable. Billions must be allocated to construct modern fire-resistant housing, including the use of smoke detectors and much more advanced technologies, along with an infusion of funding into fire departments. A safe and affordable house is a basic social right that must be guaranteed to all.

To secure these rights, the working class must be organized in a political struggle that takes direct aim at the wealth and prerogatives of the financial aristocracy. Capitalism, which ensures the inalienable right of the rich to profit, must be overthrown and replaced with socialism, the reorganization of society on the basis of equality and social need.

Economic Optimism is Fading and Pessimism is on the Rise

CRAWFORDVILLE - OCTOBER 10: An American flag battered by Hurricane Michael continues to fly in the in the rose colored light of sunset at Shell Point Beach on October 10, 2018 in Crawfordville, Florida.The hurricane hit the Florida Panhandle as a category 4 storm. (Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)
Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images

The optimism that has fueled the surprisingly strong economic expansion in the first two years of the Trump administration has faded.

Just 28 percent of Americans think the economy will improve over the next 12 months, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Sunday. That’s about equal to the level of optimism seen in Barack Obama’s second presidential term. At the start of 2018, 35 percent expected the economy to improve.
Pessimism is on the rise. Thirty-three percent of Americans say they expect the economy will get worse, up from just 20 percent in January. That’s the first time pessimism topped optimism since 2013, when pessimism shot up from 24 percent to 42 percent over the course of just a few weeks when the country experienced a partial government shutdown in October as Republican lawmakers and President Obama failed to reach an agreement on government spending.
That spike in pessimism, however, turned out to be a head fake. The economy expanded at a 3.2 percent pace in the fourth quarter of 2013, contracted at a 1.9 percent rate between January and March of 2014, then went on to grow at around a 5 percent rate from April through September. The economy expanded in 2014 by 2.6 percent, the best performance since 2006.
President Donald Trump’s electoral victory was followed by a surge of economic optimism. In December 2016 optimism rose to 42 percent, pessimism falling to just 19 percent.
And that change in sentiment did predict economic gains. Growth rose to 2.3 percent in 2017, up from just 1.5 percent in 2016. So far in 2018, the economy appears to be headed to a 3 percent expansion.
The election of 2016 also marked a dramatic downturn in the share of people who expected the economy to be about the same. This had hovered around 50 percent for the last two years of the Obama administration but declined as many Americans shifted into a more optimistic mood.
This year has seen a shift from optimism, through “about the same,” and now into pessimism. The share of American expecting the economy to be “about the same” share climbed to 43 percent in January, up from 36 percent in the prior year.  Most of that appears to have been fading optimism. And now some of those that moved into the “about the same” column have shifted further into the pessimist column.
As on many things, a sharp partisan divide runs through the economic outlook. Forty-eight percent of Republicans see things improving in the coming year, and just 12 percent see a downturn, according to the Wall Street Journal. Those proportions are reversed for Democrats.
The survey was taken in the second week of December, a period of intense volatility in the stock market.


The huge inflow of migrants and asylum seekers forced officials to issue 400,000 work permits in 2017. That is roughly one new migrant worker for every 10 Americans who entered the workforce that year. The huge inflow has also jammed the immigration courts, ensuring that new migrants can work for a few years before a judge decides their case.
The inflow of asylum-seeking migrants, nonetheless, is far smaller than the inflow of legal immigrants and temporary visa-workers, which added roughly 2 workers in 2017 for every four Americans who entered the workforce.
Nationwide, the U.S. establishment’s economic policy of using legal migration to boost economic growth shifts wealth from young people towards older people by flooding the market with cheap white collar and blue collar foreign labor. That flood of outside labor spikes profits and Wall Street values by cutting salaries for manual and skilled labor that blue collar and white collar employees.
The cheap labor policy widens wealth gaps, reduces high tech investment, increases state and local tax burdens, hurts kids’ schools and college education, pushes Americans away from high tech careers, and sidelines at least five million marginalized Americans and their families, including many who are now struggling with fentanyl addictions.
Immigration also steers investment and wealth away from towns in heartland states because coastal investors can more easily hire and supervise the large immigrant populations who prefer to live in coastal cities. In turn, that investment flow drives up coastal real-estate prices, pricing poor U.S. Latinos and blacks out of prosperous cities, such as Berkeley and Oakland. NEIL MUNRO

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