Wednesday, May 30, 2018


Asylum Loopholes Deliver 400,000 Migrants to U.S. Employers

Photo: Getty Images David McNew

Congress’ border loopholes for asylum seekers have delivered more than 400,000 additional migrants into Americans’ workplaces, reducing free-market pressure on employers and investors to raise wages for blue-collar Americans.

The 400,000-strong population of asylum seekers “is a huge thing — it is almost half of our legal immigration flow per year,” said Rosemary Jenks, policy director at NumbersUSA.
“It is more than the number of agricultural guest-workers [H-2as] that we hand out [each year], plus the number of H-2Bs [visa workers], plus the annual number of H-1Bs  [visa workers],” she said.
The asylum seekers “are competing for construction jobs and service-industry jobs against the poorest Americans — including the recent legal immigrants — and of course the employers gain,” she said.
The 400,000 number was provided by an official to Breitbart News, and it is equal to one-tenth of the 4 million young Americans who join the workforce each year.
All told, the resident population of illegals, guest-workers, visa workers and asylum-seekers adds at least 11 million workers to a national labor force of roughly 161.5 million. That is almost 7 percent of the workforce, and the resulting wage-competition transfers a huge amount of wealth each year from white-collar and blue-collar employees to the nation’s employers, investors and urban professionals.
In fiscal 2017, which started October 2016, officials at the Department of Homeland Security approved 403,000 work permits for migrants based on pending asylum claims. This (c)(8) process allows officials to give “Employment Authorization Documents” to migrants 150 days after they file for asylum. During fiscal 2017, officials declined to give EADs to an additional 76,000 applicants.
The EADs work permits stretch for two years. Additional two-year permits are being awarded in Fiscal 2018, starting October 2017.
The total number of asylum-seekers with EADs is likely around “half a million,” said Jenks.


The Battle Over Illegal Immigration Will be Won or Lost With Employers 

By Nicholas Waddy 

The Daily Caller, May 20, 2018 

Every year, hundreds of workplaces are raided by ICE, and millions of dollars in fines are meted out to employers. Under President Trump, these enforcement actions are multiplying, but given the scale of the private sector economy – and the sheer numbers of illegal immigrants employed – this traditional approach simply won’t yield significant results. What is needed is a change in the culture of American business. As it stands now, frequently U.S. companies are more afraid of liberal activists than they are of federal authorities. This is outrageous. 

Two simple steps could turn this situation around. First, ICE should reward informants who provide tips about employers who routinely hire illegal immigrants. The flow of intel that this unlocks could be used to prosecute hiring managers who knowingly violate the law. Such white-collar criminals should face serious jail time. The mental calculus of hiring managers and HR departments across America would change overnight if this tactic were utilized. 

Secondly, the fines assessed on companies violating immigration and labor laws need to be dramatically increased. If one were to add three zeros to the aggregate amount of fines collected by immigration authorities from U.S. businesses every year, one would undoubtedly change their attitudes and behavior. We would be hitting these rogue businesses where it hurts: their bottom line. 
. . . 

The Lies About Immigration Keeping the Borders Open 

By Fabius Maximus 

InvestmentWatch Blog, May 23, 2018 

Summary: Advocates for open borders rely on a series of fallacies. They are unquestioned in the major news media, but easily debunked. 

The second reason is more fundamental. An increasing population boosts GDP. That’s arithmetic. That’s nice for the people that own America, who benefit directly from rising GDP. But the rest of us care nothing about national GDP. We care about per capita GDP. How much does GDP rise for the average person? The evidence shows that bringing in vast numbers of unskilled and poorly educated migrants does little for us. Why would anyone believe otherwise? 

This is the big lie. It is daft, but a major assumption of most arguments for massive immigration — or even open borders. Migrants are migrants, a boon to the host no matter if they come from a functioning society or a failed state. If they are educated or illiterate. If they bring valuable resources or flood a nation with unneeded unskilled labor. If they are willing to assimilate or determined not to do so. If we intend to foster integration (as America did during the early 20th century) or spurned assimilation (multiculturalism).

ICE Nets 127 in Philadelphia and Midwest Operations 

By Preston Huennekens 

CIS Immigration Blog, May 25, 2018 

In a separate operation, ICE agents arrested 49 individuals in Philadelphia, which the Department of Justice identified in 2106 as one of the worst sanctuary cities in the entire country. Of those, 31 had criminal convictions or pending charges and six had re-entered the country after a previous deportation. 

ICE previously issued detainer notices for 14 of these individuals in local custody. Instead of honoring the detainers, Philadelphia officials released them back into the community, forcing ICE to make potentially dangerous at-large arrests, which can endanger agents and bystanders. 

ERO Philadelphia Acting Field Office Director Gregory Brawley remarked that "some of these dangerous individuals had been released to the streets instead of being turned over to ICE on our detainers, which compromises the safety of the homeland that ICE officers strive to protect every day." 

In each of the news releases, ICE pushed back against criticism that its agents indiscriminately target random aliens. Rather, "[these] operations targeted public safety threats, such as convicted criminal aliens, gang members, and individuals who have violated our nation's immigration laws, including those who re-entered the country after being deported and immigration fugitives ordered deported by federal immigration judges. Reports to the contrary create panic and put communities and law enforcement personnel in unnecessary danger. Any groups falsely reporting such activities are doing a disservice to those they claim to support." 




NumbersUSA’s Rosemary Jenks:


E-Verify Ignored in DACA Negotiations Because ‘Members of Congress Know It Will Work’

Members of Congress broadly oppose a legislative nationwide E-Verify mandate for employers because “they know it will work,” said NumbersUSA’s Rosemary Jenks, explaining why E-Verify is not being pushed in congressional negotiations for an amnesty deal for recipients of the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Jenks further noted that both parties are beholden to special interests supportive of “mass migration.”


Here’s how it breaks down; will make you want to be an illegal!


Staggering expensive "cheap" Mexican labor did not build this once great nation! Look what it has done to Mexico. It's all about keeping wages depressed and passing along the true cost of the invasion, their welfare, and crime tidal wave costs to the backs of the American people!


Trump's Budget: $984 Billion Deficit Next Year

Terence P. Jeffrey
 By Terence P. Jeffrey | May 30, 2018 | 4:15 AM EDT

President Trump campaigns in Nashville, Tennessee in support of the U.S. Senate campaign of Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) on May 29. (Photo: Screen capture/C-SPAN)
When you read the budget message President Donald Trump sent Congress earlier this year, you soon come across a concession that Washington insiders have been making for years — just before they vote for bills they know will massively increase the federal debt.

"The current fiscal path is unsustainable," Trump said, "and future generations deserve better."

Trump then asked Congress for a budget that his own Office of Management and Budget estimates will cause the federal government to run a $984 billion deficit in fiscal 2019.
Back in 2009, just before his first inauguration, President Barack Obama — no fiscal conservative — complained that the "deficit levels that (he was) inheriting" were "unsustainable."
"At a certain point, other countries stop buying our debt," Obama told CNN in an interview broadcast on Jan. 18, 2009. "At a certain point, we'd end up having to raise interest rates, and it would end up creating more economic chaos and, potentially, inflation. So, what we need to do is say that, instead of just printing more money, let's look at medium term and long term. Let's get a handle on Social Security. Let's get a handle on Medicare. Let's eliminate waste in government, where it exists."

Obama, of course, did not get a handle on deficit spending. He did the opposite. In his eight years as president, he expanded federal entitlement programs — and the debt increased by $9.3 trillion.

In Trump's budget proposal, as published by OMB, the $984 billion deficit for next year leads to a $987 billion deficit for fiscal 2020 and a $916 billion deficit for fiscal 2021.

In other words, as the Trump White House envisions it, Trump will run annual deficits of more than $900 billion for the rest of the term he was elected to in 2016.

He will do this even though he believes our "current fiscal path is unsustainable."
But, under Trump's proposal, the annual deficits, as estimated by his OMB, would eventually drop to as low as $363 billion — 10 years from now in 2028.

This decline in the deficit would happen, in part, because Trump's budget assumes real GDP will grow at 3 percent or better for seven straight calendar years — from 2018 through 2024.

The last time real GDP grew by 3 percent for one full calendar year was 2005. The last time it grew by 3 percent or better for seven straight years was from 1983 through 1989 — in the Reagan era.

Even with its optimistic economic assumptions, the Trump budget concludes that the cumulative deficit over the decade from 2019 to 2028 will be approximately $7.177 trillion.

This is despite the fact that the Congressional Budget Office, in its own analysis of Trump's budget, credits the president's proposal with cutting $3.5 trillion in would-be spending over the next decade from the CBO's current baseline.

"The deficit reduction under the president's proposals relative to CBO's baseline would stem largely from lower spending, mostly for nondefense discretionary programs and mandatory health care programs," said CBO. "Between 2019 and 2028, federal outlays would be $3.5 trillion (or 6.3 percent) below baseline amounts."

CBO's analysis, using its own economic assumptions, estimates that the cumulative deficit from 2019 to 2028 will be $9.474 trillion.

But whether the cumulative deficit over the next 10 years ends up being closer to $7.177 trillion or $9.474 trillion, who is going to loan Uncle Sam the cash to cover it?

The largest owner of U.S. Treasury securities today is the Federal Reserve. As of last week, it owned $2.387 trillion.

As of March, entities in China owned another $1.1877 trillion, and entities in Japan owned $1.0435 trillion.

But Chinese ownership of U.S. Treasury securities peaked in November 2013, when it hit $1.3167 trillion, according to the U.S. Treasury Department. It has declined about 9.8 percent from that peak.

Japanese ownership of U.S. Treasury securities peaked in November 2014 at $1.2415 trillion. It has declined about 15.9 percent from the peak.

As this column recently noted, Rep. Paul Ryan, who was then the ranking member on the House Budget Committee and who is now the departing speaker of the House, warned 10 years ago that the federal government was heading toward bankruptcy.

"We have a fiscal crisis," Ryan said then. "If government's growth is left unchecked and unchallenged, America's best century will be considered our past century."

The question for Ryan and his colleagues in the House and Senate now is: Will a Republican-majority House, working with a Republican-majority Senate and a Republican president, fail to put the federal government on a path toward a balanced budget?
Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor-in-chief of

IG report: 15 years, $5 billion Afghan reconstruction effort a failure

It's nothing we didn't know already, but an inspector general's report on Afghanistan reconstruction has found that after 15 years and $5 billion, the effort has largely failed.
The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) says the U.S. set unrealistic expectations for stabilizing Afghanistan on a short timeline, that the Obama administration lacked the political will to invest the necessary time and effort to stabilize the country, and that some efforts to bolster the Afghan government actually backfired.
“[Our] overall assessment is that despite some heroic efforts to stabilize insecure and contested areas in Afghanistan between 2002 and 2017, the program mostly failed,” said John Sopko, head of SIGAR, at a Thursday morning event announcing the report.
The report examines stabilization efforts from 2002, soon after the U.S. began military operations in the country, to 2017.
In 2003, the U.S. launched a counterinsurgency mission in Afghanistan that would come to include a clear-hold-build strategy. U.S. forces were instructed to clear an area, hold it and then build institutions.
The report says the effort proved ineffective in stabilization because the military focused on the most dangerous districts first, where poor security made it hard to move on to the building phase. U.S. civilian agencies were compelled to conduct their stabilization programs in dangerous areas not ready for rebuilding, and once coalition troops and civilians left those districts the stabilization ended.
Some efforts to introduce increased Afghan government control also produced unintended consequences, according to the report, because they created more opportunities for corruption.
By 2008, the security situation in much of the country had deteriorated and insurgent attacks began to mount.
Despite herculean efforts to train the Afghan army and police, the security situation is worse today than it has ever been. The Afghan government controls very little territory, with the Taliban and corrupt warlords ruling the rest. 
Certainly, there have been some local successes. But overall, the situation is grim. As of last October, 56% of Afghan territory was either under direct control or under the influence of the Taliban. Whole provinces have succumbed. And efforts to negotiate with the Taliban have so far been futile.
Trump is not going to send 50,000 troops back to Afghanistan in order to stabilize the country. And while some units are performing well, the Afghan army as a whole is just not up to the challenge to local security posed by the Taliban. 
Should we face facts and withdraw the remaining troops, reduce US aid, and abandon the Afghan government to the Taliban? It's something that certainly should be considered.

U.S. Watchdog: Obama ‘Ensured’ Failure of Stabilization Efforts in Afghanistan

Barack Obama
AP Photo/Martinez Monsivais

The $4.7 billion spent on America’s stabilization efforts in Afghanistan, mainly under former U.S. President Barack Obama’s watch, has “exacerbated” the war by fueling corruption and bolstering support for Taliban jihadists, a watchdog agency found.

According to the U.S Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), Obama “ensured” the failure of the stabilization efforts in Afghanistan by fostering a time-based approach to the scale and scope of American military operations in Afghanistan.
SIGAR noted in a report unveiled Thursday:
During the 2009 Afghanistan strategy reviews, President Obama and his civilian and military advisors set in motion a series of events that fostered unrealistic expectations of what could be achieved. They also ensured the U.S. government’s stabilization strategy would not succeed, first with the rapid surge and then the rapid transition.
One of the most significant changes to the Afghanistan war strategy made by U.S. President Donald Trump is changing the approach to military operations from time-based to conditions-based.
SIGAR found that the U.S. taxpayer funds disbursed for the failed stabilization strategy have ultimately driven Afghans without access to them into the arms of the Taliban, noting:
Powerbrokers and predatory government officials with access to [U.S. taxpayer funded] coalition projects became kings with patronage to sell, fueling conflicts between and among communities.
In turn, Afghans who were marginalized in this competition for access and resources found natural allies in the Taliban, who used that support to divide and conquer communities the coalition was keen to win over.
Although the ongoing war in Afghanistan started under the George W. Bush administration in October 2001, Obama ramped up U.S. military activities and spending.
At least until now, Obama appears to own the Afghanistan war. More money was spent on the conflict and more American troops — about 75 percent —paid the ultimate price under Obama than his predecessor.
Obama withdrew most American forces and declared the U.S. combat mission over at the end of 2014, amid some of the deadliest and bloodiest security conditions of the war, leaving behind chaos for U.S. President Donald Trump to inherit.
Overall, America’s stabilization activities in Afghanistan have mostly “failed,” SIGAR found, noting:
Between 2001 and 2017, U.S. government efforts to stabilize insecure and contested areas in Afghanistan mostly failed. The U.S. government overestimated its ability to build and reform government institutions in Afghanistan as part of the stabilization strategy.
The blame for the failure appears to mainly fall on the Obama administration, the watchdog argues, at least until now.
SIGAR reports:
Under immense pressure to quickly stabilize insecure districts [after 2009], U.S. government agencies spent far too much money, far too quickly, in a country woefully unprepared to absorb it. Money spent was often the metric of success. As a result, programming sometimes exacerbated conflicts, enabled corruption, and bolstered support for insurgents.
Overall, John Sopko, the chief at SIGAR, suggests that the Trump administration and Congress should better monitor and evaluate the American taxpayer-funded projects in Afghanistan.

'Scandal-free' Obama is daring Trump to bust corrupt members of his administration

Mouthing an old trope dating from his time in office and ever since, former President Obama declared at a Vegas conference that he had a scandal-free administration, quite unlike President Trump.  Supposedly, it was now a joke.
According to Newsweek:
"I didn't have scandals, which seems like it shouldn't be something you brag about," Obama joked.
President Donald Trump's presidency has thus far been racked with scandalous allegations, but Obama later hedged his barb.  "But actually," he said, "if you look at the history of the modern presidency, coming out of the modern presidency without anybody going to jail is really good.  It's a big deal."
I don't see anything to joke about with that phony claim, given that he's mouthed it quite a few times before, and not as a joke.  What's more, he made that mendacious claim just as he was being paid big dollars at the Las Vegas conference itself, which, as most Americans know, is typically a disguised bribe for some favors performed earlier and in itself a scandal.  His fees are reportedly $400,000, which is nice money for a few minutes of speaking work.
Saying his administration was scandal-free is something he says every few weeks, it seems – he said it in March, here; and in February, here; in January, here; and in quite a few other instances, such as shortly after President Trump was elected, here.  Even the Washington Post's fact-checker, Glenn Kessler, declines to give Obama a pass on that one, citing differences in point of view.
But more to the point, his claim isn't even true: it was rife with crony business deals, described here.  There were major policy scandals, such as the subordination of embassy security abroad to the need to shill a "narrative" about al-Qaeda being on the run in time for elections, as happened in Benghazi.  There was the monstrous Solyndra green energy scandal where business cronies left taxpayers on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars and made out like bandits themselves.  There was the gunrunning scandal of Fast and Furious, which allowed guns to move into the hands of Mexican cartels, leading to the death of a U.S. border agent.  Nobody was punished, of course.  There was the scandal of the emails at the Environmental Protection Agency, where officials illegally used pseudonyms to evade Freedom of Information Act laws and got away with it.  There was Hillary Clinton's illegal private server, set up to evade laws the same way, which created a vast opening for foreign hackers and espionage of top secrets, with Obama willingly participating in the communications. There was the IRS targeting of political dissidents and the lies to cover it up – again, completely unpunished.  There were the "lost" emails – of the FBI, of the IRS, and Hillary Clinton herself while she was at the Department of State.  There were the smashing of BlackBerries with hammers – again, to evade transparency laws and lawmen, too.  There was Clinton's pay-to-play foundation-State Department nexus, corruption of the highest variety, and an investigation squelched due to Obama's politicization of the FBI.  There was Obama's politicization of intelligence reports to say what he wanted on the war front, as well as his weaponization of the intelligence agencies to spy on political opponents and reporters.  It turns out some of his people did go to jail, or were headed there for leaks – and he pardoned them to keep them out – such as his "favorite" general here.
But according to Obama, the fact that no one was ever punished is the actual justification for his claim that he never had scandals.  The fact that no one was ever punished is perhaps the biggest scandal of his administration.
What we are seeing here is three things.
One, Obama is not embarrassed by any of his scandals, Chicago-style or otherwise.  As the blogger at ThyBlackMan writes:
Obama's claims always come with a subtle caveat.  His administration didn't have "a scandal that embarrassed us," or they didn't have "a major scandal."  But, my favorite nuance from his super-secret appearance in Boston was when he said, "Generally speaking, you didn't hear about a lot of drama inside our White House."  He's right about that point.  As I document in my forthcoming book, The Scandalous Presidency of Barack Obama, there were over two dozen scandals over the course of Obama's presidency, and they were all downplayed or ignored by the mainstream media.
Two, Obama claims he had no scandals because he allowed no consequences, no matter what anyone ever did, no matter what laws they broke, which is not an argument to claim he had no scandals.  In fact, as a leftist, he tended to let all kinds of miscreants and plagues on society off scot-free, starting with Bradley Manning and moving on to all the criminals he let out via pardons, at least some of whom have resumed their lives of crime.  It was quite a pattern with him and signaled an inclination toward lawlessness, which only grew as his administration continued.
Three, Obama had a pliant press covering up for him, as the Washington Times notes in an op-ed about the latest garbage from him, headlined "Not so fast Obama, your biggest scandal is unfolding before our eyes."
Yet, to paraphrase the immortal words of Chelsea Clinton, he persists.
Why does he keep claiming he had no scandals?  It's obvious that his administration had scandals.  He seems to think that by repeating a lie over and over again, he can eventually make it true, in an echo of the Nazi and Stalinist wisdom.  He's all about "narratives," after all.
But in laying down the marker that scandals are only scandals if someone goes to jail – and he, in his Chicago-style governance, always kept his lawbreaking friends out of jail and seems to be proud of it – he also lays a trap for himself.
How does President Trump smack this liar down and shut down his lies?
By launching prosecutions of his top miscreants, something Obama is convinced will never happen, making his claims a sort of dare.
Apparently, he doesn't know Trump very well, because Trump is the kind of guy who might just do it.
With the stream of lies about a scandal-free administration, the path is now clear that it's time to clean house on the continuous lawbreaking of Obama officials that hasn't been punished a whit.  It's time to create consequences for those who thumb their nose at the law, justified only by a compliant press and their own left-wingery.  Obama just gave President Trump the green light.

As CEO compensation soars  and 

banksters' plunder to new heights

"Another Fed study, “The Demographics of Wealth,” found that people born in the 1980s, part of the millennial generation, were at the greatest risk of becoming a “lost generation” in terms of wealth accumulation. This age group is one of the most likely to be saddled with student debt."

While workers are told by politicians of both big business parties that there is “no money” to pay for decent wages, education, health care or retirement, companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index are sitting on the largest cash stockpile in history, with estimates varying between $1.8 and $2.2 trillion as of the end of 2017.

Fifty-one million US households cannot afford “survival budget”

By Kate Randall
26 May 2018
Newly released data cast a revealing light on the state of income inequality in America a decade after the Great Recession. While CEO pay soars to unheard of heights, nearly 51 million US households cannot afford basic necessities like housing, food and health care. The figures show that a tiny oligarchy of the super-rich continues to tighten its grip over society, as more and more families struggle to get by.
The New York Times on Friday published the Equilar 200 Highest-Paid CEO Rankings for 2017. The survey, conducted annually by the executive compensation consulting firm Equilar, lists the pay packages awarded to CEOs at US public companies with more than $1 billion in revenue.
Entries regarding the 10 highest-paid CEOs in 2017 show not only massive compensation packages, but huge percentage increases over 2016.
·         No. 1: Hock E. Tan of Broadcom, total compensation of $103,211,163—a 318 percent increase over 2016
·         No. 2: Frank J. Bisignano of First Data, total compensation of $102,210,396—a 646 percent increase over 2016
·         No. 10: Stephen Kaufer of TripAdvisor, total compensation of $43,160,584—a 3,400 percent increase over 2016
This year for the first time, as part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank banking law, publicly traded US corporations must begin publishing comparisons between the pay of their chief executive and the median compensation of other employees. (Figures are not yet available for all of the highest-earning CEOs.)
The following are just a few of the pay ratios for 2017:
·         Mindy Grossman, Weight Watchers International, with $33,371,856 in total compensation, received 5,908 times the median employee pay ($6,013).
·         Margaret H. Georgiadis, Mattel, with $31,275,289 in total compensation, received 4 , 987 times the median employee pay ($6,271).
·         Michael Rapino, Live Nation Entertainment, whose total compensation rose by 577 percent to $70,615,760, received 2,893 times the median employee pay ($24,416).
Put another way, a Walmart worker earning the company’s median salary of $19,177 would have to work for more than 1,000 years to earn the $22.2 million that company CEO Doug McMillon was awarded in 2017.
Among the companies that disclosed CEO pay ratios, the median was 275 to 1, i.e., the typical employee would have to work 275 years to earn the annual compensation of his or her company’s CEO.
While CEO compensation continues to climb—with the top 200 CEOs receiving an average raise of 14 percent in 2017, compared to 9 percent in 2016 and 5 percent in 2015—there are 50.8 million US households that cannot afford a basic monthly budget, including housing, food, child care, health care, transportation and a smart phone. The new data was made available Tuesday by the United Way ALICE Project.
Those struggling to meet a basic monthly budget include 16.1 million households living below the official federal poverty level, an abysmally low $24,300 for a family of four in 2016. Also included, however, were another 34.7 million families called ALICE, which stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. In other words, these households include working members and are not “officially” poor, but cannot afford basic necessities.
As the ALICE Project press release on the data notes, “ALICE is the nation’s child care workers, home health aides and store clerks—those men and women who work at low-paying jobs, having little or no savings and are one emergency from poverty.” Workers at companies whose CEOs rank in the top 200 in pay fall into this category, including McDonald’s, Walgreens, Office Depot and food service companies Aramark and Sysco.
Data highlighted by the research includes the following:
·         Two-thirds of all US jobs in the country are low-paying—less than $20 an hour, or $40,000 a year if full-time.
·         More than 30 percent of households in each state cannot afford a basic “survival budget.” The percentage of these families ranges from 32 percent in North Dakota to 49 percent in California, New Mexico and Hawaii.
·         Those families earning over the poverty level but struggling to afford basic necessities outnumber similarly struggling households living in poverty in all 50 states.
·         California, Texas and Florida—the first, second and fourth most populous states, respectively--have the largest number of ALICE households in the country.
Also published Tuesday was a study by the Federal Reserve Board that exposes the precarious financial situation facing millions of American workers and their families. The “Report on the Economic Well-Being of US Households in 2017” found that 4 in 10 adults, if faced with an unexpected expense of $400, would either be unable to cover it or would pay for it by selling a possession or borrowing money.
For working class families, such unexpected expenses could include a medical bill, a car repair, home repairs, appliance replacement, unexpected taxes or fines—the list goes on. While the CEOs in the top 200 have assets stashed away in rainy day funds in the millions, an unexpected emergency can mean going without food, being forced deeper into credit card debt, debt collection or eviction. The study found that 3 percent of renters were evicted or moved because of the threat of eviction in the last two years.
The report noted that one-fifth of non-retired adults are pessimistic about their future employment opportunities. A substantial number of workers are in precarious employment, with one-sixth having irregular work schedules imposed by their employer, and one-tenth receiving their work schedules less than a week in advance.
The study reported that over half of college attendees under age 30 have taken on debt to pay for their education. Those who failed to complete a degree, and those who attended for-profit institutions, were more likely to have fallen behind on their payments. Among those making payments on their student loans, the typical monthly payment was between $200 and $300, or 6 to 9 percent of total income for someone working full-time at $20 an hour.
Another Fed study, “The Demographics of Wealth,” found that people born in the 1980s, part of the millennial generation, were at the greatest risk of becoming a “lost generation” in terms of wealth accumulation. This age group is one of the most likely to be saddled with student debt. While all families headed by someone born in 1960 or later have failed to recover economically since the Great Recession, those born in the 1980s are the least likely to have recovered to their pre-1980 financial level.
Not surprisingly, the “Economic Well-Being” report found that less than two-thirds of non-retired adults thought their retirement savings are on track. One-fourth had no retirement savings or pension whatsoever.
While workers are told by politicians of both big business parties that there is “no money” to pay for decent wages, education, health care or retirement, companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index are sitting on the largest cash stockpile in history, with estimates varying between $1.8 and $2.2 trillion as of the end of 2017.
The obscene levels of compensation doled out to the CEOs and the corresponding struggle of working class families to pay basic monthly bills provoke no serious response from the Democratic Party, which is fixated on the claims of Russian “meddling” in the 2016 elections.
The Democrats have provided the votes to fund the Pentagon’s record $700 billion budget and secure the confirmation of black-site torture administrator Gina Haspel to head the CIA. They put up no serious opposition to Trump’s multi-trillion-dollar tax cut for corporations and the rich. Meanwhile, work requirements are being imposed on Medicaid and food stamps, with virtually no opposition from the Democratic Party.
The working class must break from both parties of the capitalist class and build a mass socialist movement to seize the wealth of the financial elite and put an end to the profit system. This is the only basis for meeting essential social needs.


"The Wealth-X report shows that the world’s billionaire population has grown by 15 percent, to 2,754 people, since 2016, and that the wealth of these billionaires “surged by 24 percent to a record level of $9.2 trillion,” equivalent to 12 percent of the gross domestic product of the entire planet."

Luxury jewelry retailer Tiffany & Company’s profits surge

By Isaac Finn
25 May 2018
The iconic luxury jewelry company Tiffany & Company announced this week that profits over the first quarter of this year had experienced a massive 53 percent increase to $142 million, compared to $93 million in 2017. Following the announcement Wednesday, the company’s shares shot up by more than 23 percent.
The sudden increase in the company’s stock prices marked a 52-week high, having increased by roughly 30 percent over the past 12 months. The company now expects earnings per share of $4.50 to $4.70 for the year ending in January 2019, compared to earlier estimates of earning per share of $4.25 to $4.45.
Stock prices also rallied on the announcement that Tiffany’s is initiating a new $1 billion stock buyback program to pad the pockets of its wealthy shareholders.
The upsurge in Tiffany’s sales is the outcome of the creation of a small but growing ultra-wealthy layer that can afford to spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on bracelets, earrings, necklaces and other trinkets out of the immiseration of millions of workers. In fact, jewelry retailers as a group experienced a 13 percent increase in stocks following Tiffany’s earnings report, while retail companies that have a base among more working-class shoppers, such as Target and JCPenney, have experienced a fall in sales and their stock value.
At the end of last year, UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights Philip Alston noted that the US is plagued with “soaring death rates and family and community destruction wrought by prescription and other drug addiction.” While a full 40 percent of American adults report that they cannot cover a $400 emergency without going into debt, a small layer is able to live an extremely opulent lifestyle.
The more than $1 billion squandered in just the first three months of this year on a single company’s luxury items would cover over two-thirds of the costs of replacing the toxic water infrastructure of Flint, Michigan. The squandering of such resources on frivolous goods, while large sections of the world’s population live without clean water and other essential services, is the most blatant expression of the failure of capitalism.
Sales in the Americas, which is the company’s largest market, rose by 9 percent to $425 million; in Europe, sales increased by 13 percent to $107 million, and sales in Japan increased by 17 percent to $151 million over the course of a three-month period that ended on April 30. The Asia-Pacific market experienced the largest growth, with sales skyrocketing by 28 percent to $329 million over the same period.
Tiffany’s total first-quarter net sales rose by 14.8 percent to $1.03 billion, more than the estimated $959.4 million, according to Reuters. Part of the increase is due to the tax windfall signed by Trump in December. The company’s effective tax rate for the first quarter was 25.3 percent compared to 31.7 percent last year.
The increase in sales is also a reflection of the ever-growing hordes of money controlled by the upper echelons of the global population. According to a recent report by Wealth-X, North American billionaires increased their wealth by 22.8 percent to a total of $3.3 trillion and Asia’s billionaires increased their wealth by 49.4 percent to a total of $2.4 trillion in 2018.
Tiffany reported that the increase in sales was aided by more tourists shopping in the US, as well as New Yorkers spending more on jewelry. New York, where the company’s flagship store is located, is home to 103 billionaires. Same-store sales increased by 7 percent, more than double the 2.7 percent increase that was estimated by analysts.
Tiffany’s new CEO, Alessandro Bogliolo, stated in an earnings release that the company was “particularly encouraged by the breadth of sales growth across most regions and all product categories.” He also hailed a new ad campaign, titled “Believe in Dreams,” for aiding sales and said the company would continue to ramp up its ads for the rest of 2018 because the company is “committed to reaching the sustainable growth potential of this legendary brand.”
The company has also diversified into “everyday objects” and luxury home goods to attract younger wealthy consumers that might otherwise go to Tiffany’s competitors. These products include a $1,000 18-karat gold paper clip bookmark and a sterling silver “coffee can” that costs $1,500. The store also offers diamond-encrusted Swiss-made watches ranging in price from $30,000 to just $2,950.

Viking Economics by George Lakey

by Melville House

This week, we’re excited to be publishing Viking EconomicsGeorge Lakey’s look at how the Nordic countries, in a very short span of time, managed to move past many of the problems faced by nations like the US and UK today — problems with inequality, infrastructural weakness, the cost of education, and personal freedom. Today, the people of DenmarkIcelandNorway, and Sweden enjoy widely-shared prosperity, low crime rates, reliable infrastructure, affordable education, great personal freedoms — some of the highest standards of living in the world.
Particularly as both the US and the UK face some of our biggest challenges in a generation — and, in both cases, under new leadership — Viking Economicsoffers some crucial examples of how we might get some things right.
Here’s a brief excerpt to read on the longship ride over to your local bookstore to buy a copy; please try not to get herring on it.

Like most Americans today, Norwegians a century ago didn’t like the results of a wealth gap: the hunger and poverty, the crime, elderly friends warehoused or left in isolation, young people without hope of a good job. Norwegians also didn’t like the attitudes that went with inequality: an inclination toward arrogance among higher-income people and the feeling among lower-income people that they were losers, defeated by the system.
Early in the twentieth century, Norway had the formal institutions of parliamentary democracy, but ordinary people were not empowered: they did not set the direction of their society. The direction was set, instead, by the economic elite, through the political parties they dominated and the businesses they ran. Career options were limited, and there was little social mobility.
The differences between then and now are striking: If you’re a Norwegian teenager today and the job you’re interested in pursuing doesn’t require higher education, you can choose among good public vocational courses. If you learn better in a hands-on apprenticeship mode, publicly supported programs help you do that. If, instead, you prefer to develop a talent in art or music, or follow a career at sea or in engineering, you can attend a free post-secondary school.
Paid maternity and paternity leave (including for adoptive parents) is built into the system, and your job is held until you return. After the leave is over, child support is increased if you choose to be a full-time parent. If your choice is to go back to work, affordable childcare is available.
Extensive, subsidized public transport means that you probably won’t need a car to get to work. High educational standards prevail in big-city schools, as well as in the suburbs. Small towns receive subsidies to make them attractive for people who might otherwise feel forced to live in a city for cultural amenities, again increasing your options. The economy subsidizes family farming both for its own sake and for food security, so farmers can earn a reasonable income, another freedom denied in many industrialized countries.
The government offers free vocational counseling, education, and job-training resources for people seeking a career change, and entrepreneurialism is encouraged through free health care and a public pension for all: In Norway, you have the freedom to fail without becoming a failure.
Money doesn’t dominate the political system, so citizens are freer to participate meaningfully in political life—and they’re more likely to be exposed to newspapers with a variety of points of view, because journalism is subsidized to avoid a narrowing of perspective. According to Freedom House, in 2013, Norway was tied with Sweden at number one in the world for freedom of the press. Denmark was sixth, and Iceland was tenth. (The United States was twenty-sixth.) Indeed, this approach to public life has a long lineage in the region: Sweden was the first country in the world to establish freedom of the press—in 1766.
The Nordics are among the longest-living people in the world, and older citizens continue to benefit from an economy designed for personal freedom. The Global Watch Index studied ninety-six countries and rated Norway as the best place to grow old, followed closely by Sweden. The pension system enables you to live at home with health aides or in a senior living facility. You don’t need to fear hunger or lack of medicines or of health care. Every small town has a music and culture center where you can enjoy the arts and pursue your hobbies.
The crime rate is very low, partly because societies with high equality tend to experience less crime. Even in their largest city, Norwegians enjoy a remarkable degree of freedom from fear about personal safety.
Designing an economy that supports freedom and equality pays off in happiness, judging from the Vikings’ descendants making the top ten in the UN’s International Happiness Index. In 2015, the ratings showed Denmark, Iceland, and Norway sharing first place with Switzerland, while Sweden was close to its cousins.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), composed of thirty-four of the most-developed nations, compared life satisfaction experienced by the people in each country in 2013. The OECD found Norway second, Iceland third, Sweden fourth, and Denmark fifth.
And yet in spite of all this security and support, the Nordic yen for adventure has not disappeared. Americans, too, have a strong yearning for both freedom and equality, so the Nordic desire for both isn’t surprising. What is surprising, though, is that they went ahead and built an economy to serve those values. That’s the story in this book.
Like their Viking ancestors, the moderns made mistakes in their explorations. Iceland’s financial collapse of 2008 was a spectacular error, and, as I’ll describe, back in the 1980s, the Norwegians and Swedes made a series of serious economic mistakes. The Nordics haven’t built a utopia: Norwegians see themselves as “a nation of complainers,” and this book doesn’t shy away from the challenges that face them and their Nordic cousins.
Still, it’s useful for us as outsiders to observe the Nordics’ expeditions and to use them to reflect on our own situations. There are many important lessons to be learned.

Part of Trump tax bill bonanza for the 


"The $100 billion figure is not so much a record as it is another dimension in corporate plunder."

“It has been estimated that the cost of an iPhone, retailing for around $650 to $700, is made up of $220 for the components and $5 for the labor of assembly.”

"In the past week, at least one prominent Republican, 

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, has publicly admitted that 

the tax bill was sold under false pretenses."

TRUMPERNOMICS: The Trickle Up to the Rich Economy

 "It will, in fact, no more provide decent-paying jobs and improved wages than the previous tax “reforms” carried out over the past three-and-a-half decades. The Reagan tax cuts of 1981 and 1986, Bill Clinton’s capital gains tax cut in 1997 and George W. Bush’s tax “reform” of 2001 were all part of a ruling class offensive against the working class, which included sweeping attacks on wages, jobs, pensions, education, health care, housing and other social benefits."

Apple hands out $102 billion to shareholders

By Patrick Martin
3 May 2018
Apple, Inc. announced Tuesday that it would convert much of its overseas profits, held in a huge cash hoard for several years, into a $102 billion windfall for corporate executives and other shareholders. The financial bonanza for a single company is comparable to the GDP of Ecuador or Sri Lanka.
The maker of the iPhone, the Mac personal computer and other consumer electronics is raising its quarterly dividend by 16 percent, from 63 cents a share to 73 cents a share, a move that will provide $2 billion in increased income directly to owners of the company’s stock. Apple will become the largest payer of dividends in corporate America, surpassing ExxonMobil.
As princely as this payout is, it is dwarfed by the $100 billion buyback of Apple stock, to be carried out over the course of the year. Its effect will be to boost the company’s share price indirectly. Moreover, by reducing the number of Apple shares in circulation, it will dramatically increase such financial indicators as earnings per share, the principal measure by which Wall Street judges a company and which corporate boards use to set executive pay levels.
The $100 billion figure is not so much a record as it is another dimension in corporate plunder. With that sum, Apple could have bought every share of stock in UPS, Lockheed Martin, Goldman Sachs or Boeing. It is greater than the market value of 460 of the Fortune 500 largest US companies.
The funneling of $102 billion from Apple to its shareholders is a distribution of wealth within the ruling elite. The top five individual shareholders are all Apple executives, including CEO Tim Cook. The top three institutional shareholders, holding nearly 18 percent of the stock, are Vanguard, Black Rock and State Street, three giant investment funds. These and others like them will reap the bulk of the financial plunder from the dividend payout and buyback.
The bonanza for the super-rich is the product of two interrelated processes. First is the sweatshop labor of millions of workers in Asia, mainly China, who manufacture components and assemble the iPhones, laptops and watches Apple sells. Second is the tax cut pushed through last December by the Trump administration and the Republican Congress, with only token opposition from the Democrats.
Apple reaps superprofits from the labor of cruelly exploited workers in Asia, most of them employed through subcontractors, as well as through monopoly rents generated by its control of intellectual property rights to the underlying technology. As written , “It has been estimated that the cost of an iPhone, retailing for around $650 to $700, is made up of $220 for the components and $5 for the labor of assembly.”
This accounts for the cash hoard accumulated abroad, and deliberately held there in a tax avoidance scheme, while the company’s paid lobbyists obtained the support of both Democratic and Republican lawmakers to back a “one-time” cut in the tax rate to induce American companies to return these funds to the United States.
Such a measure was initially proposed by Obama and backed by congressional Democrats, but it was not finally adopted until it could be incorporated into the broader tax cut for corporations and the wealthy proposed by Trump and congressional Republicans.
The resulting tax cut legislation slashed the basic corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, the largest single business tax cut in US history. Apple was already paying an effective rate of only 26 percent on its current US earnings, because of various financial manipulations and tax breaks.
By far the biggest benefit for Apple came from the provision allowing global companies to bring home profits held overseas and pay a one-time low rate of only 15.5 percent, less than half the statutory rate of 35 percent. Apple had the largest single stockpile of such profits, a staggering $257 billion, accumulated in part from global sales and in part from bookkeeping transactions that artificially diverted profits to overseas accounts to escape US taxation, pending the passage of such a bill.
As part of the repatriation of this cash hoard, the company will pay $38 billion in taxes to the Treasury—an amount that will no doubt be hailed as the largest single corporate tax payment in history—but this represents a saving of $47 billion over what Apple would actually have paid if US tax laws had been enforced instead of being treated as a dead letter by giant corporations.
Trump’s Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 would have been better named the “Amnesty for Corporate Tax Cheats Act,” or perhaps the “An Act to Give Apple $47 Billion While Starving Schools and the Poor.”
In a democratically organized and rationally planned society, much better use would have been found for the $102 billion being used to enrich those already wealthy. As the chart suggests, Apple’s $102 billion windfall could have paid for the entire budget of the federal Department of Education, or paid the full tuition cost for every US college student, with $20 billion left over. It is double what all US public schools spend on capital improvements (buildings, playgrounds, school buses, equipment) and nearly twice as much money as the federal government spends on food stamps for more than 40 million low-income families. It is more than three times what the United Nations estimates is needed to feed every hungry family in the world for the next year.
When the tax cut bill was passed last December, the White House began hyping a series of announcements by major companies of plans to raise wages, hire more workers, or invest in new facilities, in order to provide “evidence” for its phony claims that the legislation was aimed at benefiting American workers.
Apple, for example, has pledged to hire another 20,000 workers over the next five years, at a cost of $5 billion ($50,000 a year per worker, counting wages and benefits, below the median wage in the United States). Even if this $5 billion materializes, it would represent only 2 percent of Apple’s total repatriated funds. It is dwarfed by the $102 billion handout to shareholders.
In the past week, at least one prominent Republican, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, has publicly admitted that the tax bill was sold under false pretenses. In an interview with British magazine The Economist , Rubio said, “There is still a lot of thinking on the right that if big corporations are happy, they’re going to take the money they’re saving and reinvest it in American workers … In fact, they bought back shares, a few gave out bonuses; there’s no evidence whatsoever that money’s been massively poured back into the American worker.”
Surveys by business groups have confirmed that the lion’s share of the tax cut gains will go the stock buybacks and dividends, while wage gains are estimated at 15 percent (which includes, of course, bonuses and salary increases for executives, as opposed to options and other stock-related compensation) to as low as 6 percent of the total.
Wall Street analysts now estimate that stock buybacks and dividend increases will top $1 trillion in 2018, nearly doubling the previous record set in 2007, the year before the financial crash. In the first quarter alone, stock buybacks and cash takeovers topped $305 billion, before Tuesday’s $102 billion declaration by Apple.
As for working people, nearly half own no stock at all, and the rest have minimal amounts in 401(k) retirement accounts and pensions. The bottom 80 percent of the population—the entire working class and sections of the middle class—own just 8 percent of stocks. The richest 10 percent of Americans own 80 percent of all shares.

OBAMA’S CRONY BANKSTERISM destroyed a 11 TRILLION DOLLARS in home equity… and they’re still plundering us!

Barack Obama created more debt for the middle class than any president in US history, and also had the only huge QE programs: $4.2 Trillion.

OXFAM reported that during Obama’s terms, 95% of the wealth created went to the top 1% of the world’s wealthy. 


"Amazon is a massive wrecking machine consuming American retail. It's looting the economy and leaving behind rubble. " --- DANIEL 
AS WALL STREET PLUNDERS: A Nation of One Million Homeless and Overrun By Mexico’s Export of “cheap labor”!

“But a series of reports on CEO pay, bank profits and corporate cash released over the past week reveal that corporate America and the financial oligarchy are wallowing in record levels of wealth.”

Report: Amazon Importing More Foreign Workers to Take Coveted Tech Industry Jobs than Facebook, Google Combined

by JOHN BINDER25 Apr 2018Washington, D.C.374

Amazon, the multinational online retail conglomerate, is importing more foreign workers to the United States to take coveted tech industry jobs than Facebook and Google combined.

Every year, more than 100,000 foreign workers are brought to the U.S. on the H-1B visa and are allowed to stay for up to six years. There are about 650,000 H-1B visa foreign workers in the U.S. at any given moment. Americans are often laid off in the process and forced to train their foreign replacements, as highlighted by Breitbart News.
Data reported by Statista reveals that Amazon requested to import 2,515 foreign H-1B workers in 2017, more than the 720 foreign workers that Facebook asked for and the 1,213 foreign workers Google has attempted to bring to the U.S.
In 2017, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Intel, and Apple all requested more foreign workers to take U.S. jobs than the year before. In 2016, Amazon was one of the top 20 corporations demanding foreign workers to take jobs.
As Breitbart News reported, tech conglomerates like Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple hide their H-1B foreign worker hires through outsourcing firms like Cognizant, Tata, and Infosys. The practice allows the corporations to claim they are not undercutting or replacing American workers at extraordinary rates, as they simply contract the foreign workers through the outsourcing firms.
Meanwhile, the H-1B visa program and importation of foreign workers has crowded out American young people and STEM graduates from high-paying jobs in Silicon Valley, the tech hub of the world, Breitbart News reported.

Data: Foreign-Born Workers Overwhelmingly Outnumber Americans in Silicon Valley Jobs | Breitbart


Data analyzed by the Seattle Times revealed that 71 percent of tech workers in Silicon Valley are foreign-born, while the tech industry in the San Francisco, Oakland, and Hayward area is made up of 50 percent foreign-born tech workers.
Though not specified in the analysis, a wide number of the tech industry’s foreign tech workers are imported to the United States through the H-1B visa, which brings more than 100,000 foreign workers to the U.S. every year.
Oftentimes, importing a foreign worker on the H-1B visa is the first step in a multinational corporations’ effort to outsource the American job, as the foreign worker arrives in the U.S., is trained in the job, and then is eventually sent back overseas with the job.
The growing foreign-born population dominating the workforce in Silicon Valley comes as nearly 500,000 Americans graduate in the STEM fields every year. Those American graduates are forced to compete with a booming foreign-born population in the U.S. and foreign workers who are imported by outsourcing firms and major tech conglomerates.
The foreign-born population in Silicon Valley is likely heavily weighted and biased to male Indian nationals, as they make up nearly 70 percent of all imported foreign workers on the H-1B visa, as cited by the Center for Immigration Studies.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder



"Today, each of the top 5 billionaires owns as much as 750 million people, more

than the total population of Latin America and double the population of the US."

"Amazon is a massive wrecking machine consuming American retail. It's looting the economy and leaving behind rubble. " --- DANIEL GREENFIELD 



"During the same month that Schlafly had backed Trump for his “America First” 


agenda, Nielsen’s committee released an ideologically-globalist report, promoting


the European migrant crisis as a win for big business who would profit greatly


from a never-ending stream of cheap, foreign migrants."


Amazon Pampers 6,000 Dogs While Warehouse Workers Pee in Bottles

Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images
by JOHN NOLTE18 Apr 201830

In an unfortunate coincidence for Amazon, on the same day a puffy public relations piece about the retail giant’s pampering of 6,000 dogs made the rounds through our compliant media, so dida report about warehouse employees being forced to urinate into bottles in order to keep up with their respective work quotas without sanction.

At the retail giant’s 8.1 million square foot  Seattle headquarters, life is not only good for Amazon’s employees, but 6,000 of their pets, who are not only allowed to spend the day with their owners at work, but enjoy all kinds of perks, including treats at every reception desk, a doggie deck where they can run around, and even a leash-free park.
While no one with a heart could begrudge the pampering of any animal, especially man’s best friend, the comparison to how poorly  Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos (who also owns the far-left Washington Post) reportedly treats a countless number of his employees, could not be more striking.
“The target grows every year. I do not have two more legs yet to make the 100% to pick, where you actually need to run and go to the toilet just during the break,” one Amazon warehouse worker who works in the UK, reported. Others claimed that they avoid “drinking water throughout their work shift for fear of having to use the toilet.”
For those of us who worked on the top floor, the closest toilets were down four flights of stairs,” claimed James Bloodworth, an undercover investigator. “People just peed in bottles because they lived in fear of being ­disciplined over ‘idle time’ and ­losing their jobs just because they needed the loo.”
Other reports have found that, unlike those Seattle-based dogs and their 17th floor bathroom amenities, one fulfillment center (read warehouse) in the UK offered its working class employees “disgusting and ill-maintained toilets are over a quarter mile away within the vast complex.” At this same complex, an investigative reporter found  “staff asleep on their feet, exhausted,” adding that “those who could not keep up with the punishing targets faced the sack – and some who buckled under the strain had to be attended to by ambulance crews.”
According to these reports, Bezos appears to have created a disturbing caste system within his empire. The white collar employees and their pets are treated like royalty, while the working class are treated like paid slaves.
Bezos’ Washington Post, the left-wing news outlet President Trump has accused of acting as an Amazon lobbying firm, has already published 39 stories about Amazon this month, many of them in defense of Amazon, but not a word about Monday’s undercover report about working conditions being so bad, warehouse workers are peeing in bottles.
 Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNCFollow his Facebook Page here.

With $1 billion fine, Wells Fargo's tough year gets even worse

 | April 13, 2018 10:43 AM


The initial $185 million settlement cost Wells Fargo lucrative bond deals with government agencies, led to contentious congressional hearings and spurred the abrupt retirement of then-Chairman and CEO John Stumpf.
Associated Press

Wells Fargo, the lender grappling with fallout over millions of phony accounts and government restrictions on its growth, said Friday it may have to pay $1 billion in civil penalties to settle probes of its automotive- and mortgage-lending practices.
The amount may change as the San Francisco-based lender continues talks with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Comptroller of the Currency's Office, potentially altering the preliminary first-quarter profit growth reported on Friday. Wells Fargo's brand has been tarnished since it conceded in late 2016 that 5,000 workers had been fired over a five-year period for creating more than 3 million unauthorized customer accounts in order to meet ambitious sales targets.
The initial $185 million settlement cost the bank lucrative bond deals with government agencies, led to contentious congressional hearings and spurred the abrupt retirement of then-Chairman and CEO John Stumpf. Under his successor, Tim Sloan, the bank conceded it was also facing reviews of prior mortgage practices as well as the sale of unneeded insurance policies to auto-loan applicants who were told they might not qualify otherwise.
The latest settlement talks show Wells Fargo "still has wood to chop regarding the consumer-related issues the company faces," Brian Kleinhanzl of brokerage Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, said in a note to clients.
Earlier this year, the Federal Reserve imposed a cap on Wells Fargo's growth until it improves corporate oversight, a move that Sloan has said will curb the lender's profit by as much as $400 million. The directive requires the San Francisco-based lender to keep its assets at or below the roughly $2 trillion held at the end of December 2017. At that time, it was the nation's third-largest bank, behind New York-based JPMorgan Chase and Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America.
The cap isn't hurting Wells Fargo's ability to expand lending in areas where it seeks growth since it can compensate by selling assets in other sectors, Sloan has said, a point he reiterated on an earnings call Friday.
"Our folks are out there facing off with our customers every day across the entire platform," the CEO told analysts. At the same time, the lender is committed to resolving regulatory concerns and is reviewing all its businesses to ensure they meet compliance standards.
"We've certainly had a thorough look in every nook and cranny in the company, and we're continuing to," Sloan said. "One of the lessons learned for us, candidly, over the last few years is that we should have been doing a better job of that when we were performing quite well in the prior years, and we're not going to make that mistake again."
Wells Fargo shares fell 3.1 percent to $51.05 in New York trading on Friday. Based on the lender's preliminary figures, net income climbed 5.4 percent to $5.9 billion, or $1.12 a share, in the three months through March. 
Updated 4/13/18, 12:07 PM: Updated with analyst comment in fourth paragraph.

Nancy Pelosi triples her loot since the banksters nearly destroyed America’s economy and demands endless hordes of illegals to keep wages depressed!

MAKES YOU WONDER HOW MANY ILLEGALS SHE EMPLOYS AT HER ST. HELENA, NAPA WINERY …. The same county where an ILLEGAL started a fire that killed dozens and did millions of dollars in property damage!

OBAMA’S CRONY BANKSTERISM destroyed a 11 TRILLION DOLLARS in home equity… and they’re still plundering us!

Barack Obama created more debt for the middle class than any president in US

history, and also had the only huge QE programs: $4.2 Trillion.

OXFAM reported that during Obama’s terms, 95% of the wealth created went to the top 1% of the world’s wealthy. 

April 5, 2018

Democrats: The Party of the Super-Duper (Mostly White) Gazillionaires

Though there are numerous questions I could ask to determine if a fellow American gets his "news" from the DMIC (Democrat Media Industrial Complex), I usually lead with this one: "What political party is the party of the wealthy?"
If the answer is "the Republican Party," I know that the individual is a regular consumer of DMIC propaganda.  It's tempting to get angered at the individual, but I know that two of the ways the DMIC lies are by distorting and withholding.
The Democratic Party is the party of the mega-, mega-wealthy.  This is one of the dangerous cover-ups of the DMIC.  Let's go to the tale of the tape.

Here are the top ten American billionaires, according to Forbes:
1.   Bill Gates, $86 billion
2.   Warren Buffet, $75.6
3.   Jeff Bezos, $72.8
4.   Mark Zuckerberg, $56.0
5.   Larry Ellison, $52.2
6.   Charles Koch, $48.3
7.   David Koch, $48.3
8.   Michael Bloomberg, $47.5
9.   Larry Page, $40.7
10.                Sergey Brin, $39.8
Well, well, well – look at all that wealth that could be redistributed!  The above wealth totals $567 billion.  The Ds above outnumber the Rs 7-3 (I counted the Kochs twice, even though they could be counted as one; the third is Ellison), with 74% of the wealth owned by the Democrats. 
Oh, the hypocrisy, the hypocrisy!  Perhaps you're asking yourself: What's my fair share of all those billions?
Democrats spread their wealth to other Democrats
Make no mistake: in addition to campaign contributions, which can be viewed at (I have no affiliation), the Democrat billionaires do believe in wealth redistribution, which is why they've invested their monies across every Democrat-friendly industry – from media to technology to anti-Second Amendment groups.  It's the Democrats' (legal) version of a Madoff scheme.
In 2016, the Kochs – favorite targets of Democrats – spent over $31 million ($11 million to candidates and political action committees and $20 million on lobbying).  These big bucks certainly are not chump change, but they're ranked 39 among all donors to candidates and PACs and 27 among all lobbyist spending.
Whatever one's opinion of money in politics, in all its forms – soft, hard, dark, by individual, by family – it's indisputable that it is a wide and deep hole that both major parties have leveraged.
But why stop at the Democrat gazillionaires?  Let's take a look at other Democrat 1-Percenters.
I checked dollar amounts at the Federal Election Commission, where campaign contributions are tabulated (keep in mind that there is usually a lag in tabulations – sometimes up to a year due to off-year election years).  Here's a 2014 graph; there's some crossover, but the D contributions outnumber R by almost half a billion dollars, and this is over the last 25 years.
For 2016 federal contributions to organizations, seven of the top 10 (including number 1) went to Democrats, totaling over $300 million.
For 2016 federal contributions to individuals, six of the top 10 (including number 1) went to Democrats, totaling nearly $250 million.
In the 2016 Presidential election, President Trump spent $325 million; Clinton spent $563 million.
The Democrat myth of publicly financed elections
Does one really think Democrats want campaign finance reform, or publicly financed elections, or higher taxes for the wealthy?  The Democrats' counter is always well, those are the rules of the game, and we're playing the game.  Money in politics is a legitimately concerning issue, but Democrats need to spare us the sanctimonious moralizing that they give mucho dinero out of the sheer kindness of their hearts.
Democrats love money in politics as much as Republicans, and they keep their sheep voters occupied with hating the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling inCitizens United v. FEC, which had nothing to do with campaign contributions; it had to do with the constitutionality of airing on television a Citizens United-produced documentary about Hillary Clinton before the 2008 Democratic Party primary.
Marxist warfare
Money in politics is more ammo in the Democrats' Marxist war of economic hate and envy.  President Trump's election, in large part, stemmed from small business owners and dirty-fingernails workers who have grown tired of the condescending "you didn't build that" remarks made famous by President Obama and U.S. senator Elizabeth Warren.  The super-rich do well no matter who's president, and they did extraordinarily well under Obama.  (Obama's net worth, it should be noted, is approximately $8 million; his net worth was around $1.7 million when first elected president, and his 2015 tax return showed an effective tax rate of around 19% – lower than Warren Buffett's secretary's!).  It's estimated that 90% of income gains went to the top 1% under Obama, who spent a cool $1.9 billion in his 2008 and 2012 campaigns.
Let's give "honorable mention" to Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, who is the fourth wealthiest billionaire in the world and a majority stakeholder in The New York Times Company.  Over the years, Slim, both personally and through his company, Telmex, has contributed millions to the Clinton Foundation.  All this means that Mr. Slim, a Mexican citizen, has heavily involved himself in American politics.  Sounds an awful lot like collusion, doesn't it?
The DMIC (of which Mr. Slim is a member) has carefully, and effectively, crafted a narrative that the GOP is the party of wealthy whites.  As usual with anything Democrat, the opposite is true: wealthy whites predominantly vote for and fund Democrats, and the top ten most expensive cities in America are populated by mostly white, limousine liberal Democrats.
Conversely, Democrat policies in the inner cities are guaranteed to fail.  Here's the proof.
But your Democrat friends and relatives knew all this from Bill Gates, Rachel Maddow, and Media Matters for America, right?  
Rich Logis is the host of The Rich Logis Show, at, and author of the upcoming book 10 Warning Signs Your Child is Becoming a Democrat.  He can be found on Twitter at @RichLogis.
Image: MOs810 via Wikimedia Commons.

NANCY PELOSI, and her LA RAZA SISTERS, SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN, FORMER SEN. BARBARA BOXER and NOW SEN. KAMALA HARRIS are a pantheon of staggering self-serving corruption.

They and their families have all gotten filthy rich off of these women’s elected office.

Their endless hispandering for the illegals’ votes has turned California into Mexifornia, a drug, gang and anchor baby welfare third-world dumpster!

“Liberal governing has transformed beautiful California into the poverty capital of America with the worst quality of life.  Crazy taxes, crazy high cost of living, and crazy overreaching regulations have crushed the middle class, forcing the middle class to exit the Sunshine State.  All that is left in California are illegals feeding at the breast of the state, rapidly growing massive homeless tent cities, and the mega-rich.” LLOYD MARCUS






"Amazon is a massive wrecking machine consuming American retail. It's looting the economy and leaving behind rubble. " --- DANIEL GREENFIELD FRONTPAGE MAG

Billionaire Mexicans tell their poor to JUMP U.S. OPEN BORDERS and LOOT THE STUPID GRINGO… and loot they do!
Billions of dollars are sucked out of America from Mexico’s looting!

1) Mexico ended legal immigration 100 years ago, except for Spanish blood.

2) Mexico is the 17th richest nation but pays the 220th lowest minimum wage to force their subjects to invade the USA. The expands territory for Mexicans, spreads the Spanish language, and culture and genotypes, while earning 17% of Mexico's gross GDP as Foreign Remittance Income.

AS WALL STREET PLUNDERS: A Nation of One Million Homeless and Overrun By Mexico’s Export of “cheap labor”!

“But a series of reports on CEO pay, bank profits and corporate cash released over the past week reveal that corporate America and the financial oligarchy are wallowing in record levels of wealth.


“But a series of reports on CEO pay, bank profits and corporate cash released over the past week reveal that corporate America and the financial oligarchy are wallowing in record levels of wealth.

Report details massive growth of inequality worldwide

By Eric London
10 April 2018
In December, researchers Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman released the groundbreaking 300-page World Inequality Report 2018 detailing the growth of social inequality on a world scale over recent decades. The authors “provide the first estimates of how the growth in global income since 1980 has been distributed across the totality of the world population.”

The growth of within-country inequality

The report shows that inequality is worsening in nearly every country and is therefore increasing on a world scale. As a result, the report warns: “Where rising inequality is not properly addressed, it leads to all manner of political and social catastrophes”—i.e., revolution.
The current share of total wealth controlled by the top 1 percent is 33 percent, up from 28 percent in 1980—a shift that reflects the transfer of trillions from the working class to the rich. The top 10 percent of the world now owns over 70 percent of total wealth. The bottom half of the world’s population—3.5 billion people—owns less than 2 percent of the wealth.
In terms of income, the top 1 percent captured 23 percent of world income from 1980 to 2016—equal to the total captured by the bottom 60 percent. The top 0.1 percent captured as much income as the bottom half of the world’s population.
After decreasing for most of the twentieth century, the income and wealth share of the top 10 and top 1 percent has increased dramatically since the 1980s:
If the world’s billionaires continue increasing their wealth at the present rate, they will eventually “own 100 percent of the world’s wealth.”

Growth of the international working class and homogenization of incomes across continents

Alongside the growth of inequality, the income levels for the poorest half of the world have increased substantially. This shows that billions of people have entered the working class in recent decades, leaving behind a rural existence as globalization has rapidly transformed social relations in the former colonial countries.
The greatest transformation has taken place in China, where the population took just 3 percent of global income in 1980, but now takes 19 percent—surpassing both North America (17 percent) and Europe (17 percent). Income distribution by region is much more even than in past decades, with India increasing its share of world income to 7 percent, Japan declining to 4 percent, and the rest of Asia increasing to 18 percent. Africa and Latin America take only 5 and 8 percent of world income, respectively.
The industrialization of the former colonial countries (especially across Asia) coincides with a decline of income among the 60th to 90th percentiles, a group mostly comprised of the working class in the United States and Europe. Incomes between the 60th and 90th percentiles were stagnant, increasing less than 50 percent over a 36-year period. The conditions and incomes of workers across the world are becoming increasingly homogenized.
For example, from 1950 to 2016, the average income of a resident of Asia was 34 percent of the world average. By 2016, the average resident of Asia made 79 percent of the world average. For China alone, the figure increased from 15 percent in 1950 to 89 percent in 2016.
The same figure declined in Africa, where the average resident’s income was 64 percent of the world average in 1950 but just 41 percent in 2016. In Latin America, the figure also declined from 140 percent to 91 percent. The average income of a resident of Europe or the United States has declined substantially and is much closer to the world average than in previous decades.
This shows that as the working class grows numerically and becomes increasingly interconnected in the world process of production, the conditions and incomes of workers across the world become increasingly homogenized.

Impact of the Russian Revolution and dissolution of the Soviet Union on world inequality

The growth of inequality and divergent rates of income growth are the product not simply of abstract objective processes. They are the outcome of the development of the class struggle over the last century.
The report notes that the Russian Revolution of 1917 dramatically reduced social inequality on a world scale.
The revolution shook the world. The report notes, “In emerging economies, political and social shocks led to an even more radical reduction of income inequality. The abolition of private property in Russia, land redistribution, massive investments in public education, and strict government control over the economy via five-year plans effectively spread the benefits of growth from the early 1920s to the 1970s.” Further, “For most of the global population, the first three-quarters of the twentieth century corresponded to a very strong compression in the distribution of national incomes.”
In India, for example, “the top percentile income share decreased from around 20 percent at the end of the colonial period to 6 percent in the early 1980s, after four decades of socialist-inspired policies aimed at reducing the economic power of the elite, including nationalizations, government control over prices, and extreme tax rates on top incomes.” In China, inequality was drastically reduced as a result of the expropriations and nationalizations that followed the 1949 Chinese Revolution.
But the dissolution of the Soviet Union by the imperialist powers and the Stalinist bureaucracy “contributed to strong increases in top percentile income shares” across the world. In Russia, the top 1 percent now controls 20 percent of income—equal to the distribution under the Tsar. In India, the top 1 percent controls 22 percent of income, worse than under English colonial rule.
In China, the pro-market reforms implemented by the Stalinist bureaucracy beginning in the late 1970s produced a more drawn-out growth in inequality. While the bottom 50 and top 10 percent took equal shares of national income in 1978, the top 10 percent now takes nearly three times that of the bottom 50 percent.
In Russia itself, the reintroduction of private property “resulted in massive redistribution and impoverishment for millions of Russian households, particularly among the retired populations. The share of national income accruing to the bottom 50 percent collapsed, dropping from about 30 percent of total income in 1990-1991 to less than 10 percent in 1996.”
Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, inequality has risen to levels almost approaching the extreme inequality of the United States.

The rise of oligarchy in the US

In no country in the world does the ruling class possess as much wealth as in the United States, the center of world imperialism.
Europe’s top 1 percent increased its income share from 10 percent in 1980 to 12 percent in 2016. In the US, however, the top 1 percent increased from the same figure—10 percent in 1980—to 20 percent today.
The wealth share of the top 10 percent has increased from 63 percent in 1985 to 77 percent today. But even this masks the massive accumulation of wealth at the very top. The wealth share of the “next 9 percent” has declined relative to that of the top 1 percent.
High levels of inequality dominate even within the top 1 percent: “The rise in wealth share of the top 1 percent itself owes almost all of its increase to the growth of the top 0.1 percent share, which rose from 7 percent to 22 percent” from 1986 to 2012. The top 0.1 percent now owns as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent. “The average real wealth of the bottom 90 percent of families was no higher in 2012 than in 1986.”
The wealth and income of the “next 9 percent” below the top 1 percent has increased dramatically in absolute terms, from an average income of $586,060 in 1980 to $1.14 million in 2014, while the bottom 90 percent has seen its wealth stagnate or decline.

The inability of governments to respond to social grievances or economic crises

The report also charts the growth of private capital and the decline of public capital over the decades. The process of privatization has taken place across almost all countries and shows the domination of private transnational corporations over the world’s economic activity.
The report notes: “The domination of private wealth in national wealth represents a marked change from the situation which prevailed in the 1970s, when net public wealth was typically between 50 percent and 100 percent of national income in most developed countries (and over 100 percent in Germany).”
Private wealth to national income ratios are “returning to the high values observed in the late 19th century”—i.e., the gilded age of unregulated capitalist exploitation. The report’s authors conclude, “Today, with either small or negative net public wealth, the governments of developed countries are arguably limited in their ability to intervene in the economy, redistribute income, and mitigate rising inequality.”
This finding contradicts the study’s policy recommendations, which appeal to the governments to pare back austerity measures and increase spending on social programs. By the authors’ own admission, the governments have transferred so much of the state resources to the balance sheets of the billionaires and millionaires that they lack the resources to carry out the massive expenditures required to respond to future economic crises or improve the lives of billions of workers and poor people worldwide.


The report shows the objective basis for revolutionary optimism. The size of the working class has grown massively, especially in Asia. Globalization has brought the working class together into the same process of production, leading to a leveling in its conditions. Increasingly connected by social media and the Internet, there is every indication that the class struggle will be increasingly international not only in its content, but also in its form. For this reason, the capitalist governments of the world are seeking to censor the Internet and prevent workers from using social media as a platform for political organization.
The report is also proof of the necessity of social revolution. The governments are so dominated by the oligarchs in their respective countries that they are economically unable to respond to economic crisis or the needs of the working class. Only social revolution—with nationalizations, expropriation of the wealth of the world aristocracy, and the redistribution of the wealth to meet the needs of the human race—is capable of wiping inequality and poverty off the face of the earth.


Washington Times: ‘Secret Empires’ Revelations ‘Shocking, Startling, Stunning–and Sickening’



The Washington Times’ Fred J. Eckert reviews the new book Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends by Government Accountability Institute President and Breitbart Senior Editor-at-Large Peter Schweizer.

The astonishing widespread massive corruption of some of the biggest names in American politics that Peter Schweizer reveals in his new blockbuster expose is shocking, startling, stunning — and sickening.
“Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends” is an insightful and extraordinarily consequential book that should ignite a national uproar.
Don’t hold your breath. Our national media can be expected to do all in its power to suppress the possibility of any uproar — even when the corruption is this vast. It’s what they’re best at — covering up their own malfeasance and protecting politicians with whose ideology they’ve allied themselves.
One of the biggest scandals in American history was swirling around us. Leading U.S. government figures were embracing corruption. Foreign governments were colluding with American sleazes to hurt our country. Family and friends of these key political figures conspired as middlemen between foreign interests seeking influence and these enormously influential U.S. government officials.
Read the rest here.

World's richest one per cent are on track to own two thirds of global wealth by the year 2030

·         If financial trends continue as they are the top 1% will own 64% of global wealth
·         Shocking figures show world's riches will amount to £216.5trillion by year 2030
·         Experts claim disparity is the result of extra savings being made by the wealthy
PUBLISHED: 16:42 EDT, 7 April 2018 | UPDATED: 16:52 EDT, 7 April 2018

The world's richest one per cent are on track to own two thirds of global wealth by 2030.
New figures from the House of Commons library show shocking levels of income inequality if financial trends continue in the way they have done since the 2008 crash.
Statistics reveal the top one per cent will account for 64 per cent of global wealth, which will total £216.5trillion in 12 years time - £99trillion higher than it is today.
They also show the richest one per cent has been growing much faster than it has previously, at an average of six per cent a year.  
New figures from the House of Commons library show the world's richest one per cent are on track to own two thirds of global wealth by 2030
Experts believe increasing disparity will come as a result of higher saving rates among the wealthy and the accumulation of stocks and other assets, which bring disproportionate benefits, reports The Guardian
A survey carried out by consultants Opinium shows UK voters are increasingly concerned by how much power the world's richest have.
It showed 34 per cent of those surveyed believe the super rich will yield the most power in 12 years time, while 28 per cent thought it would be national governments.


The poll also revealed fears disparity will lead to increasing corruption, as the top one per cent take over politicians as the most influential on the global stage.
It was commissioned by former Labour cabinet minister Liam Byrne, as MPs, academics, business leaders and trade unions club together to take on growing inequality.
Mr Byrne wants to put pressure on G20 leaders after declaring global inequality is 'at tipping point'.  
Actor Michael Sheen is also backing the calls, after taking a step back from his Hollywood career to campaign against credit providers. 
Statistics reveal the top one per cent will account for 64 per cent of global wealth, which will total £216.5trillion in 12 years time - £99trillion higher than it is today



Nancy Pelosi triples her loot since the banksters nearly destroyed America’s economy and demands endless hordes of illegals to keep wages depressed!

Pelosi: ‘Wealthiest 1% Continue to Hoard the Benefits of the U.S. Economy’

By Staff | April 6, 2018 | 4:13 PM EDT
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Screen Capture)
( - House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) said today that the jobs report for March, which showed unemployment holding at 4.1 percent, indicates that “the wealthiest 1 percent continue to hoard the benefits of the U.S. economy.”

"Democrats will never stop fighting for the hard-working middle class families who are the backbone of our nation," Pelosi said.

Here is Pelosi’s statement following the release of the March jobs report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
“March’s disappointing jobs report shows that corporations and the wealthiest 1 percent continue to hoard the benefits of the U.S. economy. Powerful special interests are reaping massive windfalls from the GOP tax scam, while workers are denied the raises and good-paying jobs they deserve.
“From the start, the White House and Republicans in Congress have put themselves and their rich donors first, and the American people last. Corporations are cheering their huge new tax breaks by enriching their executives and investors, while hard-working men and women see little help and rising health costs.
“Democrats are fighting to give the American people a better deal, with better jobs, better wages and a better future. We are committed to creating millions of new good-paying jobs and raising wages, lowering the soaring cost of living for families and giving every American the tools to succeed in the 21st Century economy. Democrats will never stop fighting for the hard-working middle class families who are the backbone of our nation.”

NANCY PELOSI, and her LA RAZA SISTERS, SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN, FORMER SEN. BARBARA BOXER and NOW SEN. KAMALA HARRIS are a pantheon of staggering self-serving corruption.

They and their families have all gotten filthy rich off of these women’s elected office.

Their endless hispandering for the illegals’ votes has turned California into Mexifornia, a drug, gang and anchor baby welfare third-world dumpster!

“Liberal governing has transformed beautiful California into the poverty capital of America with the worst quality of life.  Crazy taxes, crazy high cost of living, and crazy overreaching regulations have crushed the middle class, forcing the middle class to exit the Sunshine State.  All that is left in California are illegals feeding at the breast of the state, rapidly growing massive homeless tent cities, and the mega-rich.” LLOYD MARCUS

Pelosi - Illegals - Sunkist - Her investments!
Pelosi's corrupt insider passing of bills that make her rich.
Check for yourself
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's home House District includes San Francisco.
Star-Kist Tuna's headquarters are in San Francisco, Pelosi's home district.
Star-Kist is owned by Del Monte Foods and is a major contributor to Pelosi.
Star-Kist is the major employer in American Samoa employing 75% of the Samoan workforce.
Paul Pelosi, Nancy's husband, owns $17 million dollars of Star-Kist stock.
In January, 2007 when the minimum wage was increased from $5.15 to $7.25, Pelosi had American Samoa exempted from the increase so Del Monte would not have to pay the higher wage. This would make Del Monte products less expensive than their competition's.
Last week when the huge bailout bill was passed, Pelosi added an earmark to the final bill adding $33 million dollars for an "economic development credit in American Samoa".
Pelosi has called the Bush Administration "corrupt".
Check some more for yourself

No money for teacher pay or textbooks, but…

US CEO pay, bank profits, corporate cash set new records

By Barry Grey
18 April 2018
Across the United States, workers are being told by Democrats and Republicans alike that there is “no money” for decent wages, pensions or health care. Teachers from West Virginia to Oklahoma, Kentucky, Arizona and other states are rebelling against near-poverty wages and years of school cuts only to be told by the politicians and union leaders that their demands are “unrealistic” and cannot be met.
But a series of reports on CEO pay, bank profits and corporate cash released over the past week reveal that corporate America and the financial oligarchy are wallowing in record levels of wealth. The Washington Post reported on Friday that, boosted by the tax cut for corporations and the rich passed in December, the biggest US firms “find themselves sitting on an Everest of cash,” with “profits pouring in faster than they can find productive ways to spend it.”
“As of the end of 2017,” the Post noted, “companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index were sitting on the largest cash pile in history: nearly $1.8 trillion.”
The windfall from the Trump tax cut, passed with no serious opposition from the Democrats, is not, contrary to the lies used to justify the law, going to create new, good-paying jobs and rebuild the country’s crumbing infrastructure. It is being used for stock buybacks, a parasitic squandering of the wealth produced by the labor of the working class to drive up stock prices and the portfolios of rich investors and corporate executives.
In February alone, US corporations announced a single-month record $150.7 billion in buybacks. They are expected to hit a new yearly record in 2018, surpassing the previous record of $589 billion set in 2007, the year before the Wall Street crash. Over the past 10 years, the American capitalist class has spent $5.1 trillion in stock buybacks.
To put this in perspective, the Oklahoma teachers, among the lowest-paid in the country, demanded $200 million in additional school funding to begin to address a decade of brutal cuts. The state government agreed to a mere $50 million, which the Oklahoma Education Association hailed as a “victory.”
The amount requested by the teachers represents a mere 0.01 percent of the cash being hoarded by US corporations.
This “Mount Everest” of cash controlled by perhaps one percent of the American people towers above the sums allocated by the federal government for basic social needs. The budget for the Department of Health and Human Services is only 60 percent of the corporate cash hoard. The corporate cash pile is 26 times the Department of Education budget, 56 times the budget for Housing and Urban Development, 150 times the Labor Department budget, and 225 times the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency.
According to a report on CEO pay released last week, requisitioning the combined pay of the three highest-earning chief executives in 2017 would virtually cover the Oklahoma teachers’ funding demand. Hock E. Tan (Broadcom) took in $103.2 million, Brian Duperreault (American International Group) received $42.8 million and Mark V. Hurd (Oracle) was paid $40.8 million, for a total of $186.8 million.
These reports, taken together, give a picture of a society that is being ruthlessly plundered by an unaccountable and avaricious financial oligarchy. The waste of resources and diversion of social wealth into the hands of a fabulously rich elite make it impossible to address any of the social problems confronting the population.
The other major squandering of resources is in the form of ever-expanding spending on the military and the preparations of the US ruling class for global war.

CEO pay

On April 11, the executive compensation research firm Equilar published its annual “Equilar 100” report, which examines CEO compensation at the 100 largest companies, by revenue. The study showed that median compensation for the 100 CEOs rose by 5 percent in 2017 from the previous year to reach an 11-year high of $15.7 million.
The median ratio of Equilar 100 CEO pay to that of a worker at the given company was 235 to one. However, some companies on the list had ratios even worse than the median. Manpower Group, whose CEO received $12 million, reported the highest ratio at 2,483 to one. The median pay of the company’s 600,000 workers was $4,828. The retail chain Kohl’s had a ratio of 1,264 to one.
The average pay of an Oklahoma teacher is $42,460. Median pay for Equilar 100 CEOs is 374 times that amount. The increase in median pay for Equilar 100 CEOs in 2017—$700,000—is itself 17 times the pay of the average Oklahoma teacher.
The second-highest paid CEO, Brian Duperreault ($42.8 million), heads the insurance giant American International Group (AIG), whose speculation in subprime mortgage-backed securities and credit default swaps played a central role in the financial crisis a decade ago that destroyed the savings and livelihoods of millions of people around the world and ushered in the Great Recession. His firm was bailed out by the Federal Reserve and the US Treasury to the tune of $150 billion.

Bank profits

Over the past week the major Wall Street banks have reported record or near-record profits for the first quarter of 2018. On Friday, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Wells Fargo reported a combined profit of more than $19 billion for the first three months of the year.
JPMorgan, the country’s biggest bank, reported a record quarterly net income of $8.71 billion. Its profits rose 35 percent over the same period a year ago. Earlier this month, CEO Jamie Dimon issued a letter to shareholders warning of rising wages and advising the Federal Reserve to jack up interest rates in order to stunt economic growth and drive up unemployment, so as to preempt the development of a nationwide wages movement.
It was a similar story at Citigroup (13 percent profit rise) and Wells Fargo (8 percent). Bank of America on Monday reported a 34 percent profit increase and Goldman Sachs on Tuesday said its profits jumped 26 percent.
A substantial part of the profit surge on Wall Street was due to the massive cut in the corporate tax rate. The five banks combined saved well above $2 billion as a result of a drastic reduction in their effective tax rates.
Speaking of the windfall from the tax law and other policies being implemented by Trump, with the tacit support of the Democrats, Citigroup Chief Financial Officer John Gerspach told reporters Friday that companies had only begun to take advantage of the changes. “I think the best is yet to come,” he said.
Putting an end to social inequality and the capitalist system that produces it are essential to providing employment, education, health care, housing, a comfortable retirement, access to culture, a safe environment and a modern infrastructure—that is, securing the basic social rights of the working class.