Thursday, February 27, 2020

EX-BALTIMORE MAYOR PUGH GETS 3 YEARS PRISON - ANY BLACK POLS NOT IN PRISON? WELL, OBAMA IS STILL ON THE LAM - David Bernstein & The Heritage Foundation - “Lawless: The Obama Administration’s Unprecedented Assault on the Constitution and the Rule of Law.”



Ex-Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh Gets 3 Years in Jail for Children’s Book Deal Fraud

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh speaks at a news conference at City Hall in Baltimore, Tuesday, April 4, 2017, in response to the Department of Justice's request for a 90-day delay of a hearing on its proposed overhaul of the Baltimore Police Department. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky
2:41

Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh was sentenced to three years in prison on Thursday for her role in a children’s book deal scheme.
Pugh pleaded guilty in November to federal conspiracy and tax evasion charges as part of an agreement with prosecutors that had requested a roughly five-year sentence for the 69-year-old. On top of the sentence, Pugh will serve three years of supervised release following her prison term and must pay in excess of $411,000 in penalties.
Before handing down the sentence, U.S. District Court Judge Deborah Chasanow criticized submitted documents lauding Pugh’s previous achievements, saying “it was precisely that reputation for good work that allowed her to commit these offenses and continue the fraud for as long as she did,” according to the Baltimore Sun.
“It is astounding and I have yet frankly to hear any explanation that makes sense. This was not a tiny mistake, lapse of judgment. This became a very large fraud. The nature and circumstances of this offense clearly I think are extremely, extremely serious,” added Chasanow.
Pugh released a video on Wednesday in which she apologized for her role in the book scheme. “I messed up. I really messed up,” she said. “I accept total responsibility. I pled guilty and I’m sorry. I don’t know any other words that could be strong. I am so sorry.”
Prosecutors say Pugh, helped by aide Gary Brown Jr., double-sold the illustrated “Healthy Holly” children’s books and failed to deliver them to institutions they were purchased for, including the Baltimore City Public Schools. Pugh used the proceeds to fund straw donations to her mayoral campaign and buy a new house. She resigned under pressure in May.
The University of Maryland Medical System — one of the state’s largest employers — was Pugh’s biggest book customer. The system paid her a total of $500,000 for 100,000 copies that were meant to be distributed to schoolchildren, but about 60,000 of those books were sent to a city warehouse and a Pugh office where thousands were removed to give to other customers. Prosecutors say Pugh never delivered the other 40,000 books the health system purchased for city schools.
Pugh had previously served in the state Senate, where she sat on a committee that funded the medical system. She also sat on the hospital network’s board from 2001 until the scandal erupted in March. The former mayor returned the last $100,000 payment and described the deal as a “regrettable mistake” after the scheme was uncovered.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. 


David Bernstein & The Heritage Foundation - “Lawless: The Obama Administration’s Unprecedented Assault on the Constitution and the Rule of Law.”

“The Lawlessness of the Obama Administration: A never-ending story.” Michael
Barone – American Historian – Washington Examiner

Obama has found fortune by greatly benefiting in his post-presidency from companies who coincidentally benefited greatly during his time as president. 

They knew he was a catastrophe. They knew ObamaCare was a train wreck. They knew. Yet they proceeded, and they may have destroyed our country. For that, they can never be forgiven.

They knew Obama was an unqualified crook; yet they promoted him. They knew Obama was a train wreck waiting to happen; yet they made him president, to the great injury of America and the world. They understood he was only a figurehead, an egomaniac, and a liar; yet they made him king, doing great harm to our republic (perhaps irreparable.) ALLAN ERICKSON

We are talking about the Clintons, Pelosi, Reid, Schumer, Frank, Wasserman-Schultz, Biden, Leahy, Durbin, Murray, Kennedy, Hagel, Kerry, Dodd, Hoyer, Baucus, and many others.

They all knew Obama was an empty suit; yet for private gain and personal advancement, they trampled on the flag, betraying the very people they claim to serve, preferring Party to principle. During the 2008 campaign, they said he was unqualified, ill-prepared, and unsuited for the office. Yet when his crooked ways carved out primary victory, they jumped on board the Ship of Fools, stoking his engine with lies, deception, and propaganda. Hillary knew he stole victory; but like a good Party operative, she buttoned her lip and took orders, submitting to authority and covering criminality.

For those of us not seduced by pretty words and skillful theatrics, the Obama years were a cesspool of corruption that brought back the stench of the Clinton years in a fashionable new package.  

The corruption of Barack Obama


The national media are flabbergasted that Americans won't consent to President Trump's removal from office.  How can so many of his compatriots be indicted and so many government bureaucrats condemn his behavior without giving them what they desire: self-assurance that they are "on the right side of history"?
If they ever wish to understand, the critical starting point in their education is not the current presidency, but the last one.  Although there are numerous ways to describe the present divide in America, one of the simpler is thus: those Americans who take Barack Obama at his word that his presidency was historically "scandal free" and those Americans who see the unrelenting stream of Deep State attempts to take down President Trump as a continuing coup and the natural extension of an unethical, criminal, and at times unconstitutional Obama presidency.
For those of us in the latter camp, Barack Obama presided over a corrupt administration and used his historic election as the first non-white American president as a get-out-of-jail-free card to abuse his power while silencing his critics.
Whataboutery is frowned upon now that President Trump is in office, but if President Trump had done a tiny percentage of what Obama orchestrated, he actually would be in federal prison.  Imagine what would have happened if President Trump had done the following:

  • used a recession to bilk a trillion dollars from the public to stuff the pockets of campaign donors like Solyndra

  • facilitated Agent Brian Terry's murder by arming the Mexican cartels

  • targeted American citizens for assassination without a whiff of due process

  • lied to voters that their doctors would be protected and premiums reduced, while illegally funding Obamacare and covering illegal aliens' health care

  • stolen from victims of Iranian terrorism by plundering escrow accounts protected by law while handing over $1.7 billion in untraceable European currency and planeloads of American cash, releasing twenty-one Iranian convicts, and shutting down a decade-long DEA operation against Hezb'allah's double-whammy assault of smuggling cocaine into the U.S. and financing terrorism against us, all for the glory of an "Iran deal"

  • spied on reporters while putting a record number of their sources in jail

  • used the IRS as his personal gang of thugs to target conservatives before the 2012 election

  • allowed a 9-11 anniversary terrorist attack to unfold without sending reinforcements while falsely blaming the four resulting American deaths on a YouTube video and American free speech

  • sent an untold number of American veterans to early deaths through widespread negligence and corruption at the V.A.

  • protected his attorney general who lied to lawmakers on the president's behalf so persistently that Democrats joined Republicans to make him the first A.G. to be held in contempt of Congress

  • protected his CIA director, who spied on lawmakers and lied about it

  • protected his director of National Intelligence, who illegally spied on all Americans and lied about it

  • protected his heir apparent, who used an illegal and compromised email server and lied about it

  • promoted his U.N. ambassador to national security adviser for unashamedly circuiting Sunday-morning talk shows and peddling demonstrable lies to the American public

  • and all of this while betraying his oath of office by vigorously attacking Americans' constitutionally protected free speech, religion, and right to bear arms; squeezing colleges and private companies to submit to his socialist vision; and punishing his ideological foes by using a corrupt Justice Department and FBI to hunt his enemies
If President Trump had done all this and everything else Obama pulled off, well, then the American media might finally see how luminous the federal government's corruption over these many years truly has been.  Instead, not only have they rebuffed Obama's critics as mere racists, but they flood their editorials and airwaves with the commentary of the very actors who took part in his crimes.  Never before have we seen intelligence chiefs and justice department officials so quickly run to television studios to demean themselves as propagandists intent on protecting the last president by taking down the current one.
For those of us not seduced by pretty words and skillful theatrics, the Obama years were a cesspool of corruption that brought back the stench of the Clinton years in a fashionable new package.  Obama ignored court orders and congressional oversight, protected his friends from criminal prosecutions, and stirred up racial tensions by creating unnecessary controversies and playing whites and blacks against each other for electoral gain.  He entered the White House as one of our poorest presidents, and he will die as one of the richest ex-presidents.  Whereas the Clintons found fortune through their charity, Obama has found fortune by greatly benefiting in his post-presidency from companies who coincidentally benefited greatly during his time as president.  Wherever he goes, he picks up checks, including a staggering sixty-five-million-dollar book deal advance from Penguin Random House, a publishing house taken over in 2013 by Bertelsmann, a privately held German company; one of the world's largest media conglomerates; and the parent of Bertelsmann Investments, an international network of private banking funds in the services and natural resources industries, including those in Iran.  The "most transparent president in history" has now become the "most transparent billionaire in history," adding to his vast wealth in ways the public can only imagine.  
So, for the preening junior senator from Utah who manages to be on the wrong side of every issue, the formerly esteemed conservative pundits who now push Bernie Sanders's communism on the United States, and all the news personalities who pretend to have original thoughts by repeating endlessly what the Democratic Party has written for them, if you are dense enough to misinterpret the unprecedented coup against the sitting president instead as crimes worthy of his repeated condemnation and impeachment, it is way past time to sit down, open your mind, and begin learning about the presidency of one Barack Obama.  It will be a lot to take in; it certainly was for those of us who endured it.  


THE RISE TO POWER OF BANKSTER-OWNED BARACK OBAMA
'Incompetent' and 'liar' among most frequently used words to describe the president: Pew Research Center
The larger fear is that Obama might be just another corporatist, punking voters much as the Republicans do when they claim to be all for the common guy.


MODERN SLAVER JEFF BEZOS SAYS AMAZON WILL TAKE OVER THE GROCERY BUSINESS - WE WILL NEED MILLIONS OF "CHEAP" LABOR ILLEGALS TO WORK FOR US, WELL, CHEAP


Amazon Wants to Take Over the Grocery Store Business

Bezos, world's richest man, shows won't be pushed around
AFP
2:09
E-commerce giant Amazon has opened a new checkout-free “Go” Grocery store in Seattle this week, with 5,000 items available across its largest brick and mortar store yet.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon has opened a 10,400-square-foot store in Seattle this week for its checkout-free Go Grocery store and will stock over 5,000 items at the new location. The store uses a range of cameras, shelf sensors, and software to track items in the store allowing shoppers to simply pick up items they want and walk out the doors. Their accounts are then charged via a smartphone app as they leave.
Amazon has been running a number of these stores since 2018 but this is the first time the technology has been implemented on such a large scale. Shoppers at the Seattle location can choose from a wider range of products than at other Go Grocery stores. The store has also been position closer to residential areas as opposed to business districts to encourage shoppers to choose the store for their usual weekly shop.
Amazon Go Vice President Dilip Kumar told the Journal: “There’s no real upper bound. It could be five times as big, it could be 10 times as big.” Kumar did not stated how many Go Grocery stores have been planned but Amazon has previously stated that it hopes to open as many as 3,000 Go Grocery stores by 2021.
However, the stores have not launched without some issues. GeekWire reports that implementing accurate weighing and pricing for goods such as loose produce has been a key area of focus for the larger stores. Other issues that the stores have faced is that there’s no meat or seafood counter or on-site food preparation. Fresh meat products are instead brought in throughout the week and individually wrapped. Buying alcohol means that a human worker must verify the customer’s ID.
Read more at the Wall Street Journal here.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or email him at lnolan@breitbart.com

STOCKS PLUNGE!


Coronavirus Carnage: Stocks Fall Into Correction on Contagion Fears

Traders work during the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on February 27, 2020 at Wall Street in New York City. - Wall Street stocks opened sharply lower Thursday, joining a sell-off in most global bourses on fears the coronavirus will grow into a significant international health …
Photo by JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images
2:49
U.S. stocks plummeted on Thursday in a day of chaotic trading as investors sought shelter from potential economic consequences of coronavirus.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 4.4 percent, about 1,190 points. The Nasdaq Composite tumbled 4.6 percent. The S&P 500 declined 4.4 percent.
It was the biggest one-day point drop in the history of both the Dow and the S&P, although far from the largest decline in percentage terms. As the indexes rise over time, each point up or down represents a smaller movement.
All three indexes are down for the year and 10 percent below their recent highs, a decline that many market watchers consider the official sign of a market “correction.” The Dow has lost 11 percent in just three days, putting the blue-chip index on a path for the worst week since the financial crisis. For the S&P 500, it was the swiftest plunge into correction territory from an all-time high since at least 1980, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Despite those declines, the S&P is only down 7 percent since the start of the year and is currently trading at levels seen last October. The Nasdaq is down about 4.5 percent for the year.
Goldman Sachs put out a note on Thursday saying U.S. companies would see no earnings growth at all due to the coronavirus outbreak.
“US companies will generate no earnings growth in 2020,” David Kostin, Goldman Sachs’ chief U.S. equity strategist, wr0te in a note to clients. “Our reduced profit forecasts reflect the severe decline in Chinese economic activity in 1Q, lower end-demand for US exporters, disruption to the supply chain for many US firms, a slowdown in US economic activity, and elevated business uncertainty.”
Global companies based in the U.S. have been warning investors that they expect sales in China to plummet and anticipate challenges from supply-chain disruptions as China struggles to get its production back up after the coronavirus devastation and strict quarantines that closed many businesses and kept workers at home.
Microsoft and Apple were the two worst-performing stocks on the Dow, dropping 6.9 and 6.3 percent respectively. Microsoft warned Wednesday that it would not meet its sales guidance for a key personal computing unit that includes the Windows operating system. Apple announced last week that it would fall short of its revenue guidance.
The best performing Dow stock was 3M, which makes surgical masks and respirators. It gained about nine-tenths of a percentage point.

THE REASON TRUMP IS NOT PROSECUTING EMPLOYERS OF ILLEGALS IS TO KEEP WAGES DEPRESSED!

 

More Americans Are Going on Strike

For decades, the decline of the American labor movement corresponded to a decline in major strike activity. But new data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS, indicates a recent and significant increase in the number of Americans who are participating in strikes or work stoppages. As a report from the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute explained on Tuesday, strike activity “surged” in 2018 and 2019, “marking a 35-year high for the number of workers involved in a major work stoppage over a two-year period.” 2019 alone marked “the greatest number of work stoppages involving 20,000 or more workers since at least 1993, when the BLS started providing data that made it possible to track work stoppages by size.” Union membership is declining, but workers themselves are in fighting shape.
EPI credits the strike surge to several factors. Unemployment is low, which bestows some flexibility on workers depending on their industry. If a work environment becomes intolerable or an employer penalizes workers for striking or organizing, a worker could find better employment elsewhere. (Though federal labor law does prohibit employers from retaliating against workers for participating in protected organizing activity, employers often do so anyway, and under Trump, the conservative makeup of the National Labor Relations Board disadvantages unions when they try to seek legal remedies for the behavior.)
The other reason undermines one of Donald Trump’s central economic claims. Though the president points to low unemployment as proof that his policies are successful, the economy isn’t booming for everyone. Wage growth continues to underperform. People can find jobs, in other words, but those jobs often don’t pay well. As the costs of private health insurance rise, adding another strain on household budgets, Americans are finding that employment and prosperity are two separate concepts.
Without a union, exploited workers have few options at their disposal. They can take their concerns to management, and hope someone in power feels pity. They can stage some kind of protest, and risk the consequences. Or they can find another job, and hope their new workplace is more equitable than the last. Lackluster wage growth suggests that this last option is not as viable as some right-to-work advocates claim. Unions afford workers more protection. Not only do they bargain for better wages and benefits, union contracts typically include just-cause provisions, which make it more difficult for managers to arbitrarily fire people for staging any sort of protest at work. Discipline follows a set process, which gives a worker chances to improve. Retaliation still happens, but would likely happen more often were it not for union contracts, which are designed to act as a layer of insulation between workers and managers with ill intent.
The new BLS data reveals that despite their relatively small numbers, unionized workers are exercising the power afforded them by their contracts. Elected officials ought to listen to what this activity tells them. A strike wave is a symptom that the economy is actually not as healthy as it superficially looks. Nobody withholds their labor unless they’ve exhausted all other options. Strikes and stoppages stem from exasperation, sometimes even desperation. Workers know they’re playing a rigged game, and they’re running out of patience.

“The remarkable thing is how weak wages are, how weak the economy is, given that as a result of the tax bill we have a $1 trillion deficit.”

 

Donald Trump is ‘just wrong’ about the economy, says Nobel Prize-winner Joseph Stiglitz


President Donald Trump told business and political leaders in Davos, Switzerland last week that the economy under his tenure has lifted up working- and middle-class Americans. In a newly released interview, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz sharply disagreed, saying Trump’s characterization is “just wrong.” 
“The Washington Post has kept a tab of how many lies and misrepresentations he does a day,” Stiglitz said of Trump last Friday at the annual World Economic Forum. “I think he outdid himself.”
In Davos last Tuesday, Trump said he has presided over a “blue-collar boom,” citing a historically low unemployment rate and surging wage growth among workers at the bottom of the pay scale.
“The American Dream is back — bigger, better, and stronger than ever before,” Trump said. “No one is benefitting more than America’s middle class.”
Stiglitz, a professor at Columbia University who won the Nobel Prize in 2001, refuted the claim, saying the failure of Trump’s economic policies is evident in the decline in average life expectancy among Americans over each of the past three years.
“A lot of it is what they call deaths of despair,” he says. “Suicide, drug overdose, alcoholism — it’s not a pretty picture.”
The uptick in wage growth is a result of the economic cycle, not Trump’s policies, Stiglitz said.
“At this point in an economic recovery, it’s been 10 years since the great recession, labor markets get tight, unemployment gets lower, and that at last starts having wages go up,” Stiglitz says.
“The remarkable thing is how weak wages are, how weak the economy is, given that as a result of the tax bill we have a $1 trillion deficit.”
As the presidential race inches closer to the general election in November, Trump’s record on economic growth — and whether it has resulted in broad-based gains — is likely to draw increased attention.
BLOG: THE GREATEST TRANSFER OF WEALTH TO THE RICH OCCURRED DURING THE OBAMA-BIDEN BANKSTER REGIME
“The middle class is getting killed; the middle class is getting crushed," former Vice President Joe Biden said in a Democratic presidential debate last month. "Where I live, folks aren't measuring the economy by how the Dow Jones is doing, they're measuring the economy by how they're doing," added Pete Buttigieg, a Democratic presidential candidate and former Mayor of South Bend, Indiana.
Trump has criticized Democrats for tax and regulatory policies that he says will make the U.S. less competitive in attracting business investment.
“To every business looking for a place where they are free to invest, build, thrive, innovate, and succeed, there is no better place on Earth than the United States,” he said in Davos.
Stiglitz pointed to Trump’s threats last week of tariffs on European cars to demonstrate that turmoil in U.S. trade relationships may continue, despite the recent completion of U.S. trade deals in North America and China.
“He can’t help but bully somebody,” Stiglitz said.
Max Zahn is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Find hi

A new Gilded Age has emerged in America — a 21st century version.
The wealth of the top 1% of Americans has grown dramatically in the past four decades, squeezing both the middle class and the poor. This is in sharp contrast to Europe and Asia, where the wealth of the 1% has grown at a more constrained pace.

 

Josh Hawley: GOP Must Defend Middle Class Americans Against ‘Concentrated Corporate Power,’ Tech Billionaires


The Republican Party must defend America’s working and middle class against “concentrated corporate power” and the monopolization of entire sectors of the United States’ economy, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) says.

In an interview on The Realignment podcast, Hawley said that “long gone are the days where” American workers can depend on big business to look out for their needs and the needs of their communities.
Instead, Hawley explained that increasing “concentrated corporate power” of whole sectors of the American economy — specifically among Silicon Valley’s giant tech conglomerates — is at the expense of working and middle class Americans.
“One of the things Republicans need to recover today is a defense of an open, free-market, of a fair healthy competing market and the length between that and Democratic citizenship,” Hawley said, and continued:
At the end of the day, we are trying to support and sustain here a great democracy. We’re not trying to make a select group of people rich. They’ve already done that. The tech billionaires are already billionaires, they don’t need any more help from government. I’m not interested in trying to help them further. I’m interested in trying to help sustain the great middle of this country that makes our democracy run and that’s the most important challenge of this day.
“You have these businesses who for years now have said ‘Well, we’re based in the United States, but we’re not actually an American company, we’re a global company,'” Hawley said. “And you know, what has driven profits for some of our biggest multinational corporations? It’s been … moving jobs overseas where it’s cheaper … moving your profits out of this country so you don’t have to pay any taxes.”
“I think that we have here at the same time that our economy has become more concentrated, we have bigger and bigger corporations that control more and more of our key sectors, those same corporations see themselves as less and less American and frankly they are less committed to American workers and American communities,” Hawley continued. “That’s turned out to be a problem which is one of the reasons we need to restore good, healthy, robust competition in this country that’s going to push up wages, that’s going to bring jobs back to the middle parts of this country, and most importantly, to the middle and working class of this country.”
While multinational corporations monopolize industries, Hawley said the GOP must defend working and middle class Americans and that big business interests should not come before the needs of American communities:
A free market is one where you can enter it, where there are new ideas, and also by the way, where people can start a small family business, you shouldn’t have to be gigantic in order to succeed in this country. Most people don’t want to start a tech company. [Americans] maybe want to work in their family’s business, which may be some corner shop in a small town … they want to be able to make a living and then give that to their kids or give their kids an option to do that. [Emphasis added]
The problem with corporate concentration is that it tends to kill all of that. The worst thing about corporate concentration is that it inevitably believes to a partnership with big government. Big business and big government always get together, always. And that is exactly what has happened now with the tech sector, for instance, and arguably many other sectors where you have this alliance between big government and big business … whatever you call it, it’s a problem and it’s something we need to address. [Emphasis added]
Hawley blasted the free trade-at-all-costs doctrine that has dominated the Republican and Democrat Party establishments for decades, crediting the globalist economic model with hollowing “out entire industries, entire supply chains” and sending them to China, among other countries.
“The thing is in this country is that not only do we not make very much stuff anymore, we don’t even make the machines that make the stuff,” Hawley said. “The entire supply chain up and down has gone overseas, and a lot of it to China, and this is a result of policies over some decades now.”
As Breitbart News reported, Hawley detailed in the interview how Republicans like former President George H.W. Bush’s ‘New World Order’ agenda and Democrats have helped to create a corporatist economy that disproportionately benefits the nation’s richest executives and donor class.
The billionaire class, the top 0.01 percent of earners, has enjoyed more than 15 times as much wage growth as the bottom 90 percent since 1979. That economy has been reinforced with federal rules that largely benefits the wealthiest of wealthiest earners. A study released last month revealed that the richest Americans are, in fact, paying a lower tax rate than all other Americans.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder




BERNIE SANDERS AND THE RICH - Why are all billionaires Democrats? Is it because Dems keep the hordes of "cheap" labor illegals coming?

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

Bernie Sanders is Funded by the Wealthiest Zip Codes in America

Tech industry bros and trust-fund hipsters are buying the nomination for Bernie.
 
Daniel Greenfield

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.
In Los Angeles, it’s not unusual to see a Beemer streak by with a Bernie 2020 sticker on the back bumper. There’s no such thing as a poor socialist and Bernie’s backers tend to have lots of cash.
While Bernie Sanders accuses Bloomberg of trying to buy his way to the nomination, the socialist bought his surge with $50 million in spending. He raised $25 million just in January. There’s more buying to do.
And while he boasts of backing from small donors, the wealth of his donors is anything but small.
Google, Amazon, and Microsoft. Their employees are three of the top 4 Bernie donors. Apple is in fifth place. These dot coms are not exactly organizations known to employ members of the proletariat. Google software engineers have sent thousands of dollars, individually, to Bernie.
Google’s senior engineers, like the ones who have backed Bernie, make $250,000 a year.
Geographically, Bernie's top dollar zip code is 94110 in San Francisco. The average household income in this part of the Mission District, specifically the Inner Mission, the Bernal Heights area, is $166,302. The median home value is around $1.5 million and the median rent is almost $5,000 a month.
There are no poor socialists in what was dubbed as “the hottest neighborhood in San Francisco.”
This was the area that Salon founder David Talbot blasted as the "hottest zip code in the country" overrun by "Silicon Valley movers and shakers" in "new-model Teslas, BMWs and Uber limousines". It’s only fitting that it should also be the spigot through which so much of Bernie’s tech bros dollars flow.
The second top dollar Bernie zip code in San Francisco, 94117 or Haight-Ashbury, seems like a better fit for Bernie. But the Summer of Love has long since given way to the Winter of Trust Fund Hipsters in the Haight where the average income is $201,503 and average home values top $1.6 million.
The media has made much of Bernie’s flow of donations from Brooklyn. But the money isn’t coming from the working-class Brooklynites of Bernie’s old neighborhood, but the gentrifying areas of the borough. 11215 or Park Slope is the second biggest top dollar zip code of Bernie donors.
The neighborhood, formerly urban, known as the home of Mayor Bill de Blasio, and the Park Slope Food Co-Op and its anti-Semitic push to boycott Israel, is filled with renovated brownstones filled with wealthy hipsters. It’s a place where a three-bedroom apartment can go for $2.9 million.
To New Yorkers, Park Slope has become a curse word embodying everything wrong with the new elite.
In third place on Bernie’s donor list is 10025 or the Upper West Side of Manhattan. With an average rental price of $4,695, it’s not exactly an inexpensive place to live. The UWS is the 8th richest neighborhood with a $190,281 mean household income. And this is where Bernie’s cash comes from.
11238 or Prospect Heights, in fourth place, is a newly gentrified neighborhood in Brooklyn where the median sales price passed $1 million, and you can expect to spend $800,000 for a one-bedroom co-op. The formerly urban neighborhood has been colonized by wealthy hipsters from Park Slope, and much of what goes for Park Slope also goes for Prospect Heights. They’re the gentrifiers funding Bernie Sanders.
In fifth place is 98103, the Seattle neighborhood of Wallingford. With an average household income of $124,504, the University of Washington neighborhood with its $800,000 homes isn’t working class. Among the cheapest housing options is a $400,000 one-bedroom condo that’s a mere 757 square feet. The area is so expensive because it’s home to tech employees, including Microsoft engineers.
Microsoft employees are among Bernie’s top dollar donors.
And in seventh place is 90026. The Echo Park neighborhood in Los Angeles is a hipster haven which boasts the most expensive pizza in the city where the median price for housing is $813,000, and rents can hit $6,700 a month. Like Park Slope and Haight-Ashbury, Echo Park is full of wealthy hipsters.
That’s Bernie’s core demographic.
In eight place is the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago at zip code 60647. Logan Square is among the most expensive neighborhoods in the Windy City. A condo will set you back over half a million dollars. The rush got so bad that a garage transformed into a home was going for $2.85 million. With its hipster bars and a farmers market, it’s the perfect area for Bernie’s upscale and trendy base.
Ninth and tenth on the list of Bernie’s money neighborhoods are two expensive Manhattan areas.
10003, Union Square and Greenwich Village in downtown Manhattan, is home to NYU, once a hive of angry radicals, now stuffed full of luxury co-ops with wealthy radicals, where condos cost millions of dollars. Greenwich Village has been listed as the ninth most expensive neighborhood in New York City. So, it’s only fitting that it’s the ninth on the list of areas funding the Sanders 2020 presidential campaign.
In tenth place is 10011 or Chelsea and the West Village of Manhattan. It’s also the single most expensive zip code in New York City. Not only is it the most expensive area in New York, but it’s the 23rd most expensive area in the country with a median sale price approaching $2 million. And with average monthly rents of over $4,000, it’s the 19th most expensive rental area in the entire United States.
It’s also home to New York’s Silicon Alley, the city’s tech industry ghetto of dot com and fintech startups.
What do Bernie’s top donor zip codes have in common? Beyond wealth, Bernie’s cash flow is coming from a handful of very blue cities, almost all of them in California and New York City. Only two of the top ten zip codes are located outside San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York City. That alone conveys the insular and unrepresentative nature of Bernie’s funding base compared to the rest of the country.
Bernie’s campaign is powered by the very concentrations of power and wealth that he condemns.
The unrepresentative nature of Bernie’s backers isn’t just a matter of geography, but of culture. Some of Bernie’s top dollar zip codes overlap with the tech industry. His candidacy represents another example of how the tech industry has not only distorted our economy, but also warped our politics.
Much of Bernie’s money comes from hipster hubs where wealthy young white people in major urban areas have made old neighborhoods, including Bernie’s Brooklyn, unaffordable to the working class and middle-class people who once used to live there. Bernie’s donors, especially in places like Prospect Heights and Echo Park have also played a significant role in displacing minorities and the poor.
Follow Bernie’s money and it’s easy to see his campaign for the hypocritical farce that it is.
Tech industry bros and trust fund hipsters are buying the nomination for Bernie, while displacing minority candidates, the way they bought up brownstones in Brooklyn and displaced black people.
He’s the candidate of class warfare, not on behalf of the poor, but of young wealthy people seeking more power and influence at the expense of the more established wealth of an older generation. It’s tech industry bros warring for influence with fossil fuel titans, not for the poor, but for themselves.
Bernie’s base is much less than 1%. Call it the 0.001%. A wealthy and influential young lefty elite with disproportionate influence over the internet is setting the nation’s agenda using digital media, tech dominance, and the Weekend at Bernie’s campaign of a senile socialist who barely knows where he is and won’t release his medical records after a heart attack because they will show he’s barely there.
 "Not me. Us."
That’s Bernie’s slogan. It’s true, just not how people are meant to perceive it. Bernie is little more than a puppet of the campaign pros who made him a household name in 2016 and are trying to make him more than that now. The “Us” are not Americans or even Democrats. It’s the elites of these zip codes.
0.001% of the country is using a confused elderly socialist as a proxy for imposing their will on America.
The 2020 election will be a test of wills between Americans and the 0.001% living in Park Slope, Echo Park, the Mission District, and Haight-Ashbury. After eight years of hipster rule under Obama, is the country ready to bow it heads and let a handful of wealthy young radicals run their lives again?

Josh Hawley: GOP Must Defend Middle Class Americans Against ‘Concentrated Corporate Power,’ Tech Billionaires

JOHN BINDER

The Republican Party must defend America’s working and middle class against “concentrated corporate power” and the monopolization of entire sectors of the United States’ economy, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) says.

In an interview on The Realignment podcast, Hawley said that “long gone are the days where” American workers can depend on big business to look out for their needs and the needs of their communities.
Instead, Hawley explained that increasing “concentrated corporate power” of whole sectors of the American economy — specifically among Silicon Valley’s giant tech conglomerates — is at the expense of working and middle class Americans.
“One of the things Republicans need to recover today is a defense of an open, free-market, of a fair healthy competing market and the length between that and Democratic citizenship,” Hawley said, and continued:
At the end of the day, we are trying to support and sustain here a great democracy. We’re not trying to make a select group of people rich. They’ve already done that. The tech billionaires are already billionaires, they don’t need any more help from government. I’m not interested in trying to help them further. I’m interested in trying to help sustain the great middle of this country that makes our democracy run and that’s the most important challenge of this day.
“You have these businesses who for years now have said ‘Well, we’re based in the United States, but we’re not actually an American company, we’re a global company,'” Hawley said. “And you know, what has driven profits for some of our biggest multinational corporations? It’s been … moving jobs overseas where it’s cheaper … moving your profits out of this country so you don’t have to pay any taxes.”
“I think that we have here at the same time that our economy has become more concentrated, we have bigger and bigger corporations that control more and more of our key sectors, those same corporations see themselves as less and less American and frankly they are less committed to American workers and American communities,” Hawley continued. “That’s turned out to be a problem which is one of the reasons we need to restore good, healthy, robust competition in this country that’s going to push up wages, that’s going to bring jobs back to the middle parts of this country, and most importantly, to the middle and working class of this country.”
While multinational corporations monopolize industries, Hawley said the GOP must defend working and middle class Americans and that big business interests should not come before the needs of American communities:
A free market is one where you can enter it, where there are new ideas, and also by the way, where people can start a small family business, you shouldn’t have to be gigantic in order to succeed in this country. Most people don’t want to start a tech company. [Americans] maybe want to work in their family’s business, which may be some corner shop in a small town … they want to be able to make a living and then give that to their kids or give their kids an option to do that. [Emphasis added]
The problem with corporate concentration is that it tends to kill all of that. The worst thing about corporate concentration is that it inevitably believes to a partnership with big government. Big business and big government always get together, always. And that is exactly what has happened now with the tech sector, for instance, and arguably many other sectors where you have this alliance between big government and big business … whatever you call it, it’s a problem and it’s something we need to address. [Emphasis added]
Hawley blasted the free trade-at-all-costs doctrine that has dominated the Republican and Democrat Party establishments for decades, crediting the globalist economic model with hollowing “out entire industries, entire supply chains” and sending them to China, among other countries.
“The thing is in this country is that not only do we not make very much stuff anymore, we don’t even make the machines that make the stuff,” Hawley said. “The entire supply chain up and down has gone overseas, and a lot of it to China, and this is a result of policies over some decades now.”
As Breitbart News reported, Hawley detailed in the interview how Republicans like former President George H.W. Bush’s ‘New World Order’ agenda and Democrats have helped to create a corporatist economy that disproportionately benefits the nation’s richest executives and donor class.
The billionaire class, the top 0.01 percent of earners, has enjoyed more than 15 times as much wage growth as the bottom 90 percent since 1979. That economy has been reinforced with federal rules that largely benefits the wealthiest of wealthiest earners. A study released last month revealed that the richest Americans are, in fact, paying a lower tax rate than all other Americans.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder

Tucker Carlson Exposes D.C. ‘Conservatives’ for Doing Big Tech’s Bidding

Rich Polk/Getty
21 Dec 20190
3:53
Fox News host Tucker Carlson slammed establishment conservatives for taking money from big tech companies to do their bidding, on Tucker Carlson Tonight, Friday night.
The popular host, known for his no-holds-barred denunciations of establishment conservatives as well as Democrats, revealed massive spending by the establishment conservative Koch Foundation to protect big tech in Washington.
Tucker revealed that Americans for Prosperity, a “purportedly conservative group” controlled by the Kochs, launched an ad campaign trying to stave off the closing net of antitrust enforcement against Google and Facebook. The ads targeted Republican and Democrat state attorneys general that were investigating alleged antitrust violations by big tech companies.
The Koch-funded group also targeted members of the Senate Judiciary Committee with digital ads urging them to “oppose any effort to use antitrust laws to break up America’s innovative tech companies,” reported Carlson.
The Fox host ran through a laundry list of allegedly “conservative” D.C. think tanks that take money from big tech, and often advocate against regulating them over political bias or any other matter.
“In all, the Koch network quietly spent at least $10 million defending Silicon Valley companies that work to silence conservatives.”


Tucker Carlson Slamming Conservative Inc. for Defending Big Tech

Tucker Calls Out
-Kochs
-Heritage Foundation
-American Conservative Union
-AEI

"Big Tech Companies silence Conservatives, Conservative Non-Profits try to prevent the government from doing anything about it."

“Google has given money to at least 22 right-leaning institutions that are also funded by the Koch network,” reported Carlson.
“Those institutions include the American Conservative Union, the American Enterprise Institute, the National Review Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation, and the Mercatus Center.”
Carlson explained that this spending gets results.
“In September of 2018, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and three other groups funded by Google and the Kochs sent a joint letter to the Attorney General at the time, Jeff Sessions, expressing grave concerns over the DoJ’s plans to look into whether search engines and social media were hurting competition and stifling speech.”
Carlson also called out The Heritage Foundation, arguing that its shilling for big tech meant that it “no longer represents the interest of conservatives, at least on the question of tech.”
“A recent paper by Heritage, entitled ‘Free Enterprise Is the Best Remedy For Online Bias Concerns,’ defends the special privileges that Congress has given to left-wing Silicon Valley monopolies. And if conservatives don’t like it, Heritage says, well they can just start their own Google!”
Evidence of big tech’s efforts to co-opt establishment conservatives has been accumulating for some time. In March, Breitbart News published leaked audio from a senior director of public policy at Google, talking about using funding of conservative institutions to “steer” the movement. Another part of the leaked audio transcript was also revealed on Tucker Carlson’s show at the same time.
The Heritage Foundation has continued to defend big tech against efforts to strip them of their special legal privileges, which were given to them by Congress in the 1990s and are enjoyed by no other type of company.
This is despite the fact that Google publicly snubbed the foundation last year, canceling the formation of a planned “A.I ethics” council after far-left employees of the tech company threw a hissy fit over the fact that Heritage president Kay Coles James was set to be one of its members.
Are you an insider at Google, Facebook, Twitter or any other tech company who wants to confidentially reveal wrongdoing or political bias at your company? Reach out to Allum Bokhari at his secure email address allumbokhari@protonmail.com
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News.


In truth, the Golden State is becoming a semi-feudal kingdom, with the nation’s widest gap between middle and upper incomes—72 percent, compared with the U.S. average of 57 percent—and its highest poverty rate. Roughly half of America’s homeless live in Los Angeles or San Francisco, which now has the highest property crime rate among major cities.
December 20, 2019 
California Preening
The Golden State is on a path to high-tech feudalism, but there’s still time to change course.
“We are the modern equivalent of the ancient city-states of Athens and Sparta. California has the ideas of Athens and the power of Sparta,” declared then-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2007. “Not only can we lead California into the future . . . we can show the nation and the world how to get there.” When a movie star who once played Hercules says so who’s to disagree? The idea of California as a model, of course, precedes the former governor’s tenure. Now the state’s anti-Trump resistance—in its zeal on matters concerning climate, technology, gender, or race—believes that it knows how to create a just, affluent, and enlightened society. “The future depends on us,” Governor Gavin Newsom said at his inauguration. “And we will seize this moment.”
In truth, the Golden State is becoming a semi-feudal kingdom, with the nation’s widest gap between middle and upper incomes—72 percent, compared with the U.S. average of 57 percent—and its highest poverty rate. Roughly half of America’s homeless live in Los Angeles or San Francisco, which now has the highest property crime rate among major cities. California hasn’t yet become a full-scale dystopia, of course, but it’s heading in a troubling direction.
This didn’t have to happen. No place on earth has more going for it than the Golden State. Unlike the East Coast and Midwest, California benefited from comparatively late industrialization, with an economy based less on auto manufacturing and steel than on science-based fields like aerospace, software, and semiconductors. In the mid-twentieth century, the state also gained from the best aspects of progressive rule, culminating in an elite public university system, a massive water system reminiscent of the Roman Empire, and a vast infrastructure network of highways, ports, and bridges. The state was fortunate, too, in drawing people from around the U.S. and the world. The eighteenth-century French traveler J. Hector St. John de Crèvecœur described the American as “this new man,” and California—innovative, independent, and less bound by tradition or old prejudice—reflected that insight. Though remnants of this California still exist, its population is aging, less mobile, and more pessimistic, and its roads, schools, and universities are in decline.
In the second half of the twentieth century, California’s remarkably diverse economy spread prosperity from the coast into the state’s inland regions. Though pockets of severe poverty existed—urban barrios, south Los Angeles, the rural Central Valley—they were limited in scope. In fact, growth often favored suburban and exurban communities, where middle-class families, including minorities, settled after World War II.
In the last two decades, the state has adopted policies that undermine the basis for middle-class growth. State energy policies, for example, have made California’s gas and electricity prices among the steepest in the country. Since 2011, electricity prices have risen five times faster than the national average. Meantime, strict land-use controls have raised housing costs to the nation’s highest, while taxes—once average, considering California’s urban scale—now exceed those of virtually every state. At the same time, California’s economy has shed industrial diversity in favor of dependence on one industry: Big Tech. Just a decade before, the state’s largest firms included those in the aerospace, finance, energy, and service industries. Today’s 11 largest companies hail from the tech sector, while energy firms—excluding Chevron, which has moved much of its operations to Houston—have disappeared. Not a single top aerospace firm—the iconic industry of twentieth-century California—retains its headquarters here.
Though lionized in the press, this tech-oriented economy hasn’t resulted in that many middle- and high-paying job opportunities for Californians, particularly outside the Bay Area. Since 2008, notes Chapman University’s Marshall Toplansky, the state has created five times the number of low-paying, as opposed to high-wage, jobs. A remarkable 86 percent of new jobs paid below the median income, while almost half paid under $40,000. Moreover, California, including Silicon Valley, created fewer high-paying positions than the national average, and far less than prime competitors like Salt Lake City, Seattle, or Austin. Los Angeles County features the lowest pay of any of the nation’s 50 largest counties.
No state advertises its multicultural bona fides more than California, now a majority-minority state. This is evident at the University of California, where professors are required to prove their service to “people of color,” to the state’s high school curricula, with its new ethnic studies component. Much of California’s anti-Trump resistance has a racial context. State Attorney General Xavier Becerra has sued the administration numerous times over immigration policy while he helps ensure California’s distinction as a sanctuary for illegal immigrants. So far, more than 1 million illegal residents have received driver’s licenses, and they qualify for free health care, too. San Francisco now permits illegal immigrants to vote in local elections.
Such radical policies may make progressives feel better about themselves, though they seem less concerned about how these actions affect everyday people. California’s Latinos and African-Americans have seen good blue-collar jobs in manufacturing and energy vanish. According to one United Way study, over half of Latino households can barely pay their bills. “For Latinos,” notes long-time political consultant Mike Madrid, “the California Dream is becoming an unattainable fantasy.”
In the past, poorer Californians could count on education to help them move up. But today’s educators appear more interested in political indoctrination than results. Among the 50 states, California ranked 49th in the performance of low-income students. In wealthy San Francisco, test scores for black students are the worst of any California county. Many minority residents, especially African-Americans, are fleeing the state. In a recent UC Berkeley poll, 58 percent of black expressed interest in leaving California, a higher percentage than for any racial group, though approximately 45 percent of Asians and Latinos also considered moving out.
Perhaps the biggest demographic disaster is generational. For decades, California incubated youth culture, creating trends like beatniks, hippies, surfers, and Latino and Asian art, music, and cuisine. The state is a fountainhead of youthful wokeness and rebellion, but that may prove short-lived as millennials leave. From 2014 to 2018, notes demographer Wendell Cox, net domestic out-migration grew from 46,000 to 156,000. The exiles are increasingly in their family-formation years. In the 2010s, California suffered higher net declines in virtually every age category under 54, with the biggest rate of loss coming among the 35-to-44 cohort.
As families with children leave, and international migration slows to one-third of Texas’s level, the remaining population is rapidly aging. Since 2010, California’s fertility rate has dropped 60 percent, more than the national average; the state is now aging 50 percent more rapidly than the rest of the country. A growing number of tech firms and millennials have headed to the Intermountain West. Low rates of homeownership among younger people play a big role in this trend, with California millennials forced to rent, with little chance of buying their own home, while many of the state’s biggest metros lead the nation in long-term owners. California is increasingly a greying refuge for those who bought property when housing was affordable.
After Governor Schwarzenegger morphed into a progressive environmentalist, climate concerns began driving state policy. His successors have embraced California “leadership” on climate issues. Jerry Brown recently told a crowd in China that the rest of the world should follow California’s example. The state’s top Democrats, like state senate president pro tem Kevin DeLeon, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, and billionaire Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer, now compete for the green mantle.
Their policies have worsened conditions for many middle- and working-class Californians. Oblivious to these concerns, Greens ignore practical ideas—nuclear power, natural gas cars, job creation in affordable areas, home-based work—that could help reduce emissions without disrupting people’s lives. Ultra-green policies also work against the state’s proclaimed goal of building more than 3.5 million new housing units by 2025. In accordance with its efforts to reduce car use, the state mandates that most growth occurs in already-crowded coastal areas, where land prices are highest. But in cities like San Francisco, the cost of building one unit for a homeless person surpasses $700,000. California’s inland regions, though experiencing population gains, keep losing state funding for decrepit highways in favor of urban-centric, mass transit projects—yet transit use has stagnated, especially in greater Los Angeles.
The state, nevertheless, continues its pursuit of policies that would eliminate all fossil fuels and nuclear power—outpacing national or even Paris Accord levels and guaranteeing ever-rising energy prices. Mandating everything from electric cars to electric homes will only drive more working-class Californians into “energy poverty.” High energy prices also directly affect the manufacturing and logistics firms that employ blue-collar workers at decent wages. Business relocation expert Joe Vranich notes that industrial firms account for many of the 2,000 employers that left the state this decade. California’s industrial growth has fallen to the bottom tier of states; last year, it ranked 44th, with a rate of growth one-third to one-quarter that of prime competitors like Texas, Virginia, Arizona, Nevada, and Florida.
Similarly, the high energy prices tend to hit the interior counties that, besides being poorer, have far less temperate climates. Cities like Bakersfield, capital of the state’s once-vibrant oil industry, are particularly hard-hit. High energy prices will cost the region, northeast of the Los Angeles Basin, 14,000 generally high-paid jobs, even as the state continues to import oil from Saudi Arabia.
California’s leaders apply climate change to excuse virtually every failure of state policy. During the California drought, Brown and his minions blamed the “climate” for the dry period, refusing to take responsibility for insufficient water storage that would have helped farmers. When the rains returned and reservoirs filled, this argument was forgotten, and little effort has been made to conserve water for next time. Likewise, Newsom and his supporters in the media have blamed recent fires on changes in the global climate, but the disaster had as much to do with green mandates against controlled burns and brush clearance than anything occurring on a planetary scale. Brown joined greens and others in blocking such sensible policies.
Few climate advocates ever seem to ask if their policies actually help the planet. Indeed, California’s green policy, as one paper demonstrates, may be increasing total greenhouse-gas emissions by pushing people and industries to states with less mild climates. In the past decade, the state ranked 40th in per-capita reductions, and its global carbon footprint is minimal. Renewable energy may be expensive and unreliable, but state policy nevertheless enriches the green-energy investments of tech leaders, even when their efforts—like the Google-backed Ivanpah solar farm—fail to deliver affordable, reliable energy.
It’s not so surprising, given these enthusiasms, that progressive politicians like Garcetti—who leads a city with paralyzing traffic congestion, rampant inequality, a huge rat infestation, and proliferating homeless camps—would rather talk about becoming chair of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group.
Reality is asserting itself, though. Tech firms already show signs of restlessness with the current regulatory regime and appear to be shifting employment to other states, notably TexasTennesseeNevadaColorado, and Arizona. Economic-modeling firm Emsi estimates that several states—Idaho, Tennessee, Washington, and Utah—are growing their tech employment faster than California. The state is losing momentum in professional and technical services—the largest high-wage sector—and now stands roughly in the middle of the pack behind other western states such as Texas, Tennessee, and Florida. And Assembly Bill 5, the state law regulating certain forms of contract labor, reclassifies part-time workers. Aimed initially at ride-sharing giants Uber and Lyft, the legislation also extends to independent contractors in industries from media to trucking.
At some point, as even Brown noted, the ultra-high capital gains returns will fall and, combined with the costs of an expanding welfare state, could leave the state in fiscal chaos. Big Tech could stumble, a possibility made more real by the recent $100 billion drop in the value of privately held “unicorn” companies, including WeWork. If the tech economy slows, a rift could develop between two of the state’s biggest forces—unions and the green establishment—over future levels of taxation. More than two-thirds of California cities don’t have any funds set aside for retiree health care and other retirement expenses. The state also confronts $1 trillion in pension debt, according to former Democratic state senator Joe NationU.S. News & Report ranks California, despite the tech boom, 42nd in fiscal health among the states.
The good news: some Californians are waking up. A recent PPIC poll found that increasing proportions of Californians believe that the state is headed in the wrong direction—a figure that exceeds 55 percent in the inland areas. And voters dislike the state legislature even more than they dislike Donald Trump. Newsom’s approval rating stands at 43 percent, placing him toward the bottom among the nation’s governors. A conservative-led campaign to recall him is unlikely to succeed, but surveys reveal growing opposition to the new tax hikes proposed by the legislature. There’s a growing concern about the state’s expanding homeless population.
And a rebellion against the state’s energy policies is already under way. Recently, 110 cities, with total population exceeding 8 million, have demanded changes in California’s drive to prevent new natural gas hookups. The state’s Chamber of Commerce and the three most prominent ethnic chambers—African-American, Latino, and Asian-Pacific—have joined this effort.
Californians need less bombast and progressive pretense from their leaders and more attention to policies that could counteract the economic and demographic tides threatening the state. On its current course, California increasingly resembles a model of what the late Taichi Sakaiya called “high-tech feudalism,” with a small population of wealthy residents and a growing mass of modern-day serfs. Delusion and preening ultimately have limits, as more Californians are beginning to recognize. As the 2020s beckon, the time for the state to change course is now.



OBAMA AND HIS BANKSTERS:
And it all got much, much worse after 2008, when the schemes collapsed and, as Lemann points out, Barack Obama did not aggressively rein in Wall Street as Roosevelt had done, instead restoring the status quo ante even when it meant ignoring a staggering white-collar crime spree. RYAN COOPER

The Rise of Wall Street Thievery

How corporations and their apologists blew up the New Deal order and pillaged the middle class.
America has long had a suspicious streak toward business, from the Populists and trustbusters to Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. It’s a tendency that has increased over the last few decades. In 1973, 36 percent of respondents told Gallup they had only “some” confidence in big business, while 20 percent had “very little.” But in 2019, those numbers were 41 and 32 percent—near the highs registered during the financial crisis.
Clearly, something has happened to make us sour on the American corporation. What was once a stable source of long-term employment and at least a modicum of paternalistic benefits has become an unstable, predatory engine of inequality. Exactly what went wrong is well documented in Nicholas Lemann’s excellent new book, Transaction Man. The title is a reference to The Organization Man, an influential 1956 book on the corporate culture and management of that era. Lemann, a New Yorker staff writer and Columbia journalism professor (as well as a Washington Monthly contributing editor), details the development of the “Organization” style through the career of Adolf Berle, a member of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s brain trust. Berle argued convincingly that despite most of the nation’s capital being represented by the biggest 200 or so corporations, the ostensible owners of these firms—that is, their shareholders—had little to no influence on their daily operations. Control resided instead with corporate managers and executives.
Transaction Man: The Rise of the Deal and the Decline of the American Dream
by Nicholas Lemann
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 320 pp.
Berle was alarmed by the wealth of these mega-corporations and the political power it generated, but also believed that bigness was a necessary concomitant of economic progress. He thus argued that corporations should be tamed, not broken up. The key was to harness the corporate monstrosities, putting them to work on behalf of the citizenry.
Berle exerted major influence on the New Deal political economy, but he did not get his way every time. He was a fervent supporter of the National Industrial Recovery Act, an effort to directly control corporate prices and production, which mostly flopped before it was declared unconstitutional. Felix Frankfurter, an FDR adviser and a disciple of the great anti-monopolist Louis Brandeis, used that opportunity to build significant Brandeisian elements into New Deal structures. The New Deal social contract thus ended up being a somewhat incoherent mash-up of Brandeis’s and Berle’s ideas. On the one hand, antitrust did get a major focus; on the other, corporations were expected to play a major role delivering basic public goods like health insurance and pensions. 
Lemann then turns to his major subject, the rise and fall of the Transaction Man. The New Deal order inspired furious resistance from the start. Conservative businessmen and ideologues argued for a return to 1920s policies and provided major funding for a new ideological project spearheaded by economists like Milton Friedman, who famously wrote an article titled “The Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits.” Lemann focuses on a lesser-known economist named Michael Jensen, whose 1976 article “Theory of the Firm,” he writes, “prepared the ground for blowing up that [New Deal] social order.”
Jensen and his colleagues embodied that particular brand of jaw-droppingly stupid that only intelligent people can achieve. Only a few decades removed from a crisis of unregulated capitalism that had sparked the worst war in history and nearly destroyed the United States, they argued that all the careful New Deal regulations that had prevented financial crises for decades and underpinned the greatest economic boom in U.S. history should be burned to the ground. They were outraged by the lack of control shareholders had over the firms they supposedly owned, and argued for greater market discipline to remove this “principal-agent problem”—econ-speak for businesses spending too much on irrelevant luxuries like worker pay and investment instead of dividends and share buybacks. When that argument unleashed hell, they doubled down: “To Jensen the answer was clear: make the market for corporate control even more active, powerful, and all-encompassing,” Lemann writes.
The best part of the book is the connection Lemann draws between Washington policymaking and the on-the-ground effects of those decisions. There was much to criticize about the New Deal social contract—especially its relative blindness to racism—but it underpinned a functioning society that delivered a tolerable level of inequality and a decent standard of living to a critical mass of citizens. Lemann tells this story through the lens of a thriving close-knit neighborhood called Chicago Lawn. Despite how much of its culture “was intensely provincial and based on personal, family, and ethnic ties,” he writes, Chicago Lawn “worked because it was connected to the big organizations that dominated American culture.” In other words, it was a functioning democratic political economy.
Then came the 1980s. Lemann paints a visceral picture of what it was like at street level as Wall Street buccaneers were freed from the chains of regulation and proceeded to tear up the New Deal social contract. Cities hemorrhaged population and tax revenue as their factories were shipped overseas. Whole businesses were eviscerated or even destroyed by huge debt loads from hostile takeovers. Jobs vanished by the hundreds of thousands. 
And it all got much, much worse after 2008, when the schemes collapsed and, as Lemann points out, Barack Obama did not aggressively rein in Wall Street as Roosevelt had done, instead restoring the status quo ante even when it meant ignoring a staggering white-collar crime spree. Neighborhoods drowned under waves of foreclosures and crime as far-off financial derivatives imploded. Car dealerships that had sheltered under the General Motors umbrella for decades were abruptly cut loose. Bewildered Chicago Lawn residents desperately mobilized to defend themselves, but with little success. “What they were struggling against was a set of conditions that had been made by faraway government officials—not one that had sprung up naturally,” Lemann writes.
Toward the end of the book, however, Lemann starts to run out of steam. He investigates a possible rising “Network Man” in the form of top Silicon Valley executives, who have largely maintained control over their companies instead of serving as a sort of esophagus for disgorging their companies’ bank accounts into the Wall Street maw. But they turn out to be, at bottom, the same combination of blinkered and predatory as the Transaction Men. Google and Facebook, for instance, have grown over the last few years by devouring virtually the entire online ad market, strangling the journalism industry as a result. And they directly employ far too few people to serve as the kind of broad social anchor that the car industry once did.
In his final chapter, Lemann argues for a return to “pluralism,” a “messy, contentious system that can’t be subordinated to one conception of the common good. It refuses to designate good guys and bad guys. It distributes, rather than concentrates, economic and political power.”
This is a peculiar conclusion for someone who has just finished Lemann’s book, which is full to bursting with profoundly bad people—men and women who knowingly harmed their fellow citizens by the millions for their own private profit. In his day, Roosevelt was not shy about lambasting rich people who “had begun to consider the government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs,” as he put it in a 1936 speech in which he also declared, “We know now that government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob.”
If concentrated economic power is a bad thing, then the corporate form is simply a poor basis for a truly strong and equal society. Placing it as one of the social foundation stones makes its workers dependent on the unreliable goodwill and business acumen of management on the one hand and the broader marketplace on the other. All it takes is a few ruthless Transaction Men to undermine the entire corporate social model by outcompeting the more generous businesses. And even at the high tide of the New Deal, far too many people were left out, especially African Americans.
Lemann writes that in the 1940s the United States “chose not to become a full-dress welfare state on the European model.” But there is actually great variation among the European welfare states. States like Germany and Switzerland went much farther on the corporatist road than the U.S. ever did, but they do considerably worse on metrics like inequality, poverty, and political polarization than the Nordic social democracies, the real welfare kings. 
Conversely, for how threadbare it is, the U.S. welfare state still delivers a great deal of vital income to the American people. The analyst Matt Bruenig recently calculated that American welfare eliminates two-thirds of the “poverty gap,” which is how far families are below the poverty line before government transfers are factored in. (This happens mainly through Social Security.) Imagine how much worse this country would be without those programs! And though it proved rather easy for Wall Street pirates to torch the New Deal corporatist social model without many people noticing, attempts to cut welfare are typically very obvious, and hence unpopular.
Still, Lemann’s book is more than worth the price of admission for the perceptive history and excellent writing. It’s a splendid and beautifully written illustration of the tremendous importance public policy has for the daily lives of ordinary people.

Ryan Cooper

Ryan Cooper is a national correspondent at the Week. His work has appeared in the Washington Post, the New Republic, and the Nation. He was an editor at the Washington Monthly from 2012 to 2014.